Saturday, June 23, 2012

sf's version of the view...

Sooo... Eve and I are playing around with UStream. We decided that our all day-long IM conversations were incredibly interesting. (They're not.) Cut to: Sometimes I hang out at Eve's and we shoot the breeze. This time, we recorded it. It's 45 minutes, so, save this for when you're drunk and trying to fall asleep:
Video streaming by Ustream

Friday, June 22, 2012

thursday is the new entire week of plans...

There are all sorts of news things I've been meaning to discuss lately. Now that I take the bus half of the time (it goes so many places!), I read my Associated Press and NPR apps (not to mention my sudden, and perhaps late addiction to Car Talk). Anyway, here goes:

The Sandusky Trial: is obviously horrible, frustrating, and sad. I read every single thing about it, and today, I was particularly impressed that Dottie Sandusky sat behind her husband through the entire trial chewing on gum. I think it's interesting both that Mrs. Sandusky is chomping away on gum the whole time her husband is on trial for NUMEROUS counts of child sex abuse, and that the report noted it. As if to say, "Really, Dottie? Gum? Can we get you a Slurpee?"

Brock and I went to three (yes, 3!) parties last night. (And I was still in bed by 11.) The first one was an environmental fundraiser at a nightclub filled with yuppies and Mark Ruffalo, who was the guest of honor. We found him messily gorgeous and short, and after determining that, went to the ATO party in Mid-Market. I will never be hipster enough for last night's ATO party. Never in my life. We went from the yuppiest of the yuppies to the hippest of the hipsters, who are, I will note, friendlier. Finally, we headed over to a ratsy tatsy Pride Party at the Benttlee Rezerve, where Brock and I had our photo taken with Loni Love. We started at 7pm and stayed at each party for an hour or so. People do this all the time, apparently, and I can't figure out how. The whole time, we were like, "Look at us! Three whole parties!" Everyone else was like, "Oh, this is a big deal to you nerds?" Also, why does everyone throw their parties on Thursdays?

At the Pride Party, I ran into the wonderful Jennifer Raiser, who told me that Queen Elizabeth uses her handbag as a signal. When she puts it on the table, it means she wants to leave in 5 minutes. When she switches it from one arm to the other, her highness hates who she is talking to. This information delights me, and I need to come up with my own system ... once I get handlers who will then read my "over it" signals.

THIS is exactly the reason why I stare out the window on trains. Or flying low before reaching the tarmac. Seriously.

Happy Pride weekend, everyone! I see your true colors and that's why I love you...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

the slumber party blood bath...

Egads! I forgot to post Monday's Culture Blog here, which is how my father gets to my posts. He is now getting emails, mentioning THIS.
I once told this story to my co-worker Carlos, himself the father of three daughters. He loved it so much he went home and told his family. And occasionally he asks me to tell it again.
I've got a million favorite stories about my dad, but I think this one is the funniest.
Brace yourselves. It's up now, on SFGate...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

daddy, klaus, carlos, brett, ryan, bill, jason, adam, peter, shane, dads...

Years and years ago, my friend Tammy came to a party at my folks house. At 2am, I found her sitting on the deck at a table with my father, brother and some old friends, drinking Chianti like they were in the mafia. Much to my father's protests, Tammy finally headed home and before she left, she pulled me aside.
"Your father adores you! Boy, oh boy. It'll be tough to ever find a man who loves you that much. When he talks about you or Alex, his whole face changes!"
As a result, whenever my father drives me nuts (which happens regularly) and whenever I feel like I've disappointed my parents (which happens regularly), I think of what Tammy said.
I'm not anyone's parent, so I don't yet fully understand how this works. But I can FEEL how much my dad loves me, and how much he loves my brother. He says it all the time, but he shows it even more. Some people were meant to be a dad.
My dad was raised by one of those people.
And then he became one.
When I encounter other dads doing dad stuff, like my co-workers or my friends, I think, "Dads. I really love dads."
I just love mine the most.

Happy Father's Day, fellas...

*I keep thinking of great dads I know, so I have to keep adding to the title. Dads!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

i will always remember my first...

As I have recently discovered public transportation, I now try and take Muni most places. I already paid for a Clipper card. I thus regard the bus as free transportation. The money I am saving on parking and gas must be adding up! (I have no idea.) But as Brittney recently warned me, "It's different late at night."
Tuesday night, I took Muni home from a late dinner. It was 11:30 at night, and I boarded the 27 Bryant towards the Mission. Right away, I had to step over what was obviously a river of pee. An elderly gentleman sat up front, and he seemed to be the source of the issue. Everyone else on the bus sat towards the back. Joining them as we drove through the city in a bus filled with pee near midnight, I hoped we'd all break into a gritty-yet-friendly 80's dance, a la Michael Jackson's 'BAD' video.
I watched the old man disembark a few stops later. When he stood, of course, the back of his pants were soaked. Just soaked. And the kid sitting next to me very sadly and sincerely signed, "Aw, that's a shame."
As we drove into the Mission, the bus driver took what appeared to be a couple of take-out napkins and while steering, shook them open and dropped them on two little sections of the many rivers of pee. But really, what was he supposed to do about it at all?
The next morning, back on the bus on our way to work, I regaled my friend and bus-buddy Blair with the previous night's events.
"Oh, that was your first pee?" She said. "That's cute. I remember mine."

Monday, June 11, 2012

a very preppy blessing...

First things first, there is a new Tourist Trapped up on SFGate! Eve, Tim, Melissa, Christopher, Tara, and I went to see 'Superman' on the Presidio Main Post Lawn. Read all about it on the Culture Blog, per our usual, RIGHT HERE.

Today I took the bus into work. It was all normal Monday and I was sleepy and cranky. I plopped down in my cubicle and said to my co-worker Bill, "I wish I was at the U.S. Open."
I said this mainly because I had to post something about the U. S. Open on Facebook, and it was being held at the very same place I've spent 25 or so annual Saturdays in November at the Father-Daughter Dance.
Anyway, at 11 am my boss emerged from his office and said, "Who wants to go to the U.S. Open today?"
Bill nonchalantly replied, "Beth does."
Half an hour later, I was on a bus home feverishly texting Grey Cloud, "What do I wear to the U.S. Open?!?"
Today was Day One of U.S. Open practice, a mellow, moderately-attended first day that doesn't count. So it makes sense that a couple of passes trickled down to lowly old me. But I was delighted. I was thrilled that my boss likes me enough to give me an afternoon off, just for fun. That's always reassuring. And also, I didn't even have to go alone. My good friend is looking for a job right now, and isn't stuck behind a desk like everyone else.
"Lisa! Wanna go to the U. S. Open right now? I just got two passes."
How many people could say yes to this? Lisa could. And Lisa knows loads about sports. Even golf!
Her sweet mom, a member of the SFPD, dropped us off at the main gate, promising to meet us for dinner later at Westlake Joe's. It was 2pm on a Monday and I was pinching myself. I wanted to text my boss one last time and make sure he was sure I was allowed to be out in the sun, wearing my fanciest of sportswear, looking forward to a free dinner with someone who's got great stories.
But I couldn't text anyone. Cellphones are forbidden at the U.S. Open. I went without my phone for 8 hours. I felt naked. And I HATE being naked.
I was thinking, "Someone could be dead. My mother doesn't know where I am. Melissa BARELY does. What could happen?"
Nothing happened.
We walked up the hill, stopping to watch golfers, judge strangers, and eat snacks. We sat on bleachers and tanned ourselves while eavesdropping on people who said things like, "I don't know about you, but I am not about things or money. I learned that actually, and again this is just me, it's all about relationships."
We couldn't get into ANY of the myriad of special villages set up. Lakeside has been turned into a small city, full of corporate tents complete with white picket fences. It goes on forever and ever. They must have been working on this for months and months.
We couldn't even get into the Clubhouse.
Lisa was floored. "Your father is a member, right?"
"Yeah. I don't think that counts when ESPN has an entire studio at the 9th hole."
It didn't matter, and I didn't even try. We wandered around, having the most fun watching professional golfers practice at the driving range. Their last names were posted on little signs.
Hahn, Poulter, Harrington.
I have no idea who they are, but I could basically touch them.
Lisa and I spent way too much money in the "Merchandise Pavilion" which is bigger than the flagship Old Navy and looks like the inside of where they hold the Westminster Dog Show.
Ralph Lauren had TWO separate sections.


We spent 4 afternoon hours, walking around in the sun and checking out golf-boys.
I felt like I was getting away with murder. It was a lucky break, my getting to go to this.
Today was one of those days where you wake up and think you know what's going to happen. And then suddenly, you're walking across the 18th hole at the Olympic Club Golf Course at 6pm and asking a stranger, "Do you know where the Pot-O-Potty is? No, no, dum-dum. The good ones?"

Monday, June 04, 2012

'you look kinda tense in that picture...'

Today's Tourist Trapped checks out (literally) the blokes of The Thunder From Down Under. Oh man, this one is a doozy. Up now, on SFGate...

Friday, June 01, 2012

the san francisco miracle...

I now take the bus everywhere. It's weird how no one ever told me that busses go everywhere you need to go anyway. Now I have a Clipper Card, I know how the back doors work, I have a bus buddy.

It would seem that the universe has rewarded me for finally appreciating public transportation. I had to move my car the other day, desperate to find a "Tuesday spot." See, if you move your car to the Tuesday Street Cleaning side of the street immediately after Tuesday street cleaning, you've got a whole week of not having to move your car.

On Tuesday, I drove all over my neighborhood. Block after block, there was nothing. I found a couple of Thursday side of the street spots. But I take the bus now. I really needed a Tuesday spot.

A couple of blocks away, I slowed down thinking I had seen an open spot. Alas, it was a driveway. A woman walked out of it, and motioned for me to roll down my window.

"You can park here." She said.

"What?"

"You can park in my driveway." It was a lovely driveway, a nice looking house. "We don't have a car."

I looked over each shoulder, thinking this was some sort of cruel joke, like in Carrie, but about parking, which is even meaner. "Are you serious?"

"Yeah, it's no problem." She had this long set of circumstances as to why I could park there, right then, and how I could just be halfway in her driveway and her friend could park in the other half. We'd somehow get two parking spaces out of none. It seemed risky to me, but my God. It is the fantasy of every San Francisco driver for someone to emerge from a RESIDENTIAL DRIVEWAY and say, "Here you go. All yours."

Naturally, I made a huge, gushing deal about the whole thing. I tried to give her my phone number, I kept repeating my address. "I can come move it any time. I'll probably need it on Thursday anyway. I'd hate for you to need your garage."

She kind of shooed me away with her hand. "Relax, Beth!"

"Okay Cruz, thank you so much."

Coming back from work last night, I decided to move my car to a Thursday spot. I didn't want to overstay my welcome blocking Cruz's driveway. I half-expected Rhonda the Honda to be towed anyway. Cruz's offer seemed too good to be true.

Lo and behold, everything was fine. My car was there, untouched. I felt like I'd gotten away with a crime!

Now, all because I take the bus, I know that I have a very sweet neighbor. A neighbor who might one day, and that day may never come, call upon me for a favor Godfather-style...