Tuesday, March 31, 2009

the nigher route...

I really never run out of things to talk about with Melissa on our road trips, and as we drove past Donner Lake, she made the mistake of asking me what I knew of the ill fated emigrants. I almost had to pull over, I so enthusiastically regaled her with the minutiae of the history. I am a lover of many documentaries but one above all others is my favorite: Ric Burns' The Donner Party. 
Think of a movie that you really, truly love. Think of a film that is profoundly near and dear to your heart. Think of something so perfect and wonderful in every way, you will never, ever tire of it's glory. 
That, my friends, is how I feel about this PBS Donner Party "American Experience", which, God bless the internet, you can watch for free on You Tube RIGHT HERE!
There's one particular historian interviewed throughout, sitting in his plaid shirt and warm glow, who I've always adored. He's so passionate about the story, he tells the history with such directness, you can feel he's just as into this as you are and it is clear, he can tell it better. His name is Harold Schlindler and I love him. 
My favorite line of the whole film comes from Harold, talking about the shortcut the Donner Party decides to take. 
"Clyman, who had just been south of the lake on horseback coming east with Lansford Hastings, says, ''Don't do it. Don't do it because you can't take wagons that way. Go the old route. Be safe. You'll perish.'' And Reed says, ''There's a nigher route and we might as well take it.''
The typed word hardly does this justice. Please forward to minute 8:30 of THIS to see how awesome Hal Schindler is. 
Anyway, I finally googled Mr. Schindler and discovered, much to my horror, he died 10 years ago. I've been saying "there's a nigher route!" for a decade in the hopes of one day, meeting this fascinating historian and gushing, "I loved you in the Donner Party!" 
Nope. He's dead. 
Here is a wonderful obituary written about him, which only makes me love Hal more and further regret never having the pleasure of sitting by a roaring fire with him and hearing tales of the Wild West. 
The best kind of people are people who care so much about something, their enthusiasm is contagious, even if whatever the hell they care about is something boring, like stamp collecting or sports. And my dream is to one day appear as an expert in a documentary and be half as badass as Hal...

Monday, March 30, 2009

very realistic, very affordable, very gross...

In my many worldy travels, I really thought I had seen it all. The Great wall of China, the Great Barrier Reef, Great America...I simply could no longer be wowed.
And then I went to Reno. 
Please look closely. No, these aren't wacky, hillbilly teeth. This isn't the Halloween bargain bin at Wallgreens. This isn't even a joke. This is actual dental work for $12.95. 
Why save "hundreds" and travel abroad for inexpensive bridgework when you can head to Reno for this "instant make-over." And you can't really read it, but according to the packaging, over 12 million of these masterpieces have been sold over the last decade. 12 million people are walking around with a $13 piece of plastic in their mouth. You know they eat with this thing. Just imagine, folks, what could be trapped between the plastic and the decaying teeth and gums it masks. 
I wonder who suffers the embarrassment and and discomfort of a jacked grill to suddenly find the solution to their oral woe in the souvenir shop across the road from the El Dorado in Reno, Nevada? 
"Hey, Travis! Come over here for a second! I think I may have found just the thing you've been searching for? No, not a penis flashlight. Put that down..."

he did, however, make me coffee...

Did any of you feel the earthquake? I myself, did not.
We have hired my brother's best friend, John in our office and today is his first day. Perhaps because I've known him since the beginning of time, John and I have apparently established a rather casual professional relationship.
"Oh my God, did you feel the earthquake?"
"Yeah."
"You did?!?"
"Yeah."
"You didn't say anything?"
"Why?"
Oh, I don't know? Maybe because we just had a fucking earthquake?!?! Perhaps I'm the weird one. Our office is one big room and I regard it as my job to have loud public conversations with everyone about current events, earthquakes included. John needs to get with the program. Just because he's the only man in here doesn't mean he's exempt from the 25% of time spent chatting...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

spelling isn't even a skill anymore...

I was reminded by tonight's (curious) episode of The Office of the Koosh Ball. Do you remember the Koosh? It was, for a time, a very big deal at my K thru 8. Everyone seemed to have a Koosh, the word "Koosh" thrown around as if it were "tree" or "car" as it was considered equal in the context of our small, suburban lives. 
"Hold on, I forgot my Koosh." 
"I have the new glow-in-the-dark Koosh."
And "Take the Koosh." 
This is the "Take the Koosh" story. 
Every year, my grammar school would have something appropriately named the Spell-A-Thon. The Spell-A-Thon was a fundraiser in which we'd hit up our grandparents, neighbors, etc. to sponsor us for like, 25 cents for every word spelled correctly on a 100 word spelling test. 
No one (other than my mother) gave a shit about the spelling test. All anyone cared about was the prizes. For every $10 a speller brought in, their name would go in the fishbowl. Then, once the Spell-A-Thon was over (it seemed to go on for months), the entire school would gather in the gym in breathless anticipation. On stage would be two tables, guarded by Mrs. Dowd and Mrs. Pudlow, 2 sisters who taught 4th and 8th Grade respectively. They also lived like, a block apart and resembled Blanche from the Golden Girls. 
(Right now, my mother and brother are nodding their heads at their screens.)
Each table was packed with prizes of varying value, from the very high-end 49ers tickets to the very low-end puzzle. Names would be puled from the fishbowl and one at a time, each "pulled name" would go up and select a prize, student by student until the tables were empty. 
If I've remotely painted this very complex picture for you, you'll understand why it took an eternity. 
I would like to point out that with my over-achieving mother in the role of the spelling Nazi, I always got like, a 98% on that goddamn spelling test. And I always raised a ton of money for that stupid school with all of my strong-armed sponsors. My name must have been on 40 or 50 little pieces of paper in that ridiculous fishbowl and in all of the years of the Spell-A-Thon, I never once was "lucky" enough to get called on stage to collect a prize. I am convinced (seriously) that there was a conspiracy. The entire student body was 200 kids. Come ON
Anyway, sitting on folding chairs in that gym (K-3 had to sit on the floor!), we were all desperate to get on stage early, before the good shit was taken. Anyone with half a brain took the sports tickets, those Super Soakers and anything regarded as mildly acceptable. Us older kids generally dominated the prize tables and I sat with my arms crossed, convinced my names were omitted on purpose by certain "teachers" who thought I had too many "opinions." 
Whenever a younger kid went up there, they found themselves incredibly intimidated going on stage before the whole school and thus, very susceptible to suggestion. 
It happened to every single first grader who's name was called. They'd wobble up there and be presented with huge folding tables packed with toys. Dowd and Pudlow stood there like Vanna White, pointing to the Giants tickets or telescope. But those sisters were no match for the entirety of the student body who certainly didn't want a good prize wasted on some 7 year old. 
"TAKE. THE. KOOSH...TAKE. THE. KOOSH... TAKE. THE. KOOSH..."
200 little uniformed shits chanting in unison had the desired effect. Poor Brittney always took the Koosh instead of the passes to Great America. Once the Koosh was gone, the chants occasionally evolved, as little Hunter made his way on stage. 
"HU-LA-HOOP! HU-LA-HOOP!"
The little kid would end up agonizing for ages, eventually walking away with a fuckin' hula hoop, leaving the autographed football helmet for the 13 year old President of the Pegged Pants Club. 
Towards the end, options dwindled. I remember my brother finally made it up there. A 3rd Grader, Alex was still shy enough to be scared of the masses now bored with this exercise. I remember being slightly humiliated for him when he had to graciously select the dreaded puzzle. He kinda hid it on the other side of his body as he rushed off stage, leaving a mere 3 or 4 crappy prizes remaining. 
But even in my advanced age, when every other student had completely checked out of the never-ending Spell-A-Thon and the stay-at-home moms had gathered by the door wondering what was taking so long, I still crossed my fingers hoping I'd hear my name. 
Fuck it. I'd take the Koosh. 
But nope. Nothing. N.E.V.E.R...

whoever booked this room is my new best friend...

All we have to do is make it through tomorrow night's drive with nothing but some jerky and an AM radio until we get to this:I'm just kidding. Rhonda the Honda has FM. We're also staying in a regular room but the masterpiece above was featured on the Peppermill website and I couldn't help myself. My BFF Melissa has booked us a room for the weekend as it is once again time for us to get the hell out of Dodge and the hell into Reno.
I have to admit, I thought rooms like the one pictured here were Hollywood creations. I mean, this shit actually exists! In Reno! It's not even Vegas. Someone needs to propose to me because I would like my honeymoon to be spent sitting side by side in these luxurious chairs sipping mocktails while watching a roaring fireplace on a TV screen. Actually, this is what I'd like my permanent boudoir to look like, complete with the little dudes holding the spears.
Thank god I don't drink anymore because if I woke up in this joint drunk, I'd completely freak out and start screaming. Or do something wildly inappropriate to the dudes holding the spears. Or I'd wake up and think to myself, "Yeah. This seems about right..."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

to the left, to the left...

I'm so sorry I'm such a blogging slacker this week. I'm really very busy complaining about being sick. I finally dragged my ass out of bed and put on outside clothes, heading across bridges and tunnels to work this morning. As I sat at a light on Van Ness, a heard a woman screaming, "Excuse me! EXCUSE ME!"
I turned and looked at her.
"Is this the way to 101 North?" She hollered from her PT Cruiser.
"Are you trying to get on the Golden Gate Bridge?"
"Yes."
"Then yeah. Just turn left on Lombard and follow traffic."
She smiled and thanked me and I drove off, unwilling to take on the grave responibility of letting this nut follow me. After turning left and making it halfway down Lombard, I looked over. There was Ms. PT Cruiser with a huge smile on her face giving me the big thumbs up.
I gave her a solid thumbs up back.
I don't have to tell you I suddenly felt like the nicest person ever to walk the Earth. My God, I'm like San Francisco's Ambassador to lost souls. Someone should be paying me for these little gifts my benevolent personality delivers throughout the day. You, world, are welcome.
My self-congratulation lasted a good 10 minutes and then I went back to feeling sick and horrible, but I think we can all learn a valuable lesson from my moment.
Sometimes, providing accruate directions to someone in a stupid car can be a gift not only to them, but one to you as well.*

*Cue Doogie Howser music...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

little big trouble in big little city...

Dear Reno, 
I have two words for you: Road. Trip. That's right! The Missus and I are headin' east this weekend for no reason other than our shared belief that every once in awhile, the fine state of Nevada needs a little Griffwood. Or maybe we need a little Nevada. Either way, we're coming for a visit. 
Imagine our surprise (4 minutes ago) to discover that Ms. Wanda Sykes herself will be performing at the Silver Legacy! While this event appears to be sold out, we will definitely be crashing/asked to leave. Melissa is particularly sorry to be missing Mr. Julio Iglesias, but apparently, we'll be frequent visitors. We will also be available to receive keys to the city, take tours of hooker ranches and re-create that fabulous scene from Casino where Ginger throws the chips in the air. 
I can't wait for the chance to wear my tiara from rehab under happier circumstances!
Love Spots

oprah needs more fights...

Thank God I'm home sick because I'm discovering some gems on daytime television I would've been totally oblivious to otherwise. Remember Steve, the security guard from Jerry Springer? Well guess what? He has his own show! 
It's amazing. Today's topic is "I Got a 14 Yr. Old Pregnant" and there's very little of the guests speaking. There is however, a great deal of Steve Wilkos' lecturing people as he stands facing them. Steve is, needless to say, incredibly wise in the ways of the world. He's also a big fan of calling people "dopey." 
How can you not love this:
"Playtime is over. This is my stage. This is my show. Get the hell off my stage."
And the crowd goes wild. 
It reminds me of those 90's talk shows in which the audience would be given signs and then the guest would come out and the audience could choose which side of the sign to hold up, like "Hot" or "Not" and "Male" or "Female." Some would even rhyme, such as the timeless "Too Fat" or "All That."
Which is almost as good as the constant Maury paternity test. Every single Maury is about determining the identity of "Destiny's" dad. Do yourself a favor and check out THIS comprehensive review of the seven best paternity test reactions, the following being my favorite:
Those were the days! People need to throw themselves on the floor more often. Now Steve has his own show? That's hardly fair. If anyone should've walked away with their own show, it should've been this chick:

i'm very sensitive when i'm deathly ill...

I forwarded my co-worker Amanda a website the other day and as she giggled reading through it, she sighed across the office, "Oh, internet. I love you."
I do too. I really truly love the internet. I'm all mom's basement about it, nerdilly caring deeply about everyone's updates. Like my friend Allan over at MissionMission
He very kindly linked to me on his blog yesterday and as I marveled at my hits shooting through the roof, I noted that some douche's comment implied my post about being followed in Walgreens was racist. Check that shit out right HERE.
Call me crazy (or racist) but I think if you're going to accuse someone of something as shitty as racism, or really anything else for that matter, use your name. If we've learned anything from Peter Ragone, it's the important of standing behind your comments. Say whatever you want. After all, that's why God invented the internet. But at least have the balls to say it like a man. 
This is why my new t-shirt slogan is going to sell like gangbusters!

"Those who can't, comment."*

*This does not apply to anyone who comments here, because obviously I love you and you very much CAN...  

Monday, March 23, 2009

by the way, calling people "guy" is my new thing...

I am home sick today and much to my horror, my illness is legitimate. I won't go into the gory details, but I could easily be cast as a dead body on a lesser crime show right now. Every time I take 10 minutes to go to the kitchen and get more coffee, I feel the need to offer up a loud, "Oh Jesus, help me." 
Anyway, I had to give up my awesome parking space and drive myself to Walgreens to pick up some essentials: Tylenol, DayQuil, toilet paper, Diet Coke and Top Ramen. I also treated myself to some $7.99 Rembrant toothpaste. 
Now this Walgreens is the Walgreens where I've seen both the dented head man, a fella with a good 1/3rd of his skull dented inward who asks for money at the front door AND a dude shooting heroin in between his toes in the parking lot. This Walgreens employs a security guard who does nothing but stand at the door and watch people struggle with their baskets. That's it. So you can imagine my surprise when today, this guard who, I'm not exaggerating here, works at the most ghetto Walgreens in the world, starts following me around. 
Granted, I kinda look like that mug shot of Nick Nolte. But I can't imagine I'd garner that much suspicion. 
Aisle to aisle, this guy was definitely tailing me. I was one of three or four customers in that whole ghetto place and perhaps I'm biased, but I was probably the only one that hasn't done any time. Unless you count rehab. If I were workin' security and lookin' to nab a shop lifter, I wouldn't have pegged me. I'd probably keep my eyes on the middle-aged man in the cereal section actually sitting on the floor agonizing over his choices. 
This security guard was always 3 feet away and staring directly at me, to the point where our proximity could no longer be ignored. But quite frankly, I was way too embarrassed to say anything. This guy thought I was thief! So I just turned to face him and stared back. 
It was like the staring contests my brother and I used to have out of sheer boredom. This dude and I locked eyes like we were in a Western. A tumbleweed should've rolled by, the other Walgreens customers hiding behind the Easter Peeps display wondering who'd go for their gun first. 
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of intense, serious, intimate eye-sex, the security guard just turned around and walked away. I stood in the middle of the aisle dumbfounded. I wanted to throw my hands in the air and scream, "What's the problem, guy?" 
I have no punchline to this tale. That's it. I paid for my shit and left. I have no idea why this guy was following me, why I was forced into a stare-off and why he never said a word. But what I do know is that if I'm the one stirring suspicion at the 24th and Potrero Walgreens, I'm sicker than I thought...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

fyi...

...the world is full of idiots.

No Treasury Department! Don't Do It! Could this woman muster the slightest giggle? Nope. She's too busy washing dogshit off 20's. Obviously, she's getting paid under the table. Why would a physical therapist keep her cash compensation lying around for her idiot dog to eat? Weird. Anyway, she called it a deposit. Ha!
In other Mensa news, someone posted this on Gavin's Facebook page mere minutes ago:
Jennifer D**** at 9:36am March 21
LOVED meeting Mayor Newsome last night!! What a great guy. I had know idea that he has accomplished so many wonderful things for SF!! It's SANFRANTASTIC!! Hope he will come back to Santa Barbara REALLY soon.
I had know idea people like this were allowed to vote...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

customer service...

I should have as little professional contact with the public as possible because whenever I answer the phone at my office, I tend to get in fights. Like what just happened 4 SECONDS AGO.
Beth: This is Beth.
Lady: I must have the wrong number!
Beth: Okay.
Lady: This isn't Moosetree?
Beth: Nope.
Lady: This doesn't make any sense!
Beth: This is (my office number.)
Lady: That's what it SAYS!
Beth: Okay.
Lady: WELL I DIDN'T MAKE IT UP!
Beth: I'M NOT ACCUSING YOU OF MAKING IT UP!
Lady: IT'S RIGHT HERE IN THE YELLOW PAGES!
Beth: WELL THE YELLOW PAGES ARE OBVIOUSLY WRONG!
Lady: WHY WOULD THE YELLOW PAGES BE WRONG?
Beth: MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE NO ONE USES AN ACTUAL PHONEBOOK ANYMORE!
LADY: I PREFER A PHONEBOOK!
BETH: Then I guess sometimes you're going to get the wrong number.
Click...

say what you need to say...

The fires of hell are nipping at my feet, I know. But my absolute favorite part of celebrity death is hearing other celebrities' thoughts on this tragedy. All is takes is 24 hours and already, the famous are offering words of glowing sadness and reflection on the untimely death of Natasha Richardson. YAY!
Lindsay Lohan: "She was a wonderful woman and actress and treated me like I was her own."
Dame Judi Dench: "It's just so shocking, really shocking, and I hope that everybody leaves the family quietly to somehow pick up the pieces."
Sam Mendes: "It defies belief that this gifted, brave, tenacious, wonderful woman is gone."
Jane Fonda: "My heart is heavy."
And then of course, John Mayer: "This heart didn't come with instructions."
Oh wait. That was about Jennifer Aniston...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

2 and a half down, 2 and a half to go...

Today's Culture Blog is UP! Please enjoy...

Today is also a really exciting day because it's Kate's 30th Birthday! Adding to the thrill of my oldest friend turning hella old, it's also Queen Latifa's birthday. Shouldn't we get the day off?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

jeff bridges used to be cute...

Every night, I wake up between 1 and 3 totally freaked out for no reason. I suspect that back when I was a drunk, I just slept through my body clock's stupid alarms. Alas, no longer. It's no big deal, though. All I have to do is get out of bed, walk around, check for serial killers and go back to bed. Then I sleep like a baby. 
I've taken to hopping online for a few minutes and last night, I got sucked into watching the entirety of Jagged Edge on Netflix. I remember my mother being very into this movie when it came out and I was 7. Obviously, I was not allowed to watch it and based on my enjoyment of Fatal Attraction and The Game, Netflix thought I'd be into this thriller now that I'm a grown-up. 
Eh. It was okay. I liked how loads of the filming took place at City Hall. San Francisco locations are always fun, even when it's wildly inaccurate. The murder was supposed to go down at a "Baker Beach" weekend home. I guess a lot has changed since 1985 because apparently, Baker Beach looked like Malibu. 
In one scene, Jeff Bridges gets very teary and emotional when he has to go back to scene of the murder. I texted my brother, Mel and Hastings to see if they'd be able to visit the site of my tragic death. Mel and Hastings said it depended, Melissa not willing to give up any locale deemed "hella cool." My brother, Alex would have no problem going anywhere. My bloodstains could still be splattered on the walls. Alex goes where he wants. 
"Really?" I asked. "You could casually lounge around some joint where your beloved only sibling perished?"
"For closure." He responded. "And to investigate."
Awww. That's my baby bro. 
Basically, in Jagged Edge, this ratzy-tatzy newspaper heiress is brutally murdered and her husband, Jeff Bridges is put on trial. Glenn Close plays the decided un-sexy defense attorney and Peter Coyote is the corrupt San Francisco District Attorney. 
Maybe I just never really put it together on Law & Order or maybe it's all hitting home because Jagged Edge takes place a stone's throw from me, like right now, but would real-life DA Kamala Harris personally prosecute a murder? Because Coyote is wandering around the crime scene, interrogating suspects, hiding secret evidence and trying the case himself. I can't picture Ms. Escada objecting to some drive-by witness' bullshit testimony. 
And does Dennis Herrera get any of this action? He said I could call anytime with questions. I wonder if this counts?
I decided to consult this blog's legal team (my dad and Mel), both of whom had the same answer. 
This comes from Melissa: "Kamala does not go to court - she's more of an administrator. Here in SF, attorneys in the her office's homicide unit prosecute murders. Remember that in Law and Order, Fred Thompson plays the District Attorney and he NEVER goes to court.
I've never seen whatever movie you're referring to, but it isn't unheard of for small towns to have the DA actually go to court. Herrera wouldn't do it because he only deals with civil cases (meaning those cases that aren't criminal) like slip-and-fall, civil rights, and stuff, nothing gross."
I called the DA's office to find out 1) if Kamala has ever tried a case as DA and 2) any history on the last case ever tried by the actual District Attorney of San Francisco. 
In my 5 years of blogging, it's amazing the random people I'll call just to find out information for my own personal sad and pathetic uses. I have a blog! Tell me shit!
Anyway, good luck getting around KA-mala's complex, 3-languaged voicemail at 8pm on a Tuesday. Jesus! Welfare fraud, elder abuse, missing children? I wanna talk to all of these people (in English)! What a goddamn interesting office! 
I couldn't even figure out how to leave a message so if any historian wants to hook me up with this nerdy info, I'm all over it... 

ugh. give it a rest...

The very kind Jim Herd of the SF Citizen sent me a few photos of the San Francisco St. Patrick's Day Parade, held not on St. Patrick's Day but on Billy Elliot's birthday. This is, of course, the photo I'm posting because I get the impression Eva Peron up here is taking this whole thing VERY seriously. I think it goes without saying Swiss Miss practices this shit in the mirror. By the way, we're never going to see Gavin in a tie again. You people wouldn't let up on his lone Easter blue piece of neckwear and now it's open-collar 24/7. I spend a lot of time on this. Trust me. He's dropped the tie. Speaking of menswear...Always, always, always in a vest. The 17th century Conquistador facial hair has morphed into this admittedly hot vest look and I would be on board if Ross, oh, I don't know, changed clothes every once in awhile. Mirkaleckihaimeckahineyho and his beloved were sitting with MOI at Elbernd's crab party. Ross was, needless to say, in his standard ensemble and apparently didn't have anything controversial to say. Or if he did, MOI isn't telling me. He's so paranoid!
I realize I still haven't told you about this crab thing but basically, it was like a big, drunken wedding held at a retirement home and everyone on Earth showed up. Gavin's Chief of Staff didn't know who I was yet seemed kind of ticked I didn't know who he was. Also, he asked me what a blog was, so obviously the Bay Area really is the internet capital of the universe. Way to go, Room 200! I would write some long, sassy report but quite frankly, I now really enjoy Sean Elsbernd and thus, refuse to talk (a lot of) smack. See, Peskin? Just be a nice guy. It's really not that complicated.
Bless him, Elsbernd was telling us about the after party and said, "Spotswood knows where it is! Where'd everyone go in high school?!?!" Um, this is the first time I've ever been invited, Supervisor. I have no idea...

Monday, March 16, 2009

"there's some story here, we just don't know what it is..."

After KG's hilarious birthday soiree, where I received the "Loser's Medal" at Movie Trivia, I thanked her for having me over with THIS interesting article, about a body found in Lake Merced. Okay, you know what. The article's short. Just read it:

A man's body was discovered in the reeds on the far east side of San Francisco's Lake Merced on Sunday afternoon. The body, spotted by a kayaker, was towed across the lake to a dock, then pulled out of the water by firefighters.
The age and race of the person and the cause of death were unknown Sunday evening. The city medical examiner is expected to do an autopsy on the body today.
Police were not ruling out foul play.
"The body was quite bloated, but with the weather conditions, it is hard to know how long it has been here," said San Francisco Police Capt. Richard Corriea. "There's some story here, we just don't know what it is."
Corriea said the kayaker saw the body about 4 p.m. Sunday and called police. The Fire Department handles water rescues and also was alerted.
Two men who were teaching dragon boating to high school students offered their help in pulling the body from the water.
Although the Fire Department has rescue watercraft, none is stored at Lake Merced, according to department Battalion Chief Lorrie Kalos. But dragon boating teachers Colin Morneau and Nikhil Naidu were nearby with a boatful of high school students and pitched in.
After Morneau and Naidu dropped off their students, several firefighters piled into the dragon boat and rowed across the lake to the body.
"We were happy to help out; someone had to do it," Morneau said.
Once the body was located, firefighters tied a flotation device around the waist and clipped the device to the back of the dragon boat. The body was towed all the way to the boat house on the far west side of the lake and removed from the water.
Kalos commended Morneau and Naidu for their help and said she would recommend them for Fire Department award certificates of merit. They were also invited to Fire Station 19 for dinner.
"Their help made this recovery a lot easier," said Kalos. "We might have done it from the land side, but that would not have been as easy to do."


Obviously, I found this really interesting and couldn't put my finger on what KG was able to brilliantly articulate: "You know what's incredible about that? It focuses more on the guys who pulled the body out and not the fact that there was a body floating in the lake!"
Uh, exactly. Hello? Why was there a dead body in the lake? Does anyone care who it is? This seems like the perfect opportunity for a "murder most foul!" extravaganza. Instead, we get a big song and dance about two dudes who helped drag this anonymous, unimportant, probably no big deal dead body across a lake. They get certificates and dinner at the fire station!
Big whoop. Who's the stiff? And so much for evidence. I mean, why waste time collecting any evidence where this fella was floating when you can drag his corpse all over the lake. Awesome...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

and no, doreen was not there...

Are you sitting down?
Guess who I met tonight. Just guess!!!
If you guessed George Clooney, as was my mother's guess, you'd be wrong. But if you guessed Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III, you'd be right! 
Sully!!!
A year ago, Clemens introduced me to Mel, which you know, is great and everything, but the last time I checked, Melissa didn't save 155 lives by smoothly landing an airplane in the Hudson. While I love my best friend very much and will always be grateful to Clemens, he really trumped himself tonight...by having Sully at his cocktail party!
Sully!
I was running late, mainly due to my new, sassy headdress and it's questionability. I couldn't decide if it was too much or too fabulous and it kept moving around due to my constantly touching it. I raced into said soiree and saw Mel schmoozing two older dudes. Rushing over to her, I was still futzing with my accessories.
"Sorry I'm so fuc....Oh. Oh My God."
"Capt. Sullenberger, this is Beth Spotswood. She's a writer as well."
It took me 3-5 seconds to acclimatize myself to the situation and here's what I can report:
Mel was definitely nervous and excited, although playing it very cool/reverent and whispered to me to stop touching my head. Sully is incredibly tall and slim, much taller than he looks on TV and gloriously, much taller than me. Because I'm height obsessed, I tried to measure Sully with my eyes. He seems taller than my dad and Dick Spotswood is 6'2". Sully is very soft-spoken. I really had to listen in to hear him speak. He was wearing civilian clothing. Sully was very laid back and friendly, more relaxed than he was on, like, Letterman. But also, I wasn't asking him about landing an airplane in a river, not that I wasn't dying to. We discussed his kids, some poem he likes (Mel can tell you more about this) and that's about it. 
I can also report that the first thing I said (yelled, perhaps) to him was "Oh my God, Sully! I'm such a huge fan!!!"
Unlike pretty much everyone else, I didn't muster the class or the calm to address this hero by his rank, much less Mister or Sir or nothing at all. No, I called him "Sully." And then I called myself of a fan, like he's a Jonas Brother as opposed to a brilliant beacon of example. 
Sully had lots of people to meet and very charmingly excused himself to greet a star-struck child. I had to excuse myself to go shit a brick in the goddamn corner. 
Sully!
I mingled with some friends and guests, eventually spotting Chris Daly carrying a baby around. I enjoy Chris Daly as much as the next hobo, but after talking to, well, basically Jesus, I didn't want to kill my buzz by hearing about composting. 
Mel and I snuck off to dinner at the bar of the Washbag where most of our conversation consisted of "Dude. Sully!" 
After I dropped Mel off at home, I illegally called my mother while driving. 
"Guess who I met tonight?"
I knew my mother would guess. She always does. "David Hyde Pierce."
"No. Bigger."
"Bigger than Niles Crane?"
"Yes."
"Okay. George Clooney."
Please. If I met George Clooney, I'd be calling my mother from a jail cell due to an unfortunate "incident" I'd later describe as a "misunderstanding." 
"No, mom. I met Sully!"
"SULLY? NO!!!! REALLY??? OH MY GOD, I NEED TO GET YOUR FATHER!!!! HOLD ON!!!! (lots of mumbling in the background while my mother explains to my father what's transpired.) Wow, Beth. What was he like?"
Wonderful, really. Normal. Humble and friendly. Tall. I...I just want to sit on a couch with him. And have him solve all of my problems...

Friday, March 13, 2009

occasionally legit...

Today's blog can be found at the SF APPEAL! Enjoy! (And while you're there, read eveything else.)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

fa-lap ball change...

I've had the Marc Cohn song, Strangers in a Car stuck in my head all night, so I hopped on YouTube to find a video to listen to while I trolled the internets. Thus, I found some random dance troup twirling around to the song and in the middle of this video of teenage chicks in leotards, I noticed the lone male dancer.
Immediately, I loved him! I imagine him currently struggling through high school PE and having not one, single, solitary male friend.
And immediately after imaging that, I remembered Link.
I took tap and jazz from Kindergarten through 8th Grade at Happy Feet in Mill Valley and give or take a few girls, we were the same group of 15 for my entire childhood. And in our class, we had one guy.
Link.
I'm pretty sure Link was heterosexual and oddly comfortable taking dance with a bunch of girls for years. He used hair product and his father drove a car with a custom horn that he'd honk upon request. Us girls would give each other cootie shots to protect against whatever Link had, which in retrospect was cool confidence, a laid back attitude and comfort in his own skin. A cootie shot consists of making a peace sign with both hands and then placing said peace signs one over the other. A victim of Link walking past would then insert her finger (heh) into the square you'd created, you'd give her finger a squeeze and thus, cootie shot.
It was incredibly lame, made more so by the fact that Link couldn't care less. It's not like he was oblivious. I think he just had karate to go to next.
I didn't.
I had to sit around for hours and watch other classes until my working mother finally picked me up in what seemed like the middle of the night.
Anyway, tonight I watched this dance troupe's one man-dancer and would like to give an internet shout out to Link, whose last name I don't think I ever knew. Well done, sir.
As for the rest of you, I'll have you know that I am still one hell of a tap dancer...
PS: This is also a silent photo response to anyone who ever says to me, "You must love being tall."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

hopefully, this is better than an inscense holder...

They told us in rehab that most alcoholics vomit the first time they drink. It’s some kind of sign that maybe, you’re incredibly allergic to this substance and should stay the hell away from it. I’m reading a book called On Writing by Stephen King, an alcoholic who talks about the first time he got drunk. He vomited.
I did to.
As is tradition, everyone gets a blog on their birthday. The saintly KG is no different. And as I’m reading this book and thinking of KG’s 31st birthday, I remembered that I was with her the first time I got drunk and threw up all over the floor of our friend Ani’s mom’s bathroom. We had to be at least 17, really because that’s when we started hanging out together. Both KG and I were less than popular in high school and both had 4th period free. We were such nerds that we’d worked the system enough to finagle a free period and also arranged for said free period to fall on Underclassmen lunch hour.
KG and I kinda knew each other, mainly because we were both friends with this Ani who held what we regarded as a facist hold over our sad little group. Over this free 4th period, KG and I had found each other and, unable to blend with any Freshman, took to hanging out behind the Commons and bitching about Ani.
One of the many great things about KG is that her house was 3 blocks from campus, unlike mine which was 45 minutes away through bridges and tunnels. I practically lived at her folks’ where we’d order Chinese food and watch X Files marathons. We spent a lot of time at Java Beach, a coffee joint we regarded as our turf. I suspected that as adults, our lives would be a great deal like most episodes of Friends.
KG and I prided ourselves on being weird, in all honestly because we might as well own what everyone else was saying about us anyway. Or at least they would be if they knew who we were. Whenever college majors or career plans came up, which they did constantly at our high school, KG would always say she wanted to be the person that makes balloon animals at Chevy’s. I found this brilliant.
Our friend Brian had a younger brother who went to another high school and had a confidence we didn’t possess. He was able to get his hands on an extra bottle of Seagram’s 7 and hooked us up. Since we never went to any of the “cool” parties, we’d never really had any access to alcohol, which apparently, the entire student body had extensive experience with.
Not us.
We could quote the entirety of Reservoir Dogs.
So one weekend, we were all spending the night at Ani’s mom’s house and pulled out this bottle of Seagram’s. In my hazy recollection, everyone was too chicken to drink whatever kind of booze Seagram’s is. Everyone except me.
Before I knew it, I drank the whole thing.
The first thing about this night I remember is that my eyes wouldn’t change focus, like a camera panning left to right as opposed to a head. “You guys, I think I’m totally drunk.”
No one seemed to care and I continued to drink. Eventually, I got up and lay down in Ani’s room, occasionally hollering for one of our little group to come and entertain me. As I lay in the dark alone, I could hear them talking. And I could hear KG say, “I think she’s faking it.”
God bless her, KG had no experience with the results of drinking an entire bottle of anything. The next thing I knew, I was attempting to make my way to the bathroom as my friends rolled their eyes.
Which is of course, when all hell broke loose.
Speaking as a relatively experienced drunk, I can tell you something very important I learned that night. At times like this, nothing on Earth feels better than cold, clean tile on your skin.
I barfed, I cried, I laughed, I drifted in and out of consciousness.
And the only person that took care of me was KG, cleaning it all up, wiping my face, tying my hair back, putting me in bed.
That’s a pretty good friend, right? I mean, that shit was gross.
Years later, when I was 25, I had to spend 3 days in the hospital after major surgery (I used to be a man.) All of my friends and family came to visit me and drugged up as I was, I found it exhausting to perk up for each of their visits. “Oh, terrific. Magazines. Thanks.” Then KG showed up at 9am and announced, “I’m just staying here all day so take naps, ignore me, watch TV. I’m not leaving.” I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to hear that. And I cannot tell you that of all of the people in this world, KG was the only one in my hospital room when a nurse came in and announced she’d be removing my catheter.
That’s a pretty good friend, right? I mean, that shit was gross.
Years later, when I was 30 and stuck in rehab, I completed my dreadful 28 days and was beyond proud and relieved that my parents and brother were driving up to watch my graduation and take me home. And as I stood in the middle of a room filled with drunks and junkies, getting sent out into this scary world to fend for myself and stay on the wagon, I looked up at the visitors’ area for a reassuring glace at my family.
And there, right where she belongs, was KG.
That’s a pretty good friend, right? Trust me, that joint was gross.

So Happy Birthday MRS. KATHERINE BARBARA JEAN HAYES GREEN! You are brilliantly funny, incredibly kind, insanely loyal and it would be profoundly impossible for me to ever be half the friend that you have been to me.

I’m three days late. Blame it on that Seagrams’…

@wednesday...

Hey internetters, today's Culture Blog is up!

Speaking of which, check out Zoe and Joe talking about Facebook on the boob tube...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

i wonder if gavin remembered...

I'm so sorry for my horrible lack of posting today. I've been volunteering at soup kitchens, picking up litter, attending Mass and reading to the blind ... in honor of Mike Farrah's birthday!!!
Okay, I'm just swamped and have nothing blogworthy to say. Other than, of course, happy birthday Mike! 
Appropriately enough, Mike shares a birthday with Aidan Quinn, James VanDerBeek, Kat VonD and Moroccan assassin Mohammed Bouyeri so happy birthday to them too...

Monday, March 09, 2009

i'm really, truly confused and yet, going for a jog in the presidio RIGHT NOW...

Guess what Gavin Newsom just posted on Twitter?
GavinNewsom Just finished running through the Presidio down to Golden Gate Bridge-- hard not to love this city!
At 1:40am? Seriously? What is UP with this man's Twitter account?
I'll keep you posted if he responds to this:
bethspotswood@GavinNewsom Seriously?!?! You run through the wilderness at 2 in the morning? Who knew.
Does he make his bodyguards run with him at this hour? What does he wear during these jogs through public parks at 1am? Why is he posting this on the internet? Like I'm supposed to sleep now. Please...
*UPDATE* One of my Facebook peeps just informed me that tweets by text (my God) have been lagging up to 8 hours. Doesn't this defeat the point of Twitter? Here's what I did 8 hours ago isn't really as interesting. And this could, maybe, not necessarily mean that Gavin went on his magical run through the woods at a more appropriate hour. Whatever...

i'd go for a chilled bottle of belvedere and a charcuterie board, myself...

My "about me" over here on our right was long overdue for an update. Having nothing else with which to describe myself, I selected my favorite quote, which I'd like to explain in case it's of concern.
First of all, I'm pretty sure my favorite quote, again last words, were those of Oscar Wilde who said, "Either that wallpaper goes or I do."
But this fabulousness is disputed and I'd hate for my favorite quote to be some queen misquoting the wonderful Mr. Wilde. My second favorite quote is the punchline in a story best told by Don Rickles about the time he asked Frank Sinatra help him impress a broad. If I had a video of Don Rickles telling that story, that's what I'd post for "about me."
Since I'm such a fan of famous last words, I figured I'd go with Thomas Grasso's, who was executed by the state of Oklahoma for, as far as I can find on the internet, murdering two elderly people on two separate occasions. Before leaving this world, Thomas left us with:
"I did not get my Spaghetti-O's, I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this."
I love this quote for a couple of reasons. The first is that I'm always interested in prisons, criminals, last meals, last words, etc. The fact that Mr. Grasso chose his final words to complain about his food is really goddamn interesting to me. The second reason I love this quote is because he requested Spaghetti-O's as his last meal. I'm wondering if Spaghetti-O's weren't available and the prison cook didn't feel like running any errands for a convicted murderer or if the chef decided to class up his order and seemingly upgrade it from canned "Eye-talian" food to a glorious taste of the old country. Either way, Thomas was having none of it. Did he eat the O-less spaghetti or refuse it in one last protest? Is there a story behind the Spaghetti-O's, perhaps a last grasp at his lost childhood, a denied meal by an absentee father the moment before he walked out the door for a pack of cigarettes, never to return leading Tommy to pursue a life of crime? And did he order anything else? Dessert maybe? That last question I've found gloriously available on THIS blog.
Here's the meal in it's entirety: a dozen steamed mussels, a Burger King double cheeseburger, a can of spaghetti with meatballs, a mango, half a pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and a strawberry milkshake.
Anyone else with me on the mango?
Anyway, this quote from a guy who strangled an elderly woman with her own Christmas lights and was pissed enough about Spaghetti-O's to make complaining about it his last words pretty much sums up me. Completely...

Saturday, March 07, 2009

devinebitzji...

Once again, friends have gone to India and left me behind. In my weekend of plugs, read as The Brains travel through India RIGHT HERE. I could not be more jealous!

Friday, March 06, 2009

paper schmaper...

Hey Internet Aficionados! Check out the San Francisco Appeal!
This online newspaper just went live today, and in it, in addition to legitimate reporting by brilliant writers like my girl, Eve, I do my cheeseball photo captions. Yay!
Please read, link, love...

PS: I delve further into the fabulous mystery of the Gavin Topless Pizza Picture RIGHT HERE!

there was something in the air that night, the stars were bright...

I did it. I gave in. I caved.
Responding to actual spam in my inbox, I couldn't help myself at the thought of 2 for 1 Snuggies AND the added bonus of a book light if I ordered within the next 30 seconds. $35 and one week later, a UPS man came bounding up the stairs of my office with an unnecessarily massive box.
Snuggies!
When I told Hastings of my purchase, I proceeded to be an audience of one to his little comedy routine about what an idiotic, stupid purchase I'd made. And that I'd gotten two Snuggies? My God, I'm surprised he didn't hang up on me. "What do you need two Snuggies for?"
"My guests!"
"Well, I'll never wear one."
"Fine. Don't. Freeze on my couch while I'm toasty warm. See if I care."
"This is quite possibly the dumbest thing you've ever done."
I highly doubt that.
My co-worker, Amanda graciously modeled the Snuggie for me as I realized it's merely one big square of fleece with two arms. I could easily make this in colors and patterns much more fabulous than the offered burgundy, royal blue or sage. The sage is what I bought, incidentally, because I though it'd look so cute on Hastings. Well screw him!
I headed up to my folks' last night as they'd be out, what with their lives and lecture tickets and decided to curl up in my Snuggie, or as my father calls it, "Sleepie" and watch 2 movies. The first was recommended by an Anonymous reader yesterday and, Oh My God. We'll be discussing Dear Zachary soon. You can all watch it on Netflix Watch Instantly.
Then I watched A Certain Kind of Death. This documentary about what happens to people who die with no next of kin is incredibly fascinating. And of course, my immediate concern is what if I die with no next of kin.
After I finished the movies, I sat up in the TV Room with my tea and pondered my burial plans and poorly attended memorial service. My loving parents, who will probably predecease me, arrived home, coming in to kiss me hello and mock me in my Snuggie.
"Mom, I just watched this documentary called A Certain Kind of Death and..."
"Here we go."
"And I'm going to die alone in a sad studio apartment and no one will find me until the neighbors complain about a foul odor! And rigor mortis will set in and when they have to move me onto the gurney, my arms and legs will stick out like this!"
I crawled on the floor in my Snuggie and demonstrated. My mother, with her husband and retirement fund and two adult children laughed at me.
"What about Fernando?"
"Who the hell is Fernando?"
"Your true love."
"Fernando?!? You've named him Fernando?!?! Jesus Christ! Mom, I am 31 years old watching movies involving burials at sea alone on a Thursday night at my parents' house in a fucking sage green Snuggie I bought based on an infomercial. I wouldn't hold your breath on this Fernando character."
My mother looked down at me, still on the floor in my death pose.
"Are you having fun?"
"Oh yeah, I'm in heaven..."

Thursday, March 05, 2009

oh, i've joined the team already...

I love you people. I truly love you. Especially when you e-mail me with really incredible treasures, like this communique from Sarah:
Hey Beth,
I'm a friend of Courtney and Dan's and I think we actually met at that Nintendo DS deal in Dogpatch last year. Anywho, I have a Gavin Newsom story that I think you'd appreciate. I'm hanging out at my parents' house in Santa Cruz and I decide to order some pizza from Pizza My Heart. So I open their website and this happens. That is Gavin Newsom, with no shirt on, holding a surfboard, selling me pizza. Now, I have to know if it is, in fact, Gav-Dawg. Gavin just started following me on Twitter the other day, so I send him a quick @reply linking to my blog post. This morning as I'm going through my email on my BlackBerry, I open a Direct Message from Gavin Newsom. All it says is this: "It is..." Then my head exploded. I'm going to pretend that Gav actually sent the message and it wasn't some stupid assistant.
Hope you are doing well.
Sarah
And then...
Beth, it's getting better.
I replied to his Direct Message and he wrote back again! I said "Interesting. I figured they photoshopped your face on to some other dude's body." The he said "I don't like the picture either."Do you think this is really him or some assistant having fun? I would straight up DIE if it really was him.
Behold!

So not only is this actually Gavin, but he's confirming this shit on his Twitter in addition to, you know, POSING TOPLESS FOR PIZZA PARLOR ADS. If anyone's got info on the legitimacy of this glorious piece of pepperoni, Sarah and I are dying to know...

thank you for the compliance...

How am I just discovering Zumadogg? Apparently, this gentleman is running for Mayor of LA and stumbled upon Gavin, Swiss Miss and some consultant having a very serious pow wow at the uber exclusive Starbucks. Could they have picked a shittier table? 
Anyway, this is pretty goddamn wonderful.


And then, this. This is the best. Heh, actresses...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

pleasant dreams...

Don't read this if you're going to get all scared like Melissa and complain that you can't sleep because of my informative reports about this fucked up world of ours. This is your warning, okay? Here goes:
Oh my God, how did I not hear about the Wichita Massacre? Apparently, we didn't read about it due to "reverse racism," a confusing right-wing theory in which some stories are under-reported because they make certain minorities, genders, sexualities, etc. look bad. But after watching an hour-long MSNBC special on this Dec. 2000 tragedy, I had to conduct some further research. 
After car jacking two people on separate occasions, one of whom later died, brothers Reginald and Jonathan Carr broke into a Wichita condo where 5 bright and shiny 20-somethings were hanging out, watching TV and/or in bed. 
Now, let me just say that the concept of home invasion is incredibly scary to me. If someone breaks into your home and holds you and whoever else happens to be there hostage, you're fucked because as evidenced by this tragedy, these assholes can do pretty much anything to you. 
3 guys and 2 girls were inside, one of which was a couple. The Carr brothers pushed their way in with guns and forced everyone into a closet. Then they pulled them out in various pairs or threesomes and made them have sex with each other. Seriously, just stop reading and clicking on the links I'm going to give you if I'm going to hear about how freaked out you get. 
Okay? Okay. 
The girls were forced to have sex with each other, then the guys each had to have sex with the girls, then the girls were raped by the Carr brothers. Now, I think in this unbelievably horrifying situation, I could resign myself to survival no matter what, but my God. I can only imagine the horror these kids faced shoved in their own closet together, naked and terrified, dragged out periodically to do god knows what for some shithead 21 year old brothers who...hello?, will never get away with this. What a stupid plan. "I want to go rob a condo and make the people inside do weird sex acts! And I want to do this with my sibling!" Idiots. 
The brothers then took each victim to an ATM machine, had them withdraw s much cash as possible and eventually dragged them all, still naked mind you, to a snowy soccer field where they were shot execution style. Finally, the brothers ran over the bodies with the car they stole from the victims, going back to loot the condo. 
But, and there's always a but with these stories which is why I find them so fascinating, someone survived. One of the women was wearing a plastic hair claw which deflected a bullet. 
I shit you not. 
This miraculous hero then played dead, allowing herself to be run over as she lay naked in the snow on a soccer field next to her dead boyfriend and best friends, waiting till she thought it was safe and then ran naked for over a mile through two barbed wire fences to Christmas lights she saw in the distance. 
The Carr brothers got the death penalty, which I disagree with unless of course, they did this shit to me and then I'd want to kill them myself. 
HERE is a link which details basically everything in a rather dramatic fashion. And HERE is the Wikipedia. 
This and BTK? I'm taking a pass on Wichita...

the bag is back...

It's Wednesday! Which means 2 things:
1) My Culture Blog is up!
2) It's not about THIS party, which I'll write about later. Oh, to stand next to my BFF as I finally grace the society pages is both a glorious blessing and hideous curse...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

i should really get out more, but it's raining...

I haven't written about "my shows" in awhile and I'd hate for you to think I'd given up the greatest gift the Lord has given us: television. People are always recommending shows and it's all I can do not to tell them to shove their programming where the sun don't shine. I do not care about Lost, Amanda. I couldn't give a shit about Slings & Arrows, Sara. Tool Academy, Tim? I don't think so. 
While waiting for the third season of Mad Men, here is what I'm watching:
The Office: Duh. I have to admit, now that Pam and Jim are all boring and engaged, much of the thrill is gone for me and my Phyllis coffee mug (oh, yes.) but I've got to admit, this being able to watch pretty much anything online is awesome. Not that I have a life. I'm just forgetful. I'm all about Andy Bernard. Ever heard of him?
30 Rock: Again, on the obvious. Again, online. That Alec Baldwin, voicemail and all. And Kenneth the Page is my future husband, hand to God. 
Friday Night Lights: Dude, don't even watch it. You'll just get mad at me and it's going downhill anyway. How does a guy in a wheelchair have a kid? Coach Taylor's turned into Michael Landon on Highway to Heaven. He needs to stop going door to door fixing everyone's lives with his inspirational football analogies. And don't get me started on Tammy. Season 1, she's the coach's wife. Season 3, she's the high school principal? Jesus Christ. But I've committed myself and I really like the theme song. Plus Landry just tried to hit on a lesbian. 
Real Housewives: Um, hell yes. This is the greatest show on Bravo right now. We're currently on New York, but I love 'em all. By far and away, The Countess is my favorite. I can't really imagine any other nobility types going around insisting that cab drivers call them Countess. I love you, Luann! Oh shit, I mean Countess. I'm on Team Jill and like everyone else alive, Simon and Alex give me the creeps. Why is Ramona still even on the show? I suspect Bethenny practices her admittedly hilarious commentary beforehand and what's with the new chick who a) is not that hot and b) stands around saying nothing. Give me a NeNe from Atlanta any day of the week. I know Anderson's with me! This is one of my few shows not available online. Bravo's only concession is that they re-run this crap every 13 seconds. 
17 and Counting: Say what you will, but this show on The Learning Channel about the Bible-thumping Duggar Family is pure heaven, especially when you figure out that little Jedidiah is OBVIOUSLY gay. Or is it Jeremiah? Anyway, they make their own clothes, don't believe in "individualism" and talk about Jesus all the time like it's normal. Weirdos!
Freshman Year: These are actually little 10-13 minute shows on CNN.com where 2 Freshman Congressmen are given little video cameras and we follow them around as they learn the ropes. Jared is a gay Democrat internet millionaire from Colorado and Jason is a married Republican skin cream salesman from Utah who sleeps on a cot in his DC office to save the taxpayers money. You. Will. Thank. Me. 
The Amazing Race 14Oh good God in heaven, the Amazing Race is so goddamn good. You should all say a prayer that my brother and I get on the Amazing Race 15 because we truly, truly deserve to be. It would just mean way too much to me. This season, Mike White and his father Mel are a team, and needless to say, my favorites. Mike White, you may recall, wrote and appeared in School of Rock and his father Mel is a gay evangelical preacher. Hello? Could this be more fabulous? No. Plus, they're pretty much the cutest team ever. Mel is so earnest with his poor groin injury and Mike is so patient and bisexual. Thus far, the highlight for me as been Mel praying for wind and God's answer. Also, I'm loving Margie and Luke, the mother/gay deaf son team who "speak their own language." Please see Eve and Tim for impression of Luke arriving at the end of each leg. Am I the only one thrilled to see Victor crying? What a douche. Also, I could not have pulled off those leotards, although I thought they were incredibly cute, were they not? 
Finally, and you can watch this on Comcast on Demand or Hulu, Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsay. I usually end up watching 54 episodes in a row, it's so fun to see both behind the scenes restaurant shit and Gordon screaming and yelling at everyone in his hot accent/chef outfit. 
Obviously, since I'm not super-glued to a barstool anymore, I've got some more time on my hands. I'm also up in the middle of the night, so all of this internet programming keeps me highly entertained. I hope you find it as enjoyable as I do, mainly so I have someone to discuss it with. 
Oh! And in other disturbing news, I have a new creepy true crime for you we'll be discussing soon. Lock your doors and turn on your televisions...

enter kathy, restaurant left...

I had to actually "work" today so forgive my lack of posting. But please enjoy the following:

Monday, March 02, 2009

i should've went up to him and been all, "It's FEBRUARY, you idiot!"

I've never been particularly wild about "Cousins' Christmas," a yearly dinner with my mother's cousins and their families which, due to my 2nd cousins having babies like it's going out of style, happened in February. My cousin Michael once confessed after I asked if his side of the family thought I was weird, "Yeah. They do." 
Due to the thousands of (okay, three) children under 4, we began and, thus gloriously, ended pretty early on Saturday night. I debated hitting the town with my friends, as it's so easy to crash at the folks. But I'm the weird cousin and I've got a rep to live up to. I kissed said kin goodbye and split, my brother and I heading off in separate cars for our respective evenings out back through a tunnel and across a bridge to civilization.
I was meeting Zoe on Haight Street as her brother Tristan was in town this weekend. Tristan's a firefighter in Oregon and headed down with some of his brethren for a visit. I adore Tristan and his friends, mainly because they're more than willing to regale me with stories about things like their recent ambulance transport of a convicted child molester who was attacked (sexually and violently) by his fellow inmates. Hastings joined us and we all met up at the Gold Cane. 
Sitting around a big table in the middle of the bar, Tristan and his friends convinced me that everyone (no matter what happens) shits their pants when they die. My pleas for information on the possibility of leaving this world as gracefully as possible were ignored. 
"What if I got shot in the head and the heart at the same time?" I asked, after being told that even if one is blown to bits, the other is still alive long enough to release the bowels. 
Ever the gentleman, Tristan patiently answered all of my questions and as I dove back into, "How do you tell if a burned corpse is a man or a woman?" I suddenly felt two hands on my shoulders. Some dude whispered in my hear, "Whatchu talkin' bout, Spotswood."
It took me a second, mainly because he was incognito in a baseball hat and fleece, but I finally realized it was my friend Joe! I jumped up to hug him hello when he said, "Can you believe Willis is here?"
Confused, I asked, "Who the hell is Willis?"
"Todd Bridges. He's right there, sitting at the bar."
I will gladly accept my moniker of the "weird cousin" if it means hanging out in dive bars with Joe Vazquez who then introduces me to Todd Bridges.
Joe and I were pretty goddamn excited and quickly leaned in to fill Zoe and the boys in on the celebrity in our midst. Hastings then marched right up to Willis himself and dragged him over for a photoshoot with our firemen. Which is when Joe felt the need to tell Todd all about my blog. And Willis, I'm shocked to report, politely listened to our blog recommendations, bizarre jokes and 80's sitcom fawning. While unfortunately a shorter, regularly dressed fella, he seemed to delight in his celebrity and was genuinely nice to us. Obviously, the second Willis went back to the bar, we immediately detailed his crime spree and drug use. 
In the morning, I woke up to e-mails from Joe and Hastings, both of whom has done a little background on Mr. Todd Anthony Bridges, my new dear friend. 
Here are my favorites:
~"In 1993, Todd Bridges was involved in an altercation with a tenant, David Joseph Kitchen, in his house after an disagreement about unpaid rent. Kitchen attacked Bridges with a sword, then Bridges retaliated by stabbing him in the chest with a kitchen knife."
~"Additionally, Bridges appeared along with Gary Coleman and Vanilla Ice on a VH-1's celebrity-reality show The Surreal Life. (Coleman was featured in the 2004 season of The Surreal Life, where he managed a restaurant at which the other cast members worked, and after Bridges appeared, was encouraged by Vanilla Ice to say "What'chu talkin' 'bout, Willis?" much to his dismay and disapproval resulting in Coleman leaving the restaurant.)"
~And finally, "In January 2007, he appeared as a member of the "mob" on the US version of the game show '1 vs. 100.' He was eliminated on the first question after failing to correctly answer the question, 'Which month has an extra day during a leap year?'"
I literally met Todd Bridges at 11:45pm on February 28th. Fabulous!
Yesterday, Tara, Big Chris and I wandered around Chinatown, getting in fights with the dim sum lady and playing Michael Jackson songs on a jukebox. At one point, Tara took a sip of her Tsing Tao and said, "Did you guys know Todd Bridges is a wrestler?"
"What?"
"You know, Willis. From Diff'rent Strokes."
What are the odds?
"Oh. Oh, I know. Get a load of what happened to me last night..."