Monday, August 30, 2010

"temple's a snappy dresser, i'll give her that..."

Awards shows are my reason for living. Whenever times get tough, I'm down in the dumps and can't seem to find a way to go on, celebrities congratulate themselves with the perfect symbiosis of show biz and fashion and I snap right out of my slump.
Last night was the Emmys!
I was on a Tweeting frenzy the whole time, but I have some additional thoughts to share with you now:
Red Carpet
Like anyone with half a brain, I flipped between NBC and E! for most of the red carpet and can report that Billy Bush makes Ryan Seacrest look like Walter Cronkite. Billy Bush not only asked Jon Hamm and his girlfriend of 12 years when the planning to make it "official" but he revealed the part of Jimmy Fallon's opening number featuring Kate Gosselin. A tan Fallon handled the moment with a nice passive aggressive barb from my own repertoire.
January Jones' entire career must be some elaborate episode of Punk'd. She was dressed like a background dancer from Starlight Express. And she can barely be bothered to form an complete sentence. Enough Betty Draper! Enough!
Speaking of people I hate, Claire Danes has developed the Gwyneth Paltrow "I send a lot of time in the UK" accent. Could anything be more annoying? Oh, I know. Acting superior when we all know you've sold out to eyelash pharmaceutical enhancement commercials. Her eyelashes did look spectacular, but I'd have rather heard WAY more from Temple Grandin.
Incidentally and much to my surprise, Big Chris has actually seen Temple Grandin on HBO and explained the story line to me, which I would re-explain here but his version of events was really, really offensive. Even to me.
Who's brilliant idea was it to ask Manny from Modern Family whose ass he wanted to tap (paraphrasing) on the red carpet? He was all, "Um, I'm nine, asshole." (paraphrasing.)
Phil Dunphey is a perfect human being. Someone's getting shifted out of my Top 5 for this guy. I love him. He wore a grey velvert tux with nary a knowing smirk. The whole Modern Family sweep made my night. I love them all except for Julie Bowen, but I think it's her job to be kinda annoying.
Oh! Oh! Oh! If Matthew Morrison mentions "women" or "chicks" or "I love to have sex with females, America!" one more time, I'm going to boycot Glee (lie.) If he wants to be closeted, fine. But he doth protest too much. And I find it offensive.
The Show
Jimmy Fallon did a great job hosting. His opening number was so awesome, my mother called and left a message telling me, "If you're not watching the Emmy's you really should because this Opening Number is just wonderful." You know why I didn't answer my phone, mom? Guess.
The pairing of Jon Hamm and Betty White was inspired. As was giving Cameron from Modern Family an Emmy. For a million different reasons, this warmed my heart.
Ryan Murphy, the creator of Glee seems really intimidating and scary. You don't need to overcompensate anymore! You've made it! Alternately, the head guy from Modern Family, Steven Levitan seems like the most wonderful person in the world.
Who knew Julia Ormond was an idiot? Anyone?
The in Memoriam is always the highlight of any awards show. A true testament of success is inclusion in an awards show death montage.
Top Chef won and as a producer was thanking everyone on behalf of all of the Top Chef team, Padma just couldn't stand by and keep her mouth shut. Oh no. She kept leaning forward into the microphone to shout shit. Her necklance, which I kinda liked, kept clanging around. It was all too much.
Since when did Al Pacino become a crazy old man? I love him, I always will. I'm just saying I don't want to grab a drink with the guy. Also, Jack Kervorkian in the audience was pretty fantastic.
The show eneded a full minute early, which is a modern miracle. So I handed Big Chris the remote. Lo and behold, he discovered that the BET Awards were just starting. To me, in my awards show frenzy, the Emmys AND the BET Awards was a glorious embarrassment of riches.
Yay America!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

schwartz and stompanatto...

Protecting the streets of Minneapolis, two detectives known best as Schwartz and Stompanatto break alibis, hearts and glass ceilings in a new drama brought to you by the producers of CHiPs.
Juuust kidding. But we do have an exciting new project I'll be debuting right here tomorrow! Melissa and I have been tweaking a video concept and I really hope you enjoy the revised version.
Just like Gavin, it'll be up at 10am...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

two exciting time-killing options...

What are you in the mood for today? A bunch of cranky chicks riding around on a tourist bus? Or sweating and swooning at last night's District 10 Supervisorial Candidate Meet and Greet?
Both are up, over at SFGate!
Also, I am getting out of town this weekend, all by my lonesome. It's just me and a hotel pool with wifi, so I hope to bring you (and only you) some solo vacation adventures.
I. Can. Not. Wait...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

brittney, skim the broth...

Brittney, Big Chris, my brother Alex and I headed out to the Richmond because I insisted on having an adventure. I wanted to go to one of those hot pot restaurants and cook our own food. So into the depths of the fog we venture and upon arrival, the four of us are seated at this massive table.
For $40, we're given all we can eat at drink, which includes both beer and Diet Coke, so everyone is happy.
But once we'd picked our boiling broth flavors and selected our meats (Kobe beef and lamb), the whole thing just became a pain in the ass.
This is purely from my horrible perspective, by the way. My friends found it all fun. They were also doing sake bombs.
The novelty of cooking one's own food is exciting. But then the boiling broth is all steamy and hot and it's hard to enjoy the food because you've got to cook it, one by one. Thin slice of beef in the broth, count to 10, dip it in sauce, eat it. Piece of bok choy in the broth, count to 12, dip it in sauce, eat it.
Quite frankly, I found the whole process WAY too much work. And expensive considering we were the ones slaving over a hot stove all night.
No more do-it-yourself. What's the point of having a job if your leisure time involves doing "it" yourself? Forget it.
Although, it was certainly an adventure, Chris and I checked something off our bucket list of activities and Brittney and I eavesdropped on an exciting fight at the next table. So, you know, I'm looking on the bright side...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

she's ba-ack...

Today's SFGate Culture Blog is UP! Join me as I venture inside the DCCC Endorsement Meeting and get bored, frustrated and then bored again...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

look at that idiot with his hat on inside out...

My brother Alex and I helped the Giants win on Saturday. We also met Tyler Florence, tried some grape relish and discussed rally caps. Please read all about it on today's See Spot Write on the SF Appeal...
Oh! Oh and lest I forget! I'm guest-hosting all this week on the KOFY-TV20 couch, bringing you back to back Steve Wilkos and Jerry Springer every day from 1-5pm. I think it's probably Channel 13 in the Bay Area so be like my neighbor and TUNE IN!
Speaking of which, I went on CBS5's Bay Sunday this past weekend and I talked so much, they actually had to tell me to shut up. Yay!

Monday, August 16, 2010

tourist trapped: three unqualified reviews

Today's Tourist Trapped is UP! You should go read about it over on SFGate. This week, Leslie and I go to Fishermen's Grotto Number 9, Big Chris and I hit the Cliff House and Lisa joins me at Louis'. It's a culinary tour of San Francisco, folks. Bon appetit...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

a very special wewu...

I cannot believe we've been doing this for one full calendar year.

Thanks for watching. I heart you big time.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

in the kitchen where i belong...

Last night, Pollo Del Mar and I did the color commentary for the live-streaming San Francisco Young Democrats D10 Debate and not only did it go on FOREVER, but there was lots of screaming and yelling. Normally, I'd have the full and exciting scoop for you, but I was relegated to the kitchen on some Community Center in the Bayview, mainly because I complained I was too out in the open last time. I just can't catch a break!
Melissa moderated the whole thing, so when the video is up (probably tomorrow) you can see my girl deftly handle the ruckus. At one point during the screaming, I heard FROM THE KITCHEN, in a tone I know all too well, Melissa say, "VidSF, you need to cut the feed."
So without a word of warning, they just cut to me and Pollo and Kieran texted me, "Stall ;)"
With the smiley face and everything.
I found this HIGHLY exciting.
Because he saved us last time, the unflappable Nick (on the left) was stuck in the kitchen dealing with Pollo and me. Nothing upsets Nick. He's cool as a cucumber all the goddamn time, and when the screaming broke out, Nick strolled out of the kitchen to watch the drama.
"Nick!" I yelled. "Guard us!"
I think he thought I was kidding. Anyway, I hope Nick gets stuck with us for the rest of the debates because he's the calmest person alive and he looks just like Val from The Birdcage.
Anyway, Melissa and SFYD's Max were dealing with the screaming, VidSF was having technical difficulties, Nick was bored and Pollo and I were stalling.
So we started talking about race issues. I just kept saying over and over in my head, "Be very careful, Spotswood. Be very, very careful."
I have no idea what I said, although I know Pollo compared candidate Eric Smith to James Earl Jones. And afterwards, candidate Lynette Sweet marched right up to Pollo and went on and on about how amazing the commentary was at the D6 debate. Lynette couldn't stop raving to Pollo about the brilliance and hilarity of the color commentary. She didn't look at me once, so finally I was like, "HI! I'M BETH. THE ONE SITTING NEXT TO POLLO."
Lynette, it is safe to say, did not give a shit. And who can blame her? Pollo is perfect. And I almost killed a guy.
I will keep you posted on when the debate is up and online. And then you can consult your calendar and see when you have a seventeen hour window to watch the entire thing. Maybe we can rope VidSF's Ray into making a highlight reel? It should consist of lots of me looking nervous while Pollo provides the celebrity equivalents of the candidates...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

tonight's another debate about stuff...

I know you care deeply about the political process. Tune in tonight for the San Francisco Young Democrats District 10 Supervisorial Debate and watch my boo Melissa Griffin moderate NINE candidates. Actually, it might be eight. Once dude cancelled.
Almost as importantly, Pollo and I will be providing color commentary for those viewing online. Last time, this meant that Pollo and I just talked about which candidates we thought were mildly attractive and then yelled at some old dude to stop blocking the camera, at which point he fell and I solidified my place in hell.
What else is new?
Tune in!!!
You can watch live on VidSF, among other places. Alternately, a complete version will be up in a couple of days. And lest you forgot, here's the big tumble of '10...

Friday, August 06, 2010

one hell of a commercial for glade potpourri...

I had all kinds of mom-errands list night, and had to run to UPS to pick-up something that could easily have been left in my mailbox before heading to Walgreens.
The Walgreens closest to my house, dare I call it "my" Walgreens, is at the corner of Potrero and 24th, right by General Hospital. It is home to, among other things, the time I saw the guy in the parking lot shooting heroin in between his toes and the dented head man.
Much like Target, I went into Walgreens needing two things and made my way to the counter laden with crap. As I walked towards the register, I was overwhelmed by a smell.
I nearly said it out loud. "That's pee!"
God, it was pungent. The pee was old, dank, mixed with your standard gross body smell. But this is nothing new for the Walgreens at Potrero and 24th. Oh no, this is par for the course. Other than my diagnosis of "Pee!" I didn't really care that much. Until I got to the counter to find the source of the odor.
He was clearly homeless, and as all San Franciscans know there are degrees of homeless, this guy was "very." He stood at the counter and slowly tried to extract something from his pockets.
Once again, this is all nothing new round these parts. But the smell was ungodly. I wondered if, being so close to the hospital, he could head over there for some basic care and a shower. I wondered this, by the way, standing behind him in line with my array of body lotions and hairspray and bleach-based cleaning supplies.
The woman behind the counter was flustered. She had no idea what to do. I couldn't tell what the smeller was trying to purchase, if anything. But he stood at the only open register laboriously exploring his pockets.
The clerk, in a move after my own passive aggressive heart, dramatically tried to move to the empty register closer to me and ring me up. But she was panicked, dropping each item she tried to scan as she made a big display for the benefit of the hobo. She actually pulled the scanner cord over an entire register to ring up my discounted John Frieda hair shine hair spray and Wal-brand toilet paper.
I noticed that she was shooting nervous glances behind me, where another Walgreens clerk stood. The Wal-woman at six o'clock was equally panicked, and as I turned to look at her, I noticed she was holding a can of Glade Potpourri Spray, the best of all the Glade scented sprays.
Every few seconds or so, she'd spray it towards the smeller.
She just stood there, flummoxed, against the display of cheap bouquets in between the registers and the front doors, periodically spraying. The sprayer was maybe 5 feet away from the smeller, and in between each spray, she'd shoot the checker a return look which clearly said, "What the fuck do we do?"
What the fuck they did, I'm delighted to report, was not my problem. I paid my $70 (seriously. I spent $70 completely unintentionally) and left, bombarded by a collection of various panhandlers and sidewalk sitters all the way back to my car, now parked next to an entire family of like, 37 people piled into a burgundy Cadillac, with the woman in the front seat breast-feeding a baby.
I wanted to drop my bags on the ground, look to the skies and scream, "What the hell is going on?!?!"
But I wanted to get the hell out of there even more. And thus ends my 20 minute trip to the local Walgreens...

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

of all the movie joints in all the towns...

One of the great joys in my life is going to the movies by myself. I discovered this activity far too late, previously feeling that going to the movies by oneself is the sad, pathetic act of someone unlovable.
Either that's not really the case, or I've accepted my fate. But I love a bucket of Diet Coke and the opening credits. (Castle Rock has the best openings, by the way.)
The past week, I took myself to two movies. Well, technically three.
Sunday, I headed to the Castro Theater for a Humphrey Bogart Double Feature of Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon. Because apparently I'm a secondary character in a Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan romantic comedy. The first movie was Casablanca and maybe you've heard, it's fucking fantastic. Obviously, Captain Renault is my favorite, and Rick needs to get over Paris. I'm sorry but this whole, "I don't care about anyone, I'm the silent, mysterious type except for this chick who ... GODDAMNIT SAM! YOU COULD PLAY IT FOR HER, YOU CAN PLAY IT FOR ME!" makes Rick seem high maintenance.
Poor Ilsa's all, "Listen, just give me the damn papers so I can get the hell out of here. You want me to say I love you. Fine. I love you. Can I go now?"
Anyway, by the time The Maltese Falcon rolled around, things were heating up and my friends were (silently) texting. Plans were being made and as I sat in the Castro seat I had claimed three hours earlier, I committed a movie sin.
I texted back. Repeatedly.
Here's the thing. I'd been there for ages. I needed to know what was up. I'm not wild about when other people do it. But let's face it, there are worse movie sins. That being said, I'm well aware it's not cool.
So it didn't come as a huge shock when the big, old man newly arrived and sitting behind me to my left hissed, "MISS! MISS! The light from your phone is VERY distracting."
"So sorry." I blushed and shoved my phone in my bag.
With that, the hisser proceeded to begin to unwrap food from home. His food was wrapped in what sounded like an entire box of aluminium foil and he took his sweet time undoing the tin origami that contained his precious home food, which in and of itself is gross. No home food in the movies, c'mon. What is that, a turkey leg? Disgusting!
Anyway, I ask you: which is worse? My cell phone light or his prolonged tin foil symphony?
My second solo movie night was to go see Winter's Bone, which my mother described as "very you" and my Uncle Ted insisted I see. (Review: It's really good, but it's no The Secrets In Their Eyes.)
Once again, big, old man is sitting behind me to my left. This was probably a different big, old man. But San Francisco IS a small town. Anyway, my phone stayed under my seat and I behaved myself the entire time, having learned my lesson from the hisser.
So BOM (big, old man) has a big, old bag of popcorn. Popcorn at the movies is an American pastime. Nothing wrong with popcorn at the movies. But BOM had no concept of the silent handful of popcorn into the mouth. It was all hands rusting inside the bag, touching every kernel. One corn at a time, he'd eat. Rustle, rustle, rustle. Chew, chew, chew.
It became all I could hear. I began to wonder how long this could go on, when he'd finish his fucking popcorn. I started to calculate the number of kernels he had in there. Maybe 300? How much time was left in the movie and how long was each kernel taking? I was doing the math, and shooting the occasional look as if to say, "Are you okay? It sounds like you're having trouble with something."
That's the thing about being at the movies by yourself. With no one there to distract you, little shit can drive you nuts, be it tin foil, paper bag-hand or... someone's cell phone light.
All things considered, I still stand by my personal motto: When I do it, it's okay. When you do it, it's not.
Which in and of itself is an American pastime...

um, i believe we had plans...

I have two exciting links for you today! The first is my very true story of hitting the knock-off handbag shops of Fisherman's Wharf mere moments (or days, whatever) before the raid. Why didn't I tell you about the secret awesome knock-offs at Fisherman's Wharf sooner? I didn't want there to be a raid! Read all about it on CBS5's Eye on Blogs.
And the second link I have for you is today's Culture Blog on the SFGate, wherein Willie Brown blows off the Young Dems Ball in Blue, and as a result, these two. Tragic!

Monday, August 02, 2010