Thursday, September 29, 2005
In grammar school, I always found myself digging around my parent’s closet on October 30th, trying to find some sort of make-shift costume to throw together. My mother would attempt to feign enthusiasm, giving me an apron and a wooden spoon. “You’re a chef!”
One year, in the throws of puberty, self loathing and constant humiliation, I chose to wear a spandex unitard, a tinsel rainbow wig, Velcro Reebok high tops and this wire and rope contraption purchased in Disneyworld which made it look like one was walking an invisible dog. If that wasn’t horrible enough, I remember sitting alone on the bench during the costume parade, embarrassed into a rare silence and solitude. I watched a co-ed group of the 6 or 7 cool kids in my class of 28 people, a group whose collective ass I so desperately kissed, as they paraded by me costumed as the characters from the Wizard of Oz. In retrospect, they were highly unoriginal and didn’t even have amongst them a Wicked Witch of the West. Hello? But still, nothing punctuated my embarrassingly loneliness more than watching people in recognizable group costumes laughing and throwing SweetTarts at me. I mean, I think it’s safe to say that no one else had a tinsel rainbow wig and an $8 invisible dog.
Thus, this year, I don’t care what I am or who I’m with, so long as I’m dressed to correspond with others. This is the only way to remedy my childhood trauma and it’s MY goddamn party. Laura and I were thinking of going as the Cast of Adventures in Babysitting. I call Brenda. She’s called Sarah. I am open to additional cast members and additional ideas, of course.
Oh, and if any of you bitches comes to my Halloween party in a spandex unitard, shiny ass wig and shitty novelty item, your ass is grass…
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
On occasion, I’ve been trapped deep within some third world country, presented with raw egg and fried grasshoppers. Suddenly, at the very moment I desperately need a taste of home, through the mist I’ll spot that green mermaid chick and pick up the familiar scent of baked goods. Even better, this morning, I stopped by my beloved local Starbucks and gave into starvation, purchasing a low fat cranberry muffin.
I then sat at my desk, weighed down by baked goods and guilt. I logged onto the Starbucks website, hoping for detailed nutritional information. While they provide tons of caloric details (a Venti Coffee Frappuchino Light has 200 calories, Zoe), no low fat food info is available. However, if you read the fine print, there’s a phone number!
I called the number.
Not only did I get a live, actual person, he was a gay! To further my delight, the low fat cranberry apple muffin, only available in Mill Valley, contains a mere 170 calories. Thank fucking God. I mean Starbucks. Oh, wait. Same thing…
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
But sitting in a converted conference room yesterday, involved in a “round table” discussion on God knows what, I found myself analyzing the chandelier, pulling stuffing from my chair and playing with an unknown substance ground into the rug, all while some jackass in a bowler hat (!) detailed the importance of something highly unimportant. He wrapped up his monologue with, “Okay. I’ll shut up now.”
Before I could stop myself, I loudly exhaled and rolled my eyes.
Everyone noticed, a couple of people snickered and bowler hat was clearly peeved. It would have been one thing had I spent the discussion offering articulate and appropriate commentary, asking pertinent questions and appearing constantly brilliant. But I looked like a disinterested teenager the entire time, and my presence was just as unnecessary as bowler hat.
Afterwards, as we shuffled into the ballroom for donated wine and deli meat, bowler hat appeared directly beside me. Oh god. Here it comes. And I deserved it, too. I pretended to examine the proscuitto and melon and he inched closer. “Excuse me?”
I'd had quite a week and was in no mood for a lecture. I decided to cut him off at the pass. “Isn’t this food fabulous? And have you tried the Chardonnay yet? Divine!”
Bowler hat appeared confused. This never-before-tested tactic was working. “Um, yes. I mean, no. I don’t drink.”
“Well, that’s too bad.” I screamed, forcing myself to keep talking and filling my plate, darting between subjects and reaching across centerpieces so bowler hat would have no opportunity to chastise my rudeness. “I mean, I’m just starving and can’t stop myself with the spanakopita. I think I need to remove myself from the caloric situation. But have a great event! So great to meet you!”
And with that, I bolted, nearly sprinting across the building. Sitting in an empty marble stairwell, with a plate of food and a plastic cup of wine, I congratulated myself of this new discovery. Bowler hat might dominate some stupid discussion, but no one can out-talk Spots when it comes to avoiding responsibility for one’s actions…
Monday, September 26, 2005
Ryan leaned over. “We should give them our seats.”
“Ugh, okay.” I said as I looked up at them. I forced a smile and said, “Please sit here. We insist. Sit, sit, sit!”
With that, we got up and went to the bar, half the bar staff thanking me profusely. “Oh, god. That was so nice of you” each of them said, looking only at me. Ryan was pissed. “Jesus. You get credit for everything. It was my fucking idea, and I’m the asshole.”
I guess it sucks to be Ryan.
The four parents soon arrived and as we sat down at our table, Ryan’s step-mom, Nancy hands me two tickets from the Folsom Street Fair. “We thought you’d get a kick out of these.”
“I was there today! Oh my god, I was there this afternoon.” I screamed.
Mom looked confused. “What’s the Folsom Street Fair?”
“It’s a fetish and leather and S & M fair.” Nancy filled her in. “Tom and I went and Tom got flogged.”
“What the fuck are you talking about?” Ryan grunted.
Apparently, the well-dressed and middle-aged Tom and Nancy stood out amongst the leather daddies and naked gays. Thus, a group began chanting at them and Tom found himself with no choice but to step up to the whipping pole, remove his shirt and get flogged by some beefy woman.
I found this fabulous, although I think Ryan was ready to kill himself. “I just don’t understand why they were there in the first place. What the fuck were they doing at Folsom?” he whined, as we enjoyed after dinner drinks.
“I think it’s awesome. My parents would completely freak out at a photo from Folsom, much less ever attend. They’re open minded and non-judgmental, Ryan. Relax.”
“Don’t tell me to relax, Elizabeth. Your dad wasn’t getting the shit flogged out of him in front of a chanting crowd of gimps.”
“And he liked it, Ryan. He liked it a lot…”
Sunday, September 25, 2005
One of those people is Laura, a gifted blogger herself. Laura and I have taken to obsessively commenting on each other’s blogs, discovering that we have a freakish amount in common. I mean, who else watches Laguna Beach with as much fervor and dedication as myself?
Last week, we decided it was ridiculous that we haven’t met, Laura living just over the bridge in no man’s land. (Berkeley.) Thus, Friday night, after much e-mailing back and forth, we settled on dinner and then wild, unabashed drinking. To quote Laura, “Hangovers be damned!”
Laura met me at 916A and we headed over to Sauce Restaurant in Hayes Valley to meet Zoë for dinner. I never realized just how much of my real life is on my blog.
“You like vodka tonics with lime, right?”
“Yes!” With that, Laura introduced me to some spectacular Hangar One fancy lime vodka that blew my mind. Laura, I love you.
Waited on by Antonia Sabato’s twin, we sipped vodka and wine and dined on incredible food. My vegetarian strudel was fantastic, a medley of cheese and vegetables wrapped in phyllo swimming in tomato cream sauce. Laura not only knew all about the trials and tribulations of my personal life, she knew all the wacky characters, possessing an uncanny obsession with Big Chris, whom she’s convinced is a genius. I’m almost as familiar with Laura’s posse of pals, although she’s got the sense not to use their real names. Probably wise, but the only way to describe Big Chris is well, Big Chris.
After a spectacular dinner and a sampling of Zoë’s “Love in a bowl”, we put Zoë in a cab and headed over to Hotel Biron, an oft written about wine bar that Laura frequents. Not only had I been mispronouncing it, I pictured it completely differently. I thought it was a real hotel. Nope. It’s this divine hidden Euro-nook in an alley, packed with trendy yuppies and spectacular wine. Perfectly lit by candles, we settled in a table and Laura announced, “I’ll go get the first bottle.”
Nice. Sipping from huge and spectacular wine glasses, we divulged our deepest darkest secrets. I found myself telling Laura tidbits that very few are privy to. It was marvelous. Because the strange must follow me wherever I go, a gentleman soon approached with a bag of Skittles.
“Can I offer you some Skittles?”
Laura declined, but as we all know, I’m never one to turn down candy from strangers and gladly accepted. His name was Nick, I believe, and he would reappear every so often, placing another lone Skittle upon our table and winking at me. Soon, it was time to get another bottle of wine, and I headed over to the bar. As I shimmied my way in, a very fucking good looking guy started rubbing the small of my back. Umm, okay. To our left, a stunningly thin woman was showing off an engagement ring the size of my head. She looked up at me as I mouthed, “Fabulous.” and laughed appreciatively. This was one amazing ring and soon, the collection of admiring woman were congratulating the groom-to-be on his fine selection. Turns out, the groom-to-be likes to rub the backs of strange women mere inches from his fiancé. I grabbed my wine and split, thanking my lucky stars that while my fingers were diamond free, I was still in possession of my soul and my dignity.
Laura and I chatted away, enjoying spectacular wine in a fabulous new bar. “I’m so coming back here, and we’re bringing my friend Jason. He’d love it here.”
“Jason? Which one is Jason.”
“Jason is Metro.” I remembered, Laura suddenly being entirely familiar with each and every comment from Jason’s blog pseudonym. In all of my stories, I’d drop a name and Laura’s day, “Oh, Andy! How’s Andy? How old is Margot? Which Chris is New Chris?”
It’s so tremendously fun meeting a new person from whom you appear to be separated at birth and entirely convenient that she already knows the basics. It also made me realize that I put approximately 75% of my personal life on the internet. That can’t be good.
Big Chris had been calling, urging us to meet him at Medjool. As we were finishing up our wine, a gentleman in suit and tie came over and tried to speak to us, so drunk he found it difficult to form words. He was so inebriated, in fact, I decided to tell him so. Laura announced we were leaving and Drunk suit decided to walk us out. He introduced himself as “Skipper Turner” and repeatedly expressed that he had more money than god. He couldn’t stand upright, he kept removing his tie and he had no idea where he was. It was mildly entertaining and mildly sad.
We headed over to the Mission and Laura actually spotted Chris before I did. “There he is! That’s him! Big Chris!!!“ Settled into a booth, Chris proclaimed he’d had 20 beers as Laura handed him one more. With that, the lights flickered and came blaring on, blinding us and reminding us it was time to go.
Oh yeah. This is what happens when you stay out so late, the bar closes before you do.
Chris split and so did we, Laura crashing at 916A. We awoke, predictably hungover but delighted with our fabulous Friday night. Even Zoe and Chris called, loving our new Laura.
And with that, I have a new friend! Don’t you love it when that happens? Welcome to the circle, Laura. Get ready to be featured in a blog other than your own…
* Laura's fabulous version of the night's events...
Friday, September 23, 2005
Last night, mybeloved Patrick Reese (currently Jaffar at Disneyland) was in town, available only tremendously late and only in North Beach. Thus, Miss Andy and I threw on some rouge and headed back to our old stomping grounds.
It's so fun to go back to North Beach because Andy and I will inevitably run into people we never get to see anymore. As we were early, we headed into Capp's and downed a little Claret with the crew. Ceasar, who upon first meeting appears to be the busboy but actually essentially runs the neighborhood, tried to shove bread and Minestrone down our throats and attempted to explain to me some lawsuit debacle he's involved in. Ah, yes. Capp's.
Patrick is one of those incredible people and when one is with him, nothing can go wrong. Not only does he possess this appalling air of gorgeous confidence, but he knows everyone in town and is worshiped by all of them, including me. In fact, when I first professed my love for Patrick, he was performing a drag version of the late Mexican superstar, Selena, and drunk on champagne, I cornered him at a New Year's Party and attempted to convince him to be my friend. It didn't work. He very much enjoys reminding me of how terrifying and pathetic he found me that evening and rightly so.
One day, through the ever popular gay grapevine, he discovered we shared something huge in common. Few people in this world know every single line to the film, Steel Magnolias. I am one of them. So is Patrick. The rest, my friends, is history...
Thursday, September 22, 2005
I should mention that Kristin is rather stunning, possessing pencil arms and perfect accessories. She’s dating a firefighter who’s already charmed my mother and has eyes like the ocean 10 minutes after a storm. Kristin’s a fox in Seven jeans and as she sat there, sipping her margarita and regaling me with tales of the firehouse, Medallion kept eyeing me. All of a sudden, he comes over and kneels down beside me.
“I brought you some limes. Margaritas are so much better with the limes.”
“Okay. Thanks.” We say, kicking each other under the table.
“Can I get you the chips or something?”
“No, we’re cool. Thanks.”
Medallion leaves and Kristin leans over and whispers, “Beth totally has a boyfriend. I love it.”
We continue with the conversation, but Medallion keeps staring at me. Apparently, he can’t take it any more and leaves the bar. I forget about my over-accessorized boyfriend and resume a heated conversation with Kristin. Suddenly, Medallion is back. And he has a gift.
“I am sorry I am so shy. I am so sorry for my heavy accent. But I am from Argentina and I speak Italian.”
“Okay.” I say, smiling and hoping to magically disappear. (Kristin is in hysterics.)
“And you are so special and so cute! I want to give you something.”
He takes a knee and presents me with a box of chocolates. (For you die hard blog readers, this moment was shockingly similar to John at the St. Regis in Shanghai, the only other time I’ve been given the exact same gift in a equally dramatic broken English presentation.)
He explains, “This is a masterpiece.”
Quite frankly, I have no idea what this means, but I’ve had half a pitcher of margaritas so I decide to go with it. “Wow. Thank you. That’s very sweet of you.”
“May I ask your name.”
The foreign contingent seems to have trouble with “Beth” so gave him my standard, “Elizabeth.”
“And I am Diego.”
“Well, thank you Diego. This is Kristin.”
I believe he kissed each of our hands. “May I take you two to dinner or to a club.”
Oh shit. I can only imagine Diego dancing in a club, his medallion taking out eyes.
“That’s so nice of you. Unfortunately, we have plans. But this is so sweet. Thank you.”
“Oh. I see. Yes, well, you are so cute!” He’s very enthusiastic, really driving his point home. His long haired, mute friend began to pay attention and stood from his barstool, not quite clearing 5 feet.
“Let’s get the fuck out of here.” I say to Kristin, as we stand to leave. Diego hugs me with one of those hugs where he held the back of my head as if I were an infant. I promised to return one day and enjoy some chips and salsa with him as we said our goodbyes.
As Kristin and I walked down to the Elbow Room, she started laughing hysterically.
“Well, I’d been wondering where the fuck he got those chocolates.”
She pointed to a man sitting on the sidewalk. Just guess what he was selling…
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
5. Golden Girls
4. Knight Rider
3. Family Ties (sha la la la)
2. Jem/ A Diff’rent World (tie)
1. Greatest American Hero
*lesser known alternate: Maude
This is a very quick list. I’m sure with more thought and dedication to this tremendously important subject, I’ll be making changes. And now, Big Chris is rapidly e-mailing me his list...
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
First of all, our street name starts with an A. Thus, the 916A can throw a postal worker off. Second of all, it’s not like there’s a 916A and a 916B. We get stuck with the letter A, somehow making us the lesser occupant. Forget the fact that we have a better flat and get better magazines. Odds are, sometimes our mail will end up in the wrong mailbox.
Yesterday, my cell rang as I walked into work. It was Zoe, livid that she found a collection of junk mail addressed to her clipped together with a rather rude note attached. In a delightfully ironic twist, we also got some mail for the upstairs neighbor in OUR mailbox. Quelle horreur! In fact, his precious voter registration card was delivered to us. This is too good. Obviously, we can’t let this opportunity pass us by. Thus, I’ve drafted the following:
We received your note and collection of junk mail clipped together, which sadly made it’s way to your mailbox and not ours. The nature of sharing a building, especially one with a mildly complicated address, is that occasionally, we’ll get each other’s mail. The previous occupant of 916 was equally as frustrated and we certainly understand why. We’ve done our best to contact the offending mailers and hope to see a decline in incorrect deliveries. That being said, we’ve found it best to simply go through the mail, pull out anything belonging to 916, open the door and drop it in your mailbox.
That’s right. We get your mail too. As if God wanted us the perfect opportunity to illustrate this point, attached please find your mail which arrived in our mailbox today. No big deal, of course. We’re delighted to be neighborly. We look forward to sharing this building with you and hope you’re enjoying your new home.
Warmest co-habitational regards,
Monday, September 19, 2005
Have you ever snapped? I think we all remember the Jemima incident of ’04. Also, I didn’t handle Bill Murray’s Oscar loss with any particular grace.
Have you managed to forgive the unforgivable? See above. I’ve also managed to hold one hell of a grudge. It all comes down to the right floral arrangement, really. Or the good table at Jardinière.
Do you know someone trapped in the 80’s? Oprah, meet Gayle.
Were you conned by your man? Duh. Who hasn’t been? It’s part of their charm. But I prefer the term swindled.
Ever done something crazy for love? Gladly and regretfully. Have you ever watched foreign sports in a dive bar at 7am? Well, then…
Is there a moment you wish you could take back? Thousands. Oprah could do an entire week on my horrible decision making skills. See above.
You decide Oprah’s next big adventure. Reno, bitch. And she has to stay in the Sky Tower at Circus Circus, eat buffet food and spend at least 15 minutes within the Enchanted Forrest at Finnegan’s.
Do you want to meet a hot celebrity? Fuck yes. Gavin Newsom and Steven from Laguna. I wonder if Oprah watches ‘Guna. Who am I kidding? Of course she does.
I could talk at length about any of it, really. I’d also be willing to lie. No problem with lying whatsoever. If anyone is interested in portraying my lazy husband involved in an emotional affair with an internet woman or my lesbian lover who's ready to help me come out of my designer closet, I'm hella down.
Chicago, here I come…
Big Chris wanted me to hang out in his den of white pleather couches and sin last night, watching football and drinking beer.
“I can’t. The Emmy’s are on.”
“The Emmy’s, bitch. You don’t know what the Emmy’s are?”
“I don’t keep track of your shit, woman.”
“Well, it’s the Oscar’s but for TV.”
“Yeah, I won’t be watching that crap.”
Turns out, I didn’t watch it either. I fell asleep, fully clothed while reading a book. Worse, I fell asleep in the act of reading, I’ve deduced, and thus, lost my place. I was awoken by Zoe calling with gossip that couldn’t wait till she got home.
“I’m so sorry to interrupt. Is it a commercial? I have to read you something.”
“Yeah. The Emmy’s. Is it a commercial?”
“Fuck! I’ve missed it.”
I caught the last half hour or so, while removing the jeans and heels I’d been sleeping in and scraping off a weekend’s worth of mascara. I was bored, watching the skanks in shitty dresses and assholes wearing black tuxedos with black shirts. The banter was limited, thank god, but still terrible and uncomfortable, the kind of repartee that makes me want to change the channel, I’m so embarrassed for the participants.
If I were a presenter at the Emmy’s, I’d wear Narciso Rodriguez, make my date don a white shirt, blow off the teleprompter and steal as many presenter gift bags as I could get my perfectly manicured fingers on.
Growing up, I was obsessed with awards shows, the perfect symbiosis of show biz and fashion. I’d spend the commercial breaks in the bathroom, giving acceptance speeches in the mirror, my trademark being not to thank my friends but to name my enemies. I guess I’m no longer as captivated as I used to be. I turned off the Emmy’s, spent an eternity finding my lost place in my book, and thanked my lucky stars there’d be good TV on Monday.
I mean, hello? Tonight, Laguna goes to Cabo for Spring Break. Now, THAT'S good television. I wonder if Steven will show? To dare but to dream…
Friday, September 16, 2005
MacGuyver is a television show I’d never seen, and frequent references to the character often flew over my head. I’ve been able to deduce that this MacGuyver is able to repair machinery with found items or make bombs out of a toothbrush or old shoe, but that’s about it. Last night, over a delightful dinner at Max’s, Richard made a MacGuyver reference and Zoe and I started at him in bewilderment, both having no idea what he was talking about and shocked he’s assumed we’d actually seen this show. He bowed his head in shame and changed the subject.
Well, guess what’s on TV at the break of dawn? MacGuyver! While simultaneously getting dressed, eating breakfast and talking on the phone, I watched half an episode. And I’ve got some questions: Who does MacGuyver work for and under what authority is he able to thwart international criminals? Also, is he ever allowed to change clothes? Why does insist upon banging on walls in fruitless attempts at relieving his frustration? And how does he have time for a colorist?
Today’s episode seemed to revolve around a Native American gentleman named “Whitecloud” who hid a bomb within some factory at the very moment a class of schoolchildren were on a fieldtrip there. As Whitecloud held the anti-environmentalist factory owners hostage with a highly stereotypical bow and arrow, MacGuyver attempted to intervene by screaming, “Just defuse the bomb, will ya!”
“No!” Whitecloud screamed back.
MacGuyver was somehow shocked, and reacted with a very heavy handed, “WHAT????”
Like Whitecloud was actually going to be like, “Oh, alright. Jeez. If it means that much to you.”
At the same time, the cowering factory owner kept yelling, “Whitecloud, be reasonable! We can talk, Whitecloud. Let’s work this out!”
During this heated exchange, MacGuyver slips atop some kind of water heater, located the bomb and of course, defuses it at the very, very last second with, what else? Whitecloud’s feather.
Whitecloud, still with his bow and arrow aimed at the mustached factory owner, rediscovers his pacifism and lets him live. The schoolchildren breathe a collective sigh of relief, MacGuyver pats Whitecloud on the back and credits roll.
Thus ended my inaugural episode of MacGuyver. Color me converted…
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Let me break it down for you. I’m on her website constantly, getting tips from Drs. Perricone and Phil. I know everything about Oprah, from her abused and impoverished childhood to her scrutinized and confusing relationship with the Al Reynolds-esque Stedman Grahm. I read her books, I eat her food, I even follow her stupid bootcamp routine, except I cheat. And when I cheat the bootcamp, which is everyday because there’s no booze or brie in bootcamp, I feel as if I’ve let not myself, but my beloved Oprah down.
One of my favorite regulars on Oprah is Nate Berkus, the gorgeous interior design gay. My mother and her assistant are obsessed with him and got me hooked on the Berkus bandwagon. Cut to, I’m wide awake at 4am, suffering vacation jetlag, and watching the never-ending Tsunami coverage this past December. All of a sudden, CNN reports that Nate barely survived this horrible disaster and worse, his partner Fernando was “lost.”
I actually screamed aloud. Not my Nate!
What’s most dreadful about this is that beyond anything else, I knew instantly that a very special Oprah episode would be dedicated to Nate just as soon as he was ready to talk. Dying with anticipation, I told everyone of my premonition, checking my trusty website constantly for Nate updates. Lo and behold, it was announced that Nate would indeed relate his tsunami experience to Oprah and her viewers.
I believe I actually called in sick.
So excited, I turned off my phones, prepped myself with appropriate beverages and snacks, grabbed a box of Kleenex and turned the TV on 5 minutes early just so I didn’t miss anything.
Oprah starts at 4pm. By 4:03, Nate, Oprah, the audience and I were all crying. I swear to god. I actually looked at the clock. During a good Oprah, I’ll cry two or three times. In fact, the only time I cried harder than the Nate/Tsunami episode is when Matty met the Harry Potter cast. Matty was the little boy with some unexplainable terminal illness who wrote poetry and befriended Oprah. Matty was a repeat guest until his recent passing and Oprah discovered he possessed an obsession with Harry Potter even greater than my own. The look on his face when he met Harry, Hermione and Ron was only surpassed when he was presented with his very own wand. I did not get teary eyed. I did not sniffle. I dropped my head in my hands and sobbed like a little girl.
Yesterday, I made it home in time for Oprah. The episode? “Too Ugly to Live.” Not only did I get a full hour of people with horrible self esteem, I saw the preview for Monday’s show, the 20th Anniversary Episode. Awwww, yeah. I’m having Oprah party, with ambiance by Colin Cowie, appetizers by Rosie the Chef and a Oprah drinking game. Every time she does the handclasp with a celeb pal, you drink. Every time she refers to her dogs, you drink. And every time Oprah tells it like it is in a sudden ghetto accent, you chug like mad…
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Crazy assholes are everywhere. You don’t need to turn on the Christian Broadcasting Network to find them either. For example, you can do what I did last night and enjoy some late night libations at Marin Joe’s where you’ll find yourself talking to some short, middle-aged douchebag who claims to be a big Hollywood producer. When asked to remove his hand from my leg, he responded with the charming, “Oh, shut up you stupid bitch. You can talk after I’ve fucked you.”
You can’t get mad. He’s crazy.
What’s worse? I googled him. Big Hollywood producer is legit. He’s so legit, in fact, he’s an actual Oscar winner - for Best Fucking Picture. And this guy makes Pat Robertson look like a nun in an AIDS ward.
The insane pop up everywhere. Taking them seriously makes you insane too. However, if you’re feeling tremendously and uncontrollably violent towards Pat Robertson, I’ve got an ass you can kick.
Tomorrow at noon, a middle aged Hollywood producer will be sitting at a bar waiting to “discuss my career.” Yeah right.
Feel free to show up and beat the shit out of him…
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
When sporting this look, it’s important to add feminine elements, like black heels and big jewelry. I’ve even got a wild ponytail piled atop my head and busted out the door feeling fabulously fashion forward. On my way out, I caught a glimpse of myself in a window.
I look like a waiter.
I quite literally should be serving someone unsalted butter and describing the ahi special. Throw an apron on me and I’m bussing tables at the Buckeye. It’s almost like a costume, I’m so perfectly dressed to wait tables at a low lit, upscale dining establishment. Too late to change, I’m now at work. But I look like an idiot.
Feel free to mock me. I deserve it…
Monday, September 12, 2005
Magic Theater at 8.
Lil's at 10.
Funny But Mean
Sunday, September 11, 2005
I parked myself on the chaise out back with some bizarre kind of Italian soda I found in the fridge and the new Men’s Vogue. I think it’s safe to say I’ve been a devotee of American Vogue since I began my loyal subscription in college, often picking up international versions whenever I’m at a big airport and basking in the tweed and diamond encrusted glow of British Vogue whenever I can get my chipped fingernails upon one. So spotting the new Men’s Vogue on my father’s nightstand featuring a Burberry-clad Clooney delighted me.
I’m rarely a fan of men’s magazines, less-appalled by Maxim and similar than disappointed and unimpressed. While I enjoy the occasional Esquire, a magazine that’s graced my family home for years, I’ve found it heavy on schtick and light on fashion. Esquire tries to make it easy for a guy to look good by way of a four thousand dollar suit and a gay, gay scarf.
You know what folks? It ain’t that easy to look good.
Thus, along comes Men’s Vogue, complete with extensive menswear reporting, relatively sophisticated commentary, some serious and surprisingly interesting art and fabulously easy to read articles. (This is, after all, a men’s magazine.)
Sure, I’ll always find Clooney to die for, but this is the best dressed I’ve seen him and that’s saying something. Men’s Vogue takes men’s fashion far more seriously than Esquire or GQ, raising the sartorial bar past the standard “Don’t wear blue socks with black shoes.” I stayed with them throughout an entire article about Fiat, mainly because it was less about those shitty little cars and more about the Italian obsession with a well-made suit. I even found myself examining an article on what to buy one’s wife, even though included in the subtitle was the highly off-putting
“…and you still owe her something special for having a boy.”
Believe it or not, that was written by a woman, and the woman made some good points, her main one being…diamond studs.
Well, no shit.
I never blog a review, but the men folk could use a little help. So here’s a little nugget of news from me to you. Pick up the new Men’s Vogue. It’s five bucks well spent and even if it’s not, you can sample the new Polo Black fragrance. Or as I like to call it, the quickest way into these pants since God invented fermentation…
Friday, September 09, 2005
Task Number One: find a friend.
I am no loner. Just like everyone else, I need occasional solitude. But finding myself in a new place with new people means I’ve got to find a sidekick ASAP. On my first day of college, in Philadelphia where I knew not a soul, I found myself standing on campus totally alone, due to be at some horrible Casino themed orientation event in an hour. I mustered my courage, fixed my humidity ravaged hair and walked up to a girl sitting alone on a bench.
“Hi. I’m Beth and I’m from California. I don’t know anyone here and it looks like you don’t either. We’ll both look a lot cooler if we hang out together and I promise to be funny.”
She turned out to be Michelle, the most boring human alive. Or maybe I just didn’t live up to my promise. I none the less had a cohort for Casino Hell and met dear Jesse within a day or two. And Michelle went on with her boring life to find equally uninteresting friends, no doubt. My point being, I like to find friends fast, and would much rather have someone to whisper snide comments to than not.
Thus, Tuesday morning, I sat sipping Starbucks in a downtown highrise, scanning the room for an acceptable chum. I was horrified to find no one scanning back, the easiest way to spot a like-minded pal. We had to introduce ourselves and begin simple web pages, starting off by posting a paragraph describing our personalities. Finding this an opportunity to discover who was cool, hip or possessed anything close to a sense of humor, I posted, “I’m a sucker for cornrows and manicured toes, Fendi capri pants and Parasucos.“
No one got it.
After a lecture on fonts, I walked a block to Specialties, the greatest Bakery and Sandwich store in the land, ordered a big salad and Snapple and sat alone with my only friend, the appropriately named, Harper’s Bazaar.
Suddenly, “Mind if I sit with you?”
I looked up to find Christy, a quiet classmate who seemed nice enough. I was delighted. Turned out, Christy and I both loathed the same dreadful wench with the stupid questions, both possessed similar career paths and both had an unnecessary preoccupation with South African men, Christy marrying one a month ago. We bonded over cookies the size of hatchbacks and have spent the entire week inseparable in class, moving our computers next to each other, rolling our eyes when the wench asked yet another stupid question and actually reverting to passing notes back and forth. With piles of empty Diet Coke cans and Hershey’s wrappers, we designed hideous websites and secretly surfed the net, disappearing every day at noon for Specialties.
Christy and I said goodbye this afternoon, exchanging business cards and hugs, promising to grab drinks or dinner sometime in the near future. This will never happen, of course, and Christy will soon be filed into the vague memory category while I return to my gay bars and boring office and she returns to her hot husband with the hot accent. But I’m delighted to have found my temporary friend. And as I’ve just signed up for an “Intermediate Dreamweaver 8” course, I can only wonder who I’ll find to befriend in the future…
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
After our final dinner in Reno, the five of us (Tristan, Paul, Cap’n, Zoe and yours truly) met up with Amy and Mike for a final night on the town. Highlights avoided the entire event, and I delighted in not having to witness her projected self-loathing and ill-fitting tank tops. Zoe and I, perhaps a bit overdressed in strapless gowns and gold accessories, created a little thrill for the dirty wife beater crowd in Finnegan’s, err Firtzgerald’s. In fact, one Rascal-bound gentleman was staring at Zoe’s flawless ass so intently, the ever protective Tristan gave him the evil eye and a middle finger, just to let him know she was highly off-limits. We once again ventured into the Enchanted Forrest, rewarded with more eyeglass repair kits and American Flag four leaf clover pins.
At one point, 5 hot guys in huge cowboy hats walked by. Zoe leaned over and said, "Which one do you want?"
"The one that went to college."
I am not a gambler, preferring to sit at a bar and purchase my own drinks rather than stuff change down a machine while waiting for a 70 year old in a leotard to grab me another gratis Dixie cup of vodka. Everyone else, it seemed, loved to throw their money away, and I was occasionally abandoned, even by my supermodel sidekick. As a result, my hilarious witticisms and observations were completely wasted on the gentleman passed out of the bar stool next to me. Alone, of course, is when I spotted to most egregious and exciting offenses, like the woman sitting at the Elvis Presley slot machine, wearing a caftan, slippers and a headful of rollers. Unfettered by her boudoir apparel, she pumped those nickels in that machine like there was no tomorrow, showing no reaction when she won or lost.
Zoe and Paul soon ran out of quarters and joined me at the bar on the second floor on Finnegan’s, or what I like to call my own little slice of hell. I think I may have contracted herpes from the stool. I’m still waiting on the test results. The three of us engaged in a heated discussion on the war of the sexes and the difference between dating in the big city versus God’s country. It seemed Highlight’s repeated advances were taking their toll on Paul and he needed the estrogen perspective, which we happily provided.
Exhausted, we left Mike and Cap’n to their astonishing winning streaks and went home, choosing to spend the early morning hours packed into Zoe and my hotel room watching Back to the Future and eating malt balls.
The Oregonians were staying for one more night, but as Zoe and I were leaving that morning, we agreed to join everyone for a breakfast buffet at El Dorado. With 8 of us, we split into 2 tables and Zoe and I spent breakfast chatting with Tristan and Cap’n about everything from dream cars to our hopes and dreams. I was not only delighted to be seated as far away from the slightly perkier Highlights as possible, but thrilled to chat all morning with Cap’n, who is my new favorite person even though he rejected my Aston Martin.
Another interesting perk to traveling with emergency personnel is that they stop constantly to observe and chat with other firefighters and EMT’s, admire ambulances, and applaud fire trucks as they drove by. I’m not kidding. This happened constantly, and we found ourselves fast friends with every cop and firefighter in Reno. I also found myself standing on a sidewalk while my seven travelling companions examined a fire hydrant.
After the appalling breakfast buffet, which incidentally included pizza and both regular and sugar-free dessert for the diabetic contingent, Zoe and I bid our new friends farewell, avoided all eye contact with highlights and headed off, stopping briefly to purchase tacky gifts for those back home in civilization. Back in the Buick, we made it nearly out of Reno and then burst into hysterics, recapping the weekend and marveling at the skanky splendor of the biggest little city in the world. Zoe put the pedal to the metal and looked over at me. “Thank you so much for coming with me. Above and beyond the call, Beth.”
“Thank you for bringing me. I’ll be blogging till Christmas. And really, imagine if you had to do this alone…”
Next stop, Jersey. Who’s with me?
Monday, September 05, 2005
Circus, Circus is made up of 2 huge dilapidated towers, both of which smell shockingly similar to dorm room refrigerators. Everywhere you turn you’ll find gift shops full of crap, disgusting “bars” with folding chairs knocked up against card tables, Krispy Kreme outlets with Ellis Island-esque lines at all hours of the day, and horrible, horrible lighting. We were in the “Sky” tower, the greater of two evils. For $20 less a night, we were relegated to the cheap section of the cheap hotel. To travel between the two towers, one had to take a tram, conveniently located right by the elevators, in between a Krispy Kreme and disgusting Keno bar filled with people sipping tropical cocktails covered in whipped topping at 9am.
The tram, complete with charming theme song, takes one back and forth from the Sky Tower to the main hotel, filled with the casino and the Circus, Circus arcade. Needless to say, Circus, Circus works very hard to maintain their “theme” and at every turn, we’re bombarded with family entertainment. We’re also bombarded with families. Kids were everywhere, covered in highly flammable short sets and face paint, clutching sticky and smelly stuffed animals their parents were forced to win them in that cursed arcade.
Circus, Circus is attached to the Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino and we ran between the two seamlessly, although the difference between the two is rather dramatic. Though, like any palace of sin in Reno, packed buffets and poorly designed bars are everywhere. I believe we dined the first night at the El Dorado buffet, but left that casino after an international array of culinary crap for Fitzgerald’s Hotel and Casino, regarded by everyone as a “low end” establishment.
Upon entering the leprechaun themed Fitzgerald’s, one is handed a coupon, redeemable in the “Enchanted Forrest” for any number of prizes. Every coupon is a winner, so we grabbed a million of them, making several trips to the Enchanted Forrest every day. In addition to a highly coveted baseball hat and ballpoint pen, we won 6 (yes, six) eyeglass repair kits.
The guys all saddled up to the blackjack tables and Zoë and I entertained ourselves at the slots. At one point, finding the temptation to smoke inside too great, Zoë bummed a cigarette, took a sip of her free drink and said, “This Finnegan’s place is a dump.”
Towards the end of the evening, Zoë, Paul and I found ourselves at a frightening cabaret bar in the Silver Legacy, watching a gentleman play a piano whilst singing LeAnn Rhimes lesser hits. I refused to even mock as this was the one and only time we were able to find Belvedere vodka.
Back at Finnegan’s, errr Fitzgerald’s, Zoë and I continued to cash in our coupons racking up those eyeglass repair kits, and when we returned to the blackjack arena, Paul and Highlights were gone. “Where’s Paul and Audrey?” we innocently inquired, while snickering to ourselves.
Turned out, Audrey took advantage of that chivalry, made Paul walk her back to the hotel and proceeded to miserably fail in her attempts to bed him.
Zoë and I were beat and decided it was time for us to turn in as well, although we’d be sleeping together, thank god. We’d made it clear to the group that we planned to spend the next day at the gym, at the pool, and shopping around town. Any and all were welcome to join us.
In the morning, we declined an offer to join in the breakfast buffet fun and Zoë headed downstairs to find us breakfast. She returned 45 minutes later, horrified to have waiting in the huge Krispy Kreme line, behind people purchasing Mountain Dew and cheese danishes. She actually saw a couple drinking directly from the little cups of non-dairy creamer. All she could come up with was a banana and a bran muffin, both of which we happily split. She also procured some “coffee” which I believe turned our teeth green.
After the gym, we put on swimwear and headed up to the Silver Legacy’s roof pool, tanning ourselves in the 90 degree dessert heat while reading Marie Claire. Feeling like the most healthy gals in all of Reno, we ordered a spa lunch consisting of a vegetarian sandwich and fruit salad. Only in Reno can they make spa food appallingly unhealthy, but we dove in none the less and I burned my boobs past recognition.
We showered and changed into our ever present sequins, deciding to meet up with Tristan, Cap’n, and Paul who’d spent the day at Harrah’s. Desperate to shop and thinking that a pawn shop would provide a new experience, we headed across the street and into a filth covered building.
The previous night at dinner, I was shocked to learn that just about everyone at the table owned guns. Lots and lots of them. And they were just as shocked that I didn’t. Cap’n took advantage of this in the pawn shop, where he guided me over to the gun section and rapidly befriended “Jerry”, the bolo tie gun guy. Jerry seemed to think I’d really be purchasing a gun and Cap’n delighted in this, introducing himself as my “uncle” who’s niece lived in the big city and needed some lead protection. First they had me practice with a .38. That’s a little gun that Cap’n pointed out would fit beautifully into my gold studded handbag. I was instructed to shoot at the male silhouettes on the wall, always aiming for the head of my assailant. I adjusted my shrug, placed one high heel in front of the other and discovered, I’m a pretty good shot. The boys were quite impressed, and decided to up the ante.
Jerry pulled out some shotguns, described the size of the hole they’d put in a person, and handed what I believe to be a Remington over the counter. Cap’n instructed me how to hold it, and Jerry taught me how to cock it. Now, I’m a liberal fag hag from San Francisco, highly opposed to guns, pawn shops and bolo ties. But it is fucking fun to cock the barrel of a rifle. Apparently, most people don’t laugh hysterically and scream, “This is fabulous!” while cocking the barrel of a rifle in a pawn shop, but I had never felt more American.
I tried out another rifle, this one wooden in parts and a little heavier. Jerry gave me some tips, told me some crazy stories and reminded me to take care of myself. It was an absolutely bizarre experience and as we walked outside into the sun, I grabbed Cap’n and thanked him. “I have never had that experience before. Seriously. I’m not kidding. Thank you for showing me that.”
Cap’n could’ve rolled his eyes at my crazy, gun-less city ways, but he was tremendously sweet and very cool about it, rightly thinking that if I was going to hold an opinion of guns, I might want to actually hold one. I’m still not planning on packing any heat, and I still look at guns as instruments of unnecessary death, but I think I’ll look at those that treasure guns a little differently.
Zoë and I then dragged Tristan, Cap’n and Paul to Rum Bullions, an acceptable looking tropical bar we’d spotted in the Silver Legacy. Over huge drinks, the guys regaled us with tales of their fascinating jobs, rescuing people and firehouse drama. Firemen are amazing story tellers. Maybe it’s because they have the best stories, but I was enthralled by the tale of the 700lb. child molester or the hot chicks trapped in a rowboat.
“So, do you only save the hot chicks?” Zoe asked.
Paul winked and responded, “They’re all worth saving.”
Seriously. These people are wonderful.
It was nice to be away from Audrey and her synthetic daggers. She was avoiding Paul- and probably us- like the plague, choosing to venture out of town with Amy and Mike to visit some friends. We gambled some more and excused ourselves to get ready for dinner. Changing from sequined outfit for day to sequined outfit for night took longer than expected, but out escorts didn’t seem to mind. Apparently, people watching at the tram exit is amazing, and whether you come from downtown San Francisco or rural Oregon, Circus, Circus is a freak show like no other.
Yet another buffet was in store for us, this time at the Silver Legacy. People watching there was just as spectacular and the fellas marveled at a woman with “100 pound breasts” at the next table. Still high from my firearm experience, Cap’n promised me I’d get to shoot a gun if I came up for a visit. Tristan offered me a ride-along on an ambulance and Paul insisted that we come to his farm, where he’d put me on a horse AND a tractor. Although, he warned me, I should probably wear overalls.
“Overalls? Are you kidding me? I’ll shoot a gun, I’ll ride a tractor, but there is no way in hell you’ll ever catch me in overalls.”
“Aw, quit it. You gals’d look beautiful in anything.”
God Bless America…
Tune in tomorrow for my final installment on Reno, the only vacation I’ve ever been on that takes longer to read about then actually experience…
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Let’s just take a moment and get something basic out of the way. I’m a snob. A horrible, horrible, spoiled rotten, knows better than to be so snobby, snob. I can certainly help it, I absolutely know better, I was NOT raised this way and I’m still the most judgmental, pampered bitch I know. Try as I might, and quite frankly, I don’t, I’m an over sophisticated twelve year old who should be grateful for my many blessings instead of appalled at anyone I deem unworthy. I make half assed attempts to hide my contempt for those with shitty taste, but truth be told, I delight in mocking and have sadly, developed a talent for it. I’m not proud of this, and will be the first one to point it out. One day, I’ll fix this shameful and highly unattractive trait, but until then, I’ll find myself in places like Reno, Nevada standing next to a teenager holding an infant, smoking a cigarette, proudly sporting a tattooed likeness of said infant upon her entire calf, and I will HAVE to comment. It is simply my way.
Thus, I found myself standing in the lobby of the Circus, Circus Hotel and Casino having no idea what to do next because I couldn’t seem to find a bellman. In fact, I made Zoe save some one dollar bills, assuming that we’d have to tip those that parked our car, carried our bags and brought us our ice. Turns out, at Circus, Circus, you park your own car, carry your own bags and that ice?…well, the big loud ice machine was right outside our door, accessible to any number of people at all hours of day or night.
We checked into the room, spent 20 minutes not knowing whether to laugh or cry, changed into our afternoon outfits and began to roam. We soon found ourselves at Gecko’s Bar, located within the casino and proudly featuring $1 margaritas. We saddled up to the bar, delighted in the video poker built right in, and dove into our drinks.
The whole point of this trip was to help Zoe’s brother, Tristan, celebrate his 21st birthday. Tristan is a firefighter and paramedic in rural Oregon and planned to come down to Reno with a collection of guys from the firehouse and a gal or two. Tristan soon called us at Gecko‘s, claimed to be leaving the Reno Airport and on his way to the hotel, friends in tow. An hour later, I found myself meeting Tristan and his 5 co-horts. Allow me to introduce them.
There’s Cap’n, who is literally the Captain of the firehouse, Tristan’s boss, full fledged old school firefighter complete with the requisite moustache and Hawaiian shirt. Cap’n is absolutely adorable and Zoe and I fell in love with him instantly. Then there’s Paul, rumored by Tristan to be the local ladies man. Paul is 29, a cherry farmer and volunteer firefighter who’s apparently the big catch in town and we could see why. Mike is probably 6’6” and just as wide, full of off-color remarks and gambling wisdom. Before becoming a firefighter, Mike was a blackjack dealer and not only shocked me with his constant winning, but his appalling and tasteless jokes in his many successful attempts to offend me. Mike brought along his adorably tiny wife, Amy, who could not have been nicer. Amy is the least offensive person I’ve ever met, just happy to be having a good time. We love Amy.
And finally, there’s Audrey.
Audrey was a friend of Amy’s, just as new to this group of fire folks as she was to us. Audrey possessed an unfortunate hairdo, an unfortunate ensemble and an unfortunate attitude towards Zoe and myself. On the plane ride over, Audrey had set her sights on Paul. She was thus none too pleased to be greeted in Reno by 2 overdressed, high falutin’ city girls and even less pleased to find Paul’s delight in these here skanks.
Let me just say, I can see why the ladies love Paul. In addition to being relatively cute and owner of his own billion acre farm, he’s the most chivalrous person I’ve ever met. Not only does he open every door, engage you in constant conversation about yourself, and even go so far as to hand you your plate in the buffet line, he will never let an opportunity to compliment a lady pass. Literally, at every turn, Paul would remind us how gorgeous we were, marvel at our ornate outfits and say things like, “So, Beth, how come a pretty girl like you isn’t married?“
To my bitchy delight, there were soon only 2 recipients of Paul’s country charm. And Audrey, or “highlights“, as she came to be known, wasn’t one of them. Thus began Audrey’s open hatred of Zoe and Beth.
When I think Oregon, I think tree-hugging recyclers. Apparently, that’s about half of the population. The other half is filled with those who are proud to call themselves rednecks. While I immediately adored Tristan’s fire friends, I think it’s safe to say we differ politically. For example, I rarely use the word “Oriental.” In fact, the first time it was casually spoken this weekend, Zoe shot me a look across the table, both apologetic and concerned I might leap up and into a tirade about the difference between a rug and a person. I kept my cool, even into Dinner Buffet #1’s discussion of homosexuality.
I could tell the conversation was getting gay, and could tell these weren’t the kind of guys who watched “Will and Grace” round the fire pole. Just when my tongue was starting to bleed from my biting it, Paul piped up with, “My mom’s a lesbian.”
“Your mom’s a what?”
“My mom is gay. She fell in love with my dad’s boss, Colleen.”
That shut everybody right up. Turns out, Paul loves gay people, apparently enjoying their joie de vivre. Zoe shot me another look across the table and we silently agreed. We love Paul. Audrey growled, wiped food from her face with her acrylic claws, and complained about something.
It was turning into quite an weekend, and we hadn’t even ventured outdoors yet. I adjusted my slutty top, threw my bag over my shoulder, grabbed Cap’n’s arm and we all hit the town…
Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 of my 60 hour adventure into Nevada, where we’ll hit the spa, hit the pawn shop, and I’ll learn my way around a .38...
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Thursday, September 01, 2005
It’s a necessary job, but certainly not an easy one. Loved and loathed, I’ve got the download. Huddled by the cooler, smoking on the sidewalk, touching up in the ladies, I deliver the news to desperate ears. In hushed tones, we discuss the seedy details of our co-workers private and professional lives. It’s heaven.
I didn’t necessarily become the office gossip on purpose. I sort of fell into it, kind of like how I became a fag-hag. It’s natural. I just feels right. My friends gossip just as much as I do. But I’ve been branded and it drives me nuts. Somehow, somewhere, people got the idea I like to talk trash. Perhaps it’s because I literally flutter when someone calls me over to whisper in my ear. I can’t help it. As the glorious Olympia Dukakis said in Steel Magnolias, “If you don’t have something nice to say, come sit by me.” Indeed.
Everyone is interested in gossip. There’s always something to tell. Hiring’s, firings, threesomes, injuries, haircuts, prostitutes, divorces, and eating disorders. That’s just today. Isn’t it marvelous. Why stay home and watch soaps? Come to my office. It’s better.
I always thought I could have a lovely anonymous gossip column in the bi-weekly company newsletter. Something along the lines of “…A certain bookkeeper may claim to be a lesbian, but she was spotted by a relatively reliable and sober co-worker making out in an alley with the bearded bouncer from the Trocadero. And speaking of alleys, apparently our favorite director of marketing woke up in one last weekend…” I smell syndication.
But there’s a problem. I hate the stigma that comes with being the office gossip. Please know I really don’t enjoy the misfortune of others. I generally like at least 60% of the people I work with. I have a fascinating life of my own. I completely value certain forms of discretion. And I have a self monitored gauge that tells me which gossip is selectively spreadable and which is not. Mean gossip and juicy gossip are two different things. It’s a fine line, but an important one. I may be a gossip, but I am not a bad person.
And those that chastise my ways are, of course, the first to run to me with interesting dish. The preachy self righteous ones are always coming to me with top-secret inter-office gossip. What am I supposed to do? Keep it to myself? Obviously not. But the worst, the worst of all is Phil*. Phil is the patronizing, faux-vegan, prematurely balding nerd who called me a gossip today.
Phil is having an affair with a girl in the mailroom. She told me in a drunken stupor at the Christmas party.
This is fabulous gossip and I haven’t told anyone. Okay, one person. Well, technically two people. But one works somewhere else.
The burden is mostly a blessing. Gossip is a great way to pass the time as work drags on. Filled with humor and drama, scandal and surprise, gossip can brighten our day or ruin our week. I see nothing wrong with that. I enjoy it too much to ever give it up. Perhaps it’s not entirely harmless. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s all in good fun. Right? So, I gossip. At least I’m not like Janice, who steals more Sharpee’s than Winona Ryder.
But seriously, don’t tell anyone I told you this.
* Phil is not his real name. Tom is.