Sunday, July 31, 2005

screw this...

Amanda and I made plans to go out last night, so I got dolled up and drove over to her and Joe’s apartment. Joe was still at work, Alex was at some work party and Alec would be joining us later. Thus, Mandy and I entertained ourselves by reading Vegas Magazine and dancing in the living room.
After an eternity, Alex arrived, then Joe, then Alec. We all began walking down Oak Street to Divis, planning on drinking some infused vodkas at Madrone. All of a sudden, a sharp instrument stabs me in the foot. I scream rather loudly and uncontrollably as I remove my flip flop. A large and probably contaminated screw has gone all the way through my flip flop and pierced me in the middle of the bottom of my foot, a la Jesus.
My peeps gather around, fascinated by a huge screw driven directly through the middle of my flop. Alec repeatedly assured me that I was probably fine, nothing to worry about, but here’s the screw just in case the emergency personnel ask to see it. I limped the rest of the way to Madrone, and dabbed a little vodka on my wound just in case.
Joe announced that the name of today’s blog had to be “Screw this!” as we jammed to the amazing DJ. I don’t often get really into someone’s spinning talents, but this guy was amazing, mixing Tears for Fears with Run DMC. We enjoyed the scene at Madrone for awhile and then decided we needed a change of pace so we followed Joe to Fly Bar.
I had never been to Fly Bar before, but let me just say, thumbs down. A middle aged construction worker and a woman in reverse fit jeans were dry humping in the corner, a collection of nerds were playing pool in the back, congratulating themselves by clinking pool cues, and my wine was served to me in a very large shot glass. Fly Bar is like Chuck E. Cheese for grownups.
We split, but only after Joe and Alec watched me get hit on by a 50-something jazz musician, much to their amusement. Next, we thought we’d check out Lion Pub. As that bar was a good 10 blocks away, there was no way we were walking. It was windy, Amanda’s in 4” wedges, and I have tetanus. So we immediately hailed a cab. As the taxi pulled up to all 5 of us, this dreadful cow in horizontal stripes runs up and opens the door, attempting to steal our cab. Met with a choir of “Hell no!”, I pushed the bitch out of my way and we all dived in the cab, Joe and Alex continuing to scream at her. Dreadful cow stood there looking horrible and stupid and to no one in particular said, “What a bunch of psychos.”
That cracked us up to no end.
Lion Pub was of course packed with an array of roofie-possessing frat boys and scantily clad women in unoriginal outfits. I think somewhere on my way to and from the bathroom, as I pushed my way past the hundreds of people crammed in this place, I got either pregnant or herpes. Possibly both.
So, just to recap, over the course of 3 hours, I infected myself with tetanus, an STD from the 70’s, and a child who will never know his father. It was time to go home…

Thursday, July 28, 2005

you should go to this...

Not only will you get to see three whole minutes of Spots comedy, but I'll be wearing my new leopard print cardigan, which I'm realy excited about...

god bless polygamy...

I was reading SFgate this morning, of course, and there was an article about Steve Young, former object of my affections and 49ers Quarterback. During a low point in my life, before I received the prophecy that I’m meant to be with Gavin Newsom, I was rather enamored with this strange Mormon.
At my previous place of employment, I would often get to meet celebrities of varying levels of fame and once met Steve.
Let me just say, sparks flew.
He arrived backstage with his “wife” to meet the cast, and as 3D was in charge that day, Steve was also introduced to the crew.
3D: This is Beth, she’s in charge of all the costumes.
Beth: Hi, it’s fabulous to meet you.
Steve: (very intense eye contact) Beth! What’s up! Great job. Those were some fast costume changes. (still holding onto my hand.)
Beth: Yeah, we hustle pretty hard. You’d know all about that.
Steve: (immense and uncontrollable laughter.) Yeah!
Oh my god. Hello? We were practically having sex in front of everyone, the tension was so marvelous. After being introduced to the staff, and having very boring conversations with everyone but me, Steve asked some questions, managing to work in my name TWICE. I immediately sensed that his wife wanted to kill me, and rightly so. I mean, her husband had clearly fallen in love with me in a matter of minutes.
When it was time for Steve to depart, he went around again and said goodbye to everyone, grabbing my hand one last time, piercing my soul with his striking blue eyes, and saying my name for a fourth and final time. My knees buckled as I looked up at him, his massive and highly insured muscles gripping my fingers with an unspoken passion I’d never experienced.
As he left, I waited for a huge reaction from my coworkers, dishing and dissecting the amazing and blatant attraction between us. But they pretended not to notice, and dispersed immediately. Jealous bitches…

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

hey there, shortcake...

Last night, we had a bunch of friends over for booze and strawberry shortcake. A random collection arrived, including Benji, 3D and Rigazzi. It was awesome. Thus, I awoke this morning hung-over and late for work. I threw some leftover strawberries in a bag, left Benji in the watchful care of Zoe and ran out the door.
Along Lombard, I was delayed by red light after red light. It took me forever to maneuver my way through the Marina and I was beginning to get stressed. I dug through my pile of crap on the passenger seat and found my strawberries, throwing the stems out the window as I ate them.
All of a sudden, I hear, “Excuse me!”
A totally and completely hot guy in the Beamer next to me had rolled down his window and was trying to get my attention. Fabulous! I could already see us at our rehearsal dinner, telling the wacky story of how we met, side by side on Lombard Street.
Delighted, I checked my teeth for strawberry residue, tossed another stem, leaned out the window and smiled. “Hi!”
“Yeah, hi. I don’t want to be an asshole or anything. I just want to say, that’s completely disgusting.”
Oh my god. First of all, how embarrassing. I died sitting in Rhonda the Honda, having no witty retort and no justification. I completely agree. If it were somebody else’s stems, I’d be grossed out too. He sped off before I could explain myself and give him my number, but for the record, they’re completely biodegradable and it’s not like I was tossing Styrofoam cups or old paint thinner. They were strawberry stems!
Deflated and horrified, I drove to work guiltily placing my remaining stems in an old Safeway bag, shocked at how quickly our relationship fell apart. While I’m totally embarrassed, I am none the less confident that hot stem hater will reconsider his harsh words, place a Craigslist Missed Connection and take me to Jardiniere for strawberries and Stags’ Leap…

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

i still need to select an alternate...

We’re all familiar with the celebrity Top 5, right? I’m not sure where it originated, although I believe an episode of Friends is responsible, but one’s Celebrity Top 5 is a list of celebrities you’re allowed to sleep with, irrespective of any romantic commitments, should you have the opportunity. For a while there, my friends and I took our Celeb Top 5 lists so seriously, that to make a change, we’d have to consult each other. That fervor has since passed, but I still keep a little list going at all times and today, I’d like to switch someone out.
As of today, here is Spot’s Celebrity Top 5 in order of preference:
1. Michael Madsen (I mean it. Numero Uno.)
2. George Clooney
3. Vince Vaughn
4. Roberto Benigni (For unexplainable personal reasons. Don’t ask.)
5. And let’s welcome Colin Quinn and say so long to Sean Penn, who’s both short and kind of an uptight asshole.

Monday, July 25, 2005

don't sweat it...

I went to the gym this morning before work. I know. I know. Unheard of. But I’ve got a meeting after work and I figured I’d just go in and crank it out, hardcore. (That’s Zoe’s gym terminology, not mine.)
I have two gyms, believe it or not. You’d think I’d be thinner. One right by my house and one right by work. The one by work is my parent’s gym and during the day is filled with a collection of trophy wives in designer athletic apparel and elderly locals working out in khakis and collared shirts. Each gym has entirely different gym etiquette and I generally abide by the highly unhygienic 24 Hour Fitness Rules. Apparently, that doesn’t fly in Mill Valley.
So here I am this morning, plugging away on the elliptical trainer, watching Maury Povitch while reading People and suddenly, I notice a commotion near the stairmasters. Apparently, one blonde with an appallingly huge diamond ring started shit with another blonde sporting an even bigger rock. I attempted to disguise my delight as I tuned down the volume of Maury and tuned into the catfight going on mere feet away.
“Are you out of your mind? Leaving a machine like that. It’s covered in sweat. Are we all supposed work out drenched in YOUR sweat?”
“If you could wait, like 4 minutes, I’ll go get my god damn towel.”
“I hope you’re planning on using the provided antibacterial spray.”
“Are you the gym Nazi? I didn’t realize my workout was being monitored.”
It is at this point that the sweater pushes her way past the Nazi and grabs some paper towels and antibacterial spray. For a brief moment, I thought she might actually spray the Nazi with the highly toxic solution and held my breath, hoping for fisticuffs. No such luck, as she sprayed the entire stairmaster and with great dramatic flair, wiped it down under the watchful eye of the Nazi.
The Nazi smiled at her immense control over the sweater. “Thank you.”
“You know, there were millions of better ways to handle that situation. I’m sorry you felt it necessary to choose the rudest.”
Ohhhh. I liked that. By this time, a mildly interested audience (in addition to myself) had tuned in. An older gentleman sporting a terry headband on the elliptical next to me leaned over and rolled his eyes. “She does this every other day. I think we all need to lighten up a little.”
Right on, old timer. That being said, as soon as I was done, I grabbed some towels and antibacterial spray and made that trainer shine…

Sunday, July 24, 2005

someone else needs a haircut...

I had nothing to do last night. Not one thing on a Saturday night. So I called Joe. He was still trapped at work, hocking Manolos to the socialites, but told me to call his boyfriend, Alec, because he wanted us to become best friends. Uh, okay.
An hour later, I was sitting with Alec atop Madjool, the new trendy rooftop bar mere blocks away from my house. We sipped our mojitos, cursed the shitty waiter and gawked at the insane scene going on before us. Everyone looked perfect and was taking themselves way too seriously. We were over it, so we called Joe and announced we’d be picking him up from work and going somewhere else.
Alec and I walked to the car and headed downtown, swinging by Nordstrom’s to pick up Joe and dear Gia, who needed a ride home. Fabulous. Love Gia. So the four of us are driving along, minding our own business, having a lovely little conversation as we drive through the Tenderloin. From the backseat, Joe suddenly screams, “What’s that!?!”
There, in the middle of the street, on MY side of the car, was a woman who at first glance appeared to be wearing a bikini and moon boots. Everything seemed to go in slow motion as we realized she was sporting a mere bra and her pants were around her ankles. One hand scratched her filthy head while the other, and I don’t really know how to type this, twirled her vast expanse of pubic hair. She was covered in bruises and obviously so cracked on, she had no idea where she was or what she was doing, but that didn’t stop an elderly Filipino man from screaming at her to put some clothes on.
Stunned into silence, we slowly passed this scene which could easily have been part of a David LaChappelle photo shoot, until Joe demanded that we go around the block so as to witness the spectacle again. We responded with three hearty, “No!”s, as we headed home to Joe’s in the Haight. In a miraculous twist, we discovered parking right in front of the building. There we found an equally disturbing scene. On one side of Joe’s apartment stood his neighbor smoking weed while wearing tiny bike shorts and a mesh tank top. On the other side, I swear to god, was a gentleman prepping his arm to shoot up heroin.
“Oh my god, that guy’s doing smack. He’s doing smack right fucking there!”
Perhaps suffering performance anxiety with his new audience, the heroin guy gets up and stumbles up the sidewalk, a large hunting knife dangling from his belt.
“Jesus Christ. God Bless San Francisco.”
We bid Gia adieu and let Joe get out of his suit and tie before headed out to Polk Street. We ended up at O’Reilly’s Holy Grail, which is fabulous. I mean it. I really dig this place. It’s decked out all old school, an old medieval cathedral meets fancy restaurant and bar. There was a piano player busting out the Broadway hits and an eclectic mix of clientele. Plus, really great lighting.
“Stop checking out your hair, Beth! My god, I’ve never seen her so happy. You totally love this place.”
We decided to wander down the street to find food, none of us happy with our choice of El Super Burrito. I ordered a chicken quesidilla, which isn’t that hard to screw up. I received one flour tortilla with cheese on it, covered in red sauce, green sauce, and white sauce (we assumed it was the obvious guacamole, sour cream and salsa, but who fucking knows) and a pile of “chicken”, topped very delicately with another flour tortilla. I removed the top tortilla and we all stared at the pile of food.
“My stars, what is that?”
“I think it’s chicken.”
“You know what that looks like?”
“Yeah, human flesh.”
“More specifically, baby flesh.”
It did. It’s horrible and disgusting to say, and not that I’d know, but that’s exactly what it looked like. Alec and Joe’s food was equally appalling and we rapidly left and wandered across the street to Vertigo. Discovering $5 mojitos, we got comfy and soon, Alex and Sacha joined us. We regaled them with the tales of pubic hair lady, heroin junkie and baby flesh restaurant, frightening the people at the next table. By 11, we were bored with Vertigo and headed up to R Bar, which I’d never been to before and quite like. You have to be stunning to even enter the doors, although apparently there isn’t a IQ prerequisite.
Walking around alone with 4 guys is kind of like wearing a really obvious chastity belt, although much to Joe’s amusement, I flirted like crazy with the very hot bartender who hooked me up with el cheapo drinks. The place started to fill up rapidly with what appeared to be extras from the OC. I told Sacha to do a lap and find a chick, although apparently, they were all too skanky for him.
We sat on big leather chairs in the back, stunned with all we had seen in the past few hours.
“We’ve had a really big day.” Alec sighed.
“I know. I didn’t think it could get any more intense after Marie Calendar’s.”
Joe suddenly sat up straight. “Excuse me,” he said to a scantily clad passerby. “Is it a full moon?”
“Yeah, actually. It is.”
“Oh my god. I knew it. I totally knew it. That explains it, folks. A full moon. All the freaks come out during a full moon.”
“Including us…”

Friday, July 22, 2005

my hair is really, really short...

Now that the backyard is immaculate and adorable, we’ve been grilling and hosting small gatherings. It’s so fun and I love having friends over for tiny little dinner parties. Last night, Zoe, Richard, Big Chris, Alex and I dined on salmon and chicken, enjoying great wine while having charming conversations. We looked like an episode of Friends. As Zoe and Richard left to attend some house party, Big Chris nervously leaned in and said, “We’re not going to some dude’s house, right?”
“No, dear. We’re staying here and drinking.”
“Sweet! Get me another Tecate.”
Suddenly, New Chris called and showed up with some kid named Sacha, who Alex totally knows. Sacha, god bless him, just broke up with some chick and is so devastated, he lost 20 lbs. I wish that’s how I dealt with heartache. Sadly, I subscribe to the Golden Girls reaction of diving into midnight cheesecake and caftans.
I gathered the boys and took them to the Monkey Club, where Gigi bought my drinks and Sacha talked about his ex-girlfriend. I have to say, I frequently find myself surrounded by men who go through women like toilet paper, and use them in much the same manor. It was a relief to hear a guy actually upset over ending a relationship. “It’s supposed to be painful and shitty. That’s how you know you’re not an asshole.”
These words seemed to calm him.
I woke up this morning surprisingly hung-over and late for my appointment with Misty, my brilliant stylist and friend. Misty and I have been planning a big cut and color for some time. I’ve really put my hair through the ringer over the past few years and it’s time to lop it all off and start from scratch. Inspired by Blow Out, Misty and I have been compiling color options and discussing length, deciding on a rather big change.
I have just returned from 3 hours in Misty’s chair. And I have this to say:
Ho-Ly Shit.
I love it. I completely love it. But holy shit…

Thursday, July 21, 2005

top 5...

I got into a long conversation last night with someone who is completely out of touch with current pop culture. So I gave them my top 5 current entertainment favorites and now I’ll give them to you:
5. Gavin DeGraw is so marvelously cheesy and over the top. He’s a supermodel piano player and singer, he wears knit caps constantly and he’s one of those piano players that kicks the piano bench out from under him during the most intense part of the song. I love that.
4. Brat Camp is a new show on ABC in which we follow a bunch of troubled youths as they go to a wilderness rehab school. They’re guided through the winter tundras of Central Oregon by a collection of mildly attractive counselors, all of whom have names like “Fire Shaper.” My favorite episodes include when someone took a shit in the middle of the campsite which became known as the “Phantom Dookie” and they all had to have a really intense session of group to out the culprit. I also enjoy when the kids say things like, “It really fucking pissed me off when Mighty Sequoia told me I failed my drug test. That dude needs to chill.”
3. This is going to sound bizarre, but if you watch Oprah and pretend it’s a fictional comedy spoof, it’s the funniest show ever. I am completely obsessed with all things Oprah. I’ll watch anything from “Confronting your Stalker” to “In the Macrobiotic Kitchen with Gwyneth.” The best part of Oprah’s celebrity episodes is when she greets her guests with the handclasp. That’s how you know you’re really friends with Oprah, if she greets you with the double handed grasp, and then holds it in the air and shakes it. The length of the handclasp shake is entirely representative of how important the guest is. John Travolta gets a really long handclasp.
2. I think Ray LaMontagne’s album “Trouble” is the greatest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s really good to listen to if you’re depressed and feel like wandering around your house in fabulous outfits, drinking wine and pretending you’re in a movie.
1. Blow Out is hands down the best show on television right now. I don’t care what you watch, who you like, what your hair looks like. Blow Out is genius. We follow the divine antics of stylist to the stars Jonathan Antin as he runs his 2 LA salons, launches a product line and pretends he’s not gay. First of all, the guy is a fucking artist. His hair is incredible. Secondly, he cries at least 3 times an episode. I’m not kidding. I’ve counted. He’s always crying and I adore it. Finally, he surrounds himself with a fabulous cast of characters who bicker and over-accessorize and kiss Jonathan’s ass like crazy. I could watch nothing but Blow Out and live happily ever after.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

a day in the life...

It’s amazing how I’ll go weeks and do nothing interesting, and then all of a sudden, I will have the most insane day ever. That day was yesterday. After an early morning meeting in the city, I was feeling exhausted and hung-over from my mother’s extravaganza the previous night, and decided to call in sick to work. Feeling kind of gross, I decided I needed to go on a long walk around San Francisco and ended up in Chinatown.
In and out of little shops, I debated over each and every piece of crap I considered buying. I tried on Kung Fu shoes and kimonos, examined bamboo and dim sum, discovered shot glasses, mugs and mini-license plates with my name on them.
Suddenly, I found myself in front of Old Saint Mary’s Church, the very church where my folks were married 31 years ago. I wandered inside and sat down. The church was pretty empty, with a smattering of tourists at the back. A couple of elderly ladies sat across the aisle from me and an old nun, straight out of central casting, lit candles in the corner. All of a sudden, a janitor wheeled out a piano and a violin and 2 musicians appeared. For an hour, the four of us (old ladies, nun and me) were treated to a classical music concert in the middle of a church in the middle of the day in the middle of Chinatown.
I walked back to my car and called Joe to see what he was doing, hoping he’d join me at the movies or come over to watch Blow Out. He insisted I meet him and his boyfriend Alec for lunch. They’d rally Amanda and we’d all rendezvous at the California Pizza Kitchen on Van Ness. Uh, okay.
Over lunch, we debated how to spend the rest of our day. Joe and Itty wanted to experience the most “suburban” afternoon ever, hitting Target and Sizzler to make fun of the regular people. After all, we’d already experienced CPK. Alec and I wanted to sip Chardonnay and poke through designer stores. As a compromise, we ripped up little pieces of paper, wrote down our afternoon excursion idea, and threw them all in a take-out container. The plan was to do whichever activity we picked, regardless. This didn’t happen. With each selection, at least two of our four refused, from sandcastle building (me) to Marine World (Joe) to wine-tasting (Alec). We decided on board games and beer and headed back to Joe and Itty’s apartment.
We ended up sitting around on couches, watching Adventures in Babysitting, Alex showing up halfway through. Joe soon announced he was hungry again, and so began the hour long discussion on where to go for dinner. Still itching for suburbia, Itty was desperate to hit Marie Calendar’s, light years away in Serramonte. Alec and I wanted to sit by the fire at Park Chow. Joe grabbed a round of beer and demanded that we decide by the time the beers were done. Yet again, we pulled out the slips of paper and offered dinner suggestions. One after another, they were all nixed.
Marie Calendar’s it was.
We piled in one car and headed to Daly City, appalled at how long it takes to leave civilization.
“Oh relax. We’re almost there.”
“Get out your passports, folks.”
The only upside is that we passed Toons, which is another story for another day, but one I told in the car on the way there. As we arrived at Marie Calendar’s, we were told there’d be a wait. A wait? At MC’s? You’ve got to be shitting me.
This is when Joe and I decided to peruse the salad bar as a means of killing time and making fun of it. I won’t describe for you what it entailed, other than to say the melon was so dry, it had cracks. Joe looked around the restaurant and declared, “This place is depressing! My god, where the fuck are we?”
Finally seated, I believe as a way of getting me to stop making fun of the artwork, we were relegated to the furthest reaches of Marie’s. Above our table was a sign which read, “Sailboat Rides: 50 cents.” After an eternity, we were approached by a tiny little waitress who asked to take our drink orders. Alex innocently asked what kind of beer they had.
The waitress stepped back, looked at the table and suddenly announced, “Under state law, I am required to tell you that I am a minor and I do not know what types of alcoholic beverages are available. I am not allowed to take any kind of alcoholic drink order and the only reason I’m here is because I’m filling in for Janelle who is working the salad bar. If you want, I can go find out. However, under penalty of law, I cannot even discuss liquor.”
She was met with 5 blank stares.
We spent the entire meal in hysterics, finding each moment more bizarre than the previous. Joe, for reasons no one understands, ordered the chicken fried steak, which came with mashed potatoes and a vegetable medley. “This is disgusting.” He cringed. “I can’t eat this.”
“All chicken fried steak is disgusting, Joe. That’s why they don’t have it at fancy restaurants.”
“But I didn’t expect it to be like this. I thought it would be campy. This is just sad.”
The highlight of the meal was the free cornbread and honey butter, perhaps the only palatable food on premises. Otherwise, it was all appalling. Even the iced tea was gross, pre-sweetened with a metallic aftertaste.
This didn’t stop anyone from ordering dessert however. 2 huge sundaes arrived, one brownie concoction and something called “The Big Apple.” Both were disgusting, cakey and sticky. It all tasted cheap, really. Just like really cheap, generic, institutional food. By this point, the novelty had worn off. I wanted out. After debating breaking a window and fleeing this hellhole, the bill finally arrived.
Nothing made us laugh harder than the bill. Why? Because after piles of disgusting, poorly made food and incredibly shitty service, not to mention the ambiance of a rest home for low income geriatrics, our bill was $100.
“I think I just paid $20 for a week of diarrhea.”
“I can’t believe we came all the way out here for this shitbox. All I wanted was big food in a homey atmosphere, with a fireplace and cheap desserts.”
“So, you mean Park Chow.”
“Shut up.”
“This is the most suburban day, ever.”
“Yeah. And you know the worst part? Now we have to drive all the way home…”

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

gavin + me = love...

I don’t know what’s going on with Gavin and that dreadful psychopath. And more importantly, I don’t care. You want to know why? Because there’s a little thing called destiny, folks. And I know mine. Say what you will, call me insane, file a restraining order. These recent events only further my belief that nature is running it’s course and my registry at Gump’s is mere moments away…
oh great. more cufflinks... Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 18, 2005

i'm sure he really, really loves her...

I’ve mentioned often that I live deep within the ghetto, amid hookers and hobos and drug dealers. It’s been good for me, a humbling transition from my pampered suburban childhood. But this morning, as I walked the 2 blocks to my car, I was dragged into a domestic squabble that shook me to my core.
Allow me to explain.
Carrying not only my purse and lunch and coffee, but a Nordstrom bag full of tonight’s clothing, hair care and make-up, not to mention gold strappy heels dangling from my pinky, I maneuvered past litter and sleeping vagrants, narrowly avoiding a car parked on the sidewalk. When I say car, that’s using the term loosely. It was more like a wagon with aluminum siding and tinfoil fashioned into the shape of a car.
As I passed, a haggard looking woman with a black eye emerged from her front yard and began loading blankets and clothes and boxes into the “car.” I had to pause to allow her to do this, and as I stopped, I peered into her front yard to find 3 topless men standing there, one of whom was peeing on a dying rosebush.
As soon as she closed the door, I began walking by and she got in, starting the car and beginning to drive it and all of her belongings still hanging out the door off the sidewalk and onto the street.
Suddenly, a tattooed and tank topped man came running from within her home, screaming obscenities and throwing potted plants at the car.
“Oh no you fucking don’t! Don’t touch my mother-fucking vehicle! I’ll fuck that shit up!”
Neighbors emerged from their homes to watch the commotion, as I pretended to be oblivious, thinking to myself, “Keep walking. Just keep walking.”
He ran right in front of me, wielding a stick which he then slammed down on the hood of the car. “I will fuck you up! Get the fuck out of my car! Now!!!
It is at this point that I wince, dropping my purse, a slouchy gold leather contraption that, while completely fabulous, isn’t the kind of accessory you want thrown into a while trash melee. This required that I stop, approximately 10 feet from the ongoing altercation, place down all of my belongings, grab my purse and it’s spilled contents, rearrange everything on both of my shoulders, and continue on, as if nothing had happened.
The woman operating the vehicle remained silent, no doubt resigned to her volatile situation or possibly mute from years of systematic domestic abuse at the hands of a toothless correspondence school graduate. This morning, however, was not the morning that I planned to rescue some battered wife in a Lifetime-esque moment of sisterhood, blowing off work to drive Krystal to the shelter.
I booked it out of there and found my car, caring more about unloading my crap and confirming that none of the contents had been lost in excitement. After all, if some gal is willing to be used as a punching bag by Cletis, that’s her business. But my gold strappy heels take shit from no one…

happy birthday, mom...

Everyone gets a blog on their birthday. Joanne is no exception. As I was driving to work, I was trying to think of a good mom story, some type of embarassing snaffu I find hilarious. I've got a few, but you've really got to know Joanne to find them funny. So instead, I'll list my top ten favorite things about Joanne:
10. She swears like a sailor.
9. She's obsessed with playing practical jokes on people.
8. She's the only one happier than me when I succeed at something.
7. She's taken me shopping on five continents.
6. She likes to snuggle.
5. She has a glass of wine ready when she knows I'll need it.
4. She works harder than anyone I know.
3. She sings in the car.
2. She ignores velvet ropes.
1. She would move heaven and earth, outrun cops, leap from moving ships, dive in front of bullets and commit felonies if I was in trouble. More than my dad, more than my brother, more than anyone on earth, my mother has my back. Dad and Alex will adore me and love me and and shower me with affection. But when push comes to shove, Joanne's the one who would stockpile weapons, cash out her stocks and engage in a stand-off with the ATF if it meant keeping me safe...

Friday, July 15, 2005

beauty bar...

Here’s what wrong with being friends with Big Chris: He will always be able to drink more than you. A few weeks ago, Chris took me to Beauty Bar, a hipster hangout in my neighborhood that’s decked out to look like an old school beauty parlor. I’d been to the New York version in college, but was thrilled to find a Beauty Bar mere steps from home.
Yesterday, Zoe announced that she’d walked by Beauty Bar, found it fabulous and HAD to go immediately. You don’t have to ask me twice. Plus, I’m always looking for excuses to wear my new clothes from New York. Chris agreed to come over at 7:30, provided we could go somewhere for burritos first. That, in fact, is Chris’ permanent stipulation when coming over; burritos.
Living by the adage, “Dress Like You Mean It”, Zoe and I did just that, which made it all the more painful when Chris walked in and said, “What the fuck are you wearing?” I don’t know if he was referring to Zoe’s yellow stilettos or my huge Moroccan belt, but I thought we looked tremendously fashion forward.
After Taqueria Cancun, we saddled up to the bar and ordered drinks. One of the great things about the Beauty Bar is that everyone that works there looks crazy hardcore, with millions of tattoos and insane hair and happenin’ clothes, which makes the whole place seem cooler, and then they turn out to be the loveliest people. The bartender helping us weighed 12 pounds and had a sailor’s hat on, his gold tooth glistening as he invented drinks for us to sample. The DJ, whom we refer to as The Messiah because he looks just like Jesus spinning records, played a medley of Hall and Oats which sent me into a state of bliss.
“Private eyes” (clap) “are watching you… (clap, clap.)
It was pretty mellow for awhile, allowing us time to drink and chat and drink. By 10, the place started to fill and by the time Kate got there, Beauty Bar was packed. Kate had just returned from an apparently fabulous date and was swooning all over the bar, telling us how incredible her new guy is. Then she met the Marine.
Now, who doesn’t like Marines? They’re fabulous. I was in the Philly airport once and a Marine insisted on carrying my suitcase for me. “Oh, you don’t have to do that.” He looked me straight in the eye and said, “It’d be an honor, ma’am.”
Good Bless America. Love those Marines. But Kate managed to find herself the stupidest, rudest, most obnoxious Marine on earth. Admittedly hot, this guy had asshole written all over him. I was distracted however, by the 7 foot tall Ethiopian gentleman who kept rubbing my back as asking if my boyfriend (I believe he was referring to Chris) appreciated me. I have found myself in many situations in which I’ve needed Big Chris to pretend to be my boyfriend. (I think we all remember Priest Shoes.) Each and every time, he’s slipped away to a corner, to laugh hysterically while watching me squirm. Last night was no different. I was left twisting in the wind as Kate and Zoe became noticeably frightened and Chris giggled from miles away. The Ethiopian eventually departed and Chris returned, making several Roots references before buying another round.
We enjoyed the Beauty Bar for a good four hours. As I finally crawled in to bed early this morning, I knew that upon waking up, I would experience extreme pain.
I was right. I actually considered pulling over on the side of the freeway to vomit and sleep. Alas, I rallied my classiness and made it to work, where I am currently enjoying an entire pot of coffee and worrying that Zoe might walk by Skylark today and pull out the yellow stilettos…

Thursday, July 14, 2005

god is in the details...

It seems the pornography industry has decided to acknowledge the many underused talents of Randy Johnson and dear Andy has been promoted. That’s right, folks. Instead of merely filing insurance and proof of age forms, Andy (aka; Randy) now interviews the “models.”
One of his new tasks is to photograph them. Naked. In fact, he’s got to take an entire portfolio of each model’s body, compiling head, torso, ass and of course, full frontal shots into neat little folders. Apparently, the gentleman who held this job prior to Andy was mixing up his body parts. Corey’s ass was ending up in Rodrigo’s portfolio and Rodrigo’s dick was showing up in Jamal’s portfolio.
Clearly, this madness had to end.
Thus, Andy’s attention to detail has been recognized and he is now paid to photograph gay porn stars and then examine and organize these photos. Since he’s been doing this gratis for years, Andy’s quite thrilled with himself.
Can you imagine the joy of being paid to do what you delight in doing for free? That’d be like paying me to drink expensive wine at hotel bars while flirting with George Clooney and eating brie…

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

going with the flo...

Last night, I swung by my neighborhood Cala Foods (the ghetto one on S. Van Ness). After filling my little basket with coffee and lettuce, I stood in the Express Lane and waited my turn. I was a tad on edge as it was, concerned I’d be caught with more than 9 items, but that was the least of my problems.
My checker was a middle aged, white trash woman, one of those gals that’s probably 50, but looks a good 65. She had appallingly bright make-up and big ratted blonde hair with pencils sticking out of it, a la Flo. Her Cala apron was affixed with all sorts of flare, including her nametag which proclaimed she’d survived “35 years of service.”
In between each customer, she’d delegate to her fellow employees, instructing one to assist at the Coinstar machine and another to sweep up produce debris. I found this highly annoying as I really just wanted to purchase my items and split before my car was stolen or my handbag snatched.
It was finally my turn to be rung up, but needless to say, dear Flo had to instruct some rookie in another task before acknowledging me. She screamed across the store to some girl, “Did you go through the entire parking lot and get all the shopping carts?”
“You mean to tell me you walked around the whole lot and all you come back with is 3 carts? The whole lot?
I just stood there, amazed that I had to wait through this bizarre, scene causing display before I was allowed to buy my crap.
“Don’t roll your eyes at me!”
Uh, oh my god. I thought she was talking to me. She wasn’t. She was screaming at the poor girl, pushing her 3 carts and apparently rolling her eyes. The entire store stopped, stunned into dead silence by Flo, who was completely unconcerned with her immense lack of professionalism. I mean, after 35 years, you’d think she’d know better than to make everyone completely uncomfortable with her bizarre tirade. Isn’t this better left to the break room?
Apparently not.
Flo wasn’t done. She continued screaming.
“I’m not the boss for nothing. I can see you rolling your eyes at me! Right across all these checkers, I see you rolling those eyes at me! Don’t think I don’t see that. Don’t disrespect me on my shift. Rolling you eyes at me? I don’t think so.”
The entire grocery store was filled with complete silence and frozen customers. I think half of them thought she was yelling at me, I was so directly in her line of fire.
Flo then nonchalantly turns to me, smiles, and begins swiping my groceries.
Shaking, I smiled back and said, “I’m almost afraid to tell you this, but I forgot my Cala Club card…”

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

my prerogative...

Have you been watching “Being Bobby Brown”? It’s a reality show in which we follow Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston, watching them cause scenes in Harrods and demand meetings with the Dali Lama.
It’s wonderful.
The two of them are surprisingly appalling. I realize they’re complete addicts and ex-felons, but I had no idea they were quite so insane. From Bobby groping Whitney before their poor child, Bobbi Christina, to his retelling of the time he had to remove an errant piece of poo from Whitney’s ass, the fun never stops.
I believe in the next episode, protective services will arrive to rescue poor Bobbi Christina, surprisingly normal considering the fact that’s she’s the spawn of these two bizarre individuals. At one point, I was tempted to rescue her myself as her parents loudly debated from whom she inherited her hefty ass.
I was reminded of this brilliant show today as I drove to work and found myself listening to the genius Whitney Houston tune, “It’s Not Right (But It’s Okay)." I have a very specific fantasy in which I perform said song to a sea of well dressed admirers, backed by 30 male dancers clad in nothing but tighty whities, construction boots and angel wings. If you’re familiar with the song, you know exactly where the pyrotechnic display should happen.
Watching “Being Bobby Brown” is like slowing down to watch someone getting pulled over. You can’t help but stare, and are delighted you’re not involved. Seriously. Watch it. It’s gloriously offensive…

Sunday, July 10, 2005

the city that won't let me sleep... Posted by Picasa

my last day in the big apple...

Last night we saw the hilarious Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with John Lithgow, which was tremendously exciting, and then dined at Joe Allen. It was very New York and perfect for our last night in town.
The boys left at the break of dawn for sailing in Maine, which I believe they're doing now. That left mom and I a day to explore by ourselves and we decided on the Chanel exhibit at the Met and then lunch and shopping before catching our plane back home. (Well, not home, exactly. Oakland.) As we strolled from the subway to the Met, I marveled at how much I adore my new flouncy skirt. I pretended to pay attention to my mother as I admired myself in store windows. This joy was shortlived as a huge and unending gust of wind (perhaps a northern cousin of the hurricane) swept upon us and took my skirt with it. For what seemed like hours, I repeatedly exposed myself to all five boroughs. Worse, I was wearing incredibly unattractive grandma underpants, which frighten myself, much less those forced to examine them on 82nd and Madison.
Moving on, the Chanel exhibit was spectacular and afterwards, we enjoyed a lunch that was both appallingly wonderful and expensive at E.A.T. Cafe, brainchild of food god, Eli Zabar. I also spent some alone time on the roof of the Met, marveling at Central Park below and being coerced into taking group shots of tourists who refused to thank me. The just grabbed their camera from my hands and turned away, as if I was hired for this sole purpose.
Mom went off to meet some clients so I made one last stop at H&M, grabbing cheap apparel as fast as I could, convinced it'll be years before this mecca of fashion makes it's way to San Francisco.
We cabbed it to the airport and hopped our JetBlue flight. Perhaps I wasn't informed, but most passengers were required to possess a screaming baby and disregard for others. I did enjoy the DirecTV and watched a 3 hour documentary on the history of capital punishment before giving in and catching up on my Blow Out.
I also had a rather unexpected run in on said cross-country flight, and in yet another bizarre twist of fate, wound up standing in the bathroom line with someone who considers me the Anti-Christ (which I am, although not in this particular situation.) That's always fun. While we pretended not to see each other, I debated tapping her on the shoulder with, "I bet you'd rather I be a terrorist as this is horribly awkward."
I survived the flight, grabbed my bags and mom and I were off. I am now home, safe and sound, having hugged my roommate and written my blog. All is once again right with the world, as Spots is back in the 415...
my fabulous family in manhattan... Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 09, 2005

you are striking...

With Alex and the folks off to the Yankees game last night, Matt and I met up with John for Indian food in the East Village. One of the many benefits to spending an evening with two 23 year old guys is that I get insight into their mating habits, and I find it fascinating.
John approaches women on the street by stopping them, looking both ways and saying, "I've got to tell you, you are striking." He apparently does this with frequency and moderate success. After all, if she appears disinterested or frightened, he merely walks a block and finds another one.
Matt asks women out for water. This somehow works as well.
After dining at "The Taj Mahal", we swung by John's apartment, which he shares with Joe, the 96 year old artist he mansits. The apartment is amazing, filled with hundreds of paintings by all kinds of artists, many of whom are appallingly famous. Even better is Joe, who upon meeting me announced how much he liked my teeth.
After a spectacular tour of the roof overlooking all of Manhattan, we then hit a bar, apparently the oldest bar in the US, and found it packed with the most eclectic cast of characters I've ever seen. The walls were covered with dust and pictures of famous Catholics, the drink menu consists only of "light" and "dark", and there were hundreds of guys stacked in this tiny bar, the frat contingent overflowing onto the street. It was tremendous.
Matt hates crowds and John wanted to take us to some birthday party. It was time to go.
"Okay guys. I'm not going to a party. I need to actually sleep tonight."
"Uh, shut up. You know you're coming."
Apparently this party was being held at P.M., an uber trendy club in the meatpacking district. We stood behind the velvet rope and watched doormen in sunglasses usher in prostitutes and closeted gay men, completely ignoring us. Convinced my flip flops were the reason for our rejection, I soon realized, we were not getting in. Matt kept muttering, "This goes against everything I stand for. This blows. This totally blows."
We split and went across the street, finding an equally trendy and exceedingly expensive establishment to enjoy. I planned to stay for one drink, determined to leave at midnight. By 3am, we were upstairs, John and I armwrestling as Matt involved himself in a soap opera occurring one velvet couch over. I am still confused as to what exactly went down, but apparently, Matt felt that an attractive woman's advances were being ignored by her date and decided to intervene.
I too eventually started talking to this couch of freaks, convincing them I had recently left the military and was joining the police academy.
One of the millions of genius things about New York is that bars serve till 4am. This is basically when we left. We piled into a cab and after dropping John off at his apartment, headed back to the hotel. As our taxi whizzed by early morning action in Midtown, Matt looked over at me and said, "We're having a fucking good time in New York..."

Friday, July 08, 2005

john and mom at the hudson bar... Posted by Picasa

fine dining and debauchery...

Last night, the five of us (Dick, Joanne, Beth, Alex and Matt) dined at Cafe des Artistes and had a lovely time. After dinner, mom decided she knew of a bar she wanted to show us; the Hudson Bar at the Hudson Hotel. Most of you have been to the Redwood Room in SF. Multiply that by 5, add better looking people, take it outside and you've got the Hudson Bar. It was intense, especially watching my father pounding scotch next to an Asian guy with a Mohawk and sarong.
We were soon joined by John, Matt's friend from boarding school who now mansits a 96 year old named Joe while attending Hunter College in NYC. Ma and Pa left, leaving the four of us to find a nearby dive at which we could afford to actually buy our own drinks. We ended up at P.J. Carney's, a hole in the wall near our hotel. Apparently, another boarding school cronie works nearby at Hooters, and I was peer-pressured into joining the boys for drinks there.
Sadly, Hooters was closed by the time we got there, but Matt and John's friend, Lou, directed us to McGee's, some frat boy bar down the street.
This is when the evening gets a little fuzzy.
We spent awhile at McGee's, and around 2am, decided to head back to the hotel to continue the party in our hotel room. I won't bore you with the drunken details, but I adore John and Lou and hope to catch up with them later this weekend.
This morning, we woke late (to pouring rain) and joined Dad for lunch and food shopping at Zabar's, a prepared foods mecca on the Upper West Side. Dad split to go to obscure museums we didn't care about, and the boys and I swung by the Planetarium before finding reprieve from the rain in a French Cafe. We ordered some wine, some espresso and some cheesecake and people watched for hours. We are now back at the hotel, hoping to check out the Museum of Modern Art when it becomes free at 4pm (oh, that's now.). Tonight, weather permitting, Mom, Dad and Alex will go to a Yankees game and Matt and I plan to find some fantastic Indian Food and funky bars.
I'm taking some tremendously hilarious photos with my beloved camera, so check back for updates upon my return. I'm going to squeeze in some time with my book about those Mormons before the Modern.
Everyone says this, but I could totally live here...

Thursday, July 07, 2005

oh yes, it's ladies night...

Jesse, god bless her, arranged for all of our friends from college to get together for drinks and dinner in Manayunk, a fabulous Philadelphia neighborhood. Jesse, Carrie, Molly, Kelly and I have been friends since freshman year and the five of us met up at Le Bus for cocktails before dinner at Bella. Carrie brought her roommate along as well, Rachelle.
I cannot tell you how much I adore my girls.
Here's the thing. I haven't seen these girls since Jesse and Shane's wedding two years ago. So some stranger diving in with a million stories about people we didn't know was lame. Plus, I said something moderately politically incorrect in the midst of a hilarious story. This is to be expected, especially after a few glasses of wine. Apparently, this doesn't fly with Rachelle.
As a result, Kelly, Molly and I spent the rest of the evening laughing hysterically and whispering the most appalling and inappropriate comments to one another as a means of rebellion. Jesse was far too polite to join us, but I was soon over this strange roommate.
Plus, when we got home, Shane sat down on the couch and said, "So, Beth. What'd you think of Rachelle?"
"Don't get her started!" Jesse screamed from the kitchen.
I never get to see these girls and it was so good to sit down and laugh and gossip and tell tall tales. I miss my Philly gals and am impatiently waiting for them all to come visit.
Actually, Jesse and Shane will be staying with me next month...
This morning we woke at the break of dawn, kissed Shane goodbye and headed to the Reading, PA bus terminal. Jesse walked me in, made sure I was okay, put me on the 8:30 bus and saw me off.
My first trip on an interstate bus can be summed up in this one moment: I found myself seated across from some apparent gang member wearing a loud t-shirt. On said t-shirt was a huge photo of a gat and the phrase, "Welcome to Newark, New Jersey. Duck, motherfucker."
The bus ride took 3 hours and I made it to the hotel just in time to meet Dani in SoHo for lunch and shopping. We dined in Little Italy, catching up on months of separation. Dani's waiting tables in Manhattan while waiting to become famous, and we haven't seen each other in ages. Madly in love with someone named Travis, Dani dished and downed pasta, stopping periodically to pinch my cheeks and hug me.
The afternoon was spent all over SoHo, buying jewelry and sunglasses on sidewalks, huge western belts in stores, and yep, another beaded kimono in H&M.
After iced coffees at Dean and DeLuca (I almost fell on the marble floor in a state of bliss at the prepared foods section), we subwayed back to the hotel just as mom, dad, Alex and Matt walked in, direct from the airport. Screams, yells, and hugs (for Dani, not me) ensued.
We are now checked into our huge rooms, and about to head off to drinks and dinner. I am filthy, covered in city grime and exhausted, but I fucking love New York.
Duck motherfucker...
jesse, kelly and me... Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

damn that prohibition...

I'd forgotten since college. You can't just buy booze here whenever you want. I tried. Jesse was going to the grocery store to get bread, so it seemed the perfect opportunity.
"Oh, great." I chimed in. "I'll go with you and pick up some wine."
J and S both looked at me like I was nuts.
"Bethela. How long's it been? You can't buy wine at the grocery store."
"Oh yeah. Well, let's go to the beer place. Shane, you want beer anyway."
"Uh, hello?" They said in unison, as if I was some idiot off the street. "You can't buy beer and wine at the same place."
Ah yes. Pennsylvania. If you want beer, you go to the beer/soda/water place. If you want wine, you go to the liquor store. If you want a loaf of bread, some butter and a box of tampons, you go to the Wawa.
I'm amazed I didn't need a passport.
Nor is any libation available on Sundays and holidays. Isn't that the whole point of Sundays and holidays? I thought so, too.
We spent today with Jesse's mom, while Shane toiled away at his firm. (he's currently leaning over my shoulder...) We enjoyed fancy ladies lunch and extensive shopping, as well as a visit with Brian, a friend from college who gave us a tour of his amazing office. We returned home where Shane joined us on the back porch. The three of us marveled at fireflies and drank while having a marvelous dinner and 4 hour conversation about many things I won't be able to remember.
It's hot and humid, thus much of our time is spent lounging outdoors while downing Yuengling (the local beer) and having intense discussions about careers and hopes and dreams and bad dates. (okay, the latter is all me.)
It's good to get out of the big city, and while I always enjoy the family vacations at fancy hotels in fancy countries, there's something to be said for crashing in your best friends' guest room in suburban Philadelphia, gorging yourself on wine and memories, thanking god you're not at work, not at home, and even not at the Monkey Club...
my pennsylvanian hosts... Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 04, 2005

keystone this...

Here I am, in gorgeous Shillington, PA. The redeye to Charlotte wasn't that bad. It may have had something to do with the adorable guy from South Carolina I was seated next to. He was teaching a weeklong class at Stanford and had the most gentle Southern drawl I've ever heard. It was marvelous and charming and made me swoon from SFO to the Deep South.
Separated in Charlotte, I spent the next 4 hours (from 5:30 am to 9:30am) observing those around me, including a man on his way to Lynchburg, Virginia who had a complete set of gold teeth he proudly displayed at any opportunity. The jaunt from Charlotte to Allentown was a quick empty flight, and Jesse and Shane were there to pick me up. We swung by our friend Carrie's work to say a quick hello and then headed off to lunch where I got the gossip on the college crowd.
Jesse and Shane live in a huge 3 bedroom palace which Shane, an architect, has turned into a stunning and fabulous home, apparently with the help of Jesse. We immediately opened a bottle of wine, planted ourselves on the porch and ate and drank until dark. After dinner with Karl, the 80 year old neighbor J and S have adopted, who, incidentally, invited me on a Chinese cruise with him, we walked the dog and have returned home to continue libations and watch old movies.
It is kind of hot and kind of humid and very different than home (everyone has lawns). But I'm delighted to be here and I adore my dear J and S. I'm amazed at my own ability to remain awake and am thrilled to be adjusting to the time change beautifully.
I believe I'm being summoned to some wing of this huge house...

Sunday, July 03, 2005

travellin' woes already...

Going on vacation requires a myriad of errands to be done in advance. I could be going to Sea Ranch for the weekend and still have to make 12 stops to make before being completely prepared to depart my usual surroundings for 48 hours.
As I’m leaving for the east in 4 hours, I had quite a bit of shopping to do. After a stop at the gym, tanning salon and nail place, I needed to swing by the flagship Old Navy to purchase a $12 black t-shirt. This required that I park in the Ellis O’Farrell Garage. Still in my disgusting gym clothes, yet tan and with painted nails, I sprinted across Market St., bought my t, and was back at my car within 15 minutes. I handed the valet my card and was shocked when Rhonda the Honda pulled up with a flat tire.
I don’t have time for this.
I’ve still got to shower, pack, eat, buy books and magazines and snacks for my flight AND get to my folks, who will be driving me to the airport. Not only this, but I no longer have triple A.
Worse, I don’t have a spare tire. I have an "emergency wheel", which appears to have been pulled off a Hotwheels. In a state of panic, I then explained my situation to the 2 valets, who barely spoke English.
The younger one was confident. "Oh. You fix. It easy. You change tire."
"No. I can’t change a tire. I’ve never changed a tire in my life. I hate to sound like an idiot, and I assure you that I am, but look at my nails. I cannot change a tire."
"No. You fix. You do it. I help. We fix together. You can fix tire. I help you."
So into my packed trunk we go, searching for the jack and appropriate tools. We locate the "emergency tire", jack up Rhonda, and get to work. In all honesty, I did very little, other than form a bowl with my hands for my new friend to drop the lugnuts or tire holders or whatever they’re called. He had that emergency doughnut on in no time, although I’m pretty sure he put it on backwards. Not wanting to nit-pick, I gave him $10 and a hug and split.
Warned not to drive over 40 miles per hour, I suddenly felt like Sandra Bullock driving the bus from Speed, unsure as to what would happen should Rhonda hit the dreaded 40. Imagining the wheel flying off and my car skidding along the street, sparks flying, I never hit 20 as I made it all the way home. Each pothole terrified me and I parked in front of my house and prayed for the will to make it to Marin.
Finally packed and showered, dressed and clean, I approached Rhonda the Honda and delicately placed by huge bags within her. Please don’t explode, I thought to myself, as I gingerly sat in the driver’s seat.
Maneuvering Highway 101 going 30 miles an hour isn’t fun. In fact, it sucks. And I think it’s safe to say I’m the most hated person in Marin. Amid honks and bumper riders, I’d scream "I’m driving on an emergency doughnut!" to drivers as they sped past me, shouting expletives and giving me the finger.
I’ve finally made it to my folks, borrowing my mother’s car to complete my errands to the bookstore and vitamin shoppe. I am unsure as to whether this tire fiasco is some sort of sign, telling me that my plane will crash or the landing gear will malfunction. Irregardless, I’m about to board a flight now, kids, and god willing, I’ll be blogging from the Keystone State provided no further disasters befall me…

it's not the heat, it's the humidity...

Last year, dad and Alex went on a father/son bonding sailing adventure in Maine. They spent a week eating lobster and drinking beer on a schooner. They had such a great time, they wanted to do it again with Matt and Greg. Before heading up to Maine this time, they decided to have a "Boys Weekend" in New York.
Boys Weekend?
I'm all for male bonding. Go off and have a marvelous time. I want no part of it.
But New York? I love New York.
My father was delighted. "Well, you should come for the weekend. I can get a cheap ticket. There's room at the hotel. You can stay with Matt and Alex. Oh, that'll be so fun. Let me see if I can get you a ticket to our shows."
Then mom found out I was going. She was in New York last month, but it's her favorite place on earth. Thus, she's coming too. So much for their Boy's Weekend.
Figuring, I might as well make the East Coast rounds, I called up Jesse and Shane, my married best friends from college, currently living in a farmhouse outside of Reading, PA.
"Hey. What are you guys doing for the 4th? Because I'm coming to stay with you."
So, tonight, at 10:15 PM, I leave on a coach flight for Charlotte. Arriving in North Carolina at 6AM, I then wait 3 and a half hours for a coach flight to Allentown, PA.
Yep. Allentown.
Allentown is so bad, Bill Joel wrote a song about how it ruined people's lives.
But then I get to spend 3 days with Jesse and her family, sitting in the garden, drinking wine and gossiping. And on Thursday, we'll head into Philly to meet up with the kids from college, none of whom I've seen since Jess and Shane's wedding 2 years ago.
At the end of my Amish adventure, I'll take THE BUS to Manhattan's Port Authority.
Nope. That's not a typo. I'll actually board a Greyhound for the first time ever.
Jesse has promised me that it's cheap and easy (much unlike myself) and that it's the quickest and best way to get to the big apple from Reading. I'm not so sure, but I promise to write a blog about it as soon as I get to the hotel, assuming I make it there.
I love traveling. I really truly do. But it's the getting to and fro that I find so distatsteful. So tonight, when you're cozy in your bed, comfortable and warm and about to have a solid night of sleep, think of me, curled up in the fetal position, downing sleeping pills and vodka, on a red-eye to the middle of nowhere. God, I hate flying commercial...

Saturday, July 02, 2005

subtitle this...

I'm leaving for the East Coast tomorrow, and spent much of today getting my shit together for the trip. After sleeping in, I made a fabulous little breakfast and sat myself in front of the television. I decided to surf the free movies available on Comcast on Demand, and came across a 2 and a half hour Korean movie about serial killers, called Memories of Murder.
Ohhh. I'll watch that.
According to the little blurb on Comcast, everyone in Korea's been talking about it. Here's what they're not telling you: It's boring.
I made it through the first hour, having no problem with subtitles or poorly dressed actors. And I'll admit, it's a tad scary. Although, I'm the first to acknowledge, I'm easily terrified. I soon decided that I could pause the movie and head to the gym. I also had to run some last minute errands to prepare for my holiday, and planned to resume Memories of Murder when I returned home.
Sweaty and shopped out, I fell onto the couch ready to finish my movie. I dove right back in, fully picking up where left off. On and on the film goes, the 2 opposing detectives following wrong leads and beating up cripples to get answers. It seems every time it rains in this small Korean town, some psychopath requests the same song on the radio and then kills a woman wearing red in a rice field.
Initially, I got the impression this was a true story. But when the retarded guy got run over by a train, I started to doubt that. After hour two, I needed a break.
I packed clothes and cleaned, arranging outfits by day and checking the weather in Philadelphia and New York. Hours passed as I put off returning to Memories of Murder.
But with only half an hour left, I was determined to find out who the killer was. I'd already suffered through so much. I owed it to myself to watch those last 30 minutes.
Turns out, no I didn't.
I've pretty much already ruined the movie for you. So let me tell you why it was ruined for me.
2 and a half hours, folks. What were those Koreans thinking...

Friday, July 01, 2005

thank god it's not pantyhose...

We had dinner at some Chinese joint last night to celebrate mom and Ted’s respective birthdays. My grandmother joined us and as usual, had many bizarre and hilarious things to say. We were sitting outside, in a beautiful little Asian garden, opening presents and eating potstickers. Grandma, having always possessed a knack for poetry, had written Ted a little rhyme on her fancy stationary. We were amazed at this underused talent as this poem was read aloud and thus, gave her a round of applause. Delighted, she then had to tell us the story of how she came to write this wonderfully received poem.
“Well, you know. There’s a story there. The little man who puts on my socks was telling me…”
Wait a second. The little man that puts on your socks? You have a little man that puts on your socks?
“Oh yes. And I have a lady who puts in my ear thing.”
You have an ear thing?
“Well, yes. Oh dear. Yes. But I didn’t want to tell you. I’m testing it out.”
So you have an array of oddly shaped staff who put you together every morning?
At this point, my mother leans over. “The little man who puts on her socks is named Masoor.”
Uh, okay.
No one else seems to be finding this bizarre. Ted resumes opening his presents, a basket filled with toys for his cross country train trip. As he opens a little fan that sprays water, Grandma screams, “Oh, that looks vulgar!”
Alex tries to reign her in by asking her to resume her poetry story.
“Oh, yes. My poem! Where was I? Hmmm.” She’s talking while attempting to maneuver a pot sticker into her mouth. It lands on her lap. She remains oblivious. “Well, I’ve completely forgotten. I have no idea what I was talking about.”
The table collectively takes a sip of wine and responds in unison, “The little man that puts on your socks…”
apparently, the "help me" tables have turned... Posted by Picasa