Tuesday, December 04, 2007

And now, some audience questions

Q: Um, holy cow. That's an flippin' awesome tattoo. I mean, seriously.
A: Thanks, but that's not a question.

Q: Where did you GET that thing?
A: Millennium Tattoo, in Fort Collins. It was totally clean, legit, safe, non intimidating and staffed by alterna-hipsters, which is always a nice bonus. Ryan did mine and she was fanTAStic.

Q: Where did you PUT that thing?
A: It's in the middle of my back - which means it passes the Yuppie Professional Dress Attire test plus avoids the whole Tramp Stamp issue. Win-win really.

Q: Does your mom know about this?
A: No. And I'd like it to stay that way, thanks.

Q: But...aren't you like 33 years old?
A: Yes, but....

Q: What, you afraid you'll get grounded or something?
A: Excuse me, have you MET my mom?

Q: I'm asking the questions here!
A: Siiiiigh.

Q: So evidently your mom didn't go with you. Who'd you go with for the tattoo?
A: My junior high co-horts Rena and Chrissy accompanied me. Nothing celebrates 20 years of friendship like a night of body modification.

Q: Did you have other images/ideas you thought about before ultimately deciding on the typewriter?
A: Yes, but they seem kind of embarrassing now in retrospect. I did really like the idea that Rena suggested in the waiting room at the tattoo studio of doing my first car (a '78 Chevette hatchback named Bessie that had pine green glitter paint), but I'll save that for another time maybe. The key was to get something I wouldn't regret 20 minutes later and more importantly 20 years later. The typewriter and the flowers are both very personal and meaningful to me - and the combination turned out much prettier than I could have imagined.

Q: I think I see a question coming from the back. Wait, is that your mom?
A: AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Ink Ink, Baby

Well kids, I know it's been a couple of weeks, so hope you all had a nice turkey day with the parental units or whatever form of friends and family you surround yourselves with.

I headed home, as per tradition, to the Mile High Suburbs, where I wandered around Southwest Plaza, made awkward conversation with my dad, ate way too much stuffing, enjoyed a lovely night in downtown Denver and, oh yes, GOT A FREAKIN' TATTOO. Get! Me! Beth is officially a bad-ass. Well, that is if you can call someone with an old-school typewriter tattoo a bad-ass.


I've been thinking seriously about a tattoo for over a year, but the question was always what to get and where to put it. Plus whatever I decided to get would have to pass the "80 year old Beth test" in which I would still find it cool at age 80 and not live with the regret of having Pooh Bear or Morrissey inked permanently on my body which would have been the case had I done this back in my college days without really giving it some real thought and plenty of time.
But the typewriter seemed like something that is just very....me. The pink flowers remind me of my first apartment in Seattle that had a Magnolia tree in the courtyard that bloomed every Spring.
I lurve it. I really do. It was totally worth the wait and the effort and the pain and the money. And now, let's open it up for questions from the audience.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Two words. Ham Soda.

After two years of sampling their spite-inducing seasonal variety packs, it looks like the folks at Jones Soda finally got an AP story written up about them. Go, Jones Soda, Go!

Let’s hope it drives more people to gather ‘round with friends and family to sip unusual and foul-tasting sodas into Dixie cups while airing their grievances. Perhaps I could shoot for Jones Soda to be the official sponsor of Spitesgiving?
Whaddya say, Jones Soda, are you down for it?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What's next, cell phones and email accounts?

In more “Beth Jumps on A Popular Tech Bandwagon WAAAAAY Too Late” news, I’ve created a Facebook page. Yeah, I realize the rest of you hipster young people were doing this years and years ago when you were in college, but I’m a little slower and older than y’all so cut me some slack. In all honesty, I can’t guarantee how often I’ll be updating my page….but I’m hope it will be more productive and current than my ill-fated MySpace page which I look at and udpate about once every….oh right, never.

Props to those of you who’ve poked me, thrown yams at me and written on my wall – nice to see old friends and familiar faces! Any tips on cool apps I need to check out and incorporate into my page?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Beth Gets Moxi-fied

In what has proven to be my most rewarding and smug moment to date in the Bay Area, I have found a new, brilliant hairstylist that was both achingly hip but still refreshingly approachable and down to earth. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Rebecca from Moxi. She is my new hair stylin’ BFF. No judgmental head-to-toe once overs and sneers about the condition of my hair color (you hear that, Cheyenne?). Instead, Rebecca made terrific recommendations for my cut (bangs, people, bangs!), made further edgy recommendations for my color the next time I visit (Beth’s going chestnut!), plus her assistant gave me a scalp massage that practically put me to sleep purring right in the styling chair.

I heart her.

Plus the fact that she actually used to train other Aveda stylists across the West Coast, including my old stylist Ruthie at Habitude, in Seattle, gives her all the more street cred in my mind.

By far, however, my most favorite-est part of my Moxi-infused morning was when the adorable receptionist asked me if she could (first) bring me some chocolate to go with my coffee (Hello? Is a foot rub by Colin Firth next?) and (second) if she could change the track on the music playing overhead because it made her want to “kick babies.” Something about that seemed hilarious to me. Apologies to those of you who actually HAVE babies, I don’t actually advocate that behavior, but it sure is ridiculously funny when someone says it out loud.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Library Fetish Continues....

In a very typical Beth move, I can now say I am in proud possession of a San Francisco library card. This in itself isn’t all that amazing, but I don’t even have a California driver’s license or rental insurance yet so it’s a clear indication of where my priorities evidently are. Must! Access! Free! Dogeared! Books!

I’ll confess, San Fran’s libraries don’t seem to be able to compare to Seattle’s classy glassy hipster haven, but they seem to have their own old school charm. I even made my first visit to my neighborhood library branch in North Beach last week and can report that our little library is smack out of Mayberry – that is, if Mayberry had an impressive collection of Manga comics and Beatnik literature. Where else can one walk away with an old Garbage CD and an anthology of stories about being an only child?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

And the people gathered. And there was a kitten. And they were all Very, Very Spiteful. Spitesgiving 2007!


It was with great bitterness and angst that the Friends of Beth kicked off this year’s third annual Spitesgiving gathering last weekend at the SSB casa in West Seattle. Good food, good friends, good wine and, um, did I mention there was a bebeh kitten there named Owen who was freakin’ ridiculous? And that SSB’s new house could substitute as a panda sanctuary with all of the bamboo growing around it?

Despite being delayed for five hours at the airport while the plane waited to fly in an auto pilot (see picture when he finally arrived), I made it back to Seattle for a whirlwind 40-hour Spitesfest. Seriously, the timing for Spitesgiving could not have come at a better time. I have been looking forward to this event for the past month – I needed Spitesgiving this year – and truly, it did not disappoint.

There were awesome souvenir coffee mugs. With turkeys on them. Really disgruntled, pissed-off turkeys.

There was a DVD of the first season of Beverly Hills 90210 airing almost constantly, which was fan-freakin-tastic.

There was Miss Spitesgiving 2007, i.e., Ginners, who made her first in-person appearance rather than phoning it in during the dinner hour.

There was the Ceremonial Tasting of Something Awful – which consisted this year of a Seattle Seahawks-themed collection of Jones Soda – including such spite-inducing flavors such as perspiration, turf, dirt, sports cream and finally sweet victory. The perspiration smelled and tasted sickeningly just like what you’d think it would, but strangely enough, the ointment flavored soda really wasn’t that bad (rather minty).

We then went into my absolute favorite part of Spitesgivng, which is the Airing of the Grievances. I kicked off with a two page list of things I am bitter about, including how noisy the street outside my apartment is, classic quotes from parental units, and the fact that the pigeons in San Francisco don’t move or fly away when you get close to them. They just stand there. Defiantly.

There was an amazing feast too, including turkey, Stove Top dressing, mashed sweet potato yumminess, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.

And then it was over – just as soon as it began, it seemed. But we shall carry the spirit of Spitesgiving in our hearts all year.**

** Except for Eric, who gets a spiteful shout out because he was a wuss and didn’t make it this year. What. EVER.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Cheese! School! Cheese School!

Engh! Engh! Readers! Hey! (envision Arnold Horschack-esque sqirming and arm raising...)

Alert! There. Is. A. Cheese. SCHOOL. Two. Blocks. From. My. House. Where they teach you? About cheese? And how to eat cheese? And what to serve with cheese? And where you get to, again, eat really good cheese??? Head spinning. Palms sweating. Homer Simpson-like drooling beginning.


North Beach, you just earned another significant notch in your belt as being a cool place to live.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Chillin' smugly in my 'hood, yo

So get ME. My North Beach 'hood was recently recognized as one of the "10 Great Neighborhoods in America," in addition, notably, to the Pike Place Market area of Seattle. Can I pick 'em, or what?

As I'm spending more time wandering around North Beach, I'm finding my attitude about my neighborhood greatly improving - award or no award. When I first moved here I was all crinkly-faced and crabby because, after all, I do live one block away from this cheese-laden tourist fest and that's maybe not, well, the greatest thing. But as I'm starting to check out more of the surrounding areas, I'm realizing that North Beach is packed to the gills with charm and color and cuteness. I mean, where else can you have a church that resides at 666 Filbert Street that's just a few blocks from Kerouac Alley?
Next to-do is to explore some of the restaurants and bakeries in the area.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Open Letter to the movie"The Notebook"

Dear the movie "The Notebook,"

One might think that because you were only $10 at Target this weekend, that it would be okay for you to come home with me. The fact that I've become deeply crushy on Ryan Gosling lately made you all the more appealing - I mean seriously, look at him. Who wouldn't spend ten bucks on that?

And yet. Not since I went on that weird emotional Hallmark/Lifetime Movie Of The Week Tivo marathon last Christmas have I experienced such mindless, saccharin pablum. You, the movie "The Notebook," were awful. As in, You-had-me-at-hello/Bridges of Madison County cheese-coated awful.
Where to even begin here? Was it the utter lack of subtlety inherent in any Nicolas Sparks movie, or the total lack of sophistication and coherence that disappointed me most? You're telling me the best that a dark, brooding soul like Ryan Gosling can do on a first date is take his girl to Small Town Main Street and tell her how he used to lay down smack in the middle of the street at night and watch the traffic lights switch from red to green? He is supposed to be borderline retarded?
Remind me to write an open letter to James Gartner about his work in this movie and then roll it up and whap him upside the head with it. Ryan Gosling, we have to talk about this. Do you hear me, young man? Joan Allen and Sam Shepherd, don't think you're getting off easy, either.
Feeling like I could have just spend the $10 on more Method cleaning products and been a lot happier,

Beth

Monday, October 08, 2007

Well? Don't 'Cha?

God Bless You, Internet.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Be afraid. Be very afraid.


Don't ask me how or why I found this link, but are you aware that Richard Simmons sells dolls on his website? Dolls. On his Website. Seriously. Not only that, but the dolls are terrifying? This one here is Webby Debby. She looks like she's forgotten to take some of her pills that keep the devils away. What's up with the blue fingernail polish?

On the other hand, he also sells keychains, which somehow manage to have an ironic (and much less terrifying) charm to them. Who wouldn't laugh or smile when they pulled out their keys with Richard Simmons on them? Only the truly dead inside, that's who.
As for how I found his Website in the first place, let's just chock this up to looking for some fitness resources online and that no Web surfing experience around fitness would be complete without Richard Simmons. Isn't that right, Webby Debby? You love the Internet, don't you! What's that, Webby Debby? NO! No the devils DON'T want you to kill me. Put the knife down, Debby! Stop!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Open letter to my new dentist in San Francisco

Dear New San Francisco Dentist,
Look, you seem like a nice guy. You came highly recommended from not just one, but several of my co-workers. Your office has some fantastic city views. Also, may I mention that you look an awful lot like Stanley Tucci (pictured here) and that endeared me to you almost instantly.

And yet.
I feel like we have to talk about the absolutely ridiculous sales job you did on me during my "consultation" visit where you tried to convince me to spend $4,000 on veneers and "power whitening." If I may, sir, are you on CRACK? Four GRAND? ARE YOU HIGH?
Look, I get that you probably have French Impressionist paintings to pay off and kids to put through private school and all of that, I do. But to recommend a "treatment plan" that incorporated tooth bleaching before you've so much as looked at my chompers was a pretty giant red flag. Also, the fact that your financial assistant tried to pass FOUR GRAND off as being "very affordable" was hilarious at best and a little offensive at worst.
Piece of advice, if I may, sir? Wait until after my first cleaning and after you've taken a gander at my gums and teeth before going straight into the cosmetic dentistry sales job. Prove yourself as a dentist before you enter the world of Extreme Makeovers and FOR GOD'S SAKE don't go asking people for FOUR GRAND on the first date. That's just bad manners.
Ideally I'd like to go back to you for many years to come - provided I can get the bad taste out of my mouth from our initial consultation.
Cavity Free,
Beth

Friday, September 21, 2007

Three Days To Go....

Seriously, World at Large, I feel like a giant weight is starting to come off of my shoulders. I am decompressing. I am relaxing. I am taking naps every afternoon. I. Freakin'. Love. Vacation!

I still have three days left during my time off and now I'm starting to make a list of the things I haven't seen yet. Still, it's been a busy week so far:

Drove around town with my dad and stepmom. Reverted to being the same awkward, sulky 13-year-old girl I've always been when I'm around them.
  • Saw the very impressive murals at Coit Tower
  • Saw the California Palace of the Legion of Honor and ate a very fancy flank steak salad.

Ate dim sum in Chinatown

Had a drink at the Top of the Mark

Had a drink at the Bubble Lounge

Starting reading "Tales of the City"

Posed for ridiculous pictures at the Fairmont with my very fancy friends Jenny and Mark

Developed a full-on addiction with Grey's Anatomy. Seriously, where has this been my entire life?

Napped daily in addition to sleeping in

Watched documentaries on Frieda Kahlo and Diego Rivera and starting getting a little obsessed

Spent way too much on a new skin care line, bought from a woman with no eyebrows and neon green eyeshadow

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Vacation: Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love San Francisco

I'll tell you why I'm learning to love this city:

Because in this random-ass store in North Beach you can (apparently) buy USED SKULLS. Used. Skulls. Cheaper/better than new skulls? How used are they, exactly? Human skulls, or more like cat/moose/monkey skulls? Can you buy them in bulk? How do I know these are quality skulls and not some cheap knock off?

Used. Skulls. 'Nuff said.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Vacation Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Lessons learned after spending two-and-a-half days with my dad and stepmom in San Francisco:

1.) If you're uncomfortable spending a mere 3 hours with your family during the holidays, you might want to reconsider spending TWO AND HALF STRAIGHT DAYS with them. Just sayin'.

2.) If you get talked into driving along the 49-mile Scenic Drive with your family while they visit you in San Francisco, you might want reconsider your plans. Strike that. You might want to run screaming into the Bay and drown yourself immediately. Reference Lesson Learned Number One and realize that being with family in small, enclosed places like rental cars is NOT SMART.

3.) Index cards of Topics to Avoid are helpful to bring along during long car trips with parents, including: "Why I'm Not Married Yet"; "How I Got To Be Such A Liberal, Feminist Democrat"; "The Gays;" "The Denver Broncos"; "What Exactly 'Public Relations' Is"; and "Where All of My Money Goes."

4.) Whatever you do, resist the urge to open the rental car door and tumble out onto the highway while the car is moving in a frantic attempt to escape the never-ending bickering over city traffic, narrow streets, the cost/scarcity of decent parking in San Francisco, and the lackluster map directions for the 49-mile Scenic Drive. Instead, channel your inner 13-year-old teenage girl and stare vacantly out the window for the remainder of the trip.

5.) Recognize that you're not a 13-year-old girl and HELL YES you will have a second glass of wine at dinner because, after all, your parents are paying for that dinner.

6.) Remember that Family Is Forever.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Reflections on Work and Change

Le sigh. More than a month has gone by since my last posting – how does that happen? I’ll tell you how, World at Large, I’ve been hella busy, that’s how. You look good – have you lost a little weight? Is that a new shirt? What’s shakin’?

So where to begin. Oh yes, there’s this workaholism THING. I’ve been working at an absolutely dizzying pace for the past two months. A migraine and carpal tunnel-inducing pace to be precise. The pace, the demands, the responsibility, the constant pressure to prove myself, and the unceasing fear that I’m going to f*ck something up have kept me up every night since I got here. I can safely say that I’ve never felt so overwhelmed, frustrated, disorganized, terrified, out of my element, and put to the test as I have these past two months.

Unfortunately work has been almost all I’ve done since I’ve arrived. I feel like I’m on the world’s longest business trip, where I go to work and then come back to my sterile hotel room to do some more work and eat room service and then go back into the office the next day in my little rental car for more work.

But, lest this turn into a virtual pity party for the local yuppie, let me acknowledge publicly that I do see a silver lining among all of these workaholic-fueled clouds. I haven’t lived in a new city for almost a dozen years. The last time I packed up and moved I was a baby bunny rabbit of 22. It’s been waaaay too long since I made any sort of life-altering decision and those sort of events don’t come easy, or often.

So, yes, it sucks right now. It’s hard and scary and gritty and all uphill. But I need to hold on to the part of me that knows that it won’t always be that way.

Back to – ahem – work for now. Did I mention I’m on vacation for 11 days starting next week? Did I mention that that thought makes me grin ear to ear?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Muppet Adventures in Denver

It's not too often I'm able to report on Muppet-related adventures, but when a good friend of the World of Beth alerted to me to the fact that she hosted Kermit the Freakin' Frog around the top spots in Denver.....Well, hell, folks. That's worth posting on the blog!

Amuse yourselves with pictures of Kermit meeting top Colorado government officials, scaling the rocks at Red Rocks and attending a Rockie's game. I think my favorite is the one of him looking up at the big blue bear at the convention center. Might have to make that my computer background for when I have tough days at work.

Snaps to you, old friend, for showing our little green felt buddy around town. That's AWESOME!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Revisiting the Corey Cold War

For those younger readers of the World of Beth, allow me to share a history lesson from the days of 1987. America was in the midst of a Cold War. The country was divided into a bitter rivalry. The world had Corey-mania. Families and neighborhoods and entire communities were shattered by the division between those pre-teen girls who had deep gooey crushes on goofball Corey Haim, and those (like me) who were more enamored with the darker, sulky soul of Corey Feldman. Seriously.

And now, because history repeats itself every 20 years, we’re revisiting the Corey Cold War in the form of A&E’s “The Two Coreys,” which might be the most pathetic and entertaining show airing today. It’s set up basically like an Odd Couple Meets The Now 35-Year Old Lost Boys, where Corey Haim (fresh from rehab, natch) moves in with Corey Feldman and his very hot wife, who is like 21 or something.

First off, it's alarming to note that these boys actually look exactly like they did 20 years ago. Okay, for the most part. Okay, so Corey Haim is a LOT rougher around the edges than he was in Lucas. But still. Corey Haim is all hapless and goofy and actually pretty sad because he’s a little, um, washed up and Corey Feldman is all goth and smoker-voiced and vegan and actually pretty sad because he’s, um, the more successful of the Two Coreys apparently. By Corey Standards, that is. Don't even get me started on the episode where Corey Haim loses it and starts crying when he finds out he won't be cast in the Lost Boys 2.

Don't judge me too harshly, World at Large, but I can’t get enough of this show. It's like a train wreck that's sponsored by Tiger Beat magazine, and who among us mortals can resist that?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Beth’s fake nails: Fuhgettaboutit!

And so, just as The Soprano’s ended its triumphant run on HBO, my experience with having acrylic nails has come to as close as well. RIP, Carmela-inspired talons!

Let’s face it….they weren’t really ME to begin with. I’m all for the idea of taking better care of my appearance and spending more time pampering myself…but I’m not sure if having to deal with “fills” and “sets” is worth the trouble. The removal process itself was a little alarming, in that you soak your fingertips in a clear toxic liquid that basically melts the plastic off of your nails. That. Can’t. Be. Healthy.

Also, noting that on the manicurist’s table where I was undergoing the removal/melting process, I noticed the little jar of acrylic powder which was (hopefully?) mis-labeled as “ACRYLIC POWER.” Have I just had some of my power taken away by a $10 process at my "Fancy Fingers" salon? Let’s hope I stay strong after the process….

Friday, August 03, 2007

Beth's First Wild Parrot Sighting

It started off as a pretty ordinary day...went to work as always...decided upon driving home to expand my knowledge of area Target stores (including one that was recommended to me in Colma, no less, where 73 percent of the residents are, ahem, dead...)...bought some cat litter and then returned my Flexcar to its parking lot to head home.

All was normal and ordinary.

And then I heard the screeching. And then I saw people (okay, tourists mostly) looking up curiously. And then I saw them. A flock of brillilant green parrots swooping overhead - the very same parrots from that great documentary a few years ago, "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill." I forgot what a cool film that was - check out the trailer online and I challenge you not to get a little teared-up. Wild parrots clearly rock the house...and apparently they live right in my neighborhood.
Very, very cool.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Once again my hipster street cred is shot all to hell....

....as I sit on my sofa this afternoon finishing the latest - and final - installment of the Harry Potter empire and have tears streaming down my face.

Oh Harry. I'll miss you.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Jake Gyllenhaal Knew What He Was Talkin' Bout

Dammit, Payless ShoeSource.

I thought it was over between us. I went without you for a long time. We're no good for each other, Payless ShoeSource, I know that as much as you do. Face it, you're cheap and poorly constructed and when I walk around with you for too long, my feet reek to high heaven from pleather held together with stitches made by a Third World 8-year-old factory worker.

And yet, there you were, on a sunny Saturday in downtown San Francisco while I was wandering aimlessly. Whispering to me. Luring me in while you looked all cute with your shelves packed with ballet flats. And suddenly I was back in your arms and all was right with the world.

I'm not proud of our reunion. Okay, I'm a little smug about my $18 silver ballet flats and $15 black patent leather Mary Janes. They are cute as hell and I admit you can satisfy me in ways that Zappos and Endless and Nordstrom just can't. Why must you continue to tempt me and keep this blasted love affair alive, Payless ShoeSource?

I wish I could quit you, Payless ShoeSource.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Open Letter to Cheyenne, The Stylist Who Cut My Hair Yesterday

Dear Cheyenne,

First off, sir, props for being enough of a diva that you can actually pull off the name “Cheyenne.”
Um, yeah….so on that note about the bitchy diva-ness. I really didn’t appreciate the attitude you dished up to me when I came in for my haircut. I get that I wasn’t wearing a sassy halter sundress with stilettos like many of the other patrons there, and I get that my DIY color-from-a-box needs a touch up, badly. I get that my Payless sneakers and Maybelline lip gloss weren't real appreciated in your posh Aveda-centric world.

But bee-yotch, please.

I deserve a pair of snaps and a “You look gorgeous, girlfriend!” just as much as every other customer that perches on your stylist chair does. At the very least, I deserved a freakin’ handshake when I met you for the first time rather than a head-to-toe glance at my outfit, not to mention some conversational small talk while you cut and style my hair. For $95, you could have at least pretended to be somewhat engaging rather than merely showing off how stylish and cutting edge you are. We get it, okay?

Smell ya later - the hunt for a great stylist in the city is back on, big time.

Best,
Beth

Friday, July 20, 2007

Open Letter to the Electrician Who Wired the Kitchen in my Apartment

Dear Electrician,

I ask you, was there some sort of random shortage on electrical outlets when you were tasked to wire up my apartment?

Surely there has to be a logical reason as to why you put just one, single, solitary outlet in my kitchen. Really, just one outlet in which to plug things in? What is this, the third world? Is this some sort of test to see how creative I can be with my electricity consumption?

Your excruciatingly minimal outlet allotment means I can’t (for example) brew coffee and make toast at the same time. This hardly seems like a particularly exotic or demanding request. And yet, you deny me that simple pleasure and force me to take my toaster into my living room and utilize those outlets in order to toast. That is just downright madness. You, sir/ma’am, limit my ability to simultaneously brew and toast. CURSE YOU AND YOUR ENTIRE ELECTRICIAN FAMILY!

I hope when you return home from a hard day of electrical work to your posh, space-age multiple outlet-laden kitchen that you remember just how truly blessed you are when it comes time to utilize the food processor AND the Foreman Grill AND the bread machine. All at the same time.

Some of us, you see, are not so electrically fortunate.

Best,
Beth

Shaken but not stirred yet: Beth returns!

It’s been two weeks since last I posted and boy, have I ever heard about it from you loyal readers. Enough already! I’m baaaaaack! Hmmm, where to even begin? Let’s start with a basic needs overview:

Shelter: Good progress here – I’m basically all moved in and trying to get used to having my apartment overlook the Loudest Street EVER. Seriously, Bay Street? You can’t cease with the motorcycle revving and delivery truck beeping and drunk people shouting for just a few hours at night? Other than that, things are good, except I feel like I live in a shoebox that smells like a cat box. Apparently the key to living in a small studio is that you keep it immaculately clean otherwise it's all downhill from there, quickly.

Transportation: I’ve had two flings so far with my boyfriend Flexcar and our love proves stronger than ever. Flexcar’s quite posh in the Bay Area with their green Toyota Priuses, which are SO shmancy that they don’t even use normal keys to enter the vehicle or start the ignition. Take that, fossil fuel guzzling cars with your archaic, metal keys. Pffft. I’ve also figured out two bus routes to get me to work, one of which is packed with tourists, the other which is packed with, ahem, exotic views of Chinatown and roasting rotisserie ducks hanging in shop windows.

Clothing: Hate all of my schlumpy Seattle clothing. Need razor sharp wardrobe ASAP. Everyone here is very hip with great shoes and great hair and clear skin and trendy vintage wears. Donations for my Bay Area makeover will be gladly accepted.

Books: Found a Half Price Books (my happy place) in Berkeley, which was strangely disappointing. Clearly someone sent around the memo that day that Beth had some extra cash so they hid all of the good stuff in the back rooms.

Earth: The World of Beth survived her first 4.2 magnitude earthquake at 4:40 this morning with nothing more than a slight rattling of my windows. I rolled right back over and went to sleep and tried to ignore the fact that animals are supposed to have a sixth sense about these types of things and warn their humans about them…and Puff just kept right on snoozing next to me. Damn that cat.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Hot Shins: Beth Freaks Out Until Her Stuff Arrives

So, um, apparently when I was joking about my movers selling my sofa in Mexico to buy weed, I might not have been entirely off base. Without much explanation, my sketchy-sketch movers showed up two days late which - admittedly - is better than never, but it was a very hectic day yesterday while I waited on sharp, pointy, angry eggshells to get a call back about the whereabouts of my worldly possessions.

To kill time, we sat near my pool, and I proceeded to get very sunburnt shins which is proving to be a very random and unsexy place to get burnt. It was disorienting to then go out later in the evening for fireworks - after being sunburnt on a sunny, warm day - and find it so cold that you need a coat and scarf. San Francisco, you're one strange cat, you know that?
The good news - at last - is that my stuff arrived (relatively) safe and sound and today has been very much like Christmas except that you're opening boxes you packed yourself of your own stuff. Still, stuff! Let's hear it for kitchen pans and picture frames and books and towels and stuff!
Big time Sanity Props are due to Heidi Jo, who did an excellent job at distracting me and keeping me from going off the deep end these past few days. You, my friend, deserve a case of Elizabeth Spencer, for all the work you did these past few days.
Chillin' on the sofa tonight with a Bud Light (the drink of the choice for this trip) and some episodes of Entourage, having dropped Heidi off at the airport. Feelin' scared. Feelin' exhausted. Feelin' overwhelmed with potential and that's scary and exciting and wonderful and intimidating and then right back to scary. Can't overthink - gotta just get out there and experience whatever is thrown at me. As the card on my fridge says, "You must travel in the direction of your fear."
For tonight though, I'm heading in the direction of my bed and we'll take it from there.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Abandon Hope Of Being a Hipster, All Yee Who Enter Here

The World of Beth arrives in San Francisco!

After signing my lease and checking out my very empty, very tiny, very expensive, apartment, Heidi and I hit the streets for some Hot Tourist Action until my stuff arrives bright and early tomorrow morning.

Cable car tour of the city? Check. Lunch on Fisherman's Wharf? Check. Ghiradelli Square? Hell yes. Obligatory pictures of the Golden Gate bridge? You know it. I've got exactly six months in my mind to get this touristy crap out of my system before I have to turn into a hardened local, so I might as well immerse myself now and enjoy it.

On an unrelated note, we watched this very odd documentary called "Starbucking" that was advertised as being hilarious and quirky and it was more just kind of disturbing and sad. One man's quest to visit every Starbucks in the world - interesting idea, no? Perhaps I could start some similar obsession now that I'm just an hour outside of wine country - visit every winery in Napa and Sonoma? Or perhaps every used book store in San Francisco? Oh right. I've got work. That. Best to enjoy the next day or so until I have to resume my normal responsible=person life...

Monday, July 02, 2007

Fingers Crossed: The Journey Continues

Day two of the road trip and everything - fingers crossed - has gone smoothly and without angst. We've been rockin' out to Dolly Parton and the Scissor Sisters - life is more or less good, save for the disturbing series of anti-evolution billboards posted along the highway ("Don't Make a Monkey Out of Me!").

Puff has proven herself to be a frickin' furry ROCK STAR when it comes to travel and has exceeded all of my expectations. Maybe she was just cranky all this time because she really wanted to see the country from the backseat of a Dodge Caravan - maybe? Sort of? Possibly?

We stopped driving around 8 and are staying in the hamlet of Willows, California, at a Motel 6 that is remarkably, and reliably, Motel 6-ish. Comfort food and Bud Lights at the beary over-decorated Black Bear Diner (see pic) and now it's lights out. The real adventure starts tomorrow when we hit civilization....

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Minivan, Baby! Ah yeaaaaaah....

Good grief, kids, where to begin?

98 percent of my things are now in a moving truck - entirely out of my control and being driven to San Francisco by, ahem, less than legit-looking movers. Scratch that. Freakin' scary movers. Who scammed me out of buckets of money I didn't have in the first place and were laughably unprofessional and who are probably selling my sofa and toaster at the Mexican border right now to score some weed and some tier three hookers...

But I digress.

This means until I arrive at my new apartment I am technically homeless and everything currently in my possession consists only of a 30-pound cat, cleaning supplies, plants, CDs and my clothes. That's it. Oh, and don't forget a rockin' rental minivan! Wheeee! It's road trip time, baby!

After about 673 trips back and forth to load up my Dodge Caravan, Soccer Mom Beth finally hit the road around 4 in the afternoon with Puff and the Travel Monkey.* First stop was to pick up my trusty travel mate Heidi Jo at the airport, and then we were off down I-5 to Portland for our first night on the road.

Puff has been absolutely AMAZING so far on this first leg, even if it was only for three hours. She's been quiet and panic free, which has reduced the number of times I have had to screach to the back of the van that I will turn this freakishly large van around this instant young lady, do you hear me. Our Hillsboro hostess with the mostess Ginny provided us with room and board that was truly beyond expectations, and then went the extra mile by leaving us fresh baked cookies and veggies and dip for the road. Love her. Seriously. Thanks buddy.

Tomorrow will be the longest driving day and let's keep our fingers crossed that the cat continues with this good behavior. Stay tuned....

* Oh, the Travel Monkey isn't all that exciting. It's a little stuffed monkey I take on trips with me. Heidi and I have decided to name him Rufus.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

An Open, Bittersweet, Letter to Seattle

Dear Seattle,

Well, old friend, it looks like it's our last night together. When I arrived at your doorstep, I was a 22 year old baby bunny rabbit, all wide-eyed to the world and dying for some adventure outside of Colorado, which I called home for my entire life. Now, 11 years later, we're parting ways and I'm off to hang with your older, more worldly, sister San Francisco. What a ride it's been - how to capture all of our time together?

I arrived unsure of what I was looking for, only that I was looking for something else. One time early on in our relationship I drove to Portland on a whim because I was bored and it totally slayed me that I could do that without asking anyone's permission. Check me out, driving three hours away without even telling my mom! You showed me what was possible, Seattle, if I went out there and did it.

Oh Seattle, with your sunny days spent lounging on Alki Beach and your rainy days spent wandering through Half Price Books, I'll miss you. You've given me Spicy Tuna Rolls at Chinoise on Queen Anne and pitchers of Mac and Jack at Linda's and spinach dip at Elephant and Castle and brunch at the Broadway Grill and crepes at 611 and countless happy hours at the Sitting Room.

You've shown me drag queen nuns at the Pride parade, a homeless guy relieving himself in the alley outside my first apartment, an irate Nordstorm shopper who "doesn't play that game," a Chicago native who could not pronounce "Factoria" and "San Jose" properly to save her life, and an executive's wife who once left a phone message for her husband that said "Just tell him the man who has been stalking me has been shot."

You've given me a few bad temp jobs, a stint as an overpaid receptionist/proposal monkey, and the courage to try out this wacky thing called Public Relations. You gave me Thomas the Wonder Cat and Mrs. Puff. You tested my heart and proved to me that I can survive even when it breaks into a million tiny pieces. Year after year, you've shown me how beautiful and clear and green and lush you can be on a sunny warm day in the spring after ten months of winter darkness.

We've both grown up so much since we first got together - a little wiser, a little more sophisticated and a little rougher around the edges given all of our experiences together. I'll miss you, old friend, but rest assured I'll be back. I couldn't leave you this easily, not after all we've been through together.

Fondly,
Beth

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

On the Topic of Living Car-Free

I've been living car-free since May of 2003, which puts my SBQ (Smug Bastard Quotiant) at about 4 million SBQ points these days. The car-free life hasn't been too bad overall - certainly not ideal, but I've managed pretty well thanks to some very kind friends who occasionally offer to haul my ass to Target and brunch every now and then. The combination of a bus pass plus my BFF Flexcar has really been a lifesaver.

Now that I'll be a California resident in just a few short days, I've been thinking/stressing out about what life will be like down there without a car. In the two trips I've made down to the Bay Area lately, it's been amazing to see the reactions that my car-free life gets from people. I might as well be a traveling circus freak, it seems - Californians seems to Love Their Cars Big Time. After all, in all those movie scenes of sporty convertibles driving along the Malibu highways, you don't exactly see buses and light rail, do you?


Take my recent apartment hunting experience - when I asked how close things were, i.e., the grocery store, restaurants, public transportation, etc., the notion of what is "close" and "far" were very different between the Car Drivers and the Non Car Drivers. When you don't have a car, your world shrinks tremendously. A twenty-minute drive to downtown San Francisco isn't exactly "close." Your basic needs need to be within easy walking distance - which is about six blocks, max, in my mind - let's face it, when you need cat food and brie at 10 p.m., you don't want to have to hoof it for a three mile walk.

On the bright side, my new apartment seems convenient to pretty much everything, including a Trader Joe's, which guarantees my access to affordable wine and cheese. We'll see how it goes in the coming weeks. Anyone out there got Bay Area public transport tips?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Rabbit Season/Duck Season? No, Tourist Season

Yesterday I sauntered to the Pike Place Market to grab some spicy chicken teriyaki for lunch and found myself scowling, cursing, and sighing with contempt. It's tourist season in Seattle. Swarms of them, like locusts, have invaded the city and are desperate to see the Space Needle and get a salmon thrown at them and drink real Starbucks coffee. Normally I roll my eyes and walk briskly past the tourists as I head to work or to the grocery store or wherever us Seattle resident-type folk hang out.

But this time I stopped...and realized that in less than a week I will be that dorky tourist asking people when the next ferry to Alcatraz departs and and posing for a picture next to a giant pot of crabs at Fisherman's Wharf. I will be that person who takes just a bit too long to ask for directions on the bus when the rest of the passengers just want to get to work already. No matter how much indie hipster street cred I may want to think I have, the fact is, I'm going to be walking around with my nose buried in my laminated Streetwise San Francisco map for at least the next six months and that makes me (sigh) a big ol' tourist.

So this summer, I'm proposing National Be Gentle With Tourists Season**, if only because many of us will probably find ourselves in that position this summer and could use a little help finding our ways around.

**This post will self destruct in about six months or however long it takes me to get my bearings and start snearing at tourists again like a local.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

An Open Letter to the Cast, Crew and Producers of “The Holiday,”

Dear Cast, Crew and Producers of “The Holiday,”

Not since “13 Going on 30” have I desperately longed for a time machine, so that I could travel back to the Beth of Two Hours Ago, wrestle her/me to the ground and wrench the remote control from her/my hands so that I could get those two utterly wasted hours back. I feel robbed of my time after watching this fluffy, predictable mess, and these days I don’t have a lot of time to spare, which makes this movie all the more bothersome.

Listen, you’re all smart people. You’re all talented. I like you all, especially you, Jude Law, when you wear dorky glasses like you did. But, seriously, what were you thinking when you read this script? In the first 37 seconds, the following things are painfully, painfully obvious: Kate Winslet’s character will find her girl-power and Cameron Diaz’s character will learn to cry. Jude Law will be Flawed Somehow But Still Win Over The Pretty Girl and Jack Black’s doughy character will be cheated on by his supermodel/actress girlfriend and he will realize the Right Girl Was There All Along.

Sigh. See? I just gave away the entire plot in two sentences. Look, I swear my heart is not made of coal, I cry at Extreme Home Makeover like the rest of the world does. But oh, the things I could have spent my $3.99 on instead of this mess! I urge you all to go out and make some smart indie hipster movie to cleanse your souls of The Holiday immediately.

Until then,
Beth

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What's in YOUR mailbox?

If you're like me, then your mail yesterday consisted of....

Credit card statement
Airline miles update
Safeway weekly sale ad
Pottery Barn catalog
AAA membership renewal form
Informational brochure about decreased sexual interest

Um, WHAT? Praytell, what box did I check that put me on this list? It's bad enough I'm no longer in the coveted 18-30 age group, but now this? Siiiiiigh. My cat lady support group is going to hear about this one.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Beth's San Fran apartment hunt: the kitchen sink is apparently very much included

Well folks, I think I found a place for the World of Beth to call home for a while, so talk about a huge, massive, enormous relief off my shoulders. Provided they don't find out about my extensive criminal record and restraining order from Philip Seymour Hoffman (note to potential landlords reading this: I'M KIDDING) I'll be calling the North Beach/Waterfront area home in just a couple weeks.

The apartment hunting process is just so disorienting. It's hard to walk into a stark, white-walled room and think of it as ever being yours, let alone cute and charming. It's especially tough when, in this case, the kitchen sink was in the process of being replaced and the old dirty sink was sitting smack in the middle of the living room. Hard to visualize my possessions and cat and personality in such a bare, still disheveled place, but I'm sure it will be nice once it's cleaned up and infused with Bethness.

Don't mean to be negative...I'm sure it will be fine....again, just tough to visualize at this point without a sink being in the middle of the room. But check out the picture. Pool! View! City location! Countdown is now two weeks and counting....make your reservations NOW, loyal readers for your SF visits.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Q&A With The New San Francisco Treat

Oh lordie. Looks like my big San Francisco news has spawned some questions from readers:

Q: Look here, missy. You can't just unload and say you're moving without any warning like that. Have you been planning this thing secretly for months and just not telling your loyal readers?

A: For the sake of my sanity, I wish I HAD been planning it for months, but the fact is that I just found out about this opportunity a couple of weeks ago. Seriously. No plans to move before then. No desire to uproot and leave Seattle, really. Left field, meet the World of Beth.

Q: Um, you don't sound very excited about this move. You sound kind of freaked out.

A: I am excited, believe me. When does one get a chance like this handed to them on a platter? I love Seattle like a BFF, but it's been 11 years since I came here and maybe the time's come to think about making a change. Why move now and to San Francisco? Why the hell NOT? The whole thing is actually quite serendipitous if you think about it. I have always thought of San Francisco has Seattle's older, more sophisticated sister city and the fact that I will call it home is....exciting and amazing.

But, let's be clear, I'm also pretty freaked out.

Q: (Cringing) Did you actually just use the word serendipitous?

A: Clearly I'm already feeling the California energy, man. In all seriousness though, sometimes when you're struggling to make a decision or a life change, the universe comes around and makes it for you.

Q: But....where will you live? What will you do? How will you get down there? How will Mrs. Puff adapt? It's only three weeks away and you don't even have an apartment lined up.

A: First of all, that's not even a question. That's a trap to get me into the fetal position. I'm getting more coffee and sitting out on my patio now to get my mind off of you. Good day, sir.

Q: But...you didn't answer my questions....

A: I SAID GOOD DAY.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Exciting, Foggy News In the World of Beth!

Yes, gentle readers, it's been a MONTH. I know. I get it. I'm soooorrry.

Would it help if I came to you this morning with really exciting, tremendous, life-altering news? In just a few weeks, the World of Beth will be packing up her books and typewriters and $6 Trader Joe's wine collection and headin' to San Francisco! You may now officially refer to me as the New, Improved San Francisco Treat.


I'll be transferring to my office's schnazzy San Francisco office on Maiden Lane right next to Union Square, which makes me giddy as a little Prada-wearing schoolgirl. (Assuming, of course, that Prada made school girl dresses for girls above a size 8, but that's another blog post in itself....) If you'll be in San Francisco around July 4 and are looking to experience the World of Beth in person, drop me a line!

The past few weeks have been a giant emotional roller coaster. Excited! Happy! Adventurous! Wheeeee! - right down to Terrified! Anxious! Sad! Whooooooo....all I can say is thank you to the folks who have offered their support and advice and reassuring kind words to scrap me off of the ceiling. Right now there are about a zillion balls still in the air that need to be figured out (housing is just one of them), but I'm sure once things get a little more solidified I'll be feeling much calmer.

Did I mention I had a houseguest recently too? Who bought me a cool pizza stone baker thing and helped me to relive lots of lame junior high memories? We checked out the Ballard Locks, Kerry Park (see above), Archie McPhee's and Chinoise, one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle. Good times....thanks for the visit, lil' buddy.

Stay tuned for more posting now that the news is official.....

Saturday, May 12, 2007

My Third Eye Is Thoroughly Relaxed Now

Yes, a rough life, I know. First a Morrissey concert, then a day at the spa – a girl could get used to this.

I was finally able to renew a gift certificate I had left over from Christmas (yeah, I know that sounds really obnoxious….), at this little spa place right near the theater where I was all gooey and sentimental over Morrissey the previous night. I decided I would get something different from the usual massage or facial and indulge in a “Shirodhara Scalp Massage" along side a peppermint scrub pedicure.

Folks, I cannot say enough good things about this scalp massage thingy. Admittedly it’s a little new age-y, but it’s all good. First, they rub cool stones over your face – which feels a whole lot better than it sounds. Then they pour warm oil over the “third eye” on your forehead which feels every bit as new age-y as it sounds. But then the rubbing.

My God, the rubbing.

Then they rub your scalp for 45 minutes – the exact same way your mom did when you were a kid, which makes you all sleepy and relaxed and zen-like and able to ignore the fact that cool stones are occasionally re-applied to your face and that they're pouring warm oil over your head and that you’re in a spa paying for this rather than being 8 years old and having your actual mom rubbing your actual head.

At the end you emerge, as my head-rubber called me, as a “greaseball,” (because, after all, your hair has been virtually soaked in oil for 45 minutes) albeit a very relaxed, chilled out greaseball.

Worth every penny the gift card was spent on...it's enough to send a girl home singing "Girlfriend in a Coma" the whole way without even thinking of the fact that she's dripping oil onto her Old Navy t-shirt.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Panic on the Streets of....Denver?

If you’ve ever wondered what it might take to make 33-year-old Beth all giggly and school girlish, then all you have to do it take her to a Morrissey concert with her junior high co-hort Rena and there you’ll have it. He may be 48 and a bit gray at the temples, but he’s still got what it takes to make me giddy and weak in the knees.

Against an angsty backdrop of James Dean, urging the crowd to ‘be tender with him” due to the altitude, the Moz put on one hell of a show, including Smiths’ favorites like "Panic," "How Soon Is Now," and "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want." It was all I could do to just stand there and grin like a maniac while clinging to my $7 beer. The encore sucked, but HEY, if you don’t leave a Morrissey concert feeling sad and angsty, what good is it, right?

I’m sorry folks, but there’s something very poignant and moving about a crowd of angst-ridden 30-year-olds screaming out “I AM HUMAN AND I NEED TO BE LOVED” at the top of their beer-soaked lungs. Growing up, Morrissey’s music spoke to me – and dare I say, actually saved my life - at times when I felt utterly alone; it was touching to hear him again in an entirely different time and place in my life. I recall journals of mine in college plastered with lyrics from Morrissey and the Smiths that still touch me. Being in a concert with hundreds of like-minded folks seemed downright therapeutic.

Anyhoo.....Good to reconnect with old friends over old music. I’m in Denver, by the way….

“Burn down the disco….hang the blessed DJ….because the music that they constantly play….sings nothing to me about my life….”

Friday, May 04, 2007

An Open Letter to the Hotel Diva in San Francisco


Dear Hotel Diva,

Um, hi. I’m not a diva by any standard – my people, the Danish, were brought up to believe that it’s just plain bad manners to raise a fuss about ANYTHING (including being in fire, trapped in a well, etc.), so I feel a little out of sorts by writing you in the first place. However, you’re the freakin’ HOTEL DIVA so I feel like we need to talk. I mean, look at those pictures of you - you're adorable. And while technically not incorrect, they're a little misleading.

For one, the fact that you have concert footage of Cher and Liza playing in the lobby (kitschy in its own right) isn’t enough to make you “diva-licious.” My room was smaller than my kitchen table and featured a “goody bag” that included deodorant and coupons for male body spray. Again, I hate to raise a fuss here, but you call those GOODIES? What self-respecting diva in her right mind is going to be wooed by some deodorant and a few sample pieces of Trident?

Girlfriend, do we need to also talk about the fact that my comforter (while soft) was grey on one side and then hunter-caliber ORANGE on the other? Is this diva-worthy? You’re telling me that Beyonce sleeps on sheets that are grey and orange? Methinks not.

Your concierge referred me and my guest to Max’s, which – while very conveniently located – felt to us like an upscale version of Perkins. Perkins. Which – don’t get me wrong – is fabulous when the situation calls for a bread bowl salad and a Chocolate Chipper, but when you’re staying at the HOTEL DIVA, it’s a bit of a bring down.

Finally, may I point out that my guest had a room with no air conditioning (What, a diva is supposed to sweat here?) and I was in a street-level room with a view of an alley. The glamour, shall we say, was a bit lax.

Look, I feel weird even bringing any of this up. But the fact that you pride yourself on being the HOTEL DIVA makes this letter all the more necessary.

Bring in some fluffy white down comforters, some air conditioners, a goodie bag that features at least something beyond COUPONS, free Wi-Fi for your guests and some rooms that are more than closet sized and we’ll talk again.

Until then –

Beth

Monday, April 30, 2007

No Napas Actually Taken in Napa 2007

Oh Jeez.

Okay, so I went to Napa and haven’t blogged about it in for-EVAH, okay? Sorry, World at Large. We ate yummy food, we stayed in an adorable yellow house, we basked in the 85 degree heat, we tried wineries that no one else has ever heard of – in short, it was a fabulous trip. I even got to shop for olive oil and schmancy cheese.

This was actually my third time to Napa Valley. The first was in my 24-year-old Chardonnay guzzling years, in which I couldn't drink anything anymore robust than a super-oak-y, fruity Chardonnay (hey, no compaints or judgement). The second being the Naked Mud Bath Experience Trip, in which I remember nothing except being naked in a mud bath and then this trip, in which I feel I've become enough of a respectable wine snob to know the difference between the varietals but remain cheap enough too not stray from what's offered at my neighborhood Trader Joe's. It's all good anyway you look at it.
Still, if you’ve never rocked out to Young MC’s “Bust a Move” while gazing upon endless fields of grapes then you’ve not done Napa properly, Amigos. There was the obligatory viewing of "Sideways", an educational tour at Mondavi that took roughly seven hours, several ongoing conversations about Why Beth Will Never Go Camping*, and more cheese and bread than you can shake a $24 Merlot-dipped stick at.

I returned home feeling rested, sun-baked and saturated in bold, full-bodied Cabs. Ain't a bad feeling.

** Look, smores and bonfires are cool and all, but I don't like peeing outdoors. I don't like sleeping outdoors. I don't like not showering. I don't like being that far from room service. I'm sorry, but I am NOT a happy camper.

Monday, April 23, 2007

An Open Letter to “Shut Up And Sing,” the Dixie Chicks Documentary

Dear Dixie Chicks Documentary,

Having recently spent what felt like an endless number of hours watching you, could you please explain to me how it is possible that a documentary such as yourself could be so dreadfully, painfully, mind-numbingly boring? You have rednecks versus liberals! You have freedom of speech issues! You have war protesters and death threats and Rick Rubin! You even have that inspiring “Not Ready To Make Nice” song that even I like as your soundtrack!

And yet, you waste half of yourself with extended footage of the Chicks in the studio, recording tracks, plinging their banjos, talking with producers – blah, blah, blah. There's a lot of footage of Nathalie Manes laying on various couches in recording studios with no makeup on, but she's never saying anything particularly articulate or motivating. In fact usually she's getting counselled by her PR advisors and tour managers about how to react - this is supposed to inspire me? Plus, you’re poorly organized – flipping back in time to 2003, then ahead to 2006, then back to 2005, then back again to 2003 – what is UP, Dixie Chicks Documentary?

I was so looking forward to spending some time with you and this is what I get for it?

Whatever,
Beth

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Dispatches From The (Perhaps More Than) Friends of the Public Library Booksale

I’ve always fancied myself a book geek. I love reading, I love authors, I love libraries, I love words. Hell, I even love punctuation. And yet, after going to the Seattle Friends of the Library Book Sale this weekend, I’ve discovered a new culture of “book people” who have taken book love to a Whole ‘Nother Level.

For one, these folks come prepared. They plan ahead and bring giant suitcases and military-sized duffel bags and plastic milk crates and roll-y luggage carts to drag their book purchases around the shopping area. They shuffle slowly around the book tables because they’re nudging packed cardboard boxes of books in front of them with their feet while carrying additional packed boxes in their arms. These people buy in BULK. The $14 stack of books I came away with has got nothin’ on these folks. The people watching alone made this experience worthwhile.

God I love how nerdy Seattle is.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A couple days ago I got hit with a weird eye infection/allergic reaction thing where my eyes basically puffed up and weeped all day, making me look like I was having a nervous breakdown all day long. But I digress. The point is, I stayed home from work and found myself watching TV off and on throughout the day.

During which I saw a commercial for the new Volvo S80. The commercial features a woman walking to her car, late at night, alone, her 3-inch heels click-clicking their way to her reliable safe Volvo after a hard day of working at the local Swedish blond furniture factory. But then (cue creepy music), as she takes out her remote to unlock her Volvo during the dead of night, she notices the remote’s HEARTBEAT DETECTOR feature is blinking – i.e., Ax Murderer In The Car Alert! Ax Murderer In The Car Alert! - and she immediately turns around and scurries to safety.

So, this is good….I guess? Sort of? Engh? I think I just find the whole scenario rather terrifying – that so many people are being attacked by freakshows hiding out in their Volvos that they needed to design and market and install a remote control HEARTBEAT DETECTOR as part of your remote keyless entry systems. The world's a scary place - I'm glad Volvo's creating ways to keep us safe, but this just creeps me out because it's a threat and a danger I didn't really even pay attention to that regularly.

As Engadget noted last year, I’m glad I just have to deal with the regular homeless/crazy non-Volvo-lurking weirdos on my public transportation system rather than fighting them off in my own car.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Body Modification Alert

So maybe I’ve just be watching too much Miami Ink and developing way too much of a crush on Chris Nunez and Garver, but I’ve got the tattoo bug. BIG. TIME. No rash decisions yet, I’m just thinking about it and trying to psych myself up for actually taking the plunge.

I’m throwing around some ideas for what I want and trying to think of where to put it on my body. Right now I’m leaning towards the image of Jack Kerouac’s Underwood typewriter (worthy of a posting in itself), surrounded by Saucer Magnolia Blossoms (another post in itself). But where to put it on me where it will still be appropriate in a professional setting is the challenge.

Ideas? Suggestions? If you’ve gotten a tattoo in Seattle and liked the experience, let me know where you went and who you liked. Hell, if you’ve gotten ink anywhere and liked it let me know too in case I’m traveling somewhere and inspiration/madness hits me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

An Open Letter to MySpace

Myspace, are you intentionally trying to be difficult? Do you want me to stop and turn this Internet around and go back home? Do you, MySpace? Because I WILL.

All I want is a cute little background picture, maybe some cute little extra features, to customize my, well, my space, and it’s taking me hours to figure that out. Are there no good editing/customizing programs out there? Can no one make this an easier, more intuitive process? Seriously, MySpace, 12-year-olds have figured you out and I can’t? Is there a special invisible font that you employ that people over 30 can’t see somehow?

I was hoping to work with you as a nice compliment to the World of Beth, in the off chance I get organized and take more digital pictures to share with, well, the World of Beth. I was hoping to put up a nice playlist of songs I enjoy. I had lots of hopes and dreams for us, MySpace.

But right now I think you just need a time out. Just wait until your father gets home, MySpace, he’s going to have to have a word with you. For now, you’re officially grounded.

Ugh,
Beth

Monday, April 16, 2007

Food review: Strawberry Fusion Gum

One of the best perks of my job is that we have an incredibly well-stocked kitchen area, complete with drinks, snacks and a breath-taking (breath-saving?) assortment of mints and gum. You would think we were professional make-out artists what with all of the Altoids we have stocked in there.

But recently I’ve discovered, waaaaay in the back of the gum drawer (yes, we have a Gum Drawer and it is glorious), was a case of candy-coated Chicklet-ish yumminess which has become my latest guilty pleasure. Ladies and gentleman, I present to you Trident’s “Strawberry Fusion” sugar free gum!

This is the most complicated gum ever, and I like to think I’m a fairly smart person that knows her way around gum. First of all, there are two flavor sides to choose from – sweet versus sour. I’m not sure if you’re supposed to mix and match the flavors or what. Experiment with various degrees of each for your own flavor experience? Maybe. All I know is that I can’t cram the pieces of gum into my mouth fast enough. They taste like candy. They smell like candy. And they’re calorie free! They prevent cavities!

God only know how foul it is for my co-workers that have to sit near me, emitting strawberry fumes a la my Strawberry Shortcake dolls with every breath I take, but I cannot get enough of this stuff. The sour strawberry side is particularly delicious, although it is clearly laced with crack because I’m literally chomping away on it as I type this like a cow feasting on sweet Kentucky grass.

Mmmmmm....Mystery ingredient Xylitol……

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Peepapalooza, Peeple!


Heads up, Peeps - there's been waaaay too much going on in the world of Peeps. 'Tis the season, I guess...

May I share a ball gown made of Peeps, as well as highlights from this year's Peepapalooza from the Seattle Times. I think "Ameri-Peep Gothic" is my favorite.
Then, not to be outdone, check out the official Peeps Website, (which truly never, ever disappoints) as well as pretty durned comprehensive site about the science behind Peeps. And, if you're especially brave, might I recommend the Lord of the Peeps site, which should really put us all in a Peep Coma.
Peeps out.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Eat my nail dust, Carmela Soprano

Sigh. Well, I went and got some fake nails yesterday. A "full set" as they call them. Given to me by a teensy tiny Vietnamese woman who had teensy tiny little hands. I felt like I had actual gigantic paws while she was holding my hand.

Anyhoo. I have mixed feelings about the nails. Look, they're tasteful. Really. They are. But still I feel a little Carmela Soprano meets Harvey Fierstein-esque. I have now become one of those women who needs to "get their nails done." On the flip side, that's why I wanted them to begin with. I liked the idea of getting more manicures and spending more time taking care of myself. Having these things make that a necessity. I wanted to be a little more girlie and princessy and somehow, as I passed the nail shop, it seemed this might be the best way to do that. Engh, we'll see.

On a related note, may I share how much joy it gave me when I asked two distinctly different people where I could find "a makeup organizer" and both of them instantly said, "Wait, you mean like a Caboodle?"

Yes, if you're interested, they still make and sell Caboodles and they are still fabulous. Just very odd to hear the word "Caboodle" said twice in one day.

I gotta go organize my Caboodle and tease my hair while I work on my Jersey accent.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Open Letter to Every. Single. Person. At the Northgate Target this weekend

Dear Every Single Person At the Northgate Target This Weekend,

First of all, let me be clear. This means you. Yes, you. All of you. Every single person that was there on Saturday. All of you.

PUT DOWN YOUR DAMNED CELL PHONES AND JUST START SHOPPING ALREADY. SOME OF US ARE AT TARGET TO, UM, ACTUALLY SHOP AT TARGET.

Thank you, that is all.

Cheerio,
Beth

P.S. Hi there, did anyone else notice they're selling Boot's goodies at Northgate now? Bring on the Eurotrashy skin care products and makeup! That was the only thing that saved my sanity among the cell phone toting masses.

P.P.S. Hi there, I see you still talking on your cell phone. HANG UP RIGHT NOW. ENOUGH ALREADY.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

"You TAKE a nappa, you don't MOVE to Napa!"

Or, Carrie Bradshaw, in my case, you go to Napa for a three-day weekend with your girlfriends in just under a month. Looking forward to snarfing down cheese and wine at every meal, driving along lush country roads and reading trashy magazines while mocking celebrities.

God I love frequent flier miles. Thanks, Alaska Airlines, for making this trip possible!

Friday, March 30, 2007

My new roommate, Matt

There's a new BFF in the World of Beth, or, more specifically, the Apartment of Beth - which involves a floofy white smooshable new queen-sized pillowtop mattress from Sears.com. I LUUUURRVE it.

It is ginormous and high and fluffy and delicious and it makes me feel like a princess when I am sleeping on it. I have decided to name it Matt, which allows me to carry on my fantasty of someday actually sleeping with someone other than Mrs. Puff. Matt doesn't give me a backache like my old 10-year-old ghetto mattress did.

Matt and I are going to be alright. Our future will be bright, I feel it.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

And speaking of hot new shows to check out... **

So.....The Riches on FX. Anyone? Bueller? Anyone at all?

First of all, thanks to the Alert Member of World of Beth that tipped me off to this show, and to the fact that Eddie Izzard is playing a suburban dad and that he looks actually kind of, well, manly and dad-like these days. File that in a gigantic file called "Who'd A Thunk It? (and/or Possible Signs of The Coming Apocalypse)."

I've had a bit of a perverse thing for Eddie Izzard for a while because he's very funny and he's very smart and he brings the two together brilliantly, but his whole cross dressing and lip gloss thing really limited how far my fantasies could progress with him. Let's face it, at its most wicked, my Eddie Izzard dream date consisted of my running into him at a cocktail party after I had sucked down a few too many dirty martinis and the two of us would get into an animated contest where we would make up increasingly snarky comments about the party's attendees. We would be deliciously bitchy together. Annnnnnd....that's about it. But I digress.....


Seriously, a suburban dad? I'm afraid there's just no room for me in that little fantasy world. As for the show, I'm more impressed so far with Minnie Driver. She really broke my heart in the scene where she came out of prison and was all alone and damaged-looking. Let's see how long it stays on the air and where it goes from here.

** Dude, my posts NEVER synch up like this, what's going on?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Speaking of Be-Spectacled Nerd Boys....

Engh! Engh! Hey! Engh! (Imagine Beth squirming and jumping up and down with her arm held high like Arnold Horschack) Hey! You! HEYYYYYY!! This! American! Life! It's coming to Showtime! As a SHOW! On the TELEVISION! Ira Glass in all of his nasally-toned silver throated glory - in person, in my living room.

Like my cable bill needs to be any larger...they go and throw a show like this up on a premium channel like Showtime. I'm hoping Netflix gets around to sharing the Ira-Glassiness of televised Ira Glass before I have to sell Mrs. Puff to Comcast as payment.
If anyone has checked this show out, let me know how it is or if I need to go to Chicago and stalk Ira to ask him myself.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Lobby, this one's for you

Yes folks, it’s a blog about Lobsters, sent to me by an Alert Member of the World of Beth. It's not the hilarious, gut-busting tome one might expect from Lobsters, but the book that started the whole thing to begin with seems interesting. Did I mention that my former office had a pet lobster that went to trade shows with us? Yeah, I guess that's something best shared with a very limited number of people. Anyhoo.....

If you’ve ever wanted to check out what the “PC” from those “I’m a Mac….and I’m a PC,” commercials for Apple might have to say to the world, might I suggest you check out John Hodgeman’s blog. He’s actually pretty hilarious on the Daily Show. Why I am just now learning about him? Do I sense a new be-spectacled nerd boy for me to develop an irrational crush on?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A (not so) Taxing Endeavor

I am feeling waaaay smug this evening because, for the first time in 33 years, I actually completed and filed my taxes All. By. Myself.

The fact that I normally go to H&R Block and pay someone upwards of $100 to file my EZ form for me has finally shamed me into behaving like a big girl and taking care of my very simple taxes. I tell you, for those of us single, dependent-free folks without multiple homes, vehicles or watercraft, extensive stock portfolios or complicated trust funds, taxes are downright simple!

Apparently, I am also due a nice little refund, which I’m hoping will not be immediately handed over to the IRS again when they audit me for filing my taxes completely incorrectly, but we’ll see. I’m going with the “Beth is hopefully smarter than the average bear” way of thinking and hoping I plugged in all of the data correctly. Fingers crossed….

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Holy Handicapped Panda Action, Batman!

Oh yes, Loyal Readers, you can be assured I am ALL OVER this story.

May I just call out this sentence summarizing Niu Niu's woes? "Niu Niu's spirits have lifted, the wound has healed and her appetite has basically recovered. But without her left paw, her loss of balance has directly affected her love life," the paper said.

I just don't know what to say about that. I feel like Chandler in the episode of Friends where he's not allowed to mock anything and then bursts out in a mock-filled rage at the end about all of the ridiculous things that went on.

Handicapped pandas + articifical panda limbs + impact on panda sex = WAY TOO MUCH to handle before Beth has had her morning coffee.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Target, your selection is really getting out of hand

As a tried and true book snob, I truly never thought I’d find myself raving about the book section of my local Target, but DAMN Tar-Jay has stepped it up a notch in the literary selection department. Sure they’re still heavy on the trashy airport-sized paperbacks, but one really can’t complain about fiction options in the same place that you buy cat litter, can you?

This weekend I picked up “Love Is a Mix Tape,” which seemed to fill the hole in my heart left by Nick Hornby’s “High Fidelity.” It’s gotten great reviews and Target had it way cheaper than Amazon.com, which gives me yet another reason to love Target to death. First they start selling wine, then they start selling cute jewelry and flare, now legit hipster literary fiction? Target, are you just trying to get my WHOLE paycheck directly deposited to you? Really? What's next, your Target-brand artisinal cheese department?

Oh, I also found “I, Elizabeth” which looked like something that could help furture my newfound historical fiction obsession (Hi, Alert Reader Who Also Likes Historical Fiction, we should talk….).

Monday, March 05, 2007

Visitor report!

Houseguests in the World of Beth are always especially nice treats, and when your guest has known you for (ahem) almost 28 years, it’s even better. Yes, Jenny and I met on the first day of kindergarten and we are STILL friends….proof that once you make nice with the World of Beth there is truly no possible escape plan, EVER.

A fabulous but all-too-short trip was had by all – featuring drunk shopping at Whole Foods, posh martinis and Michael Jackson remixes at Chapel, delish Dim Sum and conveyor-belt sushi, the World’s Smartest Rental Car that discouraged us from taking a trip to Mt. St. Helens, ridiculous trinket shopping at Archie McPhee and several anger-management filled SVU episodes with Detective Stabler.

Special snaps go out to any houseguest as thoughtful as this one that present me with adorable hostess gifts from Daiso – that baby-sized frying pan may have just earned you another 28 years of friendship, amiga. Safe travels home....

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Tea-filled resolutions

As I’ve written about previously, 2007’s resolutions were all about making smaller, bite-size goals that I could (get this) actually accomplish.

So far it’s shaping up to be the Year of Drinking More Tea. I may not be able to train for a marathon or enact world peace, but I’m pretty confident I can boil water and drink some tea when put to the test. Receiving this adorable teapot for my birthday has definitely helped the cause.

Enter Remedy Teas, which is the super cute teahouse located just up the street from my house and the object of my latest obsession. More than 150 teas to choose from, plus wall to wall hipsters and funky science-lab-style teapots and mugs. As stated in a review on Yelp!, “If the (Ravenna area) Queen Mary Tearoom had a hipster daughter who was embarrassed by her mom's outfits, she would be Remedy Teas.”

More details and cute pics are found here. Check. It. Out.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Flu. Flu bad. Beth Hate Flu.

I swear Saturday morning I was FINE. Totally FINE. And then it hit me like a truckload of bricks. Really angry bricks. And then the sweating started. And then the freezing started. And then I wanted to sleep for four weeks. And then I realized I had the freakin' flu. I was totally incapacitated by 6:30 that night.

I went online to see what I should take for this and how long I was going to be out for....and that's when I saw this new Flu Facts campaign. Look, it was helpful and all finding out the various symptoms of the flu - it confirmed what I had already suspected, but a few questions spring to mind:


Why is the penguin from Happy Feet advertising anti-viral medication? I mean he's snuggly and all, but....What did it do wrong that it couldn't get on a Happy Meal box like every other Disney character in history?

Anyway. I'm better now. Two Nyquil-heavy days of moaning and aching and whining, but I'm better. I'm still confused about the penguins.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Surprise Gift Alert!

God, I love unexpected gifts!

Can I just discuss the surprise birthday/Valentine's Day care package I recently got from an old junior high amiga? Was it the Valentine's Day-themed Peeps that made it so awesome? No. The yummy smelling spa goodies? Eh. Oh don't get me wrong - it was all good...all of it.

But it was the bag of orange plastic-y "circus peanuts" that made my whole day because the minute I opened that bag and smelled that awful, plastic-y, marshmallow smell I was taken back to high school when we drove around eating those things by the bucketload in my classy glitter green Chevette rocking out to EMF's "Unbelieveable" (noting (siiiiigh) that was before that song become known as "Crumbelievable" and featured on cheese commercials).

Ah, nostalgia is good, folks. But having good friends who have stuck with you through the years is even better.

Thanks Slurpee Drinking Circus Peanut Eating Friend!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

You Just Know Me So Darned Well

I love that someone notified me today about a recently-discovered 1,000-pound giant squid by saying:

"You know I can't resist sending you stories about giant creatures of the deep."

And YOU know I can't resist reading about them. Seriously. I still can't stop looking at that thing, no matter how much it freaks me out.

Thanks, alert World of Beth reader!

Monday, February 12, 2007

National I'mAOkayByMyselfTine's Day Coming Up, Folks.

It’s heading up on Valentine’s Day this week, or as we in the World of Beth refer to it, I’mAOkayByMyselfTine’s Day. See, it’s not about being bitter and angry and angsty about couples and soul mates and people who have someone to spoon with as they fall asleep at night (hi, there are 364 other days for that). It’s more about being….a-okay with yourself and your single guy/gal life for at least just one day a year.

QuirkyAlone.com even offers a lovely list of activities for us to do this coming Wednesday, which they’ve deemed “International QuirkyAlone Day.” (Harrumph, that’s got nothin’ on being AOkayByYourselfTIne’s Day in my mind, but whatev….)

Ten Ways to Celebrate International Quirkyalone Day

1. Explore a new part of town—be a tourist in your own city.
2. Throw a slumber party. Particularly fun to rent is Dirty Dancing.
3. Rearrange your furniture.
4. Buy yourself new underwear (throw out all the old ones form the 90s.)
5. Be creative alone, doing whatever it is you like to do (write, paint, sew, upholster furniture, surf, make art of out dryer lint).
6. Be creative with friends and/or a boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse. Have an arts and crafts party or cook a meal together.
7. Buy yourself or a friend a bunch of daisies. Daisies are the official flower of the quirkyalone movement.
8. Volunteer for a cause you believe in.
9. Get cozy in bed with a book. Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics would of course be a good choice--and/or Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke (perhaps the original self-help book for quirkyalones) and/or The Vagabond by Colette and/or The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap by Stephanie Coontz and/or even The Flaneur by Edmund Wilson.
10. Come to or host a quirkyalone party!

Finally, there was this this piece in the Boston Globe a while back about the rising popularity of single folks, as well as an update from Newsweek on the 20-year anniversary of their famous statement that a 40-year-old single woman was "more likely to be killed by a terrorist" than to ever marry.

Get out there and be A Okay By Yourselves, folks!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

You are OUT OF CONTROL, Extreme Makeover Home Edition

Tonight "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" took the "Extreme" part way, way, WAY too seriously. Can I just offer a summary from this week's 2-part episode?
  • A Marine needs a new home. (Really, this should be enough, but wait...)
  • This Marine saved the lives of two police officers on 9/11. (but wait, there's more)
  • After saving the lives of these two cops, the Marine just disappeared, and they were unable to ever thank or acknowledge him. (oh MAN...)
  • While working on a sculpture for the Marine's house, (a sculpture, incidently of the American flag) a staffer is injured. (the American flag, people)
  • The injured staffer is actually British, making it all the more poignant that he's injured while working on the American flag. (i.e., "We are all Americans...")
  • The injured staffer is understandably scared and weeps for most of his ride to the hospital, confessing that his wife is pregnant with TRIPLETS. (Jesus, triplets, people)
  • While in the hospital, the injured British worker bravely and sternly tells Ty that he has to promise to "finish the flag" for the Marine. (Again, the injured British worker with TRIPLETS on the way that has been injured while carving an AMERICAN FLAG...)
  • Back at the work site, Pauly is presented with a set of flags from the local Marine recruiting group to honor the hero. (This actually isn't too extreme, Pauly cries in Every. Single. Episode.)
  • A gospel singer sings "God Bless America" while the local police department raises these three flags on this guys' front yard. (Kleenex is being pulled out by the dozen at this point...)
  • On the day of the unveiling, the crowd waiting for the family chants "USA! USA! USA!" There are are American flags up the wazoo and Marines march in formation to escort him to his front door. (I....I....just...)
  • When the marine gets to see the new house, he WEEPS. (Yes, he weeps. A big, burly stoic Marine loses it and weeps)
  • For the big finale, Ty presents a carved foot locker that he built for the Marine which holds the boots this guy wore on September 11 that still have dust on them from the buildings. Ty then points out that the soles of the shoes are melted. From the heat of the rubble. The shoes. That the Marine. Wore. When he anonymously saved the lives of two police officers. On 9/11.....
Seriously, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, it's TOO MUCH this week. You need to step off for a month or so so that I can pull myself together after this one.