Home   Google ARCHIVE SEARCH: Date:


With h. brown

Court Jester reviews fifth mayoral debate
Rubs shoulders with baseball royalty

By h. brown

September 9, 2007

"You have no chance at all with me."
(another Bulldog pass falls incomplete)

It saves flowers and candy and stuffed animals if you do some blunt cross-examination early on in a relationship. And, though the day closed with a rejection and there were plenty more during the day (none romantic, those smart and I seldom make more than one venture that way daily), I have to say that yesterday was one of the most satisfying days of my life. You see, in my old age, I have learned the secret to success.

Lower your expectations

I'd started the day with 23 cents on my Food Stamp card and $2 in my pocket. But, I had a gallon of orange juice in my mini fridge, half a box of saltine crackers and several pieces of fruit. Hey, I bought a Chron for 50 cents, a large cup of French roast coffee for the other $1.50 and pretended I was on a crackers, fruit and orange juice diet in my preparation for the Olympics.

Or, a Speedo competition with Eric Jaye.

I really do stoke myself with pretend-thoughts like that when I haul my aching bones out of bed and get ready for a daily workout. It's my Plan 'B' during this 'certain-ass kicking' election season, and it has gone fabulously.

But, enough about me, how are you doing? Still in withdrawal from the absence of a competitive race for the office of Mayor of San Francisco? Let me catch you up on what's been happening in the race-that's-not-a-race.

Chicken John still chicken

I ran into Rinaldi (that's 'Chicken's' last name - call him 'RiValdi' and he goes apeshit - not that I'm the kind of guy who ever tries to irritate anyone) … ran into John at the Ethics Commission where there's a MANDATORY power point presentation on how to report the money you collect and spend all the way up to and past umpteen million even if you've never raised a dime and don't intend to (that pissed me off).

He (John) says he won't come to the Candidates Collaborative debates and will hold his own debates wherever he wants. He echoes Newsom in denying that the Collaborative is a real 'organization' and again talks about his 'secret weapon' to be unveiled in October.

He's fucking nuttier than Grasshopper Kaplan and he plays with flames and pyrotechnics. Maybe it's best we don't mix the Chicken with the Grasshopper and the naked guy and fire and explosions.

Earlier in the week Rivaldi had sent me an email telling me that Mike Farrah (Newsom Senior Adviser) didn't "exactly" offer him a job if he'd run in the race, then puts the rest of the correspondence 'off the record.'

Mike "quid pro quo" Farrah.

At Ethics he says it will be a bad thing if he doesn't get his donations toward Public Financing validated and he'll know by Monday (tomorrow, the 10th). I make comments about leading an army of black and brown and yellow people to occupy Pacific Heights. The candidate for Sheriff and a couple of campaign treasurers move their chairs a little further away from us while the Ethics staffer explains what we should know about not knowing about independent expenditures made on our behalf that we don't know about. It was one of those government meetings where you come out knowing less then you knew when you went in. A brain-drain kind of thing.

Down to 12 candidates

"They stabbed it with their steely knives
but they just can't kill the thing."
(Eric Jaye on Friday 'Be-ins')

With the Department of Elections having tossed Billy Bob Whitmer off the island and Tony Hall rowing off on his own, there will 'only' be 12 candidates on the ballot. Eight of the candidates are committed to the Friday debates, one (Mecke) is a 'sometimes shows.'

For our first Collaborative debate we had 11 of 14 candidates present. Only the Mayor, Rinaldi and the Power exchange guy declined. This past Friday we had 8 on stage. There were 5 of the remaining 12 candidates and 2 write-ins (Kenny-the clown-Kahn and Jerry Jarvis), plus Sylvia Johnson whose universe is backwards. I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly the thing went and how much information got passed from candidates to audience and back at the candidates.

Mayoral candidates George Davies, h. brown, Grasshopper Alec Kaplan,
Josh Wolf, Kenneth Kahn and Lonnie Holmes.

Credit to Steven Jones for that

It was the Bay Guardian's week to host and City Editor Steven Jones did a masterful job moderating and making certain Grasshopper and I didn't punch out each others' lights. Kaplan has done everything he can to destroy the one forum most of the candidates have and I tossed in his face that he shouldn't be attacking our gatherings if it's the Mayor he's angry with. I still think he's a plant. I mean, why doesn't he go to Gavin's office and pull that shit? Why is he harassing Gavin's 'enemy', Ed Jew when he could be sleeping in Gavin's driveway?

Bay Guardian City Editor Steve Jones moderated the debate.

Grasshopper offers a cigarette to George Davis.

Tension. Energy. Knowledge. These things are worth seeing.

After the debate, we retired to the Temple Bar with Bob Brigham and a whole bunch of other people I forget because I got drunk. I do remember Lonnie Holmes saying that he'd gone to the Guardian for his interview that day and George Davis and I looked at each other and drank in the fact that it would appear that we ain't gonna get to tell Timmy Redmond about our dreams for Fog Town. But, we're used to being shunned and fell back to talking about some shots Luke Thomas says he'll take of us.

It was a good day. Salon kicked ass and a friend brought by a small battery-operated amp and mic to use at the debate should Grasshopper follow-through on his threat to disconnect his sound system after a few guitar solos. That had worked out with a minimum of hassle.

After Salon, Luke, myself and Bob Brigham passed the hour or so before the debate sipping mimosas at Luke's and surfing the net. The debate itself, as I said, went well and Tony DeRenzo's excerpts are on YouTube and Google.

Tony DeRenzo (Left)

I'd done my legal duty for Ethics, gotten in a good workout before a kick-ass Salon I was going to get to see my daughter the next day. I went to sleep smiling.

Daughter has boyfriend

I didn't raise my kids so I missed important memories due to not ever having had the experiences, if you know what I mean. Like, your daughter's first date. Well, I had something like that experience yesterday.

Mona emailed a couple of weeks ago and said she was coming up to the City from Fresno on and would I like to go to a baseball game? After a couple of exchanges it became obvious that she was bringing a guy whom she wanted me to meet.

When the time arrived yesterday I was broke and worried about missing my 11am senior lunch at St. Anthony's around the corner from my SRO. I'm always embarrassed when someone invites me out and I don't have any money and have to say something funny like: "If you're buying!" or: "If you buy me a beer!" Stuff like that. I was wondering if they'd buy me a hot dog. Well, it turns out that I needn't have worried.

I needn't have worried

Did I mention that I needn't have worried? Anyway, I stopped worrying when they roared up in his Porsche and we were whisked from the VIP lounge by a very baseball savvy intern named Eric, who just happened to be from Fresno where my daughter and her new beau live (not together - his name is Chris Cummings, by the way). So, Eric walks us right out of the stands and ONTO the playing field.

Mona Brown and Christopher Cummings

I'm 63 and my dream from the time I was 5 until late last year was to catch on with some minor league team and work my way up to a shot at the bigs. This is the first time I've ever set foot on the playing surface of any pro-stadium and I'm stunned.

The Giants are playing the Dodgers and Barry Zito is pitching against David Wells. I get to stand and look into the stands from the players' viewpoint and the ballpark is like a huge and beautiful toy.

Eric and Chris talk about Fresno and players and some guy named 'Brian' that Chris is supposed to talk to. I'd expected for there to be around 50 people for the 'tour' but not only is it personal, it's not stopping with the field.

We toured the luxury boxes where corporations and the wealthy watch from the snazziest little rooms with refrigerators, micro-waves, sinks and tables with real fabric and cushioned chairs. I'm here to tell you, it ain't at all like the Tenderloin.

We walked around in the press-box which is huge. Must be a hundred feet long and with 3 levels and around 20 feet deep. I recognize several of the much reviled Chronicle scribes hunting and pecking like the proverbial 20-monkeys on the eternal typewriters working throughout eternity to reproduce all of the great novels. I'd settle for one fair column about Barry Bonds.

Next, we're in the executive offices and we're drinking real coffee when Larry Baer hurries through and slows down to say 'Hi' to Chris. By then I realize that my daughter's guy is owner/managing partner of the Giant's Triple A, Fresno team and that 'Brian' is Brian Sabean. I take another sip of the coffee and am grateful I didn't go to the soup kitchen instead.

The game was memorable. Wells took a perfect game into the 6th until I jinxed him by commenting about it (a baseball superstition). I talked to a Dodger fan sitting in front of us throughout the game and we agreed that Zito and Wells didn't throw more than a half dozen bad pitches between them for the entire game. We lost, by the way, but it really didn't matter.

Sabean's assistant, I believe (Director of Player Development) came and sat with us and it turned out that the Dodger fan in front of us ('Al' I think) has a son in the Giants farm system who could be headed for Chris' and the Giants' Triple A, Fresno Grizzlies. Small world.

I jogged and walked back home and phoned Krissy Keefer and Luke to see if they wanted to go out for wine with me, Mona and Chris.

What a great time.

Luke and I met the kids from Fresno where it turns out Chris also owns the local hockey and soccer teams and is building a big solar powered complex complete with a skating rink, 160 rental apartments - 35 affordable - and retail space. Luke bought us round-trip BART tickets to 24th and Mission and Chris and Luke talked about soccer as we rumbled beneath the scenic San Francisco streets.

I wanted to go to Gus' Medjool's but we ended up at the Foreign Cinema next door and it was a smart move. Definitely one of the best restaurants I've ever been in.

The Foreign Cinema from the mezzanine.

Mona Brown, Christopher Cummings, Krissy Keefer and Elaine Santore

We sat in the mezzanine and I wiped out a couple of bourbons before my daughter switched me to the fine cabernet Chris had chosen. I stopped counting at around 4 bottles. Elaine Santore joined us and we all walked up to Krissy's Dance Mission and danced in the huge studio overlooking 24th and Mission while Luke played piano.

What a weekend. This morning it was back to the St. Anthony's. I only eat there a few times a month but I want to profoundly thank all of the wonderful people who donate their time and money. After a good feed, I'll finish up this column and head over to Luke's for a glass of wine.

What a great weekend. What a great life.

h. brown is a 62 year-old keeper of sfbulldog.com, an eclectic site featuring a half dozen City Hall denizens. h is a former sailor, firefighter, teacher, nightclub owner, and a hard-living satirical muckraker. Email h at h@ludd.net.

Editor's Note: Views expressed by columnists published on FogCityJournal.com are not necessarily the views or beliefs of Fog City Journal. Fog City Journal supports free speech in all its varied forms and provides a forum for a complete spectrum of viewpoints.




The Hunger Site

Cooking Classes
in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires B&B

Calitri in southern Italy

L' Aquila in Abruzzo

Health Insurance Quotes


Bruce Brugmann's


Civic Center

Dan Noyes

Greg Dewar

Griper Blade


Malik Looper






MetroWize Urban Guide

Michael Moore

N Judah Chronicles


Robert Solis

SF Bay Guardian





SFWillie's Blog



Sweet Melissa