Friday, July 31, 2009

thank you, citizen...

I was racing home from work last night to meet Tim the Trainer, driving in accordance with the law and minding my own beeswax. Suddenly my mother called and well aware that she had just received a tour of my brother's offices, I gave a big middle finger to the rules and answered my phone.
Our conversation lasted 5 minutes and not that it makes a difference, but I was mere blocks from my front door. A gentleman on a motorcycle pulled up next to me. I glanced in his direction and noting that he was NOT a member of the San Francisco Police Department, I continued to hear about my mother's adventure.
All of a sudden, Mr. Motorcycle starts motioning at me, doing some dramatic hand jive and actually trying to tap on my passenger side window. As we were both stopped at a red light, he created a phone shape with his right hand, held it to his ear and then slamed it down.
He was apparently doing a little skit about hanging up, which he repeated 4 or 5 times with great fury and anger.
Was I illegally talking on my cell phone wile driving?
Yes.
Was this guy a fucking douchebag?
Indeed.
I just stared at him and smiled, chatting away with my mother and formulating excuses why I'd be on the phone. Someone died, perhaps. Or maybe I'm getting biopsy results.
He looked like his head might explode, this citizen was so livid with me and my disregard for civilized law and order. He eventually sped off, his little twist and turn around a corner somehow implying he was going to go tell on me.
I relayed the vigilante experience to my mother, still holding my cell phone to my ear while operating a vehicle.
"Oh!" She said. "Do you have to go?"
"No, I most certainly do not. If that guy wants to be a cop so bad, he should join the force."
"Where are you?" She asked.
Needless to say, I was in the Mission. It must be exhausting for Motorcycle Citizen to put-put around all day, watching people eat meat and toss cigarettes and not vote and talk on their cell phones while driving their gas-guzling, Earth-hating cars. He must go home, sit on his plastic crate and extinguish clove cigarettes on his arms in frustration.
So again, was I breaking a law and theorhetically putting people's lives in danger?
Yes.
Should I have run this guy over?
Indeed...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

when in doubt, scream it across a restaurant...

I have found that now that I don't drink, and perhaps it's because of the whole torrid rehab thing as opposed to being, you know, pregnant or anything, people with whom I'm dining tend to freak out when the wine list is presented.
"Oh, er, um...we won't be needing this! I'll order by the glass! No, wait! I'll have water! Oh god! I don't know what to do!"
A dear family friend spent the better half of Easter Dinner going around the table pouring wine and pausing dramatically every time he got to me. Afraid to exclude, he'd ask repeatedly, "Wine, Bethy?"
The table would pause in stunned silence, as I would repeat, "No thanks."
I've spent a lot of time worrying that people can't have as much fun or struggle with doing the right thing around me. And as much as I say, "Go ahead!" or "Do a shot for me!" even some of my closest peeps still ask, "I hate to ask, but is it cool if I order a glass of something?"
I guess it makes me feel a little bit like a freak.
Last week, Melissa, Jim and I went to dinner. I haven't seen Jim since we'd boozed it up together at some of San Francisco's finer establishments and I wondered how he'd do with the test of the wine selection.
"Ladies, ladies, dinner is on me. Go nuts!"
The poster-sized wine list was then handed to Jim. "Wine!" He smiled. "Oh, but do we want to start with cocktails? I could go either way. Mel, what are you in the mood for? And you, Bethy..." He paused.
Here we go. This is going to be awkward and weird and this waiter is right here and... A knot formed in my stomach as I shifted in my seat. But then Jim did something no one else has dared do.
"Jesus, Spotswood! How the fuck do we handle you?"
Mel and I burst into hysterics.
"She wants a Diet Coke." Melissa answered.
"A Diet Coke?" Jim raised an eyebrow and looked up at the waiter. "Can you please bring some really fancy sparky water in a really fancy wine glass with the fanciest lime in the world."
And that folks, is how the fuck you handle me...

bill wilson, i heart you...

Oh Bill Wilson, chronicler of all that is Newsom, I've been neglecting you! I think a little stroll by Police Chief Heather Fong's retirement shindig is in order, don't you? And while we're visiting Bill, we can see what else he's been up to.
I bet it involves naked men.
One of the most embarrassing moves in the world is the unreturned high five. It's so hard to recover from. You can't really pretend you were trying to do something else, gesture to a painting perhaps or brush aside an errant bang. Heather left Gavin hanging, I've decided.

This looks like an overseas business transaction.


Something uncool is apparently going on to Gavin's right. And the guy in Gavin's tie, standing right next to him sent me a Facebook friend request with no charming little message. Internet faux pas, my online friend. Why, oh why is it so hard to say, "Hi! We have a lot of friends in common. Wanna be Facebook chums?" It's 2 seconds of your life that will come back to you tenfold, Phil Ting. A little online charm goes a long way.

Mayor Gavin Newsom presents Police Chief Heather Fong with the city's first pager.

Is Mackenzie Astin gay or just gorgeous and perfect in every way? And how was I not at this event? Because if I saw Andy from the Facts of Life (the adult years) in that adorable sartorial masterpiece, well, I'd have Tootied myself.

I love how Bill Wilson goes around the city snapping photos of Gavin cutting ribbons and library openings and retirement parties and museum soirees and press conferences and protests and this.

And once again, because I find him fucking adorable, Anthony Woods for Congress people. The man can wear a tuxedo the way a tuxedo was meant to be worn.

Thank you BILL!!!

happy birthday det. john kimble...

Everyone gets a blog on their birthday and the human terrorism threat level (we're on code orange) is no exception. I've only seen the Governator in person once and he was decidedly short and orange. I'd go so far as to say Ahnold is one green hair-do away from becoming an Oompa Loompa. I can only hope he is spending his birthday today celebrating as he did when he was a child, in lederhosen and knee socks, which when you think about it, would make him a lot more like Augustus Gloop...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

cinematic prozac...

Once again, The Beths go out so you don't have to.
I spent this Friday night at a bowling alley in Daly City. And you can watch the video of it RIGHT HERE on the SF Appeal.
And you can see all of our videos on this dorky page I made to, you know, have all the videos in one place...

show me the money...

In the interest of full disclosure, I spent a little while hanging out with Chris Daly at a cocktail party last week while pretending not to be scared of him. And Supervisor Straightjacket was cracking me up. He'll probably have me killed by compost now, but the man knows how to land a punchline. So kudos to you, Chris Daly, for letting me scream, "Help me help you!" in your face.
Here is today's Culture Blog...

my, what comfortable furniture you have...

So much for a ride on the Jetty. Here's today's See Spot Write on the SF Appeal!

And check back later today for a Culture Blog and... The Beths' newest video report!
Wednesdays, man. They're big for me...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

when exactly does dumbledore come out...

I took myself to Harry Potter last night because I like sitting in a movie theater with a bunch of scary-looking single men who wish I was an innocent and highly vulnerable 11 year old.
I like to think I'm pretty quick on the uptake. This, after all, is a movie for children of all ages. Surely, the mysterious witchcraft and wizardry of Hogwarts won't go over this Muggle's head. Alas, I spent 2 and a half hours torn between confusion and a slow realization that most of the film was about Harry Potter being horny.
All of a sudden, the credits rolled and I could barely stop myself from turning to the pedophile nearest me and asking, "That's it? The necklace in the weird water didn't work? What was the story with the bird in the closet? And what happened to those adorable uniforms?"
But the pedophiles were too busy trolling for lost children, eating popcorn off the floor and imagining Hermione in one of those elaborate bondage knot things.
I miss the magical Harry Potter of long ago, when Ron wasn't snogging hos and Neville Longbottom got more screen time. (I love that kid.) But truth be told, fellow virgins, my true love lies with Severus Snape.
With whom, dare I ask, does yours...

Monday, July 27, 2009

wait, beth. did he try to sell it to us or GIVE it to us...

Yesterday, because I've decided my entire life is the first awkward half of a romantic comedy, I boldly and wildly put it out there and experienced an epic fail. Which is how I found myself sitting at a bar in the middle of fucking nowhere next to Brock, who sat rubbing my back with one hand and sipping his vodka with another. "Oh Beth... Well, good for you! You have such a great personali..."
"Shut up."
A diminutive gentleman with a flaming red Amish-style beard was seated at the bar next to me. Motioning to Brock, he finally asked, "Is that your boyfriend."
Later Brock, who was wearing a fur stole at the time, remarked that whenever that question is asked of him and a girlfriend in a bar, he knows he's a long, long way from home. "I think it's the lack of clarity I find most jarring."
Put on the spot, I responded to the Leprechaun, "No, he's my very good friend."
I should have said, "Yes, the man in the fur is indeed my lover." But I didn't. In my state of rejected horror, I told the truth. 
"Cool." Said the Leprechaun. "Can I get your number?"
This, I should point out, was immediately after the Leprechaun tried to sell us weed. "Oh, golly. Um...I don't really give my number out."
It was all I could come up with and the irony of the day's situation was lost on neither Brock nor me. "My God, Beth!" Brock whispered. "This is extraordinary."
This upset the Leprechaun, who finally announced, "Whatever. I was asking for him anyway!"
He used his Leprechaun head to motion to the elderly gentleman sitting beside him, passed out next to his boiler maker. 
Maybe this little, drunk drug dealer with an Amish beard is the love of my life and I made him wallow in my cesspool of rejection because I didn't want to be there alone. I dumped my face in my hands and groaned, "Oh Brock, I'm so embarrassed!"
"Aww, I love you, Beth." Brock giggled. "You remind me of me. I mean, I went to this bar where, if you take your shirt off, you get a free drink. I removed my shirt and the hot bartender only gave me 50% off. And I'm talking recently."
And I laughed with my gay, like my character's supposed to do in this shitty, poorly-written, never-ending ro-co. 
But where, Nora Ephron, is my montage and comeuppance scene

Sunday, July 26, 2009

love all, steal all...

Sometimes, you meet your friend's friends and you get a little worried because it looks like your friend has shitty taste in companionship. That has never been the case with Melissa. Everytime I hang out with some treasured soulmate from Mel's life long before I knew her, I fall madly, madly in friend.
Which is how I now feel about Sean, who's been visiting all weekend. I can't even begin to explain Thursday night and Friday night is captured on the next SF Appeal video, so I'll tell you about yesterday.
I met Melissa and Sean for brunch at MarketBar at the height of Farmer's Market Frenzy.
"This is some world series people watching." Sean observed, and my God, did he have a point. The whole Ferry Terminal was packed with middle aged lesbian couples buying more basil than they could possibly ever use and arty wealthy folks in mildly racist hats they no doubt bought off their sherpa, to whom they still mail non-denominational holiday cards.
We considered ordering the "Seafood Plateau" which includes oysters, lobster, crab...Sean called it the "Seafood Holocaust," but settled on fancy burgers and pizza. In observing the highly liberal crowd peppered with mom-jeaned tourists buying peaches side by side with leather daddies, Sean announced, "Diversity goes both ways."
"You should put that on a t-shirt. You'd be murdered here."
"Really?" Sean asked. "What's the problem with that?"
Mel and I both looked at each other and mimicking most of Noe Valley's reaction to said shirt, whined, "What's that supposed to mean?"
I think that would be an incredibly experiment. Put a perfectly reasonable, tolerant person in a "Diversity goes both ways" t-shirt, drop them off near the organic arugula stand at the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmer's Market and watch!
Tara soon joined us and we decided to walk down to Pier 39, away from the locally produced goat cheese and into the sourdough bread bowl. Due to a long and hilarious story Melissa and Sean told of spending September 12th, 2001 drinking hurricanes in the New York Hard Rock Cafe, we decided to recreate their day in the San Francisco July version. Wide-eyed, Tara entered and announced, "I've never been to a Hard Rock Cafe."
I find this odd as I was one of those terrible 12 year olds with a very tacky Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt collection. Many an awkward photo exists of me sporting my black and neon Hard Rock Cafe Oslo t-shirt standing in line to buy my white and burgundy Hard Rock Cafe Tokyo t-shirt. I truly felt my familiarity with the Hard Rocks of the world gave me immense musical street cred. Yesterday, I found myself slightly embarrassed just to walk through the doors as Phil Collins blared from the speakers and Tara deemed all of the memorabilia on the walls "a huge fraud."
Potato skins, nachos and 5 rounds later, it was time to go. Melissa had talked Sean into changing his flight and staying an extra night. She then promised to make it worth his while by taking us all to supperclub.
We paid our bill and stood up to collect our belongings.
"Wait a second." Tara stared at us. "My purse...it's gone."
I moved her chair, our jackets, the bag of souvenir hurricane glasses. No purse. It had been hanging on the back of her chair and at some point in the afternoon, the king or queen of the douchebags had pinched it. Pinched, by the way, is Tara's word. Not mine.
If you think spending a Saturday in your hometown Hard Rock is embarrassing, try being interviewed by the Hard Rock Cafe security team. Phone calls to banks, credit cards, parents and landlords later, we picked up Tara's spare set of car keys and headed to supperclub.
supperclub, for those of you who like me, haven't had the pleasure, is a high-end restaurant/club/lounge where you lie on beds as costumed servers bring you course after course of fabulous food, peppered with performance art and a hip hop trapeze artist. A gentleman in women's panties and roller skates brought us duck on a bed of mashed potatoes, chard and jus while a dragqueen named Jem poured wine and water over her plastic, inflatable guitar. All laying in bed, the crowd was filled with bachelorette parties and birthdays as well a few couples who were experiencing what looked like a very unexpected date.
I was trying to figure out if my parents would enjoy this. They're always asking things like, "Now, where is someplace hip and nice we could take the Smith's to dinner?"
By hip and nice, they mean bacar. But hey, supperclub doesn't use capital letters either and I'd love to see some tranny place my father's bed number on his lapel, part of the standard supperclub check-in. I think supperclub is more the kind of place my mother and her girlfriends might enjoy, remarking to each other, "Well, isn't this a trip!"
I had a marvelous time, snuggled on a slightly homosexual public bed with my friends, sipping my Pelligrino from a wine glass and wondering what was going on underneath Jem's undies. As our day caught up with us and it was time to head home and watch movies on Mel's couch, I decided to let go of my Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt collection and begin my "Diversity goes both ways" ensemble...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

a perfectly reasonable explanation...

No matter how I leave this Earth, I hope the newspaper reports of my untimely demise say I died helping a little old lady across the street or saving a drowning toddler from a residential swimming pool.
I think we can all agree that accidental death while trying to engage in solo untoward sexy times is the most embarrassing way to go. Which is why my heart breaks for the poor 16 year old kid that died from combining erectile dysfunction medication with a couple of cocktails. The article goes on and on about how unusual it would be for a 16 year old to "need" Viagra, et al. They interview cops, addiction counselors, his parents...none of them can figure out why this kid was taking penis pills.
It must have been a mistake! Someone slipped him a mickey!
Hello? He's 16 years old! He was fucking around! Am I the only one that befriends the incredibly immature and thus know people who've taken Viagra just to "see what happens"? Do we all not recall the great Ben Affleck revealing to Playboy Magazine that he took penis pills just for the hell of it and it "almost gave (him) a heart attack"? Because that's the first thing I thought of when reading this tragic tale; an article from 1999.
Old news, folks. Old news.
Anyway, leave the kid alone. He was goofing around with medication for old dudes and wanted to see if anything weird would happen to his wiener. Personally, if I was a man, I'd be fascinated by myself at all times, performing all kinds of experiments and maneuvers. That junk is strange!
Mystery solved...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

i've got your super poke right here...

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I do love that Facebook. Check out today's Culture Blog on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors status updates, super pokes and relationship stats...


OMG!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

what's the tea bag for? irony...

I don't know if you follow Ohio's Death Row inmates' last meals. Why bother when I'll just do it for you, right? Daniel Wilson left this earth on June 3rd and last enjoyed a well-done porter house steak with steak sauce, a baked potato with sour cream and bacon bits, salad with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, green peppers, carrots and French dressing, corn on the cob with butter, grapes, macaroni and cheese, dinner rolls, Cool Ranch Doritos with a jar of salsa, strawberry ice cream and strawberry cheesecake--both with real strawberries, a 2-liter of Dr. Pepper with ice and one tea bag.
Grapes? 
Anyway, I thought I'd do a little research and find out what led Daniel to the Ohio State Cafe (he burned a woman alive in her own car trunk) and perhaps find a photo of the man Ohio says is a guilty, horrible person. Turns out, in related news, Ohio killed their 1,000th murderer by means of lethal injection TODAY. His name?
That's like naming your kid Ta'Riffik Jones. Odds are, if you're going to burden someone with the misspelling of "marvelous" their entire life, that life is going to be the opposite of marvelous. I can only imagine the innocent victim of a violent crime arriving at the pearly gates of heaven and being informed of their killer's name. 
"I'm sorry. I must have heard you wrong, St. Peter. His name was what?"
"Ta'Riffik Jones, my child. It caught me off guard as well."
As for Marvallous, who killed 6 people on a 1992 Christmas Eve killing spree, including entering one home on the pretext of participating in an orgy, he had no last words and I've got no information on his last meal. I can only assume it consisted of spektakular chicken, deliteful dessert and some wunderfel water...

see vooz plate...

If you're just trolling around, get lost! But if you've been here for awhile, I need your help. I've got to submit my best 2 posts EVER to the big wigs (or really, in all honestly, the friends of the friends of the assistants of the big wigs.) Normally, I find myself charmingly droll, but this task has taught me that I've produced nothing worthy of a rejection letter on some very recognizable stationary. What should I submit? Any favorites? Ever? Seriously, help. 
And while you're at it:
Since I won't do it unless I say it, Brian and Melissa my agents are producing an evening of me reading my 7 or 8 of my most humiliating and hilarious posts. Chef Dan's even offered to host this event as his fabulous Palio d'Asti. So, uh, what the hell should I read? Seriously, help. 
While you're doing my work for me, I'll sit right here until I come up with something interesting... 

you float, i float, right...

Some joint called Film Drunk announced the "Worst Movie Ending Ever" and I'll admit, their selection is an impressive doozy. But of all the dramatically disappointing film endings, the one that stands out as the most personally jarring is, sadly, Jack Dawson's death in Titanic.
I'm a pretty dreadfully selfish person, but let the guy on the floating door! My GOD. I don't know that I'd make my worst enemy clutch to my glorious lifesaving raft while I basked in the moonlight, much less the love of my life. And while, I'll say it, I love Titanic, I will always hate Rose. Not just because she let Jack die, which is obviously murder in my book, but because she kept saying "Jack" like she was worried he wouldn't know she was speaking to him. "I'm flying....Jack!"
Yeah, we got it, Rose.
It always seemed to me like Rose was 37 years old and Jack was this charming 17 year old badass who tossed lighters around with suave style of the streets. I realize this makes me seem like one of those crazy people who invent Titanic fan fiction, and quite frankly, I don't really care. I saw Titanic 8 (yes, eight) times in the theater, after the first of which I was speechless for 45 minutes. The whole car ride home, I just stared at buildings in silence and thought, "That. That building was built after she sank."
I find it a great injustice that no one ever really talks about the fact that our "heroine" is a murderous, advantageous vixen who should've jumped in the first place. Hello? Rose killed Jack.
Whatever. I always like Cal the best anyway...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

before we get started, who the hell is this...

It is a rare individual that answers their phone. And I'm right with 'em. I never answer my cell phone. It's not like I'm ever without it.  I'm on that Crackberry constantly and have no problem placing a call. But unless I really want to chat with exactly who's calling me, I let most calls go to voicemail so I can see what they have to say for themselves before committing any of my precious time. 
This is now standard. I am on board. 
Anyway, this afternoon I phoned Brock for our usual Saturday "salon des bon mots." Here is the conversation, verbatim:
Ring. Ring. 
Brock:(muffled distress of some kind and then a frustrated voice) "Hello?"
Beth: "Hey! What are you doing?"
Brock: (as if he had received repeated obscene phone calls) "WHO IS THIS?!?!"
Beth: "It's Beth. Jesus Christ, what the hell was that?"
Brock: "Sorry, I...I pressed a button and the phone answered and I couldn't see who was calling."
Beth: "Jeez. 'Who is this.' Who were you expecting?"
Brock: "I know! Did you like my tone!?!? God, I don't know what came over me. I'm all riled up!"
Beth: "That was quite exciting."
Brock:"Apparently. So, do you want to hang out?"
These days, when presented with answering a phone blindly, we're simply beside ourselves with fear and confusion. When's the last time you answered a cell phone call from an unknown number? Years, right? That's why God invented voicemail. The worst are unknown calls without messages. As I often remind my friends, "A missed call does not a message make." I prefer to see that a specific person is calling, send them to voicemail, have them leave a brief but informative message and call them back at my leisure. None of this, "Hi Beth. Please call me back" business. Why? Tell me why you're calling. This process is ideal, and again, I feel it's the unspoken standard. 
I was shopping with my mother on our recent vacation and she took every cell phone call she received. She'd just answer, "This is Joanne!!!" when her phone rang, whether she knew the caller or not. I was floored. Answer a cell phone? Unheard of!
I eventually decided it's a generational thing. 
My mother doesn't see any reason to not answer her phone. And Brock sees every reason in the world to freak out when presented with an unknown caller. 
Either that, or he's been getting repeated obscene phone calls and keeping the dicey details to himself...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

don't leave before the miracle happens...

There is an odd bond formed with a stranger with whom you survive a disaster. That's the only way I can think of to describe my friendship with Ansel, my rehab gay. We dined al fresco at Momo's for lunch and spent about 11 seconds on pleasantries, which is interesting considering I haven't seen him since his Medallion rehab graduation ceremony. 
When most people ask me how I'm "doing," I respond in the positive. Obviously it's the easiest and truest way to answer that question, but I can tell Ansel a different truth I can't explain to anyone else. And we agreed on an interesting aspect of our sobriety: loneliness. 
It's something I've been noticing for awhile and been afraid to articulate, convinced I was nuts in my surrounded solitude. It's true though. Sometimes I'll be in the middle of a lively dinner party and get a pang of loneliness. It's only a moment, but a moment I hate. 
It's kind of like being the only kid not allowed to play tackle football because you kept breaking your leg. 
And when I finally said today, "Sometimes it's kind of lonely," Ansel put down his fork, looked at me and said, "I know! Everyone's having so much fun and you get singled out and if you don't have fun it's because you're a big, boring sober person."
"And everyone gets to clink glasses with their champagne and you're the big tumbler of water ruining the moment."
"And you tell they feel a little bit bad for you."
"My friends are awesome, mind you." I said, and I mean it. They are. 
"Of course they are. It's just a fact."
Ansel has a really great way of saying things. And I didn't have to explain certain situations, personal history, location and circumstance of specific instances. He just got it and commiserated. Which I guess is the whole point of having things in common with another human being. 
And with me and Ansel, well, he was a stranger with whom I survived a disaster...

Friday, July 17, 2009

so, what are y'all here for...

There so many rules in life, have you noticed? Constantly we are confronted with little etiquette routines we must perform to stay within the confines of our society. And quite frankly, I love it. You know what I love even more than following everyday situational etiquette? Judging those who do it wrong.
Today, elevators!
I remember my father once relaying a newspaper article in which different regions of the United States have different unspoken rules about how you handle riding an elevator with perfect strangers. In the South, everyone's chatty. Here, in civilization, we make eye contact and smile but would never deign to speak. And in New York, everyone just stares straight ahead.
Perhaps today, I should have gone to a lady doctor in the South, because I was so nervous about that dreadful examination, I couldn't shut up.
My insurance is Kaiser, where all of the departments are listed on the elevator by floor. Upon entering, I pushed 5th Floor which, according to the listing, is gynecology. When my fellow riders pushed Floors 3, 4, 6 and 7, obviously elevator etiquette would state that I should subtly glace at the listing so as to see what's wrong with them. The woman next to me wasn't so polite, pushing her 3rd Floor button before everyone else had boarded, causing the door to close in on some elderly man in a cast. He, of course, was attended by every one of his 54 children who went ballistic that this mechanical door might close and crash them to death before our very eyes.
Once we were all in the elevator and I'd determined what was wrong with everyone, I caught the woman next to me staring. So I stared back and smiled.
Quickly, she whipped her head around and stared straight ahead. The foot family were embroiled in a huge argument about, what else, the elevator door and it was all I could not to politely ask if this was their first time in a moving box. A final member of our party stood opposite from me (in my standard "I'll push the buttons, thank you" location) and remained on her cell phone for the entire time discussing her medical problem, which I did not see listed in the directory of floors.
What did these people do wrong according to my personal and psychotic Elevator Emily Post rules? Allow me to count the ways:
1. Whomever boards first holds their arm across a door until everyone else is on.
2. Once aboard, press your floor or ask someone to do it for you. I love being the elevator operator and am delighted to help out. Honestly. It makes me feel involved.
3. Make eye contact and offer a toothless smile to everyone around you.
4. If you're with someone you know, keep conversations to a minimum and in a hushed tone. Seriously. I know you and your obnoxious posse might disagree, but it's rude and makes me feel lonely. These are my rules, after all.
5. No cell phones. There's a reason service is bad in there. It's so you won't talk.
6. But the greatest crime of all, a crime I witnessed today, is the obliviousness when the doors open on your floor. This crime is akin to the atrocity of a waiter bringing precariously balanced food to a table and saying, "Who had the ahi?" to no response. I hate that. Hello? We're on the 4th Floor. 10 seconds have passed since you pressed a button with the number 4 on it and the doors opened to reveal the 4th Floor. And yet, no one emerges until the doors begin to close and then, "Oh, wait! What floor is this!?!?!" The doors get pulled open, idiot exits, the doors stay open for an eternity because someone COULD GET CRUSHED and then we're finally allowed to go on with our lives.
Anyway, I made it through the appointment with only minor calamity as they don't provide gowns, per se, but separates. There was a paper "blouse" with a piece of tape and then a paper sarong. And of course, there's a mirror in there so I had to check out my paper outfit once it was on and adjust the draping.
When I was done, my doctor congratulated me on surviving yet another terrifying visit and as she walked me out, offered, "The elevator is down the hall to the left."
Unnecessary. I'm taking the stairs...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

in the name of the homo...

Good morning! Today is a DAY. I can feel it. Anyway, here's your See Spot Write, where I throw down with Meg Whitman and Jesus. Enjoy it.

*And while you're clicking around the superhighway, Mediabistro's BayNewser's asking who the most influential women are in Bay Area Media. They've suggested Eve Batey as a possibility. I agree. And so should you. Let them know RIGHT HERE...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

my number one gay, esquire...

Today's Culture Blog all about my new favorite gift from the government is up!
Check it out please.
In far more exciting news, did y'all see my beloved on the boob tube last night?
Brian's stickin' it to the man and I couldn't be prouder. You can see him in very serious lawyer mode right here, which cracks me up/makes me hot...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

can't we just play polo...

I have noticed in my occasional forays into fitness that there's a whole other language of the purposefully active that I just don't speak. 
This evening, Tim the Trainer and I met for a session at the Golden Gate Park Polo Fields. One of the many barriers I have about exercising is doing it in public. I'm not really wild about strolling couples gawking at me as I crank out sit-ups or being passed by a 83 year old as I jog around the track. Tim, on the other hand, doesn't really give a shit and has no problem offering pleasantries to strangers, a practice I find abhorrent whilst publicly sweating. 
Anyway, we were "jogging" around the track when a group of cyclists in their full, Euro-regalia came whizzing by. "On your right!"
Yeah, Livestrong. I got it.
They'd passed us 6 or 7 times. 
And in addition to the highly annoying, "On your right!" they'd scream code at each other. I can't even tell you what it was and certainly not what it meant. It was cyclist slang, the code of the spandex, the language of the mini-visor
On lap 2 or 3 (I've blocked out the pain), the leader of the pack as it were screamed, "Hey guys! It'd be better if you better if you were on the right! We can't see you coming around that turn!"
"Okay, thanks!" Tim hollered back. 
Whoosh. They all whizzed past us in a blur. 
"Fuck you, Lance Armstrong." I sighed, pushing sweaty hair out of my face as we moved to the right side of the track.
Tim walked ahead. "Well, it's kinda good to know. He could've been a lot ruder about that."
Um, whose side are you on? 
Tim's right, of course. I think I have a natural hatred for those that break a sweat with a smile on their face, tweeting about their marathon time and dropping what an awesome workout they enjoyed at 5am, like they're talking about a latte or really great morning sex. 
I am wildly jealous of those people. And since I will never be one of them, I must hate them with every fiber of my being. 
Do I feel better post 75 sit-ups? Begrudgingly, yes. Am I looking forward to Tim kicking my ass again on Thursday? Fuck no. And if anyone screams "On your right!" at me then, well, I seem to recall some mad boxing skills...

Monday, July 13, 2009

could this be any more like the hills. honestly...

Have you seen this? I'm the only one that cares, aren't I?

No wonder Gavin's all over the state, hanging out down south where people actually appreciate him. Do we blow this kind of sunshine up his ass? Do any of our journalists ask him about Dancing with the Stars? Does anyone here over the age of 9 ask for his autograph?
No! 
And it's a goddamn crime.
Do you think Gavin just swung by Mr. Chow to get a shot at what my father calls, the papitazi? Is this like that scene in Soapdish where daytime star Sally Field feels unappreciated so she goes to the mall to get recognized? Because I'm right there with you, Gavin! Why, I was just saying to Melissa as I wore my new sunglasses on the escalator inside Bloomingdale's, "I'm in the mood to sign autographs!"
So, enough with all the complaining about Gavin on the Go. Obviously, we need to be proactive about this problem and give the guy what he wants. I don't know where we should set up shop, but I'm thinking Balboa or Tosca, because I heard he no longer used the bar of La Barca as an office. We get cameras, ones with lots of flashes, and insincere interviewers to ask patronizing, bombarding questions, pseudo-blocking him as he ties to get to his ride. He'll love it! Hell, who wouldn't?
My only issue with the above is, enough already with the policy! Save it for the print media. We want to know what you think about Heidi and Spencer! Are you currently involved in a Bromance with anyone? And why have you not issued a public statement about the tragic passing of pop icon and American treasure, Michael Jackson?
Let's not force our Mayor out of town because we're too polite in leaving him alone. Let's be all up in his shit like they rock it at Mr. Chow. I know I'm in. And before you judge our future Governor for getting his eggrolls someplace Lohan-esque, check out this video I found of Jerry Brown. Um, other than the obvious height issue, am I wrong is finding him slightly attractive, in a Ricky Nelson/Sonny Bono/quaaludes and disco kind of way...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

it's probably from 1997 anyway...

I'm at a loss. A frustrating, unfixable loss. 
Yesterday, the Missus and I enjoyed lunching and shopping at the mall. As we poked around Banana Republic, we enjoyed a heated discussion on why one would buy white pants when I suddenly said, "This song is amazing." 
I'll readily admit to my apparently shitty taste in music. I have no problem confessing that yes, I like Rob Thomas. That douche John Mayer is right up my alley. And sure, I sobbed hysterically at James Blunt's heartbreaking performance on a 1am episode of Oprah. Who didn't? I'm VH1's target spinster, and I make no apologies
But this song playing in a lesser Banana Republic...well, it was cool. Cool even to other people! And I really, really liked it. I couldn't make out the words, it was too weird, gay and cocktail party background-esque. Normally, I'll google a sentence, find whatever song struck my fancy and buy it on iTunes. But I couldn't make out a word of this masterpiece. 
"Excuse me." I said to  woman with one of those secret service things in her ear, in case of a "Martin fit eco-chic trouser" emergency. "Do you know what song this is?"
She looked at me in bored horror. "No."
"Oh, okay. It's just this song is so..."
But she was off to fold some cropped cardigans and I was left worrying about the customer service policies of one of my standard clothiers. I'm not saying she had to run down to the CD player somewhere and burn me a copy. But a little, "I know! We've been wondering too" or "Let me ask my hella gay manager, Reymundo" would have made me feel less like an asshole. 
We didn't buy a thing at the Westfield Banana and if I may, I suggest you shop at the Union Square flagship Banana anyway. It's 12 times the size and selection. But that song stayed stuck in my head throughout J. Crew, Zara and the frozen yogurt joint. I continues to drive me nuts, in fact. There's a song out there, an awesome song to add to my repertoire and I'll never know what it is. 
And neither will you. Thanks to some skank at Banana...

Friday, July 10, 2009

just what i need. another chris...

I was so nervous this morning, I had to wear my new and ridiculously formal earrings just to get me out the door. Today, after all, was my first dentist appointment in a decade. If you'll recall, prompted by extreme tooth pain in what I (along with the internet) determined was my upper left molar and a promise of parental subsidization, I finally conceded my dental ban and booked an appointment with my mother's dentist, the apparently wildly attractive Dr. Catalano.
I don't know where my extreme fear of the medical profession comes from, but I assure you, it's not limited to dentistry. I'm terrified of any doctor, mainly because I'm convinced I'm dying of every disease imaginable. I'm going to the "lady doctor" on Friday and I can't begin to tell you how terrified I am of that. I'll probably show up in a beaded evening gown.
I should also point out that part of recovery is going to get every single part of yourself checked out. I had to sign some kind of rehab contract promising I'd get the standard once over in every department and while I can't imagine some AA mafia is actively enforcing said contract, I'm following the recovery rules as close as I can.
Dr. Catalano and team send me a "Welcome Binder" weeks in advance of my appointment with strict instructions to fill out the paperwork before my appointment. If you don't fill out the paperwork, they send you away. It's all very formal and I don't imagine Dr. Jang's this uptight. But Dr. Jang charges 50 cents and he probably just sticks a key chain flashlight in your mouth instead of an x-ray machine. Anyway, I had my paperwork raring to go when I walked into the office, lest I be thought of as ill-prepared. I haven't been to the dentist since the Clinton Administration and suddenly, I was worried about what these people thought.
The waiting room was very plush and low lit, much like that carpeted section of the Nordstrom ladies room just for hanging out.
"Hello Beth." A blond woman said in soothing tones. "Do you have your paperwork?"
"Yes! Yes, I sure do! All filled out!"
"Okay, have a seat. It'll be just a few moments."
It was kind of like checking into a spa with no hint of the torture devices around the corner. I picked up a People and worried. Suddenly, my phone rang and much like an 11 year old flying unaccompanied for the first time, my mother had called to check on me.
"Are you there?!?!"
"Yes." I hissed though gritted teeth.
"Well, he's very nice. It'll be just fine."
A woman appeared with a clipboard. "Beth?"
"Mom, I've got to go!" I stood from the couch as Nikki introduced herself.
"Don't worry. I totally get it. It'll be fine." She assured me.
Oh, okay Nikki. Sure. It'll be terrific. Everyone just raves about the dentist.
She led me down a hallway to the last examination room, past patient after patient in their dental chair, no doubt stifling screams and praying for death. After a quick chat, where I had to do the dreaded, "I was in treatment for addiction and I'm supposed to inform my doctor as some kind of public humiliation step" Nikki took my X-Rays.
"X-rays last about 5 or 10 years anyway, so we'll just do new ones."
Much has changed since last I sat in the dentists chair. Instantly, my teeth appeared on a screen before me looking exactly like they do in all of my google searches. I don't know why I imagined my teeth to be mutant from everyone else's, but I was highly relieved to find them tooth shaped. "So these are like, my dental records. In case I'm ever found in a dumpster, you can identify me."
Nikki laughed and asked if I had any questions while we waited for "Dr. Chris."
I always hate being asked if I have any questions and responding that no, I don't have any questions. Smart people should have questions, right? What am I supposed to ask? Do you pay your bills on time? What's the grossest mouth you've ever seen? If I promise to be a "before" picture, can this all be free? I asked the only question I could think of.
"Do any celebrities come here?"
Nikki smiled. "A couple."
"Say no more!" I said, perhaps too loudly. "That's all the recommendation I need!"
Looking at my x-rays on the screen in front of me, Nikki offered, "I think I know what's wrong."
She'd spotted a hole in my tooth.
"You've got a cavity. I'm not the doctor, but that's my guess."
And with that, in walked Dr. Catalano. My mother, bless her, thinks every man under 50 is the bees knees. Dr. Catalano's celebrity equivalent is a slightly older, well dressed Mike Myers. And everyone calls him "Dr. Chris."
I think Dr. Phil ruined this for doctors everywhere because while it's very cool and helpful that Dr. Chris is so laid back and warm, I suddenly thought of Dr. Ruth and Dr. Laura and realized I'd prefer to call him Dr. Catalano.
"Okay." Said Nikki. "Stage three."
We'd agreed that stage two was the x-rays and stage one was me even walking in the door. Stage three involved the doctor examining the x-rays and examining my mouth.
"Wow, that's a pretty big cavity, Beth. And really close to the root there." He wasn't chastising or mean about it, which I had expected. I honestly thought these people were going to yell at me.
I mean, really. A decade.
The x-ray of tooth #13 was obvious, even to my untrained eye. And then we looked at the other teeth. "So you still have your wisdom teeth."
"I do, yeah. I just ignored them when they came in and voila!"
He then told me that I'm obviously a meticulous brusher. This is something I remember hearing from dentists when I was a kid and the same thought flashed through my mind as it did then. "You're nuts."
I congratulate myself when I eat an apple, I consider the process a virtual dental overhaul. And the only time I floss is after eating ribs. Dr. Chris then went on to examine my mouth and shout things to Nikki, at one point announcing, "There's no oral cancer."
He removed his hands from my mouth as I screamed, "Wait! What? Oral Cancer?!?!"
"Well, yeah. We're checking for everything."
"Oh, of course. It's just, had I known that was a possibility, I would have run for the hills."
Turns out, I need a two-part deep cleaning and let's just say, more than one cavity filled. But it looks like I'm root canal free for now, or as Dr. Chris said, "until we get in there and see how bad it is."
Then we kind of hung out and chatted for awhile, which was lovely because I was told I was already very close to "movie star teeth" which is what I requested on my form. I booked my next appointments to get my cavities filled and my first (of two) teeth cleanings and then was handed prescription mouthwash and a printout of the entire cost of making my teeth reasonably healthy.
You could have healthy teeth, folks. Or you could have a slightly used Camry.
Anyway, as we were finishing up, I mentioned to Dr. Catalano that I'd heard, thanks to a blog reader, that brushing my teeth would salt would make my toothache go away.
"It worked. It was gross, sure, but it totally worked."
He was flabbergasted but kinda went with it. "That's so interesting! Wow, well I guess the Ph levels..."
Dr. Chris'd lost me, but thanks to Mousqueton, a dentist in Marin is now onto this salt thing. Anyway, my cavity appointment is booked and my mouth is on the road to incredibly health and movie star status.
I think that perhaps, the biggest and most important lesson we learned today is that you might have oral cancer, whatever that means.
I certainly don't have it. But you might...

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

the real terrorists...

I realize that perhaps not everyone is as familiar with my version of "travel etiquette" as I would like, but there are certain rules of the road, if you will, that even the most inexperienced air traveller must surely accept. 
I think we'll all acknowledge that getting off the airplane is a drag. The plane is stopped. The door is open. But 234 people in front of you need to delicately remove their carry-on from the overhead compartment, place it in the aisle, release the handle thing, 
realize it's facing the wrong way, turn it around, double check their seat and essentially, take fucking forever lest a Redbook from November get left behind. I've come to terms with this travel fact. And while obviously, I am not one of these horrible people. I've prepared my belongings at 35,000 feet and can be off a plane in seconds, I accept this part of the journey and wait my turn while thinking horrible things about Pager Man in front of me. 
eryone, my wonderful family included, absolutely must be front and center hours before the thing starts moving. Hundreds of people line the side of the turnstile in breathless anticipation of their bag being 1st or 8th or 564th to tumble down. As if luggage not instantly claimed by it's owner was given to the poor, the biggest and boldest crowd right where the machine spouts out bags. Moments wasted as the baggage spins are moments never to return. And while I'm not one to sit front and center on the luggage turnstile waiting to win this imaginary race, I still understand their theory. We all want to get where we're going. 
Hey, me too! And when I see my bag fall from the top of that machine, I move myself forward and down the line a little, waiting for that big, shiny blue duffel to make it's way to me. Logical, right? 
Here's where my real problem lies. 
No one responds to any form of, "Excuse me, pardon me. That's mine. My bag's right there, if I could just, um, excuse me." 
Not a glace, nary a twitch. Most refuse to move a muscle, because letting you get your bag might mean they miss their bag's decent from the rotating machine mouth, thus causing their duct-taped monstrosity to go one complete, time-consuming and thief-filled ride around the turnstile. And we can't have that. A whole rotation? Never!
I'm hardly a samaritan, but watching an old man struggle to get his 1972 Hawaiian Islands Coach Tour suitcase off that thing as hundreds around him refused to move out of the way much less help, set me off. I pulled his bag off, hopefully bruising Queen Fannypack to our left and offered what I hoped would be a behavior-changing admonition. 
"My God, this is ridiculous!"
No one cared. Not a soul noticed. They were far too focused on where the Southwest Airlines baggage crew had placed their hastily folded elastic waist jeans, et al. 
My family's bags arrived eventually, as bags tend to do. And as we walked away, I looked back at Queen Fannypack. She was still standing against the turnstile, her knees knocking every bag as it went by and her eyes furiously focused on the cascading slide of luggage. 
Oh no, still no bag? Good. I hope they lost her bag and whatever shitty, highly flamable clothing she packed in it. Actually, I hope she's still standing there now, watching an unclaimed bag or two go around and around and around, wondering how her awesome plan of baggage claim attack went so wrong...

oak baggage claim is like hand to hand combat...

The eagle has landed! And here's your very late official Culture Blog link...

fin...

We're heading back out to the Albuquerque Airport pretty soon, leaving this marvelous home and returning to our own crappy ones. Yesterday's big activity was getting our Southwest boarding passes online, something that MUST be done 24 hours in advance. 
Southwest, you're probably aware, doesn't assign you 35F. They just let you board in groups A, B and C and it's like Lord of the Flies in there, trying to get any seat but a middle. We were in Group B on our way down here, and it really wasn't that bad. But obviously, Group A is ideal. 
You know, if this plane spirals towards the Earth and we're all lost, identification in going to be tough, what with everyone sitting wherever they can elbow themselves into a seat. Thus, please alert the authorities that I am wearing kelly green chinos (I know) and black layered tops, I have a tattoo of "1660" on my right ankle and I'll be the corpse clutching every mini vodka bottle on board. 
Today's Culture Blog will be up at noon RIGHT HERE-ish. Needless to say, it's about cover boy. And I did not buy anyone a bolo tie whilst in Santa Fe, mainly because I was too embarrassed to do so. 
Prepare the grenadine. I'm coming home...

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

as if we needed another reason...

Judge Judy on Crack is once again pissing me off while I'm on vacation. Check out today's See Spot Write in the SF Appeal... 

Monday, July 06, 2009

piano? bar? i'm in...

My cousin Jenny and I just got back to the house after getting manicures and pedicures at a Santa Fe strip mall. Talk about depressing! This mall, called the DeVargas Shopping Center or similar, is basically where people go to die. We had 15 minutes to kill before our nail appointment so Jen and I ventured into Ross. The joint was jam packed with desperate people all of whom needed a polyester maxi-dress for $11.99 and all of whom can only shop provided every member of their entire extended family comes along to stand in the aisles and talk on their cell phones. 
Actually, that's pretty much every Ross. 
Anyway, we're not doing any real sightseeing mainly because we've rented such a magnificent home. It's so huge, we barely see each other and occasionally, someone'll walk past the pool and I'll go, "Oh yeah. My mother's here."
However last night, the 6 "kids" went to Vanessie, a piano bar my folks had visited on a trip here a few years ago. They'd raved and raved about the spot and about Doug, the pianist who charms all the bluehairs who come to hear him. Imagine, if you will, Dorothy, Blanche and Rose out for a night in Santa Fe. That's Vanessie. 70-something's all dressed in their business-casual finest sipping Chardonnay to Doug's version of "Somewhere Out There."
Kate asked me if I thought we'd meet the loves of out lives at Vanessie. 
"I don't know." I responded. "I've never been into guys in printed polo shirts." 
We couldn't get it table, it was so packed with the nearly dead, but my brother managed to capture the following video, and we're on our way back there tonight...

I don't know where my love of the amateur performer comes from, but I think it stems from the joy I find in the guy with the regular, boring, clip-on-tie job waiting all week to spend his Tuesday nights belting the soundtrack of a dentist office. I find it very sweet and funny and interesting that this passion to perform, something I think I understand pretty goddamn deeply, is actually lived out in public at a microphone while an assembled crowd of the moderately sophisticated watch on/eat onion loaf. 
And as for Leonard, the straw-hatted gentleman above, well once I saw his walker put into place at the mic stand and his sassy, self-deprecating delivery of "Leonard" I simply fell in love. With him. With his hobby. With Vanessie...

Saturday, July 04, 2009

indians came in the night and stole 5 sets of clothing, 2 axles and 23 bullets...

There's dramatic thunder and lightning over the desert right now, which is a good thing. Don't let me in the sun, folks. I'm just begging for cancer out by the pool and paying the painful price later. 
I haven't played in a pool in a long time. I've occasionally cranked out a few laps here and there, but I haven't straight up played in the water in some time. 
It, uh, rocks. 
Thus, we've developed the 2009 Spotswood/Ryken Family Aqua Olympiad (ages 26-63.) Events include walking the entire length of the pool on your hands, being able to stand the longest on the floating chaises, and using said floating chaises as bizarre tools in which to perform "The Burro", "The Cactus Flower" and "Wagon Train."
I'm going to try and get you a video of someone doing Wagon Train. It can't be described, but it is quite possibly the most awesome pool race ever invented. I'd like to see Michael Phelps rock Wagon Train, which interestingly, involves shouting phrases from Oregon Trails. 
But now, with this thunder and lightening, I've been asked to stop playing in the pool. My mom is concerned I'll be electrocuted and well, I'm 31. After spending 3 hours (no joke) perfecting my synchronized swimming routine, I should probably take a break and like, read a book. That's what everyone else is doing. 
This storm better pass, folks. Because if you haven't taken some time, thrown inhibition to the wind and just played in the water lately, do yourself the favor... 

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

dreams come true, yes they do, in santa fe...

Our flight from Oakland to Albuquerque was delayed a bit, so I took my time getting to our gate, choosing instead to peruse a bookstore and pay a visit to Starbucks. 
My family is having a little reunion, if you wanna call it that. All told, 11 of us (one's a baby whom I feel forced to count but personally, don't consider) are convening in this sprawling Santa Fe adobe palace. We're arriving from different places on different days, but basically, I'm in this remarkable home for the next week.
Thus far, my folks, Dori and I have arrived, having flown together on a rather rickety Southwest Airlines 373. Which brings me back to the Oakland Airport. I selected a book for myself, something called "Devil Bones" which looks like a Danielle Steele novel for serial killer fans. And for Kate, I picked up "Rappers 'R In Danger" by someone who calls himself "Relentless Aaron. Don't believe me?
I purchased the book after flipping it open to, "Ringo ain't done nothin' but love your yellow ass on the regular. You straight trippin'."
Other than "Rappers R In Danger" I was unimpressed with the whole section of the Airport I found myself in and went to meet my family at the gate, hoping our random, every man for himself boarding would take place as soon as possible. Little did I know, our gate was in a much, much better section of the Airport, where books without spelling errors were sold and Peet's coffee was available without a line. Someone at the Oakland Airport should put a sign up right after the metal detectors. "Welcome to Oakland International Airport: Walk Past the Shitty Stores. Better Ones Exist."
I found a seat at the gate next to my mother, working on her KenKen and sipping from a Starbucks cup. "Mom, they have Peet's down here."
"I know! They have better everything down here!"
Which is when I noticed that my mother's Starbucks cup had the standard Sharpee'd name written on the side. 
"Juan."
My mother's name is Joanne. We found this hilarious. Mom began speaking in the third person as Juan. "Juan needs you to shut up so Juan can concentrate on KenKen." And later, "Juan's gonna go see what's taking so goddamn long. Juan is ready to get this show on the road."
Gracias Juan!
Finally on board, I spent the entirety of the 2 hour encouraging my family to purchase anything in the Home Garden Decor section of Sky Mall. Please, go on your own mini vacation and visit these extraordinary offerings. 
Actually, I'm incredibly tempted to order my dad his own steak brander. Yeah, a steak brander. So you can brand your meat (steak, chicken and hamburgers) with your initials. Juan's biggest concern was the chicken. "It says you can brand chicken. Like a chicken breast?"
"Who cares! It comes with a custom cedar gift box."
Dori, while a seasoned world traveler, is afraid of flying. Interestingly, landing in the desert involves A LOT of turbulence. The whole experience was pretty nerve wracking and as we giggled through fear and inappropriate jokes, I thought of THIS scene in Alive when the passengers go from "Hey, it's like a roller coaster!" to sheer terror. 
We were walking that line. 
Having secured a rental car and made it the the house, we've fully explored and claimed boudoirs before 2 more arrive tonight. Kate and I are in a bedroom with twin beds and a bathroom with a Navajo couch. This is very Sundance Catalog, with lots of indoor/outdoor areas and big wooden Mexican mission doors opening to meditation gardens with water elements. There's lots of dramatic giant paintings on Native Americans on horses and one in the dining room of some dude sticking his hand in Jesus' wound. 
After spending the afternoon reading down by the pool, I have no intention of spending much time admiring the sights of Santa Fe. But I'm open to suggestions. 
I can't wait for Kate to get here so I can present her with "Rappers R In Danger" by Relentless Aaron. Here's hoping she'll read aloud by the adobe fireplace as we 're drenched in turquoise baubles and leathery skin, gazing out across the cactus' silhouetted in the sunset...