Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"reality?" "CHECK!" (that was a real world; los angeles reference. my apologies...)

Can we please talk about Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? Because I am ON BOARD with this season. The newest Housewife is Yolanda (heavy Dutch accent, white dress) and her husband (of about 15 minutes) is a famous music producer who has so many Grammys piled onto his piano, it's about to collapse. Yolanda says things to her husband like, "Can I get you anything else, my love?" Then he talks to the camera about what an amazing homemaker Yolanda is while she orders the household staff around. A+! I can tell shit is about to get real with Yolanda because she is all about being a "lady" and says shit like, "There is nothing as ugly as a drunk woman." Anyone that blatant on their high horse is about 2 episodes away from getting arrested ON CAMERA in front of Spago.

Kim (blue dress) is hanging onto sanity for dear life, and I'm rooting for her big time.

Lisa (burgundy dress) is fabulous, British, the eldest, and doesn't give a shit about anything which I love. She owns a restaurant actually called "Villa Blanca" and everything inside is white. Two seasons ago she had to fire her gay houseboy and it's the only time she ever showed any emotion. One of the many reasons Andrienne and Paul aren't speaking to Lisa is because she apparently called their beloved dog Jackpot, "Crackpot." I actually stood up and applauded.

Is Camillie off the show? She was at Portia's 4th Birthday Party (naturally. Everyone over 40 in LA was there. I did not, however, see any other children.) She is no longer in the opening credits or the above photo. Has Kelsey made this part of their settlement?

Brandi (yellow dress, as if I had to tell you) is obviously the devil. If you'll remember, her ex-husband left her for Leanne Rhimes, which, if you're going to get dumped for a celebrity, is a pretty shitty one. But even Leanne Rhimes has got to be better than Brandi. Brandi is so blatant about starting drama, she might as well just walk into every room and cackle, "Get ready to cry, bitches!"

Adrienne (red one shoulder dress) is about to get divorced from Paul if tabloids and the "This season on the Real Housewives..." teaser is any indication. And I like her because she is no nonsense and has shiny gold extensions in her hair. You've got to respect someone who lists her grievnces with someone and deadpans, "She called Jackpot, 'Crackpot'."

Taylor (purple strapless dress) is spiraling further and further into crazy-town. But her ex-husband killed himself like, a year ago, and she means well, which is more than anyone can say for Brandi. I suspect she might drink a bit too much, so naturally, I am trying as hard as I can to be on her side. Her plastic surgery is a bit distracting.

And finally, Kyle (green dress) is my favorite Beverly Hills housewife because of her hair, her voice, her relatively sane demeanor, and (say it with me)... Mauricio! Mauricio is Kyle's 2nd husband and not only is he STUNNING, but he's always confident, funny, and a good sport. He just flew to Sacramento to run a mile in high heels for domestic violence awareness and then raced back to make Portia's birthday. Big dreamy sigh over Mauricio.

I particularly love this version of the Real Housewives franchise because most of the ladies of Beverly Hills have "don't give a fuck" money, which makes them even more out of touch and thus prone to amazing bon mots. Also, I like looking at their earings and trying to find comparable ones at Ambiance...

*Brock just introduced me to Julie Klausner's RHBH recaps on Vulture and they are, in a word, flawless.

you have literally been waiting all year for this....

Starting tomorrow at noon, 96.5 KOIT (Lite Rock Less Talk) will be kicking off their annual 24/7 playing of Christmas Music. This is how you know it's really fucking Christmastime; When KOIT starts playing all of those CDs that Keith Haring did the covers for and the soundtrack to Home Alone. If you can't wait 24 hours (and I can't), they've already started streaming it online.
I am currently listening to Manheim Steamroller's version of the Nutcracker. I can barely sit still in my cubicle. I'm dying to dance, to bake, to stream lights, to shop the SHIT out of San Francisco, and to scream from the center of the ice rink in Union Square, "KOIT CHRISTMAS MUSIC HAS ARRIVED! IT IS OFFICIALLY THE HOLIDAYS!"
If I can make it that far. My co-workers are ready to kill me...

Monday, November 19, 2012

barney like the dinosaur, not the store...

Today's Tourist Trapped is up, having hit the Tonga Room at the Fairmont Hotel. There's eggrolls, cheezy cover songs, and a photo of me in what Grey Cloud calls my "Barney dress." Read it all now over on SFGate...

i bet he tries to swim...

A presumably stoned on drugs, high 20-something backpack guy sat on the bus inbetween Brittney and me this morning on our way to work. Suddenly, as we're driving through the Financial District, he says something along the stoned on drugs, high lines of "Is this 26?"
Brittney replied, "The 26th bus? Or 26th Street?"
And I, because he was not unattractive and I am very nosey, dove in and said, "Are you trying to go to 26th Street? You're going in the wrong direction?"
He was 27-ish with a huge backpack strapped to him like we were on Eurorail and not the 12, and he stared at us, more bemused than confused. I'm sure he saw cartoon barn animals floating through the air in between the lemmings with the office jobs.
He finally said, "26. I'm trying to get to the 1."
I fought to keep my perky tone and asked, "Where are you trying to go?"
"Highway 1. Well, I'm really going to Los Angeles."
Of course you are. Which is why you're on the 12 Muni at 9am going north through the SAN FRANCISCO'S Financial District.
I decided to tell him to backtrack and go down to Market, getting on the N Judah, which I know goes to the beach, where Highway 1 is, and where apparently this backpacker expects to be picked up in the hippie van from Forrest Gump.
All of this information was met with a blank stare while he nodded and repeated his plans to take Highway 1 to LA. And I felt how my mother feels when I offer some sort of vague but major plan. She tries to hide her frustration while offering me highly specific options and concrete ways to solve my dilemna, while I'm like, "Relax, lady. Take it easy. Everything is groovy..."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

louie, louie, louie, lou-ay...

I'm supposed to be in Tahiti right now. There are some disappointing but worthy reasons why I had to postpone my trip. But most importantly, I never got Louis CK tickets for last night (and tonight) when they went on sale months ago. Because again, I am supposed to be in Tahiti. When I realized he was performing at Davies Symphony Hall yesterday, I emailed a wonderful woman I know who works at the Symphony, acknowledging that while this has nothing to do with the symphony, I really wanted to see Louis CK.
She said there wasn't much she could do, but emailed the promoter. Steve the promoter said he might have a pair of last minute tickets he could sell me at face value. I said, and this is verbatim, "YESYESYESYES!"
I then IM'd my brother, asking if he had plans for tonight, could stay out very late, and how much, exactly, he loved me.
"No, yes because I'm a grown up, and a lot."
"Do you want to see Louis CK tonight?"
Steve the promoter held two tickets under my name, and over dinner I warned my brother we'd probably be in the rafters of Davies Symphony Hall. At 9:30, I forked over the cash and the ticket guy forked over the tickets. Quickly, I looked at our seats.
"Oh. Alex. We're in Row D. These might be good. But I think they do double letters first. I think it goes Double A, Double B."
"I don't care, sis. This is great."
We were ushered to the center orchestra, past the double letters in the back. At Davies Symphony Hall, they start with Row A. When it because clear we were being shown to the center of the fourth row, at around Row K, my brother slapped me. He slapped my back hard, beaming with a look of both shock and pride.

So...we sat in the center of the fourth row. I was 20 feet from Louis CK as he performed a 90 minute AMAZING set. Todd Glass opened for him. I fucking love Todd Glass! He had a famous heart attack! He called out the bitch behind me! Todd Glass rules.
Louis CK, however, rules the ebbs and flows of my heart. I was close enough to make eye contact, to give him my visual marriage proposal. Plus, he killed it. I kept wiping cheap mascara off my cheeks. Louis CK made me laugh and laugh and feel normal and laugh.
Even more important to me, my brother was doing that thing he does when he's laughing so hard he sounds like a bird.
After the show, which ended at midnight, Alex and I walked towards the lobby. Steve the promoter texted me before the show and said he'd want to say hi afterwards. We thought he was being nice. Be that as it may, he texted again after the show. And lo and behold, came to shake our hands in the lobby after the show.
Steve said, "I googled you. I read your blog. You're funny."
But the best part was that my brother jumped in and nervously screamed, "YEAH SHE IS."
After I thought my brother was a loser for saying something nice about me, those ebbs and flows of my heart went nuts. The first time I consciously made someone laugh on purpose, really thinking about the joke beforehand, was when driving my brother to Pop Warner pee-wee football practice in my mother's 1994 Honda Del Sol (which she still drives). I used the automatic button to raise the convertible back window and said with enthusiastic anticipation of his response, "Duncan's Toy Chest? Right away, sir!"
It's a Home Alone 2 reference, one I knew only my 11-year old brother (and possibly Zoe Stagg) would get. Alex's response to that Home Alone 2 ref was the moment I realized that making people laugh felt good and fulfilling, and I should do this more often. Making my brother laugh is my benchmark.
So for the record, my brother was so proud, he smacked me. And he was so loyal, he screamed that I'm funny to a stranger. I love comedy, I love laughing, I love Louis CK. But being a cool big sister ... is a close second.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

so he knows i am in love with the one we call 'messenger bag...'

Blair and I rode the 12 to work today and sat together talking all kinds of shit in low voices but out loud. We generally treat our morning commute as if it's our own private chauffeured motor coach. We discuss things like diarrhea and suicide, who we'd sleep with if I was a lesbian and Blair was straight, and often, our thoughts on fellow bus riders. You can imagine then, our SHOCK AND AWE when a man in a seat nearby leaned forward this morning and said, "I really enjoyed the time you guys took the bus to River Rock Casino."
We chatted with this guy for a few stops, he was very nice and normal, and we wished him a good day. As soon as he got off the bus, Blair looked at me and said, "Shit. We really need to STFU on the 12..."

Monday, November 12, 2012

just the word green...

I follow San Quentin News on Facebook. San Quentin News is the most fascinating monthly newspaper you will ever read in your life. It is written, edited, and published by prisoners in San Quentin and features everything from news articles on the death penalty to prisoner artwork and trivia contests. Prizes include four (4) granola bars. San Quentin News also posts photos and videos constantly, so you can flip through 46 photos of the basball team, jazz concert, or creative writing class.

San Quentin News' most recent video is called Green Living and is all about a program inside the PRISON WALLS to teach inmates about the environment. It is 9 minutes long and you need to watch it. The only way this video could be improved is if as each inmate is interviewed, under their name, they included their crime. One guy is very worried about his air quality, and I paused for a second and thought, "Well... what did you DO?" Also, can you pick your own name in prison? I did not know this:

low ceilings, low prices...

Today's Tourist Trapped heads to the much anticipated City Target and discovers a lot of dogs inside. What is it about Target that screams indoor dog park? Would you bring dogs to The Gap? I think not. This gripping topic, and so much more, over on SFGate...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

seriously, tho. what bus is this...

When I was walking to meet Blair at the bus stop Thursday, a man flashed me. I think he was homeless, and he had his pants open. I couldn't even tell what he was trying to do, so I made the mistake of looking down where he was motioning. And there it ALL was, looking surprisingly normal.
I don't know what I was expecting, but I wasn't offended. I wasn't scared. I was simply shocked that his junk looked normal. Because I'm such an expert and all.
I took about 10 steps forward to find Blair waiting for me. I said, "That man just flashed me."
Blair stepped towards him. "Hey! Put that away. Don't make me call the cops."
And that was the end of my thrilling flashing incident.
We hopped on the 12, which was already 11 minutes late. The "#1" was out on the bus' "headband". So it looked the the "#2" bus, which doesn't exist (I was wrong. My public transit-nerd dad emailed me to say there is a 2 Clement.) At each stop, the middle-aged lady-driver would scream to confused bus-boarders, "THIS IS THE TWELVE." She'd go on to explain that the "#1" was out. Relax. This bus is a 12 and it goes where you want it to, albiet it 11 minutes late.
2 blocks of silence. Then, "THIS IS THE TWELVE."
2 blocks of silence. Then, "THIS IS THE TWELVE."
Then the lights went out.

The bus died twice before we hit Market Street. By the time we passed it and made it into SoMa, we were stuck in traffic.
2 blocks of silence. Then, "THIS IS THE TWELVE."
I pulled out my phone and started to play Words With Friends. Much to my surprise, Blair was offended.
The side-story here is that while Blair and I met through being internet nerds, we became friends because we have the exact same bus commute. And once we had to spend time together every day on the 12, we became fast and close friends. Now Blair, her fiance and her wonderful friends are my friends and I STUPIDLY thought Blair and I were at a place in our friendship where we could play phone games when stuck in traffic.
Mais non.
I opened up the microphone app and attempted to record, "THIS IS THE TWELVE."
Blair advised me to wait till 11th Street. "That's where all the people are who have no idea what the hell they're doing. They'll definitely be confused."
As we pulled up to the 11th Street stop, I got my phone ready. The doors opened, I pressed record, and as if on perfect cue, "THIS IS THE TWELVE."
We were an hour into a bus ride that normally takes about 40 minutes. We were punchy. I'd seen a strange man's junk. The bus kept dying. THIS IS THE TWELVE, etc. We chose to find it all especially hilarious. At the next stop, I suggested Blair help our driver out by walking to the front of the bus, telling the driver, "I got this" and playing our recording as she opened the door.
By the time we made it onto Folsom, the home-stretch as it were, I was sore from laughing so hard. Suddenly, the air conditioning thing directly over our heads in the last row starting roaring. It was like the scene in Home Alone when the radiator turns into a monster. A woman sitting near us looked over, roller her eyes, and said, "What's next?!?"
Blair looked at me, looked at the woman, and deadpanned to the whole bus, "I just hope we all make it out of this alive..."

Monday, November 05, 2012

how do you feel about dial-up...

Oh Jesus, I'm about to bombard you. 

Today's Culture Blog is up. Melissa and I went on a fake cable car tour and experienced high drama and a bunch of 17-year old bros. It's up on SFGate's esteemed Culture Blog, so please go read it

Also, (the fucking amazing) Beth H. and I teamed up again to cover the BLUE carpet premiere of Bravo's new reality show, "Start Ups: Silicon Valley" which starts tonight at 10. The event was last night in Potrero Hill, and it was really hot in there. I started with big, Southern hair and a powdered face. I ended all gross, with my hair up and no longer giving a shit. All of the other interviewers asked tech questions. I asked dumb questions. Our video is up on the SF Appeal. Watch what happens! 

PS: Is it just me, or does Randi Zuckerberg pronounce it "sa-scribers'?