Tuesday, August 30, 2005

the biggest little city in the world...

Ugh, Burning Man. What’s the big deal? My former co-worker, BCFS, has spent hours trying to explain to me the grandeur and greatness of this communist extravaganza but I am simply not convinced. Not only is one stranded in the desert, miles away from a decent latte or a good episode of Laguna Beach, but you’re constantly bombarded with jam music and dreadlocks while you sit in the dirt and pretend to care about each other. I can find veterinary drugs and bathtub gin in the city, I don’t need to become a Bedouin to have a good time.
Apparently, at the end of this festival of filth, everyone gets hopped up on shady narcotics and busts a move in front of a bunch of bonfires, twirling around in their hemp skirts and crystal pouches. I think I’ll take a pass. This Labor Day weekend, I’ll be heading out to Nevada like all the Burning Man hippies. But Zoe and I are taking a right at Reno and spending the weekend wearing sequins and stilettos, playing blackjack and over-tipping strippers…

Monday, August 29, 2005

party girl...

A big part of my job is to attend a ton of schmoozing events all over the Bay Area. Alone. This is fine by me. Stick a glass of wine in my hand, and I’m a happy camper. And on most occasions, when you go to enough of these awards ceremonies, installation dinners, and networking mixers, you get to know a couple of folks who are trapped there by themselves, just like you. Usually, people are pretty chatty at these things anyway. I mean, that’s the whole point. I’ve grown accustomed to people just marching up to me and starting incredibly boring conversations.
I think it’s fun.
Occasionally, however, I find myself trapped at an event where everyone seems to know each other, and I’m hugging the wall, attempting to maneuver a handbag, appetizer plate, and wine glass while trying to look like I don’t care that I clearly have no friends. Worse, sometimes under these dire circumstances, I’ll see someone I kind of know and attempt to join them, suddenly realizing that they have no idea who I am. Now I’ve humiliated not only myself, but some relative stranger who then attempts to subtly snub me from following them around.
In what I regard as my most embarrassing work event experience, I attended an annual gala and decided to wear what I thought was a stunning black and white dress. When I approached the open bar, the Nazi bartender thought I was staff and wouldn’t serve me. So desperate to drink, I had to produce business cards and explain that while clad in black and white, like so many of the servers buzzing around and now snickering at me, I was a fucking guest and you might want to change that red wine to a vodka, straight up.
Keep in mind, most times I have an absolute blast, finding a hilarious cohort or two and ending up on the dance floor with some scion of industry. But you don’t want to hear about that. You want to hear about the time I ended up on the dance floor with an older gentleman who I believe, snuck in, got drunk and starting asking girls to dance. When he made his way to me, I figured, what the hell, and joined him in front of the band, only to watch him lose his balance and take me down with him.
So I find myself at work, on this Monday morning, with a little pile of beautifully printed invites before me, all of which I must dutifully attend alone. Most of these are small cocktail receptions, requiring only a quick hour long drop by if they’re really deadly. But I just know that I’ll find myself eating egg rolls in a bathroom stall hoping the bartender doesn’t notice that I’m on my fourth glass on wine and praying that the coat check girl will finish hanging that fur and have time to talk to me…

Saturday, August 27, 2005

my weekend getaway...

Ma and Pa are off buying Alex Denver, so I’ve decided to take a little vacation at my weekend house, also known as my parent’s place in Mill Valley. I sent an e-mail to the crew, alerting them that while I would not be clad in sequins and lipgloss out at the city bars this weekend, I could be found in pajama pants and flip flops at my folks, eating and drinking in the sun or by the fire, and any and all were welcome to join me.
Last night, Andy and Big Chris came over and we made a huge dinner. Joined by Whitney, we sat around the dining room table and did impressions of Oprah. As Chris and Whitney each have their respective lives, they eventually left us and Andy and I ended up snuggled up under a blanket watching movies on TNT. Apparently, we’re getting old because after a huge meal and several bottles of wine, we passed out beneath said blanket and were woken up at 11:30 (I know, I know, we’re really, really old) by New Chris calling to see what was up.
Uh, nothing is up. We’re passed out fully clothed.
Andy and I awoke this morning to coffee and blueberry waffles on the deck, sunning ourselves as we gazed at the view, marveled at my father’s green thumb and sipped freshly squeezed orange juice. Andy has since gone home to get ready for his date, because he also has a life, and I’m busy preparing dinner on the deck for Mr. and Mrs. Green, coming over to experience fancy salads and the new outdoor heater.
Not only that, I made Judy’s famous Carmelitas. (Don’t worry, Alex. I’ve made an extra batch to send you.)
Growing up, I couldn’t wait to get out of this cursed house. Now living in the ghetto, scraping by on cheap booze and low end cheese, I’ve come to appreciate this palace on the mountain, occasionally parentless yet always packed with fixing’s and a basement full of vino. The sun’s always shining, the appliances always work, and I never have to lock my car…

Friday, August 26, 2005

this'd make one hell of a mix tape...

the top 10 songs i’m embarrassed to LOVE…

10. “Cry” by Godley and Crème
9. “Glory of Love” by Peter Cetera
8: “Dance” by LeAnn Womack
7. “Star to Fall” by Cabin Crew
6. “Girl on TV” by LFO
5. “Someday” by Nickelback
4. “When I’m Gone” by 3 Doors Down
3. “My Immortal” by Evanescence
2. “Dirty Diana” by Michael Jackson
1. “I'm With You" by Avril Levigne

also, last night, Andy and I came up with the top 5 shows that the elderly love:

5. Matlock
4. Murder She Wrote
3. Colombo
2. Perry Mason
1. In the Heat of the Night

Thursday, August 25, 2005

allow me to introduce blackie hudson... Posted by Picasa

welcome, richard...

So, I’m in the kitchen and I hear giggles coming from Zoe’s room. “Now, go show Auntie Beth!”
“No! She’s going to put it on the blog.”
“No she won’t. Relax. Show her!”
Apparently, if you hang out at 916A long enough, you end up in drag…

yet another weird gym experience...

A few weeks ago, I read an article that stated the fastest way to burn fat was to work out first thing in the morning. This may be a load of nonsense, but I have none the less been dragging my ass out of bed at 6:30 and hitting the gym. Normally, my city gym is packed with the elderly and homeless and I find myself working out next to some old Chinese man in a wife beater and dress pants. I actually enjoyed this, as I find this environment significantly less intimidating than other gyms filled with trophy wives in pearls and ripped Ivy League lawyers eyeing everyone but me.
However, I’ve noticed that the clientele at my gym at the break of dawn in entirely hot and happening, the treadmills and ellipticals packed with flawless bodies in designer athletic apparel. Instead of freaking out and feeling too unattractive to exercise with these people, I’ve decided that if I do it long enough, I’ll turn into one of them.
So this morning, I plodded in, affixed my gigantic headphones, cracked open a Vanity Fair and got to work. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice a huge bodybuilder type, complete with that leather belt thing wrapped around him and one of those tank tops with huge armholes. He appeared to be wandering around the gym, offering unsolicited encouragement to everyone. Leather belt stayed over by the stationary bikes, and I relaxed slightly assuming I’d finish before he found his way to the hidden bank of elliptical trainers where I was sweating away to the Dixie Chicks. Of course, the hidden bank of ellipticals is where all the losers work out, people such as myself who prefer that no one see them covered in an old college t-shirt and sweat. Leather Belt seemed to think that this is where his enthusiasm was needed most and started in on the flabby middle aged housewife to my right. I turned down the volume and eavesdropped:
“Come on, girl. Bring it!”
She looked up at him, rightly confused. It was if Leather Belt suddenly fancied himself our only motivation to work out and without his cheesy catchphrases, we’d all immediately turn into obese couch potatoes. I couldn’t figure out why he was doing this and it occurred to me that he might have been a gym employee, but this guy was too nuts.
“Push it harder! Up that resistance!”
Are you kidding me? This was bizarre and starting to frighten me, but I would be far too obvious if I suddenly stopped and exited. I was clearly next in line for the ridiculous pep talk and I braced myself for his onslaught of crap. Lo and behold, he looked at me and said, “Not enough sweat, honey! Crank it up!”
Oh my god. Was he gay? Flabby middle aged housewife looked over at me in sympathetic sisterhood but I was starting to get pissed. Zoe forcing me to do overhead arm curls is one thing, but some beefy queen in a weightlifting belt and a shirt that exposed his nipples telling me to “crank it up” is entirely another. He backed up, now addressing the entire section of the gym.
“Come on, y’all! Bring it!”
To my horror, two people on treadmills responded enthusiastically, pumping their fists and upping their incline. No! Don’t encourage the madness!
I turned up my volume and returned to my Vanity Fair article, hoping that, like most things, ignoring him would make him go away. This seemed to work, and Leather Belt eventually moved to another section of the gym, thank god. I soon finished my cardio and headed upstairs to the prison yard weightlifting area, hoping that Leather Belt wouldn’t find me there and add another 50 lbs. to my leg press while telling me to "bring it!"…

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

fuck. i have to drive to denver tomorrow... Posted by Picasa

sweet seats and sad so longs...

Tonight was Alex’s last night in town before heading to Regis University in Denver. Miraculously, I’d recently won 4 tickets to tonight’s Giants game in a raffle. So, Alex, Amanda, Big Chris and I headed down to SBC park for some free entertainment to send Alex on his way. Alex and Chris kept asking me where the seats were, and having won them, I had no idea. I repeated the section number to them over and over, and they had no reaction.
Sitting in the parking lot, we sipped Tecate and wine I had smuggled into a Gatorade bottle, Itty convincing me I could fit an entire convenience store into my huge jacket. Loaded with booze, we approach the stadium and hand over our tickets. We ran inside, thrilled my Chardonnay made it in and try to find some seats. All of a sudden, Alex and Chris realize that our seats are in some super special section where, among other things, the bar stays open past the seventh inning. I have never seen them react with such glee and delight, and they hopped up the stairs as Chris announced, “Shots on me!”
Itty and I couldn’t have cared less and soon had to rearrange ourselves because we were apparently asking too many questions. The game was fine, although I’m not sure the Giants practice very often. They started losing after the national anthem and never recovered.
Perhaps the highlight of our evening was when a gentleman in a rat costume threw salami at the crowd, prompting a riot unlike anything I’ve ever seen. We also saw several fights erupt over wayward sporting equipment, which provided much needed excitement.
On the ride home, Itty drew love notes all over Alex’s car, including hearts with “Call me!” written across them, refusing to discuss Alex’s early morning departure for college. While my first inclination is to violently vomit, I do adore the fact that my baby brother and my fabulous friend have fallen madly in love, and will sadly be devastated without each other.
The prodigal son will return however, already due to come back for an October weekend. They two of them dropped us off and went to go cry hysterically somewhere. We had a grand last night in town with Alex, sending him off drunk and sporty.
I shall miss him something awful…
amanda and her first pistachio... Posted by Picasa
nothin' says classy like chardonnay in a gatorade bottle... Posted by Picasa

i'm finally over dog, bounty hunter...

As has become customary, Big Chris came over last night with his burrito which he insists upon eating while sitting alone in the kitchen. I find this very strange and am starting to feel like we’re married. Anyway, I forced him to watch Growing Up Gotti and Laguna Beach, both now airing on Monday’s. Thus, we’re calling it Gotti and Guna. Big Chris was at first disgusted by my reality television obsession, but soon became just as engrossed as the rest of the world, remarking about Talan, “That guy’s a douchebag.”
I won’t go on and on about these shows because I know that some of you have lives and don’t know or care about these people, but let me offer the following comments about Gotti: The best part of the show is no longer Victoria, Carmine, John or Frankie. It’s Robert, Victoria’s gay, gay, gay live-in friend and assistant and Angel, her adorable sister currently living in the guesthouse. These two are fabulous and all of the new episodes should be centered around them. To dare but to dream…

Monday, August 22, 2005

likely, the day's most under-reported act of terrorism...

Still in a great deal of pain, I watched the first two Godfather’s last night and fell asleep. I was awoken at 4:36am by a thunderous crash. In such a deep sleep, I became confused and disoriented, somehow thinking that Zoe or Richard had fallen in the bathroom. Figuring that they were each other’s problem, I rolled over and went back to sleep.
At 7:15am, my alarm went off, I slid out of bed and into the bathroom. There appeared to be no sign of collapse, struggle or mishap and I brushed my teeth wondering if I would find bandaged and bloody friends at the kitchen table. I then emerged from the bathroom and went to grab a white dress shirt from my closet.
It seems that last night, at 4:36am, my extensive and needless wardrobe finally overtook the wooden rod holding it all up and collapsed. Literally hundreds of ensembles are now in a huge, filthy, unfixable pile WAIST HIGH overflowing from within my closet. In a sad twist, this isn’t the first time this has happened, and I’m all too familiar with the task of putting this house of cards back together. What I find most distressing is the fact that my pointy toed green slingbacks did not survive the tragic disaster and shall be buried in the backyard during tonight’s memorial service…

Sunday, August 21, 2005

oh, i've never had a jello shot! Posted by Picasa

selective memory...

My baby brother is off to college in Denver this week, abandoning not only his friends and girlfriend, but his needy big sister. Thus last night, we threw Alex a little going away shindig. I don’t think I drank THAT much. I certainly wasn’t pounding the Jell-O shots like my mother. But somehow I’m paying the humiliating price today.
I awoke this morning to an email from 3D, thanking me for last night’s mayhem and asking me if I remember falling down.
I’m sorry. What?
Other than my knee being in unexplainable excruciating pain, I had no inckling that in attempting to get Kim some water, I completely tumbled over, throwing water on us all.
After brunch with the kids in the Castro, I came home and watched The Deep End of the Ocean on Lifetime. With a pounding head and screaming stomach, I became so engrossed of this Michelle Pfeiffer drama about her kid that gets kidnapped and then miraculously found, that I started crying. And, I’m not talking misty eyes, slight sniffles, weepy kind of crying. I’m talking a solid ten minutes of sobbing, my shirt wet from all the liquor flavored tears, weird halted breathing thing crying.
I lost it. I completely lost it.
I knew that drinking too much made me ill and unattractive, filled with physical pain and regret of the few things I actually remember. I had no idea it could turn me into an emotional mess, the slightest bit of heavy handed family tragedy sending me into a spell that most likely alarmed the neighbors…
so long, alex... Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 19, 2005

i still l.u.v. him...

So, instead of rolling around the backseat of a Towncar with the Mayor, as was my plan for this evening, I spent it watching Laguna Beach with Zoe and Richard. I assure you that I attempted to go out, hating to waste this outfit I still refuse to take off, calling Ryan and begging him to go to Lion Pub.
“Ryan, your fucking former boss bailed on me today for some stupid explosion and I NEED to go out.”
“Yeah. I know. That’s my brother’s building.“
I was too riled up to even express concern. “Okay? That doesn’t help me.“
“You picked the wrong weekend to party. I’ve got duty.” Ryan’s in the Army Reserves and occasionally has to go guard things, as if this is an acceptable excuse.
“But I’m all dressed up!”
“I can't believe you're this upset. Can't you get dressed up next weekend?”
I rolled my eyes and sighed. “I suppose so.”
To depressed to even stop by BevMo to stock up for tomorrow’s shindig, I went home and fell onto my bed, still shocked my sure thing blew me off for some electrical man hole disaster at a lesser Ralph Lauren retail location.
I wallowed in a Laguna Marathon, Zoe and I developing a rather unhealthy relationship with each and every character. So involved in the coastal real-life drama of gorgeous teenagers, we actually fell off our respective couches when Tallan confessed to Taylor, “I love you... Well, I don’t love you. I l.u.v. you.”
As a result of today’s tragic events, I’ve forsaken my jet set, free-wheeling lifestyle to obsess about Steven from Laguna Beach while eating chocolate and drinking this morning’s leftover coffee…

drumroll, please...

Let me just say, I looked good. Really fucking good. I’m waxed, I’m manicured, I’m covered in Banana Republic’s latest. I was at the gym at 7am, the tanning salon at 8am, blowing out my hair by 9. Pencil skirt, cashmere sweater, designer stilettos…one more time; I looked good.
So, it is with heavy heart that I inform you a downtown explosion kept Gavin from lunch. 60 of us sat in the private dining room of the North Beach Restaurant, downing wine and beer, lamenting the fact that had we known the mayor would be otherwise engaged, few of us would have shown.
Instead of Gavin speaking, the group dove into a political discussion on foreign policy, my father and Greg thrown into a frenzy of Iraqi war crimes and oil conflict. Quite frankly, I couldn’t have cared less, although I certainly pretended to, because I was seated next to a very well-dressed and wedding ring-less young real estate developer who wouldn’t stop pouring me Pinot Grigio.
After much buildup, dad decided Gavin had probably read the blog and chickened out. I can’t say I blame him.

But shit. Nothing’s sadder than wasted cashmere and lipgloss…

Thursday, August 18, 2005

i'm just going to ignore that stupid restraining order...

Signs are everywhere. Consummation is imminent. I’ve already contacted Colin Cowie, wedding planner to the stars. This morning, I turned on the TV and who was staring back at me? Gavin, of course.
I’m so riled up, I don’t even know if I can type this coherently, but he was wearing designer athletic apparel while being interviewed at Fort Point. (that’s the place directly under the Golden Gate where they shoot Luther Vandross videos.) Apparently, he had been jogging and was stopped for in interview with Mornings on 2.
Amazingly, he discussed, among other things, the horror of waiting in unending lines to pay for parking tickets at DPT, which is something I write about all the time. I wonder if he reads the blog? (Who am I kidding? Of course he does.)
The interview was brief and I spent it not listening, but admiring his ensemble. Nothing melts my butter like a well dressed man in a suit that costs more than my car, but we get to see Gavin model his Zegna all the time. Occasionally, we’ll see him sport an unbuttoned dress shirt, having a casual Saturday morning meeting with Baptist church leaders or high school poetry contest winners, but to capture Gavin first thing in the morning, jogging in what I believe to be a Prada fleece and Adidas running pants in a rare sighting indeed.
We know the intimate sartorial details because the camera actually panned out to capture his entire outfit, even the news team excited to see Gavin modeling such a sporty look.
He tossed his head back and chuckled (no, his hair did not move) and jogged off. To my immense horror, some skank in a cheap ass bright red track suit joined him. I stood before my television stunned into silence, amazed Gavin would allow a goddamn groupie to chase him around San Francisco. Perhaps, he’s aware that I won’t run for my life, much less for exercise, and had to scrounge around to find a flat-chested lesbian to accompany him for protection or a discussion on gay marriage.
Either way, we’ll be making eyes at each other across the lunch table tomorrow and god-willing, I’ll be writing my next blog having been impregnated with Gavin Jr…

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

take this performance fleece and shove it...

After work yesterday, I decided to swing by my neighborhood Old Navy to look into some cheap denim skirts. I loaded my arms with apparel and headed for the unisex dressing rooms. Apparently, my letter writing campaign worked and Old Navy has finally lifted the dressing room limit of 8 items. Thus, me and my 16 skirts and coordinated tops entered room #8 and I immediately removed my clothes.
I dove in and out of skirts and blouses, mixing olive colored blazers with distressed bootcuts, entirely lost in my world of inexpensive and poorly made sweat shop products. Suddenly, I hear someone fumbling with the door handle of my room. Using the standard public restroom line, I screamed, “Someone’s in here!”, assuming this would do the trick.
No such luck.
The rocket scientist hired to handle the fast paced environment of the Old Navy dressing room was oblivious, and with a key still attached to their belt, unlocked my door and flung it open. I found an entire Filipino family staring at me in my underwear, shocked into silence at the sight of me with half a shirt on and a mini-skirt around my ankles. Even I was appalled at how absolutely dreadful I looked, threw my hands up in the air in defeat and said, in perhaps a slightly rude tone, “Anything I can help you with?”
The key-happy attendant muttered, “Sorry, ma’am”, making me feel not only ugly, but now old, and slowly closed the door.
I buttoned my shirt while staring at myself in the mirror, wondering how the world managed to constantly conspire against me. After that, everything I tried on looked horrible and I gave up. I was terrified to leave room #8, although I don’t know why. After all, about 5 people had just seen me as close to naked as I ever get. None the less, I hid behind my armfuls of crap and booked it out of there, avoiding eye contact with anyone.
It didn’t matter. I’m positive news of humiliation had already made its way around the store via those shitty little headsets anyway…

Monday, August 15, 2005

miles owen, what the hell are you doing in there...

I’ve been bombarded with queries so allow me to announce it via blog: Margot is still carrying around that dreaded parasite, so packed into her womb that she can make out his little toes! Margot’s been having contractions for two weeks, told this baby would pop out ages ago by her team of doctors.
Nope. Miles is still marinating.
Thus, they’re forcing the little fella out of her on Thursday night at 9pm. Sounds pleasant. Check back for updates…

Saturday, August 13, 2005

i don't know what jesse is doing, either... Posted by Picasa
oh joanne... Posted by Picasa
the winetasting got a little out of hand... Posted by Picasa

great nose, with a hint of buttered popcorn...

There are touristy things that I find ridiculous and touristy things that I find fabulous. Guess where wine tasting falls. Seven of us piled into a huge rented van and headed north, deciding on Sonoma over Napa to explore the wineries. We drank and ate and drank and ate and drank….literally, until it was time to turn around and head back to my parents for the much anticipated “Big Dinner.”
My mom’s got outdoor dining down to a science, and soon our backyard was filled with the likes of Judy, Zoe, Andy, Big Chris, and Dani who just happened to be in town from New York. There were fifteen of us in all, and the “kids” delighted in getting our own table as we outnumbered the oldies 2 to 1. While I was warned repeatedly throughout the day and well into the night, “This better not go on the blog, Beth!“ I have no wacky stories of mayhem and madness. It was perfect…

Friday, August 12, 2005

welcome to san francisco... Posted by Picasa
jesse can't stop dancing... Posted by Picasa

booze, boobs and burlesque...

Jesse and Shane had a wedding party thing to attend, so we decided to meet up later in the evening. Alex, Chris and I adventurously decided to dine on Senegalese food in the Mission. It was fabulous. Buzz was that my friend Kathleen was performing a musical act in a burlesque show in the Haight. I dragged the boys out there to meet up with Zoe, Richard and Justin. Having never been to a burlesque show, I had no idea what to expect. All of a sudden, amid a bar packed full of extras from Swingers, the lights dim and a cross between Boy George and Marilyn Manson emerges and sits at the piano. He begins to play a bizarre song, prompting Alex to text me from across the bar, “This makes me want to kill myself.”
He quickly changed his tune when a bunch of tattooed, big boobed women came on stage and started stripping down to their pasties. The apparent main attraction was a gal called “Miss Eva von Slut - Burlesque Superstar”, prompting Chris to text me from across the bar, “It’s called a sit-up.” He has a point. The “dancers” were, for the most part, significantly voluptuous, although I must say it made me feel fabulous about my body and suddenly wanting to pole dance.
After the first “set”, Jesse and Shane appeared, slightly intoxicated and silently thrilled to be checking out women covered in nothing but tattoos and sequins. The show started up again, Kathleen and Justin making their way on stage to display talents of the clothed variety. To say Kathleen is incredible is an understatement, she’ so fucking amazing, and Jesse’s jaw dropped when she began to sing the blues. After hanging with Kathleen, we headed back to the Mission and ended up at Beauty Bar. Now, let me just say, Jesse and Shane rarely get to go out and hit the town, especially this one, and I was a little worried I was forcing them into my world of booze and boobs. I needn’t have been concerned. We all proceed to continue the rounds of cocktails, Jesse and I eventually ending up on the dance floor. Jesse’s a gorgeous woman, obviously. But, when she hits the dance floor, we all need to watch out. Even the DJ. Busting a move to Michael Jackson, this former Prom Queen’s ass flies into the DJ booth, skipping the King of Pop. I think I actually ended up on the floor, I was laughing so hard. With bowed heads, we left the dance floor and made our way back to the boys, explaining the fiasco. “I didn’t even hear it skip!” Shane proclaimed.
I did.
We came pretty close to closing the place, stumbling home at 5am Philly time, where we ended up recapping the evening in the backyard, sipping Stella and soon passing out. Horribly hungover, I’ve just awoken to the frightening realization that today, we’re going wine-tasting in Napa. Part of me feels like Crazy Californian Beth, the boozy bad influence. The other part of me feels like an excellent tour guide. I mean, huge tattooed women performing an old school strip act amid fedora clad hipsters and drag queens is kinda like my version of the Liberty Bell…
corrupting the pennsylvanians... Posted by Picasa
hi, we'll be your tourguides this evening... Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 11, 2005

a little background...

Once upon a time, I went off to fashion school in Philadelphia. On my second day there, I met a girl named Jesse who rapidly became one of my closest friends. Her parents a mere hour away in Spring City, Jesse would often take me home with her for the weekend and over time, I was essentially adopted by her spectacularly wonderful family. Jesse’s parent’s, Robyn and Klaus, would look after me, sending me home with food and mittens, fixing my car, and storing my crap every summer. Jesse’s older sister Molly, herself in college not too far away at Lehigh, would invite us to huge fraternity parties, teaching us drinking games and letting us crash on her floor. Thanksgiving’s were spent at Aunt Bonnie’s in Scranton, with a myriad of hilarious cousins and grandparents whom I’ve come to love dearly.
One day, Jesse switched dorms and moved into a townhouse next door to a bunch of guys, one of whom was a looker named Shane from upstate New York. Overcoming his apparent shyness, Shane procured some tickets to a comedy show and invited Jesse. Jesse accepted under the condition that her two friends, Carrie and Beth, could chaperone. Pages fall off the calendar, Jesse and Shane fall in love and eventually get married. In the midst of all this Robyn and Klaus meet Dick and Joanne and discover that they’re fast friends. This one big happy family now makes pilgrimages back and forth, across the red states, for weddings and train rides and sailing trips. I call them my Pennsylvanian family, and Robyn enjoys confusing people by introducing me as her middle daughter.
In a much anticipated excursion, Robyn, Klaus, Jesse, Shane, Molly and her boyfriend Brodey are all here, and for the most part, my responsibility to entertain. Today we enjoyed breakfast at Atlas, hiked through Muir Woods, had al fresco lunch in Mill Valley, shopped fancy stores, visited Judy and her amazing house, drove down the crookedest street in the world, saw the Castro, the Mrs. Doubtfire house, and North Beach, and now shall hit the town. I am so fucking sick of tourist locals, I’m ready to kill myself…
the pennsylvanians take over muir woods... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Because my life is very glamorous and exciting, I spent last night cleaning my house and watching High Crimes, starring Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman. It’s been written many times the world over, but it’s got to be said once more; No one plays a wife done wrong escaping from murderers in the midst of confusing conspiracy better that Ashley Judd. Torn between her womanly obligations and kung fu skills, she’s perfected the look of determination under military pressure. You’d think it would disgust me. It doesn’t. I love High Crimes. I love Kiss the Girls. I love Double Jeopardy.
In High Crimes, we follow Ashley as she discovers her hot Marine husband is being charged with capital war crimes he claims he didn’t commit, framed by high ranking generals and their one-eyed flunkie. Enlisting the help of “wild card” former military lawyer Morgan Freeman, Ashley, a lawyer herself, decides to defend her husband from the evil, conniving military who will do anything to cover up a massacre in El Salvador, a massacre they claimed her husband orchestrated.
Needless to say, all of the important eye witnesses have died under mysterious circumstances and Ashley is constantly finding herself in peril, thwarting break-ins and dramatic murder attempts, at one point finding undercover Marines spraying down her SUV with oil and running her off the road into the ever present water. Ashley Judd never JUST crashes her car. It always ends up in water from which she must escape. Also, in an uncomfortable constant secondary theme, we’re forced to shift in our seats watching poorly scripted sexual tension between our heroine and the geriatric Morgan Freeman.
Zoe, the roommate with a life, came home just at the end and was informed, “I’m watching High Crimes and I’m VERY invested.”
Wise woman that she is, Zoe hid in the kitchen until I emerged from the living room, in disgusted glee at the cheesiness of High Crimes. I’d worry about ruining the movie, but it’s beyond predictable. Turns out, Ashley’s bastard husband committed the heinous high crimes after all (duh) and we find this out in the last 2 seconds in which she escapes one last time, saved by the lone El Salvadorian survivor of the massacre.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

ladies and gentlemen...kenny!

To know me is to know that I adore my digital camera. My father bestowed matching ones on my mother and I for Christmas, and we both use them constantly. I am rarely without mine, taking it out nightly to capture any mayhem which might occur. A few weeks ago, to my horror, I discovered that the little shutter thing had broken off the lens. I freaked out and today, finally got around to taking my precious camera up to the electronics store to get it fixed. I assumed they’d take it in the back and have in ready in a day or two, certainly in time to capture tomorrow’s weeklong visit of my Pennsylvanians. Apparently, that’s not the way it works. The staff insisted that I call some company, get them to send me some box, mail my camera off to some foreign country, and wait years to get it back. That is, unless I want to ask Kenny.
Yeah. Kenny. “Hey, Kenny, get over here.”
Kenny is a little different, to say the least. I can’t really describe him, save to mention that he’s half-disabled hunchback/half-gang member.
“Hi Kenny. I’m Beth. I broke my camera, and it seems like it should be so easy to fix. I’d hate to send it away. Plus, I have all these friends coming to stay with me tomorrow and I’d really like my camera to work. Any ideas?”
“Damn. Lemme see.” He grabs the camera from my hands, crushing the lens with his thumb as I cringed. Seeming to break my camera before my eyes, Kenny rapidly disappeared and no one, other than myself, seemed to particularly care.
I stood at the counter, a sales person attempting to find my father’s receipt in an ancient computer as I frantically eyed the store, desperate to find this Kenny. Suddenly, as if from thin air, he appears at my side. Kenny hands me my camera.

It’s fixed.

“Kenny! Oh my god! I love you! What’s it like to be a genius?”
“It’s cool. You need anything else, today?”
Feeling like a huge bitch for judging a book by its cover, I replied, “A hug.”
“Awww, shit.” He blushed, giggled, and just as mysteriously as he had appeared, wandered behind a plasma TV and disappeared.
I think I’m in love…

Monday, August 08, 2005

beth and hugh's high school reunion...

There is nothing so appalling as receiving your 10 year high school reunion announcement. Sadly, I went to high school with a bunch of ultra-organized, over achieving perky people who simply can’t wait to get together and reminisce about how much fun we all pretended to have, so they’ve begun alerting us that we should begin preparing for this reunion, due to occur in a year and a half.
I don’t know exactly how to prepare for this dreaded event, save to stop eating and start trying to become famous. I’ll also begin interviewing male models to escort me through the cafeteria, hoping to develop a report over the next few months that will allow for us to appear madly in love.
In high school, I’d fantasize about showing up at my 10 year reunion with an Oscar and Hugh Grant. I’d lug my Oscar from table to table, as Hugh would brush women out of his path, attempting to bring me wine while maintaining distant yet charming conversations with everyone I ever loathed. Former classmates would blatantly kiss my ass, as Hugh would throw an arm around me and say things like, “My darling Beth was correct after all. It seems that you, my dear, are indeed a skank.”
We’d whisper in the corner, appearing annoyed yet accommodating when well wishers would interrupt, asking to touch my statuette or run their fingers through Hugh’s hair. We’d stay for nearly half an hour, just enough time for everyone to notice and become wildly jealous, and then we’d hop into Hugh’s Aston Martin and peel away. Some brown nosing wench would chase after us, screaming, “Beth! Beth! You forgot your Oscar!”
“Oh, keep it!” I’d scream back. “I’ll get more…”

Sunday, August 07, 2005

insightful andy...

After work on Friday, I swung by Andy’s to hang out before we went to the movies. On our way out, we passed the front hall table in the lobby of his apartment building and I noticed a very fabulous and very gay men’s clothing catalog. As Andy rolled his eyes at me, I grabbed it and as soon as we got to the car, we cracked it open. The pages were packed, at first with beefy men sporting bizarre and unexplainably complicated underwear, and then with models in the most hilarious clothes ever produced in Euro-trash factories. I’ve seen this genre of catalog before, and I adore it.
From leather pants that dramatically laced up the sides to gauze caftans for lounging around the pool at Fire Island, this catalog has it all. Apparently, this was a teenage Andy’s first version of porn, and now in that industry himself, he looked at the pages nostalgically, remembering how wonderfully forbidden he once found them.
“Oh, girl. I know! We each have to pick a guy on each page. You’ve got to find one that you’d be willing to sleep with.”
“To date?”
“No. There will be no talking.”
“Oh, okay. Got it.”
On some pages, we’d both lunge for the same guy, usually the lesser of several greased up evils. Occasionally, we’d have very opposing tastes, or find it difficult to select any one at all. I mean, these guys look like freaks. They’re beautiful and tan and muscley, but freaks.
“Oh, Miss Beth. I’m all up in his shit.”
“No way! That guy looks like the kind of guy that puts a roofie in your drink at tropical hotel bars. I like that guy.”
“That guy? You can’t be serious.”
“I think we can agree on him, then.”
“Oooooo. Yes! Next page.”
This went on for a good 15 minutes, Andy and I sitting in a parked car objectifying catalog models. I don’t know that we’ve ever laughed harder. As we drove away, I spotted a construction worker, and couldn’t help myself.
“Well, hello to YOU!” I screamed out the window, like a huge and embarrassing idiot.
“You know, Beth.” Andy said, as he looked over at me. “That little catalog game we played. That’s how men think all the time…”

Friday, August 05, 2005

color me badd...

After “mellow” drinks with Kelsey, which resulted in me setting myself on fire in the back of her truck and cheap burritos with Chris, which resulted in me dying of dysentery in the Beauty Bar, I went home and crawled into bed with my books. I discovered an old grammar school journal and was shocked to find that I kept track of what I wore, down to accessories, every time I went out.
Wearing a uniform for 9 years meant that any social engagement outside of school or any “free dress” day was the only time to display one’s fashion sense, something I still take very seriously. Sadly, I found the following entry:

“Today was rad. We went to Great America and had an after party at Jennifer’s. I sat next to Marc on the roller coaster TWICE and he kept pulling my scrunchie out.
-purple and pink tunic sweater
-purple stirrups
-pink socks
-LA Gear high tops
-pink scrunchie (crimped hair)
-peace sign earrings
Nicole like my outfit and said it was really flattering. She thinks she’s so great. Lauren wore two t-shirts and rolled the sleeves so you saw both colors. She had a matching friendship bracelet. It looked cool.”

In reviewing this entry, I remembered what a fucking bitch that Nicole was and how I worshiped Lauren, always 2 steps ahead of anything fabulous. From what I’ve heard, little has changed for both of them in this regard since 1991…

Thursday, August 04, 2005

i'm an ameriCAN, not an ameriCAN'T...

I’m a Democrat and I don’t listen to country music. That being said, my new favorite song is this little tune an Iraq soldier wrote and recorded about how much he loves being an American. I’d been seeing articles about this guy online and finally made my way to his website and listened to the song.
At first, I found it somewhat funny, someone stupid, and somewhat offensive.
Then, I listened to it again.
And again.
In fact, I can’t stop. I’m meeting Kelsey after work tonight and I’m going to make her listen to it, this song is so fabulous.
Don’t think that I’m mocking the military or this great country. I’m absolutely not. While I’m entirely opposed to this particular war, I have both a HUGE respect and affinity for members of the armed forces. And I fucking love this song…

“If you got something bad to say about the USA
You better say it for different ears unless you want to crawl away.”

how spots met her (first) husband...

I usually take the main drag into work, but lately, there’s been a lot of construction and a lot of delays. It sucks and is highly frustrating. I’ve taken to exiting the freeway earlier and driving through Tam Valley to get to work, stopping not at my ghetto gas station off the freeway for coffee, but at the conveniently located Starbucks.
As I stood in line waiting for my much needed latte, this older guy with a Homer Simpson-esque separation of t-shirt and pant starts eyeing me. I pretend to dig thought my Michael Kors knock-off, hoping to avoid his persistent eye contact at all costs. But Homer takes no hints and comes up behind me, tapping me on the shoulder.
Annoyed and slightly frightened, I turn around and stare him down, attempting to appear as intimidating as possible. Undeterred, he looks me up and down and says, “Nice specs.”
I should point out, there were tons of perfectly hot guys in this Starbucks, guys I would love to tap me on the shoulder and say something hopefully wittier than, “Nice specs.” But they were busy talking to supermodel brain surgeons, all of whom seemed to sport the Gwen Stefani-esque separation of t-shirt and pant.
Trapped, I replied with a disinterested, “Thanks”, and prayed for the fucking barista to speed up that foam. Homer apparently couldn’t think of anything else to say. He just stood there, staring at my specs and eating some kind of pastry from his Starbucks bag, getting most of it on his already filthy shirt. Finally, the coffee wench screams, “Bev!” and assuming she meant me, I grab the coffee and split, saying not a word to Homer. Driving the rest of the way to work, I lament the fact that Homer found me attainable, resigning myself to the fact that I’m probably destined to end up with someone who spills food on themselves and says things like, “Nice specs.”
I roll my eyes, turn up the gay disco, and take a sip of my latte. Only, it’s not a latte. It’s someone named Bev’s green tea…

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

472 minutes to go...

How are we supposed to work today when in a mere 10 hours, the Blow Out Reunion Special airs? Zoe is beginning with the marathon at 4, hoping to catch up by the finale at 7, so she doesn’t ask stupid questions during the sacred reunion at 8. Jason and Chris are coming over to join us, along with anyone else who wants, and I’m trying to think of Jonathan-esque snacks to serve. What are Jonathan’s favorite foods? What’s Jonathan’s favorite cocktail? Does Jonathan have a favorite home fragrance?
I have an unhealthy obsession with anything related to this show, and want to invent a drinking game in which guests are forced to do a shot every time Jonathan cries, overcompensates for his obvious gayness or punches a wall. I think that the best thing about Jonathan is the fact that if I invited him to come over and hang out at our house, he’d be totally uncomfortable, unable to interact with “regular” people, and would probably refuse to use our bathroom.
I am so excited, I can barely stand it and have blown out my hair today to commemorate this momentous occasion…

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

and the letter is...u!

It seems the game of Scattegories has taken over my family. And it seems Zoe’s got a little competitive streak. Mom and Dad had Zoe and I and both Big and New Chris over for dinner last night, a dinner which ended in a heated and hotly contested game of Scattegories. Games of any kind are taken quite seriously, and Scattegories has become our new obsession. Dad actually contested Zoe’s answers by running to the computer, only to be proved wrong. A company named Molly McButter does indeed exist! 2 points for Zoe. (I believe Dad even signed her up for their newsletter, to exact his revenge.)
The last time we played, Big Chris spent the entire next day e-mailing my family with links to prove his contested answers. He arrived last night with a new plan. According to the rules, you’re not supposed to look up answers anywhere. The players vote with thumbs up or down, a collective and official decision on an answer. Let me just say, people took the thumb thing way too seriously.
When dad offered “Lake Tahoe State Park” as a park beginning with the letter L, Big Chris screamed, “Thumbs way down, Dick!”
“Those kind of places are always state parks.” Dad bluffed.
Turns out, there IS a Lake Tahoe State Park. 1 point for Dad.
For celebrities beginning with the letter L, I was desperate for a double-pointer and came up with the obscure Lorenzo Lamas. Unfortunately, Big Chris had the same stroke of genius and we cancelled each other out. For sad and unexplainable reasons, Zoe’s the only one who came up with Lindsey Lohan. I’m still kicking myself this morning.
Apparently spending lots of time with dignitaries, New Chris offered “clapping” as a C word for a way of greeting someone. We agreed to give him a thumbs up, but only if we were allowed to wildly applaud every time he entered the room. Also Chris, “large knife” doesn’t count as an L word for anything.
And finally, poor mom, who has played this game a thousand times, completely forgot the rules and thought of 12 H words for things you’d find at a picnic. She spent the rest of the evening being harassed by her fellow players, who would periodically yell, “How about hot sauce, Joanne.” “Need any horseradish?” “Oh Joanne, can you pass me some ham? Just kidding…”