Wednesday, June 30, 2010

pork buns with governor moonbeam...

Please enjoy today's Culture Blog in which Mel, Brock and I reap the benefits of an obvious error and up sitting at a seriously awesome table.
In today's SFGate...*Thanks to Colleen for capturing this moment!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

sprinkles, filled, glazed and plain...

As is standard, I spend Sunday evenings with Big Chris. Sometimes we laugh so much, it hurts. Sometimes, we're so sick of each other we barely speak. But it's consistency that keeps Chris around. He's like a stray cat that eventually became mine. This afternoon, we were joined by Brock and my brother, Alex for dinner at San Tung, a Chinese joint on Irving at 12th that's so good, waiting in line is just another part of the experience. By no means fancy, San Tung is incredibly popular for very good reason. As we dined on a feast from the East, Brock kept remarking, "My God. This is incredible. I thought all Chinese food came from the same place!"
I know what he meant. The Kung Pao chicken at San Tung isn't the usual-light brown sauced, colorful dish of perfectly squared red and green peppers. It's deep brown and complicated, the peanuts hidden, the peppers non-existent. It's wonderful.
Which is why San Tung is exploding with people and the Chinese joint across the street is empty.
After dinner, Big Chris was still hungry. "I need donuts!"
"Really? You want donuts?"
"Barry (that's what he calls Brock), look up a donut place on your internet phone."
My brother knew of a "Donut World" 3 blocks away.
I hesitated. "What if it's closed?"
"It'll be an adventure!" my companions agreed.
There was no way a trip to a closed donut store is an adventure, but I was outnumbered. We made our way to Donut World, which I was shocked to discover is open 24 hours. The boys were thrilled.
Donut World is on the corner of 9th and Judah, and the big Muni train winds right around it every few minutes. A glass case was half-filled with boring-looking donuts and stools too close to the ground lined the windows. Donut World looks like the opening of a dreary episode of the X Files. From henceforth, if I ever want to be depressed and sit in a diner in the middle of the night drinking shitty coffee and lamenting things, Donut World it is.
We made our selections and sat at the two round tables in the middle of Donut World. An elderly woman sat on a stool by the window eating a jelly donut with her coffee and staring at the trains going by. She had one of those canes with a little plastic disk on it that turns into a mini seat.
Another old lady just stood in front of the glass case of donuts, staring. She shifted side to side for an eternity, as if expecting a sign to make the decision for her. I imagined the mini-bamboo plant on the counter suddenly and mysteriously falling over and side-to-side would scream, "maple old-fashioned!"
Alex and Chris chomped on their donuts oblivious to the modern performance art going on before us.
Brock and I were rapt.
"What's her story?" I whispered.
"We don't have enough time." Brock stared down at his custard-filled bar. "I don't even know where to begin."
We finished our boring donuts and sat around looking at each other, growing slightly depressed. Donut World can do that to people. Each bite sinks you a little deeper into becoming the kind of person that sits on a stool while holding a cane than transforms into a stool.
They should call it the Black (Donut) Hole.
There was no music, no sound, no talking. We sat in silence for a moment.
When suddenly Brock exclaimed, "This place is giving me the creeps."
And with that, he stood up and stormed out. We followed him, in respectful awe of his use of his outside voice, inside, and headed back to the cars. On our way, we passed a collection of "Free" junk on the sidewalk. We knew it was free, of course, by all of the "Free!" signs taped to the junk, and included in the pile was a 6-foot folding table, a used pepper grinder and a half-filled bottle of soy sauce. Brock selected a book called, "The Doors of his Face, the Lamps of his Mouth."
"What the fuck is that?" Chris demanded.
Brock scoffed, "I'll have you know it's won a Nebula Award."
He began to read aloud as we walked, only pausing when we passed a little male porcelain acupuncture statue propped in a window. Someone had taken the time to sew a tiny loincloth, protecting his modesty.
The boys stopped and wondered what was beneath the loincloth and fought over "The Windows of his Ears, the Spoons of his Nose" and started to talk about donuts again.
And I thought, shit. They were right. This was an adventure...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"guy falls down at debate"

I apologize for my lack of consistent posting this week. It's been a little hectic. Yesterday evening, I bolted out of work a little early and headed over to the South Beach Yacht Club which sounds much fancier than it is. The San Francisco Young Democrats were holding the District 6 Supervisorial Debate and Melissa was moderating! Almost as exciting, Pollo Del Mar and I were tasked with co-hosting the live internet broadcast on SFGate with charming color commentary. Basically we were the Joan and Melissa Rivers of the evening, attempting to keep regular people watching along with the serious policy wonks who actually care about issues.

(UPDATE! You can watch the whole thing RIGHT HERE.)

Pollo, I am proud to say, is becoming a close friend of mine, and agreed to co-host with me, having no idea what the hell we'd be doing. She was great! And of course, I'm even prouder to say that my number one ho and most trusted companion was amazing, professional and relaxed.
Pollo and I intro'd the debate, did our little schticky analysis during the two breaks and wrapped it up. Melissa ran the show from inside the debate room, and Pollo and I were stuck in the foyer, behind a desk like sportscasters watching a football game from the studio. The only problem was, the debate room was packed and so all kinds of weirdos started loitering in the lobby. Worse, they thought we were the reception table. And usually they thought this during our brief segments on air.
As Pollo eventually screamed, "Sir, fives and tens of people are watching this!"
I'll post the whole shebang (it's an hour, but oh so educational) when it's ready to go up, but since I know you don't care and I know you love a good geriatric spill, here's 46 seconds of some dude asking where the bathrooms are, me screaming at him to move, him falling over off camera, Pollo have no reaction whatsoever, me freaking out and Pollo's quip of the century:
(Oh no! It's all widescreen and shit. WTF. Watch it in full glory HERE.)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

style over policy...

Best Fake Twitter? Best Place to Sit/Lie? Best Facebook Invite Title? It's all in today's Culture Blog on SFGate.
And speaking of best, wanna know who's got the best online store hocking campaign schwag? It's Jerry Brown vs. Meg Whitman in a shop-off on CBS-5's Eye on Blogs.
Finally, tune in HERE at 6:30 tonight to watch the D6 Supervisorial Debate, moderated by Mel with color commentary from Pollo Del Mar and me! I have no idea what we're even supposed to do, so it should be interesting...

Monday, June 21, 2010

proximity to starbucks? ONE BLOCK!

Have y'all been reading CBS-5's Eye on Blogs all day? Because I've been writing it all day!
I'm hoping to settle into some kind of normalcy in posting on all of my various hangouts, like here and the Gate and the Appeal and VidSF, but truth be told, I'm still figuring out where the pens are. I spent forever this morning too embarrassed to ask someone to borrow a pen, so I went on a fruitless mission to find one.
In a television newsroom.
It really shouldn't have been this hard. Pens are everywhere, I've since discovered.
So are Emmys. They're on display in the lobby and thus far, I've been caught staring twice.
It's weird going from a suburban office of 3 chicks, where I've been for the past 6 years right up until Friday, to this huge box of a building in the heart of San Francisco with a hundred people and break room. A real breakroom! Like on The Office! With free coffee! And vending machines with popsicles!
I can also report there's automatic soap in the bathroom and everyone arrives and leaves at weird times because people work something called a "shift."
This might be old, boring news to you movers and shakers, but I'm wide-eyed in a TV station newsroom, shocked I don't have to take my own garbage to a dumpster.
I sat in on an editorial meeting this morning, offering nothing but nervous smiles, I chatted about story ideas with my desk neighbor, Joe who's been sent off to cover exciting stories and I stared at my official email address that actually says CBS in it for way longer than professionally appropriate.
So there you have it, since I know my mom cares more than anyone. My first day...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

magic cruise is RIGHT...

I was just saying to Amanda, "Awkward Family Photos makes me happier than anything else in the world."
And with that, I discovered:To say that the New Kids on the Block were THE major thing going on in my life from 1988-1991 would be an understatement of massive proportions. And the above was clearly taken at the height of my interest in this boy band.
Honestly, it's like seeing a family photo I haven't come across in years. It's all so familiar.
I was a Joe gal, myself. Note Joe, gazing at the child politely, in a Public Enemy-t and jean shorts. He was so harmlessly urban. To this day, I know him better than I know most of my cousins.
Unlike Donnie, with his Tim Riggins vibe that, now in the full bloom of womanhood, I finally understand.
Poor Jon Knight. What the hell was he ever doing there in the first place? If they needed brothers, they should have left Marky Mark in the "band" (true story.) He's like a gay deer in headlights.
Danny Wood was the Forrest Gump of NKOTB.
And look at that Jordan. Ladies of local political activism, could he look any more like Matt Haney? Uncanny!
And finally, who is this tramp living my dream? Not that I'd really want Donnie Wahlberg feeding me, what is that, lettuce? This appears to be circa his setting a hotel room on fire in Kentucky, an incident which the entirety of my 7th Grade class used to mock me mercilessly.
If the New Kids cruise still exists, and something tells me that it might, I'd like to immediately suggest to my cruising companion that we get on this shit before one of them dies and recreating this photo would be impossible...

hey soul sister (city)...

Ages ago, I used to make up ridiculous, bizarre and probably accurate itineraries for Mayor Gavin Newsom. His trip to the East has inspired me to return to my roots. Please enjoy Gavin's Shanghai Schedule in today's See Spot Write on the SF Appeal...

Monday, June 14, 2010

i don't know what happened but the internet is crazy...

I would really like my own television show one day. It's be a cross between Letterman and Double Dare and my wardrobe would be provided courtesy of someone. But I would give up any hope of one day sluttin' it up on the boob tube if it meant Zach Anner could have his own TV show. Which it looks like Oprah's about to give him.
America gets to vote on where Oprah should tap her wand of power next, and as of this weekend, we're picking Zach. I was just his 2,615,432nd vote.
Below is his audition and here's where you vote.

And then this is Zach thanking everyone for voting for him. He filmed this yesterday.

Zach Anner is everything that's right with the world, right with the internet and right with irreverent humor. Plus, if you check out the other Oprah video applicants, they all kinda suck...

it's kevin spacey...

When I was in high school, KG and I went to see Shallow Grave. It's this Scottish movie about a dead roommate and the twist at the end had me reeling for years. I remember sitting dumbfounded in my seat in the theater, shocked at the turn of events.
I felt the same way when I saw the Usual Suspects for the first 10 times. The twist, it's just so good. Keyser Soze is...holy shit. Oh my God. I can't believe it.
Folks, it's just happened again. I just spent that last 2 hours hiding from the world in a movie theater. I needed to turn off my phone, turn off my life, turn off the lights for an evening. Some people get massages, some people get drunk. I have to settle for subtitles.
I couldn't really decide what to see, but proximity won out and I settled for some Argentine movie I'd never heard of. The fact that it won the Oscar for best foreign film cinched my decision.
I just saw The Secrets in Their Eyes.
HOLYSHITOHMYGODWHATTHEFUCK.
The New Yorker nails it:
"...sends us deeper into mystery and passion; the movie presses forward with a rhapsodic urgency and with flashes of violence and pungent humor. 'The Secret in Their Eyes' is a finely wrought, labyrinthine entertainment whose corners and passageways will be discussed by moviegoers for hours afterward as they exit into the cool night air."
Seriously. I just exited into the cool night air and everything.
If you've seen it, will you please call or email me? I need to discuss. And if you haven't, if you appreciate the twist, if the fact that I just screamed into a darkened independent movie theater, "Shut UP!" conveys any kind of interest, you've got to drop what you're doing and go see this shit. I'm just...floored.
TWIST!

it's the laughter i will remember...

I just cleaned out my desk at my soon-to-be-old job. First of all, it amazes me that folks are like, "You had a job-job? You didn't blog full time?"
Are you high? No, I didn't blog full time. Snarking around the internet doesn't usually come with medical. I've been working for six and a half years here. And this is my last week before I start...blogging full time.
Anyway, I'm cleaning out my desk which is packed with crap. I often surprise myself at what a chick I am. The layers of photos have created a cocoon around my computer, the top layer being the most recent. I'm like one of those troll dolls ladies. There's lots of girlfriends clinking cosmos.
I pulled them off this morning and tossed the save-ables in a shopping bag. As I got down to the third layer, I started to find ... well, my feelings can best be expressed by this:

I know, I know. Aside from all the schmaltz and crap I've managed to pin to a 2' x 3' piece of cork, I've been through a lot sitting at this desk, the desk that's been my desk since I was 25. And now all of it, the photos and the flower delivery cards and the birthday buttons and the ticket stubs are piled into a Banana Republic bag at my feet.
It feels weird. It feels good. And this trip down memory lane, thanks to my inability to throw anything remotely sentimental away, has been an emotional half hour that's now out of my system. But really, if I had to do it all over again, these photos and these cards and these birthdays and these tickets, I would.
Much to my delight, there's a whole new and empty piece of cork waiting for me at KPIX. Where I can start from scratch...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

the one with barbara thorndike...

The Brians and I went to see Pollo in Golden Girls Live on Thursday because I was worried I wasn't quite gay enough. And thank god I went. I had no idea the gem that sits in the middle of a shitty neighborhood in San Francisco. Somehow, I never realized they were performing actual episodes of the Golden Girls.
That's it.
Four drag queens performing two Golden Girls scripts, with an intermission in between and commercial breaks featuring the audio of hilarious commercials from the 80's and 90's.
For some reason, I thought there'd be all kinds of random shenanigans, but these queens get right down to business, with the back-from-commercial instrumental and everything.
You guys have to go. I'm biased, of course. Rose Nyland is my homegirl. But seriously, even the costumes hit the appliqued shoulder padded nail on the head. It's really good.
After the show, I looked up the Golden Girls online which led me to looking up 80's TV shows online which led me to EPISODES OF DEGRASSI JR. HIGH ONLINE!
As a child, I was allowed to watch very limited television. It was torture. But anything on PBS was pretty much tolerated and much of my life revolved around 3-2-1 Contact, Square-One and Degrassi Jr. High. Because I was so cruelly sheltered in my upbringing, I thought 7th Grade was exactly like Degrassi Jr. High.
Which is to say 7th Grade takes place in Canada and they call it "Grade Seven." Sadly, I went to a parochial K-8 school, so 7th Grade was pretty much exactly like every other grade, with the same goddamn people in the same goddamn uniform in the same goddamn country. There were no awesome parties without chaperones. I didn't have any contemporaries named "Spike" who had mohawks and got pregnant.
At Degrassi Jr. High, everyone's almost European. But they are definitely not American. And I haven't had a taste to this gift from the north in like, 20 years! Join me in watching all 26 episodes PBS posted on YouTube right here.
And go see Golden Girls Live, because it counts at attending the thee-ah-tah but it's totally TV too...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

amber waves of gel...

Photographer Bill Wilson has done it again! Below, please find his exciting work at the Presidio's Memorial Day Services, and President Obama's arrival in San Francisco.

Being all that they can be!

Wait one second. Is that Kimora Lee Simmons or Fiona Ma? I can't tell.
Ugh, those glasses. We get it. You're "young." Enough with the cougar shades.

Bill Wilson: artiste
In all seriousness, what a wonderful San Francisco moment. The bridge, the presidio, the patriotism, the weird hat ladies...

Goddamnit, Cisneros, pay attention! Mike Farrah is talking!

You wanna talk about seeing some action? Rep. Jackie Spears, folks. 22 hours on a tarmac in the jungle after being shot by cult members. I cannot imagine anything more badass.

Growing up as the child of a local politician, the above just looks like every weekend in my childhood. Oh, except that everyone was awake.

I just want to take a moment to acknowledge all of the outfits. We have the Revolutionary War soldiers, present day decked-out officers, Mike Farrah representing Banana Republic and a men's singing group wearing tap dance outfits from 1986.


Moving on to President Barack Obama's arrival at SFO, I have to admit, I love how huge and imposing and totally awesome Air Force One is. Republican, Democrat, christ, even the Green Party. You've got to respect the power of the plane.

This is Barack's ride...

And this is Gavin's. What is that? A bike rack?
Also, what with his commitment to the gay community and all, I'd like to formally suggest the Mayor add rainbow flags to the standard spot right above the headlights.


This whole conversations looks horribly awkward to me and just makes me sad.
I mean, Gavin's the big man on campus, the hot boy in class. All of the girls just love him, the teachers think he's nice, he plays some specific sport really well. And then one day, Zac Efron does a surprise 5-minute concert in the gymnasium and it's like, 'This is what a big deal looks like. Soak it in.'
Everytime I see President Obama, I think of this.

No, it's cool. Seriously. It's fine. I can take my own car. Should I just? I'll...I'll follow you. It's fine. happy to follow you there. I'll just add myself to your motorcade right behind...

...the white van containing the back-up secret service suits.

And finally, because I really do love him and to remind you (and Gavin) that he's just like us, here's the Mayor taking an iPhoto of something awesome. Something tells me, Barack Obama did not bust out his Blackberry and capture a candid of Gavin, but I could be wrong...

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

pearls, ties and cowboy hats...

Brock, Jackson and I went undercover as Republicans for last night's election parties. The whole scoop is up in it's bizarre entirety on SFGate's Culture Blog...

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

i smell money, you smell foul...

Thank you so much to the fabulous Greg at N Judah Chronicles who understands me so well, he sent me this:

Also, I've been posting on Eye on Blogs all morning so head over there and read, please...

Monday, June 07, 2010

democracy and pearls...

I'm compiling a list of tomorrow night's election parties for Eye on Blogs, but there's got to be more than this, right? Where are you fine folks gonna be?
Also, Melissa is moderating the D6 debate on June 23rd, and for those of you who wish to observe from the privacy of your own homes, you can watch the whole thing on the internet with sassy commentary by ME! I'll be like the old guys in the balcony on The Muppets. AND I'm trying to talk a brilliant comedic mind into joining me...

Saturday, June 05, 2010

it's like the nerd sag awards...

I watched (most of) the mayor's hour and 13 minute budget presentation for you. And there's one thing, and one thing only you need to know:
He takes his jacket off at the 20 minute mark. Enjoy...

Friday, June 04, 2010

information gladly given...

Alright nerds. I've got a lot of free time on my hands. Obviously. So does Melissa. So we put together this helpful Video Voter Guide for the Propositions on the June 8th ballot. If you're planning on voting and have no idea what the hell is up with the props, this might help.
But probably not.

We worked really hard on it (with the help of a technical genius) so please feel free to splash it all over town, unless you think people will be mean to us in which case, nevermind.
Necessary Conversation is a little idea we've been working on. Stay tuned for more from us, as a lot of people are still running for stuff. Or so they tell me.
*UPDATE* Weekend What's Up is also up! On the Gate...

Thursday, June 03, 2010

an exclusive...

It's moments like this that give my life meaning. The following just flew into the inbox:

Ok beth,
I know you don't know me, but I just experienced the thrill of our mayor walking down the (plane) aisle. I now understand how you feel. His slickness was carrying a venti starbucks (um, how bout supporting your local sf coffeehouses mr. Mayor?!) And a beatup briefcase. Anyway, I immediately thought of you as I'm an avid reader of your blog.
Happy Thursday!
Lauren

First of all, Lauren, I salute you. This is some awesome reporting. Let's pose some questions and then I'll provide some analysis.
1. I'm curious as to the airline. The Mayor recently sat next to one of my close friends on a Southwest Flight from the California Democratic Convention in LA to SFO. And Gavin, who boarded late, was stuck in the middle seat. I believe in some circles, this is known as the bitch seat. Upon receiving this information, I could barely handle Gavin risking life and limb on Southwest, much less his awkwardly walking the aisle asking, "Is that one open? Could I, just, excuse me...Thanks." So I'll feel better when Lauren tells us this was the first class section of a Singapore Airlines flight around the world.
2. Which begs, where is he going and why?
3. Where's the Mayor sitting? I'll love a row and seat number. Because I don't really see him in the last row listening to everyone pee.
4. Anything to drink? Eat? Is he watching 2 and a Half Men? I need to know. Again, on the flight next to my friend, he ordered a hot tea and ate pretzels.
Thanks to Lauren, we do know quite a bit.
1. Obviously, Gavin looked super hot as Lauren now knows how I feel. See, some of you haters out there may have never felt the electricity that the man gives off in person. He's like one of those people in Cocoon. I think he glows underneath.
2. Always, always with the Venti Starbucks. I'm perfectly fine with that. I'm an American. I love Starbucks.
3. Beat up briefcase?!?!? Wha? Who? WHY? Gavin Newsom is one of the world's best dressed international stylemakers. He's got to know a man's accessories speak volumes about his sartorial compass. I guess he's just such a workaholic that the briefcase, carrying your guesses in the comments, bears the brunt of his commitment to California.
Thank you Lauren! And safe travels to you and the Mayor...

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

extra, extra! i have news...

So...guess where I am right now.
I interviewed Wednesday, I was offered it Thursday, I quit my job Friday and, um, what day is it? Oh yeah. I'm now employed by the fine folks at CBS, and will be working full time from the KPIX newsroom as I bring you Eye on Blogs.
It's weird, the twists and turns of life. It's a really weird experience, when your new boss at CBS-5 asks you your college major and you respond, "fashion design." I mean, this wasn't the origianal plan.
But writing and blogging and doing whatever the hell else I do on the internet is without a doubt, my passion. It's why I wake up, I'm horrified to tell you. When the opportunity arose to take a huge risk, leave the security of my friends and family at my day job and see if I could really do this...I grabbed it. And spent the past weekened wondering what I've gotten myself into.
My friend and colleague Brittney Gilbert has created an awesome forum for local bloggers at Eye on Blogs. I plan to continue her work in promoting the talented cast of characters running around the local superhighway. And I plan to do so much more! Once I figure out how to, you know, work a lot of new, computery software.
The next three weeks will be a little nuts, wrapping up the day job and trying to post on Eye on Blogs as much as I can (and again, that's another technical kink to work out), but you guys...I'm sitting at a desk in the KPIX newsroom right now. I can't stop smiling/wondering when they'll figure out what they've done and escort me out of the building.
Please, please, oh God, please support Eye on Blogs in any way you can. We're going to have fun.
I can just feel it.
I love that you read this,
Beth