Thursday, October 30, 2008

call me mint jelly cuz i'm on the lam...

My mother and I found ourselves at an appointment in Oakland this morning, and with her coming from Marin and me from the City, we took seperate cars. As we left, I pulled away from the garage and realized, Shit. I'm in fucking Oakland. How the hell do you get out of this hell hole?
I drove around for awhile until I found myself behind a red Del Sol with vanity plates. Oh, terrific! My mother. She'll get us out of here, provided I hide the fact that I'm smoking. She went to Santa Clara, I figured, and thus must know her way around Oakland. I know my logic isn't very logical, but I'm as comfortable with Oakland as I am with lesbians. I followed mom around until she wandered down a dead end. As she turned around, I made my presence known.
"Mother!"
"Oh, hello! Ha! How the hell do we get out of here?"
"Beats the shit out of me." My hidden cigarette down by my feet was starting to light things aflame. "Just go, mom."
My mother is a pretty calculated person. She reads directions when assembling something. I am not. I just guess. I maintain my way is quicker and I'm right 80% of the time. Her way takes longer and she's right 90% of the time. So when I saw her drive east on some ghetto-ass boulevard, I drove west. That's the direction I need to go anyway. "I'm following my nose!" I announced to myself. "I wonder who'll get car-jacked first."
After passing with chain-link-fenced Easy Liquor, I saw an encouraging sign. And then another sign. The next thing I knew, I was heading towards civilization! Haha! I win! At that moment, my phone rang.
"Hey mom, I'm on the freeway." I gloated.
"Oh good. Me too. I asked for directions."
Of course she did. Playin' it safe in Oakland.
I headed across the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge towards work, which is when I realized it. I get to drive past San Quentin. I think it's really amazing that the place where California legally kills people is in Marin and not, you know, out in the middle of nowhere. Thank you, Sacramento! Whenever I drive by what my grandfather would call "Q" I pray really hard that some criminal will run across the freeway and hop in my car, a la Dark Passage. Because I'm not calling 911. I'm picking that felon up!
"Where we goin', Mexico?"
"Bitch, give me your money."
"No, no, no. I'm in!"
"Shut the fuck up and give me the keyes."
"Chill, Ese. I'll be good at this. Seriously.
But I drove right on by. No one escaped on my watch. Not even my prison pen pal...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

i'm an auntie!!!!!

As of 1 hour ago, I have a nephew!!!!!
Welcome Oliver Yourick Ryken! I love you already...

UPDATE: Kate, Jenny and I just had a three way multi-time-zone conversation and while we agree Oliver's middle name sounds a little Lord of the Rings-esque, we are thrilled. It's weird. He's in Boulder, I've talked to him once on the phone, he's been breathing oxygen for less than a feature length film and shit, I already love him. I really do...

i have a lot of experience with retirement communities...

For reasons that I won't get into, I was checking out the website of the old folks home where my grandfather once lived (and died), finding myself on their weekly calendar. It. Is. Awesome.
This is merely a smattering. You can see these old timers in all their glory right HERE.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26
2:00p Bridge Lessons w/Michael
6:35p Candle Light Peace Vigil
(I see 'em out on the corner all the time, screaming and yelling for peace...and quiet!)
7:00p Movie Musical - From 1943 -"Ghost on the Loose" -A. Gardner & B. Lugosi
(getting a little close to bedtime, no?)

MONDAY, OCTOBER 27
9:15a Johrei (Universal Life Energy)
(what?)
11:00a Clean Your Closet
(Is this an assignment or an offer?)
12:30p Gentle Yoga w/Solana
12:00p Moday Movie Matinee - W.
(these people have one foot in the grave and they're swwing W. before me.)
1:00p Inner Perspectives Support Group
(how much would I love to sit in on this)
1:30p Seniors for Peace - Pre-Meeting
3:00P Seniors for Peace - Richard Moore presentation "The Wars Continue"
5:30p Creative Writing
(Once upon a time, there was an old lady abandoned in a home by her no good family...how's that for creative, sonny?)

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28
10:00a Ethical Will
(because you're all about to die.)
10:45a Joy of Tai Chi
1:30p Trader Joseph's/Starbucks
1:50p Feldenkrais w/Maya
3:00p Drummers Group
(awesome. I wonder if my grandpa was in the drummers group? I know he took poetry!)
3:00p Bible Study
7:30p Young Imaginations
(details, please.)

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29 (Today!)
9:00a Nutrition w/Ramona
10:00a Watercolor w/Kay
10:00a Podiatry w/ Dr Jan
(one has to pick between watercolor and podiatry?)
2:00p Computer Class
2:00p French Social
2:45p Improve Your Balance

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30
9:00a Line Dancing Beginners
(there's also an intermediate, for those goddamn show-offs)
10:00a Newcomer Support Group
10:30a Line Dancing w/Walkers
(I could not be more in.)
10:30a Knitting Group
1:00p Innovative Memoir Writing
(See Monday at 5:30)
1:00p Flu Shots - Non-Kaiser
2:00p Ginkgo Memory Game*
7:00p Bingo

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31
11:00a Chair Yoga
1:00p The Redwoods Chorus
4:00p Peace Demonstration
7:00p Halloween Costume Party**

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1
10:00a Short Fiction w/Jim
12:45p Costume Parade Babies/Toddlers
(Ah yes, the grandchildren of a senior in a home. My mom would make us do this shit when we were like, 11.)
1:00p Meditation Group
1:30p Spanish for Beginners
2:00p Sally McArthur's 100th Birthday Celebration!!!
(followed immediately by...)
2:30p Glaucoma Group
2:30p Coffee Social

*My mother was visiting my grandfather/her father-in-law one afternoon and found him in "Memory Game." Pam or Sheila or whoever was asking them questions, so my mom hid behind a ficus and watched during the question, "What year is it?" Some old dude says "1978."
"No, Clancy. That was a long time ago."
"1920!"
"Nope, Eunice. Nice try, tho."
"2000?"
"Yes, Hazel! Correct."
Silence. Then my grandfather screams, "2000 EVEN!"
Which I now say all the time.

**My grandmother always dressed up with my grandfather (different ones that in previous story) for the Halloween Parade and one year (I have disturbing photo evidence) she went as a Spanish maiden and dressed him up like a "Chinaman." She found plastic buck teeth and drew bangs on his bald head with eyeliner. I'm sure the highly diverse staff found it charming.

And finally, there's something that's always ticked me off. On New Years Eve, they all turn the clocks to midnight at like, 7pm so the old folks can get to bed on time. My grandmother, who I think it's safe to say had a problem with everything, saw nothing wrong with this travesty. Hello? These people lived through wars and depression, much like us right now. Christ, if they made it one more year, let those dinosaurs party...

i'm going as joan halloway...

Happy Wednesday Before Halloween!
Here's your Culture Blog...

Monday, October 27, 2008

to quote pooj, people crazy...

As per my previous post, I've done a little research on NAMBLA. They have a website! And it is amazing! First of all, I'm all for freedom of speech, but whoa. This is some crazy shit. Aside from the insane and sad argument that little 8 year old boys are capable of willingly falling madly in love with old, smelly, van-drivers named Burt, the NAMBLA website is kind of interesting. I wonder if my computer is now being tracked by the FBI's pedophile unit? Bernie Ward, here I come!
Speaking of crazy shit, I'm all over this story about skinheads foiled in their plot to assassinate Barack Obama and then kill 88 black people. The most interesting part of this plot, to me and my sick mind at least, is that the two would-be assassins planned to wear all white tuxedos and top hats during their murder spree. Interesting, what with their white supremacy bullshit that these two winners have the fashion stylings of a rap video from 1999...

nothing says funny like nambla...

I was one of Melissa's 9 dates to the San Francisco Beautiful Awards Dinner at the Mark Hopkins on Friday night. One of the reasons Mel is my best friend is because she will take any excuse to get a room at a hotel 3 blocks from her home. After running into El Greco and Kelny, we ventured into a gorgeous dinner at "The Fun Table", whose table topper announcing our table's sponsor was eventually reversed to read "NAMBLA", we went dancing at the Top of the Mark. Okay, well Devine and I danced. Mel, Tara, Pooja, Cyn, Hastings, Schlackman, Clemens and Tourk sat around drinking scotch and discussing foreign policy.
I'm horrified to report that the next thing I knew, I woke up on a bed in the Mark Hopkins with my earrings on, finding Mel and Tara and a table of untouched food ordered at 3am. What the hell are these matchbooks from the Big Four doing stuck to my leg? And this Le Club cocktail napkin shoved in my ear? Curious.
Tara politely excused herself, class act that she is, to, oh, I don't know, shower. Not us! When I discovered my doctor's appointment was cancelleed, Mel took one look at that old hamburger, pizza, club sandwich and sundae soup and picked up the phone. "Yeah, this is Mrs. Griffwood in 834. We'll be extending our stay and we need the Cyril Magnin Champagne Breakfast."
Hell. Yes.
I turned on the television, flipping around until HBO did the whole, "And now for our Feature Presentation!"
"Please be good!"
"Oh god, make this an awesome movie!"
"Please, please, please!"
The movie, folks, was E.T.
"Awesome." Melissa sighed. "I feel like I just won something."
We stayed in bed all day, never opening the curtains, never leaving the room. Much like a crack den, only with a bottemless basket of pastries, we occasionally got up to pee. That's it. And it was fabulous. I felt like we were on vacation, albeit an appallingly lazy vacation, but a lovely one none the less. We threw on the provided big white robes and sat on the floor, sharing the stereotypical girl talk, discussing Mel's possible spotting of the ex-fella in the FiDi Noah's, "It could be. I mean, he definitely eats bagels." and whether or not we'd tell each other if we discovered an alien in a garden shed.
There are few things we argue about, but I guess alien discovery is one of them. It was now noon, and I called my brother.
"Alex, would you tell me if you discovered an alien in the garden shed and needed to hide it?"
"Where are you?"
"Watching E.T. in a hotel room."
"Makes sense. Um, yeah. I'd tell you."
"You would!?!"
"Yeah, I'd need your help."
The kid has a point. I'm always up for a scheme or a caper.
Mel and I agreed that while we felt slightly guilty being so lazy, it was pretty great to suddenly find oneself on an impromptu holiday. I mean, shit. Working Girl was on next. "Call down to the front desk and request something!"
"Okay! What should we request?"
"I'd like to hear a song. And I would like one urban hot dog purchased from a street vendor."
"What song?"
I ended up splitting around 5, handing the valet my little card and a tip.
"Thank you, Mrs. Griffwood. I hope you enjoyed your stay."
You can say that again.
I had the giggles all the way home. Dude, our table said NAMBLA...

And now for the quote of the weekend!

"My goal is to be famous enough that I can bring a dog to inappropriate places."
-Melissa

Thursday, October 23, 2008

goddamn that uncle ted...

The fabulous Hastings came over last night, watched a movie, sent me to sleep and left around midnight, much like the other Chris, leaving the door unlocked and the alarm off. Apparently, I tend to hang out with platonic straight men named Chris who have no concept of ghetto.
For all intents and purposes, Hastings and Big (Chris) high five me goodnight and leave my front door ajar. I'm quite used to falling asleep thinking, "Aw, Chris. What a gem. I bet that asshole left my door open."
And that's exactly what I was thinking when I fell into a fitfull sleep last night. Tossing and turning, my dear roommate in blissful cuddle at his charming girlfriend's home, my eyes flashed open at every creak and crack. Finally, around 4am I relaxed and fell asleep.
At exactly 5:32am, I awoke to a huge crash against my front door.
Most people would get up and investigate, especially being home alone in an unlocked house in the ghetto. Not me! I lay on my bed, wide awake, waiting to die. What's going to happen first? Rape? Torture? Demands to know the location of my gold bouillons? Oh god, here we go. I'm going to be a Cold Case File and my parents will spend the rest of their days joining useless victims advocacy groups. Needless to day, the crash was followed by nothing.
I fell back asleep and woke at 8 in a very false attempt to get to work on time and a very real attempt to watch the West Wing. Finally, I made it to the door and had almost forgotten about that 5:32am disturbance. Honestly, I expected to be dead by now.
And there on my filthy Ikea doormat was a huge brown box from Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake City?
Ted!
My Uncle Ted, in his kind attempt to have high-end charcuterie delivered to my door had scared the living shit out of me.
Ugh, family.
My dad's an only child. My mom had two brothers, Bill and Ted.
Seriously.
Bill and Ted.
Both of whom are artsy and younger and always seemed much more like older brothers to me than anything else. My unlces (again, Bill and Ted) are goddamn weird and funky and always understood me a little bit more than anyone else. Bill and Ted know the odd depths of our gene pool, they know our genetic penchant for overindulgence and they know that being different tends to freak those out who are really entertaining to freak out.
In my experience (even though just like any kin has the ability to do, they can drive me fucking nuts) I'm beyonf grateful for Bill And Ted. Because they're weirder than me, which is a challenge in and of itself, and they occasionally scare me to death while trying to send me cured meats for no reason...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

someone bring me a flux capacitor...

I remember the year that the two closest people to me got divorced and HIV respectively. When that happens, you gain a little perspective, a little reality and a little realization that grown-up problems suck. 
I remember thinking that 6 is the perfect age. There's no dating, so money, no driving yourself anywhere. 6 is awesome, where your biggest problem is learning to count past 11 and everyone thinks you're adorable when you're really obnoxious.
I remember wondering what I'd be like when I was a grown-up, imagining my marriage to Joe McIntyre providing it's share of complications, what with his touring schedule alone, but otherwise consisting of sitting by a pool sipping martinis and running my own fabulous magazine, Spotswords
It sucks, being a grown-up. Bills, bitches, bail? This shit ain't easy. And as I go through my own grown-up nonsense, wondering what the hell's gonna happen to me, a 30 year-old spinster with a myriad of worries, conundrums and golly, grown-up problems, I find solace in my family, my friends and Stevie. That blind has a way of making me feel better, I can't explain it. And I know you heartless souls hate my sappy stuff. But come one, we all need a little slap on the ass and a reminder. 'Least I do! We can work it out. Probably...

time for your culture...

It's Wednesday, folks! READ...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

bill wilson, here we go...

Please tell me this was Gav and Jen's cake, toppers included.
Here's hoping Gavin's saying, "Nope, guys. I asked. No samples."

I'm only including Aaron Peskin because 1) He looks like he's the 4th Tenor and 2) He told me googles himself. Hi Aaron!

I'll shake your hand, but my smoldering eyes will give you a coronary. Plus, I've been eyeing a particular window-hanging duck and it looks like someone's about to buy... Gotta go!

Buy one, get WHICH free? Dibs on the one on the left.

Someone got a new suit!!! What are we talkin' here? Brioni?
Yes, that beanie with the fake hair braid flowing behind it? I'll take two.
Ladies, ladies. Come here often? Classic Coke, huh? Sweet bluetooth. You gonna finish that?
Yellow Power!
(Okay, okay, relax. I'm sorry. I couldn't help myself. But you KNOW he was thinking it.)

One of these people is running for Supervisor and one of these people is Jesus.

Monday, October 20, 2008

redbook, here i come...

When my brother went to kindergarten, he was in the same class as a kid named Pete and as they grew up, it became my responsibility to drop Alex off at his friends' houses. Pete's older brother Jason was tasked with the same shitty job and eventually, we became very good friends. Anyway, Jason ended up becoming a fancy pants architect, just like his dad, and started a firm with his incredibly hot business partner, John. At Jason's lovely Olema wedding, I ended up spending the entire reception making fun of people in the corner with John's (non-professional) partner, Adam. Neither of us really knew anyone and we were perfectly happy to grab a bottle of something and bond. You know when you meet someone at a party and you promise to be friends in the real world and then you never see them again? Much to my delight, Adam and I became friends in the real world. Adam's one of those appallingly attractive, confident people who could be intimidating, but aren't because they have nothing to prove. He's fucking fabulous.
Even more to my delight, I recently had some time to kill so I snuck in a downtown bar, grabbed a complimentary 7x7 Magazine and made myself at home. Oh, the Style Issue! Perfect. And look, the 9 "Most Captivating" Style Makers. I wonder which tacky bitches are on this list.
Guess who's Number 8 .... Adam. Adam!
Holy shit, what a brilliant list!
I was pretty goddamn thrilled that my friend was being recognized for his amazing style. I even showed the magazine to the dude sitting next to me, who feigned interest and then asked me how to get to Centerfolds.
Anyway, I've been thinking to myself that it must be very cool to be in a magazine, which lies around in hotel lobbies and doctor's offices for a whole month. Boy oh boy, one day I've got to get myself in a magazine. I'd be like Aunty Lindo in Joy Luck Club and march through Chinatown holding my magazine across my chest. "You see? Waverly chess champion!"
This morning, I found myself on the receiving end of a mass e-mail from Jason. Turns out, Jason and John are featured in 10 to Watch in California Home+Design where Jason described San Francisco as "increasingly historicist". What the fuck! Who are these people and why have they been holding out on me?!? Jason gets to be famous now? Please. I talked that man into plaid pants.
So if these three get to be featured on glossies which proclaim them gorgeous geniuses with cool jobs, I want in. Although I lack the looks, the genius and the cool job. But I won't let that stop me. I'll just, maybe, you know, lower my standards.
So here's my Top 10 List of Magazines I might be able to get in:
10: Highlights
9: Our Lady of the Little Lamb Parish Newsletter
8: Auto Trader
7: Genesis
6: Tiger Beat
5: TV Guide
4: Chicks That Are Friends With Sensitive Men Monthly
3: US en Espanol
2: Senior Living
1: Bird Talk
Congratulations Jason, John and Adam! I sincerely look forward to reaping the benefits of whatever success this publicity brings you...

one of the better sunday nights of my life...

I'm saving last night's black tie gay Republican wedding for the Culture Blog, but I'd just like to point out that someone who has a freeway named after them choked on their filet mignon and was taken out of the City Club in a stretcher! It was tremendously exciting...

Friday, October 17, 2008

i used to be so connected...

I was working last on Wednesday so Hastings Chris swung by my office, where we hung out for awhile and then headed up to my folks'. I'd called to alert them of our post-dinner presence and by the time we got there, my dad had prepared homemade hot chocolate and my mother requested that we all retire to the living room.
What the fuck? I thought we'd raid their fridge and watch some Hitchcock. Oh no! My parents had a willing guest who loves talking politics. We were having hot chocolate and rehashing elections. Terrific. Anyway, turns out that my dad wrote on his blog that apparently, presidential polls might be wrong because some people claim to be voting for Barack but are secretly racist and would never vote for a black person. As my mom pointed out, this is known as The Bradley Effect.
"Why?"
"It's named after Tom Bradley."
My father leapt up from his chair and raced to his office. "You remember Tom Bradley, Bethy. You met him!" He returned with a photo which I'd seen up in his office for years. Many moons ago, dad dragged me along on another one of his boring political field trips and we took a photo with a bunch of old people. Having a parent that's involved in local politics means you get to cut the ribbon on drugstore openings, ride in small town parades and sit through a lot of boring-as-fuck meetings. Often times, my dad would just hand me a piece of 'City of Mill Valley' letterhead and a felt tip pen and tell me to draw for 2 hours. And, as evidenced in this photo, let me dress myself. That's my mom's B of A t-shirt she probably got at some team building exercise (oh yeah, Joanne was a hardcore banker back in the day) and clearly, my leggings and prominently displayed nametag.

Check out Alan Cranston standing behind me! He was in the Keating Five with John McCain! I would like to point out that other than me, my dad and Babs, all of the people in this photo are dead, including my good friend JoHanna, the only person in this photo (other than my dad) who knew who the fuck I was. Chris called me the Angel of Death and vowed never to get his picture taken with me. I forget who those other guys are, but maybe dad'll hook us up in the comments. All I remember is that they're definitely deceased.

Conversation moved onto the upcoming MILK movie, because I'm working on my proposal of San Francisco's newest tourist attraction, "Dan White's City Hall." How great would this tour be? You know how I love a dicey murder and all the better, my old man knew both victims and that kooky shooter. I find this a far cooler fact about pops than him letting me cut ribbons at drugstore openings. Much to Chris and my delight, dad starts talking about the day the shit went down, how he and his cronies were running around the city and ran into Willie buying a tie at Wilkes, how Dan hated my 'Uncle' Phil with a passion and then dad provided us with the quote of the evening:

"This movie being about Milk is bullshit. He was a fucking supervisor. Big deal. He coulda been in the bathroom and missed the whole thing. He just happened to be sitting in his office and Dan figured, fuck it. Dan wanted to kill George."

Interestingly, and I would assume, not in the movie, there were two gay leaders in San Francisco at this time. Harvey Milk and some other dude. Politically, my dad and his cronies were on Team Other Dude. But I'm hardly the person to tell this story. And trust me, it's a great story. Which gives me an idea! I'll Flip-(you for real)-video my dad telling the story! Mel could interview him! Okay, it's in the works. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, here's hoping Barbara Boxer got a new suit...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

who knew ohio was so interesting...

Brock and I pride ourselves on getting each other addicted to new and twisted internet sites. For example, Brock recently introduced me to THIS. (Dibs on January.)
To make it up to him, I brought Brock THIS.
Yep, you guessed it. Clemecy reports for people on Death Row in Ohio.
I stumbled upon this (and really, I'm not being dramatic) LIFE-CHANGING site via some SFGate article about some dude in Ohio who claimed they couldn't kill him because he was too fat. They killed him anyway. Naturally, I clicked the link to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and wandered around. Oh, clemency reports. That sounds interesting.
Whoa.
Name, crime(s), victim(s), backround, whole story, victim's version, witness' version...it's amazing. Now, some of them are kind of boring. I just started clicking on names that sounded interesting. Who knew you could get the death penalty for killing another inmate over changing the TV channel? Snooze. But uh, check out Robert A. Buell, executed September 25, 2002.
Jesus Christ. This is on the internet? Seriously? God, I'm going to have nightmares. Thank you Freedom of Information Act.
Then I got to Jeffrey Lundgren, executed October 24, 2006. Page 5 (not that every page isn't a turner) starts off with, "The Cult."
I'd never downplay any loss of life, but just scroll down (each report is a PDF) to the list of crime(s) and victim(s) and see if it's worth checking out. Murder with a firearm and burglary or robbery with a firearm are kinda boring. Held up a gas station, someone died...what else is new. You can kinda tell when it might be dicey: young victims, certain kinds of assault, multiple dates of murders, etc.
Aside from being horrible and sad, the "Details of the instant offense" are really goddamn interesting, for example, "...he nearly cut off her leg before abandoning the effort." Then it gets pretty fucking wrong, mainly because John Hicks is a fucking psychopath and thus, no longer with us.
Anyway, I'm still torn on the death penalty. Intellectually, I think it's a stupid idea. Let these asshole rot in jail forever. It's cheaper and they'd be denied all this attention and drama. On the other hand, if anyone hurt any of you fine people, well...I'd bring back drawing and quartering...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

dennis farina, ding dong...

Today's Culture Blog is up! And be sure to race home by 5 today. Screw the debate. Unsolved Mysteries is back!

three mean jokes and a you tube...

The internet is the best thing in the word because without the internet, most of you would still be virgins, there'd be no DListed and I'd never have found this:

Now, don't be like Kate and freak out at the talented La Pequena. I'm not sure of the creative process behind the La Pequena phenomenon, but I'm available to do some pro-bono writing for these people, not that I could ever come up with anything as amazing as the magic she's already brought us. 
And now, thanks to my brother, an incredibly offensive joke:

Question: What's the difference between Sarah Palin's mouth and her vagina?
Answer: Only some of the things that come out of her vagina are retarded.

Zing! 

This beats my previous two "most offensive jokes in the world" both of which come from mon frere. 

Question: What's the difference between Heath Ledger and Heath Ledger jokes?
Answer: Heath Ledger jokes get old. 

Question: What's the opposite of Christopher Reeve?
Answer: Christopher Walken.

I know, I know. The fires of hell are nipping at my feet. 
Viva La Pequena!!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

devil island is perfectly fine, ironically...

What the FUCK!?!?!?!?!
Angel Island is on fire?
The first thing I do every morning, other than pee, confirm the schedule with Mel, check Bunrabs, e-mail Dallas, steal my roommate's Diet Coke, brush my teeth, shove a Lean Cuisine in my purse for work, remember where I parked and re-heat yesterday's coffee is to check Facebook.
Which is how I found out that Angel Island is on fire! Right now!
Hey, I'm from Marin. That's OUR island. I have no idea how many field trips have taken me out there or how many times my parents tried to have a family day and ferry our bikes on those shitty paths. But I do remember when the dreaded Sail Camp had an overnight on a big fancy sail boat and we all slept in sleeping bags on the deck. Dude, they sell track meet nachos at the little shithole right where the ferry drops you off. You've got to love Angel Island.
Which is, according to a random Facebook friend I've never met and now, SFGate, on fire.
Okay, well I'm about to drive across the Big Net! I'll keep you posted, but just for the record because I know one or two of you, and certainly my mother is wondering if I started it.
Um, bitches. Probably not...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

easy like sunday morning...

The birds are singing, the sun is shining, women wear hats to church!
I love Sundays.
Why?
Because nothing kicks of the last day of freedom like Willie Brown's column in the Chronicle. I know a number of people who think this is the first sign of the Apocalypse, it's a conflict of interest, it's a ridiculous old weirdo and he's not really saying much of anything.
Love. It. Love. Willie.
I'll admit, I've always loved Willie Brown. The man stood to meet me. STOOD. So there's that, and really, I will never get over it. He could kill a member of my kin and I'd be all, "Well, he stands to greet a lady, folks. He can't be all bad." Furthermore, he's a snappy dresser and enjoys discussing what a snappy dresser he is. I'm sure Willie and I could spend hours in his closet(s), pouring over each and every argyle sock. "Oh, Wills. I'm dying over this camel hair blazer! Which scarf do you pair it with?" He claims to be a heart-breaking cad, but he's been married to the same chick named Blanche (!) for 534 years, knocked out a baby with a campaign fundraiser, whom he describes as classy and hangs out with the same fabulous vixen at every event, Sonya Somethingcomplicated. Willie Brown was the Master of Ceremonies at a dinner for Jim Jones. JIM JONES! My god, he arrived at his own inauguration in a horse-drawl carriage. What is not to love?
The best part of today's column is the following, regarding the economy and how it's dramatically affected Da Mayor:
Even the upper crust is feeling the pinch. People are still showing up at charity events, but they're buying only single and double tickets, not whole tables like they once did.
I used to get invited by three or four different people to sit at their tables. Now I'm having to work for my free admission. I either have to be an auctioneer or a speechmaker or something else.

Nooooooooo!!!!!!
But my personal highlight of today's piece is Willie working the jeans and blazer combo. It's goddamn fabulous and a step in the right direction, as far as I'm concerned.
Say what you will, but admit it, you secretly love him. OMG, you SO do...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

jump up, jump up and get down...

They're going to put a net underneath the Golden Gate Bridge? Seriously?
It's going to look like a Trapeze Act!
I already walk across that thing, look down and think to myself, "Shit, I could totally make that."
Now they'll be a net to catch me!
How do you get out of the net? How far from the water is said net? Can cruise ships still get underneath it? Will the silhouette of the Bridge look like it's wearing a diaper? Exectly how many protesters will jump down there to save the starfish? Exectly how many deranged people will throw their kids onto the net? Can they put some lettering on the net hat says "Don't Do it!"? Will the net be filled with plastic balls? Will someone be selling "I just off the GGB and all I got was this lousy t-shirt"? Will the building of this net affect my commute?
I think this net thing is a stupid idea, although I don't know a soul who jumped off the Bridge. But I have seen The Bridge about 1000 times, so I feel like I'm nearing expert status on this sad phenomenon.

Friday, October 10, 2008

we would tell you what iuju means, but then we'd have to kill you...

This day cannot be described on my blog, save to say that you will one day read about it in an airport bookstore book or hear about it while mascara runs down my face on Oprah and/or YouTube.
And then this bitch goes and tries to steal my thunder.
Shit, I can't catch a break...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

shut up, i'm having a moment...

Okay, back to the really important issues: Part 2 of the Griffwood's weekend in wine country!
Here's Part 1.
As we drove up to Healdsburg, Mel asked me about the bride, my friend Christine who Mel'd never met.
"You will be fast friends, trust me. Christine is great. Great! I like her A LOT. You know those people you really like? She's one of those."
Christine had arranged for her BFF from San Diego (Shannon) to get a 2 bedroom place, which Mel and I gladly split. "We're staying with strangers. I have no idea what to expect."
God bless her, Mel responded, "Sounds good to me."
We finally arrived to the wedding reception and waltzed in, rudely late but delighted to find flip flop clad, already tipsy people 'our age' lounging around this fabulous estate in the middle of a vineyard. Immediately, we found Christine.
"Hey bitch! We were wondering about you!"
"God." I gushed. "I'm so sorry we're so late." Obviously, lunch had been served sans us. Shit!
"Who cares! You're here! I'm so happy! And this is Melissa! I know everything about you, Griffin. Relax, guys. Welcome!"
Melissa grabbed my arm. "I like her."
Told you.
Then we met Christine's dad, Steve. "Oh! You gals want a 'Leg Spreader'?"
I clutched my pearls. Mel got a glimpse of her childhood. Basically vodka, ice cream and a raw egg, I dumped my Leg Spreader in a potted plant. Mel asked for a bigger glass. We awkwardly mingled for a moment until the bride announced we were about to play a game.
Talk-To-Strangers Bingo requires that we wander around this house and find someone who's lived in Mexico, owns a farm animal, shot a gun, etc.
"Hey, Steve." Someone asked. "Ever shot a gun?"
Steve put down his Leg Spreader. "Anyone Vietnamese here?"
Silence.
"In that case, yes."
Melissa spun around, grabbed my shoulders and whispered, "Thank you."
Then we met our recently-engaged roommates. After 30 hours together, I feel like I know them too well to describe them with an accessible "celeb. equiv."
Shannon: Reese Witherspoon
Anthony: Tyson Beckford
The party was fabulous, cupcakes were available, I found a gay. And while the shindig took a humiliating turn for the worse when a fellow guest named 'Daisy' and I had to pop water balloons with our bodies, Melissa won the mummy wrapping contest. 
Momentarily, I was reminded of that horrible high school freshman orientation, where 300 nervous, awkward teenagers were forced to pass oranges with their necks. But then again, Christine was there for that dreadful moment. So makes sense that she'd, you know, MAKE ME POP A WATER BALLOON AGAINST SOMEONE ELSE'S BODY. 
Well, at least I won a scented candle. 
Anyway, Shannon, Anthony, Mel and I decided to go back to our place and grab power naps. Shannon had managed to find a gorgeous 2 bedroom apartment on a private property in the middle of a vineyard. It was cute, it was cheap and most importantly, it was convenient. Right on the main road into Healdsburg, we parked our cars in the driveway and dozed off. The nest thing I know, Melissa's shaking me awake. "What are you, dead?!?! Get up!"
We joined the crew at the Healdsburg Bar and Grill (dude, get the pulled pork slider) and learned the songs Anthony sings to his class. 
Oh yeah, Anthony? Kindergarten teacher. 
"You're just gonna be you, and I'm just gonna be me and that's the way it's gonna be."
Anthony and Shannon decided to head home around 10pm, but not before providing me with a detailed map of the TWO turns we'd need to get home. Uber-conscientious, Shannon even made sure I had her cell number and understood which direction to head. 
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we got it. 
Mel and I hung out with some other wedding guests until splitting to grab some provisions (I'm not going to even get into the complex story of why we felt the need to buy what we felt the need the buy). Driving around, Mel found a Safeway which much to out horror, appeared to be closed. Frustrated, we sat in Rhonda the Honda, split a cigarette and took stock of our surroundings. Which is when we spotted an old hatchback. 
"Shit, Mel. That car looks like evidence."
Seriously, it really did. It probably had fingerprint dust around the door handles. Blue light that thing and that Datsun'd be like a bloody lighthouse. Trust me, the owner of that car is under a log and some brush with their jeans around their knees. 
We decided to head home. But now, which way we goin'?
Apparently 4 minutes away from our pied-a-terre and yet 30 minutes later, we were parked in the middle of a vineyard, lost and laughing so hard we could barely breathe. Rhonda the Honda went up and down Dry Creek Road a good 8 or 9 times, windows open, her headlights the only illumination for miles. Anthony and Shannon had warned us how pitch black it'd get. I decided to pull over and test this. "Hey, let's see how dark it is."
I flicked off the headlights in dead silence. I cannot describe the darkness that surrounded us, but it was pierced with screams and hollers, Melissa grabbing at the overhead light and gasping, "Never do that again!"
Back on our same stretch of road, though, she was singing a different tune. 
"Who cares if we're lost. Just keep driving forever. I love this!"
I've got to admit, we had the best day. Really, the BEST day. And now it was midnight, we were apparently yards from our big, comfy bed with blankies and pillows, the trunk was filled with wine and snacks, the windows were all open with warm air messing up our hair, we sang along to any song on the radio...I don't want to sound like an eHarmony ad, but I cannot describe how much fun we were having, lost and dateless on a Saturday night 75 miles from civilization. 
On our way up there, we both agreed it was time for us to return to wine country. I don't want to get sappy, but our friendship is like a marriage. We needed to get out of Dodge, take two days and just do friend shit. And here we were, at midnight, in the middle of some grape vines, laughing so hard we could barely call Shannon for help. But we had to. 
Hey, we avoided being a cock block as long as we could. But by this point, we'd been enjoying being lost for a fucking long time. Shannon and Anthony are engaged. They can have sex for the rest of their lives. They can certainly go without tonight. 
Anthony answered, "Which one is it?"
"Beth."
"You lost?"
"How'd you guess. Hey asshole, I'm just gonna be me."
He gave us the address again and alerted us that garbage cans were at the end of the driveway. Hey, guess what happens on garbage night, John Kimball? Garbage cans are at the end of everyone's driveway.
Turns out, we were 2 driveways away. 
We made our way up to the apartment, crawled in bed and laughed until the next thing I knew, it was morning. Again, sapster here, but I got up, got dressed and looked out the window
I love it up there, I really do. I was all Diane Lane movie, looking out the window as the mist rolled over the vineyards. Every direction was like a douche commercial, it was so oddly perfect and directed to attract women of advancing age. 
I went for a walk. I wrapped a pashmina around myself, pretended I was a famous person trying to "get away from it all" and strolled. We weren't anywhere near town. We were in the middle of a vineyard. So I just walked. And walked. And looked around. And then walked some more. 
I came "home" and made coffee, what with the provided Peet's and all.
Around 10, I crawled back in bed. Now it was my turn to wake this bitch up. 
"Why are you awake?!?" Mel covered her head with a pillow.
"Get up. We have wineries to visit and..."
"Outlets!"
Yep, she was up. Which brings me to Part 3. And Part 4? Well, that's when I tell you about our new friend we call, "Bong Water," a term I should point out, was ripped off from Mr. X. It's how he refers to his daughter's boyfriend. Anyway, take me anywhere past Petaluma and I fall madly in love with life. 
And food.
And wine. 
And discounted designer apparel...

*videos to come, I think...

brock was there too!

Today's Culture Blog is up! It's all about me and Mos Def canoodling...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

pbs gwen can suck it...

If you're going to be in my ghetto-ass, crime-filled hood this evening, or simply wish to stalk my best friend, come on down to the District 9 Supervisorial Debate, moderated by my constant companion and frequent wedding date, Melissa Leigh Griffin!
The crew (sans Vansmack who felt some need to go to Ohio and make people vote) will be kicking it in either the front or last row, depending on how inappropriate we're being. I understand security's already been alerted to our giggly presence.
Come on down and bask in the burrito-scented glow of democracy...

Monday, October 06, 2008

we also passed an orchard supply hardware. we shoulda stopped there...

As Melissa and I raced up to wine country, we realized it. 
"Oh my god, we haven't brought a gift!"
The bride, my beloved friend Christine is famous for showing up to any event with far more goods than any guest should bring. Steen's brought birthday cakes for people she's never met, thoughtful and wrapped baubles she'd remembered from a 3 year old conversation... Shit, she once showed up to a dinner for 10 with a case of wine. 
Not only were Mel and I late, we were empty-handed. For Christine's wedding BBQ, of all things. 
Fuck, fuck, fuck. 
Well, golly. This shindig was being held in the middle of a vineyard. We'll stop at a winery and pick up a coupla bottles of something fancy. But following the complex roads to our destination, Mel and I realized our predicament. All we were passing were grape vines and the occasional private residence.
Fuck, fuck, fuck.
"Well, we have $112 in cash. 'Excuse me, sir. Do you have anything unopened?'"
Mel and I found this increasingly hilarious as we screeched into the first winery we saw. A charming woman guarded the gate. "Hello!" we squealed. "We are going to a party at the No Name Resort. We're empty handed. Help!"
Our lovely guard revealed said winery didn't open until 3pm. It was of course, 2pm. Again, fuck! But guard did guide us down the road. "It's either right before or directly behind the No Name. I can't remember. They'll sell you something. Good luck!"
As we drove away, Mel erupted into laughter. "Best case scenario, we arrive with wine from the joint next door.
'My, what an amazing coincidence. You don't say! We had no idea!' 
"Oh Bethy, we're screwed."
Suddenly, we spotted an open tasting room. And while it was "By Appt. Only" we decided to take our chances. We pulled on to this 'appt. only' joint that doesn't deserve a link. As we walked up the front steps to a glass-doored, gorgeous tasting room, a woman came running out to meet us. She appeared horrified.
"Hi!" We gushed. "We have no appointment and we're dreadful. We're so sorry. We're on our way to a party and we're empty handed and we need two bottles of wine as soon as possible. Is there any way you can help us?"
She looked us up and down.
"Well, we have a very complex blend of several local vineyards that's similar to a lighter Zinfandel. It sells for $40. Otherwise, (her voice dropped to a whisper, still keeping us at the doorway) the rest of our bottles start at $200."
Fuck you, sweater set. "We'll take two forties."
Nervously, she brought us inside, where we noticed a table beautifully set up for a fancy 6 person wine-tasting, (but only two men were inside, shooting us dirty looks.) 
Um, you're in a Nehru collar, douche. Relax. 
"How would you like to pay for this?"
She asked as if we might not have any currency. Christ, she was almost shaking faced with our ghetto presence. 
Oh, we'd like to barter. We've got some Nars lipgloss and a couple of Luna Bars. 
"Cash. Thank you so much. We're so sorry to bother you."
Her pained expression accepted our bills with a look of confusion and disgust. "Leave it to us to roll into Opus One." Mel hissed. "What's with the whisper? What is she, performing surgery?"
Eventually, we made it to the party, WITH GIFTS, where I got in a water balloon fight, Mel was dressed as a mummy, and we met someone now known as 'bong water.' Stay tuned... 

Friday, October 03, 2008

congratulations christine and van!!!

This weekend, the Missus and I are heading up to Napa for Christine and Van's Wedding.
Well, not really their wedding, so much, as their post-wedding pool party/wine tour extravaganza.
You see, Christine and Van decided to get married by themselves on a beach in Mexico.

I have known Christine since freshman year of high school. She was way cooler than me, with a million friends, life experience (she drank beer once!) and hipper clothes. But Christine and I had one very important thing in common. Christine is fucking weird. I mean it. Really goddamn weird. She's a sassy bar wench who shoots out one-liners that will blow your mind. And weird.
More importantly, Christine is loyal. In dramatic, generous, non-judgemental ways. She is kind and smart and above all else, funny. And I don't throw that "chicks are funny" nonsense around hoy paloy. Van is sweet and mellow and friendly and equally weird. The two of them are always up for anything and always show up with everything.

I really, really, really like both of them. Which is good. Because Mel and I are sharing a 2 bedroom hotel suite with some random wedding attendees from San Diego and may, weather permitting, don swimsuits before these people. Anyway, congratulations Christine and Van! I can't wait to be inappropriate to your families...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

there should be a bill wilson 12 step program...

It won't be easy, you'll think it strange
When I try to express how I feel
That I still need your love
After all that I've done...

Oh, terrific. An orange shirt. This goes with everything. Thanks.

Seriously. Note the prescision. This must have taken hours.

I don't know who she is or what she's doing inside that shirt, but I like this girl. I like her a lot.

Seriously, I don't have to wear this, right?

(I have no words. I'm rolling around on the floor laughing and crying and loving life. God, how I wish that were me. Check out the kid on the left. "I'm next!")
Don't feel bad, sir. This is how he shakes my hand too.
Come on. I mean it. Come ON.
This is why I do what I do.

One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just isn't the same.

Whenever I wake up feeling glum, I know a of a little place called Bill Wilson Photos, where I'll find joy and comfort and oddities and Armani...