Gosh, it's been a nice holiday season. Dog Bites, having tried to write columns at this time of year before, knows perfectly well it's almost impossible to get anyone on the phone between Christmas and New Year's. As a result, the people who say we should write about ourselves -- or, as one correspondent put it, "la vie urbaine" -- will more or less get their wishes this week. You have been warned.
Not that there's a whole lot of vie going on right now; about the biggest controversy we've been witness to since Christmas was a man yelling at a construction worker, demanding an explanation for the barricades being erected around the perimeter of Union Square Friday morning. Dog Bites is already looking forward to the renovated square's emergence from this pupa of plywood, which is supposed to occur in the summer of 2002; that's one way we know things are slow.
Then again, there was that party given by Tom Ammiano at his home for a number of the city's newly elected supervisors. The Chronicle emitted an official editorial harrumph at the alleged impropriety of the Board of Supervisors president entertaining his soon-to-be colleagues, noting they'll also be voting for a new president after they're sworn in Jan. 8. But hey -- it's the holidays, and this is San Francisco, and Dog Bites wanted to know the important facts: What did Ammiano serve at the bash?
"I think there was just some alcohol," said District 5 Supervisor-elect Matt Gonzalez, who attended.
What, no puff pastry cheese straws? No angels on horseback? No bacon-wrapped shrimp? No fig-basil crostini? Not even any of those chocolate seashells? Oh, God, Christmas really is over, and we really did eat more than other people.
"It was very low-key," said Gonzalez. "As I recall, I think I was drinking a beer."
So, um, yeah, we've been hitting the gym pretty hard. Meanwhile, we've succumbed to laryngitis, though somehow that doesn't seem so bad a thing in the misty sunlight of the turn of the year; a few lazy mornings spent reading in the sunny patch in front of the bay window will probably be all it takes to speed us toward recovery. And failing that, of course, we can always go eat hot-and-sour soup in the kind of homey Thai restaurant in the Richmond where the lights dim momentarily when the bartender runs the blender to make you a Mai Tai. Actually, come to think of it, that effect could also be due to PG&E's latest Stage 2 power shortage alert. This past week, though, we have flattered ourselves that we've been doing our part to alleviate the power drain by accomplishing almost nothing, either before or after sunset.
Astute readers of the Chron may have noticed that local cartoonist Keith Knight's weekly strip, The K Chronicles, has vanished in the post-merger fog. The disgruntled Knight said he found himself in the odd position of having to call the paper himself to confirm that the strip, which had run in the Hearst-owned Examiner for almost five years, had been dropped. "I'm a pretty childish human being, and I had to play the role of the adult," commented Knight, who's hoping to encourage his erstwhile readers to complain to the Chron.
Oddly enough, though, the competition -- in the form of the Fangxaminer -- has already contacted Knight to express interest in picking up the strip. Knight, whose original artwork is included in Spike Lee's collection, is thinking over the F-Ex's offer, though he wishes other publications would jump in with offers of their own. "A fierce bidding war -- that's what I want," he said.
Finally, no, we haven't been on the Today show yet. In fact, Thursday morning we actually broke a long-standing rule and got up before 8 ... uh, wait. What we meant to say was we broke a long-standing rule and turned the television on during the day, then lay semi-insensible on the couch, watching a lengthy discussion of kidney stones -- turns out they're painful! -- and how not to get them (nobody's really sure).
Our thanks to everyone who's e-mailed asking if he already missed us; aww, you're so sweet! And special correspondent Jim Cecil just had to call to note we'd apparently been pre-empted by the great San Francisco Zoo koala kidnapping caper. Humbling, certainly -- but hardly surprising, since you can buy plush toys of koalas, whereas Dog Bites doesn't even have stickers, a shoe contract, or our own Chapstick ad. And more frustrating still, our plans to get ourselves back into the news by donning scuba gear for a daring koala rescue attempt came to naught when we were informed via reliable sources that most researchers don't believe koalas to be aquatic.
Well, let's hope things pick up next week. Otherwise, we may have to crack open that reserve box of See's, and -- trust us -- nobody wants that to happen.