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The Rum of the Ancient Mariner: Smuggler's Cove Worthy of Hype

Dutifully, I attended the Smuggler's Cove press preview last night. Stupidly, I forgot any sort of camera, so I don't have any images for you. But, happily, I can report that after a long wait, much anticipation, a lot of hype (from me) the place will live up to its high expectations.

Xmas Countdown: Three Foodie Gifts to Give

Always a fan of giving thematic presents, I present a perfect trio: Fancy coffee, a fancy cup to put it in and the perfect fancy chocolate to have with it. All from local folks, of course.

1. A gift card for Go Coffee Go is perfect for your coffee-snob friend who needs his or her single-bean, microroaster fix—and can not live on Four Barrel alone. The mail-order website, just launched by SF'ans Scott Pritikin and Elise Papazian, includes Ritual Roasters, but also Verve out of Santa Cruz, Zoca out of Seattle, PT's out of Topeka (and the 2009 Roast magazine "Macro Roaster of the Year," for what it's worth).

Ira Glass of "This American Life" at Cal Performances on Saturday

It's hard not to love the adorably neurotic, gently funny, totally relatable Ira Glass, whose hosting duties on NPR's "This American Life" translated equally well to its televised version on Showtime. Self-deprecating and charming, he should be in peak form tomorrow night at Cal Performances, where he'll be speaking about the ideas that guide his work and the current direction of "This American Life." They'll have time for a Q&A session as well. Glass and the program take a lot of heat for being too white, upper-middle-class, bourgeois, etc., but for our money, they're doing some really great journalism alongside their ongoing emotional exploration of the American experience.

Taste Catering Bakes Cookies Like Grandma Never Made

The holiday spirit is a powerful thing. It can make the most un-Martha-like people decide to take on the task of baking cookies for everyone they know. But should you experience a moment of reason, spare yourself a hot kitchen and place an order for Taste Catering’s gorgeous box of cookies—courtesy of executive pastry chef Yigit Pura. Beautifully packaged, the transparent box includes stacks of bite-sized riffs on holiday classics—the kind of tiny perfection that only the best caterer can do so well: French macaroons in vanilla, rose and pistachio; pâtes de fruits made with raspberry-fig balsamic and green-apple calvados; walnut biscuits with sea salt; Valrhona-chocolate-and-sour-cherry mudslides; and Russian tea cookies (our personal favorite)

What’s the Deal: Jimmyjane, Jack's, Rebecca Minkoff and more...

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Philanthropist Hits the Web in Time For The Holidays

Making the time to shop at local boutiques (especially those across town) can often be like giving to charity: we'd love to do it more often than it actually happens. That's why we were beyond thrilled to find out that you can now shop Presidio Heights-based Philanthropist online. We've admired them for quite some time now, as they donate 100% of the profits they make from selling designer wares to Bay Area charities which is, well, basically unheard of. And just when you thought it couldn't possibly get any better, they offer same day delivery within San Francisco, meaning you can wait until the last minute to find a hoiday party frock.

Let the guilt-free shopping spree begin!

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

With the Dec. 31 deadline for 2009 Academy Award consideration fast approaching and at least one surefire Best Picture contender – Jason Reitman's Up in the Air – arriving at theaters this weekend, it's a perfect time to catch a movie. As always, here's a list of the finest films now playing at your local indie theaters.

Sibling Rivalry Taken to Dangerous Extremes in ‘Brothers’

Based on Danish director Susanne Bier’s 2004 drama, Jim Sheridan’s sure-handed remake is not about a torrid love triangle, as the film’s ad campaign provocatively suggests. It is about Sam, a dedicated husband, father and Marine whose experiences as a Taliban prisoner in Afghanistan leave him bitterly withdrawn from his family and tortured by guilt.

Sam (Tobey Maguire) is his father’s golden child, a onetime football star who married his high-school sweetheart (Natalie Portman) and went on to serve his country. He prepares for a fourth tour in Afghanistan without complaint, not because he misses the heady rush of combat but because he takes pride in his work.

Inbox: Lee "Scratch" Perry, Oona and The Art Museums

What better way to promote fun-loving times than to surround yourself with pot plants and a pre-teen? Reggae icon Lee "Scratch" Perry is in his 70s and the ganja may have a stranglehold on his dreads but the dude continues to push the music envelope. Just listen to this schizophrenic rave-esque holiday song, sure to make you think more about glow sticks and blue pills rather than sleigh bells: "Santa Claus"




The Modern Art Council (MAC) of SFMOMA kicked-off its 75th anniversary yesterday with its 75th Holiday Luncheon at the museum.

Formerly known as the Women’s Board of the San Francisco Museum of Art, the MAC auxiliary serves as the museum’s fundraising arm and organizer of its many educational programs.

Originally spear-headed by Evie Haas and the late Mary Keesling, the auxiliary’s dedication to modern art is evidenced in the fact that its founding in December 1934 pre-dates the museum’s opening by one month.

While we couldn’t make it to lunch, we did attend a pre-party tea hosted by former MAC President Ann Fisher.

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