Friday, October 29, 2010

necessary conversation, episode nine...

It's called the high road, folks. And it's right here. In today's Necessary Conversation, we score a very special interview. It's up right now. And it likes to be watched.

Necessary Conversation Episode 9 from Necessary Conversation on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

so you're saying he never almost landed on the moon and barely survived after the oxygen tanks blew...

Almost as bizarre as the Giants winning another game, 475,389 to 0, I met Big Chris' best friend tonight. I've been hearing about this "Chuckie" for years. Chuckie grew up a block away from Chris, and they've been inseparable since meeting 30 years ago.
Big Chris has never let me meet anyone. I stumbled onto his brother once, Tony or as Chris calls him, "Mr. T." But apparently I caused too much of a scene and have been banned from any further interaction. Oh, and before running into Mr. T. three years ago, I had drinks with two of Chris' friends sometime around 2004, the most surprisingly normal adult men you could hope to meet. They opened doors, they bought my drinks, they asked me about myself, they told funny jokes. It was shocking.
Anyway, tonight I met Chris at the very packed Liberties, and as we watched the game, Chris suddenly and warmly greeted a very normal looking guy.
"Hey Chuck. This is Beth."
Chuckie and I stared at each other for a second.
"I've heard..."
"...so much about you!"
"I know!"
Once again, Chris' friend is the most normal, sane, adult, gentleman. It took 5 seconds for us to become the dearest of friends. It took 10 seconds for us to turn on Big Chris.
According to Chuckie, Chris gets 50% of his stories from stand up acts he watches on Comedy Central in the middle of the night.
"So, you mean the time he told me he cut school this one time and ended up singing in a parade and stole his best friend's dad's Ferrari..."
"And caught a baseball at a Cubs game?"
"Yeah."
"Yeah, that didn't happen to him."
Chris pretended he couldn't hear us and stared at the TV.
"She's talking about Ferris Buelher, Chris."
"Fuck you guys."
I cheerfully continued. "And the time he told me he wanted to free Scotland, so he started this war with a bunch of his friends after his wife was murdered because she wouldn't submit to Prima Nocta?"
"Yeah, that actually happened. But to someone else."
"Weird."
"You guys are assholes."
"Okay, but what about the time ghost sightings broke out all over New York City and Chris and his friends developed a technology in which only they could capture and store said ghosts?"
"I believe that was largely pulled from the film Ghostbusters. You ripped off Ghostbusters, dude?"
"I think you both are insane."
Around the eighth inning, Chuckie went home. Chris leaned forward over his beer, "Chuckie's a fucking liar."
"He's so awesome. Why have you been hiding him for so long?"
"I haven't been hiding HIM."
After the game, as we paid our bill, I looked across the table.
"You know who I love?"
And Big Chris looked back at me so sweetly and innocently, I almost couldn't say it.
"Who?" he asked.
Almost.
"Chuckie..."

my brother is speaking to me again. barely...

I'm saving the whole, glorious, star-studded story for the Culture Blog. But, um, we went to the World Series last night. It was as one might expect (awesome.) Go Giants!

hip and happening...

Look who's back in the news! It's our own Brian Devine, zig zagging across the country representing his clients in this big hip replacement recall. Yeah, my gay husband is a hip replacement lawyer. What? Look how cute he is!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

the snub of the century...

While he has created a "richly woven tapestry" in the regional online writing world, not everyone realizes the immense glory of Brock and SFist. As evidenced at Supervisor Bevan Dufty's house party, on today's SFGate Culture Blog...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

necessary conversation voter guide part 2...

Episode Eight: Voter Guide Part 2 from Necessary Conversation on Vimeo.

he was born in poland. awesome...

Thanks to Tara’s bizarre ability to be so right about some things and so wrong about others, we have discovered that the best place to watch sporting events is the Connecticut Yankee in Potrero Hill. Don’t tell anyone. It’s the perfect level of crowded now.
We’ve been meeting there pretty consistently to eat for 5 straight hours, scream at televisions and take charming abuse from the staff.
We love the Connecticut Yankee and I plan to spend all of my free time there from now on. The first time our group met up at the CY, we couldn’t help but notice this guy working there. He wore an old timey fisherman’s hat, wrote wacky, cryptic messages on the dinner specials board and broke into a spontaneous fire drill.
“Um, I love that guy.”
“Me too.”
So this past weekend, I presented our table with a challenge.
“You get a point for everything you find out about him. I’m talking first and last, birthplace, astrological sign, relationship status. If you get him to confirm a Facebook friend request, you automatically win.”
“I got this.” Tara said confidently. “What do I win?”
“You get to be friends with this guy.” Aaron responded. “That’s the greatest prize ever.”

how is it disgusting exactly...

Brock and I settled in for a late dinner at the upstairs bar of Zero Zero last night, and as we sat down, a gorgeous woman at the next table said, “Beth Spotswood and Brock Keeling!?!?”
Thrilled beyond words, Brock and I elbowed each other while throwing our arms around this reader with excellent taste.
Dottie was lovely, and after chatting for a bit, Brock and I took our seats, desperately hoping the rest of the restaurant noticed.
I love (the word ‘love’ isn’t nearly strong enough) when someone comes up and says hi. Particularly when I’m with Big Chris. Or my parents. It’s rare and exciting to get recognized, and I spend the rest of my night glowing and pointing out to my friends, “Remember three hours ago when that person recognized me? Yeah. Me too.”
But sometimes, people say some fucked up shit. Last week, Melissa and I found ourselves at a going away party, elbowing our way into the bar and wondering if someone could open a window. All of a sudden, this old dude marches towards us and snaps, “Are you two always together?!?!?”
He was horrified, appalled, annoyed. And I felt instantly embarrassed, defensive and caught off guard.
“Um, no.” We stammered. “Wait. What?”
“That’s disgusting!” He laughed, and marched away.
At this point, the second he was gone of course, we had loads to say.
“You don’t know us!”
“Who the fuck do you think you are?”
“If we were men…”
“What the hell was that about?”
“We have gone two whole weeks without seeing each other?”
“Who cares! It’s none of his business!”
I regaled Brock with this experience, and he was livid. “Well, if I was there I would’ve had a shit fit. Saying that to you? Why?”
“I know. I wish I had prepared like, a whole tirade.”
But we agreed. It’s entirely and completely worth it to run into bitchy man in a bar, because I can talk shit about him here (you suck, old man.) And I met three awesome readers this week: Dottie, Jessica and Lori!
That being said, if I see that fucker walking around, saying shit to people’s faces, it’s on. I’ve been practicing my responses to you, Gramps. You better Velcro your shoes on tight, because I’m chasing your weird ass down…

Monday, October 25, 2010

good luck remaining calm...

Thank you Kate C. for getting me this amazing info and image. Let's all start coordinating how we're going to handle Halloween with the fucking Situation. Because we're all going to be there, right? I mean, the Queen of England could roll into Starbucks and I'd lose my shit way more over the Sitch at the Jug Shop signing his signature vodka I can't even drink.
Sign up in the comments. The line for this bitch is going to be LONG...

tourist trapped at the mall...

Today's Tourist Trapped is up on SFGate! In it, I spend a rainy Sunday wandering around Union Sqaure and the Westfield Shopping Center basically pretending I'm in a Woody Allen movie...

Friday, October 22, 2010

necessary conversation, episode 8a...

Please enjoy Part One of the Necessary Conversation Propsition Voter Guide. Part Two will be up (I think) on Tuesday. Rock the vote, nerds!

Necessary Conversation Ep8 from Necessary Conversation on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

the end of the world. literally...

Today on SFGate's Culture Blog, my straight-male dominated team is asked a pub quiz question about Gavin Newsom's hair. And then (take a second), they don't listen to me...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

a conversation with a human cliche...

I had to go to this custom t-shirt store on Haight Street and get myself a custom t-shirt (for personal reasons, obviously.) Helping me create my masterpiece is an incredibly intimidating woman with tattoos all over her neck, curling around her chin. It was a turtleneck of tats. She was wearing a custom hoodie with what I assume to be an inside joke across the chest, and she could not be more over it.
Ironing on my letters and shit took awhile, and so, because I am my mother’s daughter, I felt the need to make conversation by asking the most circumstantially obvious question I could think of.
“What’s the weirdest thing anyone’s ever put on a t-shirt?”
“(Pause) Um, I’m actually a really non-judgemental person, so that’s a really subjective question.”
“Well,” I said, “Do people ever get anything, you know, wildly inappropriate?”
“(Annoyed pause) It takes a lot for me to think something is inappropriate.”
She said this in all seriousness, as if she imagined my life to be one suburban shock after the next. She might as well have slammed down my ¾ sleeve fitted-t and deadpanned, “Hello? Reality check, lady. You don’t get tattoos on your neck if you find anything inappropriate ever. I work at a custom t-shirt shop on Haight Street of all places. I have literally seen it all.”
But instead, she kept it all inside, saving her annoyance with me for what I can only imagine to be a seriously satisfying self-cutting session to the soundtrack of Singles

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

i wish you would step back from that ledge my friend...

Today's SFGate Culture Blog involves an exciting glimpse of a 90's lite rock singer predicting details about his own death...

the radishes are surprisingly good...

I met Melissa and our new friend Avrielle for dinner last week at Gitane, which is a Moroccan restaurant I've been hearing a lot about lately. In fact, when making plans with these two ladies, I believe I was the one who suggested Gitane.
I arrived early and sat at the bar, admiring the sultry ambiance and wishing I wore more dangly earrings. I ordered my standard Diet Coke and received a pilsner glass filled with 4 gigantic, diamond-strength ice cubes and three fingers of Diet Coke.
So, you know, that was weird.
Getting more Diet Coke at the bar, by the way, was impossible. Everyone else was kept in martinis and Manhattans, but I just had to stare at glaciers in a glass until my friends came.
The hostess seemed to have us down as a party of two, and according to her sighs and pained looks of confusion, went to great lengths to find us a table for three.
By table for three, I mean of a course a table for two with three place settings. But this was all fine. We didn't care. Our server came over and presented us with menus.
"Welcome to Je-tahn. Have you dined with us before?"
"No." We said. But I added, "I understand we're supposed to order the radishes."
The server looked down with sympathy. "Alright, well it's a little complicated. Have you figured out how to open the menu?"
He said this. He actually said this.
The menu is basically a 8x11 piece of paper folded over once, and then again. So you just unfold it. It's paper. Folded twice. I've covered this terrain before.
Once the origami of the menu had been unraveled, he started to go over the dishes. So, as with any new dining experience, particularly one where we're made to feel like we're eating on the fucking moon, it's so beyond our sheltered experiences, I asked, "Are we supposed to share?"
"Well," He said, his eyes kind and patient, "you can certainly share the first courses and the small plates. But I recommend ordering your own entree."
Melissa didn't look up from her menu, "So basically this is like a regular restaurant?"
"I'll give you some time with the menu. I know it can take a while to digest." He said, going on to explain the proximity of Spain and Morocco and how it's reflected in the menu. Then he offered, "We're on your side. I swear!"
Melissa and Avrielle ordered glasses of wine, and I attempted another Diet Coke.
"The only thing weird about this place is what a big deal they make about being weird."
"I've been to Morocco, motherfucker."
"If he brings a globe to the table and re-explains the Iberian peninsula, we're leaving."
"I've seen Casablanca. I think I can handle this."
In the midst of our venting, two glasses of wine appeared. "Do you need some more time?"
Mind-bendingly enough, we'd managed to order three appetizers to share, two cods and a chicken.
Then time passed, pages fell off the calendar, we chatted innocently until Melissa offered a toast. Except that I had nothing to toast with. "Maybe he went all the way to Morocco for your Diet Coke?"
"It's quite near Spain, you know."
"It's actually called the Iberian peninsula. And I had the same problem at the bar. I'm telling you, it's because I'm not drinking."
When our tour guide finally came back, I politely said, "I ordered a Diet Coke?"
"Oh!" He threw his head back and laughed, "You're being punished for not drinking alcohol!"
Three women stared down this poor man with the heat of a thousand suns.
"I can't drink alcohol." I smiled back. "I'm a recovering alcoholic."
Lo and behold, Diet Coke couldn't come out quickly enough. Our food was fantastic, the ambiance was right up my alley. I'm only sorry I had to drop the rehab card in the middle of our geography lesson.
But you go two years without a drink and see how laid back you are about this shit. Seriously.

Speaking of which, save the date! My second annual soberversary is on November 16th. I'm looking for a place to hold it, so lemme know your brilliant ideas. Gitane? Maybe? No? Maybe not...

Friday, October 08, 2010

necessary conversation: episode six...

The latest and greatest episode of Necessary Conversation is UP!

Necessary Conversation for the week of October 8th, 2010 from Necessary Conversation on Vimeo.

Thanks you to Scoop Whiplash's agent, Matt Baume.

You can now bookmark Necessary Conversation!
You now be a FAN of Necessary Conversation on Facebook!
AND you can follow us on Twitter!

As always, it'll be up on our blogs. Thanks so much, I hope you like it...

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

nothing at all like pretty woman...

Today on SFGate's Culture Blog, I take to the streets as a working girl. No, I'm serious:

"The corner of Medway and Belvedere became MY corner, and I positioned myself (as it were) right in the middle where the two crosswalks meet. Lt. Dan was a mere five feet away, looking like an undercover cop and frightening all of my customers."

Read the whole thing, including how much I'm worth, over at SFGate...

an art-loving motown impersonator...

Um, you guys?

San Francisco Police Department is alerting the public about Alan Young who has been impersonating various Motown celebrities and then uses their status as a celebrity, to induce various “star-struck” business owners into wining and dining him, and providing hotel lodging and entertainment. Young often walks into a business and makes false promises to utilize whatever services the business owner offers or to buy whatever products they sell. Alan Young is also known to frequent hotel bars and restaurants looking for his marks. He engages strangers in conversations and then introduces himself as a celebrity.

Most recently, he entered an art gallery and introduced himself as Motown song writer Lamont Dozier. He feigned interest in purchasing various artworks valued at approximately $75,000.00 for his alleged home in Pasadena. He asked the art gallery employee to become his buyer’s agent. He then asked the employee to write up the sale and meet him with the invoice at the bar across the street.

How do I hang out with this guy? Where do I sign up? Because this is incredible...

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

an amazing celebrity encounter...

I've heard that working in this building occasionally involves running into celebrities in the elevator. But generally I just know they're in the building. I don't really see them. Two weeks ago, as I was running out the door to go meet the Mrs. for the Glide Gala, I saw my co-worker and friend, Akilah in the lobby.
"Hey!" I said. "What are you doing down here."
"I'm waiting for Liam and Phil."
I knew she was referring to Liam Mayclem, charming host of Eye on the Bay, but who the hell is Phil?
"Phil, Beth." Akilah stared at me. "Phil Keoghan."
Alright, I shrugged. And chatted with her about boring corporate website things. But then she brought up that this "Phil" would arrive any second and...
"I still don't get who Phil is." I said.
"I sent everyone an email about this." Akilah said. "Phil Keoghan. He's the host of the Amazing Race."
"OH MY GOD! SHUT UP! YOU ARE LYING! I LOVE THE AMAZING RACE! PHIL? AS IN 'YOU ARE TEAM NUMBER ONE' PHIL?"
"Yeah, he's on his way down in the elevator. I'm driving him to this (she explained where she was driving Liam and Phil but I was too busy putting on make-up.) Why are you putting on make-up, Beth?"
How often is the host of the Amazing Race in my work lobby? I wasn't missing this moment.
"I need you to take our photo."
"Seriously?"
"YES SERIOUSLY."
With that, Liam and Phil emerged from the elevator in a huge hurry. Apparently every aspect of Phil's life is a race. Which is awesome! He had a backpack slung over his shoulder, of course, and was wearing his standard man-necklace. It was like the most perfect, exactly-as-I'd-hoped version of Phil ever.
While it was obvious they were in a huge rush, Akilah very sweetly introduced me to Phil.
"Oh, hi!" I gushed. "The Amazing Race is the greatest show ever. And, um, I need to get a photo with you."
"I'm so sorry." Phil said. "We're running so late."
Be that as it may, Phil, this is my shot, my one chance. This is my "roadblock" if you will.
I tried to talk Phil into a photo as he said as apologetically as he could, "We really have to go. Listen, just come with us."
Take a second. Take two. Phil from the Amazing Race just told me to hop in a car with him and race somewhere.
"I can't." I said. "I have plans."
Let me tell you, tho. Black-tie Gala vs. Celebrity was like Sophie's Choice.
I threw my iPhone at Akilah, grabbed Phil and smiled. God bless him, Phil smiled too, Liam tolerated the whole thing, Akilah snapped the photo and they were off.
It. Was. Thrilling.
As I walked down Battery Street and headed to my car, an SUV swung by me and in it, honking and waving were Akilah, Liam and Phil from the Amazing Race.
AMAZING.


Because time was such an unfortunate issue, I did not get to ask Phil my pressing Amazing Race questions. And now that we're two episodes into the new, amazing season, I'm kicking myself. Instead, I will ask them here and hope that Phil googles himself.
1. Sunday night, the contestants were in London and had to get to Ghana, where they'd have $137 to complete all of their challenges. But who pays for the plane tickets? They're all racing to airports all the time, flying all over the world. Does a camera guy step in with a credit card?

2. Where do they sleep and how come we never get to see it? Who does laundry and when do they eat?

3. Is the athletic apparel provided? Because it's adorable!

I was telling Tara all about my magical moment with Phil over dinner the other night, as Tara shares my love of the Amazing Race. She's convinced we'd make great teammates, although I'm not so sure. We got lost and livid at each other trying to find the car later this very night. Anyway, here is Tara's impression of Phil at the Pit Stop:

Monday, October 04, 2010

you cannot touch this...

Today's Tourist Trapped is up! In it, Brock, Tara and I hit Japantown, get dissed at Benihana, discover a magical mall and sing MC Hammer on stage in front of strangers!