Thursday, June 30, 2011

i just totally crashed this 7x7 list...

Today, 7x7 unleashed it's list of nominations for the Reader's Choice Award in their 20 Under (and over) 40 List. So basically, 7x7 gets to pick 19 people on the list, and you get to pick the 20th person from a list of 49 candidates.
Guess who's on the list?
Me! Did you guess me? It's me, by the way. Me and 48 pillars of society. They're all do-gooders or wine directors or internet geniuses or CEOs.
I've crashed this list, obviously.
You can vote right here! What are you waiting for? VOTE!
I just want to see if I can make it to the next round. Oh yes. there around rounds. And we're not getting our hopes up. Last year, some sort of health organization or something won. I have no idea. They probably save goddamn lives, as if I can compete with that nonsense.
Anyway, 7x7 you guys. Glossy. Photo shoots. Gift bags. Silk tops with cuffed jeans. Statement necklaces. Coconut water. Wood-fired pizza. Infinity scarves. Cliff-top weekend resorts. Sunscreen. The Bar Method. Caring about charity. I COULD GO ON...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

also included: a noodle disaster...

Today's Culture blog covers pork buns, politics and pink! It's my annual recap of the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club Pride Breakfast, and it's up now on SFGate...

Monday, June 27, 2011

radio free san francisco...

I took some liberties with today's Tourist Trapped in using it to cover the Guardsmen Bachelor Auction at Ruby Skye. Ruby Skye, by the way, is exactly like you'd expect it to be.

Unrelated, you can hear the podcast of me chatting with Jeremy on the League of Pissed Off Voters' Radio Show, this past Friday night. I show up about 23 minutes into the show, so I'd recommend you start there. I was on for like, an hour and a half. If you've ever wondered what it's like to sit and have me ramble for 90 minutes (and who hasn't?), you can listen to me bitch about what it's like to sit next to Sophie Maxwell at a formal dinner, the inside scoop on John Avalos' dream of DJing and the most awkward moment I had with Gavin Newsom.

Friday, June 24, 2011

one less lonely cubicle...

Our team just moved floors in our building. This means I get a big, vast new cubicle to decorate. It also means I am on the same floor as Alice Radio, which has its perks. My co-worker Ron just hooked me up with a Justin Bieber poster. Specifically, an autographed Justin Bieber poster.
The level of happiness this brings me would make Chris Hansen nervous...

necessary conversation: investment advice...

What up, shorty my boo?
I say that everyday to my co-worker Bill, but he's out today so you're getting it instead (that's what she said.) Today's episode of Necessary Conversation is in-studio, sans audience. We're still knocking around how we do this thing. With an audience? Without an audience? More event coverage? Less event coverage? I can report that we will be at the San Francisco Pride Parade this weekend, filming the first section of the parade. Because that thing goes on forever, and trust me, after three hours in that wig, I'm done.
Also, lest you missed the exciting Facebook announcement, Necessary Conversation will be seen on the new Huffington Post San Francisco site, launching in a couple of weeks. Mel and I are, needless to say, pretty stoked about this.

Tune into KPIX (where I work!) this Sunday at 7:30am to watch Melissa interviewed by Phil Matier and Willie Brown. Yep! Pretty awesome. Equally exciting, you can hear me tonight at 6ish on Pirate Cat Radio, talking about God knows what on the League of Pissed Off Voters Radio Show.
Thank you for watching, enjoy your weekend, and have a safe and slutty Pride...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

do you take kate to be your cwife...

E-gads! I forgot to post yesterday's Culture Blog, which involves my attending a party for concierges. Obviously. What else would it be about?
Also, the Feds finally captured reputed mobster Whitey Bulger. As I am fascinated by all things from South Boston (mainly the accents and anything related to Wahlbergs or Afflecks), I've been reading about Whitey for years. Did you know he is a war history buff and went Whitey went on the lam, the FBI looked for him at the D-Day beaches? (I did.)
If I was a (reputed) mob figure disappearing so I could evade capture, my first thought wouldn't be, "I'd sure like to visit Gettysburg."
Finally, Kate had to go on a family cruise and she hung out with her cousin Mike the whole time. Her great aunt remarked that it's too bad they're related, because Kate and Mike are "so terrific together." Thankfully, I am well versed in the New York Times reporting on CUSBANDS and could not be more encouraging of this blossoming relationship. Why? Because my maid of honor speech just wrote itself. (Which side will you be sitting on? Oh, both? Of course. Kate and Mike managed to avoid the awkward meeting of the parents, because they're parents have known each other for 60 years...)
This is a picture of me with Kate's cusband. I think they're avoiding having their picture taken together, lest the great-aunt get any ideas. So I'm tossing me in there because 1) Brock has pointed out that if we ever committed a crime and they wanted to catch us, all the cops would have to do is post a photo of us somewhere and we'd come to stare at it and 2) once, someone told me that this dress was "too much." Fuck them. It's Spring.
Welcome to the family, Mike! Oh wait. You're already in it...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

what to wear, one wonders...

The San Francisco Young Republicans are spending this Saturday at a shooting range in South San Francisco in celebration of the 2nd Amendment. Please join me in encouraging Brock Keeling to attend.
While I have always found the YR's way more laid back than the YD's, the thought of these people wandering around South City shooting guns in celebrating of a baloney amendment (yep) gives me pause.
Will you be attending? And would you like to guest blog this for me?
Bang, bang...

oh, the canvas can do miracles. just you wait and see...

Ahoy! You can find yesterday's Tourist Trapped HERE on SFGate...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

chicks, man...

After my reunion post, I was worried that I was being too hard on women-in-general when really, it could just have been that random event which, merely due to high-pressure circumstances, turned otherwise lovely women into total whores.
Reunions are tough.
In fact, I have so many rad lady friends that we could be in a Young Adult Coming of Age Book Series called "OMG: WTF?"
Thursday night, I went to a Mayoral debate and then a Friends of the Golden Gate BBQ for yuppies who care deeply about the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, of which I am obviously one. They have a cute logo. Christine came with me, and I love Christine because she is brave around everyone, including yuppies. We arrived at this event, which was co-organized by another rad woman, Annie, and the only way I can describe this BBQ under the GGB to you is very Pippa Middleton. Lots of clear nail-polished, fresh-faced beauties in riding boots and Patagonia vests over popped-collar Oxford shirts.
Christine was not only game to show up at this random event with me, she dove right into conversation with strangers. We knew not a soul, and Christine just marched over to the S'Mores fire pit (sponsored by Whole Foods, naturally) and stared making her own s'mores and engaging people who subscribe to the New Yorker for display purposes. I just watched her and thought, "My friend Christine is so cool!"
Last night, and most of this is saved for Monday's Tourist Trapped, Alice and Catherine joined me on a 6-hour sailing adventure. They had never met each other before, but they're both so friendly and perfect in every way that I knew they'd be fast friends, not to mention the ideal guests to bring on a sailboat with strangers.
Catherine, who is literally the most beautiful woman to live, is so effortlessly stylish that I just want to kill myself because why? Why even try anymore? Who even knows which sunglasses are the perfect sailing sunglasses much less already owns them? Catherine does. And she hops in my beater car like it's no big thing, with brie and Diet Coke and a Vogue.
Alice, I know from the Young Dems and she's become my good friend which I am so happy about because I just like her so much. She's so kind and pretty and friendly (which I normally equate to dumb) only Alice is brilliant and self-deprecating and hilarious. She's always front and center to support my kooky writing stuff, and when we filmed Necessary Conversation with a live audience, I just kept looking up at Alice sitting there and felt confident.
I had no idea what we'd be in for, and Alice and Catherine are the best sports ever.
Last night, we were on this sailboat, and I was so happy to be with these two broads because Catherine will do anything and be really chatty and up for it. And Alice is nice about everything, and go with the flow with a smile on her face. As we boarded this boat having no clue we'd be on it for the next 6 and a half hours, hopping to and from yacht clubs with strangers I'd met on the internet, I said, "Oh, let me get a picture of you two."
While they'd just met minutes before, Catherine threw her arm around Alice and they both looked up at me and beamed. I looked back at them and thought, "My friends Catherine and Alice are so cool!"
And then we almost died. But that story will be up on Monday...

Friday, June 17, 2011

necessary conversation: a musical tribute...

I attended a Mayoral Forum last night in which the microphone was broken UNTIL TONY HALL SPOKE INTO IT. And then, knowing that pure majestic velvet manliness was pouring over it, the microphone was all, "Alright. Point taken. ON."
If people were elected to office on the awesomeness of their vocal chords, Tony Hall would be president, prime minister and king of the universe. Which brings me to todays' Necessary Conversation, a musical tribute to Tony Hall:

Episode 36: The Musical Episode from Necessary Conversation on Vimeo.

There are some badass candidates in this Mayor's race and Tony Hall is one of them. And so not that it's necessary to point out, but this video was made with some serious love for TH. And a love of wedding songs. And a love of our talented director, Sean Owens who responded to a text saying, "We need you to bring an old man wig, a mic and some dad-clothes to the studio" by showing up and,'ll see.

*UPDATE* To his IMMENSE credit, Tony Hall just sent me a rad email. As a friend just said, "That is a pro fucking move. I am impressed."

Have a great weekend!

PS: Happy early Father's Day dads, especially to my dad, the best guy I know.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

the nightstalker was discussed. seriously...

Sirens, serial killers and soda. It was ALL IN ABUNDANCE at last night's District Attorney Debate, and you can read all about it right now on SFGate.

Unrelated, Tony DeRenzo took this photo outside the debate. Does this not look like the red carpet at Cannes? Thanks for bringing the EuroGlam, Tony...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

someone get me a golf visor...

I survived my high school reunion. Actually, I had fun.
But there are some qualifiers to this.
1. It was an All Class reunion, which my highly self-congratulatory high school does every year.
2. My friend Dan, who flew back from New York for this, swore up and down that he would not leave my side the entire time.
3. I had the most fun at the after party at the Philosopher's Club. which technically doesn't count as the actual event.
My high school, founded in 1855, was an all boys school until the Class of 1993 and their filthy vaginas. So this reunion was, to put it mildly, a sausagefest. Also, half of the attendees has been to the All Class Golf Tournament all day long, so they were both already drunk and 60% of the 400 people there were wearing frat boy visors, windbreakers, khaki shorts and flip flops.
I was, as ever, overdressed. But it cost me $75 to attend this thing. I was wearing a goddamn dress.
I arrived to the courtyard on campus to find it totally redone with an infinity pool/fountain thing and free wifi for all of the students and their iPads (true story.) The courtyard was packed with 40-year old guys, in the center there was a HUGE open bar and off to one side was the oyster bar. Everyone was drinking Scotch and we had steaks for dinner.
Every party my high school throws in like the Ultimate Man Party. They might as well had strippers and buckets of ice to pee in.

Dan and John were my only grown-up friends attending this soiree, and I wasn't even friends with them in high school. I wasn't friends with anyone in high school. So you can imagine my surprise when the slightly scary baseball guy from my class came bounding up, telling me he reads me in SFGate. He lifted his drink in the air, pointed to me and announced, "This girl is fuckin' hilarious, bro."
So at this point, I was feeling like I would get out of this All Class Reunion alive. We all went into the cafeteria (known as The Commons) and I sat at the Class of 1996 table. On one side was me and all of the guys, Dan to my left, John to my right. On the other side were...girls.
I don't know why this is, but when I was 16, the boys were terrifying and the girls were much nicer. Now that I'm 33, the guys are terrific and the girls scare the fucking shit out of me.
But as I discussed with my mother and Melissa before arriving, I would not revert to my back-up mode, silently sitting there hating everyone. I would engage them, I would charm them, I would make them like me even if it killed me.
"So Trixie! (names have been changed)" I smiled across the table, "What are you up to?"
"Oh...I'm a (boring job.) For a (boring place.) In the...(looking away to someone else) Oh hi! How're youuuuu..."
I glued that smile to my face and kept trying. Finally one of them who appeared to be normal started telling me about her works and I managed to have an adult conversation with a female classmate.
Oh, oh. And the slightly terrifying one? The first (and nearly only) thing she said AT me was, "Oh, Beth Spotswood is here to. Well, look at us. We all look the same!"
I think she meant it as, none of us are old and bald or something.
Here's the thing. I am far too vain to post a picture of me in 1996 up here. But trust me when I tell you, I do not look the same.
Anyway, we sat down to our steaks and I had wonderful and fun conversations with all of the guys in my class who showed up. The bar (there was another bar in The Commons) was closed for dinner, and peppered in with the speeches (which was basically a roast of inside jokes I didn't get), they kept saying, "The bar will open up in 15 minutes. 10 more minutes until the bar is open. Alright gentlemen, just 4 minutes and 23 seconds until we open the bar again."
After dinner, obviously, everyone bum rushed the bar. I was engrossed in a conversation with a classmate whose brother-in-law was at the recent fire that took the lives of two members of the SFFD, so I was hearing all about that. But we wandered over to the bar corner to find Dan and John, and move our group to the Philosopher's Club in West Portal, which is apparently where you go.
I never really knew this before. Supervisor Elsbernd (Class of '93) told me about it, and then told me everything was off the record.
Anyway, I was hanging out at the cafeteria bar, being introduced to lots of people from "Class of '87, bro!" and high-fiving them. At this point, it's 10:30pm and the event is winding down. Also, my old freshman-year friend Rory, whom I had not seen since graduating 15 years ago had just moved back to town and was reportedly going to meet us at the bar. Before we left, I headed to the ladies to powder my nose.
Which is when I noticed that across the commons, about 40 gorgeous and fabulously dressed women sat, having pulled chairs together. It looked like the waiting room for a Banana Republic model casting call. They were not at the bar high-fiving. They were sitting around having very polite conversations, about what I will never know.
Because I was not swimming into that school of barracudas. There was no fucking way. I'd rather high-five people in golf visors.
In the ladies room was someone in a stall having a rather tough evening. I don't know the details and regrettably, I offered no help. I figured the open bar had gotten the better of this fine young woman and I do not judge the drunks.
We all caravanned to the bar, and it was the first time I caravanned to any high school party ever, so I was pretty excited. I had Dan and my classmmate Ben with me, and both were singing to the radio and gossipping about clasmates.
I will admit, I finally felt kinda cool.
Somewhere in West Portal, we placed our nametags from the reunion on the side of some building. It was very weird to see "Elizabeth Spotswood, Class of 1996" up there next to people I never spoke to in high school, but I was feeling good when I pushed my way into that packed bar. There seemed to be hundreds of people inside and like, three chicks.
That may not have been the case, and by this point I was hating women anyway. And there, standing by himself was my old chum Rory. I have never been happier to see anyone, because while Rory was much, much cooler than me in high school, he shares my mild disdain for the golf-visor crowd. He is also a journalist now, and as for me at this reunion, he got it. I hung out with him all night and we talked and laughed and watched a lady fall by the pool table.
It was great.

My friend John kept buying everyone drinks and I had like, 8 Diet Cokes in front of me. At one point, I was explaining to everyone how our classmate had "saved the internet", which was hottly debated.
On and on, I went, defending my fellow nerd who'd made good. "Seriously. I asked someone from Wired Magazine. They confirmed it. He's like, a big computer code guy."
Ever the journalist, Rory wanted more specifics. "What do you mean he SAVED the internet."
Finally, from across the table formerly scary baseball guy put an end to the discussion by announcing, "Look. Obviously he's a brilliant motherfucker."
It was a point on which we all could agree. It was a moment in which I realized, intimidating women aside, that when you're 33 it's much easier to celebrate the accomplishments of people you used to know. Why, I couldn't tell you. I was just thrilled to be embraced by folks who'd always seemed so intimidating.
And I thanked God that whatever had made me weird and anti-social back then, in some way led me to do what I'm doing now, which has resulted in someone slapping me on the back and referring to me as 'fucking hilarious.'
Class of '96 FTW, bro...

Friday, June 10, 2011

are you still writing your little blog...

Someone recently pointed out to me, "This is your weekend of reunions!"
Tonight, I am attending the St. Ignatius All Class Reunion. If I get stuck at the Class of '32 table, cutting someone's meat, I'm going to be pissed. Under normal circumstances, I would never attend this because my high school terrifies me. But I am way cooler now (that should give you an indication of just how uncool I was) and I have to assume that everyone else is much nicer now.
If I don't come home, you can find me in my usual spot, crying by the dumpster behind the Commons.
Tomorrow, I need to bring "a salad for 16" to Mill Valley for a family reunion that is being held in a public park because my second cousin has deemed my parents' home "too dangerous" for her children. Alex and my survival of this apparent torture chamber is obviously a miracle. So I'll be assembling mixed field greens and making my career sound more exciting than it is tomorrow afternoon, while a toddler to whom I'm distantly related chokes on a twig.
And hopefully I will not have to explain the following to any of the people I see in the next 48 hours. Because they don't get me like you do.
Here is today's Necessary Conversation, which again features our wonderfully tolerant live audience, and references to Miss Marple, Nickelodeon's Double Dare and Timothy McVeigh.
Have a great weekend, boos!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

is that your hand on my shoulder or are you just happy to see me...

Today's Culture Blog is up, by the way. In it, I engage in physical contact with Gavin Newsom inside the Matrix Fillmore. Also, mild politics is involved. Up now on SFGate...

imagine the news story involving all five...

The number of subjects on which I am an expert is disgraceful:
1. New Kids on the Block
2. Serial Killers
3. Safeway Select products
4. Gavin Newsom
5. Marin County
So when two of those things come together, I get to be the hyper-local bloggosphere's official expert. THIS IS EXCITING TO ME!
The Newsoms are moving to Marin. Based on this news alone, The Appeal, SFist and Curbed have all come to yours truly. Christ, I'm a regular (insert officious commentator on cable news)!
Anyway, all I really have to say about the Newsoms moving to Marin is DUH.
And now, a vintage photo of me getting drunk in Mill Valley. Welcome back, Gav!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

safeway slice of life...

3 blocks from my office is the downtown Safeway. Did you know there was a Safeway in the Financial District? There is. And it's a bullshit Safeway. On the ground floor of an apartment building on Jackson Square, Bullshit Safeway is half the size of a regular Safeway, and half as lit. It's like a haunted house in there. None the less, that place is packed with suits every day between 11am and 2pm. And the sandwich line is always ridiculous.
My boss just came back from the sandwich line and announced, "You're right, Beth. That sandwich line is, indeed, bananas."
"Told you." I responded. "And everyone takes forever with all of their uptight sandwich needs."
"I know!" said my co-worker Carlos. "There's like 40 people in line and one sandwich maker. I was in there this one time and the woman behind me asked the sandwich maker to put on new plastic gloves because she didn't want 'meat gloves.' And the sandwich maker couldn't understand her. She had to say it like, three times. And everyone in line was like, 'Oh my God! She wants you to change your gloves!' Thank God I was in front of her."
This is very specific, but that is SO FiDi Bullshit Safeway. Everything about that is FBS. Because if you're so uptight about meat gloves, you can go to 673 other food places in the West Coast's finance capital. When you choose Bullshit Safeway, you're choosing gross gloves. And you're choosing a bananas line.
Why so surprised?
PS: Please send me all of your Safeway stories because I just-this-second developed a book idea called, "Shit That Went Down At My Safeway..."

Monday, June 06, 2011

shine sweet freedom...

This week's Tourist Trapped hopped aboard a Hornblower Dinner Dance Cruise around the Bay. Read all about it on SFGate!

PS: You know, some folks get all sassy and mad at me when I tweet something from a Tourist Trap, like, "How come you never invite me?" or "I thought I was going to get to go on one!" Like, strangers send me these. And here's how this works: At 2pm on Friday afternoon, I decided to go on a Dinner Dance cruise. At 3pm, the dinner dance cruise people responded to my email begging for free tickets, saying yes. So unless you're loser-y like me and have no plans on a Friday night AND happen to be on the phone with me when I get free tickets to something, stop yer whining.
That being said, if you want to sponsor a Tourist Trap to French Laundry, let's coordinate calendars...

Friday, June 03, 2011

necessary conversation: live studio audience...

We'd been knocking it around forever, but Necessary Conversation finally filmed with a live studio audience! This is the first of two episodes we filled, and since we were losing our live audience virginity, we asked a select group of non-judgmental friends to come to our studio and pretend to laugh. We filled them with champagne and brie and tried to make filming as painless and brief as possible. The results are below, which is basically a regular episode only with slightly forced laughter. And I'm way more nervous than usual:

Also, since they were on screen for a hot second, here's our awesome audience.

That chair right in the front is for Mort Guffman...

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

now THIS is a tourist trapped...

You can watch almost every serial killer documentary on YouTube. FYI. (I get that this is a weird way to spend time. I'm sure you do things that I would think are weird.) Anyway, I was up to my usual, "The Nightstalker: Part 3 of 6" recently when I decided to look for Zebra Killing video, because no one ever talks about the Zebra Killings. Except me...and apparently this guy.

Before you chose to watch this video, and I think that you should when you're ready, bear in mind the following:
1. The Zebra Killings are horrible and will give you nightmares. You also might not want them described in your workplace. These videos are verbally graphic.
2. One of the Zebra Killers shot former Mayor, wonderful human being and my awesome friend Art Agnos TWICE. And "Russ", the guy in this video gets all political out of the blue, calling Art a Bolshevik. The next scene involves "Russ" driving along the gorgeous Embarcadero, which is gorgeous, by the way, because of Art Agnos.
3. This is Part 1 of 2. You should allot 20 minutes of your day to watch this.

And now, a few remarks:

1. Who the hell is this guy and what was he eating that got all over his shirt?
2. Sweet mustache/limo combination.
3. Is he still making these? Can I go on one? And would that be safe?

I have to say, as incredibly weird as these videos are (and there are more), this is, as far as I can tell, an accurate look at the Zebra Killings. It is also an accurate look at what might happen to me if I spend to much time on this shit...