Parental Attire

Has anyone else noticed a trend of unusual parental attire in Sacramento lately? Okay, I’ve only had two sightings so perhaps that does not constitute a trend, per se. But what does this say about our esteemed city? Thursday night at the Arden Fair Mall I saw a gigantic woman pushing a toddler in a stroller while her four or five-year-old son ran ahead. I don’t mention that she was gigantic to be mean, only to give you the picture that her t-shirt was wide like a billboard. A fact important to the story because in huge black letters the shirt said, “LEAVE ME THE F*** ALONE!” except in place of stars there were actual letters. In substance probably not an unreasonable request for the busy mother of two small children, who maybe gets about four minutes a day to herself IF Dora the Explorer is on, but must it be phrased this way? And must she advertise her hostility to her children and the world at large?

I thought it was a fluke until last night when I was at Albertson’s and I saw a man with his son, approximately age six, and the man’s shirt said “I DON’T GIVE A RAT’S A**.” Yet once again, spelled out. He was headed for the liquor section with his child, apparently making good on his proclamation. Is this a Sacramento trend? If so there’s going to be a run on child-sized “I’m with stupid” shirts.

J Street Meanderings

Some random thoughts while walking back from lunch on J Street with RonTopofIt:

Were there “beach people” in Midtown *before* the Beach Hut Deli opened on J Street?

People don’t seem to come to the Beach Hut Deli for the free WiFi, but people do seem to come to the Starbucks just down the block for the pay WiFi.

There are more art supply stores on J Street than Starbucks locations. Now that’s impressive.

Asking the barista for an unwhipped MFer is apparently not the appropriate way to order a mocha frappuccino with no whipped cream at Starbucks.

Great lunch at the Beach Hut, nonetheless!

Cheery Sacramento Drivers

Having lived in Boston and Los Angeles I’ve spent plenty of time in traffic jams. And I can say with certainty that what happened to me the other day was a unique Sacramento moment. I was sitting in the parking lot-style traffic jam of downtown at lunchtime when I noticed that the car in front of me had a purse sitting on top of the driver’s side. It was obvious to me and everyone around me that the driver had pulled out her keys and left it there. And it was also obvious that when she finally made her way out of traffic she would get going fast enough to lose everything in it. After my attempts to get her attention by honking, flashing my lights, yelling out the window and doing all three at once failed I put my car in park, got out and knocked on her window, handing her the purse. She looked slightly terrified but I don’t blame her. Anyway, I expected that on my dash back to the driver’s seat I would get some honks and maybe the dreaded bird (which for some reason really hurts me personally) but NO – not in Sacramento. At least six drivers rolled down their car windows and clapped for me, and a few were actually cheering things like “good save” and “way to go.” I felt like Rocky and Shirley Temple combined (emotionally, not physically – that would be disastrous). So thank you, Sacramentans, for the spontaneous affirmation. You may not be the safest drivers (see posting below) but you are probably the friendliest!

Taking it inside

There’s a trend in the River City and it’s nothing to hang your hat on. Panhandling is nothing new to anyone who has ever set foot in even the most rural of metropolitan areas. However, we at the Sac Rag have noticed something new; the in-store solicitation.

Now I understand the view that everyone falls on hard times and needs a helping hand, but can not this business be conducted on public domain? Is it ok that I am trouble/irritated by this trend? Is there anything we can do to discourage this behavior? What’s next? The hand held Point of Sale device where we can just swipe and go?

Perhaps this IS just us, but I’d love to read your thoughts. It’s happening in your city people, own it. Comment away.

Being Sacramentan

CoolDMZ and I have been working on a theory for quite some time. Well, maybe not so much a theory, but a collection of observations and “I know what you mean” type moments about Sacramento. Like things we notice in our day to day lives that you just don’t find in, say, San Francisco, or Los Angeles, or Dixon. If this were a TV show it would be called “Only in Sacramento.” You feeling me yet?

For example, when The Cheesecake Factory opened not too long ago at the Arden Mall the wait was 2 hours! This was every day for weeks. Is it good?, sure, but come on people, there’s an Applebee’s, Chili’s, and CPK within a mile from there. What’s the difference? What are people thinking? It’s fast food with a tip. This is a child of the early 90’s In & Out craze whereby folks felt closer to the swinging Los Angeles scene if they waited for 45 minutes in the drive through in Tracy for a double double with cheese, but I digress.

Another example, I was on the treadmill at my gym the other day and I noticed a car pull up and sort peek around the lot. I could see 3 women of larger carriage inside. What were they doing? There are plenty of spaces a few rows over. Then I saw the blinker turn on and I couldn’t believe my eyes. They were waiting for someone to leave who had a great spot right up front. It’s the gym, ugh.

Well, I must sign off. Consider yourself up to speed when The Sac Rag references this behavior (oooh, we can use “BS” for short). I do feel better getting this off my chest though.

Happy Friday the 13th!

I’ve lived in a variety of cities in North America. Having been in Sacramento now for well over a year, I ask you: How useless are Sacramento’s traffic reports?

During a recent SacRag summit meeting in our favorite place, RonTopofIt and I were discussing the pointless inclusion of traffic reports in radio and TV news shows – the latter of which is even more useless if, like me, you don’t have a TV in your car (which begs the question – how useless can something get?).

My commute into work is from the south side (youandIknowitsthebestside, yo) via Highway 99 to midtown from Elk Grove (herein and forever more known as “The Grove”). If traffic reporters on the radio aren’t restating the obvious (“it’s rush hour, traffic is slow”), they don’t tell you about traffic events until well after they’ve occured, or simply don’t report on your highway at all.

Like today, for example. Radio traffic reports completely ignored Highway 99 this morning. Meanwhile, I was stuck in an inexplicable 30 mile-per-hour traffic crawl from Laguna Blvd. to Florin. When I got to Florin after 45 minutes, traffic began moving again.

Wouldn’t you know it? Just as I got to Florin, the traffic dude on the radio reported that a truck had “just” overturned on Florin and that traffic was now starting to back up.

But, there was nothing at Florin when I got there. The accident had already been cleared, and the traffic reporters had probably missed this accident by almost an hour.

Why do you mess with me, trafficreporterperson? What joy do you get in making The Grovites late for work?

This is all some kind of conspiracy, isn’t it – to keep the south side (did I mention that youandIknowitsthebestside?) down. I’m going to just tune in to smooth jazz from now on.

I don’t need your mind control.

The Proud 4%

From time to time I have a weekday off from work that is not holiday related. This was the case recently when I took a few days off after my grandfather passed away. There is something going on in the River City that I have noticed. People don’t have jobs. Whether you try to stop by the local coffee shop or swing by the neighborhood Target for a few essentials, people are everywhere. Hit Chili’s for a late lunch? “Here’s your pager, sir, it’ll be about 20 minutes.” Grab the bikes for a family cruise along the river? Please hug the sides of the road cause you’re gonna get plowed by the US Postal Service team.

While I understand that some people have sales jobs, work swingshifts, are on vacation, or are just stuck in between jobs, I can’t help but think there is something going on here. I am reminded of an episode of “Growing Pains” when Mike Seaver stayed home from school and was shocked to find out that life went on without him. Perhaps this hustle and bustle weekday activity is nothing new, I’ve just been too busy working to notice it.

A Walking Dude Stalks Us All

Chief among my reasons for wanting to launch this site is the phenomenon, peculiar I am sure to the urban areas of Sacramento, of the Walking Dude. The Walking Dude phenomenon can be described as follows: there exists a person–nay, a ghost, a shade, merely a phantasm–whose pedestrian circuit around the city will intersect with yours in ways that stretch the bounds of time and space. Your walking dude will be with you as you come out of the parking garage under the Downtown Mall, and suddenly as you flip over to KWOD at 16th next to the Auditorium there he is again, on foot, illogically pacing you in your car. Do others see him? Is he the gremlin on the wing of the rain-swept plane that is your Sacramento existence? Is he whacked out on some sort of secret drug that enables him to actually fly?

Someday I will photograph my walking dude (which will be funny actually, because he is a dead ringer for Barry Gibb) and embark on a voyage of scientific discovery into the truth behind the Walking Dude Phenomenon.