Monday, October 31, 2011

midnight in the garden of floral skirts and area rugs...

Today's Tourist Trapped will be up tomorrow. My apologies.
Are you doing anything fun tonight? I am speaking to Linda Yee's journalism class at City College. So the jokes is on you, students! I am neither a journalist, nor classy.
Anyway, I am constantly, pretend-ly considering of moving to Savannah, Georgia. If I was willing to give up my "career" and go have some anonymous job in Savannah, I would do it tomorrow.
I have this fantasy where I work at a bookstore/cafe/open-mic type establishment. Everyone I work with is kinda crazy and lovable. We all hang out together, and I date a guy that drives a truck and has a yellow lab named Triscut. I don't have tons of money, but I have enough to drive a cute car, go to Europe on museum tours and wear lots of 90's style clothes, like colorful tights and bucket hats with fake sunflowers on them. And my little wooden house, where I live by myself paying $300 a month like Julia Roberts in "Sleeping With The Enemy", is decorated with funky art my friends made and colorful pillows. All of my lightbulbs are 30 watts and I listen to this when I drive through the bayou to go visit my wrongly-convicted prison pen pal.
I will have a casual respect for voodoo and go to a very friendly, vaguely-Christian church on Sundays, mostly for the gossip and picnic-based occasions.
I will listen to Tuck and Patti, Shawn Colvin, Eva Cassidy and anything approved by the Lilith Faire. Much of this fantasy is based upon the film versions of women of John Grisham novels.
It's also based on Tuck and Patti, who I have loved for a decade. When I live in Savannah, I will be friends with couples like Tuck and Patti. Actually, I just figured out Tuck and Patti are married. Something that never occured to me when watching this video (repeatedly). Again, this is very much what my life in Savannah will be like:

You're surprised they're married too, aren't you. Isn't love amazing? Anyway, Tuck and Patti will be at Yoshi's on Fillmore on December 14th & 15th. None of my friends will go with me. I'm afraid to even ask. But I am going, and I will pretend it's my one night off from my gig assistant-managering "Quills & Croissants." If you attend, look for the chick with the colorful tights and the ex-con...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

a real friend would have signed it, 'your secret admirer...'

One of my girlfriends recently said, "When I was in my 20's, I thought Sex and the City was totally unrealistic. In my 30's, I'm finding it pretty accurate."
I agree for lots of different reasons. One of them is that in my 20's, when I had a weekend like the weekend I'm having this weekend, my best friends had neither the money nor the inclination to have flowers delivered to me. Both of those things have changed.
Unrelated, I am watching lots of "It Gets Better" videos. They're not just for bullied LGBTQ teens anymore! Or maybe they are, but I'm sneaking the time I went to a crystal meth anonymous meeting by mistake. These are totally making me feel better about myself. This one is my favorites.
Speaking of it gets better, I am now on my way to have dinner with a bunch of men with whom I attended high school. Two of them inspired this post. And none of them I spoke to from 1992-1996. So if nothing else, it only took fifteen years but I finally got invited to sit at the cool kids table. Only now the table is at the House of Prime Rib...

Friday, October 28, 2011

duke silver, however, would be all for it...

Today's Necessary Conversation is our Ballot Proposition Voter Guide. The upcoming election (in two Tuesdays) isn't just for Mayor, DA and Sheriff (did you know you were voting for DA and Sheriff?), there are also a bunch of ballot propositions on things like pensions and sales tax and the future of the city. So you better get on it.
And watching this episode of NC doesn't count as getting on it.

As usual, your homework for this weekend is to make a new friend...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

some very literary links for you brainiacs...

Thank God I have all the free time in the world to read, "The Ed Lee Story: An Unexpected Mayor" and pull the 5 weirdest quotes from the "book" for your (okay, my) amusement on SFGate. It's up on the Culture Blog now.
Also, while you may have READ the story or been one of the "lucky" few to have BEEN there in person, there's a very awesome video of LitCrawl up on YouTube. It's 20 minutes long, but there's an edited version of my story up at 12:36. Check it out! And while you're at it, check out LitQuake next year because it will make you both smarter and cooler...

Monday, October 24, 2011

tourist trapped: buca di beppo...

Historically, when I meet Melissa's friends from college or back home, they are instantly my favorite people in the world. I just love them! Still, I generally try way too hard to impress them as evidenced by this photo:

As Melissa's friend Corinne pointed out, "It's the jazz hands that really sell it."
So true.
Anyway, for reasons I still don't understand, we had dinner at Buca di Beppo, thus resulting in today's Tourist Trapped. Corinne, far better at being unintentionally impressive than me, asked for extra caramel sauce for our bizarre dessert. "Diego" brought it to us in a coffee mug.

The guy sitting next to Melissa is her boyfriend, Christopher Caen. Yep, that Caen. I'm just waiting for another commenter to make some jab about how much Christopher's dad would HATE what I write so Christopher can swoop in and be all, "Wrong!"
I will make him say that, of course. He's dating my best friend, after all. I get to make him do stuff, right?
Anyway, manga it all up over at SFGate...

Friday, October 21, 2011

no cowbell shout-out?

You should never display any nerdy talent around either Melissa or me. Because we will automatically scream across a bar, "Oh my God, you need to do that on Necessary Conversation!"
Which is why, today we bring you Ed Lee's sweater vest, a hot dog gun guy, and "Christopher Walken."

Matt also does an amazing DeNiro and a very creepy Sean Connery, so stay tuned. And have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


1. I went to see Kevin Spacey in Richard III last night. Act 1 was 2 hours long. I repeat, Act 1 was 2 hours long. The first hour was pretty exciting because we were in the 4th row and Kevin Spacey was ALMOST SWEATING ON US. But the thrill was gone into hour two. Also, there was no synopsis in the program. I'm a dumbass. With Shakespeare, I need a little dumbass version, so I can follow along. The only part I started to get was the two young princes, because that is a spooky Tower of London Murder Mystery, and I've been all over that for years. If you plan on going and are dumb like me, have an espresso and read a synopsis first.

Sidenote about Richard III with Kevin Spacey. In the 2-hour Act 1, there is a scene with a head in a box (I'm not giving anything away. At least I think I'm not. I really have no idea.) Anyway, Kevin Spacey (as a disabled person) is making a big speech over a head in a box and I just about exploded! I wanted to stand up in the theater and scream, "Is anyone appreciating this? Anyone?"

2. I am fascinated with this San Francisco Magazine slideshow of an Ann Taylor party in Menlo Park. What, I'm dying to know, is Menlo Park? I can't get enough of these photos, because it's so exciting to see what appears to be the suburban retail store celebrated so seriously! I would have driven (or flown? I'm not sure) to "Menlo Park" to drink water out of a wine glass in Robin Hood boots and statement jewelry. Is there an #OccupyMP movement and did they protest? Or celebrate, as Ann Taylor is affordable careerwear? I've got to know...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

the longest domestic flight of my life...

On today's Culture Blog, I posted the story I read at LitCrawl this past weekend. My mother had already read the story but my dad, who was in the audience, hadn't. There are a million things my father has given me over the past 33 years, but my favorite is the email he sent me when he got home on Saturday night. Dads are the best.
Up now, on SFGate...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

this would be an amazing nora ephron film...

Did you read this weekend's New York Times Magazine "A Death-Row Love Story"? I am generally and immediately attracted to any information about women who fall in love with men in jail. Plus, this story is extra-weird. For example, “I knew you were going to say your favorite color is blue,” he wrote. “It belongs to you. My favorite colors are black and crimson. I love deep, dark red things made of red velvet.”
In 'A Death Row Love Story,' a 33-year old (!) successful, Manhattan-based landscape architect falls in love with the 21-year old goth member of the West Memphis Three after seeing a documentary, which because the internet is awesome, you can watch right here.
The West Memphis Three are three young men who were (if you believe common sense and various celebrities) wrongly convicted of the brutal rape, torture and murder of three little boys. Essentially, the three guys they arrested were convicted of liking heavy metal and wearing black in rural Arkansas. One of the West Memphis Three confessed to the crimes, implicating his friends, because he was scared, confused and "borderline intellectual functioning." But really, all three of them had been in trouble, listened to Metallica and into the same dumb goth shit my weird friend in high school demanded we all be into.
The trials and tribulations of the (now free, kinda) West Memphis Three is a whole other story. I'm particularly riled up about the love story of this 33-year old writing gushing love letters back and forth with this 21-year old on death row in Arkansas.
"Soon enough, an envelope from the penitentiary appeared in her mailbox. The handwriting was styled like old Gothic print, the kind you’d find on a Halloween greeting card. Before she opened the envelope, Davis made sure she was alone."
On an excited scale of 1-10, this has me at about a 8.5.
In the movie that made Lorri from Manhattan fall in love with Damien from West Memphis, he is interviewed in jail, slowly chain-smoking and looking exactly like Robert Smith. And now, due to legal maneuvering that involves a guilty plea but-they-still-got-out-2-months-ago, Damien and Lorri are married and living together in the Big Apple.
After reading this NYT Magazine piece, I read and watched as much as I could about the West Memphis Three. I think it's great they got out (and celebrated on Eddie Vedder's jet) and hope the yokle, unsophisticated system that convicted these men is wildly regretful.
But far more importantly, who the hell killed the three little boys and are they going to get away with it forever. Please call me to discuss...

i was holding my breath because it smelled...

This week's Tourist Trapped heads to that weird aquarium at Pier 39 and discovers that much like the Wax Museum, everything at Fisherman's Wharf is just a crappier version of the real thing.
Up now, on SFGate...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

there was a sign in the front that said, basically, no happy endings...

My apologies for my shitty lack of posting. It's been a weird week, and I've had a lot of homework. I also met MC Hammer on Tuesday and Chelsea Handler on Thursday. I hang out with celebrities on days of the week that start with T. It's kinda my thing.
Tonight, I'll be joining real writers and reading a story (that I still need to work on) for LitCrawl. We'll be in Clarion Alley at 6pm. There are lots of amazing LitCrawl events tonight, and you can check them out here. Because who doesn't love spending their Saturday night listening to poets talk about their feelings?
Yesterday, I cashed in a Bloomspot deal for a Thai Massage. I had never had a Thai Massage before. In fact, my previous professional massage experience was limited to hotel spas, where one's ass is gently swathed in lavender.
Last night, I got the shit kicked out of me.
I was given little Thai pajamas to wear, which were basically cropped scrubs, and then I lay on a mat. All of the massage mats are right next to each other, divided by heavy velvet curtains. There is a bar hanging overhead, and a piece of fabric hanging off the bar. And it's all very deep brown and low-lit and you have to whisper.
So I lay there in my little unisex Thai pajamas on a mat in between two other people on mats, and a very nice woman held onto that piece of fabric and walked up and down my back.
It was like a Cirque de Soleil massage. She was really dancing around up there, pushing herself off the back wall, moving me around, hanging off the bar. It was a little awkward, due to the language barrier and my inexperience, because all of a sudden she started hugging me. I had no idea what was going on, but finally I realized I was supposed to grab her hands. So sitting cross-legged, I cross my arms, she grabs my hands from behind, sticks both of her feet against my back and pulls really, really hard.
All kinds of things moved around in my insides.
Then she hops up in front of me, sticks her foot against my shoulder, grabs onto my thigh and dramatically pushes my torso in different directions.
At one point, she stood on my neck and my face pressed all the way down through the face donut pillow to the mat. It occurred to me that this broad could kill me, but I figured she'd done this before. I wonder, though, if I did die that way, would someone try and spin my death into a weird happy-ending-gone-wrong story?
The whole thing was really quite something. And while there were definitely SEVERAL painful moments, I felt fabulous walking out of there. I also felt very open-minded and self-congratulatory for having a new experience. Hotel spa massages are for wimps. My Thai massage felt like I was having surgery performed, like I was in that Michael Keaton movie where he's dying of cancer and Nicole Kidman makes him try Eastern Medicine.
When I left, I whispered, "Thank you so much." So she said, "Thank you." And I said, "So wonderful, thank you." And she bowed and said, "Thank you."
This went on for 10 minutes...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

no white limos...

If the Mayoral Candidates submitted riders of their backstage demands to debate organizers, what would those demands be? I have to admit, Tony Hall's was the most fun to write.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

treat yo self...

While most of you are listening to NPR on Saturday mornings, or at least claiming you do at cocktail parties, I catch up on my Parks & Recreation (Thursdays, 8:30 PST). And since I watch this on Hulu, I watch all of the bonus material provided therein. Like this, which made my Saturday!

Have a great weekend, lovahs...

Friday, October 07, 2011

"there is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women.” - madeleine albright

There is no Necessary Conversation today. I'm so sorry. We have good excuses, tho. Anyway, get this.
Last night, Melissa moderated a debate at the Commonwealth Club for INFORUM, which is the cool kids club within the Commonweath. (You should join. It is wonderful.) I was the Mistress of Ceremonies, which basically meant I had to warm up the audience before it all started. I gave like, a seven-minute speech on dumb mayoral stuff and then Mel took the stage along with all sixteen candidates.
Sixteen candidates? Yeah, sixteen candidates.
For a myriad of reasons, mainly because she was so honored to be moderating an esteemed Commonwealth Club event, Melissa busted her ass even more than usual on this debate. She's been working on this for over a month. And you know, everyone's style is different. It takes all kinds. And I am biased. But she nailed it.
So after the official debate, there was a video presentation. Several people (and some candidates) snuck out to the lobby, including Melissa and me. She had to get back on stage, and we needed like, 20 seconds to confer on her wrap up. All of these people kept coming up to say, "Oh hello, I'm so and so and wasn't that great."
To which we smiled and said, "Oh, thank you so much."
This middle-aged woman in faded black and burgundy waited her turn and then said directly to Melissa, "Excuse me. I think you did a really good job. You really did. but I found your tone condescending. You were really very rude, AND MANY PEOPLE THOUGHT SO."
Melissa just looked at her and said, "Okay. Thanks for your feedback. Thanks."
"I think you did a good job, but it was really rude to several of the candidates."
"Okay. Thank you. Thank you."
I was speechless. In retrospect, I would've said, "We don't come to your job and tell you how to weave artisan wall tapestries. Send a psychotic email like everyone else."
But I just stood there, silent and amazed this woman was willing to tell Melissa she was basically a bitch while the event was still going on. Mel had to get back on stage after this shit.
So Melissa runs off to go back onstage, and I stood in the lobby people watching and shooting the dreamweaver dirty looks. She had the audacity to smile at me! She looked right at me and smiled! And I just stared her down.
With that, another two middle-aged women walked up to me and said, "I just want you to know, this part that's going on right now is really boring. You shouldn't have done this."
"Oh." I said. "Okay, well I don't work here."
"I know." One of them said. "I just think you should know."
First of all, since when do we walk up to perfect strangers and complain about shit. I really hate that The Gap still sells capri pants. Am I shouting this from the sidewalk? And this "many people thought so" thing really chaps my hide. If you're going to tell someone they blow, speak for yourself.
Second of all, I am still reeling from the fact that the Condescending Lady who thought Melissa was condescending got away with it. I have seen Melissa dress people down and there is still a crater left in the Earth at the scenes of those tirades. Mel just took it from this broad and went back to work.
Melissa just didn't have time to, how shall I put this, make her regret her words.
In closing, I think it is incredibly lame that three middle-aged WOMEN came to a political event produced and moderated by young WOMEN and chose to criticize. I am guessing that none of them would have approached Phil Matier with these thoughts.
Although I would've liked to have seen that.
Anyway, chicks man...

PS: Truth be told, I met two really wonderful women last night who came to the forum just to meet me and Mel. So Tina and Jamie, you balanced out the mean broads. And then some!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

no one picked 'firework'?

Today's Culture Blog covers my visit to Monday's Mayoral forum at The Fillmore, in which each of the candidates came out to a song they felt represented their campaign. I wonder why folks think is good campaign music?
Oh yeah.
Anyway, it's up now on SFGate!

In local and selfish news, I'll be MCing the Commonwealth Club's INFORUM Mayoral Event tomorrow night. Melissa is moderating because she is the smart one. I am the mistress of ceremonies because I am smart enough to know it's way more fun to get to make the jokes...

Monday, October 03, 2011

sure. flashing plastic penises are totally appropriate...

Today's Tourist Trapped goes to San Jose (yep) and visits the Winchester Mystery House. Eve and I hit up the opening of Fright Night and went on a tour of a historic mansion with a woman wearing flashing plastic penises.
Which I can only assume is normal to wear in San Jose. SCARY!
Up now on SFGate...