Legal counsel advises that the best strategy for dealing with a bully is to curl up, cry, and beg him to stop kicking you. Oh, and don't tell mom.

I find this strategy... questionable.

However, I do pay him quite a lot of money to Know Things, so for now, instead of writing about the things that I actually care about and that actually matter (for example, the hell I've been going through for the last couple of months), instead I'll just share with you some inconsequential cattiness and jealousy.

Ok?

So you may have heard of this jazz club called Yoshi's. They've had a place on Fillmore for a year and a half or so. Well gosh, it turns out that they had kind of a hard time last year! Their business was a bit down from their expectations, you see, what with the recession and all. So the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency just gave them a $1.5 million "emergency" loan!

That's on top of the $6 million in loans they had already given them.

Back up. They were open for a year and a half. In that time they managed to burn through six million dollars. Then they came back to the City and said "Hey Buddy, can you spare another million and a half?"

I'm struggling for my life here, and my city government just gave another nightclub seven and a half million dollars.

Clearly I'm doing something wrong.

I don't really like to talk about how much money I've lost on this place, because frankly it's embarassing, but let's just say that in the ten years I've been sinking money into this hole, I have not even come close to what they accomplished in a year and a half.

On the one hand, maybe that means I'm better at this than I thought.

On the other hand, I spent my own money on it. And they also spent my money on it! And yours, dear taxpayer.

I did some rough math, and I think that for $7M, we could have been exactly where we are today except we could have had free admission for every event we've ever done over the last eight years.

So yeah, I'm just a little bitter and jealous. Just a little.

I try to avoid talking smack about other clubs, because nobody in this business has it easy, and we all need to work together. I've never been to Yoshi's, I don't know the owners, and I have nothing against them personally.

But come on. Where's my fucking bailout?

Photos are up of our first event of the year, Baxtalo Drom, and also the Hubba Hubba Revue salute to the Canuckistani people.

Also, it turns out that a contingent from the Canadian Consulate was in the audience that night. How awesome is that?

Baxtalo Drom will most likely be returning in March, by the way.

So, one late night last week I took a taxi to the club, and as we pulled up to the builing, the driver (who had no idea who I am or that I work here) asked me, "Why don't these people have a fucking sign?"

"I dunno, man. They probably should, huh?" I replied.

And this reminds me that somehow I have never written about the tragic in-joke that our lack of a sign on the building has become! It's been going on long enough that even most of the people I know who don't work here will caution newcomers away from every bringing up The Fucking Sign.

It's not even that good a story. Basically, we've gone through seven years of a repeating cycle that goes like this. Someone asks, "Why don't you have a sign?" We reply, "Because everyone who has taken on the task of making it happen has failed." The new person asks, "Is there some reason this is more complicated than it seems?" "Not really." Then they say, "Well that's ridiculous! I volunteer! I will make this happen!" And then, nothing happens. And we laugh at them.

Seriously, this has happened like a dozen times.

We even have a CAD drawing of the sign we want. Basically all we need is two things: someone with the ability to take this CAD file and cut it out of a 12'x4' piece of steel (with a laser or water-cutter or something); and the few thousand dollars to pay for it. There have been times when we had the money, but nobody to do the work; and there have been times when we had someone who claimed to have access to the equipment, but who would then drop off the face of the earth before we could gather the funds.

Over the years, I've personally contacted a number of companies who specialize in this kind of work. They say "Sure, that sounds easy!" and then they simply won't give me a quote.

Now, if you're like every other person I've ever met, you are even now feeling an itch that will soon cause you to say something beginning with the words, "Well you know what you ought to do is..."

The sign project is cursed. That's the only explanation.

And that is why we no longer discuss the sign.