Friday, June 29, 2007

motown philly back again...

Here I am, back in W. C. Fields punching bag, where I spent 4 muggy and snowy years learning how to be a snappy dresser. We're heading down to Maryland after lunch for the rehearsal dinner/crab feed before tomorrow's big wedding of frequent 'I'll Flip You' commenter, "Molly in NYC."
But more importantly, getting here.
First of all, leave it to my mother to befriend the hottest guy in the airport. While Alex and I were camped out in the bar, Mom bonded with Sean over football, which god bless him, Sean played at Penn. When I finally showed up at our gate, I was like, "Nice work, Joanne."
Prior to taking off, I received a call from my day job boss, who left me a slightly panicked message that Carole Migden's office had called and wanted my cell phone number, which she refused. Apparently, they sounded mad. Our flight had been delayed over an hour, so I was jacked up on Bloody Marys and iced coffee when I called them back.
I guess Carole didn't like Wednesday's Culture Blog.
I would think, if someone has a problem with something someone writes in the Chronicle, they call the Chronicle. Or perhaps, utilize the e-mail link provided.
Mais non.
I'm saving the VAST MAJORITY of my rant for, of course, the next Culture Blog, but needless to say, I had a five hour flight and a notebook.
I landed with 11 pages of shit on Carole.
I was in no mood anyway. We were flying Southwest, which in addition to taking off crazy late and turning the cabin into Lord of the Flies with their unassaigned seat policy, has no in-flight cinema.
Again, forcing me to my notebook, now almost entirely devoted to my distaste for California State Senator, Carole Migden.
When we finally landed, an hour and a half late, the boys were instructed to get the rental car and mom and I (and hot Sean) headed to the baggage claim.
With less than an hour until our much anticipated dinner reservations, we needed to haul ass.
So you can imagine my exhausted, filthy and cranky dismay when the conveyor belt on the baggage thing broke, and we all had to stand around while they tried to fix it.
Which they couldn't.
Decades later, with baggage actually in the trunk of our rented Buick or similar, my father hops on the freeeway and asks, "Where do I go?"
I haven't lived here in 7 years. How the hell do I know?
Eventually, narrowly avoiding both New Jersey AND Delaware, we made it. Alex and I finally passed out after post-dinner drinks at a frat bar and a half-viewing of the geographically appropriate, The Sixth Sense.
I am now up before everyone else, have already been to the FABULOUS fitness center, am about to finish my blogging/e-mailing and am looking forward to some coffee and bakery goodness just around the corner.
I'm going to go mosey around Rittenhouse Square, where it's 80 degrees and raining, so I can pretend I'm in a movie.
Good talk. Good weekend...

PS. Shouts out to Tim at FRB and Mark Leno, whom I now love.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

slacker that i am, you're getting my latest yelp...

...cuz I like it.
Cue review:
I knew the my brakes were fucked and I needed new tires.
I know nothing about cars, and wouldn't dare to pretend to. But any hobo I drove by could tell I needed new tires and brakes, Rhonda the Honda was THAT bad.
If you've read any of my Yelp reviews, it's obvious I'd much rather spend the few pennies I have on ridiuclously expensive food and booze than my own personal safety. So, a month ago, as I emereged from my office at 5:30 on a Friday to the flattest tire in the entirety of automotive history, my tires were getting fixed first.
I work in Marin and was instructed to Cain's in San Rafael. I needed 4 new tires.
This, I knew.
And on my $400 bill was scrawled in all caps, "BREAK REPAIR ASAP. METAL ON METAL."
Shit. Balls. Titis.
"You didn't notice a noise, sweetheart?"
"Well, yeah. I was just hoping it would go away. How much?"
"$480. And you should do it yestaday."
Cut to a month later. Cut to yesterday. That noise was getting worse. Worse and worse, to the point that I could FEEL something wrong at every stop sign.
I lay in bed last night, watching the clock tick past 3am, worrying and worrying about all the shit I had to pay for.
Insurance. Late. Rent. Late. Bills. Late. Funky tooth feeling. No dental. And my goddamn brakes. Shit, shit, shit. Where the hell am I going to get $500?
Oh, and I had jury duty today.
But, as a therapist once told me, worrying solves little. Action solves all.
$500? Fuck that. I can't drive to Marin anyway. I might die.
I got online and googled, "Discount. Brake Repair. San Francisco."
And thus, I found B&W, 10 blocks from my house.
I didn't even call. I just (gingerly) drove in, expecting some Guido to slap me on the ass, tell me what an idiot I am and charge me my left arm and first born. Inside, however, I found Pat. Pat assured me that she was super competative, understood I had to haul ass to jury duty and would call me in an hour or so.
"Okay, Pat. But seriously, I'm talking bare minimum of repair. I'm going to New York on Thursday and I need to buy some shit there. Shit you can only get in New York. I do not spend money on my car. Oh, and I need it by tomorrow."
I warned her that I already had an estimate, an estimate I found unsatisfactory and was now looking for a hook-up.
"Hon, I'm not doing anything unsafe. I'll be honest and fair, but I'm liable if you die."
Fair enough.
Plus, Pat couldn't get it finsihed until tomorrow. Ugh. Okay. It's not like I've been at all responsible about this.
Tomorrow it was. Provided the estimate was anything under $480.
Halfway through talking myself out of jury duty today, Pat called.
Immediately, I called her back.
Um, yeah. Those $480 brakes?
And Pat can have it done by 4:30.
My car is fixed. The noise is gone. All other bills remain unpaid. And if this tooth holds out, I have reservations at Les Halles on the 4th of July.
5 stars...

Monday, June 25, 2007

at last...

Elaine beat me to it. I'm such a slacker. But here's me and Gavin, photo courtesy of Luke Thomas, Fog City Note his hand...

*My version of events I'm saving for Eve, so you'll have to wait until Wednesday to hear all about the contents of the Starbucks cup. We had a little dinner party last night, where Laura captured a million pictures of me discussing little else. Setting the table. "I met Gavin this morning." Opening wine. "Talk about undeniable chemistry." Basting the chicken. "I think he grabbed my ass..."

it's not very swiss...

Bill Wilson, my personal hero, e-mailed me Swiss Miss' new hair. I think this could go without saying, but I hate it. I like how she celebrates Gay Pride by wearing a lei. Also, based on photo evidence, Gavin was clearly far more into me yesterday...

tell me on a sunday please...

I'm devastated that CBig's last column was yesterday. Devastated. I don't know who'll be covering THE most important news in San Francisco now that CBig's onto bigger and better, but my Sundays will never be the same again. Catherine Bigelow is a complete class act, whose rock star, freakishly talented status everyone should aspire to.
I mean, she's been openly tolerant to Vanessa Getty. Christ, she's practically a saint...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

go figure...

I'm saving ALL the glory for the Culture Blog. Those bitches pay me. You don't.
I got my picture taken with Gavin today at Homo Breakfast '07.
Just us.
Kinda like an engagement photo.
Needless to say, I'm pretty sure I look like shit in it. It was 8am, no make-up, no idea he'd be there, hungover and in no mood. I was ill prepared for me first official, introduced rendezvous with my future spouse.
He probably thought I was a lesbian.
And honestly, who can blame him?
What's someone look like when they're shitting themself? You're gonna find out real soon.
Oh, and I stole his Starbuck's paper cup.
Sick? Yes.
Booze? No.
On my mantel? Of course!
Can you tell I'm a little excited?
Stay tuned and Happy Pride...

Friday, June 22, 2007

i am kind to cripples...

What is the protocol when you find yourself stuck behind a slow/crippled/old person?
This morning at Ghetto Gas, I found myself behind a limper as we both made out way into the shop of filth. I felt it would be rude to brush past this poor, obviously disabled woman so I slowly walked behind her for the 10 minutes it took her to walk the 20 feet into the store. No one else, however, felt it inappropriate to cut her off and thus as I moseyed along in this 2 person parade, an array of crack heads and dime hookers were able to buy their 8am corndogs from 1983 before I even breached the front door.
I ask you, is this fair?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


And it feels so good. Seriously, Gavin is glorious...

conduct unbecoming. i love it...

Chris Daly needs to take a Xanax and a nap.
As I will discuss on the Culture Blog today (up HERE at noon), Gavin Newsom is a glowing god of political integrity and I think someone's jealous.
Basically, Chris called my boyfriend a coke whore.
What the fuck, hippie?
Actually, the best part of Daly's rant was when he said, "Where does Gavin Christopher Newsom get his substance abuse services, and how much do they cost the City and County of San Francisco?"
Yes! The GCN! I suspect someone's been reading my blog.
And while I personally am not a fan of blow, I really don't see what the big deal is. Who wouldn't need a key bump to get through a conversation with Swiss Miss?
Finally, are you going to tell me this guy doesn't smoke weed?
I'm getting stoned just looking at him...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

dane cook is the anti-christ...

Dane Cook is the Anti-Christ.
I hate him.
Allow me to count the ways.
1. A comic should not be hot. And a comic should really not be hot in a 1998 douchebag from a teen movie kind of way. Ironic tees, leather wristbands and weathered jeans do not make you one of us. They make you one of them.
2. Everyone wants to sell out. But even I would be unwilling to appear onscreen with Jessica Simpson.
3. Every story he tells is pretty much about how much Dane Cook rocks. It’s funny, but it tends to start with, “So Kevin Costner was telling me about this project…” The only response to that is fuck you, Dane Cook. Fuck you and Kevin Costner hanging out.
4. The man has made me laugh. But laugh in the kind of way you laugh at someone who you’re scared will publicly mock you at any moment. If you don’t bow down and kiss this guy’s ass, he’ll throw you in a locker. Just in a really funny way.
5. I have a feeling he’s a big high-fiver.
6. Dane Cook audience members high-five each other. Because they, you know, get it. They relate to his humor, bro. Dane is the shit. Cook is high-larious. For serious, son.
7. Why is he yelling? Stop yelling at me. I’m already afraid of you.
8. Having just re-watched Comedian, I have a newfound hatred for Dane Cook, upon whom the concept of old school is entirely lost. You know who I’m loving right now? Colin Quinn. Well, now that Mitch is dead…

Monday, June 18, 2007

bouche this...

I know you’re all desperate to discuss the newest Top Chef, because it’s so goddamn fabulous. The first episode left me with a lot of questions, the most pressing of which is HAS CLAY FOLLOWED IN HIS FATHER’S FOOTSTEPS AND KILLED HIMSELF?
Y’all remember Clay, right?
“I’m makin’ an amuse bouche outta a big ole apple and some kiwi, y’all. My daddy’d be real proud a me getting’ the Top Chef title and all cuz he was in the restaurant bizness and he was real good at it till the pressure took it’s toll and he kill hisself.” Cue crazy eyes.
So when Padma told him to “pack his knives” naturally I wondered if Clay was still with us at the time of broadcast. I’d appreciate an update.
Caleek is looking hot, tan and bald, just the way I like him. And with Tony Bourdain, my secret lover as guest judge, I spent most of the episode wondering it would be like to have a long, boozy, flirty dinner with the two of them.
Speaking of which, if Tony is by any chance reading, I’ll be at Les Halles on the 4th of July for the Liberty Festival just to stalk you. The reservation is under my name. Please feel free to come over and bring us some charchuterie samples.
I’m pulling for Mr. all I had time for was Sea Urchin Risotto, but have a feeling we might just call Hung’s triumph now. I am also a fan of Sandee the Southern Lesbian and the Tuscan Sushi that uptight foreign bitch made.
Finally, will we ever know what the fuck happened to Padma’s arm? Jesus Christ. Maybe she got in a Ginsu fight with Gail over which bitch is hotter.
I’m glad Gail won…

Friday, June 15, 2007

one more time with the 1997...

I was in the Marina last night.
Don’t hate me.
I parked at Kate and Jenny’s apartment and because I was early, walked down to Chestnut Street to shop and get a pedicure. And instantly, I was like, “Oh my god. Cougars everywhere. The stereotype lives.”
It’s almost like watching Planet Earth. At 5:30, the cougars emerge from their flats, blond hair pony-tailed and sporting designer workout separates and invisible socks. None of them talk to each other. Christ, they don’t even make eye contact. They stare straight ahead with the same determination they exhibit in City Tavern.
I sat in a spa chair in between two of them, as they got French pedicures and I got slutty blood red toes. There was a mirror facing us, so I could study them in their natural environment without staring too obviously. I felt giant and poorly dressed, like some freak who’d wandered into the wrong herd.
No one spoke to anyone and most cougars spent the entire time on their cell phones. The woman to my left tried to speak to the Asian manicurists in Spanish and when I casually pointed out to the woman on my right that we were wearing the same ring, she looked so simultaneously terrified and confused, I actually apologized.
I don’t know why, but cougars scare me. These kittens have claws, folks. French manicured claws. Their leader is Swiss Miss but they all secretly aspire to Vanessa “I drown puppies” Getty. Why date power when you can marry money?
When my pedicure finished, I quickly escaped to the relative security of Circa, where at least I knew people. But needless to say, as the hours passed and we drank through our dinner, the sun set and the cougars reemerged. If you were a sporting an un-tucked dress shirt and a penis, they most likely attacked…

Thursday, June 14, 2007

he was too short anyway...

Lest anyone presume my life is at all fabulous, you should know that last night, I ate a Lean Cuisine, drank a Fresca and watched Planet Earth before going to bed at 9:30 to re-read a book from 1985. That being said, Lo's finally blogging again and this is what we did on Tuesday night. Note the bar tab...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

ripping off abby again...

Dear Spots and Brett,
I have been in a horrible marriage for eight years. My husband, "Greg," has a lot of problems from his childhood and has a hard time being in a relationship. I have recently learned that he was raped by a family member when he was a little boy. He seems to be in denial, and claims it didn't happen. In any case, I have had a feeling lately that Greg is attracted to men and may be having some kind of a fling with a guy. This guy is supposed to be a business associate, but he calls my husband constantly and has shown up at our house at 12:30 at night. Greg refused to answer the door, but texted him and lied to me about it. I feel like he doesn't want me to meet this guy. How would I be able to tell if this is happening? Greg certainly won't tell me.

Dear Clueless:
This is what you get for thinking you could marry a "fixer upper". Your life is not HGTV, and your husband is not a poorly wallpapered room with beige carpet. As a matter of fact, it sounds to me like your hubby may be more interested in redecorating the room himself.
I don't have a single "business associate" who calls me constantly, much less one that shows up at my house after midnight. I do, however, know some hot alcoholic 22 year old bartenders who make these sort of things a habit. Face it, stupid. Your husband is being booty called. By someone with a penis.
Greg doesn't want you to meet Chad because Chad is boning him. Anally. Even if they haven't consumated yet, you can rest assured that your mystery visitor Chad has, at a minimum, tasted your husbands love potion.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
My advice? Offer him a threesome with another guy. If he's all over the idea, you'll have your answer. If he suggests a threesome with another woman instead, he's straight and just has a weird stalker.
Regardless, you shouldn't have married a guy who got raped as an 8 year old anyway.

Dear Lost,
You’ve come to the right place. I am the queen of gaydar.
Let’s examine the clues, shall we?
Child rape = gay.
Man showing up in the middle of the night = gay.
Texting = gay.
You live in the Bronx. If this guy isn’t sporting a hairy beer belly beneath his filthy wife beater and gold chains, cracking open shit beer while complaining that your fat ass is blocking the game, you are married to a huge, flaming queer. Trust me. Greg spends his free time either reliving his childhood rape or camped out in front of JLo’s childhood home.
But what the hell. You’ve spent 8 years with him. Embrace your husband’s obvious homosexuality and catch a Broadway show.
Your fellow fag hag,

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


The last thing I wanted to do this morning was move my car.
I spent last night sleeping on Zoe’s couch, awoken by a 5am aurora borealis and a headache that, with the week I’ve been having, is probably a brain tumor.
I dragged myself home only to realize that it was 8:30 and the only parking spaces available were on the Tuesday side of the street. Meaning I’d have to move my car at 9am.
Ass. Balls. Tits.
Obviously, I parked in a soon to be illegal spot, went inside for half and hour and emerged at 8:59 as a meter maid approached Rhonda the Honda.
“Oh, that’s me! I’m moving!”
“It’s street cleaning.”
“Yeah. I know. I. Am. Moving.”
“It’s street cleaning at 9am.”
“Got it. Moving.”
I tried to walk around to the driver’s side door, but she appeared to be writing me a ticket.
“No, no, no, no. You cannot give me a ticket.”
“It’s street cleaning.”
“It’s 8:59!”
“It’s 9:04.”
“Listen to me. I implore you. As a woman. Today. Of all the days in my entire life. Not today.”
I stared at this woman with eyes slowly turning into puddles.
She stared back at me with evil, government worker eyes.
“It’s 9:04.”
“Trust me when I tell you, you will renew my faith in humanity if you find some sisterhood and don’t give me a ticket right now.”
She took a deep breath. She looked me up and down and found me appropriately pathetic. And then she said, “Girl, don’t worry. Just move your car.”
“Oh honey. I gotta remember that sisterhood line. That was a good one.”
As evidenced in the timeless classic, Boys on the Side, there is something to be said for the bond between women…

Monday, June 11, 2007

the big house...

Paris Hilton should have been arrested for saving Gavin’s number in her Blackberry under "Newson" so I don’t really see what the big deal is about the fuzz finally getting around to imprisoning her for being stupid.
Like everyone one else on earth, I too am over the ‘PH in the slammer’ coverage, which is why, whenever I read about it (approx. every 12.7 seconds) I just pretend they’re talking about Swiss Miss. Suddenly, I could not be more fascinated with her being dragged from a courtroom and surviving on Cheerios.
Swiss Miss + jail = heaven.
(I’m not going to go for the obvious golf cart joke here because I’m still worried about the karmic repercussions, but feel free to blow it up in the comments.)
So, little tip from me to you, pretend all this shit going down with Paris is really happening to the (other) most annoying person on earth and it’ll be easier to take...

Friday, June 08, 2007

can i drink you...

I have to admit, I’m pretty sick of this Ed Jew nonsense. And it occurred to me, as I forced myself to read about bribes and Burlingame this morning, I’d care a lot more if Ed was hotter. Let’s face it folks, Ed Jew has got a face for radio.
He needs to work what I like to call, “the Saturday Gavin.”
(Prada athletic separates with some type of community event t-shirt peeking out and a Giants hat.)
Speaking of Gavin, on occasion I am blessed enough to be sent glorious stories and photos from perfect strangers who have access to my boyfriend. Like the stunning and fabulous Susan who sent me this:

"7pm Halloween night, pre-drinks with his friends at La Barca before hitting the Castro.About to order a drink, my boyfriend sees Gavin at the end of the bar, goes up to him and says, 'Nice costume - you totally look like Gavin Newsom.'Gavin looks at him like he's retarded (or realizes that he really wants a tequila shot), laughs awkwardly, and says he just got back from the Castro and was hoping that it would be a safe night (now we all know there was a gang shoot-up later - did Gavin have advanced knowledge? Did he show up loaded?) Bartender grudgingly took the infamous pic. Then Gavin asked for your number..."

So, just to recap, Gavin spent Halloween sitting at the bar of La Barca with a big binder of official city business and a guy dressed as a bottle of tequila. Yeah, that sounds about right. Thank god he found Jesus or whatever and is in recovery. Swiss Miss will probably make him spend Halloween ’07 snuggled up on the couch sipping juice boxes and watching her favorite scary movie, Hocus Pocus.
Please. Like they’ll still be together. Hello? Who is Gavin’s MySpace Number One?
Oh yeah. Me…

Thursday, June 07, 2007

she went to convent. go figure...

Funerals are weird by design.
Especially ones that involve a full blown Catholic Mass.
I’m going to assume you’re familiar with the way communion works, where towards the end of mass, everyone lines up and takes a bite out of Jesus. The family, sitting in the front pew, is apparently too bereaved to get in line, so the priest whom I am in love with, comes directly up to us and hooks us up.
After that, everyone else gets to go and is then forced to awkwardly walk past us.
Which is when this complete nutjob with black hair and gray roots the length of my arm practically tackles my poor, grieving mother and starts in on her crazy rant about nonsense which began with her screaming, “ARE YOU THE DAUGHTER?!?!?”
My mother, kneeling in prayer, mind you, is forced to at first smile and politely thank her for her apparent condolences and then, with the rest of us staring on, give Crazy the hint that it’s time to move on.
Needless to say, at the reception following, the main buzz was all about that crazy lady with the roots.
“Who was that?”
“I think it was a crasher.”
“A funeral crasher?”
“Like Maude?”
“No, I think it was someone who reads the obits, and if she finds any connection with the dead person…”
“She shows up.”
“Yeah. Is she here?”
“No, you’d think she’s show for the free booze.”
“Weird. Did you see her roots?”
“Who’s roots?”
“The crazy lady that attacked Joanne.”
“Oh, I was wondering about her.”
And so it went, continuing even over breakfast this morning.
It’s probably safe to say that the one person missing from the Crazy Roots Lady discussion, the one person, really who would not have enough to say about Crazy’s behavior, coiffure and ensemble, would be my grandmother…

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

it's been a whole week...

Alas, I'm knee-deep in burying my Grandma today (oh god, was that inappropriate?) so you won't get any of my thoughts on Paris Hilton's latest cavity search or last night's Republican debate, which I barely watched. You will, however, get your Wednesday Culture Blog, up right here.
But you gotta wait till noon.
Thanks for all of your incredibly sweet and kind e-mails and comments. You bitches are the best...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

not about death...

Attention San Francisco!
Gavin finally accepted me as his MySpace friend.
I have no idea what the hold up was, but I’m glad we’re officially internet friends. I feel like that was the final barrier keeping us apart. Anyway, I finally got around to checking out his highly boring, snoozer political, Chris Daly-bashing page when I saw it.
“In a relationship.”
For those that don’t know, if you list your MySpace status as “In a relationship,” it means you’re pretty much married and expecting triplets.
Why he chose to use his “Oh my god, I’m running for Mayor, be my MySpace friend” page as the place to announce this ridiculous mistake is beyond me. He certainly didn’t take the time to fill out any other personal info, aside from that fact that his hero is Bobby Kennedy and he’s a Libra. He didn’t even include his favorite movies (Jerry Maguire/Office Space/Titanic) or make up a list of his favorite books (The Bible/War and Peace/Esquire) so why, God why must he announce his fake, talentless girlfriend?
I’m sure Swiss Miss made him do it by insisting that her myriad of girlfriends (you know, because she’s such a girl’s girl/gal’s gal/slow’s slow) required official conformation of this sham of a union.
And nothing, I repeat, NOTHING is more official than MySpace…

Monday, June 04, 2007

don't tell manolo...

After someone dies, you’ve got to make all kinds of weird formal arrangements in addition to, you know, mourning. Like what her obituary should say or what happens to that old chintz chair in the corner or apparently, what kind of finger sandwiches to order from the caterer.
You also get to decide what the deceased in buried in.
Oh, I’ll handle this one.
My mother suggested, and I couldn’t agree more, that we bury my grandmother in her black and white check suit. This morning, I confirmed our sartorial selection and inquired as to the details.
“Which jewelry?” I asked.
“Her wedding ring, of course, and just some clip on earrings.”
“Oh. Okay. And with the black turtleneck underneath?”
“Yes. Don’t you think?”
“I do. Which shoes?”
“Yeah. What shoes are you putting on Grandma?”
“Um… no shoes.”
“Well, what’s she need shoes for?”
“Mom. You’re sticking her in this fabulous suit, not to mention her fabulous ring and she’s barefoot. That doesn’t seem strange to you?”
“Not particularly. Is it important to you?”
Oh god. I don’t want to stress my poor mother out. I’m sure I could say, ‘Yes, it’s important to me. I need Grandma to be outfitted head to toe. Not head to ankle.’ But this clearly wasn’t an issue for my mother and thus, it shouldn’t be an issue to me, right?
So, I’m letting it go.
Just know, as I get up in front of her casket at the funeral on Wednesday and give my little granddaughter’s “comic relief” eulogy, the entire time I will be thinking, “Jesus Christ, she has no shoes on. My Grandma is walking into the pearly gates of heaven in plain old pantyhose...”

Friday, June 01, 2007


If you're not up to speed on my grandma, check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, and Part 8.
I was going to write about GhettoGas yesterday, but when you've spent 3 years detailing your life on the internet, not acknowledging what's really going on is tough.
Aside from a dreadful GhettoGas experience, my grandma died.
So I figured I'd tell you about it.
My mother called me at my office yesterday morning and as soon as I announced to my coworkers that we were dealing with a "matter of time" situation, I turned off my computer and waited for my brother to pick me up.
I then insisted upon stopping by the Mill Valley Market. When people are dying, you bring food.
Organic, over-priced food.
My grandmother, once a flawlessly-presented, pearl-clad, cocktail-sipping diva has spent the past two years spiraling into dementia. And yesterday, she had a massive stroke, including a siezure that lasted over an hour.
Curry wraps and asian salad in hand, Alex and I walked up to my grandma's room in her retirement home, scared shitless.
We found my mother and an array of medical personel standing around, rubbing my grandma's arms and telling her to breathe.
Oh god.
Oh god, oh god, oh god.
I am not good at this.
I am good at screaming at doctors, demanding better meds and complaining about the smell. But the tough, crappy parts of being so close to someone, you can't help but go through it with them...I'm a mess.
Eventually, my mom needed a break, the nurses left and Alex and I were left alone.
With her.
My grandma.
Who I've known for 29 years.
And isn't really aware we're there.
Suddenly, she had another seizure.
Alex took one arm, instantly knowing what to touch and how to talk. And then, without thinking, I took another.
And you know, it wasn't that bad. It ended in a minute. And for the first time that day, she looked up. At Alex. And clearly, at least clearly to us, recognized him.
And then she was gone again.
The seizures didn't stop, even through Jean arriving to find out "what the hell happened." Jean, of course, is the transgendered hairdresser/saint-sent-from-heaven who shows up to remind us to laugh and relax and wonder what the hell is going on under her clothes.
We love Jean, especially because she chose to distract us by telling us why she hasn't talked to her sister in 10 years.
Anyway, we stayed, we ate, we got in a fight with Nurse Ratched.
Oh, allow me to explain.
Alex and I left my grandma's room because the staff needed to work on her for a few minutes and as we stood in the hallway, my brother decided to sit in an empty wheelchair and wheel himself around. Cue Nurse Ratched,
NR: "Well, that should entertain you."
Alex, to me: "Did she just give me shit?"
Me: "Yes!"
NR moves on as my mother appears, in between phone calls to, you know, family members.
Me: "We hate NR."
Alex: "Yeah, she gave me shit."
Mom: "I've never liked her! No one does."
That's all I needed. She's being snippy. My grandma is dying 5 feet away. And my saintly mother doesn't like her. It was ON.
NR: "Where's your mom?"
Me: "On the phone with her brother."
NR: "Well, I do I say this? Um, how old are you?"
Alex: "How old do you think we are?"
NR: "Giggle, giggle. Oh, well, I just never know, you know, what is okay to tell you. If you'll be able to tell your mom."
Me: "I'm 29. And my name is Beth. My brother, ALEX, is 24. We're probably capable of relaying information to our mother."
NR: "Oh, 29. My daughter is 30. I just didn't know. Because you' jeans."
(Again, WTF?)
Me: Well, they're designer jeans, if that makes you feel any better. (They weren't. I got them at Target.)
NR: "Well, I don't know what to say other than she's comfortable and really, it isn't necessary for you to, uh, be here. We can call you..."
Me: "If she dies? Yeah, I might stay with my grandmother for a little longer if that's okay with you. I could change pants, maybe."
NR wisely chose to ignore this and walked away.
Moments later, again at my grandma's bedside, NR appears.
NR: "Oh here you all are!"
Me: "Yep. And still wearing jeans."
Later, as Alex drove me back to my car, I once again complained about NR's shitty bedside manner.
Alex: "Yeah, but you were giving shit right back. And I dug it."
Well, yeah.
I went home, promising to call my mom every hour or so and check in. My glorious and wonderful roommate took me to dinner, a perfect 4 course distraction until my mom finally called at midnight.
My grandma, age 93, died as my mom and Uncle Ted sang her Irish lullabyes. I think that's a pretty classy way to go.

So there you have it.
Part 9.
My last grandparent.
Who, as I've said over and over and over, was one serious character...