Wednesday, May 31, 2006

not on my watch...

While strange, MOI and I occasionally head out to Colma to visit the graves of our grandparents, old friends from the same San Francisco neighborhood. This past Monday, MOI hit Holy Cross Cemetery solo and reported back on his findings.
“The fake flower bandit has struck again.”
On our first visit to the graves, over 3 years ago, I was appalled and dismayed to find fake flowers adorning my grandparents’ grave. No one in MY family would ever consider leaving some kind of plastic floral monstrosity and defile the final resting place of our beloved Bob and Ang. Even MOI was flummoxed and enraged as we stood there marveling at the blue roses with fake dew drops.
“Who the hell would do this?”
“You have no idea?”
“No, Ryan. I have no idea.”
We found this highly suspect, especially as the fake flower bandit struck time and time again, with crappy Easter adornments or tacky Christmas junk. MOI’s grandparent’s graves (Joanne and Burt) maintained a manicured and oft tended to subtle memorial, but some stranger keeps piling their Wallgreen’s bargain bin sale items onto MY Nonie and Da.
Needless to say, we’ve spent many hours knocking back cocktails and hotly debating the identity of the faker flower bandit. We’ve certainly got our theories, as after the death of my Nonie, my 6’2” former cop grandfather became the Marina Distirct’s hottest geriatric commodity. Wisely, he hooked up with MOI’s Grandma Joanne and for the next 10 years, they were inseparable. Upon the death of both Da and Grandma Joanne, the Spots/MOI gravesite visits began and thus the discovery of the fake flower bandit.
MOI is convinced it’s a denied little old lady, some blue hair still pining for Bob and livid that Grandma Joanne snatched him up. Considering MOI’s extensive career in the military, after Memorial Day’s addition of hot pink plastic petunias and a weathered American flag, we only have one remaining option.
I wonder if there are some kind of cemetery restrictions on a 24 hour camouflaged stakeout…

hyphy what?

I keep Big Chris around for several reasons. He’s always on time, he wears ridiculous shoes, he expertly mocks my personal life, he calls my brother ‘Gary’ and occasionally, he introduces me to a current fad I was yet unaware of.
As we drove back from Muir Beach, Chris yells over the music, “Let’s ghostride the whip!”
“What are you talking about?”
“You’ve never heard of Ghostriding the Whip?”
“You people are bitches. Ghostriding the whip is the shit.”

Allow me to explain. Or rather, allow Wikipedia to explain: Ghost riding is a stunt performed with a vehicle, such as a bicycle or automobile, where the rider or driver exits the moving vehicle, leaving it in motion unattended. The rider then procedes to dance either along the ride or on top of it.
Ghost riding is an aspect of the
hyphy culture, born out of the Bay Area hip hop movement. Ghost riding the whip, though dangerous, is one of the highest forms of going dumb and as such is one of the best representations of the style of hyphy. The term "ghost ride the whip" appeared in E-40's song Tell Me When to Go.

You can see video clips of this glorious concept here, and while unclear, I’d like to hear more about this “going dumb.” I’m sure Big C can fill me in…

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

get that kid away from my castle...

I don’t know when I started hanging out with a bunch of straight guys, but after I competed in a spitting contest and pointed out a hot woman’s ass yesterday, I’m concerned I’m about to lose my hag status. I spent the day with Alex, Mikey and Big Chris, bringing beer and cheese to Muir Beach and parking ourselves in the sand. Chris, unfortunately, is highly uncomfortable in most forms of nature and has a profound fear of sand. He refused to participate in the sand castle-off, and instead chose to sip his Tecate and “meditate and shit.” Once the wind picked up, and we found ourselves in a sand storm which ruined some pretty fabulous Brie, we packed up and headed over to the Pelican Inn. They might be straights, but my boys are trained well. They spotted 2 appalling and unacceptable fashion faux pas:

The first, and arguably worst offense was this pair of jeans, subtly captured on film. I don’t really know where to start. I believe these are Wrangler’s Molester Wash, and they appear to be tapered. I have no idea how long it took this guy to squeeze into these denim leggings, but I’m guessing it involved laying down and shimmying himself in.

The second atrocity is Lawrence of Arabia, who apparently hopped off a camel and uh, stood around looking like an asshole. I have no idea why people do this to themselves, but it took away from my Memorial Day experience.

We had to head to Sam’s, where people tend to be slightly less visually offensive. Although, that didn’t stop old people from hooking up directly behind Chris. It really was quite bizarre to behold, watching someone’s parent’s go at it in broad daylight, as if there’s nothing gross about this nonsense. I will admit, on a gorgeous day, Sam’s has some serious people watching. Alex and Mikey found themselves hiding behind their beer bottles, after spotting a guy from high school. Both instantly agreeing that this guy was a complete dick when he was 17, they reminisced that he would end arguments with the bracing, “Ok, well I’m going to go have sex with my girlfriend now.” This, it seemed, was his way of ultimately winning, as if manly arguments were pointless, because he had so much sex to go have. It was hilarious watching Alex do an entire routine of this poor kid still thrilled by the loss of his cursed virginity.
“Yeah, well, whatever. I’m going to go fuck my girlfriend now. Because I’m having sex. A lot. And you’re not. So, yeah, I’m pretty much going to have sex immediately. Deal with that, bro. Sex. Right now. With a girl.”
The sun finally set on Sam’s and the four of us headed back to my folks for barbequed chicken, a spitting contest and a heated discussion on Chuck Norris facts. Memorial Day was surprisingly low key, considering we hit the beach and bar hot spots. I would have gone out after dinner and had some wacky memorial day adventures then, but I had to go have sex with my boyfriend. Deal with that…

Monday, May 29, 2006

red feather still has his vest...

Every once in a while, a new word or phrase comes along that is so awesome and necessary, I’m forced to share it with the world. World, allow me to introduce to you to the Red Dog.
Mikey’s dad, blog reader Big Mike, took us to dinner at Guaymas last night, and as we sat on the outdoor patio at sunset, with the lights of San Francisco twinkling in the distance, I leaned over to him and said, "So tell me about this Red Dog."
A Red Dog, interestingly enough, is the annual gathering of Big Mike and his 7 fraternity buddies. Every year, they gather in a different locale, and in the words of Big Mike, "drink, eat and play golf."
"Does it ever get crazy?"
"Well, we try. But you know, Beth, at my age, crazy is probably different from your crazy. But, yeah. Sometimes it gets crazy."
Oooo, how fabulously mysterious.
"So, basically, it’d be fair to say that when we’re out, painting the town red and causing general mayhem, we’re red-doggin’ it?"
"Ha! Red-Doggin’. Yeah. I like that!"
Big Mike’s been red doggin’ it for years, and once returned from a Red Dog so pumped from the experience, he chose Red Feather for his Indian Guides name.
Indian Guides?
Oh, wait until you get a load of this.
Indian Guides is along the lines of a politically incorrect cub scouts, but it’s for fathers and sons to do together as some kind of forced outdoor bonding. Uniforms consist of leather vests made of "cow material" and everyone’s favorite accessory, the head band.
"Mikey, what was your name?"
It turns out, Black Feather was at first reluctant to discuss Indian Guides, but as I asked more and more questions, Mikey was reminded of his bizarre yet enjoyable Indian Guides misadventures. As Red Feather pointed out, the Indian Guide handbook’s instructions for meetings didn’t really gel with the needs of the Kentfield tee-pee of guides. Apparently, no one was really into crafts and singing. So, they’d go on adventures, hitting baseball games, going to history museums and riding BART.
I inquired as to why girls weren’t involved in any of this.
"Oh, but they could be, Beth."
"Yeah." said Black Feather, suddenly defensive of Indian Guides. "They had Indian Princesses."
Hmmm. Interesting. Because I didn’t realize the word ‘guide’ was gender specific.
Moving on...
"Oh, but dad, remember La Honda."
Apparently, there’s an annual tribal celebration, involving a huge bonfire that, to hear Red and Black Feather describe, was really the highlight of Indian Guides participation. There was also some kind of forest night walk, in which people would hide in bushes and scare the little headbanded guides as they nervously followed the path.
"Then around the bonfire, we’d have a big ceremony with the Indian Guides rituals and rites of passage, which I can’t tell you about, because you’re not an Indian Guide."
"Man, I totally remember that. That bonfire was seriously huge."sighed Black Feather, missing his headband.
"Oh yeah, it was a terrific bonfire."
Sounds to me like a Red Dog...

Saturday, May 27, 2006

you know who'd like this place? dog chapman...

Dear Marin Joe,
I don’t know what you put in your “house wine” that gets me into so much trouble. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s served from a spigot on the wall. Maybe it’s the fact that I haven’t had anything to drink in a week (except for Monday, when I had the Cantina Rosarita Margarita. Twice.) Maybe it is simply my inability to say no to a free cocktail. But that truth of the matter is, every time I grace a barstool in your time machine establishment, I wake up with, at best, a pounding headache and a vague recollection saying something inappropriate.
After examining your menu, I can see why geriatrics party with you all the time. I mean, no one born after 1913 would ever order a chicken liver omelet. And I’m pretty sure Michael Mina doesn’t have a section of his menu where he lists all of the meats one can have broiled. My club sandwich was gigantic, and I’d be enjoying the remaining 75% of it right now, had I not left it under the piano.
All I’m saying is, it would be really helpful if you’d take a Polaroid of me and put it up in the kitchen or break room or something, instructing the staff to cut me off at midnight and call someone to come get me. Because as much as I hate to admit it, every time I hang out with you, it gets surprisingly crazy.
Love the special spinach,

Thursday, May 25, 2006

there's no place like starbucks...

I swung by Suburbagas for a jug of coffee this morning, and made my usual selection of Highly Caffeinated French Roast. I usually choose French Roast, skipping over the myriad of other choices, like Colombian, Organic, or that dreadful flavored Macadamia Nut/Amaretto/Bubble Gum bullshit. I don’t even venture a gaze at the Decaffeinated Coffee and Tea section, because I’m not elderly. I stick with my French Roast, and I feel good about it.
I always select the biggest coffee cup size, which I believe is upwards of 20 oz. I fill it 7/8th of the way with French Roast and the remaining 1/8th with low fat milk. I then deposit 3-4 packets of Splenda, the number being based on my mood, and put 2 back-up packets in my handbag for my desk drawer of non-perishable condiments.
My Suburbagas coffee routine is down to a science. And while this coffee is indeed purchased at a gas station for $1.75, I have the utmost confidence that this is decent coffee. I mean, they have a neon sign proclaiming a blinking “JAVA!”
Clearly, I frequent the pinnacle of coffee connoisseur gas stations.
So you can imagine my dismay when my former friend Mohammed left the “Employees Only” door open and I was able to witness the various coffee thermos’ being filled with what was clearly freeze-dried dust. Italian Roast, Colombian Roast, Organic Blend even that goddamn Macadamia Mint Malarkey is all basically generic Folger’s from the same Costco bag.
I felt like Dorothy discovering Oz hiding behind the curtain.
“Uh, Mohammed, what are you doing?”
“Oh, I make the coffee. What? I run out of French Roast?”
“No, no. I got my coffee already. But, uh, how do I know it’s really French Roast?”
“I no understand. You always get French Roast.”
“Yes. Yes, I do. But it appears that French Roast is the same as everything else.”
With great nonchalance, he replies, “No, I separate decaf.”
“Okay. So within the caffeinated milieu, it’s all the same.”
“You know what I do for you?”
“You trick me, Mohammed!”
“No, no. You like the coffee, yes?”
“I guess. I feel so betrayed.”
“No, no. I give you coffee today. Free coffee for you.”
“Relax. Is no big deal. How you think I stay in business? What I can do for you?”
I sighed. “Nothing. Don’t worry about it. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Good, good.” He said, waving me away and going back to his thermos of lies.
I took a sip of coffee and noticed nothing different. Truth be told, I really don’t care. I mean, I’m buying coffee at a gas station for Christ’s sake. What the hell do I expect? Still, I grabbed some extra Splenda on my way out just for spite.
Take that, Mohammed…

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

it's that time of the month again...

DEAR Big Chris and Spots: I recently began dating again as a single mother. I met a man I'll call "Mickey" at a singles dance and agreed to meet him at a coffeehouse a few days later because I had decided to date him. However, Mickey followed me home. I saw him pass my house. A few days later, he showed up at a store where I was shopping, although he doesn't live nearby. I invited him over for dinner, and he showed up again within the week, uninvited, and walked into my house while I was taking a nap! When I confronted him about entering my house uninvited, he said he was "concerned about my welfare." (I have systemic lupus.)
Spots and Chris, I dated Mickey a total of four weeks. Since then, he has continuously driven by my house and dropped off presents of books, cards, candy, flowers, etc. I have asked him not to come by uninvited or without calling first, but he just dropped off another book. He appears not to understand that his intrusive behavior is freaking me out. What can I do? Is this considered stalking? He hasn't threatened me, but I'm frightened and wish he'd stop pursuing me. What can I do? -- FREAKED OUT IN PENNSYLVANIA

Dear Stupid,
Two words: Restraining Order.
"Is this considered stalking ?"
"Is this considered a rhetorical question?"
I'm going keep it real and say a lot of this shit is your fault. Obviously it’s not your fault this guy turned out to be a stalker, but you probably could have avoided your current situation after the first date when Mickey followed you home. That should have been a sign to never speak to this psycho again. Then he shows up randomly in your neighborhood, walks into your home uninvited, (intelligent people like to call that breaking and entering or at least trespassing) and starts dropping shit off at your place and you still kept dating this guy! Are you insane?
A couple other points: Besides the restraining order, you need to get a gun and learn how to use it, alert your neighbors and the police some nut-job is stalking you, and get an alarm system in your house. Also, a "singles" dance? Next time, just put an ad on Craigslist under random encounters. Those "singles" event are filled with creeps and desperate women. (and trust me, desperation is stinky cologne)
My esteemed colleague and burrito buddy Beth will probably give you better advice as she is a veteran of being stalked. But I know the classic "blow-off technique" has worked for her in the
past. This method includes not answering their calls, returning messages, answering e-mails, not opening the door when they show up randomly, etc. basically going into seclusion until they get the hint.
Good luck to you.

Dear Freak,
First of all, what the hell is a singles dance? Second of all, as Big Chris will no doubt point out, you’ve come to the right place. I am all too familiar with the psychotic stalker. You want to get really freaked out? One day I’ll tell you my locksmith story.
But as I’m often reminded, this isn’t about me. So I’ll get right to the point. You’re an idiot for inviting this guy to dinner. If some schmuck follows you home and then mysteriously shows up at a store, the proper response is to mace him, not bake the nut lasagna. And if you awoke from a nap to find said stalker standing over you, most likely plotting which section of your body he’s going to chop off first, lupus is the least of your problems. You’ve been “dating” for 4 weeks? Call the cops, sweetheart. This guy’s got a well in his basement with your name on it.
Finally, and I’ve got to be honest, you’re getting some shitty presents. If someone’s going to stalk you and break into your house uninvited, cards, candy and carnations aren’t going to cut it. My advice? Avoid, avoid, avoid. Crazy isn’t going to respond to logic. Dodge this wackjob until he finds another prey to hunt.
Don’t you watch Oprah?

wayne, another name that makes me uncomfortable...

THIS is awesome.

I realize now that I omitted "Wayne" from my list of names that make me uncomfortable. So, just to recap:

5. Wayne
4. Carl/Karl
3. Bruce
2. Paul
1. Joel

you can't be serious...

Loads of people claim to be plagued by bad luck. But how many of you drive to work, singing in your car and minding your own business when suddenly, an array of idiotic and uncaring construction workers decide to stop traffic for 20 minutes as soon as I hit a red light. Traffic was backed up for block and blocks, but I was smack dab in front, sighing loudly and visually to no avail. I, along with thousands of others, had to wait while a giant metal round blade slowly created a moat directly in front of my newly repaired vehicle. Making the situation significantly worse, not one construction worker was even remotely attractive…

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

dibs on cody matherson...

Props to Jesse, who addition to being highly el preggo also provides us with today's Top 5.

Top 5 Worst Album Covers of All Time:

That last one rocks my world...

these yearn to be seen...

pretty shoes topoff...

So, right now I’m in the midst of putting on Fiddler on the Roof, the timeless Broadway musical featuring Tevye, a poor dairyman with 5 daughters who wanders around singing “Tradition!” and “If I Were a Rich Man.” Big Chris, ever supportive of my career, never comes to the plays. He simply attends the after-party my parent’s host. However, in mocking encouragement of my endeavors, Chris enjoys screaming “Hey look! I’m Topoff! TRADITION!!!!!!!!”
“Chris, his name isn’t Topoff. It’s Tevye.”
“That’s what I said. Topoff. TRADITION!!!!!!!!!!!!”
“You are retarded.”
“Check it out! I’m Topoff! Look at me! I’m Topoff!”
“I hate you. Are you coming to my play?”
“What do I look like? One of your boyfriends? I will, however, partake of free beer and food at your parents’ house and do shots with your dad.”
Alright, but Topoff better bring his own goddamn Tecate…

i'd like to order from the 'gringo favorites' section...

I’m sorry I’ve been so lame about the blog. Busy is no excuse. So, I promise you something solid later today. But first, I need an argument settled.
You know that yellow scoop of mashed up cornmeal that you get at Mexican restaurants? That’s called “maize,” right?*

*according to everyone in my office, it's called "sweet corn tomalito"...

Friday, May 19, 2006

what about socks and sandals...

With the boys in New York, Molly, Mike and I went to Lion Pub for some after dinner drinks and I spotted a gentleman who, based upon his clothing, had apparently recently arrived in a European Time Machine from 1991. I imagined him emerging from a foggy chamber, Ace of Base blasting in the background as he removed his neon-sided plastic sunglasses and allowed them to dangle around his neck by their wetsuit material holder. Watching this guy maneuver himself through the bar prompted me to list my TOP 5~

Most Offensive Male Fashion Faux Pas:
5. Tightened sunglass holder
4. Men in loose tank tops/muscle pants
3. Fanny Packs
2. Elastic waist denim*
1. Bo-Lo Ties

* Runner Up for Molly’s suggestion of “Jean Shorts.” Nice call…

and through the clouds...

...comes a ray of sunshine.
Thanks to Berkleyist and BTOB for your simultaneous e-mails alerting me to the inevitable.
Gavin has come to his senses and dumped Eurowhore. Matt Gonzalez, consider yourself dropped.
That bitch better update her Eurosite soon. I don't want my boyfriend defaced up there any longer than necessary.
More later today as this story develops...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

i'll think of something funny later...

I once met a guy at a hotel who found himself traveling in a foreign country during every major world event. When the Berlin Wall came down, he was in Japan. When the earthquake hit, he was in Africa. On Sept. 11th, he was in Russia. I was like, “Hey pal. Let me know the next time you leave town…”
I’ve found the same to be true for my family. Every time my parents and brother go somewhere, leaving just me at home, shit goes crazy and people die.
First of all, I hate it when the three of them travel together. God forbid something happen. If our plane is crashing, we’re crashing together. But it seems whenever I’m in charge of the Spotswoods in the Bay Area, all hell breaks loose. The first time my folks took Alex up to Montana to register him for classes, my beloved grandfather, “DA” passed away. It was horrible. Just horrible. And until my father landed at SFO, my god-sister Kate and I were tearfully in charge.
Today, they all leave for New York.
Without me.
Because my play opens this weekend.
Let me detail what has thus far already gone horribly wrong:
~Our dear friend JoHanna died on Saturday.
~Grandma fell and broke her hip on Tuesday.
~Our dear friend Myrna died last night.
~It’s supposed to rain this weekend, and my play is outdoors.
~And actors are dropping like flies.
I won’t have a day off until late June as it is, but I get to spend next week doing damage control for rain and attending memorial services for people I adored.
Again, Kate and I are tearfully in charge.
Um God, when it rains, it literally pours…

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

my scarlet letter...

Don’t get mad at me, but I’ve been thinking about breaking up with Gavin. He’s stressing me out. First, he married the robot. Then he dates Eurotrash. Finally, the guy won’t return my phone calls.

So, I’m cheating on him.
I know, I know. I don’t recycle. I only speak English. I despise vegetarians. Christ, I’m sipping on Starbucks as I type. But Matt Gonzales isn’t looking so bad right now.
Shall I compare?
Gavin, raised in Pacific Heights by servants, pretty much majored in Beer Pong and hos at my mother’s alma mater, Santa Clara.
Matt, on the other hand, was raised on the border town of McAllen, Texas and ended up at Columbia studying comparative literature and political theory before attending Stanford Law where he edited the Law Review. So, you know, there’s that.
And then, when Matt was 26, he began working as a trial lawyer for the San Francisco Public Defender, where he won 9 out of 9 life cases and was thrice jailed for contempt of court.
Gavin’s dad bought him a restaurant.
Finally, Matt lost the mayoral election by a mere 14,000 votes, yet spent an eighth of what Gavin spent and held house parties open to the public, which my friends, Gavin campaign workers, attended wearing wigs.
And uh, we don’t see Matt wandering around Boulevard with some F-list floozy talking about being naked and shit. Although, you don’t see Matt wandering Boulevard at all, which is kind of a problem for me. Oh, I’m so torn!
Gavin, win me back…


I had some time to kill before meeting Mikey for our weekly burger before Pub Quiz last night, so I grabbed a Pinot Noir at the Holy Grail. I was delighted to find a good-looking, well-dressed, ringless man next to me, drinking a Guinness by himself and ordering fancy food.
This, folks, is my kinda guy.
But as I have had the great displeasure of learning firsthand, repeatedly, when one opens their mouth, they can suddenly become far less attractive.
Turns out, Guinness is kind of an asshole. Apparently a “regular,” he took great pleasure in referring to an Irish waitress as his “favorite linguist. Or Cunilinguist, hehe. Get it?”
I rolled my eyes and pulled out my notebook.
I began furiously scribbling down every word out of this shithead’s mouth, from his sudden Southern drawl when speaking to the black couple next to him (“Y’all should come on down to my gallery.”) to his introduction of the annoyed bartender (“Dave is the shit, yo.”)
Suddenly, he turned his obnoxious attentions to me.
“Someone’s writing in her secret little notebook.”
Oh my god.
“Oh, uh, I’m just kinda on a roll.”
“No, no. I don’t want to stop you. Do what you gotta do.”
His food arrived and he dove in, loudly munching on his ahi and audibly expressing his dining pleasure in a series of grunts and moans. He then took a long sip of his Guinness, swallowed and then did that beer commercial, “Ahhhhhhh.” thing as he placed his pint glass on the bar.
Un. Necessary.
I couldn’t believe this once hot guy, who was so mysterious and attractive, with such potential and possibility sitting there alone and silent at the bar turned out to be a complete jackass.
Finally, a woman who appeared to be the owner and disturbingly, a friend of the jackass, sat next to him and began chatting about a new restaurant she wanted to open. Almost jokingly, she said, “Want to invest?”
“Well, let me ask you this. How much?”
“A buck and a half.”
I can only assume this means $150,000, and I’ve got to respect the fact that she called it a buck and a half. That is awesome.
He then replied, like he was Dignan in Bottle Rocket, “I tell you what…I’m interested.”
Yeah right. I think I may have choked on my wine, I was so flabbergasted that jackass loud eater was going to produce a buck and a half so he could open some restaurant with a virtual stranger just so he’d have the opportunity to sit on a barstool somewhere and disappoint single women…

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Kimberly Golddigger's Wedding Day Schedule...

9:16am: Kimberly wakes up, hungover and old.
9:17am: Realizes she’s passed out in a dumpster behind the Campus All-Male Theater.
9:19am: Locates cell phone in pile of filth and used prophylactics and proceeds to contact someone to pick her up.
10:52am: Finally talks someone into coming to get her.
11am: Checks into suite at New York’s Plaza Hotel.
11:15: Sees Donald Trump in lobby, who thinks she’s a 1997 Miss Universe 3rd Runner Up (representing Jupiter.)
12noon: Hair and Make-Up arrive. Must use freight elevator due to necessity of industrial strength products.
1:45pm: Vera Wang’s Assistant begrudgingly drops off “beige” wedding dress and explains that Vera is busy, um, uh, er, looking for Natalee Holloway. This makes perfect sense to Kimberly.
2pm: Final touch-ups with stylist.
2:15pm: Kimberly stands before a full length mirror and slowly realizes her betrothed is gay.
2:16pm: Realizes her betrothed is probably still at the Campus All Male Theater.
2:17pm: Sends assistant to find him.
3pm: Gets confirmation that gay groom has been located and is being sobered up.
3:15pm: Heads to church.
3:30pm: Arrives at Church. Bridesmaids attempt to distract her from noticing that groom is still missing.
3:45pm: Groom’s boyfriend, Hector, arrives in a black veil and Birkin Bag.
3:59pm: Groom arrives. Takes Valium.
4pm: Ceremony begins.
4:23pm: Hector is removed from church.
4:35pm: Ceremony ends. Couple heads to reception at Plaza Hotel.
5pm: Couple enters the ballroom to applause. Bill O’Reilly misses their entrance as he is busy making the coat check girl uncomfortable.
5:15pm: Kimberly nervously looks for Gavin.
5:20pm: Band begins. At groom’s request, it the Scissor Sisters.
5:21pm: Hector sneaks in, half to find the groom, half to hear “Filthy/Gorgeous.”
6pm: Uncomfortable toasts, where Kimberly’s previous marriage is awkwardly sidestepped.
6:30pm: Kimberly downs 4th wine cooler.
6:45pm: Hush befalls the ballroom.
6:46pm: Gavin enters solo.
6:47pm: Groom utters, “He’s hot.”
6:50pm: Gavin graciously congratulates the newlyweds. Groom secretly slips his number into Gavin’s pocket.
7pm: Kimberly sits at Table Number 27 alone, watching everyone kiss Gavin’s ass.
7:15pm: Kimberly moves on to shots of vodka.
8:10pm: Kimberly finds unattended microphone.
8:14pm: Kimberly is removed from her own wedding reception.
8:16pm: Kimberly wrestles herself free of security and walks herself to the TGIFriday’s at 56th and Third.
9:04pm: Kimberly sits alone in wedding dress and “I Heart NY” t-shirt eating an onion blossom and watching a hockey game.
9:15pm: Group of tourists send over a pineapple daiquiri.
9:19pm: Kimberly orders another daiquiri.
9:25pm: Moves on to Bungalow 8, where the bouncer thinks she’s Steven Tyler and therefore, let her in.
9:40pm: Tries to get invited to Lindsey Lohan’s booth, but is instructed by Lindsey’s staff that Lindsey is afraid of horses.
10pm: Drunk dials Gavin.
10:03pm: Gavin notices missed call. Doesn’t call back as he’s too busy still partying at the reception. Decides to text back instead, “And people thought I was gay. LOL”
10:15: Kimberly angrily walks back to reception at Plaza.
10:24pm: Can’t get in.
10:30pm: Kimberly gives up and returns to her suite upstairs, where she watches Matlock.
11:54pm: Kimberly calls groom, who doesn’t answer as he’s in a janitorial supply closet with Hector and a Scissor Sister.
12midnight: Kimberly passes out amidst a pile of wilted flowers, wilted hair and wilted dreams.
12:45am: Gavin leaves reception with unnamed blogger/wedding crasher who appeared to be documenting the day in a small notebook kept in her knock-off handbag…

is gavin invited...

I would like to thank reader Kady for e-mailing me a disturbing link of Kimberly Golddigger announcing her engagement to a flaming homosexual drag queen on Fox News. It is both disturbing and wonderful, and makes me hate her both more and less at the same time. I mean, my girl’s a fellow fag hag. I almost wanna buy her a MGD at Badlands.

Here’s the link. Scroll down and watch the “Congratulations” video. I bet they’re registered at International Male. Needless to say, Eric’s picking out the bridesmaid dresses…

we should all be so lucky...

I’ve never really had to write about anyone I care about passing away before, but JoHanna was a good friend, a great storyteller and an incredible broad who succumbed to ovarian cancer this past weekend.
JoHanna actually married her Kenyan safari guide named Mwamerma and brought him to our house for dinner.
That, folks, is what you’d call a badass…

Monday, May 15, 2006

cue patsy cline...

Is it just me, or are people crazy?
If you’ve been reading, you know that often times, our mail (916A) gets mixed up with the folks upstairs (916) and while neither I, nor anyone I have ever lived with, has particularly cared, seemingly every inhabitant of 916 has taken this as a personal affront, by either 916A or the post office. Obviously, with our addresses so similar and our mail boxes mere centimeters apart, mail gets mixed up. Personally, I simply take 10 seconds, flip through it, pull out anything destined for upstairs and put it in the appropriate mailbox.
Because I’m not crazy.
Recently, “Mark” purchased upstairs from the previous owner, “Renee.” Needless to say, Mark still gets some of Renee’s mail.
Well, this is needless to say to us.
Because we’re not crazy.
This morning I went through our mail and was instantly flumoxed. It seems Mark has been taking all mail addressed to Renee at 916 and writing “Doesn’t live here anymore!”
Then, he puts it in OUR mailbox.
Because he’s crazy…

3 parties, 3D...

I refuse to have a party without my friend Darren (3D). And I have three reasons why:

1. During one backyard BBQ, I insisted upon decorating the entirety of the yard with candles, putting votives in potted plants and crocked ledges. Because of this, a small series of fires blazed periodically throughout the party, but quick thinking beer drinkers quickly outted them. Confident that all candles were extinguished, we drunkenly passed out. At 4am, 3D awoke and had to pee. Still shitfaced, he passed up the main bedroom mere steps away and walked to the back bathroom on the sunporch. Happening to glance into the backyard, he noticed that the chaise lounge was completely on fire. Completely. Leaping into action, he ran into the kitchen, finding two half filled bowls of salad. He dumped one into the other, filled the empty bowl with water and ran outside. One salad bowl of water, unfortunately, was not enough, but he soon located a hose and saved the day. I awoke the next morning and went into the kitchen. Seeing the salad bowls, I returned to the bedroom.
“What the fuck happened to the salad.”
“Uh, I put out a fire at 4am. You’re welcome.”
And he rolled over and went back to sleep.

2. During the Halloween debacle of ’05, our party got completely out of control. There were legit physical fights, Zoe angrily left and someone actually peed on my bed. Not only did 3D come in an awesome costume (a human Scrabble board), but he stayed until the bitter end, putting me in my room with Andy and New Chris and making everyone else leave. It was no longer cool, it was no longer fun and all anyone sane wanted to do was go home. But Darren stayed and literally kicked people out of my house for me, tucked me in and made sure all the candles were out before leaving me in peace.

3. Arriving in time to charm my parents this Saturday, 3D hung out with me in the dining room regaling me with tales of chaperoning a prom. Suddenly, he looked across the room at the lamp I purchased in Hong Kong which is decidedly broken.
“What’s wrong with that lamp?”
“It’s broken and foreign. I’ve got to take it to get it fixed.”
“What’s wrong with it?”
“I don’t know. It’s funky. Oh, oh, oh! Can you fix it?”
But he got up and started futzing with it. Kate was confused. “Um, what is Darren doing?”
“He’s fixing my lamp. He’s my electrician.”
“I’m NOT an electrician. I just like fixing things. Can I plug this in?”
I went into the kitchen to grab some more wine and heard a commotion and subsequent round of applause coming from the dining room.
He puts out fires, he kicks out hooligans, the boy even fixes appliances.
Trust me. You want this guy at your parties…

a spotswood family mother's day...

molly is politely listening to the history public transportation...

"dad, you look like a little kid."

for bill...

the barbershop quartet...

compared to my mother, i look incredibly ethnic...

Friday, May 12, 2006

lights, camera, ass...

I never write about work, but last night was so Spots-esque, it warrants a post. We threw a little swanky shindig at the offices of a major corporate sponsor, and the principal actors from our show gave a little preview for our donors. Keep in mind, I was in charge of this particular event and have spent a good while attempting to make sure it went perfectly, hoping to wow our donors with our fabulous cast and fabulous caterer. During the grand finale, as the star of the show sang his heart out, my boss was so moved by the sight, she ran up to me as I stood in the back sipping my wine.
“Beth! Get your camera and get a picture of this.”
With that, I turn around to grab my purse and my giant ass hits the light switch, turning out all the lights. I’m oblivious, fumbling with my camera as an array of people scramble to illuminate the room. Seconds later, the lights come back on, and I look around like an asshole.
“Was that me? I turned off the lights, didn’t I?”
Worse, I go to turn on my camera, hoping to capture the last of the performance. Mikey leans over my shoulder just in time to read the display on the screen of my camera.
“Warning. Battery Exhausted.”

Thursday, May 11, 2006

but how do you say harold's last name...

Whenever I housesit at Judy’s, especially when it’s nice out, I have no choice but to enjoy cocktails on the deck and pretend I’m in a movie. As I’m sure you know, last night was the Top Chef Reunion Special, and with much excitement, I invited my fellow Top Cheffers over for dinner.
Big Chris, an Anti-Top Cheffer, also appeared, complained that I grilled steak and not chicken, tucked a napkin into his collar, made fun of my huge head and called me “woman.” I often say that I’ve always wanted to be a mafia wife. In fact, Ciccarone does a hilarious impression of my intended instructing me into our tract house in Jersey. But I think I can bypass a lifetime in La Cosa Nostra, because I have Big Chris. He’ll beat up anyone I want, he spills spaghetti sauce on himself and he drives a mid-size family sedan. The only downside?
I just don’t think I’ll ever get my fur…

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

monsoon wedding...

Dear totally hot international guy sitting next to me at the bar at Dosa last night,

I know I worked it into the conversation 3 times, but he’s my roommate. I mean, we have separate bedrooms and everything. I tried to give him eye signals to get lost, but he can’t read my series of winks and nods yet. As soon as I sat next to you, I was overwhelmed by your crisp white shirt, rolled sleeves and Tag Heuer, not to mention your incredibly hot Ivy League, young Deepak Chopra vibe dining alone at an upscale Indian restaurant. I just wanted to cover myself in marigolds and red dots when we discussed restaurants, us both frequenting the same fabulous and oft-reviewed hot spots. I was practically beside myself when my made-up excuse to talk to you resulted in you offering me food, and died and went to heaven when you ordered a single glass of champagne with your bizarre, foreign dessert. I hope I wasn’t obvious with my four blatant arm touches and one bold back pat. I simply wanted to experience what I can only assume was custom made in Delhi or Hong Kong. When we were finally seated away from the bar, my roommate (again, ROOMMATE) pointed out that you were obviously flirting with me. He encouraged me to go back to the bar and talk to you, to leave you my business card or ask you out for chai. But I was too chicken, and too busy enjoying your recommendation of the onion bhaji with the Chenin Blanc. But if you read this, and you probably will, I hope very much to go on lots of dates with you to the marvelous restaurants we discussed and so look forward to your building me my very own Taj Mahal.

You are hot, guy at the bar at Dosa last night, and I think I love you.

Most Sincerely,

PS. Seriously. He’s my roommate…

what happens in vegas...

Most people get blogs posts on their birthday, and today should be no exception. I mean, 23 years ago today, the most important person in the world was born. But I when I get a screaming call at 2am this morning, alerting me that not only had birthday boy and company arrived safe and sound in Las Vegas, but more importantly, that the MGM Grand had over booked and thus put the three of them in a 8000 square foot, 2 story “Sky Suite” with 3 bedrooms, touch screen remotes, 17 TVs and a hot tub over-looking the Strip, I decided that clearly, the golden child doesn’t need my stupid blog to complete his birthday.
Just in case, Happy Birthday, Alexander Peterson Anthony Spotswood. I love you, Biscut…

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

ever heard of a gas station...

Sometimes, the stars align and I’m in the right place at the right time. This morning, I was driving through San Francisco, my biggest problem being a slight accessories mis-selection, when I pulled up to a red light at the intersection of Van Ness and Sacramento. Gazing out my window (while singing Boston’s hit, “More Than A Feeling”) I spotted a middle aged, non-homeless man with a ponytail standing nervously on the corner. He was clutching his crotch like a child who simply couldn’t hold it any longer. I couldn’t determine if he was drunk, insane or just suffering from a bad urinary tract infection, but I was instantly fascinated.
Right there on the corner, he began to face the wall, as if he planned to pee against it. I find this offensive by drunk frat boys at 3am, not to mention in broad morning daylight, and was about to scream “That is fucking gross!” across the street at him. But the abundance of workers carrying Starbucks and little old ladies walking around was enough of a barrier to prohibit ponytail from whipping it out.
Still standing on the corner of Van Ness and Sacramento, he grabbed himself as if he was physically holding the pee in.
I was mesmerized.
The light was still red, as if waiting with me for the grand finale. Ponytail eyed a car parked a few yards away, pulled out some keys, let go of his pants and began to briskly walk towards what I can only assume is his vehicle.
“This is it.” I thought. “I know that look.”
Lo and behold, the khaki pants soon revealed what I had already anticipated. Ponytail peed his pants.
A lot.
He made it to the driver’s side door and faced it, but the damage was beyond done. I watched a literal waterfall of pee explode from within him, soaking not only the entirety of his pants, but the asphalt beneath him.
The light turned green as I drove away in stunned silence.
While at first finding this hilarious, calling Michael at work to relay the entire melodrama to him, I slowly realized Ponytail was fucked. There was no way he could walk into a store and buy new pants ay 8:30am, completely covered in urine. Who knows how far away his house was, or if he, like me, always carried backup clothes in his trunk.
I called Alex, leaving today for Vegas on his way home. Again, I relayed my surprising experience. “Nice going, sis.”
“Well, what the hell was I supposed to do? Bring him home and give him some of Mike’s pants?”
“No. But this was your big chance to do something.”
“Like what?”
“Don’t you read your own blog? You missed your chance to Pay It Forward…”

Monday, May 08, 2006

i love crazies...

I spent most of the day yesterday getting mocked by the men in my life. My only respite from Big Chris doing a comedy routine on the grand scale of my cranium was this storefront in Noe Valley. I’m going to take a wild guess and say that I’m probably a Liberal Loony. For those out of the right wing loop, San Francisco’s Army Street was renamed Cesar Chavez, after the admired immigrant rights leader. Racists have a big problem with this, and this guy has chosen to dedicate his real estate office storefront into an artistic display of conservatism. I like the “English Spoken Here” and the Oliver North buttons. Also, the weathered photo of Nancy Reagan pretty much made my day...

Finally, Chris and I had to get this picture of Mikey, sitting at a bar trying not to stare at the guy with the serious dreads having a martini with a beer back. Nice. That's my kind of Rastafarian...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

and i think we all know what pleated khakis mean...

I was hell bent on seeing United 93. I just had to wait until I got back from LA. Not that anyone’s going to hijack a Southwest commuter flight out of Oakland, but I’m prone to paranoia on a good day and I held out until yesterday morning. Having nothing better to do, Mikey joined me, and we settled into our seats ready to be wowed by this movie that’s receiving rave reviews from everyone alive.
To read about United 93, you’d think that all of a sudden, someone somehow put September 11th into new perspective with a camera and a cast of unknowns. Other than the lady tearfully relaying the combination to her safe on someone’s answering machine, which I will admit got to me, I don’t see what the big deal is. It’s basically the same as the A&E version, just a little less schmaltzy. Maybe I’m desensitized because I’m slightly 9/11 obsessed, reading and watching anything pertaining to any aspect of it. But I don’t see what the big deal is.
Disappointed by the movie, the most exciting part of our morning was seeing a plumbing van upside down in the middle of the freeway.
Recently, Mike had to take some seminar for his job about how to read his clients personalities. Apparently, there are 4 kinds of people, and Mike enjoys pulling out his charts and explaining to anyone willing to listen which personality type they are. I, as I have been told 300 times this weekend, am a “Socializer.” Mikey is a “Relater.” I’m gregarious and respond to flattery. He’s stable and passive. And we both want everyone to like us. We just go about it differently. Mike's irritation is aggressive behavior. Apparently, I hate being bored. Which is why we ended up at the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park yesterday afternoon, dissing United 93 and sipping “juice” out of water bottles. We were quite pleased with ourselves for being so cultured on a Saturday afternoon, and pretended to enjoy water lilies before enjoying the best parts of the tea garden: the snacks you get with the tea and the giftshop.
Our afternoon of new experiences and drinks wouldn’t be complete without a trip to a gay bar. As we drove home through the Castro, we passed the Midnight Sun.
“Oh, I used to hang out there all the time. They have a fabulous Happy Hour.”
“Really? I’ve never been to a gay bar.”
GASP. “Seriously?”
“Nope. Wanna go?”
I love you, roommate.
Mike bravely entered, but refused to be left alone, so we grabbed our drinks and found space at one of the standing tables in the middle of the bar, which features huge TV screens everywhere playing random clips and videos of a gay nature. Basically, it’s lots of Cher, Will and Grace and random SNL sketches about queens. At one point, I went up to the bar to grab another glass of wine and sashayed up next to two guys.
“Oh my god, we were just talking about you.”
“Really?” I smiled at them, delighted.
“Yeah. See, I’m straight and I was trying to decide which one of us is the alpha male in here. Me or you.”
Oh my god.
“That’s just great. Thanks.”
The other one leaned in. “Ignore him. He likes you.”
“Gay men always do, sweetheart.”
“I’m telling you. I’m not gay.” He protested. “Want me to prove it?”
“Ewwww. I’m gonna take a pass on that one.”
The nice one dove in. “So, we were actually trying to decide if you’re on a wacky date or you’re just a really understanding sister.”
We all looked over at Mike, nervously standing alone in the middle of The Midnight Sun.
“Neither. That’s my roommate. He’s straight and this is his first time in a gay bar.”
Mike walked over. “Um, don’t leave me.”
“Relax roommate. We’re buying your drinks.” The straight guy was a cocky bastard, but confirmed his sexuality by wearing pleat front khaki shorts. He was there with his best friend and business partner, an adorable gay. “What’s your name, gorgeous?”
“I’m Beth. And this is Michael.”
“I’m Chris.”
Of course you are.
“And this is Russ.”
Chris and Russ proceeded to buy us drink after drink, apparently owning a very successful financial business of some sort. I didn’t really understand it, other than the fact that Chris kept telling me how much he made. They actually offered Mike a job, promising him obscene sums of cash if he left his bank and came to work for them.
We eventually stumbled home, pushing our way past the gays hoping for hookups at the front door.
“That was quite a gay bar experience, Mikey.”
“That was fucking crazy. How long were we in there?”
“Beats me. But I’m exhausted. We’ve got to go home.”
“God.” Mike sighed. “You’re such an alpha male…”

Friday, May 05, 2006

the curse continues...

Far be it from me to mock the embarrassing exploits of others, particularly when it pertains to substance abuse and wildly irresponsible behavior. However, I’ve always liked that Patrick Kennedy, and he’s long been on my shortlist of men who could get me access to the Hyannisport Compound since the tragic and untimely death of my obvious intended, John John.
Hey, I’m willing to down a few gin and tonics with the best of the big toothed American Royalty, but I draw the line at Ambien.
I can get over the fact that his father drives young women off bridges and refuses to save them. I can get over the fact that any Kennedy on a plane is probably a bad idea. I can even get over the fact anyone affiliated with this family will pretty much die in a watery grave.
But sleeping pills are just so tacky.
The clues have apparently been there for a while. Not only is Congressperson Paddy K all too familiar with “recovery”, but they guy got into a drugged up car accident less than a month ago.
At his local CVS PHARMACY.
Hello? Earth to Ethel. We’ve got another Kennedy conundrum. And this one isn’t as easy as a little scotch at Senate hearings or date rape on a golf course. There’s only one way to handle this one. Thank god they keep a lobotomist on staff…

city of angels, part 2...

Having escaped a dreadful convention lunch with the flutist, my rag tag gang of temporary friends decided to go explore the huge immigrant march going on 2 blocks away. I opted to check my e-mail and call into work, agreeing to meet up with everyone for second sessions and roundtable discussions.
But the time Round Table discussions rolled around, no one was feeling it.
“I’m going for a lay down.” whined Peter. “I’ll end up at some table with a bunch of stupids who won’t shut up.”
“It looks like everyone’s bailing on the round table discussions.”
“I’m going to the Coffee Bean.” I offered. “Anyone want to come?”
Deemed a ‘bad influence’, Erin decided to come with me, but only if we could have an adventure. “Let’s go to Little Tokyo! It’s only 6 or 7 blocks away. We just have to walk through the immigrant march, but it’s dying down anyway.”
Little Tokyo it is.
Let me just create a visual for you, so you understand how we almost died.
Erin is Canadian, so one really can’t get any whiter than Erin. She’s short and spunky and obliviously unafraid of strangers. And I was dressed they way you’d imagine me to dress when I’ve decided I’m on a fabulous solo business trip. So, I pretty much looked like a corporate drag queen. And thus, we entered the ‘winding down’ immigrant march. By the time we got there, the march was pretty much over, but the streets were still packed with an array of drunk gang members and insane hobos. Half a block into it, we started to get scared.
Really, really scared.
As we walked along, Erin looked at me. “You okay?”
“Please, Erin. I’m big city.”
Men in doorways started sneering at us, making lewd gestures. The solidarity vibe was long over, the mood on the streets now much more aggressive and sinister. Suddenly, a deranged hobo pushing a cart full of empty recyclables races up to me. Sticking his face about half an inch from mine, I get a good look at his ONE tooth (lower level, a little to the left) before he screamed directly at me, “EAT THAT PUSSY!”
When I say I screamed, I mean it. I fucking screamed.
Oh but wait. It gets better. With that, a man in a doorway wearing a Mexican flag as a diaper throws a plastic bottle, hitting one tooth in the head. This was followed by a smattering of applause and snickers.
At this point, I picked up the pace, Erin struggling to catch up. “Oh my god, Beth. Are you okay?”
“Are you shitting me?”
We had a good block and a half to get through before getting the hell out of the demilitarized zone, and I cannot begin to describe how terrified I was.
With that, a group of 10 or so bandana clad hooligans, 2 of whom were carrying SCREWDRIVERS, packed together and blocked the sidewalk in front of us.
“This is it.” I thought. “I have a wallet, digital camera, cell phone, and am clad in gaudy designer knock-offs. I am dead. And someone will have to tell my family. There is no way I can get myself out of this one. I will be the cautionary tell of the Millennium Biltmore.”
A quiet peace befell me, as I clutched my handbag and balanced on my stilettos. I’ve lived a good life. I’ve known love and loss. I’ve seen 3 wonders of the world. I’ve touched Gavin Newsom. My only regret is that I was unable to produce my own memorial video montage.
Erin came up behind me. “We’ve got to move. Now.”
And that, folks, is when I ran.
With Erin behind me, I broke into a sprint in the middle of Broadway, dashing between gang members and looking straight ahead. This was not a brisk walk. This wasn’t even a jog. We were officially running.
And people laughed.
Someone may have even thrown bottles at us. I can’t be sure. I refused to stop and look around. We aimed for a side street and dashed off the main drag, catching our breath within the safety of a security guarded RiteAid.
Erin and I looked at each other. “Okay, we almost died.”
“I know. Oh my god, Erin. I can’t believe that just happened.”
Finally safe, we agreed to get iced lattes and watch hotel movies, and Erin and I finally laughed.
“We are no longer disposable friends. Erin. I’ve never been so scared in my life.”
Erin giggled. “Big city, eh?”

Thursday, May 04, 2006

city of angels, part 1...

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always managed to make a temporary friend on vacation. I think it stems from a profound fear of loneliness or perhaps my need to constantly talk. I was a latchkey child. What do you expect?
I arrived at LA on Saturday, after sitting through a perfectly pleasant flight next to Mr. Miyagi. Southwest Airlines freaks me out for a myriad of reasons, but mainly because there are no assigned seats. Aside from the lack of first class, which just makes me uncomfortable in general, one must elbow their way through the cabin, diving for overhead space and struggling to slide one’s seatbelt from under the ass of the middle management schmuck entirely oblivious to the fact that he’s sitting on one half of someone else’s lifeline.
I may have broken someone’s bottles of cheap wine from their very exciting excursion to the Napa Valley in my attempt to stuff my oversized duffle in the bin above me, but I in no way cared. I’m not hanging out in the Southwest baggage claim of LAX where there is absolutely no possibility of seeing a celebrity. Just get me to the hotel.
I grabbed a Supershuttle and enjoyed a brief, albeit smelly ride to my hotel, the Millennium Biltmore in disgusting and deserted Downtown Los Angeles and checked in. My room was miniscule, but I was far too chicken to complain. I dumped my bags, switched purses and hopped a cab.
I was going to Santee Alley, which is basically the knock-off capital of America. I shoved my way through 4 blocks of excellent faux designer bags and glasses, spending a good 3 hours debating my purchases. This very excursion was the only shopping I had any intention of doing, and while highly illegal and completely filthy, I pushed my way past thousands buying gold Jesus medallions and Chanel high-tops.
Of my three purchases, my Dior sunglasses are the most likely to break if you breathe on them, and my new Chloe handbag is the light of my life. Every time I look at it, I get happy. Seriously. It’s pretty much the greatest thing I’ve ever bought in my life.
There is no way to catch a cab in Santee Alley, or as I came to call it, the Balenciaga Barrio. So I walked all the way back to my hotel, passing huge shops advertising fake ID’s and appropriately, people setting up for the big immigrant march on Monday. I swung by Subway and got a salad. Word to the wise: Subway is named after a sandwich, not a salad. For a reason.
I made it back to my hotel room, turned on the HBO, closed my curtains and played with my new handbag. My conference didn’t start until Sunday, so by 7 or 8, I was bored out of my mind. I showered and changed and embarked on the obvious.
I entered the hotel bar to find an array of conference arrivals, all of whom seemed like middle aged women from Texas and all of whom seemed to know each other. I ordered a $14 glass of wine, which appeared to be the cheapest option, and began talking with the only person who would have me, Oscar the bartender, as he refilled the nuts from a bag labeled Roasted Salted Extra Fancy No Peanuts.
I know this because I wrote it down. It sounded like a good title for a book.
I bid Oscar adieu and headed down to the significantly cheaper Basement Sports Bar, which I hoped would have something along the lines of a “house wine” and someone to flirt with. One out of two isn’t bad, and after my wine, I ordered a grease quesadilla to go, headed back to my room and committed myself to the Tom Hanks Oscar hit, Philadelphia.
I awoke the next morning and headed downstairs by 8am to register, get my name-badge and collect my free tote bag of information and crap. I don’t know why, when providing conference attendees with itineraries and information, we must also be laden down with breath mints, ceramic mugs and bubble blower necklaces, all of which proclaim a commitment to non-profit arts marketing management.
I balanced my tote and collection of binders, grabbed coffee and a bagel and found a place on the floor next to a girl about my age who also appeared to be alone.
“They sure put a lot of crap in our bags.”
“I know!” She exclaimed. And thus, I made my first disposable friend of the conference. Jessica was perfectly lovely, and we attended our first branding and logo session together, before meeting up for lunch. The “Networking Lunch” was held in the grand ballroom, where dined on iced tea and Chinese Chicken Salad Tostadas. The whole concept of this lunch was for all 500 of us to bond over convention food, but I mostly talked to Jessica. All of a sudden, one of the conference leaders gets up and says she has a special surprise for us. Her dear friend and session leader, not to mention talented musician and poet, will do an impromptu performance for all of us.
Oh, that’s just great.
All of a sudden, this little, 50ish, tan blonde woman from Florida, of course, emerges from a side door and makes her way through the dozens and dozens of tables in the ballroom while animatedly playing a flute. She stops dead center, between several tables of uncomfortable looking attendees and removes the flute from her lips.
You’ll think I’m making this up, but I’m not.
She then proceeded to recite her poetry about non-profit arts management and the art of creation. Worse, a good 75% of the room found this delightful, in awe and gratitude at her immense talent. Unable to look at her flute poetry anymore, I turned back to my enraptured table and looked around the ballroom. Suddenly, I made eye contact with someone who clearly shared my annoyance and found this display just as ridiculous as I did. As soon as I spotted this woman with funky glasses rolling her eyes back at me, I lost it. Trapped at my table with an unfortunate case of the giggles, the flutist continued, now requesting volunteers. Someone from my table actually enthusiastically raised their hand. 10 minutes later, I sat appalled, watching grown men and women in business suits standing on stage in a Los Angeles ballroom on a Sunday holding rainsticks and tribal drums, telling the musical story of Jocimo the forest nymph. I’m not exactly sure what the point of the story was, but a peacock feather was involved.
Hell froze over, lunch ended and I went over to the girl in the funky glasses.
“They should serve booze if they’re going to subject us to that.”
“I know! Well, they will tonight at the cocktail mixer. I’ll find you.”
“Okay!” I screamed, a little too enthusiastically.
Lo and behold, I showed up to the cocktail party hours later and found funky glasses. Her name is Erin, she’s from Calgary and she was also flying solo. Erin, however, had already made friends. She’s found Peter, an glorious and gay Australian living in Vancouver, Julia, who’s Swiss and deadpan, living in New York, and Brad, who’s from Vancouver but brought along his Australian dad.
We sipped wine and ate snacks.
“So, Beth. What are you doing for dinner?”
“Beats me. I have no friends.”
“Us either! Let’s go out.”
Ex. Hale.
Erin, Peter, Julia and I headed outside and found a fabulous upscale diner. We bonded and laughed over dinner, having a marvelous time and heading back to the hotel around 10ish. All set to go to bed, Peter and I decided to pop our heads into the fancy bar and see if we could find Brad. There he sat, and we pulled up chairs and joined him, ordering a round of drinks and bitching about the flutist.
“You guys.” I sighed, leaning back on my barstool. “Here we are, all by ourselves in a big hotel in a crappy town. We should be having flings.”
“Oh, fabulous!” gushed Peter, sitting up straight.
Brad smiled. “You want me to pick you out a guy and ask him to join us.”
“Yes.” I said. “Pick out any guy at this bar and bring him to me!”
“Fine. How about that guy?” Brad motioned over to the gayest man in all of Los Angeles, sitting alone in a spandex t-shirt at the bar.
“Perfect!” Peter yelled.
“Um, he’s gay, foreigners.”
“Shut up, you cow. Bring him over here, Brad.”
Brad got up and approached the gay, bringing him to our table.
“Beth and Peter, this is Aaron.”
Peter and I immediately dove in, questioning poor Aaron for our own amusement. Aaron was boring. Aaron was gay. And Aaron didn’t find us funny in the least.
“Well, Aaron, I’ve got a bottle on wine in my room, so Brad, Beth and I are going to go up there, now.” Peter said, standing up. “It was nice too meet you. See you around the conference.”
We headed for the elevator as Peter leaned down. “Well, that was a dud, love. We’re going to my room now, but first we need an ice bucket.”
“To chill the Chardonnay, you wench. God, Americans are so stupid. Some cow asked me what my name was and I said ‘Petah’ and she said ‘How do you spell that?’ P.E.T.E.AH. How the fuck do you think?”
I had an ice bucket, which we stole from my room and brought to Peter’s. Into the wee hours of our late night room party, I realized we had session scheduled for the morning. I departed and no soon had I entered the hallway and heard Peter’s door shut, I realized I’d lost my room key.
I swirled around and banged on the door. “Open up, Dundee. I need my room key.”
An elderly Chinese man answered the door and hissed at me. “You go way. You leave lone!”
Oh shit. Wrong room.
After an embarrassing trip to the front desk, I made it to my room and fell asleep.
I awoke to my phone ringing at 8am. “Hello?”
An Australian accent yelled at me from the other end. “I’ve got your ice bucket, you drunken slut. Meet me in the lobby. We’re going to Starbuck’s with Erin in 15 minutes.”
“How did you know what room I was in?”
“Because you left your fucking room key in my room, you whore.”
Peter, I love you.
I threw on some clothes, grabbed my name badge and headed down t the lobby. As I emerged from the elevator, Erin gasped.
“Oh my god, I almost didn’t recognize you. What did you guys do last night?”
After coffee, we headed off to our respective morning sessions, and agreed to meet up for lunch. In a very Top Gun-esque twist, just guess who our first session was led by?
Yep. Aaron.
With lowered heads, we avoided eye contact and counted the minutes until lunch.
As we once again congregated in the ballroom, Erin, Peter, Julia, Brad and I settled into a table, leaving 5 extra seats available. All of a sudden, 5 middle aged women cheerfully bounded over and asked if they could sit with us. I felt a swift kick to my ankle under the table and looked up.
It seems as though we’d come full circle.
We were now sitting with THE FLUTIST…

obviously, my favorite part is my description...

So, when Andy, Mike and I dined at Q on Tuesday night, we marveled at how Andy kept making eyes at this one guy in a maroon sweater, clearly eyeing Andy right back. Maroon was clearly on a date, but that didn’t stop the blatant flirting and complete ridiculousness of gay mating rituals. I mean, waves and winks were exchanged, people.
Today, Andy received an e-mail in his Manhunt account. For those who aren’t fag hags, Manhunt is basically for homos. I just received an e-mail from Andy, entitled, “Beth, you’re going to HOWL with laughter when you read this:”

Lo and behold, I howled.

From: NiceCouple
Subject: hello cutie
Date: Wed May 03, 2006 11:28 PM

I hope you can recognize our pictures on here, but we are contacting you beacuse we saw you the other night (tuesday) having dinner at Q on clement street. You were with another young tall guy and a pretty girl.
We would have wanted to say hi while we were waiting for our table but we did not want to interrupt your meal. It would be nice if you could give us a call and we could maybe get together for coffee somewhere.
I know this is a strange way to approach people but I remember seeing your picture on here and this was our only way to get in touch with you.
Jim and Tom
P.S. We may delete this profile quite soon, please be so kind to use the phone to get a hold of us. Thank you very much., I hope we will become friends.

Go ahead, Miss Andy...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

ah, civilization...

Listen up, kids. I've got a fabulous restaruarnt for you. Go HERE.

It's called Q, and it's a fabulous, kitchy comfort food diner in the Richmond District. I hadn't seem my roommate and my Andy in 4 days, so when I cracked open my San Francisco Magazine waiting for Michael to get home, I decided we were going to Q. Not only is the wine list unsnobby, extensive and packed with suggestions of what to order with each bottle of wine, (want a certain Shiraqz? Try it with the fried chicken.) but they have a cheese plate. I think we all know I feel about a cheese course...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

i leave town for three days and THIS happens...

You people DO realize this is some kind of Scientology brain programming going on here, right? I mean, obviously, she's melting his soul and stealing his energy. She must be stopped. I repeat, she MUST be stopped...

oh, i thought this was room 1189. no?

You know I haven't written in a long time when I get the following e-mail:

B: Where's the blog? Love, Daddy.

Okay, okay. Here's the thing. It costs me $.49 a minute to use this stupid hotel computer, and as I can't exactly charge it to the sender of the aforementioned e-mail, I'm hustling my ass out of here. I'm flying home (well, to Oakland) at 1ish and promise you exciting tales of running around a hotel at 4am, banging on the wrong door.
I was terrified, I'll admit, coming to LA by myself, attending a conference with 500 people by myself, eating a sandwich in my hotel room by myself...but lo and behold, I met the glorious and wonderful Erin, Peter, Julia and Brad.
I was convinced I'd be trapped with an array of middle aged women who go to bed at 9, dining on unoriginal salads and discussing Dr. Phil. But I've had a fabulous time. So fabulous, in fact, I just shared a tearful goodbye with my new best friends. As I left Erin's room last night, after staying up and gossiping and eating popcorn while watching Con Air, I headed for the door.
"Hey, Beth!" Erin screamed, as I walked down the hall. "I'm so glad I met you. You're the best disposable friend I ever had."
"Erin. We were almost gang-raped in the middle of Downtown Los Angeles. We are officially real friends."