spa de da

I have a tradition that on my birthday I take the day off and get a spa treatment, assuming it’s possible. It’s just a nice way to always do something a little special. So this year whilst searching for a new place to go I realized I had hit most of the hot spots in San Francisco but was having trouble recollecting so I thought I’d start sharing them (a handy way to keep track).

This year’s pick was a return visit to a spot I hadn’t hit in longer than I can recall:

  • Spa: SenSpa (SF-Presidio)
  • Service: Muscle Refresher Swedish Massage
  • Cost: 90 min $215 ($2.39/min)
  • Amenities: It doesn’t look like much from the outside, just another Presidio building, but they’ve done a nice job on the interior. The recent addition is their ‘cafe’ which is an eating space inside with a few pre-prepared options from The Plant as well as a few wine options. The facilities mostly consist of locker rooms with a steam room and all the standard: robe (though I’d prefer they didn’t sew the pockets shut)/slippers, brushes/dryers, lotions and shampoos. Otherwise they’ve got a few areas for restful sitting, included snacks (nuts, dates and the like) and of course water and tea.

And for the record as I recall throughout the years the following have been hits: Earthbody (SF-Hayes), Nob Hill Spa (SF-Nob Hill), Remede Spa (SF-Soma), Bliss Spa (SF-Soma), Spa Vitale (SF-Embarcadero), Cavallo Point Healing Arts Center & Spa (Sausalito), The I Spa San Francisco (SF-Soma), Burke Williams Day Spa (SF-Downtown), The Ritz-Carlton (Half Moon Bay), International Orange (SF – Fillmore), Kabuki Springs & Spa (SF-Japantown).

What should be next on the list?

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new and noteworthy tv: 2/20-2/26

A little more roll-out of nothing much I’m interested in which is good as I’m just getting rolling on The Wire.

  • The Breaks (VH1) Series Premiere, Monday, 9pm – A series continuing on after the cable movie of the same name following three friends and their hip hop dreams.
  • Sun Records (CMT) Series Premiere, Thursday, 10pm – Limited series based on the musical Million Dollar Quartet in the early years of rock’n’roll.
  • My Brother, My Brother, and Me (Seeso) Series Premiere, Thursday – Based on their podcast of more comedy than advice advice.
  • The Blacklist: Redemption (NBC) Series Premiere, Thursday, 10pm – I’ll check out this Blacklist spinoff but not sure if having dropped the original I’ll be as engaged, though theoretically it doesn’t have most annoying Elizabeth.
  • Patriot (Am) Series Premiere, Friday – Following intelligence officer in pipelines and nuclear deals, reportedly it’s a dramedy.
  • Ultimate Beastmaster (Net) Series Premiere, Friday – A new physical obstacle course style competition, globally.
  • The 89th Annual Academy Awards (ABC) Sunday, 5:30pm – I am torn on my Oscar pool, should I vote for LaLa Land or not…

The procrastinator lists items that may not be on your regular season pass, though notation does not imply recommendation. Times noted are typically PST.

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new and noteworthy tv: 2/13-2/19

Finally wrapped up Mad Men (excellent) and moved on to The Wire, plus I recently bit the bullet on Amazon Prime so I’m diving in.

  • Humans (AMC) Season Premiere, Monday, 10pm – I quite enjoyed this slant on some ‘synths’ gaining consciousness stepping out of their place as tools of human society and intrigued to see where they and their human counterparts go.
  • The Mindy Project (Hulu) Season Premiere, Tuesday – I haven’t been up to date since this moved to hulu but I’m sure she’s still wacky.
  • Doubt (CBS) Series Premiere, Wednesday, 10pm – This latest legal drama looks to be a bit on the soapy side but intrigued to see Katherine Heigl and Laverne Cox in fresh roles.
  • Hacking the Wild (Sci) Series Premiere, Wednesday, 10pm – Using everyday technology and science to make it through the wilderness.
  • The Good Fight (CBS/AA) Series Premiere, Sunday, 8pm – As a big Good Wife fan I’m excited to see what this spin-off will bring but irritated because I’m not willing to pay $6/month for the CBS streaming service to watch it, though I may watch the first episode airing on CBS to see how irritated I’ll be.
  • The Paley Center Salutes NBC’s 90th Anniversary (NBC) Sunday, 8pm – Star studded look.
  • Big Little Lies/Crashing (HBO) Series Premiere, Sunday, 9/10:30pm – This book adaptation brought by David E. Kelley with all-star cast Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley as mothers of seven-year-olds is getting mostly positive buzz though no word on the latest comedy about a comedian.

The procrastinator lists items that may not be on your regular season pass, though notation does not imply recommendation. Times noted are typically PST.

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new and noteworthy tv: 2/6-2/12

I somehow haven’t gotten back to finishing up Mad Men which means I must be keeping myself busy enough.

  • APB (Fox) Series Premiere, Monday, 9pm – Rich dude takes over a police district with what sounds like isn’t glowing results (entertainment wise).
  • Imposters (Bravo) Series Premiere, Tuesday, 10pm – I always like to check out a con artist series this one has the wife falling for her current mark while being tracked down by former targets.
  • Detroiters (Com) Series Premiere, Tuesday, 10:30pm – Comedic look at a couple of buddies who try to make it in advertising, in Detroit, we’ll see but not promising.
  • Legion (Fx) Series Premiere, Wednesday, 10pm – This X-Men character promises a new series that’s getting great buzz even for non-comic fans as schizophrenic may not be so mentally challenged after all.
  • Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown (ABC) Friday, 8pm – Maybe this is his year.
  • The Collection (Am) Series Premiere, Friday – Haven’t heard anything about this post WWII fashion house drama.
  • Grammy Awards (CBS) Sunday, 8pm – James Corden hosts.

The procrastinator lists items that may not be on your regular season pass, though notation does not imply recommendation. Times noted are typically PST.

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procrastinator’s picks – top tv of 2016

So I’m still lacking or behind in a couple of networks so all things Amazon, HBO, Showtime, Hulu (other random ‘networks’ I don’t get) will be absent…

  • Atlanta/Better Things/You’re the Worst (Fx) – So apparently Fx can dominate comedies as well as dramas, though each of these shows brings beyond the standard sitcom, Atlanta (with Donald Glover making his mark) has probably gotten the most buzz with more irregularities that might bring higher highs but also a few lows, while Better Things sweet and slightly odd (as befits Pamela Adlon and Louis C.K.) is the one I was most anxious to keep watching; and while this season didn’t quite match last season’s amazing arc YTW still stands out for some perfectly terrible character mess.
  • Sweet/Vicious (MTV) – Don’t let the network cause you to prematurely dismiss this, this college vigilante team has a great mix of drama and humor and ass kicking, though I’m constantly worried about our fair heroines.
  • Happy Valley (Net) – Of the various English crime shows I tuned into (Broadchurch, The Fall, River, etc.) this one stuck with me the most for having just a great new protagonist Sergeant Catherine Cawood who deals with personal and professional drama that makes this rural England setting anything but happy.
  • The Americans/Orphan Black (Fx/BBCA) – Still two of the more amazing things on tv with brilliant performances in very tense situations be it spy drama or clone drama it all gets much better than the genre by the very real characters.
  • BoJack Horseman (Net) – This show continues to drive our primary character deeper into depressive situations and he continues to fail in a way that for some reason bridges the not likable but still desperately want him to stop failing but also clearly not wanting that because I want the show to keep going, and yes this is an animated show about a world where people interact with animal people, just go with it, it allows for unique funny and things like the magical underwater episode.
  • The Good Place (NBC) – Networks can still occasionally compete and this new look at a surreal world of the afterlife which somehow seems to move just quickly enough to turn each of the things I was worried about (and it was renewed!).
  • The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (Fx) – In what turned out to be a year of OJ this show (which will be followed by future American Crime Stories 2: Katrina and 3: Versace) may have particularly resonated because of the reminiscence to what was clearly a strong cultural event but also for the unreal reality of the situation brought to light by some impressive performances.

And for a look at what the critics looked at a few compilations by Metacritic and Uproxx (formerly HitFix).

 

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new and noteworthy tv: 1/30-2/5

Looks like mid-season is kicking off with a few new entries.

  • Super Bowl Greatest Commercials (CBS) Tuesday, 8pm – Hosts Boomer Esiason and Daniela Ruah count ’em down.
  • Showtime at the Apollo (Fox) Wednesday, 8pm – Steve Harvey hosts.
  • The 100 (CW) Season Premiere, Wednesday, 9pm – I was super into this show for a while but found it slipping, fan blowback for handling of certain characters aside, but curious to see where we go this season.
  • Madiba (BET) Miniseries Premiere, Wednesday, 8pm – I haven’t heard anything about this Laurence Fishburne led Mandela three part account.
  • Powerless (NBC) Series Premiere, Thursday, 8:30pm – A comedic entry into the DC Comics world where every day folk toil around superhero adjacent insurance scenarios, looks less than groundbreaking but perhaps a look.
  • Superior Donuts (CBS) Series Premiere, Thursday, 8:30pm – New school and old school set in a donut shop with Judd Hirsch as the old school, gives possibilities for this comedy to find its stride.
  • Training Day (CBS) Series Premiere, Thursday, 10pm – Another questionable entry into the movie premise spun for TV with Bill Baxton as a reportedly less menacing Denzel.
  • Santa Clarita Diet (Net) Series Premiere, Friday – I’d watch Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant in anything so I’ll tune into what looks like a tongue in cheek suburban zombie fare.
  • 24: Legacy (Fox) Sunday, 7:30pm – Rumor has it this has some of the pros and cons about the original 24 so use that as you gauge.

The procrastinator lists items that may not be on your regular season pass, though notation does not imply recommendation. Times noted are typically PST.

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procrastinator’s picks – best books of 2016

I keep saying I wanted to read more so this year when the opportunity arose I joined a new book club! I was a little hesitant about the commitment and a little hesitant about the book selection but all in all I rate the year a success. Below is the list of what we read this year, plus a couple of additional vacation selections, in order of reading.

  • The Sellout by Paul Beatty – This was a unique and amusingly satirical take on race that was well worth a read and a think, great fodder for my first book club attendance.
  • A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James – Super long and super challenging with the multiple POV entailing lots of Jamaican dialect, and while I appreciated it more than I enjoyed this fictional look surrounding politics and days of Bob Marley for an interesting read.
  • Dissident Gardens by Jonathan Lethem – I am typically a big Lethem fan but there was something about this book that just never quite engaged me with the look at multi-generational dissidents who were interesting if not endearing.
  • The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson – I’m going to label this my favorite book of last year, as we move with the titles character through his unbelievable journey through North Korea, as fantastical as his story is the very real research grounded it.
  • The Vegetarian by Han Kang – This surreal and poetic mix of three points of view in a tale of a woman taking a turn in her life starting with visions of food, fell more on the appreciation than enjoyment side of the fence.
  • The Girls by Emma Cline – We picked this one for something a little lighter, in readability though not subject matter, I was entertained by if not totally brought on board with the psychology and situation around at a young girl who falls in with a cult-ish group.
  • Boy Snow Bird by Helen Oyeyemi – Although very readable the loose riff on Snow White never quite hits trying to do a myriad of styles and stories feeling like it’s not quite covering too many bases.
  • Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann – This had been sitting on my shelf for ages so jumped at the chance to get this in the rotation and pleasantly surprised as the weaving together of various people’s stories brings a greater appreciation for each as well as their place in the time and NYC.
  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen – This book may have suffered in my opinion by the fact that it was the one I didn’t finish on time and therefore was relegated to finishing in dribs and drabs, but while the communist double agent protagonist kept me interested in his trips from early Vietnam to the US and back again and yet not totally engrossed.
  • Funny Girl by Nick Hornby – This was the first of my vacation books, I’m a big Hornby fan in general always readable and amusing if not always amazing, this one that was a look at an early English comedienne was definitely enjoyable.
  • The Pesthouse by Jim Crace – I started into the backlog after reading Being Dead and this was an interesting look at this peculiar slice of remote world and people thrown together but not my fave.
  • A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman – This was the talk of the town for a bit and though I was left a little less glowing of the simplistic character and slightly overly coincidental series of events in the end I was won over by Ove and the people who won him over.
  • Swing Time by Zadie Smith – I’m realizing that I’m actually up to date on Smith having gone back to the backlog after favorite On Beauty, and though for me nothing else has matched that I enjoyed this journey with our unnamed and somewhat distant protagonist as she journeys through family, friends, work, romance, and politics.

A little tardy with my end of year lists, I’m also taking a pass on doing the critic roundups. Trying to find any good compilations but you can find a full rundown of all the year-end lists (which is a little overwhelming to be honest) at Largehearted Boy. And stay tuned for tv and movie picks!

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new and noteworthy tv: 1/23-1/29

It’s funny how when I get busy my TiVo backlog starts to creep up, plus I’m finally allowing myself a little Australian Open.

  • Outsiders (WGN) Season Premiere, Tuesday, 9pm – This might not be an amazing TV show but I got wrapped up in the SAMCRO-esque group of bad(?) folks outside the norm and like Sons can’t imagine how they’ll keep the story going.
  • The Path (Hulu) Season Premiere, Wednesday – I’m not onboard with Hulu so don’t have a personal opinion but think this has gotten relatively mixed reviews.
  • Riverdale (CW) Series Premiere, Thursday, 9pm – Not your father’s Archie Comic I’ve actually heard some good things about this reboot with a more murder mystery teen soap approach.
  • Z: The Beginning of Everything (Am) Series Premiere, Friday – Christina Ricci takes the role of Zelda Fitzgerald in what I hear isn’t a convincing or engaging run.
  • Australian Open (ESPN) Saturday/Sunday, 12am – The women’s and the men’s finals, the possibilities…
  • SAG Awards (TBS/TNT) Sunday, 5pm – The award season continues.
  • Miss Universe (Fox) Sunday, 7pm – Steve Harvey returns as host.

The procrastinator lists items that may not be on your regular season pass, though notation does not imply recommendation. Times noted are typically PST.

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new and noteworthy tv: 1/16-1/22

Hmm I’m not sure I have time in my busy schedule for tennis but I’ll have to check in to see how Federer is doing on his return after injury time away.

  • Australian Open (ESPN2) – Play continues throughout the week.
  • Howie Mandel All-Star Comedy Gala (CW) Monday, 8pm – A stand-up comedy showcase.
  • Throwing Shade (TVL) Series Premiere, Tuesday, 10:30pm – Comedian hosts talk politics and pop culture.
  • People’s Choice Awards (CBS) Wednesday, 9pm – Joel McHale hosts.
  • Six (Hist) Series Premiere, Wednesday, 10pm – The only review I read of this new dramatic Navy SEALs series was bad.
  • Baskets (FX) Season Premiere, Thursday, 10pm – For those of you who fell for this very odd dark and yet funny show.
  • Frontier (Net) Series Premiere, Friday – Jason Momoa stars in this Canadian fur trapping drama which reportedly isn’t so compelling.
  • Hunted (CBS) Series Premiere, Sunday, 7pm – Ordinary people try to evade investigators tracking them.

The procrastinator lists items that may not be on your regular season pass, though notation does not imply recommendation. Times noted are typically PST.

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new and noteworthy tv: 1/9-1/15

I guess it’s time for me to acknowledge the new year and get started on my year end lists. Until then there’s always more tv!

  • Big Fan (ABC) Monday, 10pm, Series Premiere – The latest game show slant with three superfans competing against a celebrity about trivia, about the celebrity.
  • President Barack Obama’s Farewell Address (Multiple) Tuesday, 6pm – The end of an era.
  • Taboo (Fx) Series Premiere, Tuesday, 10pm – This latest Tom Hardy period piece hasn’t gotten rave reviews but always worth checking out.
  • Jeff & Some Aliens (Com) Series Premiere, Wednesday, 10:30pm – An animated look at a regular dude and some ‘chill’ aliens probably isn’t my cup of tea.
  • Taking the Stage (ABC) Thursday, 9pm – Entertainers gather for the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
  • My Kitchen Rules (Fox) Series Premiere, Thursday 9pm – Celebrity pairs take on dinner parties and of course critique.
  • The Investigator (Net) Series Premiere, Friday – Another look at real life crime, British style.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events (Net) Series Premiere, Friday – The movie version of this didn’t get a ton of raves but the series with the always good Neil Patrick Harris is supposed to work on pretty much all levels.
  • Sneaky Pete (Am) Series Premiere, Friday – Cranston and Giovani Ribisi pairing up against each other with a mix of cons and good supporting cast worth a try.
  • Australian Open (ESPN2) – Opening rounds.
  • Victoria (PBS) Series Premiere, Sunday, 9pm – This is supposed to be a soapy take on royalty, though for a non-royal follower between the Crown and the Royals I may be all booked up.
  • The Young Pope (HBO) Series Premiere, Sunday, 9pm – At 47 Jude Law isn’t all that ‘young’ but he’ll play the protagonist trying to make the church great again, worth a look.

The procrastinator lists items that may not be on your regular season pass, though notation does not imply recommendation. Times noted are typically PST.

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