Monday, February 28, 2011

even tony hall is like, that's kinda sad...

"There is no fragrance as foul as the scent of desperation." - My friend Brett

oh my god, i hate you...

Last week, the Necessary Conversation crew attended the San Francisco Young Republicans Date Auction at Slide, which is a club one enters via an actual slide.
That video will be up on Friday, I believe, but what didn't make it on camera was one of the auctionees' thoughts on my Tourist Trapped series for SFGate. For the record, the Young Republicans were absolute charmers, surprisingly irreverent and very good sports as Melissa and I, clad in wigs and weird make-up asked them about their dating habits.
But this one guy, the one that couldn't have been more smirky and thrilled to get up on stage to have women bid money for the pleasure of his company, asked me what I did for a living.
"Wait, wait. wait." He said. "Are you the one that went on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride?"
"Yeah! That was me." I replied, thrilled someone had actually read the post.
"No offense," He took a swig of his cocktail. "But that whole article seemed to me like you just complained the whole time. You got a free ride and all you wanted to do was bitch about it, get off, and like, go get drunk with your friends."
So today's Tourist Trapped is going out to douchey velvet blazer guy, who BY THE WAY, when I asked if he'd ever been to Slide before responded, "Um, yeah. I've had sex in the bathroom..."

Friday, February 25, 2011

owwww. this soup hurts...

On today's Necessary Conversation, we present our impression of Great White Greg, a shark with his delicious fin chopped off, Mark Zuckerberg's dinner attire and my recap of Rep. Jackie Speier dealing with the schmucks in Congress. TGIF, soup eaters!

Episode E from Necessary Conversation on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

the end of the world. literally...

I'm so sorry for my shitty blogging this week. The internet has been (dramatic pause) down at my place of residence all week. I emerged this morning to find Comcast workers in a cherry picker out in front of my house, hopefully finally fixing this shit. I know all of the phone operators at this point. I know about their lives, their families, their equally intense addictions to high speed wifi.
Last night, after I got home from an insanely crowded blogger bonanza at Bloodhound, I discovered my internet connection was on.
I raced to my laptop and recorded some VYou answers to your questions. So, while I pray and dream of a day when my internet will be flowing free and breezy again, please tune into my answers to such gems as cup vs. cone, where I got my glasses and when I knew I was a big drunk:

Also, tonight the ladies and crew of Necessary Conversation will be filming at the San Francisco Young Republicans Date Auction. So if someone could sit by the phone and have bail money ready, that'd be great...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

you smile, i smile...

We thought it would be funny. We thought it would be a big joke. But as we emerged from the movie theater at 10:30 last night, all three of us adult women were saying the same thing.
"In all seriousness, I kinda respect Justin Bieber."
That's right. I saw Justin Bieber: Never Say Never last night. And I fucking loved every 3D second of it. I went with my new friend Catherine, who I'm a little bit in love with. I may be talking about her too much. My other friends are starting to get jealous.
"I just want you to know that even though you talk about her like she's the coolest person in the world, I'm not threatened in the least." - Melissa Griffin.
And Catherine brought her co-worker Elizabeth. I now also find Elizabeth the coolest person in the world. We met in the Westfield Food Court and chatted over dinner on plastic trays.
"Oh my God, Justin Bieber. I know nothing about him, yet I am excited."
"I already bought our tickets." Catherine announced. "I will be pissed if this is sold out."
We walked over to the Metreon, giddy with the thought of joining tween girls as they screamed at the screen. But first, Catherine and Elizabeth needed to get some fro-yo and I was kinda wandering after them, easily confused.
"Wait, where are we going?" I asked.
"C'mon, Beth. It's not complicated. Get with the program." Catherine smiled. (I love her!)
We walked into the theater, only to find it completely empty save for a family with two toddlers. At 8:30 on a school night.
"Where do you guys want to sit?" I asked.
Elizabeth looked around the virtually empty theater. She motioned to the family and deadpanned towards them, "Well, they already took the best seats." (I love her!)
The lights dimmed and we quickly selected the second best seats, settling in with out 3D glasses.
"OMG! Justin Bieber!" We giggled, having no idea really, who the hell Justin Bieber is.
And then, after some weird 3D previews, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never began. It was about 7 minutes into it when I leaned over and whispered, "You guys? This is the greatest movie I've ever seen in my life."
It's no secret that I loved the New Kids on the Block with every fiber of my being throughout the late 1980's. So like a recovering heroin addict, I'm already susceptible to the clutches of male-based teen sensations. It's a familiar high that takes seconds to kick in. I don't want to need it. But I do.
Goddamnit, I fucking love this shit.
Just go with me for a second. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never in 3D is like a really good Behind the Music. In 3D. First of all, you're just being a contrarian asshole if you're going to try and deny that Justin Bieber is insanely, naturally talented. I realize the words I just typed. I don't care. I have Bieber Fever.
There's all of this footage from his childhood (last week) where it's obviously that Justin is a musical prodigy. Plus, he's really sweet and confident and loves his Canadian grandpa. Justin's mom gave birth to him when she was like, 11 and his dad split soon thereafter. Although Daddy Bieber makes it to Madison Square Garden that the-son-he-abandoned sold out in 22 minutes.
So basically, Justin's mom is my age and just stoked that her adorable son made hundreds of people millionaires in 365 days, and Justin is now being raised by his slightly douchey manager/discoverer/colleague of Usher, Scooter, his vocal coach everyone calls "Mama" and some hired 20-something friend who wears lots of knit caps.
When Michael Jackson was awarded some sort of posthumous Video Music Award, Justin apparently turned to Scooter and whispered, "Don't let that hapen to me."
Shocking even myself. I knew like, half of Justin's songs that he sings on stage periodically throughout the movie. And they're all super cheesy but now I want to take hip-hop dance classes and know who Ne-Yo is.
Justin is very polite, for example when Boys II Men have to like, begrudgingly come on stage and sing back-up on Justin's (amazingly wonderful) song, "You Smile", Justin comes up to them privately (on camera in a movie) and is all, "It's a honor, you guys."
Even my friend and editor Peter wrote, in his review of NSN, that he found it "surprisingly tolerable."
So, so true. Mainly because there are lots of quick shots of hilarious 12 year old girls saying hilarious things about Justin Beiber. And like, weird-looking chicks sobbing in the audience. And by the time they pick the girl from the crowd to be "One Less Lonely Girl" and pull her on stage so Justin can sing to her AND give her a dozen long-stemmed red roses, Catherine, Elizabeth and I were on the edges of our seats, KINDA FREAKING OUT.
So while I totally disagree with Bieber's recent thoughts on abortion, I think he looks weird, his favorite color is purple and he'll probably end up killing someone in a decade, but ...I will gladly go see Justin Bieber: Never Say Never in 3D again.
And again.
And again...

Monday, February 21, 2011

the amazing race: unfinished business business...

Could the Amazing Race: Unfinished Business be any more amazing?
No. Let's discuss.
This Amazing Race Season deals with unfinished business. And by unfinished business, they mean that all of the popular losers from seasons past are back for their second chance at ruining their relationship for a million dollars! (Briefly, the Amazing Race is on CBS Sunday nights at 8 and involves teams of two racing around the world being super stressed out while doing all sorts of fucked up challenges. You should watch it.)
At 7:55 last night, I got a text from my co-worker Bill. "I hope you and your mom are ready for this shit."
Speaking only for myself, I was feverishly rocking back and forth in front of the TV waiting for Unfinished Business to get started.
Immediately, I forwarded his text to my mother which served as her reminder that "our show" was on. My mother's first text as the show started was, "My God, these people are stupid."
So let's talk about the teams, because according to Twitter last night, everyone had shit to say about this. Bear in mind, these are all teams that have competed on the Amazing Race before, and lost. They're also teams that, according to someone in casting, America either loved, or loved to hate:
Amanda & Kris: Who? Idiots who are engaged. We hate them. They didn't know what Quantas is. What kind of man is named Kris?
Gary & Mallory: Gary was some kind of professional sports coach and his daughter Mallory was Miss America or similar. They have Souther accents and I want to not like them but I like them. I can't help it! I am a wonderful person.
Flight Time & Big Easy: Former Harlem Globetrotters, I think Bill is rooting for Flight Time & Big Easy. I find them very funny and easy-going but I don't think either one of them will receive engraved invitation to join Mensa anytime soon. They get other teams to help them a lot, and never really reciprocate.
Jamie & Cara: These former NFL cheerleaders wear so much mascara to like, swim with sharks and rappel off the Eiffel Tower and eat maggots, I'm amazed they can keep their eyes open. I don't hate them. That's as far as I'm willing to go with these two.
Jet & Cord: Jet & Cord are the cowboy brothers from Oklahoma who say, "Oh mah gravy!" and never take their cowboy hats off as a matter of weird, unspoken man-pride. I love them, but they ended up dead last in last night's cliffhanger, so who knows how long we'll bask in their innocence.
Kent & Vyxsin: Go Goth idiots! Just to give you an indication of what we're dealing with, Vyxsin, the less annoying of the two amazingly enough, had a panic attack in the Australian shark tank last night, and then she decided to focus on how Kent's dad just suddenly dropped dead and voila! Out of the tank!
LaKisha & Jennifer: I love these two. Why? "I don't want to promote any stereotypes about African Americans, but no. We cannot swim." They're funny and tall sisters. So I have to like them.
Margie & Luke: I am torn. I want to like the mom and her deaf son. I really do. Only Margie & Luke are super fucking annoying and complain all the time. And it's not even Margie so much. It's that Luke! For someone who can't really talk, he needs to shut up.
Mel & Mike: YAY MEL & MIKE! Mel is the 70-year old openly gay, Midwestern Minister father of Mike, who is Mike White from School of Rock. Also a gay. Obviously, I love the legitimate celebrity component of this team. (As I live near an ocean, Chinese food and Barney's, I don't regard anyone involved in Miss America or cheerleading as a celebrity.) Mel is very affectionate and emotional. Mike is very deadpan, soft-spoken and sweet to his dad. And according to, "Next week on the Amazing Race," Mike cries!
Ron & Christina: I vaguely recall this Asian American father-daughter team from a previous season of the Amazing Race. I think the jist is the dad is mean. I found them forgetable and am confused as to why they're back.
Zev & Justin: Another team I love, Zev is delighted to announce he has Asperger's Syndrome and is hilarious and blunt. Justin is hot and patient with Zev, which is really sweet, but he seems like the kind of guy who gets psyched about going camping.
And we're left hanging this week, with a big To Be Continued! I found this season premiere particularly amazing as one group of teams made an early plane to Australia, with a bummed out second group of teams on a plane 2 hours behind them. But, and this is why anything can change in a second on the Amazing Race, some random passenger on the first plane had a heart attack and they had to emergency land in Hawaii. The second plane passed them, all due to a fucking heart attack!
Unproduced TWIST.
Whatever you missed, you can watch online. Which you should. Because this race really is amazing...

Friday, February 18, 2011

do you love it? i got it at ross...

Today on Necessary Conversation, Hosni Mubarak on a GoCar, the world's ugliest dress, pledging our allegiance and the Supes Oscar picks:

Episode 19: You're Welcome, Egypt from Necessary Conversation on Vimeo.

Also, happy Friday everyone. This was a very busy yet very fun week, I am stoked it's over, I have fun things to do this weekend and I think I'm going to Colma Target tomorrow. Lemme know if you wanna come...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

another day, another (safe)way...

I've shopped at Potrero Safeway for 10 years. It is, I would go so far as to say, my Safeway. And this evening, it was in rare form. I ran in just to get eggs, and of course ran out having spent $58. Tide was on sale, they had the Glade plug-ins that I like. Anyway, as I made my way to the eggs I passed a tall woman, even taller than me. Feeling a freakish solidarity, I gave her a big, knowing smile.
Hello tall sister, my smile silently said. I know your pain intimately.
She smiled right back at me, so warm, so delighted.
"What a beautiful smile!" She said to me.
At which point I realized that my new Safeway friend was a pre-op transsexual woman. Of course. It all makes sense. We stood there in the egg (heh) aisle and smiled at each other.
I, by the way and thank you Theresa Sparks, am very enthusiastic for the TS community these days. My once-secret suburban confusion was squashed by T-Sparks being so open and blunt and nice, that now I celebrate our friends in the tranny community.
"Well all of you is beautiful!" I said, because I am so forward-thinking and desperate to display my open-mindedness. I may have scared my new friend away, or maybe she just had somewhere to be. On our separate ways we went.
I filled my shopping basket with shit I don't need and made my way to the check-out, where who did I find? None other than Shelby! Anyone who goes to the Potrero Safeway has got to know Shelby. Shelby's celebrity equivalent is a very 'over it' Gabourey Sidibe. Normally, Shelby is in no mood and, "like, ready to go on a break."
Not today!
Shelby was joking around with the manager, commenting on people's purchases, telling me to stay dry out there.
"But girl, that's a cute North Face." She said, admiring my all-weather performance jacket.
"Thank you!" I said. "It's fake."
"Get out."
"I bought it for $6 in China."
"You did not."
"I did too." I said proudly. "They have tons of it, they sell it in alleys and it's illegal to bring back. But here it is."
"Well," remarked Shelby, "it looks cute on you!"
I was adoring this new Shelby and as I made my way back into the rain, I wondered why she was in such a good mood.
I've decided it's because she's in love...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

vme? vyou!

I am really supposed to be doing VYou a lot now, for two reasons. 1) There is a Hearst Channel of VYou made up of writers for Hearst newspapers and websites, of which the Chronicle and SFGate are two and 2) VYou is featuring me on their homepage, apparently because I read obits in diners. I don't know. But I'm really happy about it and want them to keep liking me.
So here I pimp, with a bunch of new answers to reader questions. Tonight's include my "favorite" serial killers and a story about a necklace. Again, just click on the question below my little waiting video for the answer to it, with sound even. I hope you enjoy my responses and please keep asking weird questions.

also, that party had the greatest band i've ever heard...

Today on SFGate's Culture Blog, Republican Glamour Shots! You heard me. Republican Glamour Shots.
Speaking of glamour shots, Brock, Melissa, Max and I attended the Hearts After Dark Soiree in Union Square last week, where the following photo was taken:

Dear 7x7,
What the fuck do I have to do to get you people to throw my goofy mug in your creepy society section? Smile with teeth and cover my boobs? FINE. But seriously, please, I'm begging. I've been asking for this small favor for like, 6 years. Get on it.
Love Beth

Monday, February 14, 2011

i hope their first child be a masculine child...

I got a text from Big Chris yesterday evening, saying something along the lines of, "Gt Dwn 2 Butter ASAP. Karaoke nite, me 'n JP wnt 2 prty wt U. Dite Coke time!!!"
I generally like hanging out with Big Chris' friend JP because he is surprisingly nice and normal, and as I had never been to Butter, a white trash dive bar featuring a mobile home food window, I threw on my cute jeans and headed down to 11th and Folsom.
There, I found Big Chris and JP trashed, wearing their dress up clothes and hanging out with a fabulous woman named Annie who reads my blog and already likes me. So half the work was done right there.
Big Chris and JP had come from a christening 8 hours earlier at the Irish Cultural Center. They looked like a couple of guys from Southie, their sleeves rolled up, slapping each other on the back and, much to my concern, playing with my ponytail.
JP came up behind me. "Bethbethbethbeth! GUESS who is a Godfather?"
Big Chris took a swig of his Long Island Iced Tea or similar, threw his hands into the air and screamed, "Me bitches!"
I know. I'm concerned for our future as well.
Here's the thing: when I walked into Butter, right away I regretted going down there. It was weird, dumpy, less fun that I imagined. The crowd was exclusively hipsters, complete with the ironic facial hair, someone in skinny jeans looking like Jesus was singing 'Caribbean Queen' and a hand that is not mine is stroking the top of my head.
But after awhile, the place started to grow on me. More folks started showing up, Annie started making fun of Big Chris' ex-girlfriend and I got Diet Coke served in a glass goblet. I was starting to have fun at Butter. And as soon as I relaxed, took off my coat and settled in, I witnessed the greatest karaoke performance I have ever seen in my entire life.
One of the bartenders, the one wearing a "Wonder Love" homemade t-shirt, took the microphone and sang "Lady" by Styx. If you were to compare them to this guy, Styx sucks.
He's that good.
At one point, singing bartender threw one foot up on the bar, his legs split in some kind of falsetto move as he threw his head forward and belted, "Laaaaaa-day!"
"This is my favorite place on Earth." I leaned over and yelled in JP's ear.
"It's pretty awesome." He screamed back. And with that, JP reached into his cardboard box of tater tots he'd ordered from a mobile home parked over by the toilets and fed me one. Which I ate, much to my amazement, because I am a laid-back hipster type who is not an uptight snob anymore.
Or at least I was for about 2 hours last night. Now I'm right back to being grossed out and annoyed by everything...

the last person who should be showing you around...

Oh, two exciting links for you this Valentine's Day morning. The first is today's Tourist Trapped, in which my family enjoys Sunday Brunch at the Palace Hotel. I still can't move, and it's up now on SFGate.
The other link is on Curbed, where I am today's People's Guide sharing my thoughts on my neighbors and hood. Enjoy my Suburban Mission...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

just get back to civilization in sacramento...

I recap last night's SFYD meeting at the glossy Infusion Lounge, the scene of Malia Cohen making a joke, everyone shit-talking about Carole Migden and a key-hole shaped unisex bathroom. Up now! On SFGate...

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

move along, hermione granger...

Driving to work this morning, traffic ahead of me at the intersection of Broadway and Polk slowed to let what appeared to be a cross-dressing homeless person wander down the middle of the street waving a wand in the air. As I got closer, I could see that... she had lipstick smeared all over her face and her long, stringy hair was flying around in the wind.
Cautiously, I tried to pass, and as I did so, this vixen looked right at me, waved her wand in my direction, beamed with her crazy eyes and appeared to PUT A SPELL ON ME.
While I wasn't willing to engage my fellow San Franciscan in a conversation about with the hell just happened, I'm highly curious to know WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED.
Was this a bad spell? A good spell? Will I grow a tail? Should I be kissing any frogs? Do spells even work? Can I counteract this spell? Do I even want to? Maybe I should embrace it. Maybe she put a spell on everyone that drove by. Maybe it was a 'Have a great day!' spell. Most likely, it was a 'I bet this really freaks you out' spell.
In which case, magic accomplished...

Monday, February 07, 2011

you say there are trees there, too? weird...

Today on Tourist Trapped, I explore the majestic Muir Woods National Monument, where I discovered an amazingly famous snack counter and the best souvenir shop junk item in the world:

Sunday, February 06, 2011

hey, at least i'm reading...

When I look at the collection of serial killer books I received for my birthday, my head almost explodes with sheer excitement and joy at getting to read them all. I'm already half through two of the: Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (about H.H. Holmes) and Mind Hunter, by FBI serial killer profiler, John Douglas. The Silence of the Lambs character Jack Crawford is based on him, so as one might imagine, I read this book feverishly flipping pages as Douglas devotes each chapter to a different case he worked on.
Douglas is a little cocky. Every once in awhile, there's an aside: "And here's another awesome thing I said that fucked with David Berkowitz's head." But I think to spend all of one's time flying around working on creepy case after creepy case, predicting things requires one to be overly confident.
For example, Douglas flies into some rural Southern killing ground, examines all of the evidence in a series of seemingly related murders and then says shit like, "The killer is 20-25, lives with an older female relative, is probably an electrician, drives a black or navy car, is very neat, possesses this specific kind of porn and you've probably already interviewed him."
And the local fuzz is all, "This is a load of hooey, Fed."
Until guess who they catch? Oh, just a 24-year old electrician who lives with his aunt, drives a black car, has a bunch of S&M porn under his mattress and was already dismissed as a suspect.
Here's what I find super interesting about profiling:
1. Douglas (and his team) will predict an age range, but it's an emotional age. If someone was home-schooled or from a very rural area, they might kill like a 25 year old, but actually be 35. The same goes for if they served time in jail. Jail time doesn't count in their emotional age. NEAT!
2. Douglas only takes on cases if the crimes are super fucked up and they're hot. Cold cases aren't worth his precious time and he makes no bones about it. Basically, if you call John Douglas to come all the way across the country to work on your boring little murder that you should be able to solve yourself, he's going to be pissed and tell you so. (He proudly repeats this throughout the book.)
3. When I am reading this book and someone makes a noise in the house, I completely freak out. Which might have something to do with my pulling my birthday book list from an article called, "Top 50 True Crime Books That Will Scare the S*** Out of You."
4. I have created a Pandora station just for reading scary books. It is awesome and I've started to download a bunch of the music I'm discovering. Melissa was over and going through my iTunes.
"What the fuck is this?" she asked.
"It's my serial killer music."
She looked at me for a very long time. "It's a wonder I'm not more afraid of you."
Be that as it may, I discovered a long time ago when I read Red Dragon while listening to The Insider Soundtrack, the perfect background reading music makes everything more intense.
Anyway, this is why I've been a slacker about posting blogs lately. I've had my nose buried in murder and my ears stuffed with creepy instrumentals. It'll all be worth it when one day, you've got a mystery you need solved, present me with the evidence and I announce, "The culprit is 43, wears a toupe, drives a Mitsubishi Eclipse, wears sweatpants with a hole in the left pocket and used to be your boyfriend..."

Friday, February 04, 2011

i kinda got it in anyway (twss)...

This week's Necessary Conversation is moving slow this Friday, but she's finally up!
There was a Zsa Zsa Gabor joke at the end that got cut. (Heh.) I wrote said joke, and it's extreme political incorrectness made everyone else nervous we'd be run out of town, so chop! Chop! Chop!
The joke is gone. But somehow, I still feel it linger. It's like a ghost joke.

Episode 17: Chicks, man. from Necessary Conversation on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

i *heart* miles silverberg...

Alls I know is, last night, Brock and I attended the Murphy Brown Tribute at the Castro Theatre. It was magnificent in every possible way, and my recap is up now, on SFGate...