Wednesday, October 31, 2012

boo! halloween culture blog...

Today's Culture Blog is a very special episode of Gavin and Ed Fake Itineraries. I guess what they're up to today, and the commenters already hate it! Please mosey over to SFGate and check it out.

Also, who(m?)ever manages to come up with Barry Zito's victory parade ensemble for Halloween is my new hero. He's the sartorial Alex P. Keaton of the San Francisco Giants...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

that is a far out line for brunch, man...

On this week's Tourist Trapped, I headed to the Haight, or as they say in the guidebooks, "Haight-Ashbury District" in the hopes of seeing some shocked tourists, and also of buying some cute accessories. It is up now, on SFGate's Culture Blog...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

not that there's anything wrong with that...

I was getting my nails done today (I hate the term mani-pedi), and a woman walked in, requesting the same thing. She was seated next to me on one of those big spa chairs that massage you while a stranger touches your feet.
She looked at me for a second, leaned over and said, "You're Beth, right? With the blog?"
All I could think was, this only ever fucking happens when I am fucking alone. And it never, ever happens. I wanted to hug her.
Instead I buried my beaming, thrilled face and said, "Um... yeah."
She announced to her friend that I am very funny and write a blog on the internet.  I felt immense pressure to be very funny, but instead responded by being quiet and unsure of what to do. Thankfully, this woman with questionable taste in blogs was very chatty and started asking me all sort of things.
"How do I make money, what am I writing next, how is my girlfriend..."
In my head, it was like when in 'Pee Wee's Big Adventure," Pee Wee Herman walked into the biker bar. The music scratched off, all heads turned. My what?
I just stared at her for a beat too long.
"Your girlfriend Melissa!"
Pause. Pause. Pause.
I said, "She's good!" And then we chatted about Melissa. Just chatted. Who cares if someone thinks Mel and I are dating? Not me, certainly. Technically, we ARE in a committed relationship. There would be nothing wrong with us falling madly in love. Ever. Maybe she meant 'girlfriend' like Eve is my girlfriend or Sally is my girlfriend. Either way, whatever. I don't give a shit. The nice and awesome thing was that this woman has come across Mel and me online, read our stuff and liked it.
My God, that's amazing.
So we continued chatting. We moved on, to subjets different from my girlfriend and how she's doing. Before I could stop myself, I started steering the conversation. And somehow, they all involved stories of my ex-boyfriends.
"Yes." I'd say. "That is a rough neighborhood. My ex-BOYfriend and I once saw someone shooting heroin into his toes there."
"Miami is so weird. My OTHER ex-BOYfriend lives there."
"Oh, the way you just said that sounded Australian. I once dated a MALE from Australia."

So, I kinda feel like an asshole.
In other news, who wants to see Flight...

Monday, October 22, 2012

i want to believe...

On this week's Tourist Trapped, Melissa and I went on a Ghost Tour of Chinatown. We had no idea we'd be joining amateur ghost detectives, with ghost detecting iPhone apps and Angry Birds hats. It was a spooktacular (ugh) adventure, and you can read all about it over on SFGate's Culture Blog.

Also, if you have a baby, please do this to it for Halloween...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

i lied. i got a movie theater hot dog too...

I haven't offered a "hab" update in awhile, so here's a little story of how I managed not to drink on Friday night.
All day long, I delighted in the fact that I had nothing to do on Friday night. I could stay in, eat something bad for me, read "Gone Girl" and go to bed at a reasonable hour. But once I got home, I felt that old booze twitch come on strong. Stronger than usual. I was suddenly hyper aware of every liquor store within a 10-black radius. See, it's not hanging out in a bar with my friends when I truly want to get drunk. It's when I'm alone, with $40 burning a hole in my wallet, the house to myself. These three things rarely happen all at once.
I should've called my sponsor. (Yep. I have one.) I should've gone to a meeting. I should've called Melissa or Eve or Sally, three people that will figure out a way to drop what they're doing and watch Lifetime with me, even if it's just over the phone. Instead and a little embarrassed, I made a deal with myself to just make it to 10 o'clock, when I could go to sleep. Tomorrow would be a new day, one day at a time, etc.
The way I made it to 10 o'clock was to go to a movie by myself.
This is more complicated than one might think. I am a very vain person who will not go to the Sundance Kabuki Cinema by myself on a Friday night, lest I run into someone I know who will see that I am at the movies by myself on a Friday night. Instead I drove to Daly City, which houses my hide-out movie theater, with free parking, a huge concession stand, 100% strangers, and tons of screens.
As a result, I saw "Alex Cross", the new PG-13 Tyler Perry movie, along with dozens of high school kids on dates and middle-aged couples. I was in sweatpants and Uggs, like a true recovering alcoholic, and I got a medium (aka: ridiculously huge) bag of Kettle Corn. I sat on the edge of the theater, I sat through a lot of shitty previews aimed at the Tyler Perry crime-fighting audience. And I sat through "Alex Cross."
Lest you think I was settling on a movie, I have actually and recently read the James Patterson novel, "Alex Cross." Alex Cross is the character Morgan Freeman played in "Kiss The Girls." I love James Patterson's character, Det. Alex Cross, and... fuck it. I love Tyler Perry. Now you know.
The movie is fucking ridiculous. I mean it. It's so over the top and predictable and cliched, I wanted to hate it. The whole audience wanted to hate it. They (loudly) laughed together at the cheesiest, most falsely emotional lines.
But still, there was a sense of solidarity. We were they to have fun, albeit dumb fun. And when the credits rolled, everyone applauded. Even me, sitting alone in my sweats and my embarrassing Uggs.
Back in my car, driving home on 280, the desperate desire to drink a bottle of shitty wine was pretty much gone. I got home, crawled in bed and before I could change my mind, turned off the light.
I made it to the next day.
When I told my sponsor this, she told me to write it down, and said I was definitely working my steps.
I was, as we say in AA, willing to go to any lengths.
"Beth, going to a Tyler Perry movie in Daly City counts as any lengths..."

Friday, October 19, 2012

you're what the french call nuts...

I was over in Marin last weekend, getting my folks' house ready for their return from three weeks of vacation. Inspired by Kevin McAllister, I swung by Safeway to pick up the basic food needs for Mr. & Mrs. Spotswood: milk, yogurt, salad stuff, and one of those roast chickens they sell for $8.
I was standing in the checkout line, and behind me was an older man purchasing 3 items: a pre-made, diagonally-sliced, turkey sandwich, a bag of Cheetos, and Gatorade.
"All the lines are so long." He grumbed to me, and I suggested he might want to go in the self-checkout section, which had no line.
"I can't use those!"
Honestly, they make me uncomfortable too. So I agreed with him, the politely turned away. But somehow, I'd apparently committed to a conversation with this guy, who, speaking of Kevin McAllister, basically looked like Old Man Marley.
"Ya see, I'm going fishing."
Since I was already feeling like a wonderful person for picking up perishables, I chose to say, "Oh? Where do you go fishing?"
Old Man Marley told be about some lake in San Rafael, and I said that sounds nice, etc. He likes it, you see, because he can be alone with his thoughts. "And I don't have to listen to anyone!" He grew a little aggitated. "Like this guy!"
With that, he pointed to a picture of President Barack Obama on a magazine across the conveyor belt.
Oh shit, here we go.
Old Man Marley started to tell me how all politicians are liars (I once broke up with someone over this, so OMM better watch it), and then how Barack Obama wanted to eliminate cars entirely.
"How are we supposed to get around?" I asked.
"Bicycles. And walking. I work on the top of a hill. You gonna pay me to walk to the top of the hill? I can't bicycle uphill. No one can!"
The whole conversation was making me wildly uncomfortable, compounded by the fact that the woman in line in front of me had 5,935 coupons and questions and rainy day discounts to discuss at length. I had no choice but to listen to the insane and paranoid rants of a Gatorade-fueled fisherman.
Finally, I bought the goddamn pre-roast chicken and yogurt, naturally forgetting to bring my tote and thus paying an extra ten cents for a paper bag.
OMM, watching my transaction, accounced, "I don't have a bag either! I'll have to carry it!"
I took my ten-cent bag, said, "Have fun on your fishing trip!" and went home to bobbytrap my parents' house...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

and yet, i wish you weren't...

Instead of continuing to watch the train-wreck that is the remake of 'Steel Magnolias", I decided to watch a TV movie from the 80's because those are always pretty amazing. Thus, I came to discover "Hey, I'm Alive" on Netflix, selected for it's title, 2-person cast, and plot summary.

For unexplained reasons, Sally Struthers has been travelling around the world, and decided to "hitch a ride with an amateur pilot" on her way back to San Francisco. The amateur pilot is none other than Lou Grant, and needless to say, they crash in the barren wilderness, where these two oposites must survive for 49 days.  Right away, the plane crashes and Sally offers us a cheery New York-accented voice-over of her breezy past, ie; "I was Miss Know It All!" and "Adventure is my middle name!"

Lou Grant plays "Ralph" as some sort of Eastern European immigrant who just happens to fly single engine Cessnas from Alaska to San Francisco. Oh, and he converted to Mormonism.

In a flashback, it is revealed that they had to share a hotel room at one point before the crash, which makes Ralph very uncomfortable. Sally Struthers announces that this is 1963, and it's no big deal, stop being such a square, she's from Brooklyn, etc.

Back at the freezing site of their plane crash, Ralph tells Sally Struthers that the reason they crashed is because she's Jewish and rejected Jesus. Then, while building a fire, he announces the worrisome, "From this moment on, you will call me father, and I will call you daughter so that we can resist temptation."

Sally's voice-over asks, "If I had to be in a plane crash, why couldn't have been with Paul Newman?"

At one point, Lou Grant doesn't believe that Sally Struthers has a broken arm, but resets it anyway. This is while she is reading, "Tolstoy." Occasionally, a rescue plane will fly overhead, but with only 2 mirrors (one of which is a compact), their saviors can't see them.

Aside from some sardines and candy, Lou Grant and Sally Struthers eat only snow. As Sally laments, "It's so cold going down!"

Okay. I'm... I can't do this anymore.
I picked the wrong movie. Again.
This is ridiculous, and not even in an entertaining way. I'm... I'm really sorry. "Hey, I'm Alive" is available on Netflix on Demand. If you get further than I did, I'll buy you dinner and you can tell me what happens...

Thursday, October 04, 2012

so long downton abbey...

I have to admit, it's more fun (and bizarre) to hang out at political events with Republicans. It's almost like travelling! Which is why we headed to the Marina last night and watched the Presidential debate with the SF Young Republicans at Eastside West. Alice even photo-bombed their group picture!

It's all up now, over on SFGate...

Monday, October 01, 2012

boats and hos...

This week, we braved the Duck Tour in San Francisco. And I shared a forced laugh with 'Captain Van' while helming the Duck Boat. It's all up now on SFGate's Tourist Trapped...