Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Oh my god, people. Oh my god...
I just wanna say, I've made myself available, I've totally been here for him should he need me, I'm never busy as far as he is concerned, this was so unnecessary...oh god.

the latest installment...

I'm probably going to get kicked out of the city limits, but my latest Culture Blog is up! Eve the Editor is seriously mistress of the links, which I can hardly take credit for. The Swiss Miss sites alone...Jesus Christ.

dear gray cloud and spots...

Once again, I’ve waded through the dregs of Dear Abby to find you complete psychopaths who obviously need my help. Joining me in offering wise and sage advice to stupid people will be the highly controversial Gray Cloud, who possesses neither tolerance nor patience for, well…anything:

Dear Gray Cloud and Spots,
I accidentally found out that my husband had bought a cell phone for another woman (on OUR family plan!) and has been calling her three to five times a day, sometimes hiding in our garage or waiting until I leave the house on an errand.
Also, he has been baby-sitting her son in his office every day after school. Abby, this woman does not even have a job. She is just too lazy to pick up her kid.
I told him to get rid of her or I am leaving.
Am I being unreasonable?

Dear Furious,
What kind of idiot buys a cell phone for his side piece on the ‘family plan’, yet hides in the garage to call her? Or better yet, what kind of idiot marries him? It also worries me that something hasn’t yet occurred to you. He’s not just chatting on the family plan and babysitting her dreadful bastard child. He’s doing the lazy bitch.
They are not friends, Furious. They are fucking.
In the great words of Janet Jackson, what has he done for YOU lately? I mean, if she’s getting free cell phones and child-care, what do you want out of the deal? I’m thinking diamonds and spa treatments, but that’s just me.
Finally, what was his response to your ultimatum? Because if he’s happy wiping the snot off some brat and crouching behind the out of season holiday decorations, you’ll be needing to pack your plastic bags.
That being said, the only thing unreasonable about your letter is the fact all of you are completely retarded and should never bother me with this kind of crap. You deserve each other.
Your pal,

Dear Furious,
As a male chauvinist pig, I'm well aware of how to cheat on a woman and how to hide it, and this guy is bad at it.
Yeah he's cheating on you...are you kidding me? There's no way I'm gonna pay another woman's cell phone bill and baby-sit her kid unless I'm getting something in return...and I'm not talking about a fruit cake at Christmas. Ideally what this stooge should've done is
get a P.O. Box or something to have her phone, cable, Botox and whatever other bills he's paying for sent to. He's babysitting the kid because he doesn't want to go home to a Salisbury steak and your fat mid-western ass. She does have a job by the way. It's milking your husband for cash. It's full time, usually nights and weekends. The reason you guys can't afford that trip to the Mall of America this year isn't because he didn't get the Christmas bonus he wanted as manager of Applebee's, it's because he spent that bonus on Juicy Couture jumpsuits, white Louis Vuitton handbags and crystal meth for his undoubtedly peroxide-dependent mistress.
Listen here 'Furious', you need to leave this guy And as a guy, I really shouldn't be telling you that because I have a blind allegiance to all men before women. But we all know you won't leave him because you're a stay at home mom with a GED and this marriage is the only thing that you've got going for you. Your self esteem is so low that you're willing to put up with copious amounts of bullshit in order to obtain a false sense of security. Then the day will come when he gets sick of your ass and you two go fishing on lake superior and you don't come back because you’ve become the next, less-famous Laci Peterson. So either wise up or accept the sad inevitability of your life.
Try calling Martha Burke for advice next time and leave me the fuck alone.
~gray cloud

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

spots + peter = love...

Secretly, I’ve been maintaining that Peter Ragone, Gavin’s Director of Communications is totally my boyfriend. Okay, maybe not my boyfriend, but as soon as Gavin and I start hooking up, I’ll be cheating on him with Peter.
And we all know that I hate Dan “Too Much Make-up” Noyes. I can’t trust a man who wears more rouge than me unless he’s a drag queen.
Here’s a quick recap: Peter’s been commenting on various blogs (including MY Chron one, which incidentally, made my year) and according to SFist and the hella retarded I-Team (what is that about, I-Team?), under fake names.
So what?
Peter’s been running all over the internet doing God’s work and defending Gavin and let me just say for the record, god bless him. Apparently, he’s been posting under the name ‘John Nelson’ and ‘Byorn’. Peter maintains that John Nelson is his BFF who simply happens to come over at 7am to use his computer and post comments about Peter’s boss on various blogs.
Makes sense to me.
Zoe’s always over at my house at the break of dawn spreading her various vegan and lip gloss propaganda through cyberspace. What’s the big deal?
Everyone needs to relax and focus on the real issues, like when the hell is Gavin coming back from Switzerland.
Seriously. I’m going into withdrawal.
So for the record, I adore Peter Ragone. He’s totally geek-hot, I like the way he knots his neckties and he’d fucking take a bullet for Gavin. What’s not to love…

Monday, January 29, 2007

organizing mental illness...

Because I’m a total psychopath and because I’ve received several requests to do so, I know that some of you nuts would just like to read my thoughts on Gavin and quite frankly, don’t give a shit about anything else I have to say.
Fine with me, stalker.
So, to your right you will now notice a new link. I’m posting my Gavin-themed archives, in no particular order, and if you’re so inclined, you can pour over my severe personal issues there. Enjoy…

perfect. literally...

I just want to give a shout out to everyone who made my birthday totally fucking rock...

Laura, Mikey, Zoe, Alex, Big Chris, Hilary, John, New Chris, Eve, Andy, SFMike, Tony, Sam, Fred, Kate, Jenny, Mike, Jackson, Katherine, Shawn, and Catherine...I totally love you guys. And I feel better about being so old...

*Photos by the genius SFMike...

Friday, January 26, 2007

i'm sorry. is that a state?

I finally caught up with Top Chef, watching Part One of the Hawaiian Finale.
Here are my thoughts, which you should not read if you don’t want to know who gets booted:
It is absolutely safe to say that we should all fall out of love with Padma because she pronounces it “Havaii.” What the fuck? How dare she.
Also, I’m reneging on my earlier anti-Elia status. I like her now that I know she was a Mexican swimming champion. Somehow, it makes her whiny accent less annoying. Really, the highlight of the entire show was that we got to see the insides of everyone’s apartments. Peter Pan lives in some stucco monstrosity in Vegas with two dudes even dorkier than himself, where they work on their food experiments and have no art on the walls. Peter Pan is pretty much a mad food scientist and you couldn’t pay me to eat his powders, which, if you ask me, look a little suspicious.
That might explain some behavioral issues, actually. Is that crack in your foam, Pan?
Sam and Ilan both have dogs, and while I hate most animals, I’ve decided to find this cute. Also, Ilan lives in a closet. Literally. I love Ilan, he’s totally my boyfriend, but his stupid ironic sunglasses and weirdo, ‘look how alternative I am’ hats are making me fall slightly out of love.
I know we’re all supposed to be enamored with Sam.
Nope. Not me.
Open your mouth when you talk, Sam. Jesus, he’s such a pursed-lipped mumbler. Call me crazy, but I need a talker. That being said, I think Sam has the best food, the best work ethic and the best attitude.
Back to hating Padma, she will always find something wrong if the other judges like it. If everyone hates it, Padma loves it. And it pissed me off that Ilan was all ballsy and used some funky leaf that if improperly cooked, gives you a scratchy throat. Ilan slaved over those stupid leaves and just looking at Padma, you could tell she was willing her throat to hurt. Please. Even Chef Tom was like, “Uh, no. It was great. Shut up, Padma.”
Where is she supposed to be from? Why does she talk like that? This isn’t phone sex, Padma. Pick up the pace.
Okay, so in this Haviian elimination challenge, 2 people got kicked off, and it sucked that Elia spent her final 10 seconds on the show complaining about Peter Pan moving a pot. Sadly, Sam was the one that was all, “Guys, shut up and let them tell us the results.”
Class act, that mumbler.
And then he got the boot.
So it’s Ilan and Pan, head to head, Iron Chef style. Way to go for the drama, Bravo.
Oh, and a final word on Gail. Is it just me, or has she spent this past 3 months of hiatus watching the show and realizing she came of as a hardcore bitch? Because she was all sunshine and butterflies on the Big Island…

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

if only they delivered...

Everyday at 2 or 3, my entire office is in desperate need of either chocolate or coffee, although we each have different spots where we get our fix. Because I’m a horrible person, I go to Starbucks, located in Mill Valley directly kitty corner to the middle school, high school and retirement home.
Showing up there at 2:30 on a Wednesday afternoon means I waited in line with approximate 43,000 12 year olds, ALL of whom were talking on cell phones far fancier than my own. One young “lady” was dressed so inappropriately, I was pretty sure she was a hooker. Keep in mind, I spent my youth in a plaid uniform, so any child sporting “free dress” on a school day is pretty much a member of some slutty gang as far as I’m concerned.
As I waited for my Venti Coffee Frap Lite, I also spotted an extremely elderly and kind of gross looking couple the retirement home sipping sticky, sweet, whipped cream topped pink creations and sharing a mushy cookie which they ate with a fork and a knife. I don’t need to tell you the extent to which that upset me.
Oh, and when I finally got my drink in its big plastic cup, I noted my named scrawled on it in Sharpee.
Seriously? God, the suburbs kill me…

boy, boy, crazy boy...

I know you're dying of curiosity to know my thoughts on Choirgate. Well, HERE IT IS, via SF Chronicle Culture Blog. Oh, and just a little teaser for next Wednesday, I'm thinking Swiss Miss...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

pardon me...

I have an announcement to make.
I officially know everything there is to know about serial killers. And while this expertise is often put to good use (I can’t imagine we’d ever forget my Pub Quiz triumph and subsequent frightened friends) I have decided to broaden my horizons and select another subject with which to dominate.
Drumroll please.
Ladies and gentlemen, and due in large part to a suggestion from my dearest friend, I have settled on:
It was between that and cults, in case anyone is wondering and I’ve begun my newest quest for knowledge by refamiliarizing myself with the exciting kidnapping of the talented and beret-wearing Patty Hearst. I won’t begin to tell you how excited I am.
In reading all about this hot bitch, I can’t help but think what I would do were I a 19 year old heiress violently kidnapped, forced to live in a closet for 2 months, brainwashed and turned into a bank robber/urban guerilla.
First of all, I’m very, very tall and I would not be down with sleeping in some hall closet guarded by my rapist captor who watched me go to the bathroom everyday. I would thus request alternate arrangements, as I can be very persuasive. I get the feeling that Patty was like “Whatever” the whole time, going with the flow and waiting for Stockholm Syndrome to settle in, which is definitely not my style.
Also, I would never say "Death to the fascist insect that preys upon the life of the people" only because I cannot pull that crazy shit off. I just bought the cropped “Audrey Hepburn” pant from the Gap. I am a fascist insect.
Finally, who robs a bank in The Sunset?
That being said, I’m all about the beret. And I think we know who I’ll be dressed as for Halloween…

Monday, January 22, 2007

and i'd tell gail to lighten up...

In a glorious and wonderful twist, Peter Pan from Top Chef got a beer bottle beat down from a chick. Apparently, some psycho who I now want to befriend walked up to him in a bar (and really, if I saw Pan in an actual bar, I’d shit), asks him if he’s from Top Chef, and breaks a bottle over his head.
Where are the Bravo cameras when you need them?
Pan needed thirty stitches and is none too pleased. It got me wondering, what I would do if I saw each of the remaining contestants boozing it up (or in Pan’s case, sipping organic apple juice) in some classy watering hole.
I think I’d tell Sam to open his mouth more when he talks and suggest that perhaps, he’s the one who needed his hideous hair shaved off. Headbands on men? Not hot. I’d tell Elia not to speak, because I find every word out of her mouth incredibly annoying. The only thing worse than whining is whining in an accent. I’d tell Peter Pan to crack open a GQ. I realize part of his schtick is looking like a fairy tale freak, but his whole aesthetic makes me uncomfortable. And finally, I’d give Ilan my cell number and beg him to call me so we could go on lots of metrosexual dates and discuss flavor profiles and faux hawks…

Friday, January 19, 2007

oh no he didn't...

I’ve never watched Grey’s Anatomy, so I really have no idea who any of the entangled actors are in the big fag scandal of 2007. I’ve never heard if this T.R. Knight, who apparently wasn’t even involved in the big on-set thespian-off between Isaiah Washington and Patrick Dempsey, two big nancy boys if you ask me. T.R. just stood off in the wings, clutching his pearls while Isaiah and Patrick angrily strut their feathers and demanded better lighting.
And somehow, Isaiah was so miffed that Patrick was cutting in the craft service line or stealing all the good scrubs from wardrobe that he screamed, “I’m not your little faggot like T.R.!”
Oh shit. That is not cool.
But apparently, the rift is handled on-set, T.R. comes out of his big see-thru closet and everyone forgets about it.
Kind of.
Isaiah “Einstein” Washington then waits for the outrage to die down, waits for the show to win a Golden Globe, waits till everyone is in the press room and drops it again.
“I never called T.R. a faggot.”
Jesus Christ.
Here’s the thing. He’s not so much a homophobe as he is just plain retarded.
Obviously, the two go hand in hand, but I don't even think he gets what a dreadful, hateful word that is. I mean, how fucking stupid can you be to stand on stage answering press questions with your entire cast who HEARD you diss sweet, innocent T.R. and then grab the mike and say “I never called him a…what was it? Oh yeah! Faggot!”
So now of course Einstein has issued a statement he probably hasn’t read and he’s also agreed to meet with some queens from GLAAD. Here’s where I’d like to make my case for admittance into this meeting.
I’m a lifelong fag hag. I’m practically gay by default. And these bitches need me to call Einstein out in one of my great Julia Sugarbaker tirades, which I’d obviously memorize well in advance.
Picture it. Spots at the GLAAD offices conference room, backed by an array of Banana Republic clad queens. Einstein and his representation are at one end of the big mahogany table and me and my homos are on the other. Oh, and I’m wearing a brightly colored, 80’s style business suit with shoulder pads and coordinating pumps.
And then I’d suddenly rise from my swivel chair and march over to Einstein, sexily sitting on the conference table, crossing my legs and laying into him in my fabulous and sudden Southern accent.
“I’m not used to speaking with incredibly stupid people, so stop me if the words I’m using are too big for you. We, the homo community, don’t want your apologies or carefully worded statements of regret. We don’t want you fired and we don’t want to see your career slowly dwindle into appearances on the Surreal Life and prescription medicine commercials, although that’s probably going to happen anyway. We, the homo community, simply want one thing and we want it now.
We want you gay.
Now I’m not talking about dressing you up in fabulous frocks and parading you through West Hollywood, letting nellies throw their leftover field greens at you. And I’m not talking about turning your stupid-ass character on your stupid-ass TV show into a flaming queen either. We simply want you gay; to live as a gay person, date other gay men, be open and proud of your sexuality and have lots and lots of gay, homosexual sex. And then, and we’ll wait a while too, we want to put you onstage at the Golden Globe Awards.
And call you a faggot.”
Cue homos on my side of the conference table high-fiving…

Thursday, January 18, 2007

top chef spoiler!

TiVo has once again fucked up and failed to tape TopChef. I have no idea why this happens, but needless to say, I’m afraid to tell my beloved living companion and must now find a way to remedy this before he gets home.
Being unable to contain myself like a responsible adult, I just went to the Bravo website where instantly I saw the big “So long, Cliff!” and knew.
Then, of course, I had to read Tom’s fatherly blog and discovered that some crazy shit went down last night. Apparently, Sam, Elia, Cliff and (sigh) Ilan got wasted and decided to immobilize a sleeping Peter Pan and shave his head. Now, I hate Peter Pan as much as the next Hot Chef but I’ve seen enough reality programming to know that any time you manhandle someone, your ass is begging to get kicked to the curb. I’m envisioning last night’s fracas to be something along the lines of the Real World II-Los Angeles incident in which David, the unfunny, speech impediment comedian was kicked off for “playfully” wrestling with Tammy the Abortionist and pulling off her comforter, prompting her to later scream, “That wasn’t not funny!!!”
So long David.
And so long funky-necked Cliff, who made me intensely uncomfortable anyway. Chef Tom was most pissed because this all went down on his birthday, which I completely understand. His wife was even in town to celebrate the occasion and if I was a stood-up Spots Collichio, I’d be one angry bitch.
You know why I love Chef Tom?
The title of his blog about this particular episode was “Shave and a Haircut, Dim-Wits.”
Anyway, Sam, Elia, Ilan and Peter Pan are off to Hawaii for the Top Chef finale, and I can’t wait to see Padma strutting around beachfront frying pans in a bikini and heels while Gail stands angrily with her arms folded across her one piece, covered in flattering sarongs and complaining about flavor profiles…

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

hello? there's a whole seperate holding area...

I swung by Starbucks on my way back from a meeting, minding my own business and ordering my standard Grande Coffee Frappuchino Light with a splash of mint.
Big deal, right?
You’d have thought it was the end of the world according to the exasperated sigh from the woman in line behind me. I turned around to find the spitting image of the mom from Growing Pains, who looked straight at the barista and said, “I just want a regular cup of coffee and I’m in a hurry. Can you help me first?”
Oh. Hell. No.
First of all, bitch should’ve asked me, not the barista. I’m the one she’s cutting. I’m the one that got there first. I’m the one whose name has already been sharpee’d on a goddamn Frappuchino plastic cup!
The barista then looks to me, refusing to point out the very obvious and well known fact that anyone who orders plain coffee gets served as soon as they pay anyway. You don’t have to move over to the specialty-drink holding area. They immediately grab you a cup and fill it with coffee. That’s the Starbucks way and everyone knows it.
Put on the spot, I respond with widened eyes, slowing turning to Growing Pains and passive/aggressively saying “Um, yeah. I guess.”
It takes her 10 seconds to get her stupid coffee, and would’ve gone quicker had she not paid with exact change.
In a hurry, my ass.
So it’s finally my turn (again) and obviously, I take this opportunity to share a moment of solidarity with the barista.
“I can’t believe that lady was so pushy about my Frappuchino.”
“Well, she WAS only getting coffee.”
Oh. Hell. No…

fifteen minutes and counting...

Hey kids, Check out my post on the San Francisco Chronicle Culture Blog today! It'll be up around noonish and will look all snazzy and professional and shit. Fear not, I'll be back later with non-Gavin related thoughts, but please read and let me know what you think of my new venture.

Love, Spots

Oh and PS: Gavin has yet to RSVP for my birthday party. Whatevs...

Friday, January 12, 2007

why is he in a crack alley...

Who knew Gavin was so fiery!
I'm all aflutter after watching THIS. (You can also watch it at the bottom of this post.) When asked about the recent choirboy melee, the highly annoying and unattractive Dan from Channel 7 choose to ask Gavin if he was a boozehound, as reported HERE.
First of all, nothin' wrong with a cocktail, Dan.
Second of all, Gav looses it and it is fucking HOT. He does this bizarre and kind of embarassing dramatic clap of the hands and all I could do was imagine him getting mad at me when we get in some fight about nothing in his pied-a-terre and he storms into another room, doing the grandiose handclap.
How do you know Gavin's mad?
He does this big seal clap.
I love it! Seriously. I can't tell you how much I love this. It's like this glorious insight into all of these Newsom emotions bubbling just under his perfect surface.
It makes me want to provoke him further, knowing that something might trigger another exciting outburst, freeing Gavin from shoving his feelings further and further into the depths of his sultry-smelling soul.
I can only hope to one day present him with Little Gavin's disappointing report card, prompting Big Gavin to extinguish his pipe, angrilly rise from his fireside armchair and storm out of our den with one dramatic CLAP!

where's jaleesa...

It’s rare these days to get a call from Big Chris, my long lost burrito buddy.
“Hey woman. Wanna get a beer?”
“Chris! Oh my god, to what do I owe this honor?”
“I’m bored. I’ll be at your house in an hour.” Click.
Chris enters my house without knocking, pausing to slap me on the ass before announcing, “I have to piss. Then we’re going.”
I can’t explain it, but I love Chris.
Oh wait.
Yes, I can explain it. At one point last night, I started writing down his genius on an old pay stub.
1. “If I had hair, trust me, I’d have a thick, lustrous pompadour.”
2. “On my birthday, I started throwing up. It looked like 1000 Island dressing. I don’t know where it came from.”
3. “I ordered the chicken. I’m starting to think it was dog. I’m never ordering Vietnamese again.”
4. “If I ever eat something that doesn’t taste right again, the solution is not to put more hot sauce on it. The solution is to stop fucking eating it.”
We headed from the Jay ‘N Bee to Blowfish, and I found two seats next to some guy on a business trip from Manhattan. I couldn’t figure out how this very friendly, very cute New Yorker ended up at Blowfish of all places, miles from the scene I suspected he was looking for. All of a sudden, the three of us looked up.
“Is that Sinbad?”
“Yeah you guys. That’s Sinbad.”
Oh, and Sinbad took a seat on the other side of the New Yorker. I leaned over and whispered, “It is now your job to befriend Sinbad so we can party with him.”
God bless him, New Yorker actually tried.
But Sinbad just sat there, ordering some flowery chick drink in his huge parachute pants, baseball hat and wireless cell phone earpiece. He appeared to be on a date.
The three of us subtly pulled out our cell phones. I texted Gray Cloud. "At Blowfish. With Sinbad."
My phone glowed with the response, "The pirate or the comedian?"
New Yorker eventually left, running off to paint the town red on his solo business trip and Mikey finally showed up. “Michael. Directly behind you. Sinbad.”
“I can’t look. It’s too obvious.”
Mikey quickly turned around.
“Holy shit! That’s awesome.”
"I cannot believe Sinbad is at Blowfish, two blocks from our house."
For reasons I still don't understand, we left and went back to Jay N' Bee. At this point, I was beside myself with the excitement of my Sinbad sighting. I ran up to the bar and announced to Fred the bartender I don't really know, "Fred! Sinbad is at Blowfish! Right now!"
Fred pulled on the beer tap and looked up at me.
"The pirate? Or the comedian?"

a note from me to you...

Get a load of this:
Starting next week, I’ll be blogging for the San Francisco Chronicle. I will never leave the glory of the legendary “I’ll Flip You. Flip You For Real” because it’s my favorite thing in the whole wide world. However, every Wednesday at around noon, I’ll have a new post up with the Chron blog and I really, really want you to read it.
This is bizarrely exciting for me, and I just want to thank you guys for reading my nonsense and getting it. I especially owe SFMike, who while a legend himself, never misses an opportunity to sing my praises to anyone who will listen. SFMike is far too brilliant and cool to sell out like yours truly, but he totally helped make this happen.
And I also want to give a special shout out to Mo and Lo, who upon hearing the news of this glorious opportunity, dropped everything and took me out to celebrate Spots style. I love you both very, very, very much.
Okay. Barf. Enough. Back to normal…

Thursday, January 11, 2007

indulge me...

Having been away for such a long time, I’d missed some serious television and last night, I spent the majority of my evening catching up. There are really only 3 current shows I refuse to miss.

The Office: The never-ending Jim and Pam saga is literally what wakes me up in the morning. (Well, not this morning. Thank you, Mikey.) I’ve written pages and pages of my undying love for Jim and this constant and subtle genius. So to see Pam finally break down and cry over Jim dating the GI’s daughter was overwhelming, a long overdue acknowledgement of Jim’s greatness. And Dwight’s sudden sweet gesturing made my eyes all misty. Well, I teared up until he handed his hankie to Pam and asked, “So, you must be PMSing really bad, huh?” I cannot wait to see what happens tonight!

Friday Night Lights: Seriously, you guys. This show is really good. They just switched their lineup from Tuesday to Wednesday nights, so we were greeted with an entire season’s recap and then the first scene of last night, as a way, I’m assuming, of introducing the greatness of Friday Night Lights to a new Wednesday audience, was to have the paraplegic, ex-football star try and have sex in his wheelchair. I was sitting there like, “I am totally watching wheelchair sex. Smart move, NBC.” Also, my favorite scene-stealer in this Texan Dawson’s Creek (but way, way better) is Landry, the hilarious sidekick tutor with the hardcore punk band and the one-liners. Also, I pretty much want to marry Coach Taylor (pronounced: Coash TAY-ler.)

Top Chef: I think the highlight of my entire life thus far was Marcel’s rap expressing his feelings about being the show’s villain. He actually took himself to his rooftop sanctuary and scribbled rhymes in his little Peter Pan notebook. Hey, I say speak with your foam, Marcel, not your hardcore beat boxing. But none the less, hilarious. Also, what’s wrong with Cliff’s neck?
Finally, the greatest aspect of Top Chef is the effort Bravo puts into to it’s website. We’ve got recap blogs from everyone, my favorite being Harold’s. Harold was my boyfriend contestant from last year and you know how I can pick a winner. So Harold gets his own blog and today’s snippet rocks for his ripping on the guest judge. Who knew soft spoken, v-neck t-shirt Harry had it in him? Me-Ow…

First, let’s talk about this judge. Mike Yakura. He was on the show last year. And before that I’d never heard anything else about him, other than being the head chef at Le Colonial in San Francisco. I have two problems with the guy.
Problem one: He speaks to everyone with a complete lack of respect. In the competition last year, he was cursing at Miguel. He doesn’t know us. What does he have invested in this competition that makes him think he can treat people the way he does? Out of respect for the judging system, it certainly kept me from speaking my voice about it when I was on the show. I can’t figure out why he’s such an elitist. Why he thinks he’s so much better than everyone else. And that leads me to problem two.
Problem two: That the guy serves dog food at his restaurant. What the viewers at home didn’t get to see last year, was that the day before he was going to judge the episode, we ordered $600 worth of take out from his restaurant and I would say that at least 65% of that food ended up in one of the Glad trash bags. It’s just a compilation of mediocre and generic Vietnamese dishes. And for this guy to speak to the contestants the way he does is appalling. I can’t figure it out. He’s delusional. And besides the fact that his food is less than marginal, the way he speaks to people is crazy. The guy is totally delusional.
And I’ll say this: I don’t like the guy and if he’s got something to say about it, I’d be more than happy to cook up against him any day of the week. But enough trash talk, let’s get to the show.

Talk about a bitchslap...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

don't make me drop your bottles...

While taking a pre-dawn stroll through my neighborhood this morning, I had the great fortune to see an actual bum fight. First of all, I’m a huge fan of the bum fight, my love of this exciting spectator sport growing upon hearing that they actually have DVD compilations of bum fight highlights.
In fact, my friend 3D was, at one time, wooing a rather weird woman who finally, after far too many dates, invited him up to her apartment to “hang out.”
3D was stoked to get the much anticipated go ahead and eagerly agreed to this, waiting on the couch as she selected a DVD and joined him. He called me the next day with sage words of wisdom. “It’s really hard to make a move on a chick when you’re watching ‘Bum Fights III.’”
I’ve certainly heard of the controversy of shithead frat boys paying hobos to brawl, and I completely disapprove of that dreadful practice.
It’s so much better when it’s real!
So as I walked down 22nd Avenue this morning, I was quickly sucked into the reality of my neighborhood by insane, toothless screaming. I held my handbag tight and looked up ahead, seeing two hobos right out of central casting shoving an overflowing shopping cart back and forth at each other. I may have even audibly whispered to myself, “Yes! Bum fight!”
I couldn’t tell if they both wanted the cart or were trying to get rid of it, but they caused such a vaudevillian display, another hobo began to cheer them on, clapping his hands and singing “Drop his bottles, drop his bottles!”
I have no idea what this means, but it’s my new favorite song.
I’d been walking as slow as possible, so as to experience as many details as I could, but in reality, this cart haggling could’ve gone on for hours. I moved on and headed home, thanking my lucky stars that very rarely, God puts me in the very right place at the very right time…

i want to be friends with this guy...

I literally watched this 10 times yesterday. It's the most glorious performance I've ever seen in my life. Wait until the end, then rise from your chair and give this bitch a standing ovation...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

straight up, now kill me...

Today, my radio reminded me of one of the most excruciating moments of my life.
I’ll share.
In 6th grade, my grammar school put on a talent show and I was desperate to display one of my many talents for the entirety of K thru 8. Not having the balls to perform a solo act, (although I actually considered something along the lines of singing “Castle on a Cloud” from Les Mis), I desperately hoped the cool girls would include me in their choreographed dance routine. In my 6th grade class of 28 uniformed 12 year olds, Nikki ruled the place and didn’t let anyone forget it. And when she decided that a group of girls should perform to Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up”, she failed to include me in her line-up.
Still desperate for any part of the action, I agreed to pretend to play a giant Yamaha keyboard on stage left during their act.
I know.
I spent hours rehearsing with them, lending my skilled dance moves to their crappy routine. I, after all, had been taking tap dance for 7 years and can still time-step circles around those bitches.
The day of the big talent show finally came and the entire school of 200 kids piled into the gym. Those performing were instructed to sit on the floor at the foot of the stage until it was their turn. I sat with Nikki and her crew, watching the 6th, 7th and 8th grade boys select their seats in the back rows.
And there was Andrew Michaels, THE stud of St. Pat’s. His 8th grade yearbook quote was “I might have a one track mind but at least it’s on the right track.”
I loved him deeply.
And in that moment, before the show had even started, I suddenly realized it. Pretending to play this stupid keyboard on my lap while much cooler and more popular skanks rocked the stage was quite possibly the worst single decision of my 12 years. Shaking, I sat through 5 or 6 dreadful displays of magic tricks and cartwheels.
And then they called our names.
I could barely bring myself to stand, slowly following my “friends” on stage while a teacher laboriously set up my keyboard stand off to the side. The music started, I took my place behind my Yamaha.
And I pretended to play.
As if this 3 minutes of pre-teen hell couldn’t get any worse, there’s a part of the song where some man backs up Paula with a deep voiced, “Straight up, now tell me.” At this point in the dance routine, Nikki was to stylishly point to me and I was to mouth the words.
The MAN’S words.
It was profoundly horrible, compounded by the fact that when I finally forced myself to look up at our audience, there was Andrew Michaels in the last row, doubled over in laughter.
The song ended, Nikki and her minions took dramatic bows, and I kinda bent myself over my keyboard. I then had to pick it up, and exit the stage behind everyone else.
To this day, whenever I hear that crappy song on the radio, I cringe and say a little prayer that Nikki is currently bussing tables at Denny’s…

Saturday, January 06, 2007

nearer my god to thee...

I've just survived a harrowing, life changing experince and I'm an entirely new woman.
Getting from Punta Islita, our beach front resort to San Jose, the big city in the middle of Costa Rica can either be traversed by a 5 hour sweaty van ride on unpaved roads or by a 30 minute single engine Cesna flight.
We flew.
And almost died.
Conveniently, my mother is a wealth of pharmacuticals and I downed my valium with Imperial, the local beer by the time we reached the "airport" at 9am. The airport, and I'll post pictures on Monday or Tuesday, was for all intensive purposes, a port-o-potty and refridgerator filled with the aforementioned beer.
Our plane was the size of my dining room table and Kate and I clenched hands, sitting directly behind our (super hot) pilots, giggling as they flew us over mountainous rainforrests and through windy cloud formations. Our tiny plane rocked side to side the entire way there, the runway approach particularly terrifying. We bounced along, as if in a toy plane, parents whispering prayers behind us and Alex laughing and taking pictures the entire time.
I simply don't know how John Travolta does it.
Anyway, I survived.
I sent Mikey an e-mail before our flight, requesting a ride to work on Monday unless I died, in which case, I asked that he try and get on with his life. Sadly, he's stuck commuting with me, assuming Delta gets their act together and gets us to the 415 in one piece.
Oh, and before I foregt, I've discovered the unofficial Costa Rican national anthem.
It's "My Way." You know. By Sinatra.
We've heard it everywhere, constantly, in the most remote of locales. They love "My Way." Seriously. They LOVE it.
Alright amigos. That's it form Central America. Again, you rock for reading and I'll see you back in civilization.
Love, Spots...

Friday, January 05, 2007

hotel gossip...

The 30 year old German guy (You know. The one that's with the middle aged couple, his girlfriend and the 20 something retarded Asian guy) has a sunburn like I've never seen. He just walked past me as I dined alone at the poolside restaurant and I was shocked at the severity of his sundamage. His sunburn bests even my own!
(Yes. You're right. I got the word "bests" from The Princess Bride.)
I also noted that he was wearing the very same flip flops that I'd purchased myself from the hotel gift shop yesterday. I was pretty sure these were obviously ladies flip flops. I get the impression he feels that they're clearly men's. What with him being European and all, I'm going to say with relative confidence that he's wearing chick shoes.
Sadly, however, I can't be sure...

i curse the hot sun...

I'd be remiss if I didn't return on Sunday with an appalling tan, so I planted myself in the sun for the entirety of yesterday.
I'm currently so red, my celebrity equivilent is Pochohontas.
However, due to my 25% Italianness, I expect this to turn into broze sexiness any minute. Last night, we enjoyed a BBQ on the beach, which we expected meant sitting in the sand and sipping beer. Instead, they basically just moved the fancy dining room stuff to the ocean and we sat out under the stars, selecting wine out of ice filled wooden chests and theorizing about our fellow guests.
The Germans, for example, I can't figure out. There are 5 of them: An obviously married 50ish couple, a 30ish couple and a 20 something Asian guy who's a little bit retarded. All together, speaking animated German and drinking a ton. Or there's the super rich American family with 2 older teenage boys and their hot latina nanny. The 5 of them spend all day at the swim up bar, the two boys obviously getting wasted and openly flirting with their nanny and the mother speaking in mildly disrespectful broken Spanish to each and every staff member.
We're just as weird, I should point out. Due to a language barrier issue, Kate and her father, Greg enjoyed a romantic couple's massage. In keeping with this theme, Kate and my father are currently out on an early morning horseback ride, I believe along the beach. She's already gotten body wraps with her sister and this afternoon, we're getting our nails done together. I suggested that later, she and her brother Matt might want to utilize the option of having the hotel staff set up a romantic, candle lit dinner for 2 on the beach.
She's considering it.
Kate and I came to an agreement on this vacation. We both hate Andie MacDowell. We've ammended our favorite phrase to:
"Free Scott. So he can kill Andie MacDowell."
Seriously. She's dreadful.
Oh, I promised you some thoughts on my new nemesis, Vanessa Getty. First of all, she's always struck me as cold, emotionless and personality-free. And she's got this constant wide-eyed, dazed look on her blank face which reminds me of Marshall Applewhite, the Heaven's Gate cult leader. She's the "model" for Judith Leiber handbags, which I believe are sold exclusively on cruise ships and in retirement home gift shops. And she's incredibly rude to restaurant servers. At least my friends who've served her. Like, really, really, unseasonably rude. One of my friends had to step outside, take a breath and compose herself after dealing with Vanessa and her big bag of belittlement. And Billy just sits there and stares into space, wondering what the fuck happened and why he has that weirdo ducktail hairdo.
So, after reading the big W article about the provinciality of San Francisco society and hearing the subsequent restaurant horror stories, I've decided that Vanessa Getty is my new nemesis provided Gavin doesn't get back together with Brittanie. I'm currently working on securing a copy of Vanessa's annual Christmas letter. Hmmm, I wonder what it would say?
Oh, and we're on Team Traina. Alexis rocks. In the W spread, she was like a fabulous, classic grande dame, sitting on her bed with her hot husband standing around looking fabulous. I'm not wild about their curtains or their dogs, but that's beside the point. Vanessa just plopped down in her stupid rollers amidst her diletante art collection and pretended she was in a David LaChappelle photo shoot, ignored her husband and complained about dinner party seating arrangements.
Who are these people and why am I not invited to Super Sunday Supper?
Moving on, tomorrow, we leave for San Jose again, spending one last night in the Costa Rican capital before heading home on Sunday.
Start chilling the Vino Blanco. Spots is comin' home...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

relax, travellers...

Some of my travelling companions have completely lost any ability to recognize sarcasm. Expressing concern for Kate and I wandering around town at night by ourselves, I responded, "Please, Im an American in a foreign country. Im the world`s princess."

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

free scott...

You know that scene in Annie, when she arrived at Daddy Warbucks' mansion and screams "Leapin' lizards!" Yeah, that was us upon arrival...HERE.
After a 7am wake up call and 4 (yes, four) hours on mostly unpaved roads in a cramped van with 9 adults so bitchy, we actually had to stop and pick up beer at 11am, we barely made it. Miguel, our driver, got lost twice, mising road signs my gringo parents managed to catch. At one point, on a road so ridiculously dangerous and unpaved, we were going so slow that a butterfly passed us.
Seriously. A butterfly.
I was ready to kill Miguel.
But once we arrived, sweaty and tired and unable to flex our limbs, it was suddenly worth it. Screw the rainforrests, folks. If you're coming to Costa Rica, come to the beach. Our rooms are spectacular, the food is glorious, the drinks are constant and I just spent 2 hours swimming in a 65 degree Pacific Ocean, emerging to find a uniformed hot guy offering me mojitos.
Kate has given Hotel Punta Islita her "Kate Stamp of Approval."
Oh, allow me to explain. I've finally finished "For Laci, a mother's story of love, loss and justice" by Sharon Rocha, Laci Peterson's greiving mother. Kate is now reading it, and enduring the very emotions I encountered while reading it myself.
Uh, we're not so wild about Sharon. And I hate to say it, but it's prompted lots of Scott and Laci jokes along the trip. (Like I wasn't going to hell anyway.) At one point, Sharon expresses her "outrage" at Scott's mom (the evil Jackie "oxygen tank" Peterson) announcing at a search meeting "I got a pedicure for Laci!"
Thus, everything we do is "for Laci."
"I'm ordering a mojito. For Laci."
Also, as a means of riling those around us, Kate and I began giving ourselves tattoos saying "Free Scott." We say this constantly, and it's our new "Cheers."
Now, let me just say, Scott did it. He shouldn't be free. We're kidding.
Kind of.
But this book, this book is so ridiculous and wonderful, Kate has given it her stamp of approval, and it's accompanying thumbs up. She's planning on offering Sharon her photo (thumbs up included) for the re-print back cover.
The ride in the van with Miguel garnered, needless to say, a stamp of unapproval. And a thumbs down. Even the travel books said, "Most guests choose to fly into Punta Islita, but a few chose to drive."
We were the few.
Moving on, or backwards really, some have asked as to the nature of the fight with Dan, the American Asshole of Monte Verde. While I'm delighted to have left Dan and his control issues in the rainforrest, I'll fill you in. His disagreement was with that staff and over his internet usage. The internet room was located within the hotel's gallery oddly enough, three computers all lined up along the window. Kate and I took up 2. Dan utilized the third. When another guest arrived and waited patiently her turn, Dan's paid time was suddenly up. Thus making it her turn. Dan insisted upon paying for more time, screamed, yelled, asked why no one was kicking US out (um, cuz we paid for a hour, ass), stomped, kicked, whined, and yelled some more. We actually sat with our hands covering our mouths, it was so appalling, offensive and ridiculous.
So, that's Dan.
Finally, the rest of the family is livid they're not making the blog. I'm here with 8 others. And to quote Jenny, "God Beth. Not just Kate. The blog shouldn't be just about Kate. Jesus Christ!"
Okay, fine.
Greg, god bless him, ordered a Manhattan in Monet Verde. It arrived...verde.
A green Manhattan.
The next night, not wanting to make the same mistake, he ordered a "Latinapolitain."
Matt is our never-ending environmental conscience, reminding us constantly how gluttunous and horrible we are to ourselves and our planet. While I love him dearly, I'm beginning to plot his demise. Matt, for example, insists that air conditioning be turned off while the gas tank gets filled, rolling his eyes at our wasteful ways. Any indictaion of wanting to take the shuttle up from the beach or stay home from the nature walk and read a book, drink or something else perfectly regular, prompts a forced lecture on the inconvenient truths of our horrible lives. Or worse, the headshake.
Kate and I opened the windows when the airconditioning was on.
Mom and Dori did the zip line canopy tour, as did anyone was else who wasn't as chickenshit as I, and strapped themselves onto hooks and straps and cables and flew across the rainforrest, hundereds of feet above the poisonous snakes and deadly plant life below. I merely walked for miles on the suspended bridges and shit myself.
Oh, there's more. So much more.
The 9 of us have spent lifetime together and travelled constantly as one big family. So it makes sense that we fight and bitch and moan and claw each others' eyes out. But stick us all in a uber-fancy, beach resort with down comforters and DSL and suddenly, everyone's friends again.
Go figure.
Tomorrow, more of this fabulousness. And maybe some words on my new nemesis, Vanessa Getty.
Oh, and free Scott...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

down with dan...

Things have rapidly progessed here at El Establo, where we´ve become obsessed with Dan, this shitty American computer fight guy. I took the liberty of watching Dan type his stupid e-mail last night, the computers here aligned so I can read everything on the screen of anyone to my left.
Dan was to my left.
I´m paraphrasing, but it was pretty much, ¨Happy New Year, Lauren! I´m having a great time in Costa Rica. We partied with some Costa Ricans on New Years Eve and even got to see some fireworks. I´m having a great time. I´m sorry I didn´t get a change to say goodbye on Saturday, preferably in privte. (OMG, Spots is interested.) I think it´s awesome that I got to spend my last night on the trip with the most adoreable girl in our group. I really, really liked talking with you and it seemed like you enjoyed talking with me too.
(At this point, the huge fight broke out. Dan was screaming, yelling, stomping all over the place. He then returned to his keyboard.)
I realize you have a boyfriend. (YES!) I know how hard it can be to find someone you like and get along with. (Yeah, that makes sense coming from Dan. I pity the waitress that brings Dan decaf instead of regular.) Anyway, I just wanted to say I like that we got to know each other and we have so much in common, except for the adoreable part. (That last sentace took him 15 minutes.)
And then he signed it.

Oh, and I have his e-mail address.

Kate and I regaled everyone with the story at dinner, failing to spot Dan in the hotel´s dining room. However, we hatched a plan to retalliate.
I mean, we have his -mail address. Are we not supposed to abuse this information? Of course we are. It´s a matter of national pride. Screw Dan!
This morning, lo and behold, guess who was having breakfast with a woman and another couple? Yeah. Dan. My father wisely remarked that he looks like the kinda guy that would be a character on one episode of Seinfeld, and really, that´s the perfect way to describe him. Dan painfully picked at his eggs and glared at his date, clearly finding her less adoreable than Lauren. We all couldn´t help but stare, the villian from last night´s story sitting a mere 2 tables away.
We´re off in 30 minutes for some rainforrest, but I´m far more focused on fucking with Dan. Kate and I continue to hatch our master plan, taking notes and plotting revenge. Needless to say, we want our internet correspondence with the anti-christ to last as long as humanely possible.
Tomorrow, the beach!

Monday, January 01, 2007

rice, beans and poverty...

Oh my god, I have so much to tell you.
I´ve just arrived at Hotel El Establo in Monte Verde, where we have ¨security bracelets¨and they hand you your TV remote as you check in. But first, the internet-less volcano lodge. After ¨Freddy¨picked us up in San Jose, piling the luggage of 9 overpackers on the roof of the van and stuffing us inside, we headed 3 hours up into the hills of Costa Rica, which looks just like Central America is supposed to. We passed colorful, slummy barrios, the inhabitants of which would emerge at tollbooths attempting to sell us sliced fruit, baseball hats, lottery tickets and ballpoint pens. Half of the roads are unpaved, and the last half of our journey into the rainforrest and up a volcano was basically off-road. I was waiting to see my bag fly off the roof, past my window and into a pile of mud.
Suddenly, we arrived at what can best be described as a big, VERY CASUAL, fanny-pack people lodge. Oh, and the ¨kids¨rooms, while perfectly lovely, were half a mile straight down, meaning any trip to the restaurant, bar or pool meant a hardcore hike straight uphill in rainforrest humidy and constant surprise rainshowers. Our front desk greeter was basically a crack head. I think he must grow his own meth, this guy was such a spaz. I hate him.
Oh, you know who else I hate? Vanessa Getty. Read W. She´s my new nemesis. But that´s a story for another day. I´ll deal with that freakshow when I´m back at a computer that doesn´t suck. But lemme just say, we´re on Team Traina, folks.
Back to fanny-pack land, the food is disgusting. I mean it. American cheese, individually wrapped and melted on shitty fries. Dry rice. Ice Cream that tasted like anchovies. Jello No Bake cheesecake. Half of our dinner party ordered the Ceasar Salad, a ¨restaurant speciality.¨It was presented with bottles of Hidden Valley dressing.
At either end of the table.
Everyone was shocked into silence.
Formal candles and wine and menu descriptions and then, paper napkins and salad dressing bottles dramatically presented on the table. Everywhere we go, in fact, food sucks. It´s shitty, crappy, bad American food. Nothing local. And we´ve been trying. We´re in the middle of nowhere. LITERALLY. And they have Hawaiian pizza.
Alex asked Kate over another crappy lunch buffet, ¨What do Costa Ricans eat anyway?¨
¨Rice, beans and poverty.¨
So image my relief when at this lodge, on a volcano, in the middle of Central America, with a bunch of fanny packers and local staff, I had the greatest New Year´s Eve of my life. Discovering dinner and dancing would be offered, we dressed up and sat down to another crappy meal. But after dinner, all of us (about 50 people total) headed onto the deck for stunning fireworks. As this happened, a floor was cleared and karaoke set up.
Hell yes.
Kate and my rendidtion of Abba´s ¨Take a chance on me¨tore the house down. We drank, we danced, we formed a circle as Kate stood in the middle and twirled. Alex even found some chick to woo. It was glorious, drunken, random debauchery and I loved it.
Greg broke 3 glasses. It was that awesome.
Kate and Alex, deciding to finally follow us to bed at 1am, walked into the wrong room, turned on the lights and laughed. That is, until one of the sleeping inhabitants screamed ¨Wrong room!¨and they abruptly left.
We awoke this morning, so painfully hungover that getting in anoher van for 3 hours of unpaved roading was unacceptable. We pushed the plan back 5 hours and slept in. Another hour in the van, another hour on a tiny boat across a misty lake, and 2 hours on dicey, terrifying unpaved roads. It took an eternity. I´ve always said, I´m one for the destination, not so much the journey.
(Oh my god, HUGE fight in the hotel´s computer room!!!!!!!! HUGE!!!!!! What an asshole. Awesome!)
Anyway, we´re finally here. In Monte Verde. Which is officially the middle of nowhere. And I am sitting next to a horrible, bitchy American man who is making our entire nation look like dreadful, shitty people. So, I´m going to go.
But my New Year´s was wonderful, unexpected and perfect.
I hope yours was too...