Friday, February 27, 2009

boats and hoes...

The last time I hung out with Big Chris, I may have stormed out of the bar in a sober huff. After two months, I'd finally had it with him referring to my stint in rehab as "the funny farm." I think I may have scared him with my "suddenly turning into a chick" and last night, he was on his best behavior. It lasted about 10 minutes into our dinner at The Front Porch before he started in with, "So , get a load of what happened with this chick I was banging."
Turns out, Chris has been hooking up with a young woman who he finally decided to take to dinner at a "expensive as fuck fish joint." Apparently, she was grilling him hard about his job and his family. "I just made shit up." Chris explained, and eventually took her home, where her roommate was "being a cock block" and wouldn't retreat to her room. In the morning, Chris left and later in the day received the following text. "Hey Chris, thank you for dinner last night. I don't think we should see each other any more. We don't really have anything in common. Take care." That's close to verbatim, as Chris has the message "burned into (his) mind."
I was livid. It's one thing for ME to regard Chris as an incredibly offensive man-child who has "dress Nikes" and judges every man he meets on whether or not Chris could take him in a fight. It's entirely another for some 26 year old skank to blow off my Big Chris.
Chris was only mad she chose to be upfront as opposed to the much appreciated blow-off.
"I know!" I agreed with him. "That's so unnecessary."
Chris shrugged. "Whatever. She served her purpose."
I then asked what exactly he said at dinner. Apparently, the young woman's name was Pam so Chris decided to re-enact THIS SCENE from the movie Step Brothers all night long.
Alas, Pam had not seen Step Brothers and was not amused.
Anyway, after our very well-behaved, grown-up dinner where I was informed I needed to date men "who don't talk to their mother everyday and love to re-do their closets," we headed to Pop's, a dive bar up the street from our usual barstools at Dirty Thieves. Chris, it seems, has been stealing his cable and finally got busted. He now only has 9 channels, one of which being PBS. Forced to watch it, he literally knew every bizarre, random trivia answer on Jeopardy. Watching Chris watch Jeopardy is like watching Jeopardy with Rain Man. Chris also spent Valentine's Day stuck on the Oxygen women's channel, enjoying Bridget Jones' Diary and Love Actually. "I had to get in touch with my feminine side before I went the the bars because I wanted to get my knob polished, WHICH I DID."
Finally, Chris once again regaled me with my favorite Big Chris topic, the names of people on his college basketball team. "Oh, you mean Santonio? LaRoger? Or Coco's sons, Armando and Cervando? Then there was Milt, who we called Chocolate Milt...because he's black." I can't explain it, but hearing Chris go on and on about his glory days on the court cracks me up. He now plays on a co-ed adult team, which he regards at the "low point of (his) athletic career."
While I will never date Big Chris much less sleep with him, I have to say he is one my favorite people I have ever met in my entire life.
And while he drives me nuts, mocks me incessantly and leaves my home unlocked long after I've gone to bed and he's ordered Pay Per View on my television, you know what? Pam can go fuck herself...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

needless to say, i've got a couple of re-watches on my to-do list...

I can't remember exactly where I heard about this movie, but I vaguely recall awards buzz about Catherine Keener's performance and when I heard the words 'torture', 'basement' and 'true story', I immediately made a point of figuring out what the hell people were talking about.
An American Crime is the true story of Sylvia Likens' horrible death in 1960's Indiana and you guys...oh my god. Link
I watched the movie at home and alone, which was probably a bad idea because I needed to both discuss it and drink heavilly. Relax, I did neither. You know what I did do? Psychotic research on the case and trial.
Basically, here's what went down:
Sylvia and her sister, Jenny were 16 and 15, 2 of 5 Likens kids who were, this sounds weirder than it was, carnival workers. Having met Gertie Baniszewski, the Likens' agreed to pay her $20 a month to take care of Sylvia and Jenny during carnie season. Due to typical teenage girl shit between Gertie's daughter and Sylvia, poor Sylvia becomes vilified, abused, tortured and ultimately, murdered by Gertie, her family and the kids in the neighborhood. Basically, Sylvia is kept in the basement and used as a punching bag by any white trash spawn within 20 blocks.
The movie's bracing enough. But uh, going online and digging around, the story is way more horrific than the movie portrayed and thus to me, more interesting.
I won't get into it here because it'll freak out my mother but HERE YOU GO.
They branded "I'm a prostitute and proud of it" on her torso, you know, for fun.
I'm amazed I've never heard of Sylvia before, as this kind of sad, tragic and dicey story is right up my alley. So if anyone's got anymore of these, send 'em my way. And please watch this movie because I really need someone with whom to discuss it...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

please let it be gay...

Today's Culture Blog is up, friends. Enjoy it...

"so, uh, do the guns work?" -tara

Once again, my father's lunch group has provided a bizarre, fascinating experience. Dad's friend Neil invited Mel and me for breakfast on a submarine this morning, and as Mel was busy cranking out her column, I brought along Tar Baby. I think I'll save our Crimson Tide experience for later, but bless her, Tara's a trooper...

Monday, February 23, 2009

i guess alaska wasn't invited...

Apparently, the Obamas hosted some kind of Oscar Party last night. It looks like just about every governor was there, and while our eyes were glued to Hollywood, there were some serious fashion don'ts strutting through the White House. I guess there's a law against political wives hiring stylists, because these ladies need to crack open a Vogue. Christ, I'd settle for a Lands End catalog, these Mrs. are such MISSES! (Oh. Oh, I really hate myself for that.)Thank God he's blind. As Melissa would say, "It's called Spanx."
This dress retails for $198. How do I know? Um, I've seen it 462 times at Nordstrom and always wondered who's mom would buy it. Now we know. Thank you South Dakota.
Oh, and I'll tell you why she bought it, although it requires an embarassing confession on my part. I tried it on (in black, at least, out of last minute desperation) and discovered it runs huge. So if you're a size 12 in real life, you're an 8 in this dress. Sold!
Leave it to Utah. Her shoes remind me of Triumph the Insult Dog.
Virgina, folks. Like you had to guess.
I was a huge loser in high school. Like painful, horrible, freak show. It's people like this that made me feel slightly better about myself. Although she's married to the Governor of Virginia and I'm...Fucked.
She made this, didn't she? It was part of some Colorado State creativity contest for unemployed women and of course, the Governor's wife had to painfully participate. Is it made out of posterboard and glitter? And who'd she use for a fit model? Her husband?

In the great words of Montell Jordan, this is how we do it...

apples can skip generations...

My mother, God bless her, has random old pictures scanned onto her computer, mostly for the purpose of making memorial handouts for funerals. I've discovered a cache of photos of my Grandmother on here, my mom's mom who if you'll recall, I had a rollercoaster of a relationship with. They say relationships can be like that because two people are so similar to one another. Me similar to my grandmother? Please.
Anyway, I came upon one fabulous photo of what appeared to be a dinner party. Now, you'll notice my Grandpa standing in the middle, a little to the right. He basically looked exactly like that when he was 40 and when he was 80. He's staring straight at the camera. So is everyone else. Even the guy on the left realized at the last minute he needed to turn his head, creating a blur.
Not my grandmother. Can you pick her out? Yep. She's the one staring off into the distance. She probably held that pose the second that camera came out of someone's handbag. Why? Because that's her good side.

This is when I miss my Grandma, when she does fabulous shit like this. It was my inherited Grandma-isms that first endeared me to the gays, and still do in fact. I just taught Brock how to pose so your face looks as thin as humanely possible, a trick I learned from my Grandmother. The only problem with these little tricks is that when you're photographed in a group, as evidenced above, you've really got to get everyone to go along with you for it to work. In retrospect, my Grandma probably would've looked less weird had she screamed, "Hey! What's over there?!?" Then everyone would have been romantically gazing off to their right. I bet you anything if my Grandmother was alive today and I passive-aggressively asked her where she was looking, she'd lie and say she was admiring a painting. But I'd know, and she'd know. That's her good side...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

jai ho!

I'm being very sensitive now that I'm on the wagon not to be one of those horrible teetotalers who's convinced everyone on Earth is an addict. But trust me. Sofia Loren was stoned.
Maybe it was her kooky dress from outer space, but by the time she made it on stage for the impossibly long thespian awards, Strega Nona'd had, as my father would say, a coupla pops. All the hair on one side of her head was messed up, as if she'd been woken just in time to stumble on stage and she was hiding her slurring behind that accent, but I'm daygo enough to know the difference...

slow news day...

Has anyone else noticed the news keeps announcing "Chanda Levy killer arrest any second now!"? All day yesterday and all day today, I've been waiting with baited breath for this "imminent" arrest. Who, why, how'd they figure it out? What's Gary Condit have to say about all this and why is this goddamn arrest taking so long?
Reports state that it's definitely a man named Ingmar who's only 27 years old and currently serving 10 years for another crime. Apparently, Ingmar was a suspect right from the beginning but Gary was acting so suspiscious, all the focus turned to him. Asshole.
Anyway, he owns an ice cream store in Arizona now, lest you worry karma hasn't taken her hold.
In other unnecessary news, Big Chris texted me this afternoon asking if I wanted to grab dinner tonight.
"It's the Oscars!" I responded.
"Shit, Beth. Didn't we just watch that 2 weeks ago?"
The man really does have his finger on the pulse...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

safe travels, devinebitzji!

The Brians hosted a lovely tea party this afternoon  as our pal Pooja just returned from India and the Brians are off to explore her homeland for three weeks themselves. They leave on Tuesday and I couldn't miss this opportunity to hear all about Pooj's trip and send off my boys. Also, Brian made shortbread. 
I could not be more jealous of these three as India has always been at the top of my travel list. I love the people, the colors, the clothes, the food, the movies...I've got an itch only India can scratch!
Pooj claims her Hindi is horrible, but she still filled us in on a few cultural customs. For example, I asked what the Brians should call their driver, the man who'd be chauffeuring them around for 20 days. After all, we had a copy of his resume and thus, knew his relatively complicated name.
"Should they call him by his first name." I asked, hoping against hope the answer was no and would be really interesting. It was!
No, Pooja explained. They shouldn't. Drivers are considered a step up from servants, more skilled and as Brian L. pointed out, holding one's life in their hands as opposed to serving tea. They should be addressed by their last name, with 'ji' on the end. So if I was your driver, you'd say, "Hey Spotswoodji, kick up the radio." 
Based upon this tidbit alone, I am even more desperate to get my American ass to India.

Okay, maybe it's not exactly like that. But it's gotta be close...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"You might be a redneck, or know someone who is, but Jerky also appeals to classy women..."

If you've been around me in the past two months, odds are, we've discussed jerky. It's my new thing, and if you want to get me going on a roll, bring up dried beef. I'm all over it.
Immediately after I emerged from rehab, my family went to Ireland for Christmas where I had a bag of jerky on my person at all times. I'd grown addicted as jerky was easily available in the rehab gift shop and gave me some street cred to all the redneck junkies. Hastings, horrified to discover my gas station snack on one of his dutiful weekly rehab visits, was determined to find me a classy version, so he marched me into St. Helena's Dean & DeLuca and demanded to know where the fancy jerky was. They had none.
Hence, gas station jerky is a big part of my life right now. My mother noted this and smirked. "Why are you eating that trucker food, Beth?"
Ha! Shows what you know. "Uh, mom, you're obviously not aware that this whole bag has like 200 calories, no fat and 40 grams of protein."
"What!?!? Lemme try!"
And with that, I'd recruited another resident into my wonderful world of beef jerky.
Needless to say, the second I saw an in, I brought up jerky last night. Eve and Brock have these little, exclusive blogger get-togethers on occasion, or so they finally told me YESTERDAY and I was begrudgingly allowed to attend. I'm probably not even allowed to talk about it so don't bring it up or I'll be sleeping with the fishes. Anyway, Jackson made some comment about cross-addicting and I saw an opening. "I've cross-addicted to jerky!"
To which Tim, the man who brought us Inca Cola, announced, "Have you had Jeff Foxworthy's beef jerky?"
Apparently, it's available at Safeway, but I'm embarrassed to tell you I went directly to Safeway after leaving my friends for the sole purpose of finding Jeff Foxworthy jerky and alas, they didn't have it.
I know what you're thinking and no, I did not ask. My Safeway isn't the kind of place you want to ask questions. As I checked out with my shitty Safeway-brand jerky, the (insert politically correct word for retarded) bagger said "Happy Birthday! Merry Christmas!" I didn't want to stick around for the answer to "Do you have Jeff Foxworthy beef jerky?"
I did, however, google it today. Please, Dear God, please check out this website. Not only am I proud to be a jerky-loving American, but I'm delighted we're ALL included somewhere in this:
You might be a redneck, or know someone who is, but Jerky also appeals to classy women, anglers, hikers, skiiers, snowboarders, hunters, extreme sporters and the dietary concious (sic).
I'm particularly fond of the Testimonials section, especially customer Ned Sanders, from Chico, CA who had this to say: "I have dealt with a lot of people on the interntet but this guy is the best!!!!! A++++++Quick" and Mike Honcho, location unknown who reported, "When I went away one summer to community college, I discovered your jerky. It's some of the best around!"
Some of the best around? I've got to get my hands on Jeff Woxworthy's jerky! (You know, I never thought I'd utter that sentence, but it's the truth.) And while you've visiting the Testimonials page, do yourself a favor and scroll down to the "Jeff Foxworthy Jerky Enhances Lives" letter. Pure jerky gold, I tell you.
I can only hope to one day be so famous as to have my own line of beef jerky. Until then, I'm comin' to find you, Jeff...

quote of my wednesday...

Brock: I'm taking DanActive once a day. It's fabulous.
Eve: Oh, that's really interesting. How long do you have to take that until you grow a vagina?

well, this explains it...

Baby Mop from Chris Milk on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

for some reason, i see him getting pissy if it's a girl...

I hope a certain Newsom fan doesn't starting drinking when she hears this news.
Awww, that's some cold shit. Touche, islandburner. 
So Gavin's officially knocked up Swiss Miss. We all knew this news was bound to happen, what with Gavin's smoldering magnetism just walking by him makes me consider taking the morning after pill. You know, just in case. 
There's much rumbling that this "blessing" is some sort of gubernatorial campaign ploy, which is both gross and fascinating. I mean, how might that happen? "Hey baby, I'm going to be running for governor so, you know, get the turkey baster."
I'm confused. 
Anyway, I won't be bitter or snarky about this miracle of nature at all. It's the new me! Congratulations Gavin and Jennifer. I hope you have a happy, healthy baby who will only serve to further complicate your divorce.
I'm guessing they'll name this little bundle of cashmere-swaddled joy something like Madison or Wyatt and it'll inherit a love of Africa and vague expressions. 
Anyway you cut it, I've got fodder for what? 5 months? Not bad...

i've been getting news like this shit all week long...

Word on the street, or at least my in-box is that the Newsoms are expecting...a goddamn child!
More on this after I calm down. As you may have heard, I had a little tantrum caught on tape, but bear in mind, what you are about to see is immediately after I heard this "happy" news.

brace for impact...

Today's Culture Blog is up!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

i'm making no promises on day 91...

Today is my 90 Days Sober! 
Actually, I just realized this by noting the date. It's not like I've been keeping close track. And I'm not doing the month math, but basically November 17th, 2008 was my first full 24 hours of sobriety. So three months. Three often very long months. One of my rehab co-drunks called me, having sweetly remembered and congratulated me. I don't know there's really  lot of congratulating to do. I mean, what are you supposed to say? Great job not falling off the wagon? Kudos for hanging on for dear life? Nice work on reclaiming your dignity? Um, thanks. 
My rehab friend asked what "tools" I've been using and in detailing them, I figured they might work for everyone. Other than my deep breathing exercises, which in a very un-like me twist, actually work, here's my Top 5 things to do when I'm ready to kill for a cocktail:
5. Target. I got to Target and give myself a $50 allowance. It takes me a good 2 hours and by the time I'm in the Boots cosmetics section, I can make it one more day without 10 martinis.
4. This song. And this song. And this song
3. I actually made this
2. I've watched Shawshank Redemption a good 53 times in the past 90 days. "Oh god, Oh god, I need a case of wine and...Oh. Shawshank. Ahhhhhh."
1. And finally, I conduct entire, self-sufficient fashion shows in my home with existing clothing and accessories, just interchanged to create new looks. I know what you're thinking, and I don't really care because a) it keeps me off the streets and b) I had no idea I could pair my H&M jacket with my Eileen Fisher dress, Target belt and a beret...

;) is for losers...

Much like the inspirational quotes at the end of an e-mail, I'm officially doing away with any type of punctuation "face." I've heard various arguments all weekend long in their defense. Apparently, they provide some sort of unspoken nuance, particularly the winking smiley face.
"It's really difficult to express tone in e-mails. Emoticons let someone know if you're kidding or flirting."
Nonsense! That's a result of shitty writing skills. If you can't flirt without a semi-colon and a parenthesis, you shouldn't be procreating anyway. And this whole "face" thing leaves just as much room for misinterpretation as anything else. Bad communication skills are bad communication skills, regardless of whether or not the smiley face has it's tongue sticking out.
The jury's still out on instant message emoticon usage, really only because I love that little guy who's laughing so hard, he's literally rolling on the floor laughing, saving one from having to type ROTFL. But that punctuation shit? Over...

Monday, February 16, 2009

the annual meeting of the san francisco chapter of NOW...

The lovely KG took me to dinner at The Moss Room last night. As we caught up over a pork terrine and frisee, I filled her in on an experience I had on my birthday night at Spruce. I was on an animated roll last night which I don't think I'll be able to reproduce here, but basically, as I exited the ladies room, a 20-something woman in a stunning and chic red dress walked in. 
Being in such a fabulous birthday mood and truly believing this dress was to die for, I stopped dead in my tracks. "You look fantastic." I gushed. "That dress is just divine!" 
She stared straight ahead and said a very bored, "Thanks."
Oh hell no. 
Now I will never be nearly as attractive as this woman, nor will one of my tree-trunk-esque arms ever pass through the teeny sleeves of her glamorous frock, but on rare occasion, I've been complimented on my look by unbiased yet obviously sartorially savvy strangers. And you'd think I'm competing in a congeniality contest, I react with such sincere joy and delight. I often begin with "You just made my year!" and follow up with something nice about my new friend, their hair, their bag, their goddamn chapstick. Obviously, I'm no Mother Theresa, but I am a huge connoisseur of public restroom etiquette and "Thanks" does not cut it. Not by a long shot. 
"Maybe she really had to pee." KG offered. 
"Are you kidding?!? Trust me, she had a wait in front of her. It'd take her a good 10 minutes to squeeze her ass outta that dress."
"Well, Beth." KG sighed. "Maybe she's just a bitch."
I'd riled myself back up to the night of the incident. "Oh, there's no maybe about it. I wish I remembered her face. If I ever see her again, I want to be able to give her a little manners lesson." 
"She's probably one of those women that's not friends with other women, which she then brags about to other women." 
"Oh yeah, those. 'I've just never had close girlfriends.' Please. I mean, really. What? You're just surrounded at the sports bar by all of your hot, straight, platonic guy friends, high-fiving and wondering why women never invite you to themed cocktail nights?"
"She thinks women aren't friends with her because they're jealous of her."
"But they're not."
"No. She's just a bitch."
"Who can't even muster a lovely, smiley, sincere ladies room banter."
"The worst kind."
"Ugh, it's a disgrace."
"Yeah, anyway... Oh my God, I love your bracelet!"

Sunday, February 15, 2009

what is this? studio 53?

My Valentine, Brock and I spent the day enjoying the city, lounging at the bar of the Big Four before heading over to the Tonga Room. It's completely unnecessary that people are made to wait in line to get into the bar, as there's always plenty of room. We'd see couple after couple walk in there, look around and think, "That bitch made us wait for no reason." I suspect the line is done to create some sort of late-70's velvet rope mystique, but making 8 people wait by the door only serves to create an Olive Garden vibe, resulting in no one look cool. I'd love to give the Tonga Room Management a little reality check, but that can best be done by taking a gander at the glorious pirate ship dancefloor
We were particularly enamored with a black-tie-clad elderly couple, cutting a rug to "You are the Sunshine of the Life" and pony-tail man and his sequins 'n feather boa date enjoying a heart to heart whilst touching foreheads. But when Brock and I hit the pirate ship, we twirled until we saw HER. Were I to guess, she and her husband were middle aged tourists, joining the masses awkwardly cutting a rug just like us. As she spun around, I noticed the sleeve of her floral blouse fly into the air, empty. Empty!?!
Yes, yes. That's right. She had one arm. 
You would have thought we'd spotted a unicorn, Brock and I were so thrilled and delighted. It was like we'd won something. Brock's main concern was that she hadn't removed the sleeve, merely sewed the sleeve shut. "Maybe it's a new top?" He suggested, implying she hadn't had the time to snip her sleeve but was too excited to show off her new blouse to care. 
I, however, think that one armed people just keep the superfluous sleeve. Why toss it? A hanging, empty sleeve is less alarming than no sleeve at all. Brock disagrees. He thinks one armed people should remove all excess sleeves from their clothing. 
I don't need to tell you, this romantic conversation lasted us some time...

Friday, February 13, 2009

oh, no thanks. we don't need a napkin...

I went on another date with a gay last night.
Brock and I attended a launch party for BMWLP Campaigns or similar. At least i think that's where we were. They have a really long name. Anyway, I'm friends with the "W" in BMWLP so Brock and I headed down to SoMa having no idea what to expect other than free food. We will really go anywhere that promises something for free, having absolutely no shame in screaming, "Oh wait! Is that the last slider? Dibs!" across a crowded party.
We were delighted to arrive to gorgeous and slightly hip offices, packed with a relative who's who of political nerddom, which meant of course, we'd find people we knew. Right away, I spotted my "uncle" Cliff, who pointed out to us anyone of interest. But Brock and I were far more concerned with the passed duck rolls and open bar, where my diet coke was served in a wine glass, still my cup of choice. Oh look! Herrera, Dufty, Adachi, Cisneros (zzzzzz) and I chatted with my new pal, Chuck Finnie whom I now love. That is of course, until Willie walked in.
It was like Moses parting the Red Sea. The over-flowing loft-like office fell into a hush, myself included, and Da Mayor walked through, shaking hands like a distracted Tom Cruise at a movie premiere. I don't know if Willie Brown really is that famous and powerful or if he just does a really good job at making people believe he is, but Heath Ledger could've risen from the dead and asked for a beer and someone would've shushed him. "Zip it, Dundee. Willie's here!"
Willie walked in, spoke and then, just as magically and abruptly as he arrived, departed. I wondered how many of these he had to attend, figuring that if His Honor spent 7 minutes at each event, he could really make some serious rounds. Willie was dressed very Wilkes Sport and donned what appeared to be a boiled wool baseball cap, which I found decidedly fashion forward and fabulous. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I dig Willie Brown.
Brock soon discovered the short rib sandwiches, Dotty LeMieux asked me if the Chronicle actually pays me for my blog (Yes. Did Carole actually pay you?) and we met a fabulous married lesbian couple, with whom we chatted until attacking the dessert table.
I really can't express to you the high-end-ness of the caterer, but they were passing mini black tea ice-cream cones and frozen carmels with sea salt. Brock enjoyed a truffle with his champagne when all of a sudden, "Oh my God, Beth. I think I lost a tooth!"
With that, he spit a rock into his palm.
"Maybe that means you win something?"
It was literally like a piece of gravel, and yet, this is why people should invite us to their parties. We didn't really care. I know people who would've screamed from the mountain tops. "Oh my God! A rock! Someone alert the media!" Not us. We simply shrugged and took a picture. I'm still not convinced the rock wasn't pre-existing in Brock's mouth somewhere. Plus, the dessert table was actually MADE out of chocolate. It was very Willie Wonka.
We finally left after not being able to find any to-go boxes and headed across the street to Wallgreens where they do NOT sell cigarettes. I'd read something about this travesty but had yet to experience it. Of far greater importance to Brock and I, however, were the four extremely hot firefighters who walked in before us. We literally stalked them in the aisles, Brock clutching his heart dramatically any time one walked past him. We could not have been more obvious in our drooling and I'm amazed we weren't arrested.
We considered feigning cardiac arrest before heading home, which we did with tummies stuffed full of food which, incidentally, tastes way better when it's gratis...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

kate found a picture...

When Kate and I were little, we had several holiday activities our families did together, one of which was the annual children's Christmas party at the Olympic Club. We each got one holiday outfit per season and this event was like, number 3 on our December dancecard. The problem with this party, held in the chandelliered main dining room of the downtown in the City Clubhouse, was that one was forced to sit on Santa's lap where you were a given a gift from the girl's pile. To Santa's right was the boys pile and on his left, chick shit. Needless to say, the gifts for the girls who, at that time weren't allowed to become members of the club anyway, were pretty crappy. I always wondered who was in charge of going out and buying 300 random presents and figured it must be a guy.
I always seemed to get stuck with a music box, which I had absolutely no interest in and Kate and I spent the entire evening ordering 57 Shirley Temples, having a private conversation at our end of the table and trying to find out way back from the pool. Dinner and "Santa" was followed with all 9 of us checking out the store windows of Union Square and then riding the elevators at the St. Francis Hotel. For those of you who've never had the pleasure, the elevators at the St. Francis are round and glass and you kinda feel like Willie Wonka riding up 32 floors into the sky, terrified and giggling at the view before you. At the top, at least back then, was a very cool nightclub (this is when people still called them nightclubs) named Oz and all I remember about Oz, other than there was no way we were ever going to get in, was that it had fake fog coming out the front door, right where the elevators opened.
As far as I was concerned, Oz had to be the coolest place on earth and I swore to myself that when I was old enough, I'd be a regular. Oh, the times I was sure to have at Oz, most likely in a floor length, shoulder-padded, embellished gown and all the Shirley Temples I could handle. Alas, Kate and I never made it to the Emerald City. We really only ever made it back to the parking lot at the club where our mothers exchanged huge shopping bags of obligitory Christmas presents and Kate and I acknowledged that we'd see each other in a couple of days, either at the Payne's Party or the Father/Daughter Dance wearing the same dress and complaining about our crappy music boxes...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

can i see a wine list...

I spent last night watching KQED with my parents and it was fucking awesome. As a result, I have no fabulous madcap adventures to share with you. Instead, I turn to my friend Bill W.
Wilson, that is. Bill got to go to St. Anthony's and watch Nancy and Mark(!) ladle out gruel to those less fortune. It really would have been quite touching had they taken the time to change into, oh, I don't know, JEANS.
A priest, a gay guy and the Speaker of the House walk into a bar...
Just kidding! It's not a bar. It's St. Anthony's Dining Room, the greatest thing since sliced bread.
(And hello to the too-young-for-us man on the left.)Awww, this girl's not buying it Nancy. Because you know what that smile says to me?
"I have 8:30 reservations at Gary Danko. Can we move this along?"
Mark Leno, whom I love dearly, is a very good sport. Although, if he's anything like me, he went to the St. Anthony's website beforehand and checked out the menu which is actually featured online. "Um, this is not a Braised beef in a Moroccan menu medley with a couscous complement. This is bread, half an orange and a cupcake." You've got to be kidding me. We're serving th...Oh, okay. Great. No, that's terrific. Really.
You KNOW they're talking about the Jo Bros.
Please tell me someone got a picture of Nance trying to find her way around that orange. She might want to keep those gloves on after all.
I like how Fog City Journal's Luke Thomas is hunkered down and hanging out, which seems somehow much less intrusive than the terrifying Pat Murphy and his pager or deck of cards or whatever he's holding in their faces. Back off, people! Let these ladies bond!Why are we still in aprons, folks? Is the podium really that disgusting?
"Have you guys seen that Oprah where she gives people houses and cars?!?! Yeah, me too."

And finally, Flock of Seagulls hair security guy. Every day his co-workers politely let it go, admittedly having bigger fish to fry. But someone needs to do this guy a favor, find the right moment and say, "You know, Raymond, you'd look really good with bangs like, shorter in the front? I don't know, not a fauxhawk but maybe a little spike? Even Nancy thinks so. Seriously!"

if only he'd been fluent in women...

When I see the headline "Amazon Indians accused of cannibalizing farmer" I've simply got to click through. I can't help it. That teaser begs to be read.
And now, may I present the first three sentences of this report, which basically cover everything you'd want to know and gave me enough food for thought that I immediately had to share this with you:
A city official in the remote Brazilian Amazon village of Envira told CNN that five members of the Kulina tribe are on the run after being accused of murdering, butchering and eating a farmer in a ritual act of cannibalism. (At least they butchered him, as opposed to, you know, all gnawing on a different part of his whole body.)
The village's chief of staff, Maronilton da Silva Clementino, said Kulina tribesmen took the life of Ocelio Alves de Carvalho, 19, last week on the outskirts of Envira, which is in the far western part of Brazil that bumps up against Peru. (The village has a chief of staff. I repeat, the village has a chief of staff. Leo McGarry did not have a heart attack in a forest/hotel room. He's in a remote Amazonian village issuing press releases on behalf of cannibal savages.)
Portal Amazonia newspaper reported that the Indians escaped after being held for a few hours in the city's police station. (And they got away, folks.)
You've got to read the rest of this report, which goes on to state that in Envira, the women speak a completely different language from the men. And after this poor farmer'd been missing for 3 days, his family headed to the next village over where they found his head hanging from a tree.
Um, can someone get me the chief of staff? I've got a couple of questions...

Monday, February 09, 2009

my 25 things...

If you’ve got a Facebook account, you’ve been bombarded with “25 Things” about all of your “friends.” I can’t really bring myself to post 25 things about myself because I already subject you fine people to something along those lines daily. But today is Melissa’s birthday and as I was trying to re-write the lyrics to our song, I figured why ruin a masterpiece? I’ll simply tell you 25 things about Melissa. I know you’re all sick of our love festivals, but tough shit. You get what you pay for. Okay, here goes:

1. Melissa does not have a problem with confrontation.
2. She talks in her sleep.
3. She’s a Muslim, which makes it easier for me to say a lot of inappropriate things because when people get mad, I can reply, “Relax. My best friend’s Muslim.”
4. She will always order the macaroni and cheese. Always.
5. Lots of people think she’s really busy and hard to get a hold of and insanely popular, which I guess is true. Just not for me. I am incredibly confident that there’s nothing on earth she wouldn’t drop if I needed her. She could be on TV and get a text from me and say, “Sorry, Oprah. Gotta run.” And Melissa is incredibly confident that I wouldn’t ruin her Oprah interview unless it was pretty important.
6. If I admire something in a store, she secretly goes back and gets it for me. For no reason. I’m just waiting for the right moment to just “happen” to walk past a BMW dealership.
7. Her mom wrote me letters in rehab, THAT’S how supportive she is. You know, I’ve got to admit, I heard a couple of mumblings about maybe Mel wouldn’t be as BFF-y as she was before I quit the sauce. While I didn’t doubt her for a second, I had no idea she’d weather the storm Capt. Sully-style.
8. She never tells me when I look like shit. I’d hope it because she’s wildly jealous and would want me to look bad so George Clooney would fall in love with her instead of me, but it’s not. It because she just never thinks I look like shit. Even if I had shit on me for some unfortunate reason, she’s incapable of seeing it. Wait, maybe this is not a good thing.
9. Melissa does not own one piece of furniture.
10. She knows all the words to “Man in the Mirror.”
11. Melissa holds my hand when I cry. It doesn’t seem like a big deal and I haven’t had a big cry in awhile, but she holds my hand when I cry.
12. She always calls the male help “Sir.” I think it’s a Southern thing.
13. Melissa is the only other person on earth who knows what IUJU means. It’s probably the only secret I can keep.
14. We have discovered that there is no greater BFF bonding that locking ourselves in a fancy hotel room for a weekend. Seriously. Try it. No men, no other friends, so fresh air. We answer the phone “Griffwoods” and Sept. 11th Part 2 could happen and…actually, we’d find that really interesting.
15. Mel supports me even when she disagrees with me, which when you think about it, is pretty hard to do.
16. She worked at a Kentucky Friend Chicken in the Deep South.
17. Nothing on earth could occur that would make Melissa not be my friend anymore. If we argue about anything, which is rare but possible, she fixes it immediately. Immediately.
18. She does not like it when you’re lost at 2am and you turn off the headlights to see how dark it is.
19. She makes plans for us. Apparently, I’m going to some crab feed next month.
20. When Melissa talks to her mom on the phone, she has a really thick Southern accent. It’s like an episode of Designing Women.
21. “What the hell’s a canapĂ©? Is that what rich people call a veggie tray?”
22. I took her as my “plus 1” to a wedding in Napa and after she won some game involving her being wrapped in toilet paper, she gave the losing teams the finger.
23. The woman is not a big fan of “the outdoors.”
24. Melissa knows a lot of lesbians.
25. As pointed out to me by a myriad of people, some of whom are addicted to crack, some of whom gave me Librium in rehab, some of whom employ me, some who know me well and some I’ve never met, 2008 was not my year.
Eh, I met Melissa Griffin. Yeah it was…

we're going in the hudson...

I was kinda over this whole US Airways landing in the Hudson thing. At first, it was very exciting as I'm a huge fan of air disasters. And even better, Clemens was given the glorious task of Captain Sully's spokesperson. Upon hearing this news, I rapidly began texting Clemens, desperate for some kind of dicey gossip on the apprent hero. I mean, really, the guy just landed a plane on the water. Big whoop, right? Alas, he had no juice for me, other than to say wonderful, serious, respectful things about Sully. Come ON. How boring is that?
The only remaining excitment I managed to suck from this plane crash was that Clemens got to go to the Superbowl with Sully and meet a bunch of celebrities, which I regard as the only acceptably excuse for missing my birthday. So as far as I was concerned, this snoozer human interest story was no big news, at least until we find out what happened to checked luggage. But this morning, checking in with the greatest blog on all of the interweb, Dlisted, I read, "Sully is a badass motherfucker" posted with the following 11 minute clip from 60 Minutes which you HAVE to watch. I was all worried about watching it at work until my boss came running over, grabbed my shoulders and screamed, "Oh my God, Sully! Turn it up!"

Whoa. You know, you'd think you'd want a wacky, fun pilot at the help of your flight, keeping the mood light and pointing out the Grand Canyon to your left. Nope. You want a serious, old dude with a thousand years under his belt who smelled "burning birds" and didn't have time to pray. I can't believe Katie Couric and her unfortunate new hair-do asked Sully if he prayed. I wish he'd said, "No, I was too busy using my God given brilliant brains to save lives, but nice try."
Anyway, I take it all back. Sully is indeed a badass motherfucker. He wasn't weeping for Darlene in 26B or regretting never taking the time to scubadive. The man had 3 minutes and wasn't screwing around, which in my eyes, makes him far more fabulous than Captain Feelgood who makes inappropriate jokes about floatation devices...

Saturday, February 07, 2009

yeah, but does everyone have the license plate, "so cool"...

When Mel and I went to see Stand By Me at the Castro last month, we were thrilled to find out that the next Midnite for Maniacs for include Adventures in Babysitting and Goonies
"Oh, we're going to that shit!"
Which is exactly what we did last night. I got in line early, loitering with my fellow geeks in front of the Castro for a good hour until Hastings showed up. "Where's Mel?"
Melissa was lost, thus putting her in no mood. Every once in awhile, I remember that she's from Georgia, although I still refuse to buy that as an excuse for anything. Anyway, snacks in hand, the three of us settled in for the movie in fabulous seats, and as Mel went outside to conduct some sort of radio interview, Hastings revealed, "You know, I've never seen this movie."
"I've never even been to this theater."
Folks, there's something wrong with you if you've never seen a movie at the Castro. My grandfather, the late, great Bob Spotswood had a list he kept of things one simply HAD to do to consider themselves a San Franciscan. And I'm carrying that torch. If you live within 100 miles and you've never been to the Castro, you might as well be in Georgia. Just click HERE, pick a movie, and get off your ass. You'll thank me. 
Anyway, I crowd was as hyped as I was, some people actually arriving in costume. There was one guy who, hand to God, was so screwy, I couldn't tell if he was dressed as Sloth or that's just the way he looks. After a series of glorious previews from 1987, the movie started and Mel and I joined the crowd in thunderous applause as Hastings appeared un-enthused, retreating to the distracting safety of his blackberry throughout the masterpiece that is Adventures in Babysitting. 
Some movies, like Braveheart and Top Gun are obviously something that you'd want to see in a theater, but Adventures in Babysitting? Turns out, it's even better. I don't know how Elisabeth Shue got her hair like that or what made George Newbern so cute in his little Jeep Wrangler, but it all just works. 
Christ, Josh Lyman plays the evil boyfriend. Fabulous!
Anyway, the movie ended to hysteria and I headed outside to smoke.
Which is when I noticed that the line for people just coming to see Goonies was wrapped around the city. You know, I love Goonies. The word "love" doesn't even capture my feelings for Martha Plimpton's performance alone. But I kinda regarded those with a 90 minute 80's movie attention span as chumps. People, you just missed Adventures in Babysitting. 
Our second, apparently more popular movie was just as good as the first and we were joined by Tar Baby and her friend, Tim. The only downside, other than my Hot Tamale crash was the waste of homosexuality seated behind us. Just because you're gay, doesn't automatically make you sassy and clever. It certainly helps, but there are no guarantees, as evidenced by the tight t-shirt, thirty-something queens aspiring to Kathy Griffin in row R. 
Repeating Chunk's quotes with queeny loud confidence is not funny or clever or most important, tolerable. And interestingly, the remainder of the hipster/gay -filled theater was watching Goonies with silent respect, screaming out only the most famous lines with glorious perfection. Leave it to me to sit in front of Bobby Trendy after a Red Bull... 

Thursday, February 05, 2009

i have, however, heard of hey-song sasparilla...

I had "drinks" with Tim the Trainer the other night at Benders. I'm proud to say, I'm back on my barstool folks. I just have about 15 "Diet Coke with a lot of lemon"s instead of 15 Gibsons with onions on the side. Anyway, we're chatting away when Tim mentions a phrase I can't quite understand.
"Wait. What'd you say?"
"Inca Cola."
So I casually responded, "What's Inca Cola."
You'd have thought I asked "What's a gay person?" or "What's Chardonnay?" Tim thought I was kidding before diving into a tirade about how Inca Cola is THE Peruvian soda of choice, the Golden Kola, the bubblegum flavored gift from our friends down south. How on God's green Earth could I have never heard of Inca Cola? On and on, he went, literally horrified at my ignorance. Disgusted, shocked, disappointed.
"Where does one get Inca Cola?" I sheepishly asked.
"Jesus, Beth. Anywhere! Peruvian Restaurants!"
No sooner had I gotten home than an e-mail from Tim popped up in my inbox with a link to Inca Cola, like he was a missionary sending me to the Gap website with the encouraging, "These are called jeans."
I've spent the past two days walking around and asking strangers, "Psst! Hey, you! Ever heard of Inca Cola?"
I've been met with an overwhelming "No."
So either I'm an ignorant American, stuck to my Fresca and blissfully ignorant of this magical tonic from South America or Tim spends way too much time hanging our in Peruvian restaurants...

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

oh, and the giftbags were trees. actual trees...

L’Italiana sent me an e-mail claiming to have an extra ticket to some awards dinner at the Ritz tonight and invited me to join her.
Hmmm, dinner with mucky mucks at The Ritz for free? “Oh, come on.” Her e-mail messages begged. “It’ll be fun.”
You had me at Ritz, Mama Celeste.
I’d e-mailed Vansmack earlier. “You goin’ to this thing at the Ritz?”
“Yes.” He’d replied. “I’m supposed to be ushering Gavin around.”
Oh, now I’m really in. I have no life, folks. I’m always up to be someone’s last minute date. There’s little that doesn’t beat leftovers on my couch.
I raced home from work and threw on a skirt and blazer, hopping in a cab and meeting my friends in the ballroom. Quickly becoming pals with our tablemates, we lamented an unfortunate comb-over a few tables away. As I begrudgingly turned away all the free wine I was offered, two hands rubbed my shoulders from behind.
Nope, it was Mr. X! Oh, thank God. I’d been convinced I wouldn’t know a soul and here I was with my crew and free steak. Horray! Huzzah! Ain’t life grand?
Willie Brown was the Master of Ceremonies and introduced Gavin, who gave a very normal, non-controversial speech and split. As Willie returned to the stage, he quipped, “If you’d like to hear the rest of that speech, you can find it on the internet.”
He was met with a round of applause, mainly because everyone was so delighted to hear an actual funny at one of these things. “That was pretty good.” We mused. “Nice work, Willie.”
I’ve got to say, Da Mayor always delivers. I fully accept that he’s our little provincial village’s “fun uncle,” but God bless him, the man’s a charmer. And I regard charm a quality above all else. Shit, Willie makes Gavin look downright uptight.
We ditched after dessert, I’m home at a reasonable hour and “Help! I’m a Hoarder” is on. All in all, tonight was a raging success…

emeril's sign would say bam!

Today's Culture Blog is up!
And thanks to Jim at SF Citizen for the Shout Out!
Happy anniversary of your kidnapping, Patty Hearst...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

we're done professionally...

Ladies and gays, calm down!
I know we're all incredibly upset about Jack Kelly/Francis Sullivan/Christian Bale's totally unacceptable tirade against the Director of Photography on some shitty Terminator movie.
If you haven't heard it, click HERE.
Lots on internetters are defending that little Empire of the Sun, saying ruining a scene is "simply not done." Well, duh. Neither is breaking the copy machine or knocking over the PowerPoint laptop during a presentation. But screaming obscenities for 2 minutes is unacceptable. I used to work backstage and this shit would happen occasionally, some thespian taking their art too seriously would discover that I had mistakenly given them 2 left tap shoes and spend their whole 30 second costume change ripping me a new one. Sheesh. I remember thinking at the time, "Get over yourself. You live in a studio on the Sunset." But I would still go down to the costume cave and cry until Miss Thang came and apologized. God, if Christian Bale yelled at me like that, I'd slit my wrists, not because Patrick Bateman sassed me, but because he's such a douchebag in real life.
You know who doesn't pull this shit? Clooney.
You know who has an Oscar? Clooney.
You know who passed on Terminator 37? Clooney.
So I will forgive Christian Bale for his tantrum after he spends more time in Darfur and less time switching accents...
Is it just me, or does Spielberg look totally over this little shit and his creative imput?

Monday, February 02, 2009

you can dress 'em up...

My greatest fear on earth is someone walking in on me in the bathroom. Unless I am in a building entirely alone, I will do everything within my power to create a barricade between my call of nature and the outside world.
Which is how I found myself freaking out because I didn’t want the former Prime Minister of Ireland to see me pee.
One would think I made up these scenarios. And much to my horror, one would be wrong.
My lovely friends Richard and Barbara are always throwing little soirees for diplomats. I think its part of some deal where they get fancy license plates. Anyway, I wormed my way into a small cocktail party held on Friday night in a beautiful home in Pacific Heights. We were apparently honoring John Bruton, the European Ambassador to the United States and the former Prime Minister (or Taoiseach) of Ireland and they had valet parking. Neat, huh?
I showed up and proudly handed the valet Rhonda the Honda, making my way inside where I was immediately approached by the man with a tray of wine glasses, half of which were filled with what looked like an oakey Chardonnay and the other half clearly containing Perrier. Much live a vegan relieved to spot tofu on a menu, I grabbed a glass of Perrier and Euro-kissed Barbara hello. Barbara’s terrific because she immediately points out everyone in the room who’s kinda interesting. “See that man over there talking to Richard? He’s the Consul General of Barbados.”
Ah yes. Of course. I can’t believe I haven’t run into him at Martunis.
Soon after, my father and “uncle” Greg arrived, but I was off and running, too busy chatting up new friends to hang with those old farts. My dad was himself busy discussing the passed oysters with the caterer.
“I just read a book on oysters…from the perspective of the oyster!”
The more Moet dad and Greg enjoyed, the more Perrier I had, and I was blowing through my bubbly faster than they were theirs. Thus, I excused myself in search of the ladies room. However due to my intense, pre-existing fear, I couldn’t use the main bathroom downstairs everyone was else was using. The odds of someone throwing the door open and exposing the image of my pantyhose around my ankles or my nose snooping through our hosts’ toiletries were too great. I headed upstairs and found what I deemed a guest bathroom.
I locked the door and just for added measure, placed my handbag against it, like the weight of my junk might halt an entire door from opening before I could scream the humiliating, “Someone’s in here!”
I probably waited 5 minutes before actually peeing, double checking the lock and listening for voices in the hallway. I was wasting precious minutes of privacy but really, you can never be too sure. It then occurred to me that the longer I futzed around in the bathroom, the greater the chance of more embarrassing things happening to me. What if I broke the door lock with my constant testing of its limits? What if the person who’d used the bathroom before me had somehow managed to invisibly block the toilet and the next one to flush it (me!) would be apologizing over her attempts to assure her hosts that she was merely flushing a tissue with which she blotted her lipstick.
Likely story, they’d think. “I heard that one back when I was Prime Minister of Ireland.” “Yeah, me too. That ruse’s big with the tourists in Barbados.”
The whole 2 hour cocktail party would be snickering at the young woman who managed to simultaneously clog the toilet and break the door. Everyone would wonder who the hell let me in and Barbara would have to pick invisible lint from her suit and lie, “Beats me. Never set eyes on her before in my life.” Even my beloved father would abandon me, departing the premises before anyone could trace his family tree to the guest sneaking 5 rolls of paper towels and 409 from the pantry.
So what did I do?
I held it.
Yeah, I held like, 4 big bottles of Perrier. And as I returned to the party, I hear my father announce with great flair and formality, “Ambassador, may I introduce my daughter, Elizabeth.”
I don’t need to paint a picture of this scene. It’s already been captured in the movie, Forrest Gump…

it's a mole. back off...

Saturday night was my little birthday gathering at the bar up the street from my house and in my dramatic need to overdress from the movies, much less my own birthday, I donned a very practical Ralph wrap dress and gave myself what John deemed, “Marlo Thomas hair.” My beloved BFF Melissa was running late, so no one was there to point out to me that there was a hole on the knee of my black tights until I noticed it the second I was about to run out the door.
So, in a moment of what I decided was MacGyver-like brilliance, I grabbed a Sharpee and colored over the hole in my tights, blacking out any skin within 2 or 3 inches of said hole.
That gigantic black dot now remains on my knee apparently forever. I’m one step away from some Soft Scrub and a lighter. And I’ve discovered today that there are a million better excuses for a big black circle on one’s leg than “I had a hole in my tights and decided instead of changing them to color all over myself with a Sharpee.”
Next time, I’ll just forgo the tights all together and draw them on…

Sunday, February 01, 2009

turns out, i'm a WAY cheaper date...

One of the problems with being a former drunk is that you keep running into people who don't know about the "former" part. Which is how I ended up sitting in front of a glass of champagne at bacar Thursday night. 
For 4 years now, Hastings has taken me to a birthday dinner at bacar. It's important to note that Hastings was one of the first people I told about my plans to head on into rehab. I was pretty terrified to tell anyone, but this guy has never judged a soul and as Tar Baby pointed out, he was a "champ" through the whole process. From the second I spilled the beans as we split a bottle of wine in my office this past October, Hastings has been a huge part of getting me this far. 
Having spent too much tine drinking my way through the fancy restaurants of the city, I'm friends with a few fabulous servers, my favorite of whom is aptly named Mikey and works at bacar. I met Mikey when he was working at the regretfully defunct Scott Howard and found him again at bacar. It occurred to me to call my favorite server and fill him in on my giving up the sauce, but I never quite got around to it. I kind of felt like it would be like calling ahead to alert a restaurant that I don't eat seafood. "Alright, lady. Then don't order it." 
So Thursday night, Hastings and I got all dolled up and headed over to bacar. As we were seated, Mikey came over with a huge smile on his face and two glasses of champagne. 
I noticed two things about this situation right away:
1. I instinctually went for the glass, not because I was desperate for booze but because me with a wine glass in front of me is like Picasso face to face with a paintbrush.
2. The look on Hastings face was priceless. It was pretty much the look of all of America when Ryan Seacrest tried to high five the blind guy on American Idol. "Oh dear God, what do we do in this situation?!?!?!"
Mikey left us with menus as Hastings whispered my options.
"You want me to have them take it away?"
"God, no! Just drink it."
"We're taking it away."
"Will you relax. It's probably great champagne. drink it."
This back and forth went on for some time, until I finally offered the sad and perhaps manipulative, "If you drink it, it'll be gone." 
With that, Hastings chugged both glasses and that was that. Mikey soon appeared again and knowing me all to well, asked, "Vodka?"
I thought Hastings was going to die of a heart attack. 
Golly, I've got to tell him. "Um, you know what? I actually don't drink anymore." 
After a pause indicating a lack of clarity as to whether or not I was joking, Mikey responded, "That's awesome."
We then ordered and Mikey departed. 
"Oy, that's hard." I sighed. "I love that special treatment shit so bad!"
But it turns out, the world of perks is not run on liquor alone. Instead of the two courses we'd ordered, we were given an amazing culinary adventure of six. 
You know, I'd take that gratis charcuterie board over a gratis glass of champagne any day. 
Okay, that's a lie. But it's a least a decent consolation prize...