Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Cousin Kate and I just went to see "Gloria", which is not at all as advertised and we do not recommend. At one point, Gloria goes to the doctor and is diagnosed with glaucoma. This is never discussed again. Like, 3 minutes of a feature film is just this woman randomly getting diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease. Anyway, on the way there, Kate and I were stuck in traffic, behind several cop cars with lights flashing.

"Maybe it's because of the Dali Lama." Kate said. "You know, he's in town."


"Wanna know how I know that? Get a load of this..."
Kate was in San Carlos dealing with the final estate of a recently deceased family member. Wearing her pajama pants, Kate popped into a donut shop for a snack, the only shop she "could find open." Kate stood patiently at the counter next to a 50-something man. They both ordered and received heir food, uttering not one word to one another. Kate took her donut and made for the door. The man shouted after her. "Hey!"

Kate turned around. And the man said, "The Dali Lama is in town."

Not knowing what else to say, Kate responded, "Cool!"

"He's in Santa Clara, if you can believe it."

Kate paused. "Neat." After a brief silence, she said, "Okay, well... bye!"

As a result of this odd exchange, Kate is now offering to anyone stuck in traffic that it might be the Dali Lama. His Holiness is in town.

I found this story so funny, such a weird 3-minute moment in the life of Cousin Kate, that it got me through the more upsetting, senior citizen-sex parts of "Gloria."

In other news, we went to the Jelly Belly Factory for Tourist Trapped and thought it was delightfully dumpy. A very sweet reporter from a newspaper out there phoned me today, asking why I called Fairfield "the middle of nowhere" and implied he might do a STORY ON IT, as well as my reference to Ronald Reagan as "childlike." So there's that!

And also, I hope you're checking out Slow News Day regularly. I've been posting daily over there and while I'm worried I'll get in trouble (outside of Fairfield, where I am already in trouble), I like to think we're staying just this side of offensive. It's fun to write! I hope it's fun to read.


Saturday, February 08, 2014

video killed the radio star...

Melissa and I will be back on the radio Sunday night! We're filling in on KGO, this Sunday (tomorrow) from 10pm-1am. We'll be discussing Philip Seymour Hoffman, the Winter Olympics, and local crime... at least we would be if it were up to me. Tune in to find out! I think you can even listen online, or according to NJudah, you can listen on Apple TV, which, I don't even know what that is.

In other exciting internet news, if you're the rando who's been missing my daily updates about the mundane here on my personal ancient blog, you're in luck! Eve and I have started a new site called SLOW NEWS DAY. We're posting daily, all the time. Please check out my thoughts on Clay Aiken running for Congress, which I feel particularly strongly about. You can also read some of the crazy mail I got from that Zodiac piece, Eve's concerns about rat pee, and my obsession with Sochi. Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook. Seriously, it's your new time killer...

Monday, February 03, 2014

two things from the 1970s...

...The Zodiac Killer and radio!

For SFGate's Culture Blog, I visited the four known Zodiac murder sites, and reported back, complete with a photo gallery. Check it out, and please don't miss the comments. I only wish I could publish the insane mail I received as a result of this article. (Oh wait. I can. And I've got a fun new project in the works where I will do just that.)

In other exciting news, Melissa and I are filling in as hosts on KGO Radio. This is just for fun, and while we hope we become regular radio personalities like our hero, Robin Quivers, we're really just popping into slots while real radio types are on vacation. In you click into KGO's archives, you can hear us Saturday and Sunday from midnight-2am. (I'll get a better link to make listening in less of a chore.) You can also tune in live this coming Sunday night, from 10pm-1am.

AND YOU CAN CALL IN! If you are a crazy and/or unreasonably angry person, you won't get on the air, but otherwise, we would love to hear from you. Call in at 808-0810! So far, we've discussed going full bush, Woody Allen's daughters, a soda tax, Mitt Romney, and insane funerals. Naturally...

Friday, January 17, 2014

where's our $250...

My apologies for being a shitty blogger lately. It's been a doozy of a new year, but things are looking up! ANYWAY, get a load of this:

The other night, my boyfriend (oh yes. I know.) and I were walking down the street to get burritos before we watched "90 Day Fiance" which is the greatest show I've ever seen, and noticed an animal trap placed at someone's front door, with a sign saying basically, "This is a humane animal trap. My cat is missing. I have cameras fixed on this spot. Don't touch!" All along the street were huge pink posters proclaiming a $250 reward for the missing cat.

We noted the signage, we noted the trap, we got burritos.

On our way home, a man was sitting on the ground futzing with the trap. Because he cannot NOT get involved, my boyfriend started chatting with the man.

"Did you lose your cat?"

"Yes." He said, exasperated, and went on to explain the trap, the extensive cameras he'd installed, and how he hired a woman with a team of bloodhounds specially trained to find missing cats. As he went on and on about his lost cat, we heard very loud meowing coming from about 10 feet away. So when the man finally paused in his missing cat story, my boyfriend said, "Um, do you hear that?"

I chimed in. "There's a cat over there meowing."

"Is that your cat?"

The man didn't bat a lash. "I don't know."

Just to recap; signs, rewards, cameras, humane traps, AND he'd sprinkled baking flour all over the sidewalk in a Scooby Doo-esque attempt to obtain cat print clues.

My boyfriend says, "There's a cat, right over there..." And walks towards a car, under which THE CAT FROM THE POSTER is frantically meowing. So the man, with mild annoyance, gets up off his sidewalk cat trap area and looks under the car. "OH MY GOD!"

He swoops down, picks up the cat, and starts to wordlessly walk inside. No shock, no thrill, no smile. Delightedly proving himself right that other people's problems are really easy to solve, my boyfriend says, "Wow. I totally just found your cat!"

"Yep." The man says, wrangling the cat in his arms and running inside. "Uh huh."

I grabbed my boyfriend and implied he wouldn't be getting the effusive gratitude he was obviously waiting for. We started back towards my house when from behind us, we heard, "No! Come back!"

The cat, having obviously realized why it ran away in the first place, made a mad dash out the front door and back into the street. We left the man with his flour, his cameras, and his posters and watched 90 Day Fiance. Because clearly, some cats just don't want to be found...

Thursday, November 07, 2013

a dean and deluca, however, would be most welcome...

I just walked down to 2-day-old Mission Local Market because it is new and chic and sells overpriced food 2 blocks from my house. I am devastated to report that Mission Local Market is tiny and has 4 things for sale. A third of the shelves are empty and there aren't that many shelves to begin with. They have 3 flavors of Humphry Slocumbe ice cream for $8, and one kind of fresh baked cookie for $2. Not that I was only in the dessert department, but I have my priorities. One can buy the most beautiful raisins I've ever seen out of a bin, which is also how one procures brown sugar. Cheese costs $1,000 and there were 5 loaves of bread for sale. Interestingly, there was 382 kinds of local jam and a bevy of t-shirts and tote bags. And teeny, tiny blackberries that looked like they came from someone's yard, which is probably good in an organic kind of way but bad in a normal people kind of way. I want my berries unnaturally huge and in a pile of a million baskets.

Mission Local Market only sells food from 70 miles away or closer, so you can't go get some nail polish remover and a box of designer Whoppers, which, and I think I also speak for my roommate here, is what this neighborhood wants and needs. Also, there is no prepared foods section to speak of. For example, I was hoping to pick up some ridiculously expensive chicken salad for lunch. One can buy fresh, gorgeous chicken, certainly. And perhaps some fresh grapes to throw in there, not to mention fresh eggs and infused olive oil with which to make mayonnaise. But according to Local Mission Market, that's how one makes chicken salad. It doesn't come on a charming plastic container for $10. And therefore, I am not interested.

Basically I found Mission Local Market the neighborhood store version of Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP newsletter; it only served to make me feel poor and bad about myself. Casa Guadalupe at 22nd and Folsom has nothing to worry about...

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

i'd never join any club that would have me as a member - groucho

I'm back from hiatus! (I know. No one noticed.) Today's Culture Blog offers my thoughts on San Francisco's newest private social club, The Battery. Because while it's designed for horrible people, I still really, really want to join.
Up now, on SFGate...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I just flashed a hot man on the sidewalk.

Obviously, this wasn't done on purpose. I wore a wrap dress to work today because tonight, Melissa and I are hosting the San Francisco Beautiful Awards and we are supposed to be dressed up. So this afternoon, I made my little trek down to Starbucks and as I was walking back, I noticed a very attractive man walking towards me.

He smiled an me. I smiled back. He said "Hi!" and with that, a gust of wind made the entire lower half of my dress fly open, revealing God knows what. So... I'll be watching Missed Connections for my wedding proposal.

In related news, Melissa is getting married on Saturday and I am her Maid of Honor. Leading up to this wedding, we've spent a lot of time running around, buying decorations, getting spa treatments, and figuring out how to pull this off.

While I'm very excited for the festivities, I'm feeling the pressure to make an amazing speech. In preparation, I've been googling "Maid of Honor speech" and have discovered both a bevy of advice and tips, as well as YouTube videos.

Every single one of the internet's speech tips advise that the speech be kept brief, focused on the couple, and stay highly appropriate. Every single one of the internet videos involves a choreographed dance. Since neither of these options appeal to me, I'm a bit stumped.

Maybe I could just flash everyone...

Monday, August 12, 2013

touring san francisco's premier bdsm porn studio. naturally...

In case you missed last week's post on Bernadette Peters at the SF Symphony, you can check it out here.

But hopefully, you won't want to miss this wee's Tourist Trapped, in which we take a tour of, a collection of BDSM porn websites with studios in the historic Armory Building. Seriously, I've posted a gallery and everything. It's pretty PG-13, but I've got the X-Rated photo of my phone, so, you know, I'll totally text them to you.

Up now on SFGate...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

you don't have a gun, do you...

Today's Tourist Trapped finally made it up, and in this week's episode, I actually find a (wait for it) TRAPPED TOURIST! Naturally, I got nosey and involved. Did I end up dead, or with a new friend from Georgia. Find out on today's SFGate Culture Blog...

don't call me sweetheart, honeybun...

My brother Alex posted this on my Facebook timeline with the question, "Why did you want that rhubarb so bad?"
 Halloween costume found...

Monday, July 29, 2013

freaks and geeks...

I almost didn't go. I was at the Craft Fair with Blair, Keri, and John and I thought to myself, 'There's that Young Democrats vs. Young Republicans dodgeball thing starting right now. I could probably make that...ugh.'

I decided to drive by and see if anyone showed up. If it looked weird enough, I would nervously venture in to hide in the bleachers, take a few photos, and leave. Turns out, the SFYD vs. SFYR dodgeball game was so bizarre, a young republican got into a screaming match with a member of the Board of Supervisors. Don't worry. I got a photo.

It's all up now, over on SFGate.

Also, my father chastised me for failing to post last week's Tourist Trapped on this blog, because I have been neglecting this blog, and I am sorry. I went to Applebee's at Fisherman's Wharf! Read all about it on the Culture Blog...

Monday, July 15, 2013

blair just got in a screaming match in safeway and it was amazing...

Innocently enough, Blair and I went to go get a snack and hit up Safeway. As we walked into the notoriously janky Safeway location on Jackson Square, an obviously HIGH ON DRUGS man was yelling and shoving a gentleman outside. He then went inside Safeway and started screaming at no one in particular, shouting something about "This is America!" Blair seems to think he was yelling at tourists.

Blair then marched off to find some lettuce. The man was still screaming to shocked stares, so naturally I went to go join the starers. No one at Safeway was doing anything to stop the crazy screamer, and nearly everyone just stopped and watched his outburst wondering what would happen next.

The next thing I knew, Blair stormed past me and walked up to the screamed. "YOU NEED TO GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE! Go on! Get out! No one wants to hear you!"

The screamer was kind of dumbfounded for a moment, and then began grumbling at Blair. So she continued, "Get the fuck out! Go! Leave!" She then swirled around and stormed away, back towards me.

"Oh my God, Blair. I cannot believe you just yelled at that crazy person." I hissed.

But before she could respond, the screamer started up again. So back Blair went. "GET. THE. FUCK. OUT. No one wants to hear you! Go! Get the fuck out! Seriously! LEAVE!"

The people that weren't staring before were staring now.

The screamer actually left, or as Blair later put it, "It worked." But at the moment, I was nervously laughing, trying to catch up with Blair as she marched all over Safeway shopping, and saying, "Blair! You cannot yell at crazy people!"

Blair stopped selecting cereal bars and turned to look at me. "You never let me have any fun..."

Monday, July 08, 2013

tourist trapped: musee mecanique...

This weekend, we braved the oblivious crowds at Fisherman's Wharf and checked out the wonderful Musee Mecanique. Read all about it on today's SFGate Tourist Trapped...

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

gavin photos, gavin photos, gavin photos...

I missed Pride this year, but thanks to the fabulous skills of Bill Wilson, I could be there through the magic of photography. My caption gallery of politicians schmoozing at Pride is up over at SFGate. Please go click on thru...

Monday, July 01, 2013

one thousand four hundred and thirty dollars...

Can we just talk about this bag for a second?

The Chronicle's fabulous Style Section featured the America's Cup Louis Vuitton store offerings and I have so much to day about this, I need to count it down.

1. The America's Cup has it's own Louis Vuitton store? I love this kind of shit, and even I am wondering if this is too much.

2. No. It's not too much. Because of this $1,430 special edition LV Neverfull.

3. In case I haven't mentioned it in awhile, I am a big fan of the LV Neverfull, and currently carry a fake one around town like a tacky, tacky lady.

4. Apparently, this Louis Vuitton special SF merchandise is only avaialable for a hot second, and on a pier, making it both exclusive and shady at the same time.

5. Yes. That orange was used specifically. Because this is San Francisco and that is our color and can you IMAGINE the lustful looks you'd get on the Club Level of AT&T?

6. Fourteen hundred dollars is a ridiculous amount of money to spend on anything that carries around a thrice-read true crime book, a make-up bag, a Hobo Lauren wallet, a thing of Tylenol, an iPhone, and a weeks worth of crumpled receipts. But I do not care. I've just got to figure out where to get an extra fourteen hundred dollars.

7. I cannot believe we live in a world where some people have so many extra fourteen hundred dollarses, they will buy this bag on a whimsical "splurge."

8. I realize this bag is but a silly dream, but let's just take a moment, together, to appreciate it's magestic splendor and sophiticated celebration of the most beautiful city in the world...

Friday, June 21, 2013

i wasn't very wise to begin with...

A couple of months ago, I went to meet with the world's most adorable oral surgeon to discuss getting my wisdom teeth out. While they grew in just fine, my dentist recommended I get them out now, before they get full of cavities and while I have dental insurance. "You're actually really old to get them out."

So I went to the fabulous art deco 450 Sutter Street and met with Dr. Craig McDow who should be in movies cast as a warm and friendly 1920's baseball coach. He's a winker. Anyway, during our consultation, I was sitting in one of his examination rooms and asking lots of questions about my "oral surgery." Having filled out tons of paperwork details my physical stats and medical history, I started asking Dr. McDow about the process of "going under." I wanted to be fully anesthetized when they chopped my head open. I had lots of dumb questions.

"I saw this 20/20 where people were supposed to be unconscious but they could still feel everything. They were just paralyzed and couldn't move. How do you make sure I'll be all the way out?"

Dr. McDow looked at my paperwork. "Well, we just base it on your weight."

I froze. "Um, I'm going to need that paperwork back."

Today, my mother picked me up and we drove to 450 Sutter for what I am dramatically referring to as "MY SURGERY." I forked over $500 ($250 anesthesia addition which was generously funded by Mrs. Spotswood who didn't want to deal with the aftermath of my being awake through MY SURGERY) and was brought into a whole separate hospital-y section of Dr. McDow's office on the 11th floor. I was taken to a bathroom and told to put my hoodie and handbag in a locker. I then put on a hospital gown, a shower-cap-type hospital hat, and shoe slippers, all in hospital blue. I was, after all, having SURGERY.

I emerged from the bathroom to find a man laying on a gurney with tissue sticking out of his mouth. We made eye contact so I asked, "How bad is it?"

"With-oo too? Nah bah." He gave me a thumbs up.

Linda took me to the back corner surgery room overlooking all of downtown San Francisco saying, "He just had two teeth out. You know, I think you two are just about the same age." Fantastic! We will be like Liz Lemon and Wesley Snipes agreeing to marry in the post-surgery recovery room.

Linda and another clinician hooked me up to an IV. There was a little plastic cup taped to the side of the tool table, and when I mentioned that I wanted to keep my teeth, Linda took out a Sharpee and wrote "SAVE" on the cup. Then Dr. McDow showed up, teased me in a 1920's warm and friendly baseball coach kinda way, and clicked on the IV drip. Right away, we started to have one of those awkward conversations where I could tell they were just wanting for me to pass out, and my nerves kicked in. Would I feel my eyes closing, what if it wasn't enough, what if they started too soon?

The last thing I remember is instinctively trying to hide my slurring (not an act with which I am unfamiliar). Then, I felt in what seemed like a dream, one tooth slide out perfectly and my trying to say, "Wait, don't start yet." It was 40 minutes later, and my mouth was full of gauze. I couldn't believe it. Anesthesia is no joke, and totally worked. It took me 10 solid minutes to marvel at the pharmaceutical miracle of it all.

Seeing I was awake, Dr. McDow kissed me on top of the head (I am 90% sure this really happened and I loved it.) I was walked to a gurney in the hospital section waiting room, where Wesley Snipes was gone. I lay on a gurney feeling pretty alert when Dr. McDow walked my mother in while telling her how young she looks. He then made some appropriate but funny jokes about Michael Jackson and anesthesia, and I tried to chime which was nearly impossible. The whole lower section of my face and entire tongue was completely numb, and tons of gauze was shoved in my throat.

Everyone seemed pretty surprised I had no trouble walking around. After 30 minutes and a couple of impressive trips up and down the hallway, it was agreed I could leave with some painkillers, some gauze, ice packs, an old time-y toothache headband, and my surprisingly disgusting wisdom teeth.

I was home by 12:30 and my mother stayed with my all day. We watched Law & Order SVU ("Everyone on this show makes their exit while screaming") and Kitchen Nightmares, about a soul food restaurant in Pittsburgh where my mother was "on Marissa's side." Mom was a real trooper, crushing up my painkillers and sprinkling it over a beautifully presented bowl of yogurt. She'd take my bloody gauze, and wrap ice packs around my face with the toothache headband. When mom complained that her feet were getting cold, I offered her my Uggs, a shoe choice she's previously mocked.

"Ooohhhh!" She looked at me as she slid them on. "These are nice!"

Mom is now gone, having worked a 12-hour day as my caregiver and discovering that it's "kind of fun sitting around and watching TV all day!" Hell, that's what I'll be doing all weekend. I've figured out that one painkiller lasts almost 3 hours, I have Eve's Hulu Plus password, and this might be the biggest jinx in oral surgery history, but I predict I'll be back to normal by Sunday night, normal being relative and all...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

she iced you out...

If you're not sick of me rambling on about my BIZARRE experience seeing Long Island Medium Live in Stockton, check out my chat with 99.7 NOW's Fernando & Greg this morning. They tried to get LIM on their show, and she refused, so they got me. BOOM!

You can listen in HERE...

Also, check out my first article ever for San Francisco Magazine. It's in the July Issue, and also on the internet because everything is on the internet. The article is hopefully funny and about Silicon Valley still talks down to women, although apparently one of the examples I used was a joke. What? Shit! Scandal!

And finally, this Monday (June 24) is Porchlight's Open Mic at the Hemlock Tavern. Show up by 7pm to tell us a story. The theme this month is IMPOSTER, stories of Lies, Deception, and Trickery. You know you've got one of those. Swing by, pay $5 and just watch, or share a 5-minute story and get a free drink. I will have just gotten my wisdom teeth out, so if nothing else, you can mock my squirrel cheeks...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

i like that the bus was going to stonestown...

Want to see some legit old school San Francisco Muni/dad-nerd shit? I present to you THIS masterpiece, from 1974:
Apparently this image comes from a closed Facebook group called Muni Macks (I have not asked to join because, well...). This was my father's first ever official political race, for BART Director in the 1st District (Marina-Richmond) in 1974, which he did not win. He was 27 years old...

Monday, June 17, 2013

maybe she was distracted by the samba music...

Last night was the Miss USA pageant, and Miss Utah's answer to Nene Leakes' question has gone viral. Please admire this amazing spectacle:

Hosted by E!'s Giuliana Ransic and what appears to be a Jonas Brother, I had to hold myself up from overstimulation before we even got to the fact that Real Housewife of Atlanta Nene Leakes is fit to judge anything. Like Nene has any idea what the hell she was even asking. Anyway, "Utah" as Giuliana called her, gave a super dumb answer, and the world is freaking out that a pageant broad might be incredibly dumb and unable to think on her feet.

You know what is overwhelming me? That Giuliana is wearing the Peaches 'N Cream Barbie dress from the 80s! Memories have come flooding back! That dress (with its matching ruffled wrap) was my most prized possession for years. Maybe Giuliana loved the Peaches 'N Cream Babs as much as me...

knives, special pants, and meat...

Catherine and Brian joined me at a Brazilian Steakhouse, where we discovered how one properly holds tongs to receive meat from a Brazilian cowboy. That's right. I said it. Up now, on SFGate...

Monday, June 10, 2013

have you ever seen so many divas in a row...

Because I am a SAINT, I called my parents last night to benevolently fill them in on all of my accomplishments and activities. My mother breathlessly answered the phone, "Hello???"

"Hi Mom."

"Are you watching?"

"Watching what?"

"THE TONYS." She yelled it, done with me, over me, sick of me. My mother loves New York. My father loves excitement. In their relative retirement, my parents spend a lot of time in Manhattan. They sublet an apartment in Greenwich Village every Spring, they go to lectures, my mother goes to yoga, she has her "New York friend", and my folks see every Broadway and off-Broadway show they can. My mom's been on-stage at The Moth and she gushed at Philip Seymore Hoffman in the elevator at his own opening night. They are, as my mother likes to think, kind-of New Yorkers, blowing any inheritance they might leave their children on seeing David Hyde Pierce in "Curtains" repeatedly.

My parents no longer give a shit about long-term care or responsible planning. They want to go to The Big Apple as often as possible, and if they need to sell an organ on the black market, so be it. Some people are into French stuff, some people are into giraffe figurines, and my parents are into New York City.

A few years ago, they actually went to the Tonys, tux and sequins in the last row, paying a fortune and calling in a favor. As a result, in my family home, the Tonys are bigger than the Oscars. I find this blasphemous.

My mother handed the giant grey portable TV Room phone to my father. He'd take my call. "Hold on, Bethy, we just need to see who wins this one." He had a whole "side" he was on, a Broadway side. I could hear the TV in the background. "And the winner is..." Screams, yells. My mother may have thrown something.

"I've moved to the bedroom." My father confessed. "Mommy's watching the Tony's." He revealed that they'd dined on some sort of fish "flown in from Tokyo" for the occasion, cooked it, and brought it up on trays to the TV Room for the big show.

I started in on the kinds of things one tells one's parents. "So I had my review at work..."

"You know, we saw Kinky Boots with Ron and Rick."

"Yeah, Rick told me." My parents' gays tell me everything. Duh.

"And Mom didn't think she'd like it but we both loved it. We really had the best night."

I tried again. "Okay well, I saw a psychic in Stockton."

"And also, we saw Cicely Tyson, and Bethy, this WAS LIVE THEATER. I just got INTO IT."

I finally found the one thing that will make my parents toss up their hands and say "Kids? What kids?"

The Tony Awards. Fine. Watch your show. See which HOME you end up in.

This morning, I caught up on Tony host Neil Patrick Harris' opening performance.
Well, shit. Okay, I get it now:

Friday, June 07, 2013

red carpet interviews from the glaad media awards...

It's finally here! Last month, I headed down to the GLAAD Media Awards with the very patient Jonathan, a videograher from Drew Altizer and SFWire. We interviewed celebrities (including Gavin Newsom AND Real Housewife Kyle Richards, naturally). My favorite of all the interviews, I have to admit, was my chat with Peter Paige, who has a new TV show he's producing for ABC Family called, "The Fosters." But really, to me, he is Emmett Honeycutt from 'Queer As Folk'.

Red carpet walks are touch because all sorts of people are being ushered down the line by publicists, and the publicist says, "Do you want to chat with Random Steve, who no one's ever heard of?" No, no. I want to talk to Scary Spice, please. And you've got to sort of GRAB, literally, the celebrity you want. Obviously, all the press people want the same big name celebrity people... but as soon as I saw him, I was like, "EMMETT!!!!!" And would that I could have, I'd have spent the entire night with him. You have to watch the entire under-3 minute video to see out sweet goodbye. Gavin Newson, on the other hand, less warm.

Watch it over at SFWIRE...

Monday, June 03, 2013

tourist trapped: st. helena sleepover...

You don't need wine in wine country. Because I discovered two incredible, unexpected, and magical inventions in St. Helena last weekend. And I reveal them on today's Tourist Trapped. Up now on SFGate...

Sunday, June 02, 2013

ain't no party like the west coast party...

I spent much of today helping a friend pick out wedding invitations. As we looked through the massive books of invite options, I became fixated with the glitter and the glitz of the bat mitzvah invitations.

Pure pink glitter lining the envelopes? This is a thing?!?!

I had to text my mother a photo of the most glittery invitation to a 13-year old's party. "I never had this."

 My phone glowed back. "You got a First Communion and a Confirmation. Also, we were not rich. We do not have a loft."

 These are fair points. However, pink glitter? Fuck college. Let's spend your money now.

This evening, my mother scanned and emailed me my First Communion photo. This is the first time I really saw myself as an adult in a photo from my childhood. That's me. That's my look at a camera at a family member, my embarrassing hair, and my high-necked dress that seemed like a good idea when we tried it on. That is me, trying really, really hard and not quite making it, because I am too big, too aware that I'm being photographed, and too me all over. I'm amazed someone loved me enough to take a photo.

I can identify all of the kids in this photo. And I can tell you that, according to my mother, just like the children were arranged by height, families were arranged. So my parents, grandparents, and Kate's family weren't even in the last row of church. They were in FOLDING CHAIRS behind the last row of church. I was that Godzilla-esque. My entire family had to pay the consequences for my huge 9-year old bones, knocking over church pews like in a monster in a movie trailer.

My world then was entirely St. Patrick's grammar school in Larkspur California. Anything outside of a champagne-colored minivan and an appreciation of 'savings bonds for college a birthday present' was exotic. And now, looking back 25 years later, I am PISSED that I never got an invitation with my name in a fun font, mentioning a loft and glitter. Pink glitter. Event here, reception at a separate location. Gifts on an 8-foot rented table here. There was a whole other world of glamour which I was denied.

In retrospect, it wasn't all that horrible. I can still remember the thrill of my Confirmation party, attended by 11 people. My "Da" and his lady-friend gave me a Discman. A Discman! At the time and in my palazzo-pant jumpsuit... it seemed like a pretty big day. But still, glitter was not involved at all...

Friday, May 31, 2013

i think maybe it was the title...

I almost posted this here last night, but then decided it might be good for a Culture Blog post. Unsurprisingly, "Old People At The Movies" is getting a few angry comments, although none as spectacular as yesterday's letter to the editor. Please enjoy (or hate) it over at SFGate!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

you know i love every word of this...

This is how you TROLL.

I want to go find Ms. Mayfield, who is a FLORAL DESIGNER who doesn't think women should serve in combat, and give her a big, low class hug. My mother, however, might need to be physically restrained.

THIS was the original article, should you wish to read something 'very ordinary.'
Uplift! Enrich! Max Planck!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"this was so much better when I was 15..."

On this week's Tourist Trapped, Kate and I head to Great America, where we share an amazing and exciting 20 minutes. And then 2 and a half hours of hell. Up now, on SFGate!

so excited, then 60 seconds later, over it.

Monday, May 27, 2013

did you ever work in food service...

I, myself, have not. Yet. But I do have a story about serving food at a homeless shelter with my dad that I might tell tonight. Because it's Porchlught Storytelling Series Open mic tonight at the Hemlock Tavern, on Polk and Sutter!

$5 gets you in the door, sign up and tell a story for both the glory, and for a free drink. Or hang out and listen. We start at 7; you have a few hours to watch Behind the Candelabra, so we can discuss while smoking on the sidewalk...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

twenty three skidoo...

Too many of the best phrases have died off, only to be given their last breaths by my father who uses these phrases with abandon. Last night at family birthday dinner, Alex offered some funny idea and my father screamed across Spruce, "Now that's got legs!"

I spent the next 45 minutes thinking of all the times I'm going to use, "Now that's got legs!" before my parents started describing seeing "A Trip To Bountiful" in New York. On and on, they went about Cicely Tyson, raving about her performance. My mother leaned across my father, "The New York Times said she was 88."

"Twice!" My father added.

"But Wikipedia says she is 79." My mother sat back in her chair, somehow more pleased with Wikipedia's version of Cicely Tyson.

And then with great flair and enthusiasm, my father boomed, "If Cicely Tyson is 88, (indignant pause), Katie bar the door."

Katie bar the door? What the hell is Katie bar the door?

"Look it up!" My father has recently discovered that one can use one's smartphone to access the internet immediately. Anytime he is questioned on anything, his answer is, "Google it." He walks around town saying, "That's got legs! Katie bar the door! Google it!"

I googled and and read the (now preferred) Wikipedia entry to the table.

Legend has it (oohs and ahhs from the table) that during the King's (James the 1st of Scotland) stay at a Dominican chapterhouse in Perth in 1437, a group of men led by Sir Robert Graham came to the door searching for the King in order to kill him. The King's Chamberlain, Robert Stewart, Master of Atholl (ooh, ahh), aware of the plot against his life, had taken the precaution of removing the bolt from the door of the room in which James and his queen were staying. James fled into a sewer tunnel as the queen and her ladies quickly replaced the floorboards to hide his location. Catherine sprang to the door and placed her arm through the staples to bar the assassins' entrance. However, they forced the door open anyway, breaking Catherine's arm, and discovered and killed the King. From that point on, according to the story, Catherine took the surname of "Barlass". Dante Gabriel Rossetti recounted the story of Catherine Douglas in verse in 1881, under the title "The King's Tragedy". This poem contains the line "Catherine, keep the door!" - possibly the origin of the idiomatic phrase "Katy, bar the door!" (a warning of the approach of trouble).

Our entire section of the restaurant really enjoyed that story, including our fabulous server who managed to work in "Katie bar the door" every time he brought something to the table. But it begs the question of my father, who had admittedly just given us all a really cool phrase to use, why is Cicely Tyson being 88 a warning of the approach of trouble? He just tosses around "Katie bar the door" as more of an, "Well then I just don't know what."

"She broke her arm?" My brother said. "Nice work Katie. James is dead. They should change that phrase to, 'Katie drink some milk.'"

*the New York Times also has some answers on "Katie bar the door" but they said Cicely Tyson was 88, so...

Monday, May 20, 2013

i feel very tiger beat about the whole thing...

I discovered Fever Ray while watching 'The Following", which is a Kevin Bacon TV-show that I watched and discussed with my friend Eve. So in one scene, the TV-show had this super intense song which I Shazamed and downloaded, and then discovered was the theme to the History Channel's show, "The Vikings." It's the History Channel's first scripted show and I have not watched it. But I will. Wanna know why?


Needless to say, I looked him up. His name is Travis Fimmel, he is Australian, he is THE LOVE OF MY LIFE. Here is an interview with him at ComicCon, and let me just say, for the record, I am no longer a 13-year old girl swooning over dudes. But this is... I mean, I just... You guys:


chips and dip is the name of our band...

I like to go to all the cool restaurants because I am an insecure person who validates herself by saying things like, "Oh, I've totally been there. Did you try the duck?"

I have been waiting for TWO YEARS to go to Frances, a casual yet very impossible restaurant to get into in the Castro, and finally decided I'd just go on Open Table, find the next reservation, and take it. Lo and behold, there was a 5pm dinner open last night. I had to hold it with a credit card, and texted Melissa, "We are going to an early dinner tomorrow at Frances. Please pretend you know this is a big deal."

Let me tell you about Frances! First of all, I am two years behind the times and it is embarrassing that I'm just going to Frances. Who cares, you've all already been there. Second of all, they have chips and dip. I repeat, they have fancy, organic, local chips and dip.

The chips were long, seeded crackers and the dip was basically really onion-y sour cream. There was way more chip than dip and the two of us devoured the whole thing. Our server, Jake Gyllenhaal, offered to bring us more chips. "Oh, no thank you. We're just eating the dip with a spoon. You have chips and dip!"

We also got chick pea "Frech fries" which Jake called "frites", spinach soup, maple bacon begniets (Mel is a vegetarian, so...), gnocchi with walnuts, and leek gratin with blue cheese. We did not order any entrees because the sides looked so good, and one of the things that happens when you turn 30 is that you don't care anymore. They had leek gratin. I'll have 8 of those, thank you. Please bring it to me and then look away.

We timed it, and it took 34 minutes before Melissa and I started in with the, "So, I sent this really embarrassing email. I need you to look at this thing on my back. You have to go along with the following lie." And I realized I wasted my fancy reservation at Frances, because when I'm with Melissa, I could be at a Shoney's and die of giggles. We did not talk about food. We talked about my most recent guy and our parents and big work plans and our trip to Atlanta and the fact that I cut off all my hair. (I cut off all my hair.)

I can say anything to my best friend. I've tested this. I could say, "So, I killed a guy and he's in an oil drum in the back yard" and Melissa would lean forward, "I wanna see. Do you need my credit cards? I actually know a guy who sells lye." She's automatically on my side, without judgement, ever.

Melissa does not care that there is $7 chips and dip. And I have learned, there is no point in my keeping anything from her, ever. We walked to my car and Melissa grabbed me. "Don't think I didn't see Jake Gyllenhaal wink at you. He WINKED, Bethy."

"I KNOW." I said. "I thought it was our own little moment."

"Uh, no. I saw the whole thing." And Melissa, who ran the Bay to Breakers at 7am, saw a wink, filed it away, ate some chips and dip, and pretended to care about a gratin, let go of my arm. She got in my car and knew when to go in a liquor store to buy me cigarettes. We've become fake characters in a novel at this point, we are so ridiculously in sync. Readers are like, "This is bullshit."

Anyway, I went to fucking Frances finally. Melissa came with me. We had chips and dip...

Thursday, May 16, 2013

"it's for a friend..."

Last night, Sally, Brock and I decided to go to Trader Joe's. This was in addition to other fun things. We don't just go to grocery stores together and then home. As we drove over, we were each listing off the things we wanted to buy at Trader Joe's, and Sally finally confessed, "I need toilet paper."
We all agreed that toilet paper is very embarrassing to buy.

Present company excepted, everyone pees and poops, right? I mean, I don't. You don't. Sally and Brock certainly don't. But most gross people do. There should be nothing embarrassing about buying toilet paper. Yet Sally and Brock were freaking out, "Well, who's going to hold it when we walk out of the store? Not me. I don't want to hold it. You KNOW they won't put it in a bag."

That's true. Toilet paper never goes in a shopping bag. It must be carried and displayed like a neon sign announcing, "This is for my poo, folks! This is for numbers 1 and 2. Please picture me on a toilet because it is such a sure thing, I am preemptively buying a special product for just that."

"It's worse if you're a guy." Sally said in the trail mix aisle. "Because then it's just for number 2."

"It's for a friend."
Then began a heated discussion on men being kind of into pooping. Not necessarily proud of it,  it's like an official part of their day, one that requires smartphones and magazines attend. It is not that way for women, or so I've heard. Again, I do not use restrooms for anything other than checking my hair.

We dropped Sally off, screaming out the window, "Have fun with your toilet paper! Which you're going to use on the toilet!" Her neighbor was there, helping her with her bags. He was nervously shooting us the side-eyes as Brock and I yelled the words "poo" and "pee" across Nob Hill. And he was kinda awkward not because Brock and I are idiot children with some serious bathroom issues. But because Sally bought toilet paper, and that is totally embarrassing...

Monday, May 13, 2013

"they haven’t quite gotten this taste profile down..."

Not that Brock and I don't go here once a year, but on today's SFGate Tourist Trapped, Blair, Keri, John, and I head down to Chili's, where we discover a popular accessory, sugar-hot sauce, and how much Ranch is too much Ranch. Eat it up over on the Culture Blog...