Weekly Obsessions

Things we were obsessing about on Dec. 8, 2004

Aside from the frenzied looks of shoppers near Union Square and the candy cane coffee at Starbucks, San Francisco isn't really a “Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” kind of town. That's why we dial up KOIT-FM (96.5) this time of year, because it's when the “Light Rock, Less Talk!” station becomes “The Bay Area's Official Christmas Music Station.” By playing Christmas classics all day long and posting a second-by-second countdown to Dec. 25 on its Web site, KOIT blends cloying sentimentality and crippling anxiety so perfectly as to prove the station's seasonal boast: “There's only one radio station that understands how you feel about Christmas!” N.C.

There are a lot of annoying things about the Christmas season, but Anchor Brewery's annual Christmas Ale is not one of them. Different every year, the San Francisco brewer's delicious yuletide beverage debuts in November and is gone by mid-January. The recipe is always top secret, but we taste delicate notes of spruce in this year's batch. It's full of flavor but very drinkable — the perfect brewski for a cold winter night. L.A.

We learned a new word: “aeolian.” It means, “Relating to, caused by, or carried by the wind.” In the past few months, it's appeared in three completely unrelated e-mails. One was about poet Jennifer Moxley, which included a poem called “Aeolian Harp”; another for a concert at Grace Cathedral, which houses a well-known Aeolian-Skinner organ. These are both cool, but the third is our favorite: the Aeolian Ride. It is a performance art piece involving specially designed, inflatable suits for bicyclists. New York-based artist Jessica Findley makes them by hand and organizes rides that show off 50 suits at once, a spectacle that is equally beautiful and ridiculous. Check out photos from the recent S.F. ride at www.aeolian-ride.info. H.S.

This Halloween, we came across an impossibly gay gentleman wearing an impossibly gay costume he called “a vision in pink.” Dressed in various shades of rose, he sported surprisingly appealing pink briefs. When asked where he'd purchased his panties, he explained that they were from Paul Frank's Butt Hugger Three-Pack — underwear that comes in new colors each season. Normally annoyed by Frank's cloying monkey logo, we snatched up and slipped into the latest trio of winter colors: gray, dark blue, and black. We're peeing in our gray ones with anticipation of the hues spring will bring. B.K.

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