Sunday, January 31, 2010

be a san francisCAN, mayor. not a san francisCAN'T...

Impressively, Mayor Gavin Newsom hasn't given up on the YouTube updates to us, his San Franciscans. Disappointingly, this weekend brings us a snoozer. I watched the whole thing thinking, "Okay, Gavin. It's my birthday. All I want is a flirty shout out."
13 minutes and 23 seconds later, I emerged from my local policy coma snubbed.
Highlights include "in-house, non-financial betting" on who's speech would be longer: the Mayor's or the President's. Wanna guess? Yeah, Mayor McChatty.
I wonder what his staff wagered with? Gum, maybe? Don't forget. Gum IS Public Enemy Number 1. Gavin still hasn't come back to his urgent message regarding his fight against gum. I hope everything's okay in the Mayor's Office of Gum. People are probably getting fired left and right everytime Gavin sees gum on a park bench. If you thought Walgreens banning cigarettes was bad, just wait until they arrest you for trying to buy some Juicy Fruit.
Speaking of cigarettes, new stores (or stores with new owners) within spitting distance of schools can't sell smokes. Oooohhhhh. Big whoop. I could get weed and booze in high school. Cigarettes were the least of my problems. My tapered black jeans, however, well...that's another story.
Also, cruise ships bring us a lot of money and cell phones are bad for you.
Like I said, this week was like watching paint dry. He should have just read the phonebook, if phonebooks still existed.
In addition to getting out of the office, interviewing other people and changing his ensemble, I am formally asking the Mayor to provide us an update on Public Enemy Number 1. You can't drop the terrifying threat of gum on us and then never mention it again. I'm losing sleep over this.
HERE's a link to Gavin's birthday-less YouTube. It gets a D+. Yes, I know. This week is the lowest grade ever. His GPA is screwed...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

look for frontal lobe damage and mother issues...

Today is my (and Brock's) birthday!!! I feel that, even more than usual, this means I get to write about whatever I want. So here goes.
There is a serial killer on the loose.
I think he (yes, he) is working primarily in the Point Reyes and Sonoma County Areas, owns a car and is caucasian.
I KNOW. I'm freaked out too.
Okay, here are my clues:
1. 2 women in 2 weeks have gone missing from walking around Pt. Reyes. As was brilliantly pointed out in the comments, the police's swept out to sea theory doesn't really cover the fact that it's just women who keep falling magically into the ocean. People walk around Pt. Reyes all day every day. 2 women in 2 weeks is suspect.
2. I got an email with the spam-esque "Daddy thinks you might be interested in this." Turns out, my father had forwarded me an article from the Press Democrat. Get a load of THIS. A 34-year old Wine Country Film Festival Volunteer named Erica Shane was found dead in a creek at 4 o'clock in the afternoon on Tuesday. Her Subaru Forrester was parked "unusually" 200 yards away. Who drowns in a creek? Just off the top of my head, she was run off the road, ditched her car and ran.
That's 3 women, ages 37, 77 and 34 since January 10th. The locations are approximately 60 miles apart if you take Highway 1 straight up from Pt. Reyes to Calzadero. It's a lovely drive. Brock and I are investigating on Sunday.
Whaddaya think?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

so long melissa. i have a new best friend...

Today's Culture Blog is UP! Join me as I sneak into the Star Trek Convention "Party" and watch some gay marriage discourse go down...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

there's no business like reality show business...

The Beths are back! We spent this Sunday with the folks trying out for a new Gordon Ramsay show on Fox called Master Chef. Bon appetite...

Monday, January 25, 2010

history has a tendency to repeat itself...

One of the lesser known serial killers with whom I am fascinated is David Carpenter, mainly because my childhood home is located in the middle of one of his killing grounds. And in addition to Mount Tamalpias, "the Trailside Killer" also murdered in the Santa Cruz Mountains and Point Reyes. I thought of him recently as Carpenter was included in this amazingly interesting photo slideshow from KTVU called "The Aging Faces of Death Row."
A couple of weeks ago, when a woman hiking in Pt. Reyes went missing and it was no big deal because everyone assumed she was merely swept out to sea, I had my suspicions. Idyllic Pt. Reyes isn't as tame as it seems, folks. And how is being swept out to sea no big deal? That doesn't just happen. But I kept my mouth shut because I realize my reputation for assuming foul play instead on the apparently obvious, "Oh, a magic wave came up onto the beach, formed a claw and grabbed her."
But now another woman has gone missing from a stroll around Pt. Reyes and we should at least consider the possibility that perhaps the odds of 2 people in 2 weeks getting pulled out to sea are a lot slimmer than the odds of 2 people in 2 weeks having a run in with a mad man on the cliffs above the Pacific Ocean.
Obviously, David Carpenter is locked up in San Quentin making arts and crafts with the Nightstalker. But it's a spooky place, up there in Pt. Reyes. And we'd be remiss if we didn't glance back into the park's bloody history in trying to solve the mysterious disappearances of these two women.
In other creepy news, I was so fascinated with the Mother Jones photo essay Generic posted of a woman who makes KKK ceremonial robes that I showed it to the ladies in my office. I can never understand how people get so offended by things, they can no longer find it interesting. I think they're missing out on a lot of weird, enlightening and disturbing information...

*Brock just called to inform me that we'll be spending
Sunday wandering the cliffs of Pt. Reyes.*

Sunday, January 24, 2010

coming up on this week's oprah...

I have so much to tell you, I feel like I need a post just to list the topics we'll be covering this week here, on the Appeal and in the Gate:
1. Saturday Night was a family Christmas Party. So, there's that.
2. I volunteered with my father serving lunch at a soup kitchen. There were tears. There were, of course, laughs.
3. I still haven't told you about jury duty.
4. There's a serial killer thing I'm a little obsessed with right now.
5. The Beth's (and Brock) filmed a new video covering the Master Chef Auditions in Union Square.
6. Last night, following the Family Christmas Party, I snuck in BY MYSELF BECAUSE NO ONE WOULD GO WITH ME to the Star Trek Convention Late Night Dessert Party at the St. Francis Hotel. I'll probably use this for The Gate, but really I should be on Oprah to tell this story, I find the experience so personally climactic. Below, please find one of the MANY videos I took, and note the woman at the very last second. You can hear her before you see her...

Saturday, January 23, 2010


If you do nothing else on this beautiful, rainy Saturday, stay in and watch Gavin's newest You Tube update. It is fucking fabulous.
Libraries, panning in and out, special guests, free books on the internet, a huge fern and bitching about the Supervisors? Relatively speaking, this week's video is like a really good episode of Planet Earth.
Filmed in the rare book section of the Main Branch of the San Francisco Library (oh, getting out of the office, I see. What a great idea), the Mayor is all about jobs this week. Suddenly and excitingly, the camera pans out to reveal 2 guests joining Mayor Newsom for a delve into the inner workings of his Jobs Now program. At least I think that's what it was about. Much like Gavin's guest, I was really just waiting for the Mayor to remember his guests' names. I wonder how hard a little graphic of the dude's name would be? Anyway, the guest (Bill) is the head of some company that digitizes books for an online library.
Bill got to hire loads of new people thanks to this new job program and soon, we'll all get to visit the library online so we don't have to watch homeless people downloading free porn in the middle of the day.
After a quick, informative and awkward interview, Gavin takes a break (so Bill and his employee, Tracy can scram) and comes back to segue into bitching about the Supervisors.
"Speaking of connecting people, I hope we also can connect the Board of Supervisors and my office...I am here. I'm open to new ideas and good arguments."
Obviously. Gavin is pretty much taking ALL of my ideas and using them these days.
I pa-tik-alarly liked it when he said, "Allow us the dignity..."
Anyway, I'm delighted the Mayor and his staff are moving stuff around, bringing in some warm bodies, involving a plant again, complaining about the Board and taking their show on the road. It's a wonderful change of pace and a huge step in the right direction. That being said, I'm not imbedding it this week because I think the following clip is way, way more interesting.
It's Andy Cohen with Gretchen from the Real Housewives of Orange County and Cheyenne Jackson, the openly gay, incredibly hot star of 30 Rock describing sitting next to Diana Ross on the same flight as the cast of the Jersey Shore. You are welcome.
As for you, Mr. Mayor, why not take a clue from Bravo producer Andy and invite a celebrity on what is turning into a talkshow!
Please leave your talkshow name suggestions in the comments, because I think we can all agree, Gavin needs to name this shit. You can see Mayor Newsom's video HERE.

Friday, January 22, 2010

ooohhh. new background...

And I forgot to tell you that the Noir City Film Festival opens this weekend too! Tara and I are big fans of going to their movies and then speaking "noir" at dinner (aka: for months) afterwards. Anyway, here's your Weekend What's Up...

i bet he/she plays farmville...

The Golden Gate Bridge FINALLY approved me as his/her friend on Facebook and this morning, 2 minutes ago in fact, he/she posted: Golden Gate Bridge Heavy hail this morning mixed with very slushy snow at about 6:30 AM today at the northend of the GGB!!!
What about now, GGB? What about now?
Some of us (yes, me) are volunteering at a homeless shelter this morning (no, I am not kidding although I can understand why you'd think I would be) and need to be safely across you in about an hour.
I drive across the GGB every day and always assumed if I died upon him/her, it'd be in an act of terrorism. No, apparently I'll perish in a SNOW STORM, but at least everyone will have to say nice things at my memorial because I was on my way to do God's work.
"Ugh, so sad about Beth."
"I know! And I understand she was on her way to volunteer in the community."
"It's true."
"Well, she must be smiling down on us from heaven, then."
"I doubt it. She was probably just doing it for blog fodder..."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

this makes me want to watch contact again...

I blame a lifetime of annual family vacations as the reason my brother, Alex and I are such good friends. We've been trapped together, jetlagged and awake all over the world, forced to talk to one another about, well, everything. As a result, we are both kind of weird and nerdy.
Once a week or so, Alex and I catch up over a long phone conversation. And last night, when we finally were able to connect, Alex asked what I was up to.
"I'm watching a documentary about the gross hardships of Pilgrim life called Nightmare at Jamestown! What are you doing?"
Alex was on Part 8 of From the Earth to the Moon.
We both agreed it was nice to finally have a rainy night home alone watching our documentaries but disagreed on whose was more interesting.
Alex was hot on the astronauts. "I am so fucking into NASA right now." He proclaimed.
Well, that's great and all. And I completely support the continued funding of the space program, but I argued that pilgrims and explorers (pilgrims, really, came later) were very similar to astronauts. That Captain John Smith spent months yachting up and down the Chesapeake looking for a passage to the Orient. And while you and I know that his efforts were obviously in vain, I was impressed with his work ethic. As I pointed out to Alex, these guys basically got on a boat for a couple of months, found some woods on the other side of the world and were like, "Okay, this is our new home."
"That's great, Beth." My brother said. "But I've been to Virginia. I've never been to the moon."
Exploring in general is kind of interesting to me. It's a pretty brave career and as one who is perfectly happy where she is, I'm appreciative of those who ate maggots and drank swamp water so that a millions years later, I could kick my cozy socks up on a coffee table and watch a magic picture machine.
I asked Alex if he'd ever go to the moon.
"I'm too tall." He lamented. At 6'5", Alex far surpasses NASA's 6' maximum. But he found himself fascinated by the selection process and training of the men and women tasked with space exploration. In 1606, the requirements were far less specific.
Jamestown archeologists found one skeleton they believed to be that of an important leader, based on his burial, the weapons he was burried with, etc. He appared to be a "middle-aged man, over 30 (excuse me?) with poor muscle definition. He measured 5'3"."
5'3"! My God, that is short. Charles Manson and Paula Abdul are 5'2", just as a point of reference. I went on to mention that I was more interested in personal hygene of the explorers and was hoping for more details on the life of the ladies. "I find it easier to relate to it all if there are chicks walking around."
Alex found that ridiculous.
Anyway, I've added From the Earth to the Moon to my Netflix Queue and hope that my baby brother will do the same with Nightmare at Jamestown.
What about you? NASA vs. Jamestown: who's more of a badass...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

oh, well then can i work at martunis...

The true art here is Tim the Trainer's Gavin/wine/NYT masterpiece in today's See Spot Write...

they get alcatraz, so we need to take this seriously...

Breaking down the District 6 Candidates Facebook Pages in Today's Culture Blog means that I've got to do all of the other open districts. Why I've chosen to give myself more homework is beyond me, but at least I got the real freakshows out of the way first!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

what kind of 33 year old likes giving people dead arms...

Spending 12 hours straight with my friend Big Chris takes an emotional toll. Even a day later, I’m still exhausted from the experience. Highlights include Chris explaining to me the importance of Martin Luther King Day, beginning with his big opening, “As a white person of privilege, you probably don’t know this shit.”
We had to stop at a post office to mail my car registration and my Netflix. Chris, so appalled that I doubted his knowledge of the nearest post office, managed to unhinge the door of the mailbox in frustration. He got back in the car slightly scared.
“I think I broke the fucking mailbox.”
“Chris, that’s probably a federal offense.”
“No Beth, a federal offense would be if I took a shit in the mailbox.”
We headed to (the much cooler and interesting than I remember) Magnolia Brewery and sat at the bar, where Chris ordered a Pilsner. His beer came in a very skinny little glass. It looked like a big shot of blonde beer, really and I could instantly tell Chris was horrified and embarrassed to be presented with something so feminine. He chugged his beer and called over the gentleman behind the bar, a man who probably takes his beer more seriously than he takes the vessel it arrives in. Chris leaned forward, “Hey bro. Can I get something in, uh, a man glass?”
Hipster, microbrew, beard guy didn’t miss a beat. “The Pale Ale comes in a man glass. Would that make you more comfortable?”
Indeed it did.
I was appalled to learn the beef jerky machine was out of order. As I’ve stated REPEATEDLY, I am a jerky aficionado. Other than, obviously, my sobriety and friendship with Ansel, the best thing to come out of my experience in rehab was my discovery of jerky. To see house-made beef jerky offered on an actual menu sent me into a thrilled tailspin. To find out it was unavailable was like having my dreams ripped from my hands.
I ordered the house-made pickles instead and they were lovely.
While Chris “hit the head,” a gentleman came out of the kitchen clutching a motorcycle helmet under his arm and obviously on his way home. I was staring into space (nothing new) as motorcycle helmet cheerfully said, “How’s it going?”
But the time I figured out he was talking to me, it was too late to respond. I felt like the rudest person in the world and perhaps even, undeserving of the jerky. As a frequent lamenter of the lack of friendliness between strangers, I hate it when I screw up my big chance to practice what I preach.
I bet he thought I was a crazy person. I was, after all, having the pickles and French press coffee.
Chris and I met up with Leslie and headed to the Beach Chalet. Over beer and Diet Coke, Leslie mentioned Carl.
My girlfriends and I have taken to discussing this imaginary man I’ve predicted to be my companion in our twilight years, as if he already exists. I suppose, if I’m at all right about Carl, he’s checking his email at a library somewhere right now and does indeed actually exist, but really, we do talk about Carl all the time.
Chris does not read my blog. Therefore he knows nothing of Carl.
Chris took a sip of his beer and stared straight ahead. “Who’s Carl?”
Leslie shot me a look across the bar. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said anything.”
He repeated himself. “WHO’S CARL?”
We started to giggle.
“Don’t worry about it, Chris. I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Are you dating this Carl? Is this some internet boyfriend? Who is Carl?”
We kept changing the subject, our segues purposefully obvious and mysterious. God bless Leslie, she was right there with me. Fucking with Chris.
A half an hour later, “Seriously. Who is Carl?”
“Jesus Chris, are you jealous?” Leslie and I couldn’t look at each other, we would have given it away.
“No I am not jealous of you and your loser boyfriends.”
“I’m so sorry.” Leslie whispered. “I thought Chris knew about Carl.”
Chris was trying to hide his anger. “Fine, I’ll text Melissa.”
“Go ahead.” We said. “Text Melissa about Carl.”
Carl, after all, is really half Melissa’s brainchild. We concocted him together. I might be stuck with Carl, but Melissa is his co-creator. We’re like Carl’s Gary and Wyatt. And I have complete confidence that if Big Chris texted Melissa anything about “Carl” she would immediately know how to respond.
“Just tell me who this douchebag is.”
I pointed out to Chris that if he read “the blurb” he’d know all about Carl. Immediately, he pulled out his Blackberry. He made his way to my blog and searched for Carl.
“Carl is fake?”
“I wouldn’t say that.”
“You made Carl up. Yeah, that’s a surprise. Anyhoo…”
“I’m so glad you feel less threatened, Chrissy.”
But he wasn’t listening. “Leslie, let me try on your spectacles!”
Perhaps the recent tribulations of Tiger Woods have taken it’s toll on either Tiger or Chris, but somehow, Big Chris’ celebrity equivalent is suddenly and jarringly Saturday Night Live’s Fred Armisen.
We headed to Nickie’s in the Lower Haight for some drinks and dinner and ended up staying for the Monday Night Pub Quiz. By the time the quiz began, I was already exhausted. And the subject was music. Oy. Musical trivia is not my strong suit. But we stayed anyway and were in first place the entire game. At one point, they played “Time to Say Goodbye” which reminded Big C. of the Catalina Wine Mixer. Chris had grown antsy and bored, screaming, “Boats and Hos!” whenever he felt like it. He screamed it at us, at strangers, at the chick leading the quiz.
Every five minutes, “Boats and Hos!”
Our team, “Chicks dig me because I rarely wear underwear” maintained a steady lead, and I had fun observing those around us. It looked like a few groups were made up of various singles who’d met on the internet somehow and agreed to meet. I was fascinated by them and couldn’t get enough of their awkward interactions and specifically selected ensembles.
Anyway, by the time we got to the final round, we were tied for first. And bored. It was taking forever, but we figured, golly. If we won, which obviously we would, we’d get $50 and that would have paid for our dinner.
Somehow, someone decided the big tiebreaker would the question, “How many bones are in the human body?”
What. The fuck?
We lost. I didn’t care. I thought Chris and Leslie were going to start a rumble. It was midnight, Chris had put me in a headlock, I needed to go home.
I love my friend Big Chris very much, but as Leslie learned yesterday, and in the great words of Martha Plimpton, sometimes I feel like I’m babysitting only I’m not getting paid...

i better get some cargo pants out of this...

My friend Zoë taught me a long time ago that being a good friend means supporting someone even when inside you’re screaming, “What the fuck? Are you fucking insane?”
That happened to Zoë and me once. I made a very big decision, a decision about which Zoë had some very serious and well thought out concerns. She wrote it all down in a letter she gave me, a letter a still have. At the time, I was like, thanks for detailing why you’re not on board, pal.
I did it anyway.
And she was there for me the entire time. Even though she thought I was nuts, even though she was worried I was risking my life, even though it’s something she never would’ve considered for herself.
And when everything pretty much worked out, Zoë was the first to celebrate my accomplishments, the first to say I proved her wrong, the first show up at my door and take me to a spa.
Sweet Jesus, how the tables have turned.
In an exciting twist, Zoë joined the Army.
She's not kidding. I checked.
And so, while inside I’m screaming expletives, I’ve been taught that real friends support you when it’s not so easy, when they don’t understand and when they disagree. Real friends say, “Are you fucking sure?” and then get on board.
So that’s what I’m doing.
I support our troops, one in particular.

Monday, January 18, 2010

wait. what. oh, sorry. i fell asleep...

Mayor Gavin Newsom's got a new video up, and bless him, he's been very consistent in posting his YouTube addresses every Saturday morning. Which is why I'm trying to be consistent in reviewing them. If you're anything like me, you love watching the rain. So I'm going to suggest you stare out of your window and watch the weather instead of spending 14 minutes you'll never get back listening to this week's Mayoral address.
It's not horrible or offensive or anything. This week's video is just really fucking boring. And I suspect the Mayor is under the impression he's addressing Miss Beasley's 3rd Grade Social Studies class. Which in all fairness, he kinda is. I mean, you've got to broaden your message if you're trying to speak to everyone. I just didn't realize the Mayor considers incredibly elderly dementia patients part of his audience.
For reasons beyond me, Gavin seems to struggle with pronouncing the words "literally" and "particularly." He's gets them right...but barely. I've got a hunch he practices.
He's hot on high school students graduating this week, which begs the question: What happened to Public Enemy Number 1?!?! That's right, folks. Gum. What's the update on the fight against gum? You can't just drop "Gum is Public Enemy Number 1!" and then move on to high school truancy. What about the gum!?!?!?!
Gavin gets marks for the phrase, "I don't want to read the tea leaves" in reference to what he apparently suspects is mysterious and sinister reasons for the 5-4 vote keeping YouTube out of the Prop 8 federal trial. I love a good conspiracy theory and I love a good voodoo reference, so bonus points to you, Mayor.
The suit is cute. It's fitted, a little more modern than his usual uniform. He looks hot, he's still in a good mood, he's enthusiastic about all of these things he wants to tell us. So that's nice. As I've said, it's always reassuring to see the Mayor in a lovely mood. Because Gavin in a bad mood is pretty much the worst thing ever. It's cruel, painful, I can almost feel it in my bones when Gavin Newsom's temper is brewing. He turns into Ben Affleck in Boiler Room.
The Mayor tells us he has "a couple of things that need to be said and one thing that must be said."
Things that need to be said Happy 75th Birthday MOMA!!! And thank you to the Fisher Family. (Personal thank you to the Fisher's from me. I love the Long and Leans.)
Things that must be said:
"The tragedy in Haiti." He points out that we have earthquakes here too, so it hits close to home, LIT'RALLY. We should send money to Haiti and we should prepare ourselves for an earthquake. Agreed, yes? Yes. Santa gave my brother and I bright red prepared emergency backpacks for Christmas, with packets of water and rope and band-aids and flashlights. So come to my house in the event of an earthquake, I've got a transistor radio.
The Mayor then thanks us for watching, says have a great week, he'll be in DC and adios.
Oh, but wait! A post script. Gavin comes back, all smiley and giggly. "I gotcha!"
Oh, finally. This should be good. What? You got what?!?!
"It's not truancy abatement. It's truancy assessment. My apologies."
And he does it in old preacher voice!
But why are we just assessing truancy? Shouldn't be we abating it? Whatever. I'm bored with this. And not like it's evidenced in the tone of this week's video but I already graduated from high school. I give it a C+, and as you know, I toss around A-'s like they're going out of style.
Might I suggest to the Mayor that since he's going on a trip our stupid asses are paying for, maybe he could show us some photos or video of our nation's capital next week. Get an interview with Sasha and Malia or swing us by The Smithsonian, please.
Because this week didn't "pa-tick-a-larly" do it for me. I'm still watching, tho. You've got me there...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

paper for pleasure...

It's a shame I don't read more. I forget how much I love it. I'm having dreams about what I'm reading right now, and I'm finding myself delighted to hunker down alone and lose myself in it. I wish I was better about reading paper for pleasure, not only because I'd be more interesting at dinner parties, but because when I think of the books I ended up loving so deeply, I remember such intense experiences.
I was so overwhelmed at the end of A Thousand Splendid Suns, I stood up from my bed, just so I could collapse dramatically on the floor, in one delicate free fall for the women of Afghanistan. I read Alive, a book so much more shockingly graphic than the movie, I woke every night in a cold sweat convinced I was trapped in an Andes plane crash. And I read The Lovely Bones on a train, mostly, rocking back and forth in my window seat for days. I finished that book, clutched it like a goddamn baby and stared out the window crying.
Bearing in mind that after I saw Titanic, I was so moved I was unable to speak for over an hour, my credibility in the realm might be shot. But I saw The Lovely Bones today and I loved it.
I really, really loved it.
Once I got past the Marky "say hi to your mother" Mark voice, I cried through the whole thing. Sure parts are different from how I imagined them when I read the book, a lot obviously had to be cut, the heaven parts are a little weird. But I'm so glad I vetoed the purists who claim Peter Jackson ruined Alice Sebold's masterpiece.
I don't particularly understand why people sabotage their movie experiences. If you want something to suck badly enough, because the book will always be better or the director is a nerd, well then, duh. I walked in there hoping to love The Lovely Bones in spite of the shitty reviews I'd heard. I adored the book so much and my God, Stanley Tucci plays Mr. Harvey.
I just had to go.
Were my hours on that train with that book better than the movie.
Is the movie lovely and haunting anyway, reminding me of how much I loved reading the book?
I certainly thought to so.
But then again, I re-watch Simon Birch like, once a month...

Friday, January 15, 2010

bill and beth, together again...

Everyone, let's take a second to thank God for the gift that is Bill Wilson, photographer and masterpiece maker. Today, let's take a look at A LOT OF PHOTOS from the Mayor's State of the City Address!

Phil Ting is asleep. I repeat, Assessor/Recorder Phil Ting is asleep.

Is it just me or does this look like a David LaChapelle photo? All Gavin needs is a Louis Vuitton briefcase and this is an ad from Details.

Sophie Maxwell is busy counting the minutes until she's fucking done with this shit.

Um, Jose? She's just not that into you.

I very much like these two. Gavin's sister and brother-in-law seem like surprisingly lovely people and Geoff Callan was in Zodiac for like, 10 seconds, which elevates anyone in my book. But it is well after Labor Day. That suit should not see camera bulbs until May.

My best friend, Melissa Griffin ('s mugshot profile.)

I was going to point out that this kid ON STAGE could've put on some pants but then...

...I noticed this gentleman, who was apparently just raced in the door and on stage from climbing K2. Either that, or he's attending a Back to the Future Party later.

"Ironic, isn't it Smithers? This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election, and yet if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail. That's democracy for you."

Gavin Newsom, reliving a moment from fraternity row.

Believe it or not, had I the choice, I'd pick Willie. In most, if not all circumstances.

He gives massages from the front. Weird.

This photo reminds me of the time my friend Molly from New Jersey was visiting. She was flipping through some book in her hotel room and read a little greeting from Gavin. Later at dinner, she said, "Um, your Mayor? He's like, crazy hot."
They don't have this in other places, you guys. Actually, they do in Newark.

Gavin's lucky this guy would even take a photo with him. I wonder how long Mayor Gavin Newsom had to stand there begging, "It'll only take a second. I'm such a huge fan. I really appreciate this."
Sigh. Fine Whatever. Let's get this over with.

Why does Police Chief George Gascon never wear a uniform? As we've discussed (exhaustively), Heather Fong owned nothing else. At least he's happy to be there. Look at that glow!

This guy again. My god, was there a line of leaders all waiting to pose with him?
Barack Obama's probably standing off to the side, crossing his fingers and hissing, "C'mon, Dufty. Hurry up!"

And finally, just as a little testament to Bill's work, note the lighting. It's like the heavens are shining upon Gavin. It's practically that scene from Ghost where Patrick Swayze, because he's such a great guy, gets sucked up to heaven. If Gavin ever runs for anything else, he should use this in his campaign mailers with the caption, "Endorsed by GOD."

Anyway, thanks Bill Wilson! Another triumph in photo journalism...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

whoever you are, i like you...

Due to reasons I assume were unintentional, Gavin Newsom just tweeted his own name.

Due to reasons I assume are awesome, Newsom's Hair followed suit.

I had to join this bandwagon...

perps and collars...

Today's Culture Blog is up! It's all about me and the fuzz...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

also, that was weird about africa...

Today, the Chronicle's food critic Michael Bauer (I have never met him but I would totally freak out in awe if I ever did) posted a letter on his blog complaining about people who place their cell phones on the dinner table when dining. Apparently, this never happens across the pond. Our dear friend Eve Batey of the SFAppeal begged the question: phones on tables, folks?
It's a good question. And I very much like Eve's post asking that question. She points out that when dining with SFist's Brock Keeling, he bumps into the table and knocks everything over, phones and all.
It's true. Every single time.
Just as fun as Eve's querry, I like Brock's response.

"I do bump the table. Because I have to pee a lot. Especially when I'm forced to drink beer.
Also, phones should be left on the table, period. While I'm all for people not talking on the phone while others are trying to savor their offal-bacon-celery root cupcakes, or whatever, there are reasons to keep your phone on the table. What reasons? Like, not carrying a purse. And a religious-like refusal to wear khakis. (I wear pants the snug my every curve, thank you.) I refuse to appease a few critics who want every meal in the city to be like their families' tables back in the day.
So: no. Mind your business.
Also, people in Europe poop into a hole in the ground."

I'm posting this both as an example of what it's like to have conversations with Brock and because I wholeheartedly agree. Also, that comment should be elevated to a post of it's own. It occurs to me that after spending so much time with both Brock and Eve, I now put my cell phone on the table too. These two specifically gave me the official and unspoken green light on the immediate Blackberry placement (next to my fork, on the right). Only in mixed company do I question Emily Post's approval. And even then, as much as I enjoy sparkling conversation and lightly dressed frisee, what if something happens...


Yeah, I watched Gavin on the Simpson's special. I know. I know. It was weird.
"He truly is the most patronizing politician I've ever seen in my life. The corruption, the graft, the sexual escapades, the heavy drinking...It's just a typical day in the office!"
-Mayor Gavin Newsom on Springfield's Mayor Quimby
Please allow me to join the chorus of the obvious but what the fuck? Why even go there? Did he forget? Did it slip his mind?
Oh yeah! (forehead smack) I'm a womanizing drunk too!
It's not like these things are rumors. He stood before us and said, "All that shit is true, you guys."
I'm not touching the corruption and what the hell is graft? But Gavin very publicly sought treatment for alcohol addiction (as did I!) and, well, we all know he was a man whore.
I'm just saying, I know you're being interviewed about The Simpsons, Gavin, but try and steer the conversation towards Apu.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

congratulations chris!

There are honors and then there are honors.
Oscar? Pulitzer? Nobel? Chumps.
The greatest honor one can achieve is DListed's Hot Slut of the Year.
I get most of my news exclusively from DListed, the single greatest website on the entire internet. And everyday, DListed's Michael K crowns some lucky bitch the Hot Slut of the Day. Each is up for Hot Slut of the Week, the winner of that goes into the running for Hot Slut of the Month and then (please pause for moment of respectful silence), we cast our ballot for Hot Slut of the Year.
Well today, a day that should go down in the anals (that was for Michael K) of San Francisco history, our very own Supervisor Chris Daly is Hot Slut of the Day.
Seriously. This is a really big deal (to Brock and me.)
So begins my campaign to get Chris Hot Slut of the Week at least.
Congrats, Supervisor!

the last time this happened was with homer and langley, so obviously, i know what i'm talking about...

I am taking a break from reading my book just to tell you to please go out and buy it as fast as you can so we can discuss. I find myself figuring out when I'll have time to read, scheduling chapters in because I'm so goddamn obsessed.
The book: In the Woods.
If you've read it, I need to discuss everything up to Chapter 4, which is where I am as I only bought the thing yesterday.
If you haven't, PLEASE go get it. We'll be discussing this and Jersey Shore...

what's a glen park...

Welcome to Hollywood North! Apparently, the best way to reach the people these days is through the YouTube. Yesterday, the Mayor couldn't stop batting his eyelashes and sending me telepathic brain wave messages via video, and today, District 8 Candidate Scott Wiener takes us to Glen Park!
First of all, for anyone out of town, D8 includes the Castro. I was just at a party with some LA gays and they said, "God, all of the gay people here are so political." Um, yeah. You're welcome. Needless to say, just about everyone running for D8 can't tell you they're gay quick enough. One of their upcoming debates actually has a talent portion, the greatest idea I've ever heard in my entire life, by the way. Presidential candidates should have to do that.
Second of all, do you remember Scott's first video? It looks like the beginning of a snuff film.
Finally, OMG SCOTT NOT BAD! Obviously, Scott's second try at this is leaps and bounds above his first. Sure, he shouldn't be hosting E! News Daily but I, for one, appreciate the effort.
Nice work not being (as) boring, S-Dub.
I hope the other candidates get cracking with those video cameras.
The only thing that could make the D8 more interesting is if Brian Kinney ran! But HERE is a fabulous rundown of all of the Supervisoral races this year by the Examiner's Joshua Sabatini. Drama abounds!
And obviously, I'll see you at the D8 talent show because that, I am positive, will make my fucking year...

*photo from Scott's Facebook, obviously.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

i'd never listen to bloomberg for this long...

Mayor Gavin Newsom has posted his weekly video address! I've been trying to call him "Mayor" more, have you noticed? This is all based on a West Wing conversation between Debbie and Jed, er, President Bartlett. Anyway, Gav posted a new video!
First of all, could it be more obvious that he's taken my advice to heart? No. It could not. Right away, Gavin kicks off the video with personal interest stories, like congratulating a Claire Murphy on her retirement after 40 years of service working for the city. In an uncomfortable move, Gavin tries the "We will miss you!" at the camera, but it's a little awkward, like when the boss shows up at the office birthday party and tries to say Happy Birthday to some admin he's vaguely aware of. But what do I know? They could be best friends.
Anyway, Gavin then goes on to applaud ACT on their 100 year anniversary and mentions he'll be there this weekend. (Han Sup Shin, I'm talkin' to you.)
All of a sudden, Gavin kinda screams at the camera.
Introducing a wacky change of pace, the Mayor congratulations City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Jose Cisneros on being sworn in and makes a joke about how boring their elections were.
This from the man who ran against a naked dude.
Getting down to brass tacks, Gavin starts explaining shit to us and I have to say, he's doing a pretty good job. He is clearly in a fabulous mood in this video, something I find refreshing and reassuring. Now, the uptight, naysayer, hate-him-because-he's-beautiful people will roll their eyes and kick their compost boxes in frustration. But for those of us who rely on elected officials to know what they're doing so we can go on with our oblivious lives, it's nice to see our city's leader feeling good about his job and explaining shit to us in a non-condescending yet easily understandable way.
(A Guardian reader's head just exploded.)
Gavin starts explaining the phase two of the light rail thing in a neighborhood no one goes to and gives a shout out to the Mayors who started this project before him, "all the way to Art Agos." As you know, we love Art.
Then he starts talking about the cloudiness in the water, which my panicked neighbor brought to my attention a few weeks ago, and Gavin's all, "Relax, it's just air in the water. It'll go away. And here's why it's happening."
Thank you, Mayor. I think he's taken a cue from my best friend, Examiner columnist Melissa Griffin who always is able to explain things to me without making me feel like an idiot. Regular people are never going to give a shit about anything if every time they ask a question, you make them feel stupid, right? Try asking an uptight, alarmist, picket sign holder why the water's been looking a little weird. You'd get a 4 hour lecture and walk away wondering if you need a CAT scan from all of the toxins that are probably in your system because of corporations and moderate Democrats and people who forget to bring their own cloth bags to grocery stores.
Anyway, Gavin and his great mood do a good job touching on the weird water and the "event" that happened with that kooky Nigerian fellow on an airplane. The Mayor starts talking about airport security and "Body Imaging Technology" which I suddenly envision walking through and having a better body image. He mentions that walking through this body image thing is way better than getting patted down because apparently, to find the new terrorist tools asshole murderers are using, we'd have to assume the position or similar. The Mayor was disappointingly vague on just how personal security would have to get without these fancy scanners.
I noted that Gavin's obviously got someone holding up a list of bullet points, but for the most part, he's shooting from the hip. He's got this stuff down, or at least memorized. And as he let's us know that Wednesday is his State of the City ("I know how excited everyone is about my State of the City" ROTFL), Gavin says, "I love working without notes. Sometimes I go on and on."
It is at this point in the 12 minute video that I notice Gavin has no notes in front of him, just what appears to be a stack of ignored papers and a highlighter.
Not a pen, folks. A highlighter.
(Please fill in 8 million possible questions/concerns/jokes right here.)
Well, Mayor, if this is the mood you're in when you present the State of the City (on YouTube at 6pm PST) then I say, ramble on my stunning friend. This week's address gets an A-! The only thing that could get this guy an A is a new outfit and adding me to one of the frames behind his desk. And A+ would require him getting out of the office, some editing and flashy graphics, maybe Gavin interviewing a hobo...surprise me!

Friday, January 08, 2010

like i was going to let this one go...

That kooky Chris Daly's at it again in today's See Spot Write...

republican into the wild...

While killing time waiting for Jersey Shore last night. I headed to the nerdy section of my cable, channels 9 and 10. I love a good episode of NOVA as much as the next liberal arts major and figured I could somehow balance out The Situation with learning.
This is how I came to meet Dick Proenneke, a former diesel mechanic who in 1968, decided to go live in the Alaskan Wilderness and film it. Described as an "outdoorsman, craftsman and self-sufficient" Dick ended up spending 35 years in the cabin he built himself.
Last night I watched "Alone in the Wilderness." You guys, this is NOT TO BE MISSED. Basically, Alone in the Wilderness is Dick's first year building his cabin, hunting, hiking, hanging out. It's fabulous!
First of all, this is 1968 so the video is all charming and vintage. And Dick's filming himself, kinda like that nutty Grizzly Man. But Dick is not a touchy-feely hippy. Oh no. Dick is a craftsman and outdoorsman who used to be a mechanic. It's a little like the dad from Dead Poet's Society building a cabin in Alaska.
Dick builds almost everything from scratch. Other than the waterproof supplies he brings along for his roof (the roof he covers in TWO ACRES of moss) Dick makes everything from wood, from the hinges and lock for his front door to his paper towel holder. Why he builds himself bunk beds in beyond me, as Dick sees not a soul for at least a year, but the guy is amazing.
I started jotting down my favorite Dick Proenneke quotes:
"I was fish hungry and I didn't want to lose this bake trout...I left his entrails for the birds."
"Tomorrow is Sunday. I think I'll go somewhere."
"Risk now and then is good for a man. One misstep and a man would have to settle with the Lord." (That's Dick on hiking.)
"On Jew-lie the third, I went blueberrying."
"The lake is as moody as a woman. All smiles one minute and dancing a tantrum the next."
"Sheep, liver and onions for supper. A satisfying day!"
"Plenty of meat hanging from the meat tree." (Dick smokes and dries his meat in a tree, aptly named the meat tree.)
The whole thing is a masterpiece of interesting ways to phrase things. What impressed me is Dick's work ethic. Out in the middle of nowhere with not a person for miles and Dick's all, "Chopped, hauled and skinned 12 logs by noon."
Sleep in, Dick! Put your feet up (on the ottoman you made) and gaze at that womanly lake. Not that I could go 48 hours without talking to someone else, but if I were in Dick's situation, I'd either be reading or working on really unnecessary decorative projects. I'll hunt later. I'm focusing on my centerpiece. But Dick's up at the break of dawn, building "the john."
It seems like sawing takes forever and would get really boring. How does one learn how to build a log cabin? Although, After watching Alone in the Wilderness, I think I got the jist. In a pinch, I could figure it out. But it's interesting to me that Dick, with a couple of armfuls of supplies, chose to spend a whole year building an entire home from scratch. What about movies? Clothes? News? Mail? What if someone died? Christ, someone probably did! And a year later, Dick makes his annual appearance in civilization and gets a list of the deceased.
I cannot recommend Alone in the Wilderness enough. It's mesmerizing, in a dramatically different yet equally importantly way from the Jersey Shore...

Thursday, January 07, 2010

how about when you come out of the closet...

I feel like I've captured Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, but then I remember that this happens to fucking everyone. Here is a 14 second video from Christmas Dinner during the exact moment the question is asked of my brother and me, "When are you going to get married and give them some grandchildren."
The unseen and elderly "Cousin Gladys" is watching my father play with 1 year old Ollie, who is feeding his Aunt Kate pieces of Torrone wrapping. Gladys, impressed by a straight man's enjoyment of a child, announced to my brother and I that we should get married so my father can have grandchildren. That's how kids are made, by the way. When you get married.
I particularly like Kate's reaction...

oh! free lunch...

Forgive my lack of posting today. I was an awards luncheon for leaders and volunteers in Marin County who are way better people than me. And I nominated my friend (and Board Member at my day job) Eileen for Excellence in Board Leadership! Eileen is incredibly fun, supportive and hard-working and if you were at my Soberversary, you may have met her. Congrats Eileen!
Anyway, I'm back with your Weekend What's Up. Enjoy it!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

oh wednesdays, you pack such a punch...

Get your clicking finger ready! Today's Culture Blog is up! It's a weird one, so bear with me.
Also, I provide the SF Appeal with my thoughts on cranky comments. I could write a manifesto on that shit, but HERE's my response to "flaming."

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

but do they have wifi...

I want to go to jail.
Wait. Allow me to clarify.
I've always been fascinated by prisons and prisoners, as evidenced by our New Years Day viewing of Dead Man Walking wherein my friends freaked out and I kept saying, "What? This is interesting!"
In reading the Texas Department of Corrections Offender Orientation Handbook this evening (and you thought I was kidding), I started to get kinda nervous. Ever since my immensely humbling rehab experience, which was kinda like 1/4 jail and 3/4 meditation retreat, I've been better at being able to put myself in other people's shoes. 2 years ago, I'd have gladly read the Offender Orientation Handbook and been interested but detached. Now I gladly read the Offender Orientation Handbook and automatically imagine this applying to me. Getting locked up doesn't seem that impossible to me anymore. Shit happens. Of course, I'm a lot less likely to commit a crime now that I'm sober.
So in perusing the dress code, the cell rules, the whole protocol for owning a towel as detailed in this Offender Orientation Handbook, I'm curious to see if I could do it.
I've always thought I'd be a moderately popular prisoner because after my fellow inmates looked past my blatant Private Benjamin vibe, they'd slowly start to listen as I inspired them to protest for better ceramics classes and more advanced French lessons. If rehab was any indication, my hunch is not far off. I mean, I was Senior Peer. I holi-decorated the Serenity Lounge. I choreographed dances with a 50-something crack-addicted former prostitute. I'm surprisingly good at fitting in. I would hope this skill would crank into overdrive up the river.
I'm more worried about how I'd get along with the guards. These are some serious rules in the Offender Orientation Handbook and I'm guessing women's prison guards do not respond well to self-deprecating humor.
Let's examine some of the rules.
In one's cell, one is allowed:
One canned drink or cup of drink
One opened container of food, enough for self-consumption (i.e., chips, cookies, candy, no canned food)
One newspaper, book, magazine, (no pornography)
One Bible
Board games
Writing materials, pen, pencil, (no stamps, no legal materials)
Brush or comb
Sheesh. Although I'm down with the board games. And I need a brush. A comb is no good to me. They also say that female offenders will wear (not should wear. WILL wear) socks or hose with state-issued shoes. Pantyhose? Are you kidding me? I would think one of the few perks to being in the clink is the casual dress code. Hose? Thank you, no. I'll take the socks.
Offenders are allowed a shower a day, unless they're a paraplegic in which case, they can shower whenever they feel like it. Then there's a whole thing about the commissary, which just has me excited. I can shop anywhere. I will find something, trust me. You could stick me in a medical supply warehouse or abandoned truck stop and I'll gladly go on a spree (shopping, not crime.) A prison commissary sounds fucking fabulous.
Anyway, imagine the blog posts! I'm really curious and slightly nervous to see if I could really spend a couple of days in the pokey. I think it would be an amazing and challenging personal experience. So if anyone can find a legal, relatively safe way for me to live as a prisoner for a brief period of time, I AM SO IN.
Some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright.
I am not one of those birds...

i'm calling them both ex-cons from now on...

I think a bunch of hippies and people running for office just got arrested and released. Something about hotel workers and free publicity. Anyway, Debra Walker and Rafael Mandelman's Facebook and Twitter are aflutter with constant news of their arrest, aka: pulling a Martin Sheen.
Deb and Rafi, lest you forget, are running for Supervisors in Districts 6 and 8 respectively. Add this to the list of things I would not willingly do because I "care deeply." Whatever happened to kissing babies...

the most famous dj in rhode island...

I hate it when TV shows are on hiatus. I feel like something's missing, like I keep forgetting to do something and then I remember, "Oh, Mad Men's over. Ugh, when's Amazing Race back?"
I've been wandering around in a haze, attending events and getting things done. Until finally, destination television has returned.
That's right. I'm talking about Jersey Shore.
Melissa, Tara, Leslie and I spent New Year's Day catching up on Jersey Shore and as they hadn't really seen it, I was wondering how the Ivy League twins would handle sleaze TV.
They loved it! Jersey Shore is officially mainstream and my friends started watching while rolling their eyes and by their second episode, were yelling back at The Situation.
So, for those of you that are familiar (all of you), I keep changing my opinion of each cast member. How about you?
Angelina: Good riddance. I'm delighted she and her Hefty luggage have gone back to calling in hungover at Wet Seal.
Pauly D: It's hard for me to like someone who regards Carmine Gotti as a style icon. But the DJ is growing on me. The only thing I take real umbrage with is Pauly D's girl-banging mission with The Situation. It's jumped the shark. I can tell they're starting to pander to the stereotype and they're not gifted actors. You're douchey enough in real life, fellas! Be ya'selves!
The Situation: I love a charmer. But he tried to bag some chick while Snookie was getting beat. Unforgivable. You're 37 years old, Mike. Hooking up with a girl shouldn't be this big of a deal, right?
Sammi: Ugh. With the make-up and the mom waiting. Come ON. Also, "I told you so much!" I love that. Which brings us to...
Ronnie: Hello? What's rule number one, Ronnie? Never fall in love at the Jersey Shore. Also, it's recently struck me that Ronnie is incredibly, incredibly short.
JWOWW: I have to admit, I love that voice. What is that? Menthols? The willingness to fight kinda reminds me of someone I know. (Melissa, I'm talking about Melissa, who will verbally throw down if someone looks at us wrong.) Also, I'm enjoying JWOWW's BFFship with Snookie.
Snookie: Love, Love, Love, Love this girl! Fa real. She's a straight up good person, Ed Hardy hat aside. And she took that punch like a champ, laughing about her swollen mouth, being a good sport.
Vinny: Yep. I like him. I like the way too young but weirdly mature ones. Also, Vinny looks exactly like Donnie Wahlberg.
Anyway, I spent a weekend in Seaside Heights once and as we drove there from our dormrooms in Philly, we saw a dead body on the highway. There were police and ambulances and everything, but still. I saw a dead body in the middle of the road on my way to the Shore. I'm just sayin'...

Saturday, January 02, 2010

this is you in thirty years, you know that right...

Big Chris and I just returned from "one of (his) many birthday dinners" where we sat at the bar of the Buckeye pretending to watch college football while eavesdropping on the 60-something internet date sitting next to us. We have come home, where Chris insists on writing "the blurb now, while it's fresh in our minds."
We've named the gentleman Ron and the lady Linda, and once Ron started being a dick to the bartender, it was on.
Chris describes Ron, who is bald with white hair, as having George Washington's haircut. Ron wore a blazer and t-shirt and was going for a cool, casual look. Instead, he looked like Grandpa douche.
Linda, a blonde, struck us as "clearly out of Ron's league." They were both short, Chris noted, and sat at the two seats nearest the wall. We had dinner sitting right next to them. Ron and Linda sat down right before us, and as Ron is such a loud and enthusiastic talker, it was impossible for us not to become involved in their conversation.
We entered as Ron used the phrase, "cougar juice."
Ron, in between complaining about the (awesome) service, was describing his worst internet date ever, which happened 5 years ago. It involved a chick reading her "overtly sexual poetry" (Ron's words) to him over the phone, before she arrived 30 minutes late for their date.
Upon seeing her, Ron described the poet as "a bowling ball. She was 4'5" in both directions. She was fat everywhere, not just in her hips but in her waist too. Everywhere."
Linda was eating it up, laughing as Ron went on and on about this dreadful date. Chris insists I note that Ron was constantly filling Linda's white wine glass, "acting like a Freshman in college trying to get a girl drunk."
There were lots of moments of my giving Chris the "are you hearing this?" look and him taking a sip of his beer and saying, "Jesus Christ. I think we're being Punk'd."
Ron's bad date story was admittedly a really good bad date story, and he was selling it hard. Talking loud, gesticulating wildly, really painting the picture of this horrible evening mostly to demonstrate to Linda how comparatively, their date was a big hit.
Ron, dominating the conversation, then dove into how pretty Linda is, what a great time he was having, "sounding like a desperate single woman in her 30's." Much to our delight and horror, Linda and Ron then share what we believe to be their first kiss.
They were totally making out at the bar, in between discussing "where this is going."
Chris almost "threw (his) ribs up."
Subtly kicking each other, Big Chris and I decided that obviously, Ron was closing this deal tonight. I was curious how Ron planned to do that, and Chris said, "When the time is, aka: when his Viagra kicks in, Ron will say in a deep Barry White voice, 'Let's get outta here.'"
Linda, I think it's safe to say, was into it.
And God bless 'em, having this sleazy, drunken date. They were obviously enjoying a very flirty, affectionate time. Christ, they couldn't stop talking aout it. And as far as we were concerned, it was simply too good not to observe.
As Big Chris just stated, "God bless them and God bless the Buckhorn!"

Big Chris' ending, which he typed himself while announcing that he felt like Doogie Howser:
Ron and Linda appeared to be having such a great date leading to freaky circus sex that it shows that no matter how many times you've been around the block romance is alive and well or at least until the booze wears off also I ( Bethy Spotswood ) am thinking about using the six free months that Match probably owes me.

My ending:
I recommend the brisket...

happy birthday big chris...

Big Chris, who I met because he worked with my 2004 roommate Bonnie, has somehow stayed around for year after year after year. And while I can offer no explanation for why he's still hanging out with me, I can tell you that Big Chris drives me nuts, he's offensive and weird, he's awkward and slutty and he is incapable of arriving at my home without announcing, "Maid's day off, huh?"
But I love him.
And so, because I've been slacking off on the birthday blogs recently and really because people are occasionally appalled by his behavior when they meet him, here are my Top 5 Things I Love About Big Chris:
5: He helps my friends move. A very dear friend of mine was going through a weird, uncomfortable divorce and my brother and Chris were dispatched to her apartment to gather her things. It was all very covert, Mission Impossible, highly personal and Chris just got to work and got her the hell out of there. He then never let her hear the end of it.
4. As I once explained our friendship to our mother, who is secretly concerned I'm going to end up with BC, the guy shows up. He's reliable. He is where he says he's going to be. Chris is on time, he comes through, he'll attend any event with free booze and eat anything I cook.
3. All I really ever need is funny. And Big Chris is very, very, very funny.
2. Big Chris is surprisingly wise. And while his advice is often blunt, rude and tough, he's often right. He's like Yoda in Air Jordans.
1. He secretly loves me back.
Happy Birthday Big Chris!!!

Friday, January 01, 2010

oh boy, a whole new year...

It's always interesting to me how quickly these things end.
Christmas, New Years, my birthday is next.
I don't know why I expect extraordinary things on these high anticipation days, when really, the craziest, best, most amazing stuff happens without it being pre-printed on a desk calendar. Last year, I rung in 2009 violently ill in a Dublin hotel room. This year, I was ready to throw my hands up in the air and hunker down at home alone. None of my friends could really decide on a venue, people's plans kept changing, it all seemed like too much work. I got up yesterday and got all of my hair chopped off without knowing what my evening's plans would be.
With my folks out of town, I decided to head up to their home in Mill Valley and Melissa, Tara and Leslie decided to join me. We made reservations at Scoma's in Sausalito, a seafood restaurant on the water overlooking the San Francisco skyline. The four of us sat at a little table and laughed and talked for ages. For some reason, I felt it necessary to explain the entire plot of Last Holiday, a brilliant if not ridiculous romantic comedy fairytale starring the incomparable LL Cool J. As I mentioned Queen Latifah's character living in New Orleans, Tara stopped me. "Is this post-Katrina?"
Thus, all night long, everything had to be described as pre or post-Katrina.
At 10, we headed across the street to Poggio for a drink and ended up staying until 2010. They gave us hats and beads and cardboard horns. The four of us sat at the bar and went around in a circle, offering up highly personal resolution after highly personal resolution. Far more revealing, we then went around trying to decide which character from television we would be, if we could be any one of them. After much discussion, I was torn between Elaine Benes and Liz Lemon. Tara called CJ Cregg. Melissa was Julia Sugarbaker or Daisy Duke. And Leslie picked Karen Walker.
I sipped Martinelli's out of a champagne glass and felt drunk anyway. As the ball dropped and the decade officially ended, we screamed and laughed with our arms around each other toasting to a wonderful 2010.
We paid our bill and walked across the street to the pier, running through a parking lot to the water as we saw fireworks explode over San Francisco. At some point, the four adult women leaping through that parking lot in Sausalito allowed certain aspects of their personality to take over.
Leslie, reaching the railing, threw her hands in the air and screamed across the San Francisco Bay, "We're the four worst bitches in the entire world!"
I don't really know what that means, but I went with it. We all did. We'd gotten blunt, honest, funny. We'd felt like we'd been through a lot, like we'd seen some shit go down. After that decade and that year and, quite frankly, that day, we felt like...women.
Real women.
That being said, we came back to my parents' house, changed into our pajamas and plugged in Melissa's iPod. Tara made a fire as Mel began passing out presents she'd bought for the occasion. Turns out, Melissa decided to shop the "As Seen on TV" aisle of Walgreens and picked up, among other things, Bump Its. Bump its are plastic things you stick in your hair to make your bouffant bigger. They're ridiculous and incredibly fun. And so, in sunglasses and bump its, chugging champagne and cider, the four worst bitches in the entire world danced in a new decade.
At one point, much like several episodes of Designing Women, we stood before the four huge windows looking down into the dark valley and seeing our reflections perfectly, performed a very sincere rendition of En Vogue's "Don't Let Go."
I wish I could show you Melissa's solo performance to "Survivor" by Beyonce. At one point, I maintain she was 3 feet off the ground. She does these karate chop things... Anyway, I'm forbidden from publishing it. She's got an equally blackmail-able video of me in pink Santa pajamas, a top hat and cane performing "Puttin' on the Ritz," complete with jazz hands.
And I have no excuse, what with that cider.
We went to bed at 4am.
So no, there was no glamorous urban adventures, no making out with George Clooney in my New Year's Eve. There were just four girlfriends in a bar, refusing to order anything resembling a cosmo lest we look like the obvious.
I've heard a lot that this year sucked for many. I don't know that it necessarily sucked for me. 2009 was more about getting myself back, finding a way to be happy sober and learning that somewhere inside this skin, there is comfort to be found.
I'm glad I entered 2010 with these women I love, looking at the city I love, becoming a person I love, lip-synching to 90's hits in my jammies at my parents'
Happy 2010, my dear, wonderful, patient and generous readers for whom I am very, very grateful. I hope each of you had a fabulous New Year's Eve, I hope none of you made choices you wildly regret, but if you did, I hope all you reveal the dicey details in the comments section...