Friday, July 31, 2009
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?
Was this guy a fucking douchebag?
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?
Should I have run this guy over?
Thursday, July 30, 2009
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.
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!!!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Here is today's Culture Blog...
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
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
Sunday, July 26, 2009
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
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!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
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
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
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
*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
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
Monday, July 13, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
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
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Monday, July 06, 2009
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.