Friday, July 30, 2010
Jersey Shore, bitch!
Snookie's thoughts on domestic policy as it pertains to tanning. Snook's succumbed to fake tanning because President Obama added a 10% tax to tanning, something John McCain would never have done. McCain is, after all, pale. Barack Obama, Snookie pointed out, doesn't have that problem.
Snookie's black cowboy hat as she walked into the bar in Savannah. Really, that whole moment made me love her. I think she's in on the joke, a little. And I love her for it. God Bless America that we have found the one person who is interesting to watch discover fried pickles and put her on TV.
Ronnie cried. Yeah, I'm calling that a cry. A friend of mine maintains that for a man to cry, you need to see three falling tears, which Ronnie did not produce on camera. But I still maintain that dance floor tantrum was a legitimate cry.
Chris would like to congratulate J-Woww on her corrected boob job. I never noticed a problem last season, but apparently some people found it distracting and unattractive.
The Situation is in on the joke too. He's smirking at us, he knows this is crazy. But he likes this shit. And thus, I like him.
Vinnie is my boy. Not only is he the most old school Mama's Boy since Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, but he seems to have his head screwed on straight. His analysis of Ronnie's breakdown was surprisingly astute.
DJ Paulie D is Forrest Gump, and I'm using Forrest Gump as a medical term as coined by my mother. "He's not mentally retarded, he's like...Forest Gump."
Sammie is not in on the joke. Sammi is not in on much. She kind of states a general malaise and then refuses to discuss it. Um, hello? You're spending two months living with your ex-boyfriend whose one planned activity is to bang as many chicks as possible. It's going to bum you and your cheap demin capris out.
Vocabulary for Season 2: Grenades are fat ugly girls. Landmines are ugly skinny girls. These terms are thrown around arbitrarily. "Then I splashed some water on my face and a grenade went off!" Also, creep, creeping and creepy are all verbs for what the homosexuals refer to as cruising. It took me a second to figure that one out.
Angelina needs to leave. She's ridiculous. She says "yous" not because people actually speak that way but because she thinks she's supposed to. As Sammi was staring out of the cab, all wide-eyed and morose and Angelina dives in with some nonsense about how all the girls are mean, I was like, "Okay. I re-hate you." Also, you can't bail on Season 1, then realize, "Oh shit, this is a national phenomenon" and then re-appear and expect everyone to be thrilled. She wasn't there when Snookie got punched. She doesn't know!
Also, here's how Angelina makes friends with the guys: "If I hook up with one of yous, whatevah."
The only thing Pauly D. brought to the table was pointing out Angelina no longer used garbage bags as luggage.
Big Chris and I are both very concerned that too much of this season will focus on the Ronnie/Sammi "I told you so much!" relationship. It's tired. We've all personally lived through one of those roller coasters with some poor soul that's out there talking shit/fondly reminiscing about us right now. We don't need to watch it all over again with stupid people.
And finally, the "This season, on the Jersey Shore" looked epic. And contained way more information than the stupid Mad Men preview. Snookie AND Angelina bang Vinnie (I'd hit that) and J-Woww and Sammi brawl? This is some great American television.
I couldn't be more excited...
Quote of the show:
"I feel like a Pilgrim in the freakin' 20's." ~ Nicole "Snookie" Polizzi, cleaning Sammi's favorite white shorts
I know, I know, I know she was referring to the 1620s. I'm positive.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
And speaking of harrowing tales of survival, there were
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I don't know why I was afraid to entertain without a bottle of wine at my side. Brock and I opened up the dining room table, lit votives all over the house, piled roses in vases and basted all afternoon. Voila! This is just as fun sipping Diet Coke out of stemware.
Some friends headed over and we all sat down to a moderately-themed meal before the big event. I even made a jello mold, the most complex cooking process I've ever experienced. It's a three person job.
It's weird what people end up discussing around the dinner table, and we engaged in several heated debates. The main argument of the night:
Who's crazier: Mel Gibson or Tom Cruise?
Sub-question: Which of the two has better movies?
You'd have thought we were debating the meaning of life, or which parent we loved more. People were screaming, angry and oddly convincing. I was going back and forth. But I stick by my argument that Mel Gibson is a horrible person and Tom Cruise is mentally ill.
Jackson maintains that Cruise's entire life in the spotlight, plus the Scientology thing, is why he's so weird. Alex swears up and down that Mel Gibson's work in Braveheart trumps any phone conversation. And Tara's big argument in favor of Tom Cruise was Magnolia.
It's also hard to pay attention to Mad Men watching with nine people, by the way. But when that hooker slapped Don Draper, the place went nuts. And I got drunk on happiness that my house was full and I have less problems than Mel Gibson...
Thursday, July 22, 2010
"When my son, Moses, came into the world in 2006, I expected to have another period of euphoria following his birth, much the way I had when my daughter was born two years earlier. Instead I was confronted with one of the darkest and most painfully debilitating chapters of my life."
Basically, having a baby is worse than breaking up with Brad Pitt AND Ben Affleck. Even better, star of The Village, Bryce Dallas Howard gets in on the action, in an effort to share Gwyneth's pain:
I recently saw an interview I did on TV while promoting a film. In it, I was asked about my experience with post-partum depression and as I watched, I cringed. I said things like “It was a nightmare,” or “I felt like I was in a black hole.” But I couldn’t even begin to express my true feelings. On screen, I had seemed so together, so okay, as if I had everything under control. As I watched, it dawned on me. If I had been able to truthfully convey my ordeal with post-partum depression under the glare of those lights, I most likely would have said no words at all. I simply would have stared at the interviewer with an expression of deep, deep loss.
That would have been an awesome interview. But wait. It gets
And finally, Bryce finds an answer, in the most unexpected of places:
A friend invited me to a “pow-wow” of mothers (in a tepee nonetheless); there we talked about the trials and tribulations of motherhood.
The rest of the newsletter features doctors talking all about homeopathic, emotionally sensitive treatments for post-partum depression, but quite frankly, I think they should have provided information about homeopathic, emotionally sensitive methods of birth control...
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Today my usual Wednesday Culture Blog is UP on SFGate. Join me as we venture to a small coastal California town for a fabulous Civil War Reenactment, wherein Lincoln gives me his digits.
And I've also posted an error I found in Willie Brown's most recent column in the Chronicle. My love for Da Mayor has only grown, but he's managed to mix up his princesses. Find out what the hell I'm talking about at the SF Appeal's See Spot Write...
Monday, July 19, 2010
The first is this week's Tourist Trapped on SFGate. Melissa and I ventured inside the Fisherman's Wharf Wax Museum and lived to tell about it.
The second is my recap of Chris Daly's Saturday Morning Symposium, up on CBS5's Eye on Blogs. Here's my recap recap: Zzzzzzzz.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Apparently 40 people aged 39 and younger and doing far more important things with their lives than you or I. While I consider Hastings among them, he wasn't being honored. YET. Nor was his girlfriend Andrea, but since she was co-hosting the event, I went to support her too.
I'm such a giver, that way.
(Also, I got to go for free and the Brians were going. It wasn't like I had to hitchhike to Bakersfield or anything.)
The event was held at SPUR's offices and the Brians and I swung by the mall first where Devine complained about the men's room for 20 minutes before we headed over.
SPUR's offices are weird. Let's just start with that. Modern and sparse, the Brians and I stood in their packed foyer while most folks gathered for speeches in a main room. Glass doors separated the foyer from the main room, by the way. It was like a big glass wall, only the foyer was nice and cool and the main room was hot and stuffy.
Also, one had to be quiet in the main room as we'd arrived too late for the mingling. And of course, arrived just in time for insanely boring speeches.
Steve Westly was the first speaker. And he went on and on about something called a BHAG, which stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goal.
On and on, he went. Big. Hairy. Auditions. Goals.
If he said it once, he said it 20 times.
Brian L. was rapt, seeing nothing wrong with anything. He loves this shit! But Brian D. and I stood in the back.
"Big hairy what? This is disgusting!"
"I feel gross. Let's go in the foyer."
Lots of folks chose to abandon the big room, what with it's hairy speeches and humidity. Brian and I stood in the foyer (again, only separated by glass) and chatted with each other, and with friends. On a folding table, we found Classic Coke, white wine, and some abandoned bowls of humus.
I even met Nate Payne, Candidate for District 6, who had a child strapped to his chest.
Periodically, folks desperately listening to hairy speeches would turn to those of us in the foyer and dramatically motion for us to be quiet. Using their entire bodies, they'd signal us like air traffic controllers on the tarmac.
It was ridiculous, and I decided they were causing far more of a distraction than we were.
None the less, I shut the hell up and just stood appreciating the occasional breeze from the window.
Finally, unable to take adults communicating with each other any more, this guy wearing a name tag that proudly said IAN THOMPSON opened a glass door, looked straight at Brian and me and said, "It's getting really rude in here!"
Oh hell no, Ian Thompson.
Hastings came and found us. "This is kinda deadly," he admitted.
"I know!" I sighed. "Also, I realize pretty tacky that all I do is show up and complain when I'm here to support you. I'm horrible."
Self-aware in 2010!
Anyway, Hastings and his friend Ken took Brian and me up to the 4th floor SPUR library in search of Diet Coke. We did not find Diet Coke. You know what else we did not find in the SPUR library?
Not one. It's a concrete room with bathrooms, modern chairs and wall-to-wall institutional carpeting. But no books.
Figuring that after 30 minutes, the speeches must be over, we headed downstairs. We were wrong. the speeches kept going, now with 8 of the 40 awardees offering their thoughts on Big Hairy Audacious Goals, among other things.
It's the word "hairy" that was grossing me out. As Brian observed, it's almost sexual.
I know what they're trying to say with it. These goals should be in your face. Audacious goals aren't always pretty.
But hairy? Must we say hairy? Let's find a better word.
Finally as the event wound down, someone decidedly OVER 40 asked for money and then we were told ice cream was available in the foyer. The foyer where folks were now allowed to speak freely.
As we stood around waiting for Brian L. to wrap-up his schmoozing, Devine and I took stock of the crowd, all of whom were eating ice cream.
"They're eating their ice cream with knives."
In suits and silk, the attendees were maneuvering their mint chip into their mouths with plastic knives. All of them. Without any acknowledgement that this was bizarre, awkward, weird. Nope. Everyone was fine with it.
"Oh, you're out of spoons? No problem! I can use my hands or... oh, a knife? Sure!"
I saw Hastings' girlfriend, Andrea. She was sitting eating her ice cream with a spoon.
"Oh, a spoon!" We were shocked.
Sheepishly, she looked up at us and confessed. "I stole it from the humus."
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
photo: Timothy Faust
Monday, July 12, 2010
You're rolling your eyes, you're saying, "Wow, Beth. That's...not a big deal at all."
I know, I know. But public transportation and I have a complicated yet sparse history. I'd never been on BART by myself before, and this morning I needed it to function in it's official capacity: getting me to work on time.
Here are my observations as a first time flier, as it were:
1. It's not the train ride that ruins your hair and your make-up and your clean, crisp suit. It's the walking to the 24th and Mission BART station and the walking from Embarcadero to work, a lovely stroll up Battery Street wherein one's hair becomes dislodged and stuck to one's face.
2. There were no crazy people on my train. I was shocked.
3. That being said, I had no reason to bring my book. I still had a ton to look at. Just looking out the window at blackness wooshing by was interesting to me this morning.
4. Everyone gets off at the Powell and Montgomery stops, so my final leg of the trip to Embarcadero was breezy and involved an actual seat. But my coat bunched up around my shoulders and neck, and my over-stuffed purse collapsed on my lap, making me look less like the glamorous FiDi vixen I'd hoped and more like an exasperated admin, with her dress shoes in her KQED totebag and her Reebok high-tops strapped against her pantyhose.
But I made it, and I'm early. A quick swing by the ladies to pat down my flyaways and powder my nose should fix the major aesthetic problems I'm suffering.
I'd like to thank Melissa for explaining to me how to take BART, without using any kind of sarcasm or disdain. And I'd like to thank Tara for trying to talk me out of it with, "Are you nuts? It'll ruin your hair. I never take the train and I don't care what people think."
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Friday, July 09, 2010
Thursday, July 08, 2010
I asked the woman in front of me, as if she might know Arizmendi's payment policy.
"I don't remember." She said, refusing to make eye contact. Somehow, this sent me into a panic. I had pulled the bread from the display case, touching it and in effect, making it technically either mine or garbage. I had no cash and no way of quickly getting rid of the flatbread. I couldn't put it back in the case. I couldn't slam it on the counter and run. I had to hand it over.
"You don't take credit cards, do you?"
"No." The baker smiled. "I can hold that for you while you go get cash."
"Oh, thanks!" I gushed. "I'll be right back."
I looked at the line behind me, handed over my flatbread and went to Jamba Juice. I feel really bad about it, tho. I swear...
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Who am I kidding? Kate asked me to go to a lecture with her last week and I thought she was kidding. A lecture? On purpose? For money?
But the lecture Kate wanted to attend just wasn’t my kind of lecture. Maybe if I find my kind of lecture, I could happily sit and learn and nod at all the right parts.
Commonwealth Club: Monday, July 19, 2010
David Sullivan, Professional Cult Investigator
Learn about cults from a man who's seen them from the inside. Professional investigator Sullivan describes the process of identifying and investigating cults, providing an overview of how cults recruit, convert and maintain control of their members through a variety of psychologically coercive techniques. A licensed private investigator for more than 19 years, Sullivan has worked in collaboration with leading authorities in the area of undue influence.
Location: SF Club Office
Time: 4:45 networking reception, 5:15 p.m. program
Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members
I have a couple of concerns about this lecture:
1. Why is there a networking reception at 4:45? It sounds, quite frankly, like cult recruitment.
2. How long is this lecture? Exactly. What if it’s boring? I need to know there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
3. Aside from the whole recruitment technique thing, will David Sullivan be discussing living within the cults? Sex lives of the cult members? Specific cults he’s infiltrated and what he saw?
That being said, I’ll probably go to this if for no other reason than it sounds like one big cult recruitment under a very clever guise…
Friday, July 02, 2010
Work is actually going pretty well, and I'm kind of learning my way around this huge building packed with people. We had a fire drill yesterday and I spotted Greg from Fernando and Greg waiting out on the sidewalk with everyone else. Excitedly, I pointed this out to my co-worker Bill who then regaled me with the folks he's run into in the elevator.
It was all sports people, I'm appalled to say.
I park around the block at this place where you drop your call off, they give you a ticket and then they pull it around for you when you come back at the end of the day. Around 6pm, when I head off usually, there's a little line of people waiting for cars much fancier than mine. Yesterday, this supermodel wearing a wedding ring that looked like the Hope diamond was in front of me, and handed off her ticket.
The parking guy asked, "What kind of car?"
And Hope goes, "It's a beamer."
What kind of BMW driver refers to their own car as a beamer? Especially in this situation, where it's all business. We don't need your little display, Hope. We just want to go home. He says it again, and exasperated, but resigned to help she says, "A beamer! It a silver 2008 BMW 3 series coupe 328i!"
It was all I could do not to scream "EYEROLL!" in her face. But God bless him, the parking guy goes, "Oh. A silver BMW. Got it."
And off he ran.
This morning, I headed off super early for my annual check-up at Kaiser, mainly because CJ Cregg told me to live well...and thrive. Finally in with the doctor, I run down my array of questions, "Am I dying? I've self-diagnosed the following..." and my incredibly sweet, patient Russian lady-doctor checked me out for everything.
All of my diagnoses were wrong, by the way. So we're wrapping up and Dr. Zhivago goes, "Alright Elizabette. We update your file and it is time for your 10-year tetanus shot. You want to do it now or make appointment and come back?"
Obviously, I chose to get the stabbing over with.
"That is what I like to hear!" She exclaimed! And then she says, "Actually, it is tetanus shot and something else."
She didn't technically say "something else." She said some long medical word starting with a P. Anyway, Maria the nurse came in and asked me, "Are you right or left handed?"
"I'm right handed. Why?"
"Then we do your left."
Apparently the tetanus and something else shot was going to totally incapacitate an entire side of my body, which is just terrific. In an attempt to distract myself from what was about to happen, I asked, "So this is a tetanus vaccine and what else?"
Oh. Of course. Whooping cough. I guess they'll let me know when I need to come back for my Legionaire's Disease vaccine...