Wednesday, November 30, 2005

pull out your hankies...

So, I think we all know what I did last night at 10.
Uh, hello? It’s Barbara Walters 10 Most Fascinating People of 2005. Sadly, I was number 11 and my fascinating interview didn’t make it to air. Luckily, my voice cannot be silenced and I shall leave you selected excerpts of my interview with Babs:

(fountained courtyard of random Ian Schrager hotel, Barbara in something from St. John’s 1984 resort collection, Beth sitting opposite her in highly dramatic chiffon and diamonds, a la Elizabeth Taylor/Diana Ross/Elton John.)

Barbara (insert speech impediment): Tell me, Beth. Are you surprised to be chosen as one of my Most Fascinating People of 2005?

Beth: Frankly, Barbara, no. I’ve been waiting for this moment since that suit debuted. It’s about fucking time so let’s get the show on the road. Make me cry, old lady. I dare you.

Barbara: Ha! There’s that biting wit that’s come to offend and confuse so many. Rumor has it, you’re poor. What’s that like?

Beth: It sucks. Worse, I have very expensive taste. I only pay retail. Anything else is embarrassing. Have you met Gavin?

Barbara: Are you referring to the Mayor of San Francisco?

Beth: What? I didn’t understand a word of that.

Barbara: What does Beth do to unwind? How does Beth relax? What makes Beth smile?

Beth: Not speaking in the third person. Oh Babs, I’m just fucking with you. Um, I unwind by going to cheesy gay clubs by myself on Sunday afternoons and dancing like I know what I’m doing. I also enjoy Marathon Monday’s of the West Wing on Bravo and selected episodes of Dog, Bounty Hunter.

Barbara: You’re really quite a fan of television. If you were to select my list for Most Fascinating People of 2005, whom would you pick?

Beth: Good question. I’m way ahead of you.

10: Tara Reid
9: Joe Simpson
8: Kate Moss
7: Paris Lastis
6: Clay Aiken
5: K-Fed
4: Anna Ayala, the Wendy’s finger chili lady
3: Barbara Bush
2: Margaret Perrin
1: Joaquin Pheonix

Monday, November 28, 2005

please don't sue me...

Berkeleyist e-mailed me today wondering if Gavin and Kimberly spent Thanksgiving together. Uh, no. Of course they didn’t. Why would my genius boyfriend go and do a stupid thing like that. I’m pretty sure this is what each of them did last Thursday:

Gavin’s Thanksgiving Schedule:

7am-8am: Hair styling
8am-9am: Apparel selection and application of custom fragrance
9am-12noon: Food shelter photo ops and hobo outreach
12noon-1pm: Appearance at Vegan Thanksgiving Block Party in Bernal Heights
1pm-1:02pm: Obligatory holiday call to Kimberly
1:02pm-1:10pm: Making fun of obligatory phone call with friends
1:10pm-2pm: Afternoon cocktails at City Tavern
2pm-5pm: Thanksgiving with well-dressed family members in Pacific Heights.
5pm-5:30pm: Cocktails in servant’s quarters with household help
5:30pm-6pm: Evening apparel selection
6pm-7pm: Hair re-styling
7pm-11pm: Trendy Urban Thanksgiving dinner party with 12-15 friends including lots of discussion on foreign policy, feminist authors, new organic restaurants and my blog
11pm-11:30pm: Reading of my blog
11:30pm-12midnight: Prayer and Meditation

Kimberly’s Thanksgiving Schedule:

12noon-1pm: Waking up hungover and alone
1pm-1:02pm: Pathetic, desperate phone call with ex-husband
1:02pm-2pm: Regret of Vanity Fair Photo Shoot
2pm-4pm: Secret visit with plastic surgeon
4pm-5pm: Pretending not to see beggars
5pm-6pm: Weekly reading of In Touch Magazine
6pm-9pm: Chinese food with Bobby Trendy and Marla Maples
9pm-12midnight: Pinot Grigio in lobby of Waldorf while gold-digging
12midnight-3am: Drunken table dancing at Bungalow 8 with people who think she’s Kimberly Stewart
3am-4am: Allowing bus boy to grope her in exchange for cab fare


Talan and Kimbitchly have called off their engagement.
Hold on. I need to pick my jaw up off the floor. I’m so shocked, I can barely believe I CALLED IT 2 WEEKS AGO.
Far more upsetting to my universe is the split of Nick and Jessica. I hate to admit it, but I kinda liked them.
Especially him.
Okay. Only him.
As I stood in line at Safeway (unwittingly overdrawing my account) I stared at their faces splashed across magazine covers and wondered if it was all worth it. I mean, they both possessed dwindling careers until MTV came along and offered them the devil’s contract. Would you agree to let cameras into your home so that your foibles could be edited into entertainment for bored Americans provided that it made you an appallingly huge star yet ruined your relationship with the one person that was able to tolerate your stupidity?
Fuck yes…

Sunday, November 27, 2005

beth is an emotional wreck...

I love them so much I can barely stand it. The lads just left, and I can’t believe it but I actually cried. Maybe it’s because I’m a chick, maybe it’s because I had 3 glasses of wine at the “Goodbye Dinner” and they had goat, or maybe it’s because they’re the three greatest lads to ever fucking live, but I’d lie down in traffic for each of them.
Aaaaarghhhh!! The Lads! Aaaarrrggghhh!

every time I hear U2 from now on...

If you don't love the lads, I don't love you...

actually, that ron's kinda cute...

4 hours sleep in 5 days has finally taken its toll. I would say that I’m the one who has become too old for this, however, I’d like to point out that the lads abstained from booze yesterday. We went to Harry Potter instead where I learned in great detail just how hot Hermione has become and in what specific ways she’s developed physically over the course of her adventures with Harry. I was far too exhausted to find any 12 years olds attractive for 2 and half hours and focused all remaining energy on keeping my eyes open.
The lads leave tonight, but before they do, dad is taking all of us to La Rondella for “real Mexican food” with some “real Mexicans.” After they leave, I plan to take an appallingly long shower, do my nails with my beloved roommate and say a prayer thanking God for Ireland…

PS. I wanna give a shout-out to Finian in Limerick…

Saturday, November 26, 2005

the lads...

The lads do this thing, which I find so Irish that it can't possibly be real, where they'll say something funny or sing some drinking song and in the first moment of silence, one will inevitably say in an old man voice, "Ah, the lads." at which point they all start punching each other, growling, "Arrghhh!!!The lads! Arrrghh!"
Example: When driving to my house in the Mision, all of us packed into my car, we passed a building at which Ben had no choice but to announce, "I had sex in that hotel."

Arrrghhhh! The lads! The lads! Arrrghhhh!

greg's 21st...

Chinatown and Thanksgiving are pretty self explanatory, save to mention that the boys went to bed at 4:30 in the morning after exhaustive hours of Pit, Scattegories and Cranium. We awoke to Greg's 21st birthday and decided to drive out to the beach and hit the Pelican Inn before heading to the city to celebrate.
Wandering around Muir Beach was fun, especailly with boys because they're always playing with sticks or pushing each other in the water, which I find highly entertaining. I also learned 2 things at the beach: How not to fly a kite and that Greg is the grestest rock skipper on the planet. He really is quite something.
We jumped over to the Pelican Inn, a teeny, tiny little pub that I've mentioned here before. It's one of my favorite places, but I've never seen it as overflowing as I saw it yesterday. There was some kind of English ballad band playing and people exploded from the tiny room by the dozens. I don't know exactly how - maybe it's because my father ended up knowing half the people in there, maybe it's because we were with three adorable Irish guys who can make "excuse me" sound a lot more charming than the rest of us can - but we ended up taking over the middle of the bar, the lads attempting to drown out the balladeers with their Irish chanting. People kept buying us drinks and by the time we left, the sky was dark and the roads windy. I was having so much fun, I truly hated to go and would have been perfectly happy to spend the rest of the evening there, but we'd promised Greg we'd hit the big city bars and thus, had to head home.
Taking two cars means we have to split up constantly, and in an unexpected twist, I'm actually enjoying being a chauffer. Why? Because these boys will sing anything at the top of their lungs with appalling enthusiasm. You have not lived until you've crossed the Golden Gate Bridge with 6 people and their luggage packed in a Honda Civic singing U2 at the top of their lungs like there was no tomorrow.
I kept thinking, "This is so much fun. I'm having so much fun."
But once again, the universe must remind me just what a dork I am. Having made it to my place in the Mission, the boys found themselves "peckish" so Cathal, Rob, Ben and I decided to go on a taco run.
Let me preface this by saying I was relatively sober, so I was just as shocked as everyone else when I tripped on my own flip flop and ate concrete.
When I fall, which is often, it's never some adorable lady like, cutsey fall. It's horrible, hard and wildly unattractive. After the boys picked me up, dusted me off and stopped laughing, Rob looks at me and says, "San Francisco: 1. Beth: 0."



Wednesday, November 23, 2005

the secret to life...

Because The Commitments have taken over upstairs, and let me just say for the record right now that I love all three of them with every fiber of my being, I slept in the living room last night and was awoken at 6am by aurora borealis streaming through the curtain-less windows. I got up and made some coffee, joined hours later by the next one up, my father. It is over early morning cups of coffee in the kitchen that one truly learns just who their parents are. This morning, my dad revealed one of his secrets to a happy life:

The Weekend Mug.

Apparently, my father delights in having one single coffee mug designated solely for weekend use, a reminder, he claims, that he doesn’t have to work that day. Referring to it as a “celebratory gesture,” he refuses to use this mug on weekdays and takes great pleasure in pulling it out of the cupboard on weekends.
Today counts. He’s taking the lads to Alcatraz and Chinatown. He used his weekend mug.
I asked if he had a weekDAY mug, or better, one for Mondays, Tuesdays, etc.
No. Apparently, that would be ridiculous.
I think we now know what Pa is getting for Christmas…

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

members only...

On occasion, my celebrity whoredom not only provides me with fabulous insights into the lives of people who, if they ever met me, would be really, really rude, but sometimes, gives me the inside scoop on glamorous hotspots I would have never been privy too. Apparently, Chandler Bing was recently spotted alone and wasted at a Members Only Club in San Francisco and somehow made an ass of himself.

Chandler popping painkillers solo: No surprise.

Lack of engraved invitation to join trendy club in my mailbox: Complete and utter shock.

The bitches at Otis, located at 25 Maiden Lane seemed to have missed my name on the fabulous list and are snubbing me. I’ve heard that old, “Oh, it got lost in the mail” bullshit before. Please. I invented it. But one would think the inclusion of a sassy career gal with knock-off handbags, an array of gay sidekicks and a penchant for the cheapest Chardonnay on the “by the glass” menu would add to the exclusivity of their joint, not take away from it. All these society types do is hang out with each other and overcompensate for the fact that they live in a tier two city. You’d think they’d want to mix it up.
Mais non.
Fine. Maiden Lane is old lady territory anyway. See if I care. I’ll start my own exclusive club. I wouldn’t be caught dead in Otis.
Unless, of course, it’s between 2 and 8pm, when the regular people are allowed in, in which case, I’m so there. I’ll just slip into the ladies at 7:45, while beefy security guards check people’s clothing labels and quality of haircuts and kick out the nobodies. I shall emerge at 8:15 to loosen up the Manolo crowd and add a little class to the joint. Maybe Chandler’ll buy me a drink…

Monday, November 21, 2005

i'm thankful for advil...

Ah, Thanksgiving. Once again, my bizarre array of family and friends will converge to get drunk and eat. This year, as my grandmother is now, you know, nuts, we’ll be having “lunch” at her old folks home and returning to my folks for real dinner with the under 90 crowd. Joining us will not only be the standard inclusion of Andy and Uncle Ted, but “the lads.”
My baby brother, god bless him, is currently inseparable from his three friends, Cathal, Rob and Greg, otherwise known as The Lads. And he’s bringing these boys, all of whom are very, very Irish, home for Thanksgiving. They arrive tomorrow. They’re staying for nearly a week. My liver has already begun to brace herself
As has become tradition, after Thanksgiving, friends stop by to sit around the fire drinking and playing the Official Game of the Holidays: Pit.
Pit is loud, Pit is raucous and Pit goes on till 4 in the morning.
Sadly, last year, things took a turn for the worse when Random Rob showed up at midnight, grabbed an entire bottle of Chardonnay, forced everyone to watch Top Gun and vomited all over the downstairs bathroom. I’d just like to publicly assure Joanne that she won’t have to get her rugs cleaned this year, and that I take full responsibility for MY friends. Alex and The Commitments, however, are another story…

and so it begins...

I don’t know why I get excited about the holidays. It always turns into a delicate and impossible dance of how to piss off as few folks as possible. No matter how old you get, how rational you normally find these people or how good your intentions truly are, someone’s going to find you at the front door with a bouquet of flowers and read it as your passive aggressive way of saying their centerpiece sucks…

Saturday, November 19, 2005

cuz i'm a winner...

I took my hungover self to a matinee showing of Jarhead this morning. (Harry Potter was sold out.) I noted that I was parked on the 5th floor, and upon my return from two hours of testosterone, couldn’t find my car. I wandered floor after floor, convinced some idiot with bad taste jacked my ride. When I found her, sadly and obviously on the 4th floor, I wondered why I was so sure I parked the old girl on 5. I looked at the ground to confirm that somewhere near Rhonda the Honda was painted a huge 5. Lo and behold, there it was. Only this time, I also noticed the MPH after it...

Friday, November 18, 2005

hug the wall...

I jetted out of work last night and raced over to an event with my mother and her assistant, Susan. The three of us stood around at this cocktail party eating the most wonderful risotto cakes ever created and being served wine by 12 year olds. I found myself cornered by a 47 year old spinster who attempted to convince me she was providing a glimpse into what she felt was my fabulous single future. It was like looking into a very depressing crystal ball.
I then raced over to pick up Zoe, bouncing with anticipation at the prospect of first dibs on miles and miles of fashion forward cheap apparel.
“Oh my god, I am so excited.”
“Oh my god, I’m more excited. The opening of H&M. How long have we been waiting for this?”
“Years. Literally.”
We neared the garage and noticed a crowd piled onto the red carpet in front of the store.
“Did you see that crowd, Zo?”
“We’re on the list. We’ll waltz in.”
“That’s true. Fabulous.”
“I know. So fabulous.”
God bless San Francisco and it’s valet parking garages. Zoe handed the guy our ticket as he glanced at Rhonda the Honda and her many love-dents. “What happen to you car?”
People always ask me this and I get tremendously defensive. I am not a car person. I mean, I drive a base model Civic with roll down windows and 3 radio stations. I get in accidents and cash out my insurance check to buy clothes and cocktails. Dents do not bother me. And if they don’t bother me, they shouldn’t bother you. Yet, my roommate decides to respond with, “Oh, we’re girl drivers. Oops! (giggle, giggle, giggle)”
Excuse me?
Somewhere, Gloria Steinem is jumping off a bridge.
I kick one of her turquoise stilettos and we head down to H & M, marveling at the line. ”Suckers. We know Jason.”
Turns out, everyone in that line knew Jason. Or at least a Jason equivalent.
Some skank in scrunchy boots noticed our distress and pointed to the crowd of people as far as the eye could see. “Yeah, honey. This is the line for people who have RSVP’ed.”
Oh. Okay. We attempt to find the end of said line, walking further and further away from the front doors. As we rounded a fucking corner, we squinted down to the last soul, noting the end of this madness was a full 2 blocks from the entrance to our beloved Mecca.
We sucked it up and got in line.
Of course, directly behind us in line are 2 girls straight from Long Island, one of whom is proudly sporting sequins, the other of whom has over-lined her lips much to my immense and rude interest, directly behind them are two 12 lb. sisters, the kind of girls that have really loud conversations so that everyone is forced to listen to their thoughts on wedge vs. heel and the amount of “free hooch” available inside and of course, directly behind them is someone I went to high school with.
Kill me now.
Not only had seemingly everyone in San Francisco come out for this momentous event, but every bridge and every tunnel had been traversed by a vast array of fashionistas and gay sidekicks. With hundreds in line, sassy security guards would walk the 2 blocks, screaming, “Hug the wall. Y’all need to hug the wall.”
I remarked to Zoe that our extensive careers in not only show biz, but specifically musical theater, have exposed us to some of the gayest men alive. I can honestly say, last night I encountered gayness the likes of which I didn’t realize even existed. There should be another word for these men. The word gay cannot begin to describe the flaming nature of their essence.
“Hug the wall. Hug that wall, people.”
Yeah, we got it. Hugging pee-covered wall. People would occasionally answer a cell phone and go running out of the line, apparently having just received some hot tip on a quick way inside.
We received no hot tips.
Having been in line for 45 minutes, Zoe and I made a deal.
“We’ll give it till 9. Then, we’re going to Urban Outfitters.”
“I need to buy something.”
“I agree.”
We’d already budgeted for shopping. Come hell or high water, we were spending money.
“What’s happening up there?” I asked as we rounded the corner.
“Beats me. Can you even see that far? Should I go investigate?”
“There should be some sort of informational liason, walking down the line telling us the scoop and offering us cocktails, or at least shots.”
Having somewhat of a different sensibility, Zoe lit up. “Or little things of lipgloss! And coupons.”
“Those would be nice, too.”
It was really getting ridiculous and I was moving into hour 14 of my heels. “I’m losing enthusiasm, Zo.”
“Damn me and my obsession with cheap pants. I’m all for persistence, but I give it 10 more minutes and then I’m done. This place’ll be here forever.”
With that, the security gal screamed at us again. “Didn’t I tell y’all to hug that wall? Damn, I know I told y’all to be huggin’ that wall.”
Okay. That’s my cue. We’re done.
We picked up and left, taking one last, long look at 500 over-dressed people hugging the wall and hoping against hope that sometime before midnight, they’d bust of out H&M with a $5 tank top and some free hooch…

Thursday, November 17, 2005

if i were reading this, i'd hate me too...

But for the 3 people who care (2 plus me) Talan is engaged to Kimberly Stewart, who I’m convinced is secretly 45 years old. Am I the only one completely flipping out about this? Maybe it’s the pot of coffee I just chugged, maybe it’s my growing excitement for the H&M opening shindig tonight or maybe it’s the fact that I am in possession of nothing resembling a life, but I am floored!

Here is why I object:

1. He’s 12. She’s uh, how do I put this, been around the block.
2. How can Talan, whom I’m not wild about in the first place, go from the wonderfully troubled and fashion forward Lindsey Lohan to this skank?
3. I actually just had to explain to someone who they both were. (He’s from Laguna Beach, a reality show about gorgeous children and she’s Rod Stewart’s daughter/Paris Hilton’s sidekick.) At least one of them should be officially famous. They’re both like, R-list celebrities.

I cannot believe how this news is affecting my day. This really is quite sad…

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

i bet they even had elastic backed waists...

I’ve practically moved in to Judy’s, which is fantastic because her perfect house is 10 minutes from my office, as opposed to my ghetto residence 45 minutes away. Judy’s off traveling the country consulting people about things and I get to reap the immense benefits. The only problem is that my gym is also 45 minutes away and I’ve taken to hiking up a horrible hill on the mornings I crash in Sausalito.
I’m relatively spry but this hill is a doozy and usually wipes me out by the time I reach the top, where I sit on a bench next to an abandoned firehouse panting, sweating and moaning in agony. So you can imagine my horror this morning as I neared the top and noticed a police cruiser parked there, and two super foxy cops sitting staring at me. I had a vague idea of just how horrible and terrifying I appeared, having just seen myself in one of those mirrored disks they put on windy roads so you can see if cars are coming. I assure you, I not only looked hideous, but in need of assistance.
So it was no surprise when superfox #1 rolled down his window, “That’s a pretty steep climb.”
Nodding, panting, hands on knees, unable to speak.
I would normally have been delighted to chat with two super foxy men in uniform for 2 reasons:
1. How Spots met her husband, and
2. You never know when you’re gonna need a friend on the force.
However, all I wanted to do was sit on that damn bench 10 feet away and collapse, hoping my heart wouldn’t explode out of my chest and dent the cruiser.
I smiled, exhaled “Seriously” and made my way to the bench.
No sooner had I managed to bend my aching knees enough to actually sit, than 2 middle aged Oprah watchers in mom-jeans appeared at the top, entirely unfazed by their ascent.
As if they were strolling through Talbots, they meandered right past me, smiling and laughing and appearing slightly frightened by the cops but otherwise, highly unaffected by their climb.
I attempted to convince myself that mom-jeans probably came down a side street near the top and in no way scaled the mountain from the depths I just had, but this did little for my once again deflated self-confidence. I bowed by head, shoved my hands in my pockets and began my trek back down, refusing to acknowledge the superfox fuzz, promising to dramatically up my incline at the gym and reassuring myself that while I might have been caught horribly and hideously winded, at least I wasn’t caught in reverse fit denim...

Monday, November 14, 2005

it's only fitting...

Props to my baby bro for being the 10,000th visitor to my blog. I was waiting all day to see who it would be, promising myself that I'd love them forever, no matter who it was. And it was Biscuit...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

someone's had a little too much eggnog...

I flopped down on Andy’s bed and grabbed the remote, disgusted in his viewing choice. “10 Things I Hate About You?”
“This shit is good. And Julia Stiles reminds me of my cousin that was murdered.”
Of course.
“Oh, girl, you got to check out my newest non-denominational Holiday purchase.”
I should point out that for every observed holiday, Andy insists upon turning his dwelling into a cheap mall window display. He actually has cardboard boxes stored in his building, each containing tacky and highly flammable holiday décor. One box is packed with bunnies and eggs, faux grass and purple basketry. Another, waiting to be filled right now, is stuffed with skeletons and snakes, plastic “Beware” signs and candles in the shape of candy corn. And his biggest box, the box Andy looks forward to all year long, is his Christmas box. One look at the contents and you’re left with “Jesus who?”
The Christmas box is overflowing with wooden snowmen welcome signs and rusted sleigh bells and a legendary stuffed reindeer mirror with a motion detector which makes the reindeer’s nose light up as it squeaks out a synthesized “Jingle Bells” every time someone moves.
I’m not making this up. Andy’s last name is Jolley. He delights in greeting people with, “Tis the season to be me!”
His roof-top studio apartment looks like the holiday gifts section from the Avon catalog, which makes sense. His mom’s an Avon lady. “So, girl, plug in my new night light.”
I leaned over and flicked on the base of a chubby little plastic snowman clutching a water filled clear glass candle. The light glowed through the plastic snowman, but nothing happened in that glass candle.
“Just wait, Beth. In a minute, some crazy shit's going to happen.”
You don't say.
We resumed the cheezy movie and our conversation. Until, all of a sudden, “Oh my god. Look at my fabulous night light!”
The water filled glass candle our glowing plastic snowman was holding was now wildly swirling with silver glitter, somewhat reminiscent of gay boiling water. It really was quite something.
Fortunately for Andy, not only is KOIT 96.5FM playing ALL Christmas music through 24/7 New Year’s, but he lives 12 feet from Wallgreen’s, home to 2 full aisles dedicated completely to Christ-free Christmas Collectibles…

Thursday, November 10, 2005

i would have rather stared at his oscar...

Due to a long week away from home, when I got home from work Wednesday, I washed Zoe’s sheets for her. She simply couldn’t praise me enough. Today, at work, my co-worker hollers across the office, “Beth. Zoë’s on the phone.”
“Hey. So I’m going to make up the sheet washing to you. What are you doing tonight?”
“I can be doing nothing, why?”
“Want to come to a human rights gala at the Palace Hotel?”
“Shut up!”
“Sean Penn will be there.”
Mere hours later, I found myself dressed to the nines at Table 14 with a fabulous array of socialites and hobb-nobbers, all of whom care deeply about Human Rights, much like myself.
Whilst enjoying an endless glass of wine and some chicken on a bed of risotto, I befriended those around me and listened intently to impassioned third world speakers, all of whom made me feel incredibly guilty about my worrying how to afford premium cable. During dessert, I excused myself to the ladies. Upon my return, I neared the ballroom and heard a familiar voice at the podium.
Shit. It’s Spicoli!
Many stood at the door politely unwilling to interrupt this Oscar winner from his sermon.
Not me. I marched through 400 people right back to my front row table, pissed I’d missed a syllable much less a sentence of his talk. Turns out, it didn’t matter. Sean Penn stood 10 feet from me and I could barely understand a word he was saying. Nor could I determine the reason for his disheveled appearance or John Waters moustache.
I am a complete celebrity whore and a profound lover of the talents of Sean Penn. And I, of all people, was unimpressed. So disappointed, I debated approaching him with the highly inappropriate, “You were hilarious in ‘I Am Sam.’”
Oh, relax. As much as Richard encouraged me, I wimped out.
Worse, the soiree ended at 9:45.
I couldn’t believe it. Nor could I believe that no announcement was made inviting everyone to a fabulous open bar somewhere. Which is why I find myself sitting at my home computer in a very fancy fucking dress at 10:15 eating Kettle Korn and debating adopting a third world orphan…

keeping my day job...

Zoe called on her way back from class, alerting me that she’s be home by 10ish.
“Oh great. Don’t park. We need to go to Safeway.”
“What? Ugh, I’m so tired. Really?”
“Well, we don’t HAVE to.”
“Oh fine. I’ll call from a block away.”
Perfect. Finding oneself at GhettoSafeway at 10:30 at night sucks in and of itself. Finding oneself at Ghetto Safeway at 10:30 when 5 people called in sick, 2 checkers are working and 50 people are impatiently standing in line is entirely another. After debating simply giving up and going home, we noted that Lean Cuisines were on sale and committed to shopping. We selected our items and filed into one of two Moscow-esque lines as Zoe stared me down with hatred and disgust.
“I’m in 4” boots.”
“Lean Cuisine. 5 for $10. You’ll live.”
The rest of the line stood in moody silence, a few people singing along to Kenny Loggins as I noted the store was scattered with half full shopping baskets abandoned near the check stands by smarter people with better things to do. “My God.” I said aloud. “I’d be willing to check some groceries. This is nuts.”
“Me too.” Sighed the dreadlocked woman before us. “And I work here.”
“It ain't my shift, but I work here.”
“Well, what’s the deal?” Zoe asked.
“I’ll go fine out. Guard my cart?”
“Of course!” we squealed, delighted to have the inside scoop.
She soon returned. “Well, they won’t let me check. There’s some kind of legal rule or shit about that shit. All kinds of lazy ass people called in sick. It’s just the manager, a checker and one bagger.”
With that, the one checker casually announced she was going on her break. I considered offering her a magazine, but as she resembled a less attractive Luther Vandross, I thought better of it.
The line slowly moved forward as I excused myself to the ladies room/apparent temporary home of a hobo. I returned to find Zoe with our baskets and somehow, in charge of a grocery filled cart, dreadlocks up ahead bagging groceries.
“We’re guarding her cart.”
“Yes. I see.”
Our line was clearly moving faster, although we’d been waiting for a good 20 minutes. And Zoe was mildly verbal in her displeasure at being dragged to Safeway late on a Wednesday night. It was finally my turn. My poor checker struggled to ring me up and bag my shit while I struggled to make my dented ATM card slide appropriately.
Thus, when it was Zoe’s turn to purchase, I decided to move this show along and bag her groceries. Fancying myself a woman of the people, I began throwing Zoe’s yogurt in a plastic bag.
Turns out, bagging groceries? Not so easy.
Graceless idiot that I am, I immediately knocked the plastic bag holder from it’s stand and for the life of me, could not re-attach it. People shifted in line and glared at me as I nervously attempted to remedy the problem while maintaining my composure. To laugh would have taken up more time and pissed off more people. But Zoe couldn’t contain herself. The image of me struggling and failing to bag groceries in GhettoSafeway in sad and pathetic attempts to appear helpful was too much for her. She got the giggles.
“Little harder than it looks, Einstein?”
“No shit. I think I broke it.”
The whole bagging contraption is surprisingly complicated, although I think it's safe to say, perhaps just to some. I finally managed to reattach it to the counter and even went so far as to double bag, although I did so quite delicately as I lacked confidence in my precarious reattachment.
We paid and got the hell out of there, taking one last look at the poor saps still in line, waiting hours to buy Hot Pockets and Mint Milanos. “I cannot believe you dragged me to GhettoSafeway in the middle of the night the one time it turns into a refugee shelter.” Zoe whined as we walked to the car.
“Yeah. But, hey. At least I learned how to bag groceries. That was awesome…”

*scroll down for updated photos drunk fathers...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

what did YOU do on election night...

Last week, Man on the Inside invited me to join him on his Election Night Party hopping rounds. I readily accepted, even promising not to write about our Gavin-filled adventures (don’t worry. I was lying.) But in a rare moment of flakiness, MOI cancelled, claiming homework and exhaustion were keeping him from Tuesday’s Events.
After sending him obscenity filled e-mails, cursing him and his kin, I made plans with Laura and resigned myself to spending election night knocking back wine and watching returns with Berkeleyist. Of course, Tuesday afternoon, MOI calls.
“Game on.”
What? Now you want to go out? Forget it. I’m tired and underdressed and quite frankly, looking forward to a relaxing evening of making fun of my father’s suburban Public Television election night special.
“Fine, but you’re missing out.”
Whatever. Laura and I had a fabulous time, discovering a wonderfully cheap Indian joint where I enjoyed a fabulous “Curried Chicken Tostada.” We returned to Judy’s with cookies and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and tuned into dad (likely making up the majority of his audience), marveling at how someone who sports a separation of sock and pant makes it onto television. Laura is quite familiar with this type of familial embarrassment, her father hosting a show entitled, “Social Security in Action” on Leisure World Television.
We had a lovely time and I had no regrets about giving up my Night on the Inside with my Man on the Inside. That is, until I heard from him today. I am no longer allowed to detail our e-mail conversations, as MOI would kill me. However, MOI gleefully mentioned that he encountered the Gavin senior advisor I rudely and embarassingly accosted at the Comedy Benefit.

MOI: You remember him, right?
Beth: Uh, yeah. I remember him.
MOI: He remembers you.
Beth: SHUT UP. You are fucking with me.
MOI: Well, I reminded him…

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

maybe he needs another tinfoil hat...

Tom Cruise has apparently fired his publicist sister, because I guess it turns out, SHE’S the one who has been making him look nuts. Little does she knows, Tom has created an insanity trend among celebrities and my new favorite wackjob is Joaquin Phoenix.
First of all, allow me to preface this link by saying I have adored Joaquin since his name was Leaf. Max in Spacecamp? Genius. I like him in those weirdo M. Night Shamawhatever movies a great deal. And he’s got a fantastic voice. I can even look past the harelip.
Joaquin is talented and interesting and quirky and troubled, which is exactly why I like him and most likely, exactly why he’s INSANE.

ah, housesitting...

I’m currently staying at Judy’s fabulous palace in Sausalito, and while perfect and flawless and very fun to play in, on windy rainy nights, when I’m there alone and now sadly, without Emma, my late and protective canine security force, I get a little scared. Last night, I’m curled up in bed reading some book about the decline of journalism and I hear something or someone clearly and loudly moving around at the top of the driveway, a driveway I should point out, one must effortfully hike up to get anywhere within earshot of the highly paranoid me.
I glance at the clock to discover it is 1:14am, as the noises loudly continue. Hoping that it’s Judy’s son Pete, appearing in the middle of the night as he occasionally does, or a drunken friend, showing up with thoughts of snacks and a cozy bed, I slowly get up and peer out the office window. While I can see the perfect and twinkling skyline of San Francisco, the driveway offers pure blackness. Shit.
It sounds as if someone is moving trash cans, going through recycling or preparing a chainsaw with which to chop me up. Either way, it’s 1:14am and they’re freaking me out. Far too chicken to go downstairs to the front door and open it and far too frightened to even walk out on the deck and inquire, I decided to simply wait out the noise and/or my impending death. But the noise not only continues, it gets louder and more violent until, as if in a dramatic and highly designed climax, a metal trashcan goes clamoring down the driveway.
Screw this. If I’m going to get brutally mutilated by a deranged serial killer, I’m going down swinging. I throw on a huge fur-trimmed parka and flip flops, stomp downstairs in an attempt to sound intimidating and angry and flick on the lights.
Much like the scene from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, I rip open the door to discover seemingly thousands of animals, all guiltily frozen mid-action. My eyes adjusted to find approximately 5-7 raccoons wildly ravaging the trash cans, creating a mess unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Garbage and food and wine bottles and coffee grounds and newspapers were everywhere. Everywhere!
The raccoons scattered and I stood in the rain, admiring their handiwork and wondering what the fuck to do. Obviously, I had to clean this shit up. But in the middle of the night? In the rain?
Yes, Beth. In the middle of the night and in the rain.
It’s hard to feel good about yourself when you’re shivering in a pink caftan, gold flip flops and a huge ski jacket, collecting chicken bones in the rain at 1:30 in the morning. But it’s even harder to feel good about yourself when you wake up to find that you’ve slept the entire night with a piece of deli meat stuck to the back of your leg…

Monday, November 07, 2005

adding insult to injury...

As if it weren’t bad enough that HRH Prince Charles of Wales and his wench attended my former place of employment last night, as I found this morning’s inbox bombarded with gossip and excitement and photos of all of my friends who got to meet the goddamn royals, but Gavin was there…with HER!
Not only that, she was dressed like Nancy Regan and managed to work herself into every dreadful photo, her offensive and jarring features blinding my eyes and ruining my day.
Is he crazy? Has he lost his mind? My god, with their past, I’d think she’d be ushered out of a Gavin event faster than me…

Saturday, November 05, 2005

if i had the chance, i'd ask my dad to dance...

People have been asking me what it's like to attend a dance with your dad when you're 27...
Mostly, the Father/Daughter Dance is a lot of this...

with a little dancing...

and lots of rosey faced drinking...

until you pass out...

nothing if not consistent...

For me, both the high point of last night and the low point came when the father of the guy I was madly in love with in high school leaned over to my dad, looked at me and sarcastically said, "So, does she ever come out of her shell?"
This was in response to me swaggering up to a group of dads and asking, "So, fellas. What's say we all go get our faces painted."
Damn that free booze.
I also experienced a run-in with my stalker/waiter, Lilliputian Karl, who told me how classy and tall I looked while approaching me at my dinner table of 10 people with an unexpected familiarity. I was then forced to introduce him to everyone, all of whom seemed highly confused that I was such dear friends with gentleman clearing the salad plates.
We split as they began the Bunny Hop and hit the Top of the Mark, where I was once again reminded that nothing is so fun as getting fancied up and wildly trashed on sophisticated aperitifs with dear old dad...

Friday, November 04, 2005

i bet you anything there'll be a bunny hop...

Because my life is a series of perpetual embarassments, tonight I'll be at the Olympic Club's Father-Daughter Dance. Just to let you know how long it's been since I graced one of these bizarre yet sold out events, the last time I attended, I had 15 Shirley Temples, wore taffeta and got my face painted. I shouldn't complain. Kate and Jenny have been forced to go since conception.
I'm sitting here waiting for my beloved father to pick me up, dressed in fishnets, gigantic jewels and a beaded silk kimono. As I was admiring myself in the mirror, I realized that the five of us would be seated with five strangers, most likely consisting of 35 year old dads and 3 year old daughters.
Again, I'm dressed directly from the costume shop of the Kyoto Opera.
I'll either be worshiped like a goddess by the next generation or make some child cry...

because i don't have enough insanity in my life...

Last night, my mother and I sat my grandmother down and made her give us her jewelry.

Okay, okay. That’s not entirely true. My grandmother had been insisting upon gathering us together and going through her jewelry boxes, hoping to pull the few items she wanted to take to the grave and pawn the rest off onto us. Mother had the forethought to bring booze and I had the forethought to book us at the fanciest restaurant I could find immediately after. That also afforded us an excuse to leave.
The nurses were kind enough to set us up at a table in some sort of dilapidated recreation room and after taking decades to get my grandmother comfortable, we began to dig through the diamonds. The experience was very much like that scene in Titanic when the old lady sees the water-logged bijoux pulled from her stateroom on the ocean floor for the first time in 80 years.
“This is mine! (huge gasp.) And this! This is mine!”
Uh, no shit. YOU’RE the one who insisted upon going through YOUR jewelry. What’d you expect?
Biting tongue, biting tongue…
Part of it was sweet and lovely, watching her get choked up at the watch my grandpa gave her a million years ago or the ring she played with on her mother’s dresser as a child. And parts were really interesting, like the nun-ring my great aunt, Sister Kathleen wore all of her years as a woman of the cloth and the ID bracelet Grandma wore during the war.
But as has always been typical with my grandmother and her penchant for judgment and dementia, parts also sucked. My mini-skirt didn’t really fly, nor did my faux fur vest, although that ensemble is risky with most crowds anyway. I wore it to piss her off more than anything else. Occasional outbursts like, “Wipe that look of pity from your face, Beth.” are less than charming, although my mother and I simply pretend they’ve never happened, and my Grandmother responds by blowing me a kiss. Grabbing onto my huge handbag, she screamed, “What is this? Is this for princesses only?” to which I had no prepared response. And on my way back from the ladies room, she asked me, “Any action?”
“What?” (One is supposed to say ‘pardon me’ to my grandmother, never ‘what.’)
Angrier. “Any action???”
Entirely unsure if she was inquiring as to my pee-ing or something else, I politely responded, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Well, I’m not asking if you’ve just been raped by four men!”
Okay. Moving on.
Having rather difficult-to-get reservations, it was time for us to go. But, we’d forgotten that one needs to announce one’s departure hours in advance. Appalled by both the roommate who she’d forgotten she’s sharing a room with and a sinister paper napkin which had mysteriously appeared upon her bedspread, she took an eternity to get settled enough for us to leave.

As mom and I ran out into the rain, desperate for some wine and twenty dollar chicken, I thought to myself that time with grandma isn’t like most things one dreads, where the reality is always much better than the anticipated horror. Time with my grandmother is really just as bad as we imagine it will be. Although, at least this time we got some pretty spectacular vintage accessories out of the deal…

Thursday, November 03, 2005

here comes trouble...

Man on the Inside says I'm not allowed to write about this, but as of five minutes ago, I'll be with him on election night.
Uh, not write about Election Night Party Hopping with MOI? This is too wonderfully unfair...

not just the president, but also a client...

On occasion, my job requires that I attend huge, all day conferences, packed with classes and brainstorming and networking sessions. Inevitably, I’ll find myself sitting next to a name-tagged stranger I have no choice but to acknowledge.
At a conference earlier this week, as my co-workers and I filed into a banquet hall for lunch, we seated ourselves at a table, were served some food and recapped our morning meetings. I soon found a rather unkempt older gentleman directly to my right, attempting to eat a chicken salad sandwich, but managing to bite pure air every single time, getting his sandwich not just all over himself, but on the table, the floor, I think parts of it even ended up in my handbag.
He wore a filthy shirt and appalling pants, which sadly, did not contain a working zipper and his teeth, I’m sorry to tell you, resembled corn kernels. When he crossed his legs, he revealed neon green polyester socks and every time he shifted, strange odors wafted over to me. Unlike everyone else at the table, he possessed an illegible handwritten nametag, which somehow screamed to me, “Imposter!”
However, having nothing better to do and finding the eggplant before me unworthy, I decided to take the plunge.
“What organization are you with?”
“Oh Christ!” He spit the food made had it into his mouth at me. “I’m tryin’ to eat.”
Hmmm. Okay. Back to the eggplant.
“Well, hell. I’m workin’, ya see, for a new upstart where’s we provide psychotic counseling to those that can’t get it but need it. It’s a real new venture.”
“Oh, how interesting.”
“Yeah, and I got to attend this thing cuz I’m the only fella in who ain’t workin’ right now. The other boys workin’ up at the Mini-Storage establishment most the time and I wanna get a leg up.”
“I see.” It was one of the rare conversations in which I had nothing to say, simply nodding at appropriate increments and occasionally asking polite questions. Partially chewed food covered him as he continued.
“Yeah, but I got me bigger plans, ya see. I got an inside tip from a Pakistani pal of mine – real stand up guy – about them whereabouts of Osama bin Laden.”
Oh dear.
“I got the inside scoop, ya see, and I’m lookin’ to hire out 7-10 mercenaries and have them go in and git him, and once we pay my fella in Pakistan 25 million dollars, we splits the rest. I’m got a track on where to get some soldiers of fortune, too. And I can convince their wives and moms and all this is the right, patriotic thing to do, ya see?”
Deep breath.
I had two choices. I could very sweetly get up and excuse myself to the ladies, running outside and hiding until the next session, or I could encourage the madness. I looked at my watch. We had another 45 minutes. Fuck it.
“And would you yourself go with the mercenaries?”
“Heck no! What a stupid question. I ain’t got that training. I ain’t no special ops. I’m the inside guy, I got the track on the whereabouts and the Pakistani contact and the big ideas. I’d stay in Copenhagen the whole time.”
Of course.
It was at this point that I was regaled with the near re-enacting of the time he and the Pakistani pulled a prank and flashed their “manhood” to hundreds of Dutch tourists.
“But now I sees you work in show business. Yeah, I gots some ideas about that, too. I been working on some screenplays, ya see…”
“Oh movies. Well, I work in theater.”
“LET ME FINISH. I gots me these screenplays. Real tearjerkers. I based ‘em on my own personal experiences, cuz I had a hot tip on Tiananmen Square right before all that commie baloney went down and...”
I could go on. And on. And on. Our conversation certainly did. But it was simply more of the same; mercenaries, inside tips, pure insanity…you get the idea.
He finally gathered himself and began to leave, and as he said goodbye, I watched a chunk of food fly directly from his mouth, making an appallingly perfect arch directly into the tiny opening of MY water bottle. You’d think that was the low point. Nope. The low point?
“Well, lady. Real nice talkin’ with ya. I needs a ride to Novato. Course, where the hell am I gonna git me that, round here? Ah, well. Over and out.”
And with that, he stood up and his pants fell down…

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

what the hell are you supposed to be...

For the first time in my life, I live in a neighborhood where children trick or treat. And for the first time in the four years that I’ve lived here, I decided to stay home and pass out candy with my highly enthusiastic roommate. We had fun, sitting around drinking wine and gossiping while answering the doorbell every five minutes.
“Well, Hello! Look at you! Are you a Princess? And you! Well, you’re just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Oh, what a scary monster! Spiderman! How‘d you find us?“ This went on for a couple of hours, Zoe marveling at how tiny they all were while I lamented the fact that we wouldn’t have any candy left over.
At one point, the doorbell rang and we opened it to find two 20 year old guys in sombreros standing there, pillow cases outstretched. I debated giving them our leftover Tecate, but decided just to throw handfuls of Butterfinger at them and hope they didn’t rob us…