Monday, March 31, 2008

what's a proxy...

The DevineGriffLeubWoods are back from San Jose!
Jesus Christ, this Democracy shit is complicated. It's also boozy. It's going to take me the rest of the year to write about this weekend, but you can read Melissa, Calitics and Fog City for important political recaps. I'll just give you the bitchy gossip. Who cares about like, voting and stuff, right...Mel and I decided that during all of Carole's stupid speeches, we'd pretend we were in the front row of a fashion show and not pay attention. See below...
I was hoping Chris Daly'd be more insane in real life. Eh, he's boring. Maybe it was the kid. Melissa seems to be enjoying him, however. Jesus, Mel. It's Chris Daly. I'll recap for Wednesday's CB, but FYI, Ragone is slightly more fun than Daly. By a hair, but none the less. Again, I blame the kid...photo: by Luke, of course...

Friday, March 28, 2008

but mark is...

Against my better judgement, and because I spend 99% of my time with these people, I am joining Mel and the Brians at the California Democratic Convention in San Jose tomorrow. A bunch of those nerds are there right now, but since my co-hort/attorney/bad influence is just as over this shit as I am, we're going down tomorrow morning to check into the hotel and get drunk by the pool all day.
God Bless Democracy!
In his infinite wisdom and love of me, Devine bought cocktail onions, which I plan to afix a nametag to, saying, "Hello, My Name is: Beth's! Get your hands off me."
Unless of course, someone would like me to introduce them to a Gibson.
If anyone knows where the good parties will be (good parties in San Jose? Please.), you have to let me know ASAP. And by good, I mean the parties with hot guys and free food. You hook me up and I'll get you into a very exclusive after-party. And by exclusive, I mean me, Mel and the Brians in a hotel room watching Pay Per View.
Carole is not invited...

*In related news, I'm glad I'm the go-to-gal for a witty quip in the press...

charlie bit my finger...

Normally, I hate children. Maybe it's because it's Friday, maybe because they're British or maybe I'm just getting old and losing my grip on reality, but Kate, Jenny, Alex and I spent much of last night watching this over and over. It is a treasure.

The Charlie Bit Me Remix is also a gem.
And then I discovred this. I am going to kidnap this child, so he can tell me stories all day long while we snuggle.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

iuju...

Le Culture Blog is up. Thank you for your patience...

do your parents have accents...

Perhaps you're aware that yesterday afternoon, the Golden Gate Bridge was shut down due to a horrible accident. I work in Mill Valley but live and party with the regular people in the city. A closed bridge means I'm trapped in suburban hell. But by the time I was due to meet Mel and X, it was back open. None the less, I'd kinda set my heart on taking the ferry, my brilliant vehicle alternative. So class act that I am, I threw a spare pair of underwear in my bag (and my mother wonders why I'm single) and took that ferry anyway.
Taking the ferry across the San Francisco Bay was, in my childhood, the highlight of my holiday season. My mother would drop my taffeta-covered ass off at the Larkspur Ferry Terminal to meet my Dad in San Francisco for the annual Father/Daughter Dance at Lakeside. This 30 minutes ALONE, DRESSED UP, DRINKING SPRITE made me feel highly glamorous. And of course, I'd spend the entire ride outside, ruining my hair and swooning over the Port Of San Francisco sign glowing before me. It was pure, 11 year old heaven.
So last night, there I was, not drinking Sprite, flying across the Bay trying to put on mascara. I was hoping for a bigger freakshow among my fellow eco-friendly travellers, but the boat was pretty empty. There is, however, a full bar.
Sadly, no table service.
The temptation to venture outside was killing me. I love boats! I also love my hair. I considered the trade-offs, and since I was being a liver of life and riding the ferry just for the hell of it, I figured "Fuck it!", threw a pashmina on top of my head and wandered on the decks, a la Rose in Titanic.
I must admit, the $7.10 ferry ride is the best deal in the Bay Area. My god, all three bridges, Angel Island, Alcatraz and the city booming before me! I can't believe this is where I live.
Perfectly, and the stalker in the comments was right, Americano was right across the street from the ferry building in San Francisco, and Mel, X and I met up for drinks.
I ran into Tessa, who turns out, is the bar manager. And that means one thing. Free charcuterie!
We talked X into letting us take him to Epic Roasthouse for dinner, which lasted so long that even Tourk showed up. Epic, you guys, rocks. ROCKS! We were literally patting ourselves on our backs, toasting our friendship, eating $40 steak, all directly beneath the glowing Bay Bridge. I secretly pretended I was in a movie.
I don't have to tell you Mel and I ended at Le Club.
And this morning, I took the ferry back to Marin. With my coffee from Frog Hollow, my Chronicle, my notebook? 30 year old heaven.
I am now taking the ferry at least once a week. You guys have got to do it too. I'll even do it with you. I'm THAT committed to my new favorite bar.

PS: My Culture Blog is done. It'll be up eventually, I imagine. And check out my lesbian wife talking about killing people...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

goddamnit...

NOOOOOOO!!!!!
I'm supposed to be having cocktails with Mel and X at 6:30, I'm rocking the new BCBG, I blew out my hair and I really, really want to go out. Which sucks because I'm in Marin and they're in San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge is shut down!!!!!
What the hell am I supposed to do? Take a ferry?
Actually, we're meeting right by the ferry building! And I bet it's a great people watching! And they serve drinks!
But, um, Mel and X, I might be a little late...

penguins taste like soap...

Top Chef is on tonight, so my recap is UP! You'll have to wait till tomorrow for my regular Culture Blog. Foiled...

officially the greatest video in the history of the world...

I mean it. This is flawless in every way, from the fish on the wall to the "Boat Bo Meh!" I can't wait for the Obama version...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

dots and feathers...

Alex and I had some time to kill at Kennedy Airport last night, so we settled into United's Red Carpet Room and started acting inappropriately. Both of us in slight-but-prepared awe of our mother's decision to, now that my Grandmother is dead, pack up and move to Greenwich Village for the Spring begged the question, "If, god forbid, Mom and Daddy died, what would we do?"
Alex, who is apparently stockpiling his Medendez-esque cache of weapons wants to open a restaurant. We discussed our ideas at length, me wanting to focus on ambiance and 'New American Cuisine' and Alex demanding an official definition of 'New American.'
His strongest insistence was to have something called "The Usual" on the menu. "The Usual" would consist of Alex's post-football-practice meal at the long gone "Avenue Grill." Currently housing Bungalow 44, we'd often have dinner at the Avenue Grill and Alex would always have his usual, which he would like to memorialize at our imaginary dining establishment.
"What's The Usual" you ask?
A Caesar salad, a medium rare cheeseburger and two Sprites.
I know. My brother's fucking adorable.
Anyway, an hour and several weak drinks later, we'd penned the following:

The Dot and The Feather: A New Dining Concept

Serving four-star Indian Cuisine, The Dot and The Feather is a new project from sibling restaurateurs, Beth and Alex Spotswood. The menu will include such classics as Chicken Tikka Masala, Lamb Vindaloo and Beth's favorite, Garlic-Stuffed Curried Na'an. The wine and cocktail list, aptly titled "FIREWATER" will lead with the Spotswoods' favorite cocktails, a Belvedere Gibson and Johnny Walker Black (rocks), as well as offer an impressive, California-based wine selection. Creating an ambiance to pair with the cuisine, diners will be seated on the floor within a traditional, 18th century, custom-built tee-pee in the Great Plains style. When asked why patrons would be seated in a tee-pee, the Spotswoods responded, "Because we're serving Indian food."

This tickled us the whole way home.
As did this exchange from watching a basketball game.

Beth: I miss playing basketball. I was good at blocking when people tried to score.
Alex: Yeah. You're good at defense.
Beth: You remember that from my CYO games?!?!
Alex: I remember the lore...

Oh, and PS: This is what I'll be performing at Mel and my "SweetSpot's Break-Up Party":

Monday, March 24, 2008

touchtown spotstyle...

We woke up on Easter morning and converged in (Jon Cryer's) living room, sipping (Zabar's) coffee and reading the (New York Times.)
I've got to hand it to my folks. When they do New York, they DO New York. Suddenly, my father comes bounding down the stairs. "Close your eyes! It's Easter Egg time!"
Alex and I begrudgingly close our eyes, rolling them behind our limp, adult hands.
"Okay, open your eyes!"
My dad just stood there, a huge smile on his face. "Find the Easter Egg!"
"Daddy, I'm 30."
And yes, while I refuse to hunt for Easter Eggs, I still call my dad, Daddy.
Alex was over it. "Just get up and look, Beth."
I dragged myself off the couch and away from "We Are Marshall."
"Seriously. I've already agreed to attend Mass. You're making us hunt for eggs?"
My father stood by the fireplace, above which hung the television. And there behind the television was an orange, plastic egg. I pulled it out and handed it to him. "Here's your goddamn Easter egg."
"Open it!" He squealed.
I twisted the egg open to reveal a rolled note, and on it, in my father's block lettered handwriting was: "Dear Beth and Alex, You have been upgraded on your flight home. Love, the Easter Bunny."
Praise Jesus! It's an Easter miracle! Fuck chocolate! I got an upgrade!
We put on our easter fineries and headed across the street for Mass, having to obtain tickets to this event in advance. For those of you heading straight to purgatory, Easter (along with the obvious Christmas) is when many of us Catholics choose to suck it up, attend Mass and make our parents happy. Twice a year, I awkwardly kneel and stand and recite and bow, following the moves of those around me and checking out the cute Catholic guys my parents would totally approve of.
It might be church, but Greenwich Village has some trendy-ass Catholics. It reminded me of my youth, getting dressed, not for Jesus, but because church is when you saw EVERYONE. And the best people watching at church, my fellow Catholics can confirm, is communion. We all have to get in line to receive the Eucharist (edible cardboard representing our Savior) and it's basically a parade of fabulous. Silently, we sashay past each other, pretending to be deep in prayer while actually checking out everyone's ensemble and making eyes at the bored guy attached to his mother who obviously doesn't want to be there but begrudgingly attends events as instructed by women.
The Mass, while appallingly long, had it's high points. A hot priest, a robed choir, Gregorian chants, inscense flung in all directions, etc. Not bad.
Easter also means we all get re-baptized or something. One (of the seven) priests walks around dipping a bouquet of weeds into holy water and flinging the water at the congregation.
God bless Catholicism. We do drama well.
After mass, we headed across the street, back to the apartment for a little breather before a late lunch. As I was in charge of selecting our restaurant, I figured we could walk 2 blocks and dine at HAROLD DIETERLE'S new restaurant, Perilla.
I am a Top Chef whore and I love Harold.
So we're sitting there, sipping Bloody Marys and ordering duck burgers when who should emerge from the kitchen.
Harold!
I love my parents deeply. but they subtlety is not an art they possess.
"Now, which one?"
"Chef's pants. 4 feet away." I hissed. "Shut the fuck up."
"Where!?!?!" My father screamed. "What's Top Chef!?!?!?"
This restaurant seets like, 30 people. And on their website, Harold makes nary a mention of why 27 of us are there. I guess he doesn't want to be known for Top Chef, but uh, Harold...don't bite the hand that feeds you.
After a fabulous, Top Chef-worthy lunch, Ma and Pa went for a stroll in the Village and Alex and I packed. We huged and kissed goodbye for an hour and headed out to Kennedy Airport.
FYI, as those who received my mass-text will know, the United Red Carpet Room at JFK makes you pay for drinks. Zoe texted back, "The terrorists have won."
I watched "The Kingdom" and "Darfur Now" on my provided DVD player and had steak and Cabernet until I fell asleep.
Thank you Easter Bunny. I'm both tipsy and informed.
My brother maintains than while flying, he's the only one allowed to sit next to me. And I quote, "I know how to handle you." Really, that just means he gets whatever seafood (gross, I don't eat fish) is piled on my chilled salad, holds my hand during turbulence and occasionally scratches the top of my head, just to let me know he's still there.
Alex's presence is like Prozac to me.
We landed early and Alex kissed me goodbye. "I love you, Bethy. Good trip."
No shit, bitch. Good fucking trip.
Photos later today. Weekends in Manhattan rock. And we should all give mad props to Joanne for going balls to the walls and living her dream. As Dani said, walking to brunch, "I so proud of Joanne. I can't believe she's doing this. It's so brave. It's almost beautiful."
I really think, if you bust your ass for 40 years, go throught LONG illnesses with both of your now-dead folks and have loved New York since Mickey Mantle, you get to go balls to the walls and live the dream.
So yeah. Rock on Joanne. We should be so blessed. She'll be back in July...


Saturday, March 22, 2008

alex pefers cappuchino....

I happen to like New York.
I'm a die hard San Franciscan, but this place is better. Kick me out if you have to, but it's the truth. Last night, we met up with my friend Dani and Alex's friend Jason, Mom supplying us with cocktails before she and I went off to Passing Strange and Daddy and Alex saw Young Frankenstein.
Mom and I were in the front row of the mezzanine (the balcony for you straight men). I have a day job and it's in musical theater. I roll my eyes at some of the shit I see every day, but there is something incredibly amazing about real people 'selling it' right in front of you. I had an intense experience at Passing Strange and you should listen to "Arlington Hill", available on the website.
I pretty much raised my hands up in the air and testified.
Anyway, we met up for 11pm dinner at (an in) Hells Kitchen and on the way home, my father maintained his hold on my heart.
"Wanna get a drink, Bethy?"
We went to One if by Land, Two if by Sea which is basically across the street. Just the two of us. Piano player singing standards, gorgeous Gibsons and me and my Dad on a velvet couch discussing careers and politics and family and walking home at 1am, arm in arm.
Oh, Manhattan.
I dragged myself out of bed as early as possible (10am) which isn't hard because "my" room looks out on the very busy 6th Avenue and by 8am, someone's screaming on the sidewalk and the sun is shining through Jon Cryer's window. God Bless United Airlines and their complementary sleep masks. Anyway, Dani wanted a tour of Duckie's apartment, and Alex and I finally dragged her away from her chat with Dad so the three of us could have a three hour brunch at The Cupping Room.
Dani played Snow White at Beach Blanket when I worked backstage. Both of us went from wide-eyed innocents to jaded fag hags together. As Alex said tonight, "Shit, it was good to see Dan. She's like, our family."
There's something about Dani.
I can't articulate it better than that. Within 30 minutes, we were crying and laughing and she and Alex had shot the poster for their movie, which I've named, "P.S. I Like You." Dani can find out in 5 seconds exactly what's on your mind and unable fix it, listen and identify.
Oh, and she's like, a Broadway star.
There are few perfect people on Earth. Dani isn't one of them. but she's close. Her flaw? It takes her 45 minutes to BEGIN to consider her menu options. It's like every meal is her last. It's ridiculous.
Anyway, Alex walked himself back home whilst I shopped.
Amidst my wadering SoHo, I saw a call from an unfamilliar number. Turns out, my mom had stumbled upon a street fair on her way back from the gym (I know) and borrowed a phone to call me. With the cross streets scrawled on an ATM receipt, I made my way over there.
Ages ago, I lost my lucky earring 'abroad' and have spent the past 3 years trying to find it. I'm sure BTOB doesn't remember, but years ago, we bought me $7 earrings on a sidewalk. I lost one and have spent the past few years scowering vendors for it's replacement.
Guess what I found, amidst funnel cakes and fried Oreos, today?
MY EARRINGS!
I went back to Mom's apartment (cuz, you know, my mom lives here now) and watched The Sound of Music and ate 'Curried Almonds' from Murray's Cheese Shop.
We had dinner at Po tonight. Po is basically why my mom lives in the Village. She loves it. It's tiny and fabulous and where we met Kerri Russell. After dinner, we had drinks at the Comedy Cellar, as seen in Comedian and wandered around until I fucked it up by announcing that I was getting a tattoo. Right then and there.
I AM getting another tattoo. But my dad hates it. I don't blame him. It's just not his style. He was mad and wandered off, leaving mom, Lex and I in the middle of Greenwich Village. We walked in silence for blocks. Every bar seemed packed with frat boys and douchebags. Mom said that she too was going home.
Oh, okay. Well, Lex and I might try that weird black door down the rickety steps next door to Ma's new pad. It looked kinda scary and small.
Mom was now in. "I've been eyeing that place. I'd just never go alone."
Yeah. we don't blame you.
Mom said she'd pay if Alex would go in first.
So, just to recap, this is the dive bar underneath my mom's subletting of Jon Cryer's apartment.
Turns out, it's AMAZINGLY FABULOUS!!!
It's big, with rooms! The walls are packed with movie posters and stills. My mother handed me a twenty and nervously asked, "Is it horrible if I order a Chardonnay?"
Casually, I inquired. "Do you have white wine?"
"Sure!" Tattooed bartender responded. "We have Chard. Is that cool?"
Yeah. I just got you a customer for the next 4 months.
'Emme' found us a table in the back by the pool table and mom and her offspring errupted into laughter at the sheer serendipty of the STONED CROW.
My mother sipped her white wine in a dive bar next door to her building in Greenwich Village and listened to her kids get really honest at midnight at New York. I will admit it was one of those moments you have with a parent, where they cease to be your guardian and, for a momentary window at least, become your friend.
My mom is amazing. Truly amazing.
She headed the 5 feet home and Alex and I stayed, sharing 1am burger sliders and a new discovery about mon frere.
Alex Spotswood does quite an impression of a Long Island Spinster.
It. Is. Brilliant.
He sells it.
It's 2am here and Lex just went to bed, saying, "Alright, doll. I'm going to bed, but my gawd, wake me up fa Jesus. Who do I love? I fucking love you, Elizabeth Anne. Sleep like ya mean it."
He grabbed my face and kissed my cheek.
I'm listening to music from Passing Strange, I have a glass of wine and t-shirts from the Stoned Crow (I even got one for Daddy as a peace offering), I'm closer to Pretty in Pink than most gays think is possible and it's all going to work out.
I don't know if you ever had the mom or dad or bother that I have, but spending 72 hours in New York with them makes me realize that these people drive me fucking nuts.
I mean it, nuts.
But, my god, I wouldn't pick anyone else.
In closing, my beautiful friend Melissa was on TV today. Yay Mel! I couldn't be more proud:

Friday, March 21, 2008

the man in 23D is a serial killer...

My mother, in her infinite widson and pseudo retirement has decided to spend the Spring in Greenwich Village and sublet Duckie's apartment. I swear on Molly Ringwald, it's true. Dad, wanting to maintain the 34 years of bliss my parents have shared, will be coming back and forth from Mill Valley. He's already discovered a cheese class he wants to take and my mother has found both a yoga studio and seen David Schwimmer.
I know. It must be nice, right?
Alex and I arrived last night at midnight, not expecting the freezing fucking wind greeting us at Kennedy's incredibly long taxi line. I stood there, shivering in my leggings and loafers waiting to die. But then I saw the Chrysler Building in the distance and pulled up to a doorman and walked into this apartment and...holy shit. Joanne is in the most perfect, gorgeous, 2 story apartment one block from the Washington Square arch. It's got the whole shebang: jacuzzi, flat screens, funky art, black-washed hardwood floors, fancy kitchen, fresh flowers. MOM?!?!?!
I was beside myself. I looked out the living room window at 1:30 in the morning and it's Manhattan!
Those that have been reading "I'll Flip You" for some time may know that Joanne has spent the past few years caring for my grandmother spiraling into demetia. To say she deserves these four months living her dream is an understatement.
I've never really been jealous of my mom before but this place is AWESOME. Rock on Joanne.
She's earned this.
So this moring, we got up late and walked up to the Chelsea Market which was very cool and bought things to take home like curry powder and sea salt. I may go back tomorrow for the shallot confit. My father, having already been to the Spotswood version of Mecca, Zabar's, has stocked the fridge with things he regards as "New York." Bagels, lox, salami, stinky cheese, and a giant cheesecake, just sitting there taunting me. He's also found a place to get cheap wine and now has his own butcher.
After lunch at a Spanish joint, I introduced Mom and Alex to Barney's Co-Op, which at first they poo-pooed, but then started trying on Theory. Mom and Alex are both tall and thin, so Theory look fabulous on them and I feel strongly that they should both invest in the pieces they considered. I take after my father. We both look like Rob Reiner and thus look good in Marc Jacobs.
Truth be told, all I bought today was spices, red sunglasses and a new pashmina. As much as I love Marc, I would never pay retail. I wandered "home" by myself, stopping to watch chess in Washington Square and get espresso from Mud.
I will say it here and often.
Everything is better in New York.
Except for weather.
Especially all that food and apparel shit I care about. Today, I saw fresh pasta I'd never seen in Italy and I watched a line outside of Marc as people waited to get their photo taken with a man dressed as a dog in a store window filled floor to ceiling with fake flowers. I pushed my way past a queue of people lining up at Magnolia Bakery to buy $4 cupcakes and I tried on a pair of $590 espadrilles.
I LOVE IT HERE.
Tonight is drinks with the "kids" friends. Dani and Jay are meeting us at a bar before Daddy and Alex head to Young Frankenstein and Mom and I see Passing Strange. The four of us are meeting up for an 11pm dinner at (an in) Hells Kitchen.
I LOVE IT HERE.
I remember, years ago, my mom and I had a late dinner at a sidewalk cafe up by the Lincoln Center and I said, "You love New York like Woody Allen loves New York. You should pack up and move here for awhile."
We had a long, long, mother-daughter talk that night, eating fancy pizza and splitting a bottle of wine, and I was convinced she'd never have the balls to do it.
I was wrong...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

speechless (UPDATED!)...

Dear Gavin,
Every time I meet you, I seem to be hell bent on making it clear to you that I'm a retarded person. I really don't know why I do this. I've never been diagnosed as such. I went to college. I have a job. I'm friends with non-retards. In fact, some of my crew are really very bright. And yet, stick me in a room with you and I suddenly become Forrest Gump. I can't explain it.
All I can do is apologize and attempt to reassure you that I'm not as slow and awkward as I insist upon presenting myself. Your spokesperson, Nathan was very sweet in introducing us. As as he brought me over, I was more concerned with my ensemble than preparing witty banter. And then when you recognized me and dropped the, "Oh no, another scandal" I actually peed my brand new Barney's Outlet leggings, which probably explains the horrified look on my face. Had I known we'd be having the longest conversation of our entire relationship, I would have had my hair professional coiffed and dressed appropriately. But these magical retarded moments tend to be serendipitous. What's a gal to do?
Anyway, it was lovely speaking with you last night. I look forward to displaying my vast intellect sometime very soon.
Warmest Regards,
Beth...

PS: Nathan, stop being a cock block...

PPS: Bill Wilson needs to capture me from a different angle...

Okay, so my head is still spinning from last night but I'll try and include all the juicy details. Melissa and I went to the Joe Alioto's kick-off party, convinced we wouldn't know a soul. Turns out, the first person we saw in the PACKED room at Alioto's Restaurant was Bill Wilson! And then my favorite City Haller, Mike Farrah! Oh, sweet relief. People I know. So Joe gets up to give his fabulous speech from atop a chair, and thanks some people, including Lou who I went to grammar school with. OMG, Lou from 1992. This was all very exciting, until I spotted Gavin's spokesperson, Nathan Ballard over by the wine. Nathan and wine? Oh, I'm all over this. Nathan pretended not to be frightened and was actually doing so when Gavin walked in. Um, Nathan...get to work. As he led me over, I shot Bill Wilson a look and gay that he is, Bill knew instantly. Right away, Gavin gives me a look of both recognition and horror (horray!) and was like, "Oh god, another scandal!" I guess he didn't want Swiss Miss to find out about our redezvous, but she was probably off ladling out gruel at a soup kitchen. At this point, I have nothing to say so I start spewing out nonsense about Mark Leno and Judge Judy on crack, further frightening Princess. He leaves, Nathan leaves and Mel and I hang out until it's time to go to dinner. So as we're leaving, I pass Alex Alioto, whom I was madly in love with in high school and who totally pretended to know who I am. I still need to call KG, because she'd be far more excited about Alex Alioto than she would about Gavin. I mean, we made up a song about him, we were so enamored. Anyway, Mel has decided we're going to have dinner with some of her fancy pants political friends. Fine with me. So, um, guess who came to dinner. Just guess. Alex Tourk! Yeah, I know. It's still too much for me. Anyway, Tourk is pretty much the nicest person I've ever met in my life and 7 of us hung out at 1550 Hyde until it was time to go. Now, everyone else was standing around, hugging goodbye on the sidewalk like this happens every night. I was floating on a magical, heavenly cloud inside and trying to pretend I was normal. Needless to say, this called for Le Club, where Mel got in a fight with a man named Tracy. It...it's all too much for me. I can't take this. I'm going to need adult diapers if this shit keeps up. Here's hoping these people don't read blogs. But as we all know, my loyalty is to you fine people. I'm hopping on a plane with the baby brother to visit my folks in New York this afternoon. I'll need 6 hours at 35,000 feet just to process. Okay, I've got some calls to make. The end...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

the spitz is the shits...

Today's Culture Blog is ALREADY UP!

And check out for my Top Chef recap. Because tonight is going to rock...

karma's a bitch...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Not only is Judge Judy on Crack fucked, but Eric who called me at work is fucked too!!!
Everyone get up from your desks and do a little jig with me. I know Mark's in...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

oh, jerome. how many giraffes are we looking at? "seavon"...

It occurred to me tonight, watching Sarafina and hanging out at my folks' place with my brother, I'd never told you about Jerome.
I feel like an old lady pontificating about Ellis Island, but this is a good one.
When I was 23, we went on safari in South Africa. This was 2001, the summer before Sept. 11th and immediately after my "DA" died. It was, I'll admit, a weird time in my life.
So, you know, Africa is kinda the perfect place to go.
My dad had really planned the trip and I went with the flow, deciding to ask what exactly was happening during our layover at Heathrow.
"We're flying to Johannesburg, and then taking a small plane to Mala Mala."
Oh. Okay. I had 20 hours of (coach) travel ahead of me. I put my hair in pigtails and threw on pajama pants.
I told you. This was a weird time in my life.
We ended up flying from London to "Jo-burg" amidst the South African Rugby Team, a collection of incredibly hot guys exactly my age who introduced me to my first taste of Africa.
These are cute guys. In matching sweat suits. Speaking something resembling Dutch. With blonde highlights.
I was like Annie arriving at Daddy Warbucks’ house. I think I’m gonna like it here.
We landed in Johannesburg and rushed to catch our flight to Mala Mala, in Kruger National Park, aka: the middle of nowhere.
In my pajama and pigtails, I followed the herd, as it were. We’d been traveling for 24 hours. And I was in no mood.
Flying into Kruger National Park makes it very easy to pretend you’re working for National Geographic. 20 of us got off the plane, our luggage spread out on a tarp. For some reason, Alex’s bag was missing and the family went off to find it while I, still in jammies and pigtails, guarded our luggage. Oddly enough, while I guarded that luggage, 3 men with machine guns guarded me.
I stood alone, in darkest Africa, monitoring monogrammed bags and trying not to make eye contact. The family soon returned, Alex’s electric razor having been purloined in Jo-Burg but otherwise, in tact, and we were met by someone from our hotel.
“Henry”, looking very much like Prince Henry, had been sent to Mala Mala by his 80 year-old father, a colonial founder and apparent asshole. Henry was technically a Lord and Henry was afraid of China and roller coasters. My father immediately tried to set the Beth+Henry=Love wheels in motion.
‘Twas not to be.
Why?
Oh, because of Jerome.
We were greeted at Mala Mala by a gorgeous bellman, who seemed highly intent on learning our names. Um, bring my bags to my room, pal. I’ve been on a plane since 1983. We don’t need to exchange pleasantries.
Turns out, we do.
Mala Mala holds only 16 guests. And this bellman wasn’t a bellman. He was our safari guide. We’d eat three meals a day with him and along with our African Guide “Chris”, spend every day in an open air Range Rover looking for elephants.
His name was Jerome and he was basically Matt Damon, but tanner, in sunglasses and a safari outfit. It was his job to find us animals 10 feet away and know our favorite cocktail.
“Bette, I’ve goot your vodka soooda wit lime, love.”
Oh, it must be 4pm.
Instantly and silently, I promised the entirety of my being to Jerome.
And instantly and silently, I cursed my pigtails and pajamas. FUCK. No one told me about Jerome.
Turns out, Jerome was assigned to the Spotswoods. After breakfast, he’d take us on a morning drive. Oh look. Lions. Jaguars. Jerome.
Then we’d have lunch.
Then another drive.
Wild dogs. Giseles. Water buffalo. Jerome.
Suddenly, I care deeply about gestation periods.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Jerome.
I thought my head might pop off and explode in the African desert.
He was that hot.
Worse, I was on all kinds of funky anti-Africa medication. Those pills gave me crazy dreams, dreams in which Jerome and I were living in wild, impassioned sin. Sadly, Jerome was also my wake-up call, so you can imagine by unconscious bliss of making out with Jerome by the Mala Mala Business Center only to be woken up at 6am by the leading man of my dream, announcing, “Bette, I’ll see you at breakfast in thirty, love?”
Oh. Oh yes. I…um…just need to…compose myself.
Which is when I decided to bring up apartheid.
Turns out, Jerome, celebrating his 23rd birthday the night before with a rousing game on “drinking UNO” was not allowed to discuss the appalling racism of his adopted country. (Oh yeah, Jerome was from Botswana. Fabulous!)
We saw the whole shebang, animal-wise. Apparently, we observed rarely seen animals and acts of nature, inciting Jerome and the Zulu-speaking “Chris” to declare, “Goodness me!”
But I didn’t care.
I merely cared about Jerome. And his incredible, indescribable hotness.
He sent us an e-mail not long after.
I saved it.
Really. I still have it.
He was working as a security guard in a Glasgow Burger King and was hoping to venture to the New World.
I've never heard from him since. But anytime Sarafina is on, or The Power of One, or Matt Damon, or anything having to do with Africa, I think of Jerome.
And 7 years later, I still swoon...

this sounds like something my uncle ted would give at christmas...

The following has pretty much made my morning, and unless something truly wacky happens today, I've got to crank out blogs and probably won't post. I mean, Heath Ledger can't die twice. Anyway, I present to you, the Master:

Monday, March 17, 2008

velma and bernice...

When Melissa invited me to her friend's dinner party in Napa, I was like, "Oh, okay. Sure. Can we crash there?"
"Yeah! It's in Cynthia's husband's photography studio."
As Mel and I drove up to Rutherford, I was envisioning someone's remodeled garage and a bunch of boring people I wouldn't know sitting on pillows around a Scrabble game. So we decided to make it an adventure and got a hotel room within walking distance of this "studio." Of course, we end up with the most romantic, fabulous, wood-burning fireplace room overlooking a delightful little courtyard.
"Um, we're becoming a lesbian power couple. FYI."
"I know!" Mel squealed, as she threw on a velvet blazer and I wobbled around in my yet-to-be-broken-in Jimmy Choos. "Let's go to the hotel bar and grab a glass of wine before we head over."
The hotel's restaurant, Le Toque claimed to have a wine bar but the room had been set up for a private party. With great fanfare, we were informed that the party wouldn't start until 7 and were instantly brought stools, chilled water and a wine list.
We felt so bad, putting the poor staff on the spot and screwing up their perfect private room. We opened the wine list and since Ms. Griffin doesn't like to stain her teeth, selected the cheapest little half-bottle of Rose. It was the only one on the menu and we felt like assholes. Not assholes enough to order something costing more than $16, but assholes enough to apologive profusely while mocking our tackyness.
We grabbed our hostess gifts (olive oil and tapenade) and headed across the street to some gravely parking lot. Where the hell are we going, Griffin! Approaching a huge, intricate metal door, Mel rang the bell. Oh dear god, what have I gotten myself into? I won't know a soul, I'll say something stupid, I'm going to trip in my heels.
I heard the pitter patter of feet running down a hallway. "HELLO!!!!"
Our hosts, Cynthia and Dan are those kind of people that instantly make you feel relaxed and welcome and interesting. I love those kind of people. It also helped that Cynthia is a blog reader, so I guess she knew what she was getting herself into. We walk down this gorgeous, echoing hallway into the "studio."
The "studio" is about the size of a Pottery Barn, and set up in the middle was a gorgeous table set for 17. Um, there ain't no Scrabble at Cynthia and Dan's. Right away we're handed wine and introduced to another couple.
Oh god, I called us a couple.
It was Sam Singer and his wife.
OMG! Sam, defender of Tatiana the Tiger! Fabulous! Shit, have I ever said anything bad about him?
It just kinda went on like that, interesting people showing up and bottomless glasses of wine. I wish I had some scandelous anecdotes about strip charades or Gavin showing up drunk, but it was a really fun, loud, 4-course, 5 hour masterpiece and I kept waiting for someone to ask me what the hell I was doing there.
After everyone left, Mel and I, knowing our place, stayed to help clean up which prompted Dan to open this amazing dessert wine and give me a quick, drunken lesson on constellations. We stumbled back to our hotel room and sat by the fire, planning our trip back to the filthy, dirty, ghetto ass San Francisco. In the morning, we rolled out of bed and back to the studio, to stack a couple of chairs, purloin some spinster leftovers and reap the benefits of Dan's new espresso machine and love of yogurt, granola and fruit.
Shit, Napa. I fucking love you.
One would think, given "our" penchant for alcohol, we'd spend the ride back winetasting. Nope. We passed an outlet mall on our way up there and sure as shit, they had a Barneys.
Barneys had these big chalkboards up over certain racks of clothing, with really complex marketing campaigns written on them. We found this both hilarious and worthy of stocking up. I got $35 leggings. Down from $80. Who the hell buys $80 leggings? People that shop at regular Barneys, I guess. I also got some snazzy loafers and a BCBG dress which I've decided is very fashion forward. Melissa bought everything. Like, literally, everything.
4 hours later, and it was time for lunch before the long ride back.
"Where was the cute looking place we saw on the way up?"
"I forget. Where?"
"THERE! THAT! OMG! IT'S THE CARNEROS INN! IT'S GAVIN'S! WE'RE STOPPING!"
The Carneros Inn looks like exactly what Marina people want Napa to look like. It's like Epcot's Napa for rich people. And I was all over it.
We dined at the Boon Fly Cafe, which is exactly like it's supposed to look. It was actually the perfect place to stop, but I couldn't help myself from looking around constantly trying to find a fabulous flaw to disect. Eh, it's basically impossible to drive around the whole compound. I was desperate to see Swiss Miss ordering around bellmen like the pre-nup had already been signed, but t'was not to be. We did however see the striped canvas from the cabanas flapping in the wind.
Cabanas in Napa? Really? Oh Gavin, you're so over the top. I love it (you.)
My lesbian girlfriend and I have decided we want a weekend place in Napa, so we can become wine experts and throw things at idiot tourists. Everything in wine country looks so goddamn perfect, I can barely stand it. I have a feeling we might be the catalyst for the downfall, stumbling through the vinyards in $80 leggings and making passes at migrant workers.
We made it back to shitty civilization just in time for another, equally fabulous dinner party. Brian was preparing a MediterIndian feast for us and Jen (yep, another lesbian) and combining my Saturday and Sunday nights, I've never felt more like a crappy, lesbo hostess. I shove pasta and chicken at people and make them bring me wine. Perhaps, I could learn something from Cynthia, Dan and Brian. Or perhaps I could give up hosting and just bang on their doors until they let me and my friends in...

Friday, March 14, 2008

unimpressive...

Back in the day, Grey Cloud and I went out in the Marina with his roommate whom I'll call "Strippername." Strippername became so inebraited, I needed to pull her outside where she then tried to fight me.
Um, I don't fight. I'm from Mill Valley.
So I stopped and announced, "There is something to be said for being a lady!" and cabbed my classy self home.
Cut to present day.
Somehow, Thursday is the new Friday. I know Wednesday was the new Thursday, and then Tuesday was hot for awhile but these days, it's back to Thursday.
At least in Spotscisco.
Thus making Le Club my new Le Peach Pit, really only because Mel and I strolled in last night without a "ressie" and as we were stopped at the door, Colin casually announces in his fabulous British accent, "Oh, let them in. They're VIP's."
Shut up! The only other place I've been a VIP is Capp's Corner and that was years ago. I couldn't get a comped drink in that shithole if I paid for it these days.
Anyway, guess who was back last night?
Le Douche!
After meeting Mr. X at A16, Mel and I headed up the hill and walked right in (again, VIPs).
"Mel. It's him."
"Who?"
"Le Douche. 3 o'clock."
He was working some chick, but looked over to acknowledge us.
"Hi." I offered, perfectly sober unlike him.
"Oh, hey. I know you. Where do I know you from?" He slurred.
"Um, you know us from here. And we share an alma mater. Remember?"
"Vaguely."
He then proceeded to trump his previous douchness tenfold.
I really don't understand how guys like this, obviously successful, relatively attractive assholes, think they're cool when they're sitting in a bar alone (albeit, a very cool bar) and say things like, "You know what's wrong with women your age? Your moms never taught you how to act like girls."
Hand to God, that's verbatim.
Um, you and your crooked tie are 2 inches from my face, spitting words at me and asking me what my friend's problem is while rubbing my back and telling me I have too many opinions. Whose mom is the fuck up now, Le Douche?
Although, I can see his point.
Earlier in the evening, as Mel and I were walking down Chestnut Street (go fig), a beautiful, well-dressed woman walking immediately behind us suddenly vomited GALLONS (and I mean GALLONS) onto the sidewalk. We actually stared, then like the well-bred ladies we are, grabbed each other's arm and left that tacky bitch on the sidewalk alone where she belongs...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

it's a sickness...

I really don't want to frighten anyone, but I can't help it. Blame Bill Wilson. Okay, I have decided that the above is what it looks like when Gavin opens the bathroom door after preparing for an imminent night of lovin'. You know, like he just slides open the door and shoots you a look as if to say, "Kick up the Sade, baby. It is ON."
I am so jealous of this little sassafrass, I can't stand it. I love how she throws the hand to the shoulder. A woman after my own heart.
I'm just as confused by this as Gavin is.
The knowing look. Ah, I dig it. I'm pretending he's looking at me across the room after receiving a text from me saying, "Is that a sling behind you or are you just happy to see me?"
Either Gavin is silently thinking of the Pledge of Allegiance, or he's highly aware of Bill's camera. I hope it's the former.
At first, I thought this was a trampoline. To dare but to dream. It's a boxing ring. I don't really know who made the Mayor hop up on there, but I wish they made him spar with some inner city children. This is one of the first photos in the album of this excursion, so right away, I knew this event would be highly entertaining. Also included are some pictures of that other City Hall heartthrob, Wade Crowfoot. While my love will always lie with Gavin, I was forced to sit at the bar of MoMo's and listen to a very prominent blogger's intense passion for the Prince of the Weather or whatever Wade's job title is.
Anyway, we all owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Wilson for his fine, fine work with in the genre of photo journalism...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

lista questions...

Gentlemen, help me out here. What the fuck is up with a guy secretly filming teenage girls on the can? You're also going to need to explain to me this creep's freakshow sideburns, because I'm stumped.
I can understand politicians sending underage interns gay text messages or being difficult to a hooker. I can understand slimy old guys stalking 12 years olds or wearing their mom's pantyhose. I can even understand the occasional farmer and goat combo.
But pee? And not even like, "Listen, I'm really into this and if there's any way you might consider trying it, I'd really appreciate it and take you to Paris."
This is oblivious, high-schoolers in a public restroom.
I'm not particularly offended or riled up about this crime. It is, in the great words of Phil Collins, "Just Another Day in Paradise." I'm simply confused by the concept and need some clarification.
On a related note, Blindy is the new Governor of New York! I hope Stevie Wonder is available to perform at his swearing in...

client number ten...

Le Culture Blog is up!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

it's okay. i'm related to helen keller*...

Please, please, please let Eliot Spitzer resign and go have "dangerous sex" with classy hookers so David Paterson can be Governor of New York.
And while it's great and important or whatever to have the first black Governor of New York, it's way more great and important to have the first blind one!
Who doesn't love a blind?
So in researching this guy, I have some questions. Like how come he doesn't wear sunglasses? And what's the name of his seeing-eye dog? Also, I know I'm already going to hell and I'll probably have some optic accident before I do, but how great is the following:
"Paterson says he went to see Spitzer a few months ago..."
Um, he probably just heard Spitzer.
Anyway, if this guy throws on some RayBans, I'm all over it...

*Seriously!

Monday, March 10, 2008

i hate me...

You're gonna hate me. And worse than that, my editor is gonna hate me.
I should be at the MILK wrap party right now.
But, um...
I'm at my parent's house right now, like a big winner.
Before you even start, I'm exhausted.
Alright, not really. I could have rallied. But Mel didn't want to go. Joe had a date. My brother was like, "Well, I'm in. If it's 100%."
"It's 80%."
"Eh."
I wasn't in the mood to stand outside Bambuddha Lounge and explain to someone I know this person who knows this person who said I could go. I feel incredibly guilty for blowing off this shindig. Mr. X worked hard to make sure I was "expected" and really, anything involving a Penn, I'm into.
No one loves a party like I love a party, but frankly, I'm in the mood to watch The Queen OnDemand with free wine and some Triscuits.
Call me crazy and rightly so.
But it's the truth.
I'm disappointed in myself...

standing ovation...

DListed is really the highlight of my day. Like today, when I discovered the following video, which is 2 minutes long and you need to watch immediately.

Um, could they be more fabulous? No, they couldn't. I want to be friends with them and invite them to Sunday Dinner and take them to Le Club...

mafia, open your eyes...

You know it's Sunday dinner when your upstairs neighbor leaves a pissy voicemail at 11:30 because "the music is too loud" and "bumming" him out.
I've been having very consistent weekends, lately. I spend Friday and Saturday with Mel and Sunday cooking. This Saturday, we woke up and headed over to Momo's, deciding we wanted to eat outside. Settled on their patio, we introduced ourselves to our server and pulled out our phones. "We must share this experience. Let's call everyone and order every appetizer and sit here all day."
So we did.
Sunday was Sunday Dinner obviously, where Amanda introduced us to the game "Mafia" which I'm still confused about. Joe then pulled out something called "Phase 10." Again, confused. Finally, I just wanted to sing some T'Pau, hence the pissy voicemail.
I also took my new laptop over to Atlas Cafe and took 20 minutes trying to figure out how to get on the internet. The highly annoyed gentleman on my left had to help me out, and was none too pleased about it. Turns out, you need a little card with a code on it. It's a pain in the ass and I could not be MORE on the Free WiFi bandwagon. I wanted to get down my thoughts on Le Club, because I was pretty convinced I was too cool for school and thus, needed to capture my experience for all the losers that can't get in.
Typing away, I was delighted with myself, sure I suddenly had access to something far too fabulous for the words pouring from my fingers.
Finally, I checked my e-mail, only to discover an invitation from Dan and Jen saying, "i know it's late notice, but want to go to this fancy-schmanzy new place called le club tonight? we think you'd like the folks we're going with."
Um, you guys. I was JUST there.
Turns out, Dan got to play DJ and got a ride home in the provided Town Car. I got stuck with Le Douche and stumbled back to Mel's on foot.
So I'll leave Le Recap to Le Dan but it is Le Cool and everyone is Le Going...


Sunday, March 09, 2008

le spots...

I am writing this from Hipster Heaven on my brand new laptop surrounded by people with last year's faux hawk. I'd be lying if I said I didn't spend the entire weekend with the most consistent sleeping arrangement I've ever had: Sweet Melissa
We should just exchange keys and register at Gump's. Mel and I went out with Mr. X again on Friday night, having dinner in the FiDi before hitting... wait for it...Le Club.
What is Le Club?
Oh, just an invitation only club in Nob Hill. 
It would have been fabulous had we not been stuck talking to Le Douche.
Le Douche and I share an alma mater (Shocker) and he could not have been less impressed with me. 
More on this later, but I'm jut excited about his free WiFi thing. I wanted to write a blog post next to someone writing a blog post. I feel so San Francisco...

Friday, March 07, 2008

just put her in the trunk...

My mom used to kick me out of the car when she was pissed at me. Not, you know, miles away or anything. But at the bottom of the hill so I'd have to haul, hysterical crying ass up it.
She did not, however, give me a car wash.
Did you hear about this? A woman was so pissed at her 2 year old, she pressure washed her in an Orlando, Florida car wash.
Oh, Orlando. You're so reassuringly consistent.
I'm just bummed Mom of the Year didn't make the light of her life experience a whole drive-thru wash, complete with immigrant hand wash and those spinning brushes. Then just dry her off in the high-powered air jet section and the little spawn will never have a tantrum, much less a moment of self-esteem again.
This is why I'm not wild about having kids.
My reaction to a spilled sippy cup would be to make them dig graves or volunteer in a psych ward. Christ, my reaction to the phrase "sippy cup" is to vomit a little and hit a co-worker...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

sharpen your knives...

I'm delighted to report that I think I get to recap Top Chef for the Culture Blog!!! So for those of you that don't give a shit about fashion, maybe you'll care deeply about reduction...

is barristo a word...

For those of you that don't hang out in 'nannies with pure bred dog land', the Mill Valley Peet's is THE scene every single goddamn morning. It's packed with people who apparently work from home, standing around taking their sweet ass time, lingering over their scone selection and committing the worst crime on earth: blocking the condiment counter.
How oblivious and self involved can one be to pause with the thermos of non-fat in mid-air while detailing the pre-school application and interview process?
And lest you think I'm complaining about a minor infraction, I was holding 3 lattes, having decided to surprise my co-workers. So I figure that since I was obviously trying to do something saint-like, everyone needs to part and make way for the one person in this joint who's a giver..
You have one cup of coffee-drink, lady. I have three. Help me in my quest to make someone's morning and haul ass, please.
I'm sure I've bitched about this before, but obviously, the point isn't getting across to those that need to hear it most. I'm almost tempted to print out an anonymous passive-aggressive sign that says in big bold letters, "MOVE THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY. SOME OF US HAVE LIVES."
I bet the hot barristo behind the counter would totally be on my side...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

happy hump day...

Read all about Joe and my gay, gay airport adventure RIGHT HERE...

And it's your lucky day, queens. ProRun RECAP is up too...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

alright, you keep talking! i'm gonna go cook without the garlic press...

For reasons I don't understand, I've been waking up really early. Like 5am early.
Instead of spending two hours staring at the ceiling like I usually do, I figured, fuck it.
I got up and got a shower.
Much like Gavin, I have a really specific hair routine. And mine involves at least 30 minutes of air drying so my leave-in conditioner can fully work it's magic. Normally, I spend these 30 minutes watching television, but what the hell is on at the break of dawn? I'm sure as shit not watching The Nanny, I don't care what it means for my coiffure.
Turn on your TV at 6:30am and you'll be met with the wonderful world of paid programming. Did you know you can buy a full-body girdle from the Food Newtork channel? How appropriate.
Anyway, my only options seemed to be "My Super Sweet 16" and "Third Watch."
I've already seen every single "MSS16."
Third Watch is was.
I took notes.
7:11am: I can't believe I'm watching a lesser ambulance-based drama.
7:23am: I love Bobby Cannavale.
7:31am: No, I really mean it. I love Bobby.
7:39am: I think I need to contact him.
7:45am: This is the greatest show I've ever seen in my life.
7:59am: I am now crying.
My hair air-dryed a full 60 minutes. But it was worth it. Seriously, Third Watch. Who knew?