Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Archive for December, 2008

Mortis Absurdis

By awoodall

Okay. I’ll level with you. I don’t know why it’s called absurd death but the artwork is by Hector Hernandez and Anna Emelia Hoffman. Reception is 6-9 p.m. tonight 5857 San Pablo, Emeryville. 510-923-1544 or www.forthriteprinting.com.

Posted on Friday, December 5th, 2008
Under: Night Owl | No Comments »
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There was westling in the streets

By awoodall

I just got back from the soft opening of Ozumo, a slick Japanese downtown restaurant that will open to the public Saturday. Owner Jeremy Umland must have had some big bucks for PR because in addition to the actual restaurant (which looks gorgeous although they were putting finishing touches on the interior until the last minute), massive tunas filleted on the spot into sashimi, sushi, Robata grilled meat, fountains of fine cold sake and an open bar, there were Sumo wrestlers (the white guy from Idaho was the only real giant) grappling with each other in a ring set up where traffic usually is along West Grand and Broadway, geishas (faux, of course),  Taiko drums and so on. Quite a spectacle. The only hitch in my mind was all the slurs against Oakland that slid like pickled ginger from the tongues of guests waiting in line for a few minutes (“What do you expect? This is Oakland.”) or at the sound of an ambulance outside (“Welcome to Oakland,” said one dude for the benefit of the Sumo wrestlers he was watching. PLLLEASE get a grip, I was thinking, especially when a guest in Oakland or resident of Oakland enjoying a cool event.   The other weird incident is when I was walking across Tel and West Grand near a bus stop.  When an old, disheveled man asked me for change he was scolded by a young dude who raged: “I told you not to be doing that here!” What was that all about?  I’m telling you, downtown was looking HOT tonight. Now picture First Fridays – or any Friday – with Ozumo + the dance club Era that’s going in across the street to round out the mix sparked by the art galleries and Luka’s and enhanced by the wine bar and several other developments that are coming soon. That reminds me: I keep meaning to check who moved into Esteban Sabar’s old gallery…

Posted on Thursday, December 4th, 2008
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl, Oakland nightlife, restaurants | No Comments »
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Lurid Bliss (don’t you wish!)

By awoodall

Thursday December 4th
Annie’s Social Club
917 Folsom St. @ 5th
San Francisco, CA 94107
King Loses Crown – Lurid Bliss – Death Valley High
Doors 9pm
$7 21+ w/id
Friday December 5th
On The Y
670 Fulton Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95825
Lurid Bliss – Der Spazm – The Common Man – Razorblade Monalisa
Doors 9pm
$5 21+ w/id

Posted on Thursday, December 4th, 2008
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Indie Village

By awoodall

More about this will be in the paper Friday but for a little more notice:  Indie Village, a hybrid between an underground club, a gallery opening and a market showcase for local artists and fashion designers. Socially conscious fashionistas and politically correct shoppers can buy art to hang from their walls or art to hang on their bodies. All sweatshop free. 5-11p.m. Friday 481 9th St. Info: indievillage@yahoo.com $5 at the door goes to the ALICE program.

Posted on Thursday, December 4th, 2008
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl, Oakland nightlife | No Comments »
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Daughter of “Real Housewife of Orange County” responds

By kbender

Earlier this week I told you about Kara Keough, a 19-year old University of California, Berkeley student, and the daughter of  Jeana Keough, one of the women on “The Real  Housewives of Orange County,” a reality TV show on Bravo.

On an episode that aired last week, but was filmed in an OC swimming pool during the summer, Kara bashed Berkeley with a one-minute rant about how people in Berkeley either live in trees, smoke trees (she said she meant grass) or eat food from a trash can.


Call me crazy, but I encouraged people to watch the “Housewives” clip for a good “belly laugh.” 


Come on now, I thought, there’s more to Berkeley than that, Kara.



What about all the panhandling by the starving, homeless youth down on Telegraph and the swarms of rats in People’s Park? What about the slowly dying commercial districts that have sparked the ouster of independent bookstores and mom and pop stores.


And let’s not forget that special City Council that insulted the the nation by calling the U.S. Marines “uninvited and unwelcome intruders?”


Isn’t that worth mentioning in a description of the People’s Republic of Berkeley?


In case you’ve been busy and aren’t caught up on your reality TV, “Housewives” features five women living in a gated community in Orange County who get Botox injections and boob jobs like us regular folk change our underwear. 



I have a sneaking suspicion the women don’t know that UC Berkeley awards 900 Ph.Ds annually and ranks 35 of 36 of Berkeley’s graduate programs in the top 10 in their respective field. 


Something is also tellnig me that they don’t know that Berkeley is known world-wide as a melting pot of cultures, the place where the Free Speech Movement launched and the campus where 11 lab researchers have been awarded the Nobel Prize.




Well, today I was surprised to see that Kara had posted a short comment on the Outtakes site.  

“I’m glad you got a belly laugh… because that was my intention. I’m well aware of the stereotypes about Berkeley and I like to poke fun when I can. And clearly you like making jokes stereotyping the people from my area. Looks like we’re not that different, GASP!”



I was happy to hear from Kara and sent her a message telling her she’d made my day. She promptly wrote back, encouraging me to check out her Bravo blog from Dec. 1 (posted two hours after the Outtakes post).


I did and found this:  


“During my first semester at Berkeley, I struggled with the transition. I was really bitter and lonely, and this hostility was obvious in my interviews and conversations about school. After attending for nearly a year now, I have opened up a lot to the little world of Berkeley. I appreciate the small things about the city that I never even knew existed last year. I grew up living on my own and in the process, I was exposed to a lot of the really special things about the Bay Area and Berkeley. I admit I was pretty sassy about Cal during the summer when the show was filmed. It was a really tough time for me – I felt really far away from everyone and everything I really loved, and sometimes I still feel that way. But now I’ve found the truly great things about the little city I like to call “Berk-town.”



“I apologize for offending people in the process, but for me, learning to love Berkeley was a love/hate journey. I’ve opened up a LOT to Berkeley. I’ve learned to love the things Berkeley offers that no other place does. I didn’t vote for Obama, but I felt the passion and pride of my fellow Berkelians when he was elected. I ALMOST joined the parades and mobs on the streets of Telegraph and Shattuck when the news was announced. I cried with my peers when Prop 8 was passed. So yes, I’m a Republican at Berkeley, but dammit, I’m heading more towards the middle everyday.”



Good for you Kara.  Also, you’re not alone on the political right. The Berkeley College Republicans is one of the largest and most active student run organizations on campus. And I don’t think they live in trees or eat from the trash cans.

Posted on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008
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From the dept. of just too cool

By awoodall

The December calander at EastSide Arts Alliance. Do not doubt the coolness of your Oakland any more, good people.

Posted on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl, Oakland nightlife | No Comments »
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Dirty in December

By awoodall

The temperature outside may be falling but inside it’ll be rising at the Pirate Cat radio station fundraiser Thursday with the Hubba Hubba Review. The ladies will be swinging their tassles again Dec. 19 (the Christmas show!) and Dec. 26 (Red Hots Burlesque).

Posted on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008
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Daughter of “Real Housewife” of Orange County bashes Berkeley

By kbender

First a disclaimer: I do not watch “The Real Housewives of Orange County” on Bravo TV but someone in my newsroom has become a fan of this train wreck of a show and told me about some Berkeley-bashing that took place on the premier episode last Wednesday.  

In case you have a life beyond reality television, “Housewives” features five women living in a gated community in Orange County who are completely out of touch with reality. They believe conspicuous consumption is a way of life and that marrying a man who has been divorced five times and is old enough to be your father is totally acceptable as long as the money tree never dies.


One big controversy during a recent show centered around a new “housewife” who claims she hasn’t had a boob job, which made them all very suspicious. They assume everyone has had one. And Botox injections too. Did I mention that none of their foreheads move, ever.


You get the picture.


While these desperate dames (luckily) make their homes down south the recent show has a one-minute Berkeley-bashing rant that is worth watching for the pure belly laugh it will bring.


Kara Keough, 19, is a student at the University of California, Berkeley and the daughter of Jeana Keough, one of the housewives and a former Playboy centerfold and ZZ Top video model.


The show was taped during the summer when Kara was home for the summer after what mom calls “a hard time with Berkeley.”


About one-third into the show, Kara (wearing an ounce of fabric disguised as a swimsuit) and a group of friends are lazily splashing in a swimming pool on a summer afternoon.


It’s when one of the guys, floating on a pool raft, peers through his dark sunglasses and asks Kara what classes she’s taking in the fall that the fun begins.


Dude on raft:  “So, Kara what classes are you going to take this semester?”

Kara: “Women’s studies.”

Dude on raft: “Why don’t you take an economics class?”

Kara: “Because I don’t care about economics. All I know. This is what I have learned at Berkeley. The economy sucks and it’s the president’s fault.”

Kara: “Berkeley was a bit of a culture shock. I thought I’d be able to handle it but now I’m not so sure I can handle it.”

Dude on raft: “So, how is it being a Republican at Berkeley?”

Kara: “Nobody knows. It’s my best kept secret (By the looks of her, we doubt that being a Republican is her best kept secret.)

Kara: (now sitting poolside and wearing at least two ounces of clothing) “I felt like I was in a different world (at UC-Berkeley). But I was OK with that because I don’t think I would want to be the type of person who would fit in because that would mean I either lived in a tree or smoked trees. Well, I guess you call it “grass” (giggle, giggle) or that I ate food from a trash can.”


Um, Kara, we aren’t buying that you don’t know what pot is called. After all, you were valedictorian of your high school class.


OK Kara, a few things you might want to consider the next time you talk smack about Berkeley.

I bet you um, like totally didn’t  know that roughly 900 people earn a Ph.D from Cal every year. And like, OMG, the National Research Council, ranks 35 of 36 of Berkeley’s graduate programs in the top 10 in their respective field.

But Kara, I’ll let you in on Berkeley’s best kept secret: Cal ranks ninth among universities that have produced the largest number of living billionaires. Now, there’s some 411 that will put you right on tack to follow mom’s legacy.

The clip is on their site at http://video.bravotv.com/player/?fid=829241#videoid=850141

Posted on Monday, December 1st, 2008
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