Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A special Shit to do for New Year's Eve (but let's face it, you made plans 2 weeks ago)

Huh? You want me to do what? Fuck you Slick, it's Wednesday. Shit ain't even sexy today. Have you seen the ridiculous fucking cover charges going around tonight? $50(!?) to drink at what's essentially the Great Plate? Fuck, even Fat's is charging $15 to get in. Envy's charging $25-$40, but that place is for douchebags anyways. Way to rub in the fact that I can't afford to go out and drink so I'll be alone in my apt tackling a 30-pack of Coors while drunkenly watching the South Park marathon and wondering how many beers I'd have to have in me before I'd nail Kyle's mom. Ok, fine. Here's shit to do tonight with only a little help from the corpse of (which, you know, is still around for at least another month).

The James Blonde Band and the Great Oglee Moglee Blues Band play the Matinee tonight for their party at 9pm. $10

The aforementioned Fat's is having their party at 9 tonight as well. I'm not sure who's playing, but rumor going around is they actually have a DJ tonight instead of lame ass Latin Magic Band. $15 solo/$25 couple

And of course, the coolest place to celebrate the new year ever the Comic Grapevine is doing something at 7. I wouldn't be caught dead there but if tentacle rape is your idea of a good New Year's celebration then have at it. $5

And of course there's always every bar ever. For you Lodi folks, Gary's Lounge seems to be the cool place of note as of late. I lost my rotating schedule of which bar is considered cool during certain times of the year, but I believe Stooges will get it's 3 month "cool" run next. Or at least I really hope so. Happy New Year bitches. This next beer's for you.

Quick Links for Dec. 31st

Well, it's the end of 2009. Guess it's time to bust out all those year end posts I promised but predictably waited until the last minute to write. So here's the quick links to satisfy your hunger until I can crank out a Real Stocktonian of the Year (an idea the Record is toooootally stealing, you already had your year in review filler feature! Let me have mine!), and we'll wake up a probably hungover El Duke to get some shit to do for tonight (hint: go to bar, commence drinking).

Since I already mentioned the Record's year in review filler feature, let's tackle that first. You number one story of the year? That Quail Lakes fire. Remember that? Yeah, I barely remembered it either. But apparently both the Record readers and editors thought it was a top 2 story. Top 2 of the whole year. Not the General Plan posturing, not the Rodeo fuckup, not Steve Pinkerton peacing out, not the city budget crisis. What about the precious trees!? Look, lists like this are bullshit because it's not like we can come up with a list everybody can agree on. But considering the Record readers voted in the foreclosure crisis and the economic crisis as two separate things (they also somehow separated Prop 8 and the election, go figure), I wouldn't put too much stock in this list.

Fuck! Fuck fuck fuck! God dammit El Paso! Why? I personally blame myself. People have to read this place which probably increases the literacy rate (in the secret 7th judging category "creative swearing"). The worst part about that article (besides the fact that we actually dropped a spot from 69 to 70) is that people think moving from last to second to last is something to celebrate. It's the same thing as our second highest violent crime rate title. Sure, it's not the worst/highest, but it's still horrifically bad. Of course if this past year taught us anything, it's that librarians are going to start bitching about owed raises then will start crashing those ladders on wheels into each other.

In other news, old people complained that Obama's health care plan doesn't go far enough. Which is like saying the bank bailout won't save the economy. No shit, it's just the first step. But instead, the residents of Murphy's just want to complain about the expensiveness of coverage and how their insurance won't cover care from their bumfuck mountain towns. Nobody told you the downfall of living in the foothills is that nobody gives a shit about you, did they? Yeah, that's not Obama's fault.

Speaking of medical coverage, SJ county finally decided to obey state law and pass out medicinal marijuana cards. Conveniently when my insomnglacobackpain started acting up again. Now where did I put that doctor's number?

Ok, we know it doesn't matter, but we have to ask. Wasn't new Thunder coach Matt Thomas the old Thunder coach from back when the Thunder were in Atlantic City and called the Boardwalk Bullies (a name only slightly lamer than Thunder)? This whole head coaching change is just one giant admission that team officials don't have a fucking clue what they're doing. Luckily noone noticed until it was pointed out today because noone gives a shit about the Thunder. No really, noone. But no, really, feel free to print two stories on it in one day Record. We really care that much. (And as always, a hearty fuck you to for not putting the front page sports story on the front of the recordnet sports page.)

And finally, God damn Fitzy's column today seems familiar. Possibly because it pretty much sounds like everything we've been saying for the past six months. Stockton city leaders need to think outside the box instead of trying the same ol' tired ideas. Of course this is all part of Fitzy's image rehab after his committed relationship with Steve Pinkerton became illegal. So remember, Mike Fitzgerald = anti-establishment.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Quick Links for Dec 30th

What the fuck is up with this town and trees? And why the fuck do we care about something that eats up less than 1% of the budget? Is it really that hard? Tree grow, now we're responsible for trimming them. If something serious happens like heavy winds or lightening cracking a rather large branch that may or may not cause damage the city gets involved. Is it really that fucking tough? All Clem wants is a tree he can trim and can relax with various livestock under.

Remember folks, Mike Fitzgerald thinks living in south Stockton isn't enough of a reason to own a gun.

Maybe I'm missing something, but isn't this story the same basic story as number 7 of this? Of course they're not exactly the same but one is so closely related to the other that you can't really mention one without the other. Which in our minds at least, makes them one big story. One that should have been number one.

Oh, and nobody cares.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Quick Links for Dec. 29th

Ok, we're back from Christmas vacation. It's not like we'd have had much to post about while we were gone. On the 26th there were exactly 9 news stories written by the Record. And shit doesn't look like it's gonna pick up anytime soon. Luckily we still have an award to pass out later. Hooray filler! Quick links time bitches!

A guy bit off a piece of his neighbor's cheek during a drunken Christmas fight. I'm not even really sure how that's possible. Was his neighbor a chipmunk or something?

We're waiting for this list to be over before we say anything about it. With only two slots left we're guessing the rodeo might sneak in there, and maybe the referendum/general plan. Of course, this is being voted on by the Record's readers. The same readers who voted the economy only the 7th biggest story of the year, which I guess if a bit revealing as to what kind of readers the Record has (coughricholdracistwhitepeopleunaffectedbytheeconomycough). Let's just say I'm not holding my breath that any of them remember who Mayra Lopez is (a death we thought was way sadder than Aaron Kelly's).

Hey everybody, guess what? You know old, crazy, rich, white dude Alex Spanos? Well guess what? He's old and crazy! This is how slow news has been lately. The guy's roughly 600 years old, of course he's losing his marbles. That whole referendum thing didn't tip you off? (We kid, we know his ancient ass had about as much to do with the referendum as the loss of potential jobs did.)

And finally, they got rid of the sea lions at Mickie Grove Zoo? To make way for birds? Fucking weak. Of course the first time a bird lands on my shoulder pirate-style in this exhibit all will be forgiven. McDyver is a genius name though by the way.

We'll probably be here all week this week. Look out for an early New Year's Eve edition of Shit To Do, Real Stocktonian of the Year, and if I know El Duke we'll be getting a Kings Kolumn about last night's debacle shortly.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Super Quick Links for Christmas Eve (aka a black hole of news)

Fuck, nothing happened yesterday. No really, the top story on the local section literally reads "Children are our future". The front page story? About Health Plan of San Joaquin being number child health care. Hell, the only semi-interesting news is that after roughly a 35 year delay the World of Wonders museum is going to open for a whole week. It's all about the fucking kids today. Consider this your quick links. Hopefully something interesting happens for tomorrow's paper.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Almost forgot one grievance...

It's no secret we're not bug fans of Christmas here. Biggest reason why? I'm posting this on my cell phone using mobile web while stuck in traffic on Pacific Ave. All I want to do is go to the bank to deposit my paycheck. But instead I gotta wait 3 stoplight cycles behind proscrastinating dickweeds who don't know there's other places to shop besides the fucking malls. In conclusion, I'd like to quote former News10 anchor Dana Jacobsen. Fuck Jesus.

Quick Links for Dec. 23rd (aka Festivus!)

Happy Festivus everybody. On with the traditional airing of grievances. (Which you may or may not choose to read in the voice of Frank Costanza)

Chavez! Yeah you, I got a problem with the way you're just cutting and running. You're making a clean break and heading down to SoCal and are refusing to comment on your successors. You act like you don't want anything to do with this city anymore. Quit openly pining for retirement while still in office. We get it, you're going to golf a lot. The rest of us still have to deal with the shit you promised to deal with before you decided "fuck it" and didn't seek reelection. Not that we blame you for taking off. We'd probably do the same thing. Just quit rubbing it in our faces. And while we're at it...

City of Stockton! What's your problem? You can't put up what equates to 8 more street lamps? We know the budget is thin but how much electricity can 8 more lights use? How about you eliminate furloughs for 911 dispatchers so they don't cost the city more money through overtime, then put that money towards lighting a tree and 8 light bulbs for a week? And no Festivus pole? That thing uses zero electricity. You don't even need to find tinsel! We demand a Festivus pole be erected next year or we're going to the Record too. Speaking of...

Record! Quit printing these God damn charity stories. We fucking get it, it's a giving time! It's the same story every day. More people than ever are struggling financially and are turning to charities for assistance. Thanks for finding more patronizing ways to tell us the economy sucks. It's not painfully obvious and creeping into every facet of our lives or anything.

El Guapo! What the fuck man? Last week you claim 209Vibe and now this week you claim yet another ECHL team in the Fresno Falcons. Granted it's minor league minor league hockey, but still. This fucks up the Thunder's schedule and apparently will eliminate a lot of the Thunder's weekend games.
All right, who's ready for the feats of strength?

By the way, happy 200th post to us. That's a ridiculous amount of writing for just under 6 months.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Quick Links for Dec. 22nd (aka. not Christmas yet)

Considering the fact that this week should be a news wasteland, I wouldn't expect much out of us this week. Yes we're lazy fuckers. No, we didn't forget about Real Stocktonian of the Year. Let's see what blood we can squeeze from the newsless stone that was this weekend.

Just how slow a weekend was it? Let's pull back the curtain a sec. When we do the quickl links, unless we stumble upon something while surfing the web (aka, looking up porn) or have the link e-mailed to us by a tipster (which usually isn't very fucking likely), we get links from this page. It's easily the most convienient page on all of It lists the various news stories from the Record in chronilogical order and lists all of Record blogs right there. One of the downfalls of this page is that you can't go further back than the front page. So once the stories from the next day bump the previous day's stories, you have to use a search engine to find it. In other words that story is hopelessly lost forever. At most the oldest story usually listed is the web-updates from the previous day telling you to read the full details in that day's Record. Today? You can go back to Saturday. Nothing fucking happened this weekend.

Oh wait, I know what happened. St. Mary's Rams football happened! Are you excited!? No? Congrats, you're just like the rest of Stockton that doesn't give a shit about those spoiled assholes. St. Mary's had to overcome so much adversity to be successful. Being the only high school in the area allowed to recruit athletes really makes it tough on them. In conclusion, high school sports don't matter. Especially when it's some prissy private school.

In news we actually care about, Mike Klocke announce in his column Sunday that the economy's so bad that instead of having local reporters, he wants the citizens of Stockton report the news for him! That's right, instead of paying people to report the boring shit noone reads anyways (i.e. Church activities, new business openings, service club functions), he wants the community to report on...well, the community. That has to be some sort of conflict of interest. You can also cover concerts and festivals. Sound familiar? That's because concert coverage kind of sounds like that whole 209Vibe thing the Record killed last week (but is still open for another month). Ian Hill's even in charge of the whole thing. Yes, that's right. Ian Hill has apparently gone from the editor of his own alt-monthly newspaper to web content moderator. Poor guy. Editing all that user generated content that, if the Recordnet forums are any indication, should be dripping with casual racism. Wait a minute. Where have I heard and user-generated content together before? Hmmmmmm... Oh hey! I remember, it was number 5 on our Top 5 thing needs to do (A list we may revisit soon)! That's becoming a rather prophetic post isn't it? Linkbacks happened shortly after that post. Now there's UGC. One of these days we hope their search engine will do something besides want to make us slit our wrists. Mostly because if we did kill ourselves nobody would be able to search and find the story baout our grizzly deaths. Maybe some citzen journalist can report on it.

And finally, remember those furloughs? Instead of doleing them out on a case-by-case basis based on need, the city just imposed them for everbody working for the city. Blatantly ignoring that doing so with the 911 dispatchers would actually cost the city more money. Surprised? Yeah, me neither. Although they're hiring apparently. Making them the only place in all of Stockton with job openings.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Shit to do for the weekend of Dec. 19th-21st

Wow, there really isn't that much shit to do this weekend. I would blame the announced closure of 209Vibe but A. The only places where it's been mentioned is on the 209Vibe website and by us (seriously, I told a local artist about it today and he had a shocked look on his face. Way to report the news Record). And B. They're still kicking ass and taking names anyways. Somebody sounds a little fired up don't they? Let's pick the bones of 209Vibe while we can to link to the few shows that are going on. I have no idea how we're going to do the shit to do after it's gone.

Sexy Friday 12/19

Fuck, nothing's going on on Sexy Friday. Ummm, here, go see "Universal" at Chitivas at 9. I have no idea what the hell it is and reading the description just confuses me even more. Apparently it's a joint party with the Waterfront (old Boiler Room) and Chitiva's. Apparently the new owners of the old Boiler Room's space don't openly loathe Chitiva's as much as the Boiler Room's owners did. So hey, unity. $10

Saturday 12/20

There's an acoustic show at the Beach Hut Deli featuring the 209 All Stars at 8. One of them is apparently FunkyTim. Yeah, like I said, jack and shit is going on this weekend. But hey, Beach Hut Deli is bad ass and the show's free.

Sunday 12/21

Nothing's even going on in the world of football as the Niners take on the Rams and the Raiders play the Texans in two games that I pray to God are blacked out so I can watch the potential playoff matchups that are happening this weekend. But unfortunately they probably won't be blacked out so feel free to head on down to the Blackwater at 2:30 for the Plea For Peace "Benefit for Peace" show. Performing will be Icarus Jones, Neglected, These Walking Giants, The Buboniks, The Stouts, Ready the Jets, Brian Hanover, Alitak, Filbert, Middagh, and Andrew Hemans. Fuck, that's a packed show and well worth the price of admission for $10. Plus it's for a good cause, renovations for the Plea for Peace Center. I was at their first show last week and God damn that place needs a lot of work. So go. Plus I saw Mike from Alitak (he's the one who kind of looks like a Mexican Dewey Cox when he was on LSD) at that show and he told me how much more bad ass Alitak is since the last time I saw them. So again, fucking go. $10

Quick Links for Dec. 19

Stockton PD finally released some more information about the Melecio Arquines shooting. Unfortunately it's not the information that matters. SPD didn't release whether or not Officer Hernandez identified himself as a police officer or told Arquines to drop his weapon, but they did tell us that Arquines had his laser sight on and pointed at Hernandez. While that does help shed some light on Hernandez' decision to fire, the article also notes that PD's recollection of the event suggests there was enough time for Hernandez to identify himself as an officer. Fishiness I all over the place in this story as the lawyer for the Arquines family also notes that it would have been extremely difficult for the laser sight to work through the screen door. (The debate as to whether or not he walked outside is somewhat covered here in the Recordnet Crime Blog) So instead of clearing up the situation by releasing more information, they made it even cloudier. Thanks Stockton PD.

We urge you to check out page B2 of the Record today to see the city's plans to alleviate the parking situation in downtown Stockton. We'd link to it, but putting the map and details on the Record's website would violate's pact of not relaying any important/interesting information.

Fitzy's column today is a semi-interesting look at how City Council votes should go in regards to growth issues. Long story short, it's split with about half being pro-growth and half being slow-growth. Of course, in the same column he says that in certain situations, the pro-growth Dale Fritchen might become slow-growth. Then Clem Lee says he can only see the obvious divide in some of the council, not all of it. So pretty much the only thing Fitzy accomplishes is noting that the District 1 seat may be a swing vote in certain situations. Somehow he stretched that out to and entire column. Hoooorayy filler.

And finally, something my brother pointed out to me, the Urban Dictionary definition of Stockton. Kind of makes you swell with civic pride don't it?

You might say Stockton's music scene has had a plethora of problems

"Every time anybody wants to do something for the Stockton music scene, it gets bashed into the ground."
-Daniel Gutierrez of Hey Manna! December issue 209Vibe

For the longest time Stockton seems to have been battling a force trying to suppress the music scene. An El Guapo if you will. Sometimes El Guapo is a complicated permit process. Sometimes El Guapo is old people living across the street with a lot of free time and a quick dialing finger. A while ago El Guapo was disorganization throughout the entire scene. There was no real place you could go to look up and advertise shows. The most advertisement a band would get for their shows would be word of mouth and flyers. Ian Hill slayed that El Guapo. And for that I will be forever grateful.

OK, maybe "slayed" is too strong of a word (is slayed even a word? Slew maybe?). You can't kill El Guapo, you can only hope to keep him at bay. For a little over a year, 209Vibe did their best to fight El Guapo. Unfortunately this week 209Vibe succumbed to it's own El Guapo, the economy.

The economy is El Guapo for a lot of things right now. It's the Guapo that has a stranglehold on the entire nation, especially here in the valley. Multiple venues have closed, Modestoview shut down, and now we can add 209Vibe to the roll call. "Obviously, the economy sucks, and everyone's struggling," said 209Vibe editor emeritus Ian Hill via e-mail. (Oh, did we forget to mention we got real quotes? Just like real journalists.) "It's difficult to start any business in this atmosphere, no matter what the potential," he continued. "We had hoped to see more revenue growth from 209Vibe - when it did not happen, we had to close shop."

The economy wasn't the only El Guapo 209Vibe had to fight. While other sections done by the Record come as inserts with the paper (TimeOut, Elegant Lifestyles), 209Vibe had it's own distribution run which was erratic at best. Quick, name a place where you know you can definitely find a copy of the print edition of 209Vibe. Can't think of one? Say hello to El Guapo.

The name was also a small Guapo that dogged 209Vibe, for us at least. The "Vibe" part always made us think they were headed to some weak rave with glowsticks and shit. Plus we've always kind of hated referring to an area by their area code. It's not original, every rapper ever seems to be doing it now. Plus, it's usually used to signify hometown pride. Something that not a lot of people have around here. Local apathy was also 209Vibe's El Guapo. Hell, it's our El Guapo. That's kind of why we liked 209Vibe, we were fighting a common enemy.

Look, we know when boiled down to the bare essentials 209Vibe was just a scene mag. But for being just a scene mag it accomplished a lot in it's year-plus existence. "I think we did a lot of good for local music and entertainment in the past year," Hill opined. "People began to see that there was more to do in Stockton than have dinner at Olive Garden and check out the new Martin Lawrence flick. And they were introduced to talented artists in their community." After wondering when Stockton opened up an Olive Garden, we have to agree with him. The local music scene has seen unprecedented growth in the past year, culminating (for us at least) with the opening of the Plea for Peace Center on downtown's east side. Considering the Center was the cover story for December's 209Vibe, it's safe to say 209Vibe helped a bit.

Of course now the it's gone, the obvious question is what's next? Who will help us fight El Guapo? Unfortunately, that answer isn't immediately clear. Something that is clear is something 209Vibe taught us (and something Ian just said in the previous quote), Stockton has a fucking talented group of artists. "That talent, really, is what's most important," Hill continued. "209Vibe's existence was a result of that talent - we didn't create the local music scene, we just covered it. We'll continue to have scene even though coverage of it is going to decrease."

The scene will always be around, but with what strength is unknown. 209Vibe played a large part in helping promote the local arts scene. Whether it was giving bands exposure they otherwise wouldn't have, sponsoring shows directly, or giving area residents under the age of 35 a paper directed towards them for once. There are other places to fill the void in 209Vibe's absence. Middagh's Stockton Rocks! MySpace is highly recommended. Middagh's been fighting El Guapo for the better part of 2 decades. Most recently that fight has included opening and running the Plea for Peace Center. The Stockton Rocks! MySpace is a list of shows Middagh books (for the uninitiated, everybody's favorite peroxide gargler books a decent chunk of the shows in Stockton) plus shows he would personally go to. In the shutdown announcement on Hill says he'll try and maintain the 209Vibe MySpace (now called 209Music) (Update: Now it's called " is still here!" why must you confuse us so?!) as a place to post local events. So while the arts scene may not get as much coverage as it once did, there are still a few places to go to advertise/look up shows.

That really only leaves one question. What about Ian Hill? The economy has his journalism especially hard this year. There aren't exactly too many spare newspaper jobs lying around. So what's going to happen to the man that fought El Guapo and lived to tell about it? "I'll continue to work at The Record in another capacity that will be announced very soon," said Hill, "and I'll keep doing what I can to provide local musicians with coverage and exposure."

The fight against El Guapo will never be over. Even if we do defeat him in one form, he always comes back in another. We lost a bit of firepower over the last week, but in the end I think we'll be ok. We'll just have to shoulder some of the organizational process ourselves and slowly continue the fight to gain respect in the art community. It won't be easy, we may not have the best weapons to fight El Guapo anymore. But all we can do is keep sewing, sewing like the wind.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Quick Links for Dec. 18th

Fuck it, let's just dive right in.

Taking a page out of the Lodi City Council's book, the new Delta Board of Trustees decided to hold a marathon meeting of their own. They held a six-hour meeting on Tuesday, the first for the newly elected board. What did they do for 6 hours? They played catch up! They spent 6 hours asking questions about stuff they probably should have already known about. Like the history of Measure L spending. Which is something I know by just driving by Delta every once in a while. Seriously, what did they say? "Well first we decided to buy this land in Mountain House. Then we got buyer's remorse. Then while dealing with that, we decided to buy fancy electric signs and flat screens that just show a lame powerpoint presentation. Oh, and a field. Yes, and an Olympic sized track. Then we realized we're out of money." There, done. That took them a hour and a half of the 6 hour meeting?

For those of you who haven't already conditioned yourself to be extra careful driving during the holidays, there's a friendly reminder in today's Record about cops stepping up drunk driving enforcement. They even tell us where they'll be and when, which is strangely informative for the Record. Although it could be just a smoke screen because the days listed seem like random ass days, and don't even include the gimmie date of the 31st.

Remember folks, south Stockton isn't dangerous enough to alone warrant owning a gun.

Not that north Stockton seems to be any safer lately. Last week a group of armed men shot and killed a guy to get to the cache of Mary Jane in the house. Why are people getting killed over pot? It's borderline fucking legal! The cops even left 8 ounces of the remaining 6 pounds of cheeva because it was technically medicinal! Aren't robberies supposed to happen with real drugs? Was one of the guys named "Sack"? And we feel bad for Christian Burkin, who presumably was the guy who had to go to the house to ask about the deceased's registered sex offender status. Which had to have been ridiculously awkward.

Speaking of ridiculously awkward, it had to be fairly awkward when the Lexington Plaza Waterfront Hotel Bar & Grill & Gas 'N Go celebrated their first year open for business. Especially when Regent owner John Thomas took to the stage to speak. But of course that cloud of awkwardness lifted when soon-to-be Mayor and possible goat Ann Johnston took to the stage and channeled her inner John Belushi. No, she didn't chug an entire bottle of Jack. She did declare the hotel and the party "fabulous". And noted that they're "all going to come down and party a lot." Sound like my kind of city council. By the way, what kind of fucking party has their own cigar roller? No really. That's a profession? Where the hell was the rolling papers section of the career fair when I was in high school?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Guns don't kill people, living in south Stockton kills people

As we mentioned earlier, Mike Fitzgerald took it upon himself to try and defend Stockton police in the shooting death of Melecio Arquines. You know, the guy who was shot by police in his south Stockton home while trying to protect his house from a perceived threat. Yeah, this should be good. Let's FJM this bitch.

" is possible to credit Stockton police for immediately releasing Hernandez's name. Some past regimes circled the wagons and treated public scrutiny as hostile."

Credit Stockton police for what? Only partially stonewalling the media as opposed to completely doing so? Pete Smith can't tell us if Hernandez even identified himself as an officer, let alone whether or not he ordered him to drop his weapon. We don't know that bare bones, basic information, but we know his name! SPD is like an open book!

"It is also possible to credit the victim's brother, Reginael Arquines, who reserved judgment. Until the facts are in, 'I won't point any fingers,' he said."

Yeah, that was pretty classy. Kind of unlike the rest of this column.

"It is not possible, however, to agree wholeheartedly with Reginael Arquines when he said his brother needed a 9 mm pistol because 'he lived in south Stockton.'"

Umm, what part of Stockton do you think he's talking about? Has Fitzy ever gone further south than Paragary's? Go ahead, give it a shot one day. Walk south of the crosstown and tell me what you think. It's like it's a completely different city. South Stockton is underserved by the city and underpatrolled by the cops. It's where most of the shit goes down. You read your own paper don't you? Your own section? Check out the crime report sometime, those guys do a bang up job. Now note where most of the 911 breifs occur. It ain't Spanos Park, that's for fucking sure.

"Given that, is a gun worth the risk? Consider what good a 9 mm would do anyone who finds an unarmed gangster in his yard."

This should be fun. Like role-playing, right? (Waves gun menacingly at gangster) Hey! You! Get the fuck off my lawn! (Gangster runs off) hey, that went pretty smoothly. Since I somehow psychically knew he didn't have a gun, it didn't even raise my blood pressure. Crisis averted. Thanks gun!

"According to Penal Code 197, that person could not use lethal force unless the gangster tried to kill him or do him 'some great bodily injury' or broke into his home to commit a felony."

Well yeah, no shit. I didn't use lethal force. I waved it around menacingly. You know, like a crotchety old man angrily shaking his fist at the kids who just won't stop fucking with his lawn. If that guy had a gun instead of a fist, nobody would fuck with his lawn. Shit, I didn't even turn the safety off.

"Nor could he have used the gun to detain the gangster."

Who said I wanted to detain the little fucker? I just want him out of my yard. Go bug the neighbors. Those assholes were partying until 4 am. On a fucking Tuesday. Some of us work you know. The least they could have done was invite me. Plus what does detaining him accomplish? He gets an opportunity to remember where I live while I call the cops to send him to an overcrowded prison that he'll immediately be released from so he can come back with his friends who actually have guns? No thank you. Only a dumb old, white, asshole would even consider that.

"If the gangster turned and ran, he would be no threat. Lethal force would be unwarranted."

I know, I just fucking said that. Two paragraphs ago.

"To avoid attack, Melecio Arquines simply could have remained inside."

So if you hear a commotion that sounds like a struggle in your backyard, just ignore it and go back to sleep? No wonder Fitzy thinks Stockton's safe. Whenever he sees or hears trouble he just closes his eyes and wishes it away! You know, like a pussy.

"However, he could have emerged to find an armed gangster about to shoot a cop and saved the day. That is the sort of outcome of gun violence Americans seem to expect."

Ummm, no? I just expected to scare him off remember? Crotchety old man? Fist shake? Safety on? That whole deal? Plus, a cop? Those fuckers never come to south Stockton. And who dreams of saving them anyways? Can't I save some big tittied hooker with a heart of gold and a purse full of pot instead?

"Or he could have found himself in the middle of a firefight without wearing team colors. Judge for yourself whether a gun would have made him safer in that case."

Or he could have walked out and found a huge, interracial orgy in his backyard. These are all hypothetical situations. Can't we cut to the point? You know, the guy who got shot.

"I have not mentioned the laser sight on Arquines' handgun. Police will not say if it was activated."

But hey, we know the cop's name! SPD is an open book!

"Obviously, if Arquines painted a cop with a laser sight, the officer could reasonably believe his life - or the life of a fellow officer - could be over in the blink of an eye."

Are you kidding? More hypotheticals? What was the point of this whole thing? Sometimes bad things happen when guns are involved? No shit Sherlock.

Look, there's one thing I think we can all agree on here. This debacle was massssssssivly avoidable. While Fitzy apparently wants you to believe that south Stockton isn't dangerous. Officer Hernandez thought it was dangerous enough to have his firearm drawn while chasing an unarmed subject. Why? To protect himself. That's his right. The same right that Melecio Arquines had.

Reginael Arquines has it right. His brother lived in an unsafe area and he had the right to protect himself. As did Hernandez. But instead of waving his gun menacingly, he shot a man through a screen door. Melecio Arquines had every right to step up to his door with a gun, because apparently they can't even count on the cops to keep you safe in south Stockton. But no, really. Protecting your family while living in south Stockton isn't enough of a reason to own a gun.

Valley Brew is dead to us

As if there hasn't been enough bad news this week, I totally forgot the most important revelation from the Pub Crawl a couple of weeks ago. I was pretty hammered when I found out this bit of news so you can forgive me for the cloudiness around this subject just barely clearing up. You might want to sit down for this.

Are you sitting?


Valley Brew no longer brews Hitman Gold. See, I told you sit down. In their apparent ongoing campaign to get rid of the things people actually like (which is ironically also the Record's business model), the beer brewed in honor of Bret the Hitman Hart has fallen by the wayside. Combine this with the fact that they no longer serve $5 pitchers and that leaves the deep fried mushrooms and yam fries as the only real reason to go to Valley Brew anymore.

Even after they got rid of $5 pitchers, Valley Brew was on the short list of eventual Bars We're Down With inductees. Luckily we never got around to their inducting them because this lack of Gold is the last straw. While I'll always fondly remember Bris Isaak downing a cup of ranch as if it were a shot after we finished demolishing some yam fries and mushrooms, I have to say Valley Brew is no longer a bar we're down with.

Quick Links for Dec. 17th

Oh hey actual news. What's up? Shit actually happened yesterday so let's jump right into the Quick Links.

So Jason Anderson takes another crack at being a sports columnist today, an actual sports columnist who writes about a single subject. Last time he wrote about women's basketball, but hey, at least it was in depth analysis on a single topic. Let's see if his topic is any better this week....Jesus Tittyfucking Christ. It's original analysis of the Sacramento Kings! Let it be known that apparently the only way to get a Record writer to write about the local professional teams is if the team does their best Raider impersonation and mow through 4 coaches in 4 years. As far as the column goes, it was good but he stops just short of the obvious conclusion. The Kings need to hire Eddie Jordan. He's a Princeton offense coach and Petrie's a Princeton offense GM. And nobody should ever even hint at Flip Saunders coaching the Kings ever again. Ever.

Stockton PD continued their "Here's why we totally deserve a raise" tour yesterday by somehow colliding with a Manteca school bus. Which of course begs the question, does anybody in the Stockton Police Department know how to fucking drive? Are they taking driving lessons from my sister (who infamously got into 7 accidents during her first 6 months as a licensed driver)? Way to prove your worth guys.

Alright everybody, all together now. Na na na na , na na na na , hey hey hey , goooooodbye!

Nice to see people who campaigned with the promise of better management of the remainder of the Measure L funds are already looking to break that promise. We've said it before and we'll say it again, building the campus in Mountain House was retarded beyond retarded. But we've kind of passed the point of no return now. Killing the Mountain House campus wouldn't just piss everybody over there off, but it'll only result in an assload of lawsuits. Lawsuits that the plaintiffs would win and then drain even more funds. Funds that I'm guessing they don't have since it was probably already spent on designer luggage that someone was triple reimbursed for. Look Delta, we get it. Now that the changeover was happen you have to show how different you are from the previous board by finally acknowledging how shitty of an idea Mountain House was. Here's an idea, how about you differentiate yourselves from the previous board by being honest, open, and by being fiscally responsible? That shit will do a lot more for Delta's badly damaged public image than any showy public condemnation will ever do.

Don't forget! You're invited to a performance of the Nutcracker today at MLK Elementary. Unfortunately it's not Black Nutcracker like Tracy's Black Nativity from last month. Ok, we'll ask. How is this news? Did I magically get transferred to the SUSD parent newsletter?

And finally, yes we saw Fitzy's column today. We'll have a whole lot more to say about it later on. But for now we'll just question the intelligence of writing an anti-gun column in what is still pretty much a Republican county. I'd hate to be the guy who has to wade through the Letters to the Editor right about now (which may very well be Ian Hill now).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Breaking News: The Record to eliminate 209Vibe, castrate Ian Hill

(Update and bump to the top because fuck it, this is end of the day news: If you didn't believe us before, Ian Hill made the official announcement on about an hour ago.)

We don't get to much actual news to break to you guys but when we do, it's usually a doozie. And this is one hell of a doozie.

Effective after next month 209Vibe is no more. Everything., the print edition, even Ian Hill is being moved from LENS to the newsroom.

We should probably note that this isn't based on rumor, it's been confirmed by a couple of sources. The Record is blaming that wonderful catchall the economy. Which is kind of hard to swallow considering we know from personal experience it costs jack shit to maintain a website.

We'll try and get more information when we can, but we can't state enough how much of a blow this is to the local arts scene that just caught a huge break with the Plea for Peace Center.

Leave it to the Record to eliminate their best feature. Fuck.

Quick Links for Dec. 16th

We'll get to your irregularly scheduled Quick Links, but first we have to get today's "Called it!" moment out of the way. In yesterday's Kings Kolumn, El Duke called his shot:
"What should be the topic of his entire column will be a bullet point so he can make a joke about St. Mary's that roughly 15 people will get. If they're feeling frisky they might reprint Amick's column."

Wow, that's a fairly specific prediction, let's turn to page C1 and see what we got. Let's see, well lookee here, there's Sam Amick and that article we've already read on that fancy internet thing we've heard so much about. And what's this? Why Ol' Bulletpoint didn't just dedicate only a single bullet point to the Theus firing, he dedicated two bullet points to St. Mary's. Fuck, we hit that dead on. So allow us this moment of gloating. The Record's sport pages are so bad that El Duke predicted the content (and, just for us in the RTT offices, the exact page layout) of the front page of the sport section. What do they pay Bob Highfill for again? Can we take his paycheck and use it to help fund 209Vibe? In conclusion...CALLED IT!

The Teen Slave story has apparently gotten so big that the Record can outsource it to the wire services now. Considering they weren't exactly leading the pack in digging up information on the story despite being the closest daily newspaper we can't say we're surprised. The Record's motto has always been "We report the news, unless someone else can cover it for us" after all. The wire story does throw out a decent amount of new information though. Of course because the Record has this weird theory that you can't even fucking link to wire stories, it took me forfuckingever to find the specific story. But since I love you guys, here it is. It gives a fairly interesting backstory as to how the kid got hooked up with his non-aunt (apparently she was neighbors with his real mom, who's been suspiciously silent through this whole ordeal) and his life pre-Teen Slave.

Back in Stockton, the family of that guy who got shot and killed by the police for wondering what the commotion going on in his south Stockton backyard was is planning on bringing wrongful death charges against Stockton PD. They seem to have a strong case too if you're to believe their lawyer. SPD shot the guy through his screen door which means he didn't even have to leave the fucking house to get gunned down. Then they allegedly trashed the garage/house, presumably to try and find something to justify the shooting. And they didn't. They shot a guy with a legally acquired gun while he was standing inside his house looking to see who was trespassing onto his property. If they spent half the time fighting crime that they use trying to cover up their fuckups our crime rate might actually lower to 3rd in the state. Of course that still doesn't mean they deserve a 9% raise. I feel like I should re-note that all these accusations are just that, accusations. But when the police start stonewalling the media, it's a pretty good indication as to who's story you should believe.

In lighter news, William Choyce was sentenced to death yesterday. Which would be a more vindicating verdict if California wasn't a bunch of pussies and actually executed death row inmates. Instead George Clinton's doppelganger will probably just ride out the rest of his life in prison where they'll assure him the most painless natural death possible. You know, the kind of death his victims weren't afforded.

In actual lighter news, former State Assemblyman Alan Nakanishi is enjoying life in the private sector. After terming out as an assemblyman Nakanishi returned to his hohum life as a doctor where he no longer shoulders the burden of having to do stuff for his constituents. Don't worry, the transition should be easy, he didn't do anything for his constituents when he was in office either! When looking for stuff that Nakanishi actually did for SJ County, the biggest thing found apparently was the transfer of Oak Grove Regional Park from the county to the city of Stockton. Because if there's one thing the city needed, it was another park to take care of. This of course happened after the Asparagus Festival was moved downtown. So ummm, thanks Alan. He blamed his lack of legislative results on the Democratically controlled State Assembly to which we reply, bullshit. Being in the minority party doesn't automatically absolve you of not getting shit done. It's called politics, go out there and fucking shake hands, scratch some backs, make backhanded deals, get your Blagojevich on for fuck's sake. Do anything but fucking sit there and go "but I'm a republican." It just makes you look like a lazy jackass.

Hey wait, this was our idea! Anybody who doesn't vote the Stockton Rodeo number one is a dirty liar...and a communist.

Hey, remember earlier when we called the sports page? Yeah, that was just a few paragraphs ago. Well now we're putting on a different hat because, quess what? We scooped it! Last week we brought you the news that the AFL was considering suspending 2009 operations and may even be folding. Well, they suspended their season on Sunday. Unfortunately it doesn't affect the afl2 league and we'll be "blessed" with another season of Lightening football.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Kings Kolumn: The impromptu, barely-coherent ramblings of a frustrated Kings fan in which I somehow argue for and against the firing of Reginald Theus

(Ed. note: Yeah, sorry for the late start. Hopefully we've conditioned you to not expect much on Mondays by now.)

I hadn't planned on doing a Kings Kolumn today, but news happened so I felt compelled to. The following isn't very good. At best it's the ramblings of a Kings fan who was forced to go from "relaxed, whatever happens, happens" mode to the end of his rope in about 15 mins. It's what our friend B at the H2O Poetry Slams would call "organic". And it still contains more original analysis than what Highfill will give you tomorrow. What should be the topic of his entire column will be a bullet point so he can make a joke about St. Mary's that roughly 15 people will get. If they're feeling frisky they might reprint Amick's column. I wouldn't hold my breath. So feel free to print this up, bust out the glue stick, and paste this right over Ol' Bulletpoint's ramblimng mashup of topics. The following may be rambling, but at least it's about a single fucking topic. Which brings us to our topic...


If you haven't heard by now allow me to shit in your salad. The Kings fired Reggie Theus this morning. It wasn't a particularly surprising move considering he's been on the hot seat before the season even fucking started. It's just frustrating. Frustrating and infinitely fucking depressing.

It's frustrating because, as I've said before, Reggie Theus did not injure this team. He didn't sprain Kevin Martin's ankle. He didn't peer pressure Brad Miller into smoking that joint. He didn't trade our best defensive player during the offseason. Reggie Theus did the best that he could with what he had (which right now isn't much) and did a passable job. We've beaten two of the best teams in Western Conference without our best player. If that's not a passable job, I don't know what is.

I've spent the past season and a half on various Kings sites talking about expectations. I consider last season to be successful because the team exceeded my expectations for the year. I knew they weren't going to make the playoffs and I just wanted them to play an exciting brand of basketball. Go ahead and be bad, but be entertaining while you do it. Sure that may seem like a low set of expectations, but anybody who witnessed the year under Musselman knows that asking for entertaining ball from a team that was largely unchanged from the Muss year was asking for a lot.

This season I had similar expectations. Only the most optimistic fan thought we were going to make the playoffs. In the 07-08 season 50 wins was the threshold for making the playoffs in the west. I'd have danced in the street if we hit 41 wins. With the trade of Ron Artest the message was clear to most fans, we're going young. But apparently everybody forgot what "going young" meant after the season started.

Going young means sacrificing traditional measures of success. This season's success was never going to be measured by the number of wins and losses. This season was supposed to be measured by player development. Player development that's all fucked to shit now because team brass was impatient. That's perhaps one of the most frustrating parts of this whole thing. They took an uncertain situation and made it even uncertainer. We all kind of got the hint that Reggie wasn't long for this world after the team didn't pick up his '09-'10 season option. We really knew he wasn't when Joe Maloof tore apart his defensive prowess (along with now interim coach Kenny Natt's) on KHTK.

By the time we reached the Laker game last Tuesday we all knew that barring some sort of miracle Theus wasn't going to be coaching the team next season. Theus was for all intents and purposes his own interim coach following the debacle against Utah. Then some sort of miracle happened and the Kings beat the Lakers, and then hung around with them that Friday and everyone pretty much declared Reggie's job safe for the season barring some sort of apocalyptic collapse at home against an east coast team they should be able to handle. Oh fuck.

And like that, he's gone. Patience is at a premium in sports, especially with head coaching jobs. But this has to be one of the rare instances where the owners showed less patience than the fans. Like I said before, the Maloofs haven't seen a team this bad before. We have, we had to suffer through the Gary St. Jean years. The Maloofs are different fans than us. For them, this is the lowest of the low. For us, this doesn't even touch the '89-'90 season. Maybe that's where the problem lies. Our expectations for the "bad" part of "bad, but entertaining" were different than the Maloofs' expectation of bad. They see "Remember the Spartans" and go "Wow, that's the worst thing ever" and then we go "You think that's bad? Here's a dvd of 'A Walk to Remember.'" (Fuck, that movie scarred me for life. I still haven't forgiven that ex. Yes, I was whipped beyond whipped back then.)

Now, I'm not saying Theus didn't deserve any of this. His end of the season clusterfuck where he wouldn't stop talking to the media probably accelerated matters. The team also was sorely lacking in areas that can really only be attributed to the coach. Effort and motivation. That's how a team can beat the Lakers one night, then go down by 25 in the first quarter to the Knicks on another. While you can blame a lot of the teams inconsistency on youth (and I do, a lot), the team's inconsistent effort can solely be blamed on Theus. If you can't motivate your players to give 100% every game then...well, you get fired. I just don't think he should've been fired now.

What does firing him now accomplish? Well, fucking nothing. It just breeds more uncertainty after everybody thought we had just gotten through all of that bullshit with the Laker win. If anything, the team played poorly because they had that air of uncertainty around them. Vanquishing the Lakers was supposed to lift the air of uncertainty. Now it's even more uncertain than before. We just got finished with a guy who was a massive media distraction (Artest) and now we have to deal with questions about the next coach. Did Martin give the team and ultimatum? Had the team tuned him out? Did Jason Levein have anything to do with it? Our nice, quiet, entertaining season is now the same uncertain bullshit as it's been for the past 3 years.

As fans we were able to accept the team sucking because at least we had a plan, develop young talent and clear up cap space for 2010. Sure it was the same plan every other team has but it's a fucking plan. We knew where we were going and Geoff Petrie was executing the plan exactly how we all thought it was going to go. Now? Who the fuck knows. The outlook is bleak. Am I being somewhat of a fatalist? Yeah, but you look at the list of available, experienced head coaches and you try and have a sunny outlook for the team's future (I accidently thought the words "Coach Flip Saunders" and threw up in my mouth a little bit). At least with Reggie we always had the hope that he'd grow out that glorious mustache.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Shit to do for the weekend of Dec. 12th

Before we get started, a hearty "fuck you" is in order for whoever decided to throw up the hijack/roadblock ads at I don't want to have to see the generic flyer for the gay poetry thing in Modesto. It's fucking annoying.

Sexy Friday 12/12

(Update: Oh well fuck me. I completly forgot about something.)
Middagh Goodwin's birthday Party. Plea for Peace Center 630 E Weber. Shit starts at 7. Mike Park will be there, so will Jesse Michaels, Kevin Seconds, and the Outlaw Dance Society getting their acoustic on. $10

Del Scorpion and the Stingers play the Blackwater tonight at 8. I've never herd of them but it's either this or detriment to comedy George Lopez. And anything's better than George Lopez. (Did you know Mexicans are craaaaazy? Especially old Mexicans! Man, they're so different.) Plus the Blackwater show is 18+ so you won't have to deal with those annoying high school kids who think Screamo is the best genre ever. $10

Saturday 12/13

On Saturday Rocky Ramirez and the Stockton Royale feat. Icarus Jones are also playing the Blackwater at 9. This is one of those low key food bank benefits that we actually enjoy. Mostly because it's not a story that get's reprinted in the Record every 6 seconds. Note to struggling charities, this is how you get people to help out. Not multiple sob stories that get tuned out because they've been running since October. $3 or canned food.

Ed and the Educators are playing at Fats Saturday at 9 with Lita Hope and Reel. When I first heard about this show I was really hoping "Reel" was Real from VH1 guilty pleasures "I Love New York" and "Real Chance at Love" but it appears there will be no Stallionaires in Stockton this weekend. Which is disappointing. Ed and the Educators kick ass though. $5

Sunday 12/14

Football-wise the Niners play the Dolphins in what should be a good game if the Niners continue playing decently. The Raiders will take on another AFC East team when the Pats come to town on Sunday. With all the injuries that Pats have been piling up they're just 14 or 15 more key injuries away from being as bad as the Raiders. One of those key injuries is Bob Kraft magically aging 35 years and firing Bellichick after he won't trade in the hooded sweatshirt for a cheesy track suit.

That should be it from us for the week unless something earth shattering happens over the weekend. See you all Monday, and have a boneriffic Sexy Friday.

Old people, uniting young people and not-as-young-but-still-not-nursing-home-old people since 1864

Shame on us for missing this earlier, we haven't been as religious in getting our daily hot cup o' Siders as we have in the past. In his blog (which we can't recommend enough), Siders gives a more detailed account of what happened at the planning commission meeting where the Plea for Peace Center was granted it's permit. What happened you ask? We found another common ground to help bridge that generational gap between older city leaders and the young folks who inhabit their city. That common ground? Even older people!

The meeting that was supposed to be at 6pm apparently got pushed back to 8pm, which was too far past bedtime for the residents of Stockton Silvercrest. So they sent a representative to be the butt of pretty much every joke told (The bingo joke was fucking hilarious.)

So maybe this won't be as long a road as we thought it was going to be. Now we have two things in common, art and indifference toward olllllllld people. Hopefully the next thing we have in common with the not-as-old-by-comparison city leaders is a love of strippers. A guy can dream can't he?

Pub Crawl recap: Raise your hand if you want a Jagerbomb!

As Slick mentioned on Monday we did the Pub Crawl last weekend with a few friends. I'll try and not do a complete play-by-play of the nights events in this recap.

First of all, fuck it was cold. I know it's California so cold for us is shorts weather for most of the country but I'm pretty sure I just regained the feeling in my big toe. So fuck you, it was cold.

Of course I only noticed it was so cold because the trollies were horrifyingly inconsistent. One was allegedly coming by every 15 mins. I saw one trolly come by 3 minutes after the other and then another didn't show up for another 45 mins. On top of that they weren't even going the correct route the whole time. One of our friends actually had to hijack a trolly and tell them they were going to the Warehouse because none of the trollies were stopping there. We actually hoofed it from the Warehouse to the movie theater because we didn't trust the trolley to come get us. And that was before one of the trollies broke down.

Slick already ran down the Paragary's story, it was clear to us that Paragary's was only on the Pub Crawl to say they're trying when they clearly aren't. I made it about 3 steps in the place before the bartender shooed us off to the side where their poor excuse for a Crawler mini-bar served what was by far the worst drink special of the night.

Speaking of drink specials, I kept my map from that night. Care to run down the list with me while I make snarky comments about each one? No? Well I'm doing it anyways.

Bradley's: Irish Coffee, Peppermint Patties, and other assorted shot specials.
Their Irish coffee was a bit too Irishy, but past that the had decent specials. Although they were kind of overshadowed by...

Beach Hut Deli: $1 pint of any beer
The Beach Hut was the only bar that really truly embraced the Pub Crawl. They had a pretty good accoustic band playing in a corner and expanded their usual $1 PBR deal to their entire selection. Add in the fact that they also served some pretty bad ass nachos and the Beach Hut was the winner of the Pub Crawl. Which is the exact opposite of...

Paragary's: Peppermint Patties and "$3 drink specials"
We've covered these guys already. And there was no $3 drink special. Fuck Paragary's with a cactus dick. Which is the actual note I wrote down to make sure I remembered how much that place blew. Fucking Sacramento bars.

Misaki Sushi Bar: Sake bombs
Yes, they were delicious, but it was also the only downtown venue that was packed. They wouldn't serve us appetizers since we didn't have a table so we took off.

Red Brick Pizza: $2 bottled beer
Yeah, I'm still wondering what they were doing on the Pub Crawl myself. At least they tried harder than Paragary's.

Chitiva's: Margaritas
Chitiva's had a lot of drink specials but none of them were particularly overwhelming. Plus their appetizer deal was microwaved taquitos. I heard the margaritas were decent but we spent more time at...

The Waterfront Grill (formerly the Boiler Room): $3 well drinks
While that's an awesome drink special (especially when you just use the "free drink" voucher for a $6 drink), I remember the Waterfront more for the hilarious quote of the night. When ordering Jagerbombs more people kept saying "Ooh! Me too!" after we had already put the order in. Finally I had to take charge and say "Alright, who wants a Jagerbomb? Raise your hand. (8 hands go up) I want that many." Yes, I'm awesome. That quote narrowly edged out another one directed at a beanied Bris Isaak, "With that beanie on you look like a fat Ian Hill. With a slightly patchier beard of course." "Ouch, that's messed up man." And it was, I apologize.

Hippo Bar and Stockton Arena
We skipped these places because, well, fuck them. That's why. Nobody was drinking downtown anyways. Everybody was up on the Miracle Mile.

Centrale: $4 Margaritas
They had drink specials? I think I used my voucher for the free drinks here too. This place is notable just because I'd never heard of them until the pub crawl and because I think it's the place where I high fived an entire table because I was wasted.

Matinee: Jungle Juice
Fuck the Matinee. I usually love the place but they re-carded fucking everybody at the door like dicks. They were the only bar to do so. And on top of that their Jungle Juice tasted like fucking Kool-Aid. I drank the bucket glass like a shot and didn't feel any aftereffects. That's some weak fucking Jungle Juice. Gives a whole new meaning to the term Pussy Punch.

We skipped Adler Market and Moulin Rouge and ended the night at...

Valley Brew: Rum Punch
The rum punch was passable, but we really went their for the free deep fried mushrooms. I think we got like 50 plates. Unfortunately Valley Brew is fucking lame and closes at midnight on a Saturday. Bars shouldn't close before 2 on a fucking weekend. End of story.

That was probably the weakest part of the Pub Crawl (aside from Paragary's of course). The trollies ended at midnight so you risked getting stuck downtown at night if you didn't catch the trolly on time. And it's kind of hard to keep track of the time when you're drunk and in a bar that has no clocks. But hey, overall it was a fun, drunken night. Plus is gave us an actual reason to hate Paragary's. Before we just thought they were douchebags. Now we know they are.

Quick Links for Dec. 12th

God damn Friday couldn't have come fast enough this week. As a wise man once said, Thank God it's Sexy Friday.

It's probably sad that we were underwhelmed by the accusation that Teen Slave's neighbor also hit him with a baseball bat. Probably because we're slowly heading into week 3 of this story and nothing can really top the initial shock of the story. Now it's just "Yeah, we already know he got kneecapped with a bat, give us something new or move the fuck on." Hopefully we're moving on. Gag orders make trials so boring. (Looks at calendar and realizes jury duty exemption is almost up) Fuck.

Food banks are still struggling. Imagine that. Is Christmas over yet? No? How about now? You can keep writing about Teen Slave Record, just stop writing these fucking charity stories. Like I said earlier this week everybody is struggling. I don't see anybody coming to my place to write a depressing story about my lack of a Christmas tree and my surprisingly thin ration of booze.

Hey have you guys seen all those wacky things on the internets? Man, isn't the wide wide world of web so crazy? I mean squirrel underpants? Who thinks up this stuff? Somebody should do a column about that crazy interweb with it's things you can buy with a credit card. They just send it to your house! Underpants!! For squirrels! Isn't that wild? Seriously, is Christmas over yet?

And in news that apparently isn't important enough for the Record, the planning commission OK'ed the Plea for Peace Center last night. We were going to go but we got wicked stoned at a friend's house and ended up playing Wii. If it's any consolation I'm the John McEnroe of Wii Tennis and I owe my friend a new nunchuck. While we're happy that the center was approved, this isn't the end of it. Old people are known for their stubbornness so we expect this to be appealed. Hopefully Stockton tells them no since the petition in favor of the center had 10 times as many signatures as the one opposing it. Plus the center is non-profit which means we'll actually have to support the venue with benefit shows and membership drives (one's coming up next week). Last night was just the beginning folks, we still got a long road ahead.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Quick Links for Dec. 11th

And we've reached the "my child could never have participated in such a thing" part of the ongoing Teen Slave news cycle. With the gag order in place we can't really see how they can stretch it out any longer. Eventually they'll run out of ways to rearrange non-information. The parent interview was the logical next step. Of course next they'll interview his neighbor and they'll also be shocked (which, if you haven't been paying attention, is the proper emotion we're supposed to feel about this situation). The chances of that neighbor also being arrested and stretching this story into the new year is about 50-50.

While we're on the subject of Tracy, Duke was in the land of dry beans last weekend and says that the Great Plate is closed for renovations...again. Last time they renovated it was to make a few changes due to the economy. Now? They're adding a second floor club called the Boardrock. At least they're keeping with the lame beach theme I guess. No word on whether or not they fashioned the discarded Hawaiian bouncer shirts into curtains for the new place.

But enough of Tracy, what's happening in good ol' Stockton? Well, the police continue to make their case for that raise they've been bitching about. This time they shot a guy for trying to protect his own property. We touched on this briefly yesterday but didn't want to pick sides until more of the story came out. But just the reaction of the brother alone (he said he was reserving judgement as to who was at fault until all the details come out) makes us want to side with the guy who got shot. This is one of those rare instances where waving a gun at police isn't a cut-and-dry bad idea because there's a good chance he didn't know they were cops. If I lived in south Stockton and heard a ruckus in my backyard, I'd bust out my gun too. SPD hasn't said whether or not they asked Melecio Arquines to drop the weapon, which is such an easy to get, non-investigation compromising detail that it leads us to believe an itchy trigger finger was to blame. Gotta love innocent people getting shot by the people who are supposed to protect them. When you fail this miserably at your job shouldn't you be legally prevented from even asking about a raise?

Today's that Plea for Peace Center hearing, so if you're able to look respectable since you'll be representing the art community as a whole (or at least our definition of the art community) feel free to show up to City Hall before 6.

And while we're talking about art, do you remember those random stickers of a guy who's neck was so huge and deformed that it looked like an extension of his face? Well, that was the work of a former Stockton resident and Tokay High grad who goes by Neckface. And apparently he's a famous hipster artist now. Duke stumbled upon this while checking Gawker (everybody point and laugh real quick) and sent me the message "putting stickers up is art now? Fuck, I though we had a broad definition". Yes, apparently the scruffy looking skater known as Alex has moved on to the big city (or 4 big cities if we're to believe his Wikipedia entry) and doesn't show anybody his face...or something. Either way, it's a great example of Stockton's artistic potential. See old folks, young people can do art too.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A plea for a Plea

As a lifelong Stockton resident I've seen a lot of change in this city. Growth has obviously been the biggest change, but there's always been one major constant. People under the age of 35 have been roundly ignored by local leaders. There's been plenty of examples of this over the years. Whether it's the booking of Neil Diamond, opening up a teen center that's usually closed by dusk, or fast-tracking places like Paragary's and the artist formerly known as the Sheraton while making Middagh jump through hoops to get a downtown music venue built. The generational gap is enormous and signs don't really point towards it closing any time soon.

Not that I can blame them, I have a teenage brother and I can't understand half the shit he finds hilarious. He asked me to Netflix "Epic Movie" for him once and he thought it was the funniest thing ever. The only conclusion I could come to at the time was that he must have discovered drugs, but that movie's not even funny when you're stoned. Trust me. I had to unfortunately chalk it up to a generational gap, and we're only 10 years apart in age. I can only assume what people 10-15 years older than me think of my generation's predilections.

The difference in the gaps between city leaders/young folk of Stockton and my brother and I is that my brother and I have found a common ground to bridge that gap. We're both big fans of Mixed Martial Arts. We both thoroughly enjoy "Spongebob Squarepants" (although to be fair, who doesn't enjoy Spongebob?). And we're both unabashed fantasy football junkies. Sure we may not agree on everything (and who does?), but I've grown to at least respect my little brother's tastes because we share at least some of them. Even if I really want to say "Fuck! 'The Suite Life with Zack and Cody' again? How many times can you watch this shit?"

We haven't found that common ground with Stockton yet, although we may be close. When David Rea won the Stocktonian of the Year award for his contributions to the art community, Slick rightfully asked what the fuck they were talking about. That's because our definition of art is different from the definition people who have juice in this town uses. Art to them is paintings and symphonies. Which is why people were bemoaning the fact that the Stockton Symphony's spring concert series had been cancelled. To the older generation, that's less of their high class definition of art.

For us, it was no big deal because Stockton's art community has been thriving over the past year (especially musically). But that's because we have a wider definition of the term "art". As far as we're concerned, what I'm doing right now is art. This blog is art. Sure, it's not some faggy wine and cheesefest but it's something creative. Middagh's band Novacain may be the very definition of the word art, but many in the community probably wouldn't give them a second chance because all they hear is noise. Pretty sad for a town with a street named after Dave Brubeck.

If we're ever going to bridge that generational gap we're going to need to merge our definition of art with their's. And we have a chance to do just that tomorrow at the Plea for Peace Center permit hearing at city hall. We have a chance to say "Hey, we like art, just like you guys!" and hopefully gain some gain some modicum of respect from our elders.

Now, I know what you're thinking "if they don't like us, fuck them". And I understand that line of thinking. I used to be as rebellious as the next guy. But rebelling only gets you so far. After a while it just becomes cynical bitching, and that would make you a hipster. You don't want to be a hipster do you? Nobody respects those douchebags. And that's what a lot of it's about. Respect.

Respect from city leaders, respect from the rest of the art community, and perhaps most importantly; respect for ourselves. It's why the Plea for Peace Center is such a great idea. Art can be a great catharsis (again, especially in music), doing this blog has been one of the most cathartic things I've ever done. But it's the kind of catharsis that matters.

I can't even count the number of shows I've been to that have been shut down prematurely due to fights or senseless property destruction. That's bad catharsis (for the venue. Don't worry, we still love fighting, just in the right places. Like octagons). Unfortunately that's also grouped in with the rest of us just looking to go to a show.

That's why Mike Park started the Plea for Peace Foundation. He saw the negativity that just oozed out of Woodstock 99 and wanted to show that that doesn't represent the art community as a whole. Some of us just like to go to shows and have a nice, drama-free night. You know, at a place where people have respect for each other. And hopefully that's what the Plea for Peace Center will be.

will it happen? Frankly, I don't know. I sure hope so. I know the word "peace" in the name of the venue scares a lot of people. It's not going to be some anti-war, hippie love-in. We just want peace. Peace between the generations, if the quotes in the 209Vibe cover story showed anything it's that we feel there's somebody warring with our art community, trying to hold us back. Peace between ourselves where one doesn't have to worry about getting in a fight because someone caught an errant fist to the nuts during some hardcore dancing. Will it work? I don't know. Nobody knows for sure. But I do think we deserve the chance. And really, that's all we are saying. Give peace a chance.

Quick Links for Dec. 10th

God damn this Teen Slave story has got some legs to it. (Insert your own baseball bat to kneecaps joke here) Now a mysterious 4th suspect has been arrested in connection to the case. We say mysterious because of the gag order that prevents any information about the guy to come out. Although the Tracy Press is reporting he lived next door to the Schumachers and even gave an interview last week in which he admitted occasionally talking to Lau and expressed shock at what had happened just next door. Well, now he's arrested and the cops confiscated his computer so apparently he wasn't too shocked.

So this wasn't a case of deja vu but more a case of the city council actually ratifying it. Of course stuck in the middle of all of this is the fact that Stockton might be getting a third Wal-Mart, which is just 18 different kinds of unneeded. There's fucking Target right there, use that assclowns.

We were wondering what they were going to do with the old courthouse when we heard about their plans to build a 12-story courthouse by 2013 and now we know. A plaza and more parking! Because what we really need downtown is more open space that will serve no real purpose at night because everyone's deathly afraid of downtown at night. But hey, parking.

Well, Fitzy's "name the already name roof of the Hotel Stockton" contest is over and as we predicted, it's a cheesy, painfully obvious name. They even added the extra wrinkle of making it so confusing that people will probably still have to say "You know, the roof of the old Hotel Stockton" afterwards. The winner "Top of the Town", a name that would make perfect sense if it actually was the highest point in the city. Our late entry of "Douchebag Central" after our Pub Crawl experience didn't make it which is disappointing. Oh, and Shawn Bennett needs to get a life.

After last nights throttling of the Lakers I think Duke can finally rest easy that John Whisenant isn't going to make an appearance on the Kings bench this season. Francisco Garcia and John Salmons shut down Kobe Bryant about as much as you can shut down Kobe Bryant. Again, please remember this is going to be a long season because there's going to be long stretches where the team loses 8 games then beats a team it shouldn't even compete with (the Kings even played without Kevin Martin last night). Duke said it best, this season is going to be filled with lows as low as Kenny Thomas' self-esteem and highs as high as Brad Miller on 4/20. Just get used to it.

Is it just us, or is this just a smidge conflict of interesty? We're not saying a new firehouse isn't needed down south, we're just saying purchasing the land from a former city council member is kind of fishy. Any word on if Snoop Dogg is going to perform at the opening of the firehouse?

So Stockton PD chases a car all over, chases suspects on foot, catches one of them in someone's yard, then shoots a random guy with a gun in a south Stockton garage. Oh, and they somehow let one of the chasees get away. Damn, get those guys their raise Stockton! How could you be so mean?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Quick Links for Dec. 9th

Teen Slave makes his way back into the news today after a couple day break. Nothing really new is revealed, his non-aunt Caren Ramirez just made her first court appearance. The party pooper judge issued a gag order on talking to the media so we'll have to wait a while for any more new information. Duke did happen to drive by Tennis Lane in Tracy last week and remarked at how tall the wall between the house and InShape was, not to mention the kid still had to run across the tennis courts to get to the actual gym.

We said it last week but we'll say it again, go to Delta and you'll magically start mismanaging money. Delta Trustee Maria Serna resigned yesterday right before she plead no contest for milking Delta for even more cash. Here's a hilarious quote from Serna's resignation letter via the Record's story, "On the advice of my physician, I can no longer fulfill my obligations with the college, and due to personal reasons, I will be having this resignation effective immediately." I always consult my doctor before resigning in disgrace over embezzlement charges too. The fact that she had past problems with reimbursements makes us question how she could have gotten reelected. It also makes us again wonder how Raul Rodriguez still has his job. How many more scandals need to happen under his watch before enough is efuckingnough? Also, how dare she bring shame to the Serna name. Her brother, awesome former Sac Mayor Joe Serna (the only person to ever have the words "awesome" and "Sacramento mayor" associated with them), is probably rolling in his grave right now.

(Looks at "just in" story on home page) (Looks at Quick Links from Nov. 25th) (Looks back at homepage) (back to Quick Links) (repeats for 15 mins) Ummm, am I psychic? Or is the departure of Brea Jones just really getting to I've said it before and I'll say it again....WTF recordnet?

Degenerate gamblers everywhere rejoice! The horse races are back to June. The September dates just didn't pan out, and by "didn't pan out" we mean they were a colossal fucking failure. Kind of like we knew they were going to be.

Census figures came out today for those of you who like numbers. Nothing inherently shocking is revealed. Although I did miss the fertility question on my census sheet apparently.

Alright, we'll admit, it is kind of cool that an election was won by 3 votes.

We wanted to link to the art roundup that pimped the art show featuring work by Disney animator Mel Shaw but of course something that's on the front page of the LENS section of the Record can't be on the front page of the LENS section of The show's at JLI on Pershing and runs Friday through Sunday. Duke claims to have seen Shaw's private studio before and says there's a lot of great work. We're not really the artsy type, but trust us this will be a good show.

Speaking of the art community, Plea for Peace! I totally missed this article that apparently ran in Friday's Record. But after reading it, I couldn't shake the feeling that it seemed oddly familiar. Oh yeah, it's just like this 209Vibe cover story except minus all the hilarious quotes from local artists calling out the city for it's long held anti-music stance. My favorite quote being from Hey Manna!'s Daniel Guiterrez, "Every time anybody wants to do something for the Stockton music scene, it gets bashed into the ground." Sounds about right. And while we're here, how about a Plea for Peace permit hearing reminder? (Pulled, as always, from MySpace)

Public hearing regarding the request for a Use Permit to allow an activity center (art and music) with live entertainment consisting of amplified and non-amplified music, spoken word, performance art, art and theater at 630 East Weber Ave. Stockton.
We can use your support, if you are going to come out be on time and remember you don't just represent the Plea for Peace Center but the future of Music and Art in Stockton.
Thanks for the support.
Middagh Goodwin

You hear that? You respect the future, so look respectable dammit. Leave the studded shit at home.

Kings Kolumn: In which I suggest replacing a horrible idea with a slightly less horrible idea

Oh hey, I'm supposed to have a sports column on here aren't I? I haven't read Bob Highfill's column today,but I'm going out on a limb and saying it sucks. Speaking of sucking, that brings me to the topic of this week's Kings Kolumn...

Ailene Voisin can go suck a fat dick

Last week Sac Bee columnist Ailene Voisin penned a column that suggested the best way to save Reggie Theus' job is for the team to take on former Monarchs coach John Whisenant as an assistant coach. She was 15 different types of wrong, but if you tell her that, she'd probably just say you're being sexist. It's the great catchall of the WNBA, if you say anything negative about it you're labeled a misogynist. Trust me, I know. But if the WNBA ever wants to be truly accepted they have to realize that they're game is going to be held in equal standard with the men's game, and that's where the WNBA truly fails. There is no comparison.

Voisin opines that adding the Whis would help the Kings because he was a defensive guru for the Monarchs. And that's just the point, it's the fucking Monarchs. It's way easier to develop a game plan to shut down Diana Taurasi or the corpse of Lisa Lesile than it is to develop a defensive strategy for the likes of Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. Fuck, I'm pretty sure I could come up with a defensive scheme to shut down Lisa Lesile. You don't even have to guard down low. What the fuck are they going to do? Dunk it?

That's not a sexist statement, that's a realist statement. The disparity between the two leagues is too great and anybody with even a little bit of basketball knowledge knows this. Which is another reason Whis shouldn't get a shot, he would be the least respected coach in the NBA. And that would still be true even if PJ Carlesimo was still around. Ignoring the fact that Reggie Theus would try and undermine him at every turn because if by the grace of God the team shows marked improvement under Whis then Reg is still out of a job, there's a precedent. The Nuggets brought in Michael Cooper to coach the fledgling Nuggets in 2005. He was the first coach to make the jump from the W and was a former player to boot. As an interim coach he went 4-10 and was replaced mid-season by current Nuggets coach George Karl. Do you know how often a interim coach gets replaced mid-season? Almost never, it's the interim coach's job to suck and eat up all those losses on their record that the guy they plan on hiring during the offseason doesn't want affecting his lifetime win percentage. Again, this guy was a former championship player in the NBA, and lost the respect of all of his players by just being a former WNBA coach. And people are trying to position Whis as the savior?

Perhaps most damning of all is the subject brought up by Sactown Royalty's Tom Ziller, we've already been down the Whisenant road before. When the Kings fired Adelman (or if you're the Maloof bros. "Just didn't renew his contract") the Maloofs pushed for his replacement to be Whisenant. Geoff Petrie, the man responsible for all those successful teams we love and are nostalgic for, was so vehemently against the idea that he pushed for the team to sign Eric "no really officer, I swear I'm of legal drinking age" Musselman instead. If ever there was a sign as to how little respect the WNBA has in NBA circles, it's the fact that one of the smartest GMs in the league hated the idea of having a WNBA coach so much that he pushed for a guy who was replaced in Golden State by Mike Montgomery.

Is it wrong? Maybe just a little, everybody deserves a chance. John Whisenant just doesn't deserve this chance. His presence, even just as an assistant would undermine the entire coaching staff and would absolutely kill any shred of team chemistry that we have left. Yes, the Kings need help defensively, but Whis isn't the man to help us. So who is? (Watch as I destroy any shred of credibility I have!) The man Theus replaced, Eric Musselman.

If the Kings were to hire Muss as an assistant (and I hear he's available), he could bring that defensive mind of his back to the team and not be distracted with developing that pesky offense (which when Muss was head coach meant Ron hucking up prayer threes for half the game). Taking the pressure of being a head coach off of Muss's tiny, childlike frame would possibly rejuvenate his currently dying career. Plus he may have already earned back the respect of players everywhere by tagging sideline reporter Danyelle Sargent. And perhaps best of all, nobody would be wondering when Muss was going to supplant Theus as head coach. There would be no locker room divided between Camp Theus and Camp Muss because nobody wants to see Head Coach Musselman ever again. Although, I'd still rather have Coach Muss than Coach Whis.

Stockton PD is so misunderstood and put upon....just like everybody else struggling to deal with the current economic climate

So we wouldn't be doing our job/hobby if we didn't address the city e-mails that came to light this weekend. Sure, the whole shebang had questionable newsworthiness at best, but wasn't it fucking hilarious?

Now, we're not ones to criticize people spending work time for extracurricular activities...hold on a sec (checks over shoulder to make sure boss isn't coming by), so we're going to ignore the hilarity of both Garcia and Chavez levying accusations of wasting city time against one another (by the way, we're totally with you girlfriend, dark chocolate is better. We too will never go back). What we will say is that if Stockton PD wants to combat the notion that they're stubborn and inflexible, using city e-mail accounts (which are public record) to bitch about negotiations probably isn't the smartest thing to do.

That's probably one of the more shocking things of this whole situation, Chavez said the e-mails were intended for a small group of people yet still used her public e-mail address to levy the criticism. Didn't we learn anything from Sarah Palin? If you don't want what you said to be read, use private e-mail. And we can't imagine a scenario where she would want her opinion read. Mostly because her opinion (even though, as the story notes, she is entitled to it) makes her sound like a royal fucking bitch.

First, it's laughable to see her criticize someone else's dedication to the city when the Stockton PD's response to helping the city out in a budget crisis was to sit and pout and encourage everybody to not take furloughs. In today's economy (which by the time we're out of this recession might become a meme here) everybody's making sacrifices. Does it suck? Of course it does. Before certain areas were immune, now noone is. Frankly SPD shouldn't even be asking for a raise until they start doing their jobs a little better. Keeping a police chief for more than 2 years would be nice too. Plus, SPD is bitching about their unfair portrayal without telling people what their magical alternative to furloughs and budget cuts was. The city knows and SPD knows, but the people don't know. If SPD wants to win the public opinion battle, they'll have to actually show us their opinion first. So far their opinion is being represented by Mrs. Chavez, which isn't a good thing.

Considering who their opponent is in this battle for public favor, it's kind of sad their doing such a shitty job at winning public support. The city has noone to blame for their budget shortfalls but themselves. Of course we all knew that already, but forum member FASTBALL spells is out so eloquently we'll let them tell the tale (from the forum on the story):

"By 2005, we all watched/lived the beginning of Housing Markets "Death Spiral". If you failed to recognize it 2005 (you were slow) you certainly recognized it by 2006. In fact, The County Budget Analyst's and the Tax Collector warned all Public Entities in San Joaquin County, via memorandum, of the upcoming Revenue Decreases. All Entities in the County, with the EXCEPTION of Stockton, budgeted for a DECREASE in Revenue. STOCKTON LEADERS budgeted for an INCREASE in Revenue as late as the 07/08 Budget projections." (Emphasis their's, and any mistakes are sic of course)

If this poster is to believed (and like always, be skeptical of shit you find on message boards without citation and have little time to independently verify it ourselves), then those responsible should be out of a job because that's just fucking stupid. They go on, but again, I'm weary of citing message board posters.

I guess the point we're trying to make is Stockton PD needs to nut up and quit fucking bitching. They're in a shitty situation just like the rest of us and everybody's getting kind of tired of the "Woe is me, we're so put upon" bullshit because that's the line everybody is giving. And it's kind of hard to swallow from a department responsible for the city having the second highest crime rate in the state. Instead of trying to figure out who to blame (since we already know who to blame, and shocker, it's probably not Dianna Garcia), why not just accept the fact that there's a budget crisis and everybody's making sacrifices. And everybody includes you.

We get it, morale is low all over Stockton, whether it be city employees, SPD, SFD, or just the plain ol' depressed citizens of Stockton. But outing some city employees' flirtatious e-mails can only lower morale. What's wrong with trying to get some of that office familiar anyways? It's not like you guys didn't know she had a history of that to begin with.