Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Monday, February 27, 2006
“Because it’s good and cheap, woman!”
“What’s this place called?”
“The Sand Tounge?”
“Chill. We’re almost there.”
As we pulled up, I suddenly realized. I’d been here before with KG. “Oh, I know this place! It’s fabulous.”
“Yeah. It’s crowded, too. This shit is good.”
We sat down, threw off our jackets and poured some tea. Looking around, the San Tung looks like your basic, cheap and clean neighborhood Chinese joint. It’s bright and fluorescent, with a smattering of crappy lotus/phoenix art on the bare walls. 3 or 4 employees sat at a huge table in the center of the restaurant, nonchalantly snipping the ends off green beans, pulling them one at a time from a Honda-sized pile in the center of the table. Seriously. There had to be thousands of green beans on there, like someone backed a bean truck in and unloaded the contents on top of this poor table.
Then I got to the menu. First of all the menu is huge, and indeed inexpensive. But that’s not the best part.
The best part? Most bottles of wine are $12.
I repeat. Most bottles of wine are $12.
Um, hello new hangout…
Sunday, February 26, 2006
I hate to admit it, but the idiot has a point.
I’ve always been a big tanner, and look dramatically more fabulous with some color. But it’s February, Chris, and I don’t really want to get, you know, cancer. The pastiness is a problem though, and been bugging me since I lost my tan in October. So, in the interest of healthy shallowness, I spent 45 minutes at RiteAid examining every single product in the self tanning aisle.
I determined that products were differently priced for a reason, and therefore, playing upon my snobbery and poverty status, I went middle of the line, selecting Neutrogena’s Deep Tanning Foam.
I have no idea why I went with foam over lotion. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Yesterday, after showering, I announced that I was going to apply my self-tanner and as soon as I emerged from the bathroom, I’d look like I just got back from Ibiza.
The foam comes out of the container dark brown and scary looking. I slapped it on one leg and rubbed it around enough, seeing no sign of streak. When I finished, my right leg really did look fabulously tan. I did the left. Fabulous again. Well, at this rate, let’s do the whole shebang. Any part of my skin that might possibly peak out from clothing and that I could reach, I foam-self-tanned.
I came out of my room and found Mike. “Do I look tanner?”
“Oh my god, you DO! Wow. That shit worked. You don’t even look like an Oompa Loompa.”
“Sweet. I love you, self tanning foam. Aside from your weirdo smell, that is.”
I immediately joined Mike in the kitchen, emptying the dishwasher and reloading it. As I ran a pasta pot under the sink, I noticed something terrifying. Any water that touched any portion of my foam tanned skin would immediately and seemingly melt the tan. I grabbed a paper towel and attempted to rub it in.
Believe it or not, this seemed to work.
I went about the rest of my day feeling tanner, and thus, better.
I woke up this morning and rolled out of bed. As I brushed my teeth in the mirror, I checked out my neck to see how my tan was holding up. Uh, the tan was great. But the brownish stains on my favorite embroidered pink caftan were not great. What the hell, Neutrogena?
Not only that, but I have drip stains running from my wrist to my elbow, blotchy patches of white and brown on my legs and I still fucking reek.
Remind me why the sun is bad, again…
Friday, February 24, 2006
“Cuz I got to go. Now!”
I avoided eye contact and debated whether or not I wanted to use the bathroom immediately after this guy. I mean, if he had shit falling out of his head hair, it can only get worse. We heard water running and soon the Peet’s bathroom door opened, a scraggly looking yet oddly tall house-painter emerged, apologizing to both hair shit and me.
Still confused as to why he was apologizing, hair shit walked into the bathroom and slammed the door. Hours later, he emerged and offered the upsetting, “I lit a match for you.”
I walked in the bathroom and damned if there wasn’t the smell of smoke and a used match floating in the toilet…
Thursday, February 23, 2006
If you'll remember, I submitted a genius, drunken recipe (The Evenin' News) to allrecipes.com and lo and behold, they published it. Not only that, I've got a glowing review. Someone actually made it and took a friggin' photo! I must now post a comment about it's a.m. variation, the Mornin' News, where you could use jam instead of Nutella.
Oh my god, this has made my day...
As the foremost Bounty Hunter in all of Hawaii, Duane “Dog” Chapman tracks and catches a new fugitive each episode. Last night, he was on the tail of a drug addicted, dead beat dad, turned in by his pretty, young girlfriend and her new baby, Destiny Love.
After calling friends and neighbors, Dog finally gets Deadbeat Dad on the phone.
“Is this Jonathan?”
“This is Dog, bra.”
“You skipped bail, brother. You got a baby.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“You need to take care of that baby. What’s your baby’s name, bra?”
“Er, uh, um. I don’t know how to pronounce her middle name.”
“Okay, bra. Well, we need to meet up and get this bail straightened out.”
Dog then slowly hangs up the phone and looks at his family around him. They all sit in stunned silence.
“This guy doesn’t know his daughter’s middle name.”
“I can’t believe it.”
Dog ponders, almost too angry to form words. “Yeah… he’s definitely going to jail.”
It’s important to note that Dog is an ex-con himself, turning his life around, finding Jesus and becoming the nation’s best bounty hunter. His wife, Beth, manages their bail bonds place and his brother Tim, son Leland, and collection of hangers on run rampant in Honolulu catching ne’er do wells.
There are three things about the Chapman’s that I love:
1. How seriously they take themselves and their work.
2. Dog and Beth regard each other as the pinnacle of trophy spouse. Dog is convinced he’s got the hottest lady in town and Beth couldn’t be prouder of her specimen of a husband.
3. It’s not their clothes that are funny. It’s the fact that the outfits are not meant as a joke. I mean, Dog wakes up and spends time on this look. He applies beaded arm bands, folks. Sometimes, he switches it up with leather. Beth has 3” nails and boobs the size of Texas. When catching fugitives, she’s dressed in Americana headbands and tank tops. Their hair alone…ugh, I love it.
I rolled around the couch in ecstasy, pointing out the intricate details of Dog and Beth’s ensembles to Mike. “Um, Beth. The reason you watch this show is not the reason other people watch this show.”
“It’s not? Why do other people watch this show?”
“They wanna see Dog kick some ass!”
Oh. I don’t care about that. Because as soon as Dog captures his fugitive and gets them in the back of his Suburban, he starts asking them about their parents and troubled childhood and next thing you know, a 500lb. Samoan named “Coconut” is crying like a little girl.
It’s not the fact that Dog hunts and catches criminals that makes this show so great. It’s how he does it. Like the way he arrested Deadbeat Dad, approaching him on a sidewalk, surrounded by an over-excited Leland, Beth and Tim, Dog’s tattooed arms bringing together pepper-spray over his head and slowly lowering it at Deadbeat Dad’s face. Ampped on adrenaline and a little rhyme he obviously came up with in the car, Dog finally cornered Deadbeat Dad.
“God has sent me from heaven above, but I’m arresting you in the name of Destiny LOVE!”
Um, yeah. That’s fucking awesome…
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
That’s all I need to hear.
Bring it on, hipsters. Turn off your talk radio, air fluff your Ramones t-shirt and de-lint your H&M pinstripe blazers. I’m in it to win it and I’m bringing back-up.
Awww, yeah. You heard me. Not only will I have my standard posse of brainiacs hooking it up with the current events, historical accuracy and obscure musical trivia, but for this Tuesday only, we’ll have a secret weapon: Zoe Stagg, Republican genius...
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Cousin’s Christmas was postponed till February this year, because my cousin Jessica was busy having a baby during the holidays. I don’t know what you guys did this Saturday, but I was at Cousin’s Christmas flipping out.
I assume my grandmother no longer leaves her retirement home, or as she calls it, the “whore house.” If you’ve been reading, you know that my once fabulously artsy and judgmental grandmother has become my fabulously insane and judgmental grandmother, and she lives at a fabulous retirement home on the special floor for the crazy people. So, when I walked up the front steps of Cousin Ray’s house and saw my grandmother through the window, I pretty much shit myself.
For reasons I can’t explain, my grandmother’s unpredictability totally freaks me out. To tell you the truth, it terrifies me. And every time I see her, I have to prepare myself somehow and practice what I’ll do if she starts in about the naked men in her bathroom or the Chinese orphanage she’s apparently been running.
I didn’t know Grandma was coming to Cousin’s Christmas and had, in no way, prepared myself. Worse, I become even more freaked out by my grandmother when lots of people are around, primarily because I’m so desperate to cling to this notion that no one knows my Grandma has completely lost her mind.
She wrote “HELP ME” on the tops of her slippers. I think the cat’s out of the bag.
Anyway, I walked in and made the rounds, saying hello to a collection of kin I see once a year and cornered my mother.
“You didn’t tell me Grandma was coming.”
“Well, we didn’t decide until today.”
“Ugh, so she’s good?”
“Well, I’ve just decided that we’re going to find everything funny.”
I grabbed a glass of wine and made my way to my grandmother, who sat perfectly lucid by the fireplace holding Jessica’s new baby, Blake.
“Hey Grandma. You look fabulous.”
“Oh, thank you dear.” She looked down at Blake. “Isn’t he wonderful? Isn’t he just marvelous?”
“I know. He’s a perfect mini-human.”
She looked back up at me. “Who’s that man over there?”
“That’s Michael, Linda’s son.”
She appeared confused, although not knowing her sister’s grand-nephew is no big deal for my Grandma. Calling the cops is part of her morning routine. It’s impossible she’d remember Michael. Still, it freaked me out.
“Mom, she doesn’t know who Michael is.”
My mother and I handle these things very differently. Having seen literally everything, my mom no longer freaks out when bringing Grandma in public. She’s given up, tossed her hands in the air and goes with the flow, insisting that it’s worth it to get Grandma out and about. I mean, my mom actually took my grandmother to the bank to withdraw $60. Taking my grandmother to a bank takes a solid 3 hours of physical and emotional upheaval, not to mention occasional verbal abuse. I, on the other hand, cower in fear every time she opens her mouth, convinced that others will react just as badly to the well-dressed 92 year old discussing prostitutes or screaming about imaginary pain from her walker/pulpit. I’d have handed her 3 twenty’s and saved us all the horror.
Not my saintly mother. My saintly mother takes her to the bank. And to Cousin’s Christmas.
I mingled with the family and occasionally glanced over at Grandma, perfectly happy on her throne as the last old person. Everyone else seemed to handle her fine, and if she was talking about her orphans and whores, I didn’t hear about it.
We sat down to dinner and, ever the class act, my mom said grace. Raising her glass, she made a toast. “I think this might be the first time we’ve had four generations of us all here together.”
Gasp. I hadn’t realized. That’s kind of a big deal.
I decided to chill out, enjoy my tablemates and learn my lines for the post-dessert Woody Allen reading.
Whenever I spend time with my grandmother, it’s generally not as bad as I imagine it will be. None the less, I’m still a wreck around her. What can I say? When your grandmother grabs your arm and asks if three masked man tried to rape you in the bathroom, it kind of leaves an impression…
Friday, February 17, 2006
So, when Pa forwarded me an e-mail from the folks at the New Yorker, inviting him to some Whiskey/Golf-cartoon event in the city, he passed that shit on to me. Hmmmm, whiskey and golf art from 7-9 on Thursday night.
Chris and I hit Sushi Rock before the event, where I warned him of the possibilities.
“This could suck. This could be us walking into some empty wherehouse.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“Or, we might not be on the list. I just left a message on some answering machine in New York.”
We found parking incredibly close, and walked the 2 South of Market blocks to the event. “In and out if it sucks, right?”
But suddenly before us was a huge event going on, an event which looked surprisingly weird and fabulous. We gazed through the huge glass walls on the ground floor of a monstrous office building, finding inside a well-dressed group of young business-y people playing miniature golf and drinking whiskey. A staff photographer mingled among them, between the links and the low lit bar. Big leather chairs and gift bags lined the walls as we walked inside.
We were immediately instructed to fill out some kind of survey, and the photographer rushed over, capturing Chris is some kind of sign-in photo shoot. Ushered over to check in, I was delighted to find we were actually on the list.
“Thanks for checking in!” smiled our gorgeous greeter. “Head over to the bar or play some golf.”
I grabbed some 15 year old Glenlivet and a putter and hit those links. I have never golfed before, and let me just say, I don’t get what the big deal is. The only bonus, other than the abundance of fake ponds and grass all over the place, were the tables set up near every hole, so you could, you know, put down your whiskey. We finished our round, engaging the other New Yorker golf-cartoon aficionados in witty banter along the way. Apparently, Chris and I were noticing the same thing. Back at the bar, Chris leaned over.
“All the women in here are hideous.”
“Yeah.” I noted. “And all the guys are hot. Like, seriously hot. Well, whiskey and golf. What do you expect?”
I should point out that while hot, many of the guys also appeared to be well-dressed assholes, particularly one in a peach colored, Ralph Lauren, cable-knit cashmere sweater. He seemed like the kind of guy that would throw water balloons at the foreign exchange and/or disabled students from his frat house balcony and then high five his minions. He made fun of my putting, and I hate him.
We also noticed the cheesy, Santa-esque, drunk, red-headed guy in a kilt, some Scottish dude they pay to mingle with the guests and say things in an accent. Needless to say, peach sweater cornered Scottish dude and made him take mildly humiliating and exploitative digital photos.
Suddenly, my attentions were diverted elsewhere.
“They’re running out of gift bags!”
I actually attempted to steal an unguarded bag, but found it already looted. We decided to find out what the gift bags contained before jumping through hoops to secure one. I approached 2 older, bearded men who appeared drunk and potentially willing to let me rifle through their haul. Bill and Mark were all too pleased, and after examining the latest issue of the New Yorker, a hardcover book filled with golf cartoons and a Glenlivet leather bowl (?), I found myself suddenly disinterested in the contents.
Chris and I allowed ourselves to be photographed one last time before splitting and made our way to somewhere where both wine and food were available, even if we had to pay for them.
Boulevard was packed, although Willie Brown’s table looked like we could squeeze in, so we headed around the corner to Chaya. I’d never been to Chaya before, and I’ve become a fan. I especially dug the light fixtures in the bar and enjoyed a glass of Pinot while Chris ordered dessert. My only complaints are the ghetto bathrooms, which look like hobos live in them.
We headed home, pleasantly surprised by our random whiskey/golf event. One never knows what to expect when attending other people’s party rejects, the potential for disaster or lameness high, but I’d rate this one a 6.2 on a scale of 10. On the upside, the free booze was excellent, although limited in selection, the array of both hot guys and complete freakshows was appropriately varied, I found good parking and we were constantly and glamorously photographed for unknown publications. On the downside, there was no where to sit, I couldn’t find any snacks and there wasn’t enough stranger-to-stranger mingling going on.
We’ll revisit the strange event subject next week. I’ve got another event on Thursday, a fabulous community mixer at a Retirement Home. What to wear, what to wear…
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Dear Beth and Chris:
My mother was murdered by a serial killer about 16 years ago. Whenever the subject of parents comes up at work, I don't know what to tell people when they ask about my mom.
I am 26. Once in a while, they will ask me about what happened to her, but when I open my mouth to say something, I get nervous and start blushing. This might be because I know people get uncomfortable when you talk about stuff like this. I also feel weird telling them that my mother was a prostitute and that's how she was murdered. Sometimes I say she was in an "accident" -- but that's a lie.
Can you give me any advice on the proper way to discuss this in the office without it being weird for me or the other person?
-- MOTHERLESS DAUGHTER IN WASHINGTON
As one fascinated by serial killers (and, incidentally, feral children) I’d be interested to know all the gory details of your mother’s murder if it’s not too painful.
More importantly, we need to find a way for you to explain how your mom died without totally freaking everyone out. First of all, just accept that it’s always going to be weird for you and anyone you end up telling. We’ve all got weird shit in our background that occasionally comes up. This is yours. There’s no way of saying, “My mother was a murdered by a killer on a rampage while working her corner” without making everyone wildly uncomfortable.
Thus, as far as I’m concerned, saying she was in “an accident” is fine by me. She WAS. How about the cryptic and mysterious “She was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” or “It’s none of your fucking business.” I think those are perfectly acceptable.
Because it’s not a lie to withhold incredibly personal and painful information from a co-worker. It’s called professionalism. Shut up and bury your pain like the rest of us.
Here's my advice:
The honest option is to just tell the truth. "My mom was hooker and murdered by a serial killer." I'll bet you my life savings no one ever asks you a personal question ever again.
The easiest option is to just say my mom died when I was young, I don't really remember her etc. I was raised by _________ . This should gain you major sympathy points especially around your birthday, holidays, mother's day, and so on.
Now if I was in your situation here's what I would do. First of all is this serial killer still out there preying upon prostitutes ? If the answer is no. see above. If the answer is yes, I would travel the world like young Bruce Wayne before he became Batman and hone my skills in fighting crime, eventually to be trained a by cult of ninjas led by Chuck Norris and return to the Washington Area and exact my revenge. I'd hunt down, torture, and take out the serial killer, and then, like Denzel in Man on Fire, I'm to do "what I do best. Kill 'em all. Anyone that was involved. Anyone who profited from it. Anyone who opens their eyes at me."
Then sell your rights for a screenplay about your life and sit back, relax, and enjoy the profits.
Spotswear’s original headquarters were located in a section of my parent’s basement, previously housing a top salon and later, dance studio. The walls were covered with sketches, the looks consisting mainly of lots of fishnet stockings and bomber jackets with “KOREA” embroidered on them (entirely ripped off from a look worn for 15 seconds in the film Pretty in Pink.) I had an old desk, a sewing machine and several huge bolts of fabric, a gift from a family friend who managed an apartment building. Turns out, one of his tenants died, leaving yards and yards of fabric no one knew what to do with, and our friend, conveniently knowing a 14 year old with an apparel start-up, have me carte blanche to raid the dead lady’s apartment.
With dead lady fabric as my only option, my designs were both limited and specific. There were two huge bolts of heavyweight lycra, one in red and one in black. So I did a series of skintight separates which could be ordered in both colors, as well as a strange, cheerleader inspired tennis-dress done in both, which oddly enough, retailed for $45. There was also a monstrous bolt of boiled navy wool, which, you know, doesn’t really go with shiny black lycra. From that, I made big square skirts with suspenders, primarily for myself, which I styled with my father’s dress-shirts and neckties and actually wore to freshman year of high school. Needless to say, people threw things at me.
By the time I got around to the 4 bolts of mauve and black polyester jacquard, I was over it. Spotswear had run it’s course, I spent most of my time alone in my headquarters singing along to The Commitment’s Soundtrack and I was rapidly realizing that it takes a really long time to embroider “KOREA” on anything.
The dream died. And with it, my headquarters. If you venture down there now, my father’s model train empire overwhelms every inch of the place, railroad schedules now covering my pinned pullouts from Seventeen’s prom issue and cheap, ripped posters of kittens emerging from wicker baskets.
But Runway has reignited this passion for fashion retail. The Spotswear sweatshop will soon be limiting bathroom breaks once again. And believe it or not, I still have some of that goddamn fabric left…
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
“Want to go out? Kate’s working at the Fillmore Grill tonight. Let’s just meet there.”
I was early, and after I waved at Kate in her fancy little dress-shirt, necktie and apron, I saddled up to the bar and ordered a drink. Without a book, I could only re-read the wine-list for so long without looking like an idiot. I began to eavesdrop on the couple next to me, on what I guessed was their third date.
Both of them were “on”, sitting up super straight and engaging each other is forced witty banter. I was in heaven, watching 30-something bald guy overcompensate by rambling on about his high school band while 30-something desperate spinster was just happy she wasn’t me, sitting at a bar alone on Valentine’s Day.
Kate came up to the bar and grabbed a water.
“Hey Kate. I need a piece of paper.”
“To take notes.”
“For the blog?”
“I didn’t know you did that.”
“Well, now you do. Normally, I have a notebook, but…”
Kate had already run off, rapidly returning with a huge piece of Fillmore Grill notepaper from the upstairs office. I pulled out a pen at the most defining moment of any date conversation.
Bald guy looked at his date and loudly asked, “So what’s your favorite movie?”
Yes! Oh, this is so good. I’m so glad this is the conversation I’m eavesdropping on. This could not be more fabulous. Had either of them looked over, they’d have seen me leaning in, pen ready to strike paper. I was waiting for her to say something wonderfully judge-able, like Must Love Dogs or Double Jeopardy. But she responded with the highly unimpressive, “I don’t know. What’s YOUR favorite movie?”
I think I actually cringed.
Bald guy perked up, delighted to respond with the predictable, “Shawshank Redemption! Have you seen it?”
“Of course. I love that movie.”
Duh. Everyone loves that movie. Who doesn’t like Shawshank? No one, that’s who.
“What about Usual Suspects?”
Oh my god. I could barely contain myself, I was so ready to explode. It doesn’t count if you watch it on TNT, folks. Worse, he started mis-quoting lines and doing a shitty impression of Fenster. I scribbled furiously as bald guy did the unthinkable.
“What about Animal House?”
How I didn’t pick up my wine and throw it in his face is a miracle. I sipped it instead, and took my notes. Suddenly, a well-dressed middle aged man in the jeans/blazer combo appeared next to me. He sat down, ordered a beer, pulled out a leather-bound notebook and began writing.
What the fuck? This guy is ripping me off.
There’s only room for one mysterious barstool note-taker pal, and I was here first.
But I couldn’t help myself. “What are you writing?”
“About me. What are you writing?”
“About me. Well, actually right now it’s about the people next to me.”
“Yeah, I think they’re on their third date.”
“How do you know?”
“I can just tell. I’ve been on a lot of third dates, I guess.”
“Can I listen too? What are they talking about?”
“Movies. Ugh, they’re having a really upsetting conversation about movies.”
He looked past me and at the couple, as talk of Tommy Boy wafted by.
“Keep listening. I’ll want an update in 5 minutes.”
He returned to his journal and I returned to my piece of paper. This was an interesting turn of events, finding a kindred spirit in the jeans/blazer combo on the barstool next to me writing in his leather-bound journal.
I wrote about him and wondered if he was writing about me.
The date continued, and I picked up terrifying sentences like, “We’re having an AMAZING connection!” which I immediately reported to kindred-spirit.
Kindred-spirit was funny, offering his thoughts on the possibility of third date sex and the insecurities of the American male.
Mike soon arrived, and giggled as he walked through the restaurant watching me deep in conversation with a middle aged guy in the blazer/jeans combo with the leather bound notebook. Kate got ready to seat us and blazer/jeans said his goodbyes, off to an Anti-Valentine’s Party with a woman he has a secret crush on and her lesbian acquaintance.
“Who’s your new friend?” Mike asked, as we sat down and checked out the menu.
“He’s a kindred spirit, Michael.”
“A kindred spirit, huh? That’s very you.”
Hey, anyone that saddles up to a bar alone, pulls out a leather-bound journal and fancy pen and begins to write mysteriously is alright by me. And certainly better than anyone who, when his date goes to the ladies room, orders another round by saying, “Hey, can I get another beer for me and a glass of wine for the missus. Well, er, um, not the Mrs. Uh, she’s not my wife or anything. Um, uh, I can’t believe I just said that. Don’t tell her, okay?”
Oh my god…
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
I was working backstage nights at The Blanket back then, living with Pip and spending my evenings watching Golden Girls with gays. Dateless and depressed on the 14th, we both slept in and made our way over to Andy’s by mid-afternoon. As Andy got in the car and we headed to work, he joined us in lamenting our lack of romance. “This sucks.”
“I know. I hate this holiday.”
“Oh, look at that bitch over there, holding her roses all proud and shit.”
Andy rolled down his window and began screaming, “Hey Jezebel! What’d ya have to do for those?”
Pip and I soon joined him. “The bigger the bouquet, the more he cheats!”
“No box of chocolates is worth my pride, honey!”
“He hates you! He just doesn’t know how to tell you!”
We were relentless, taking out our immense frustration on those trapped in our crosshairs. Work was no better, with people like Joleene* clomping around in last season’s stacked heels re-reading some shitty poem her slow-witted boyfriend had scrawled.
“Oh Beth and Andy, have these chocolates. If I have one more, I won’t be able to fit into my teensy tiny tacky jeans.”
Andy, Pip and I found ourselves chain smoking on the fire-escape. “God, I hate these bitches.”
“If one more of those skanks shows me some tacky, cheap-ass Walgreen’s greeting card, I’m going to wipe my ass with it.”
“Did you see the greenroom? It’s like a florists’ in there. Ugh, I hate these people.”
“You know we’re getting drunk tonight, girls.”
“Oh.” I sighed. “I can’t.”
“Why ever so?”
“Because I have to go to the gym after work.”
“The gym? Are you nuts? At midnight? Why?”
I thought hard about why.
“Because I don’t want to die alone.”
They sucked down their Marlboros and paused.
True to my word, I departed work, on my way passing gorgeous couples sharing perfect Valentine’s moments, most likely involving diamonds and flawless sex.
I, on the other hand, went to GhettoGym.
It was empty.
On 2 entire floors of usually packed gym equipment, I was one of 4 people. I checked out my fellow fitness enthusiasts and my heart sank. On Valentine’s Day, 2003, had you ventured to GhettoGym at 12:30am, you would’ve seen 3 elderly Asian men working out in tank tops and slacks…and me.
It was quite possibly the most pathetic sight in all of San Francisco. I finished my workout and got the hell out of there, praying for the sun to soon rise and allow us to get on with our lives…
Monday, February 13, 2006
Subject: Any Med For Your Girl To Be Happy!
Within the body of the e-mail there’s a bunch of photos of pills, like I’d visually recognize a pill, most of which were variations on Viagra and Cialis. But amidst the erectile dysfunction meds was one little yellow pill labeled “Valium.”
Valium? Under the subject heading “Any med for your girl to be happy”? Why not a bottle of Jack Daniels? Perhaps some Rohypnol, the date rape drug? While you’re at it, why not just sell the pill that makes up for dating a guy with erectile dysfunction…
GOP Sport; Designer-look GOP SportLooks great out-on-the-town or everyday wearing. Classy way to show your GOP affiliation!
Friday, February 10, 2006
I can’t help it. I’ve tried. Trust me.
It’s not just his WASPy, Kennedy-esque, screws-his-slutty-intern-in-the-supply-closet, Volvo vibe. It’s not just my adoration of anyone committed to success through a highly recognizable trademark, particularly varsity stripe bow-ties. It’s not even his uber-preppy, Rhode Island boarding school, frozen dinner fortune lineage.
It’s simply things like this:
"First of all, anybody with any ambition at all, or intelligence, has left Canada and is now living in New York. Second, anybody who sides with Canada internationally in a debate between the U.S. and Canada, say, Belgium, is somebody whose opinion we shouldn't care about in the first place. Third, Canada is a sweet country. It is like your retarded cousin you see at Thanksgiving and sort of pat him on the head. You know, he's nice, but you don't take him seriously. That's Canada."
- Tucker Carlson on the December 15, 2005 edition of MSNBC's The Situation with Tucker Carlson.
"Without the U.S., Canada is essentially Honduras, but colder and much less interesting."
- Tucker Carlson on the November 30 2004 edition of CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports.
"Here's the problem with telling Canada to stop criticizing the United States: It only eggs them on. Canada is essentially a stalker, stalking the United States, right? Canada has little pictures of us in its bedroom, right? Canada spends all of its time thinking about the United States, obsessing over the United States. It's unrequited love between Canada and the United States. We, meanwhile, don't even know Canada's name. We pay no attention at all."
- Tucker Carlson on the December 15, 2005 edition of MSNBC's The Situation with Tucker Carlson.
"Friendly as they generally are, Canadians have always made me uncomfortable. There's something a shade off about them. They remind me of the aliens in sci-fi movies who move about undetected among the human population until they're tripped up by some joke or colloquialism they haven't been programmed to understand."
- CNN host Tucker Carlson, from Chapter 1 of his book Politicians, Partisans, and Parasites.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Screw the Grammy’s. I love you, Project Runway…
First of all, let me just say that my Project Runway viewing wouldn’t be the same without constant texts from MOI and gtqobzz. I sat on the couch with my huge goblet of Crystal Light and a bowl full of Kettle Korn, excitedly turning the channel to Bravo. Just the thought of a brand new episode of Runway thrills me beyond words. A pure hour of heaven, last night’s episode was particularly tense. The designers had to make over each other (!), and my little brown-nosing, queen Nick got canned.
The upside is, I’m very excited by the previews for a new reality show, Top Chef.
12 aspiring chefs head to San Francisco and compete against each other to earn the title, “Top Chef.” Better, each week someone is asked to “pack their knives” and gets kicked out of the kitchen. As I am currently obsessed with the Food Network, I am planning a weekly gathering for viewings of Top Chef, with relevant food and wine. Top Chef fills the Runway time slot, a time slot I’ve conveniently cleared for the rest of my life.
In other party planning news, I’m thinking Oscars. Highly invested in this year’s nominations, I’m gearing up for March 5th like never before. I’m currently knocking around ideas, but am open to suggestions, particularly wacky takes on anything Brokeback related…
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
I’d been hearing about The Bitter End’s Quiz Night for some time, rumblings here and there that this was THE place to be on Tuesday nights. Having nothing better to do, I e-mailed interested parties and assembled the following team:
Spots: Television/Gay Culture
Big Chris: Sports/Sexism
Berkeleyist: Classic Literature
Michael: Slapstick Comedy
Man on the Inside: U.S. History/Foreign Policy
K.G.: Gothic 1960’s Literature of the American South
Shawn: Film (Noir/Cult)
Michael, Chris and I met early, securing a table and ordering food. K.G. had warned us about the menu, recommending that I pass on the chicken curry I was craving. Mike seemed particularly interested in the sausage rolls, tantalizingly described as “two sausages wrapped in puff pastry and baked.”
“Mmmmm.” said Mikey. “Fancy bagel dogs.”
Our food arrived, the sausage rolls looking pretty good. I downed my beer (yep, beer) and ate my chicken burger as Chris looked over on to Michael’s plate. “How’re those sausage rolls?”
I didn’t wait for an answer. I reached over and grabbed a bite. The combination of taste and texture was, in a word, unexpected. The sausage was pale and foreign tasting, not horrible, but strange. The side of baked beans added to the bizarre-ness.
Joined by K.G. and Shawn, then Berkeleyist and Leslie, and finally MOI and Lauren, we packed around the table and began to select a team name. K.G. produced a pen, Chris grabbed a napkin and we took turns submitting our suggestions. Below, please find exactly what appeared on the napkin. Oh, and try and guess which ones are Chris’ (aged 29, folks) offerings:
Designers, Rock the Kasbah
Where did you go to High School?
The Star Wars Clan
Deep Space Nine (a sexual metaphor)
Big Foot’s dick
Ninja Pirate Battle Assassins
Chris Penn’s Pallbearers
I’m Rick James, Bitch!
Pass on the Sausage Rolls
The napkin was passed and we voted by secret checkmark. Pass on the Sausage Rolls initially won, but was soon changed to our official team name:
Mike Hunt Passes on the Sausage Rolls
Our host (apparently someone Mike went to middle school with) began, although with a shitty microphone, the pauses in between questions got annoying. I’m all for suffering through technical difficulties, but this guy rambled and cracked lame jokes far too much, especially when it took an hour to complete round one. We passed our ballot to another table, Chris leaning over and screaming “Exchange!”
We scored them, and they scored us, crappy host revealing the answers via his crappy microphone.
We got our sheet back, receiving a score of 25. MOI looked at it and exclaimed, “This is wrong. We got a 26. Count that shit.”
He was right. And the judge agreed. He changed our score and left with our ballot. We sipped our drinks and waited for the score of round one.
“And the winners are…a three way tie for third place, with scores of 24…”
Oh my god. We got 26. Does that mean...?
“In second place, with a score of 25 is ‘George Bush Actually Likes Black People…At Funerals’”
A table nearby went crazy as the bar chuckled. “And in first place, with a score of 26, Mike Hunt Passes on the Sausage Rolls…not funny.”
We went ballistic. I couldn’t believe it. First place. Leslie and I leapt into the air for a high five, our hands swiping only air in our excitement.
But wait. We still had three more rounds. The night dragged on. We lost K.G. and Shawn early on, and I was worried MOI would slip out early as well. We needed him. Not only has he served in the military for ages, having extensive knowledge of white trash rock music and Republican propaganda, he’s currently in law school. When asked the difference between libel and slander, we looked to MOI, who silently grabbed the ballot and scribbled an answer. “Dude, I just wrote a paper on that shit.”
It’s hard to remember to stay quiet, and I found myself so excited by knowing an answer, I’d uncontrollably shout.
“Shut up, Spots!”
“Jesus Christ, what’s wrong with you?”
Well, those bitches ate crow during the photo identification round.
“Number 10. Who is that?”
“Oh god, it’s the youngest son on Home Improvement.”
“What the fuck is his name?”
“How the hell should I know.”
People, people. Relax. I grabbed the ballot. “God forbid I shout, but watch this, assholes.”
I delicately penned my answer, “Taran Noah Smith, y’all.”
By 11pm, I was done. We turned in our final ballot, convinced we’d failed, and made our way home. I was so exhausted, I no longer cared if Mike Hunt Passes on the Sausage Rolls won. I simply wanted to sleep.
Will I return to the Bitter End on a Tuesday? Possibly. I’d like to do a sound check beforehand, however. Interested parties should e-mail me areas of expertise, team name suggestions and your level of willingness to eat fancy bagel dogs…
Berkeleyist's take on the evening can be found HERE...
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
I checked my bag and discovered a large, decent looking bar with plenty of mellow looking people and a huge wine list. I found an open barstool, pulled out my book and ordered a glass of wine. The bartender, “Cory”, appeared to be fabulously Native American, and showed no emotion as he swished his long black hair off his huge shoulders and poured beer from the tap. I opened my book and pretended to read.
I pretended to read for two reasons, the first being that I’ve already read this particular book but enjoy pulling it out on occasion and re-reading a chapter or two. The second reason is because while I desperately long to be a confident, mysterious woman sitting alone at an airport bar, in reality, I’m a big nerd.
I eavesdrop and sneak looks and judge. I rarely actually read.
A guy about my age sat one seat over to my right, chatting away on his cell phone, and there was another empty seat to my left. Guy on the right’s conversation was Superbowl based, so I focused my hidden attention upon Cory and his blasé reaction to everything and everyone. I got the impression Cory'd worked at an airport bar for years, had seen it all and was over it. Suddenly, two 40-something men came up behind me.
“Hey, babe. Can we have these seats?”
Oh my god. Did a strange man just call me babe? In the year 2006? It sounded so out of place, I almost didn’t react. However, I realized he meant the empty seats on either side of me, and the prospect of being book-ended by 2 guys who call random women “babe” was unacceptable.
“Oh, certainly. Let me move over.” I said, as I scooched to my right, closer to cell-phone Superbowl guy, and let the sexist men from the 70’s have seats together on my left.
I moved my jacket, my bag, my book and my wine to the right and immediately pretended to be re-engrossed in my book. Needless to say, the ordered low-end beer and seemed to instantly annoy Cory.
The cocky one, the one that called me “babe,” furthest away from me piped up. “Whatcha reading? Fabio?”
His friend right next to me appeared mildly embarrassed, but giggled.
I looked up. “What? You mean my book?”
“Yeah. You readin’ som Fabio shit, right?”
Oh, this was too good. Like Dixie Carter in a particularly feminist episode of Designing Women, I felt a rant coming on. I was alone. I was in Denver. And I’d had a glass of wine.
I glanced up at Cory, now cleaning a beer glass and watching from the corner of his eye, and looked back at the assholes.
“Is that what you think? Any women –well, any woman that knows how to read- has her nose stuck in some cheesy romance paperback?”
“Hey, I’m just askin’, sweetheart.”
“No, seriously. Let’s discuss this. Would you say that to this gentleman?” I motioned to the guy to my right. “Or do you just ask women stupid questions. I mean it. I can’t believe you just asked me that. Fabio? Are you out of your mind? Who asks that?”
They found this hilarious. “Aww, lighten up, sweetheart.”
“I’m just saying, guys. Not every girl reads poorly written smut.”
“So then, what are you reading?”
I flipped my book closed, revealing the morbid cover of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.
They erupted into hysterics, the silent giggler right next to me finally speaking. “Oh shit, Joe. She’s going to kill you.”
I took a sip of my wine and sat back on my stool, thanking my fucking stars I’d pulled this from my bag instead of The Devil Wears Prada.
“Hardly Fabio, fellas.”
Cory re-filled my glass and gave me an unexpected smile.
The cocky bastard leaned over. “I’m Joe.”
“It’s odd to meet you, Joe. I’m Beth.”
Silent giggler turned shyly. “I’m Mark.”
They asked my the standard and unoriginal airport questions. Where are you going? Why were you in Denver? Oh you’re from San Francisco? You know any gays?
They’d also ordered food, and I declined their kind offer of a “bite of brisket." I threw my nose back into my book and proceeded to ignore them. Eventually, they’d downed their brisket and beer and were off to catch their flight to Chicago.
Class acts, they didn’t even grunt goodbye.
I glanced around, almost sad I didn’t have some sleazy men to banter with, and picked through my book.
I looked up to find Cory standing in front of me, his massive frame refilling my glass again.
“That was fuckin’ awesome…”
Monday, February 06, 2006
Actually, it's not that bad. It's almost interesting. There are people hooking up in corners, sticky and fascinating substances on every floor and I have seen a fight 2 out of 3 nights. Saturday night, we enjoyed a lovely dinner and comedy show, and then headed up to a neighborhood packed with huge, rowdy bars. As we stumbled back to the car, we heard a loud commotion. 20-30 guys were getting into a monstrous, bloody fight. Cathal ran across the street to get a closer look and I followed. I kept sneaking closer and closer, until Alex finally freaked out and made me hide behind him. But I found it almost scientific, like a National Geographic show. These guys were like animals, with a clearly defined protocol for fisticuffs.
The pump up their chests and outstretch their arms, while shouting cliched phrases like, "Bring it, bitch!"
Then the more dominant one will lunge, and it takes a couple of lunges to make contact. Once contact is made, depending on the size of the fight, surrounding men will select others in the crowd to fight. I never got an official answer on the cause of the melee (Alex wouldn't let me ask) but I'm assuming it was over cheap beer or cheap women. I loved it.
We headed up to Boulder yesterday, to visit Matt and watch the Superbowl. 5 of us piled into Alex's new car and played "I Spy" the entire road trip. Conveniently, it only lasted 30 minutes.
We found yet another dive bar, where when we asked them to turn the freezing air conditioner off, the staff responded by turning up the heat. As I sat in the basement of Pearl Street Pub, sipping a Bloody Mary and watching a sporting event on a television proped up next to a PacMan game, I heard yet another argument.
3 middle-aged men began to disagree over some aspect of the football game, one of them sporting cut-off jeans atop sweatpants. This fight was 90% verbal, although significantly more hilarious. It also went on for ages, each man pouting on his barstool until one of them dared speak again, thus reigniting the glorious sparks. Matt was oblivious, having had a rough night the evening before, and "napped" during the game, passing out on a folding chair with a pile of Jalapeno Poppers on his lap.
I must admit, I haven't had a Jalepeno Popper since the Clinton Administration. And those little snacks made my afternoon. My god, they're spectacular.
By the end of the game, filled with deep fried food, Bloody Mary's and a Long Island Iced Tea Cathal made me down, I was exhausted. I stared glossy-eyed out the window the whole way back to Denver, but sucked it up to play pool at Three Dogs Tavern, a bar Alex deemed Beth-esque. He was right. My wine actually came out of a bottle.
The boys and I have been hanging out with Molly and Bridget, 2 sisters with the most fabulous Chicago accents who've already graduated from Regis, and I now love them. These two know everything about sports, and will stop any guy on any street corner and inquire as to his team affiliation. It's appallingly impressive, especially when they dive into who traded who to who. I must then stand back and watch in awe, feeling like an Oprah-watching, Chardonnay drinking chick.
They rock at pool, too.
At some point, and I have no idea what time, a collection of friends joined us at Three Dogs, including some guy no one knew. Guy no one knew starts playing pool with Phil, whom we do know, and is so drunk, at one point I had to actually hold him upright. Phil came over and sat next to me. "Tired?"
"Do I look it?"
"Kinda." He nods over to drunk guy. "He's like, half-retarded."
"Oh thank god you said so."
"Yeah. He's a douchebag."
Phil resumed his game and drunk guy came and sat next to me. Slurring his words, I watch his cocktail glass slowly slip from his hands and shatter on the floor.
Ugh. Not only was this a huge party foul, but my proximity implied my involvement.
Frankly, I was too tired to care.
My brother is pretty much the greatest brother in the world, and came over to me.
"Ready to go?"
"Yes. Are you?"
"No, but I'll take you back to my townhouse. It'll take 2 seconds."
As we made our way to the car, I gratefully gushed to Alex. "Thank you so much. Now, you can go have fun and not worry about me."
"Stop. I'm having fun with you."
"Well, yeah. But after three days of drinking, Aunty Beth isn't so much fun anymore. I now understand why old people go and happilly find benches to sit on."
I scarfed a burger, threw on jammies and crawled in bed, oblivious to the world until I woke up to find daylight streaming onto my face and Cathal stirring in Alex's bed across the room.
"Ugh, where's Alex?"
"He drove some girl home. So he slept on the couch."
"Did he come home?"
"Yes. Don't worry. I spoke with him last night and this morning. He's at class. Coffee?"
I've since rolled out of bed, cleaned the kitched and the bathroom, made Alex take out the overflowing trash and find me a hairdryer.
He's doing a very good job of taking care of his big sister.
We're about to go meet Cathal, Molly and Bridget for lunch at, where else? A tavern. And then I'm off to the airport. Tune in tomorrow for updated photos and my Top 5 Denver Moments.
Until then, I'll try and stay out of fights...
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Friday, February 03, 2006
Someone, and I don't know who or why, has strewn rose petals around not only my entire bed, but my entire room. I cracked some joke that I didn't tell the male escorts to be there until 11 (the boys were not amused), but truth be told, we can't figure out why they thought I'd require thousands of rose petals. This is very strange and I must go nap on a bed of flowers until the lads pick me up in an hour for Brazillian food and karaoke.
Fabulous, yet curious...
Thursday, February 02, 2006
I know three of you care, and that’s enough for me. You HAVE to check out Tim’s podcast (“To be blunt, I never cared for Zulema.” Gasp!) Even better, a video clip of Santino singing Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” as Tim.
For Tim's Podcast, click HERE!
For Santino's Closer, click HERE!
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
What’s the big deal? I don’t get it.
Do we want to read a boring book? No.
Do we really care how long he was in jail? Not really.
Is John Travolta’s hair color real? Uh, I don’t think so. But you don’t see Oprah calling him a big liar, grilling him about his follicles, screaming about how duped she feels. We’ve all seen Oprah sans hair and make-up.
Who’s duping who, Winfrey?
And now the poor guy’s agent dumps him. God, I love my Oprah. But once she blacklists you, you’re dead to the world. She can probably get someone audited if she hated them enough. She has presidential pardon power. Oprah decides who we go to war with, just so she can do shows about it. She’s out of control and I predict a fabulously dicey fall from grace. I mean, you know she’s a big old lesbian, right?
James Frey is alright by me.
Although what do I know? I never saw what was so horrible about Milli Vanilli not singing those fabulous songs. My biggest problem with Rob and Fab had more to do with the blazers and bike shorts combo…
“Hell to the naw! Is that Beth? What is up, my girl? Oh my god, yo. Do you not remember me?”
Oh god. I have no idea who this is. I squinted. “Remind me.”
“Becky from grammar school! I know, I know. I put on some weight. Who hasn’t, right? You look so cute, yo. I totally recognized you. I saw you walking through the bar and shit. I was like, ‘Aw shit, y’all. I totally know that bitch.’”
Um, newsflash Becky. This is the suburbs. I don’t know who you think you’re fooling with your ill-fitting velour jumpsuit and penciled eyebrows, but Larkspur is not the hood. You have no street cred if you shop at The Village. And packing your own low carb salad dressing is not the same as packing a gat…