Thursday, October 30, 2008
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.
"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
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)
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
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*
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."
"Nope, Eunice. Nice try, tho."
"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...
Monday, October 27, 2008
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."
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."
"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."
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."
Thursday, October 23, 2008
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?
My Uncle Ted, in his kind attempt to have high-end charcuterie delivered to my door had scared the living shit out of me.
My dad's an only child. My mom had two brothers, Bill and Ted.
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
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
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.
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?
One of these people is running for Supervisor and one of these people is Jesus.
Monday, October 20, 2008
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:
9: Our Lady of the Little Lamb Parish Newsletter
8: Auto Trader
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...
Friday, October 17, 2008
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.
"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
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.
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
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I love Sundays.
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.
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
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
And then this bitch goes and tries to steal my thunder.
Shit, I can't catch a break...
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
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."
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?"
"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
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
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
Friday, October 03, 2008
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.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Oh, terrific. An orange shirt. This goes with everything. Thanks.
Seriously. Note the prescision. This must have taken hours.
Seriously, I don't have to wear this, right?
Don't feel bad, sir. This is how he shakes my hand too.
Come on. I mean it. Come ON.
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...