Sunday, November 02, 2008

Putting a (Public) Stake in the Ground

Well loyal readers, it's time for Beth to announce her Biggest Project Yet: Operation Smaller Ass. Or perhaps it's Jiggle-B-Gone 2009? Or Campaign to Stop Dependence on Lane Bryant as My Sole Fashion Option?

You get the plus-sized picture. The fact is, I'm fat. I've been fat for a very long time....but the past few years in particular have been especially cringe-worthy on the scales. The other weekend I went out in a tank top and caught myself in a mirror and was frankly shocked and disgusted at the size of the woman looking back at me. I didn't recognize myself at all. I'm tired of the self loathing and the hiding from the world and the putting my life on hold until I get thin and the eating a pound of pasta at a time because I'm bored and lonely and the feeling like I'm 50 years old because my joints hurt from being so damned fat. I hate all of it.

My feeling is that by blogging about this topic more and being a little more public about my weight loss efforts, it makes it real for me. It makes me accountable. It takes it out of the realm of me just being frustrated and saying and I'm going to do something and makes me actually do it. Plus it encourages the World of Beth to cheer me on and kick my flabby ass when I need it.

Now this isn't to say that this will become a diet blog where I talk about recipes and workout tips and my measurements (unless I start acheiving major results, in which case all bets are off). But I need a stake in the ground - a beginning point to measure from, where I say that things have changed and will be different and that progress moves forward from this day. Stay tuned for more on this elastic waist pants need to come out of the dryer for now.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sacramento - Beth's Shrug-Worthy Day Trip

One of my favorite activities that I don't do too often is just to get in the car and drive aimlessly for a few hours and see where I end up. Some of my most memorable trips have come that way - the first time I saw Portland, for example, or the time I randomly drove to Vancouver after a particularly traumatizing job interview experience.

So last weekend I got the bee in my bonnet to see Sacramento. I had never been there. Didn't know what to expect. Unfortunately I did absolutely no research beforehand, couldn't tell you what's there (besides the Governator) or what the city is known for. I just drove there on a whim.

So. Yeah. It's actually a short drive from San Francisco - just about 80 minutes. Surprisingly it's a pretty rural drive too, with a few strip malls along the way. Shrug. I drove around for a little while once I got there, curiously avoiding the downtown area which I expect is where the capital is. I got on I-5 while I was there and felt a little closer to home knowing that Seattle was literally just up that very road several hundreds of miles. Then I headed home. I would not categorize it as a life-changing trip, but it did feel good to get out and drive for a long while and sing along to cheesy songs on the radio.

So....huh. Any guidance or advice on Sacramento? Anyone been there and fallen in love with it? Did I miss something obvious there that would have tranformed my very core? As an aside, I'm trying to focus more on weekend roadtrip adventures, so if you have recommendations, send 'em my way too.....

Sunday, October 19, 2008

All the world's a parade....but outside my front door?

Okay, so I realize this isn't exactly breaking news, but I feel compelled to share a totally ridiculous story from Beth's Insane Neighborhood.

(Quick aside to remind Loyal Readers that while I like to say I live in "North Beach" the reality is that I live just one block from San Francisco's Pier 39, which is the biggest, noisest tourist trap in the City. Tour buses, drunk vacationing frat boys, fanny packs, rental cars and lost German tourists consulting folded maps are all part of my daily life.)

So there I am, in my apartment, on a weekend. I putter away all Saturday in the house...Sunday comes along and I decide to get out of the apartment, if only to run a few errands and see the world. Plus the traffic and noise outside is incredibly loud, even more so than normal. The noise is a strange combination of motorcycles, tour buses, techno music, shouting and horses trotting by. Horses? Seriously?

I get dressed and head out my front door. And immediately find that only ten feet from my front door is Ground Zero of the North Beach Italian Heritage Parade, which consists of floats, marching bands, Italian flag-decorated fire trucks, ladies in hot pants, cars shaped like bowls of spaghetti, representatives of the Boudin bakery walking alligator-shaped loaves of bread on name it and it was sitting right in front of my apartment building ready to head up Columbus Avenue. For those who know it, Caeser's restaurant near my place looked like a pinata had exploded on it from all of the balloons and streamers and festivities taking place on its front steps.

It's very surreal to come across a parade completely unawares, and stranger still to have one just sneak up on your neighborhood and your apartment building like that. Parades are by nature kind of ridiculous and they're downright trippy when they come out of the blue. One certainly doesn't expect the U.S. Marine Corp. marching band to be outside their front door, does one? Here I thought I could just easily sneak off to Bed Bath and Beyond on a lazy Sunday afternoon, but that quickly proved impossible when the Columbus Salami Company truck rolled by with patrons throwing hard candy at my head. Was there a memo somewhere that I missed? I feel like this happened last year too which makes me feel especially clueless.

Ultimately I ended up sticking around the neighborhood - walking around sort of aimlessly while I tried to get my head around all of the stimuli around me. Costumed versions of Christopher Columbus and Queen Isabella...local government representatives waving at crowds...baton-throwing junior high girls....all right there in one giant Columbus Day celebratory par-tay. Who knew?

At home, I have a framed postcard right near my front door that reminds me that "76.2% percent of people leave their house every day." Frankly after my parade trauma, I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Beth Returns (Once Again) to the Blogosphere!

Alright kids, so it's been two months. I get it. I know I should post more often, but frankly it's been rather slow and non-post-worthy in the World of Beth, so material's been lacking. Plus frankly my non-Millenial, social media-challenged brain is struggling to keep up with the constant stream of updates needed to keep up on Facebook, Twitter, email and the blog. A girl can only update so much, you know.

Still, now that I've been away from it for a while, I'm realizing that even I have begun to miss the blog. I miss hearing from people and using this as a way to keep the world up on my lame adventures and updates. Part of the challenge living in this city is feeling so very far away from everyone I know and love, and there's a simple way to fix that - it's call reaching out. Connecting. Creating a dialogue. Mocking things in a public online forum You know, the basics.

Snaps and shouts out to those loyal readers who keep checking back in on this and encouraging me to write. Stay tuned for more adventures....

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A few words on Dolly Parton

I ask you, World at Large, what could be better than a Dolly Parton concert? Puppies? Unicorns? Rainbows? Maybe. But Dolly's pretty close up there. Having seen her show in Seattle this weekend I can say there are few comparisons to Dolly and that's not a bad thing.

For one, the woman played NINE friggin' instruments (a third of which were rhinestone encrusted), sung her own songs (which - get this - SHE WROTE HERSELF), had two costume changes and still rocked out the platinum wig and sparkly fringly cocktail dresses at age 62.

For two, when you're in a crowd of Dolly Parton fans, there's absolutely no room for cynicism or posturing. It's just not allowed. There is no "cool crowd" to mock you and make you feel bad about yourself. You have to surrender to the ridiculousness and joy of being in a stadium with drag queens and gay boys and professional-grade mullet-wearing country fans and 60-year-old librarians all of whom are dancing around to "9 to 5" and "Thank God I'm a Country Girl" and there's something, well, very weird, but also very wonderful about that.

All I needed was a (Botox free) Kenny Rogers for the Islands in the Stream portion of the show and I can say all was complete.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

A Lesson in You Tube, Where Beth Learns WAY Too Much About Vincent D'Onofrio

File this one under "Embarrassing Confessionals," kids. So I keep hearing about this new fangled thing called "YouTube" on the InterWeb that the young kids keep paying so much attention to, and sure enough I spent most of last weekend seriously obsessed with it. Seriously It started off innocently enough where I was trying to find this clip from "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" for someone involving Vincent D'Onofrio.

(Side Note: I heart Vincent D'Onofrio. I mean, I HEART HIM. He meets all of my Soul Mate Requirements of being ridiculous tall and slightly wounded and very likely depressed and he gets me all melty. But I digress.)

So there I am, on YouTube, trolling for clips of Law and Order: Criminal Intent and then I get distracted by all of the videos of Vincent that are available and I can't very well not check them out, right? Except, well clearly I've been living in a cave since the mid 90's, because I'm amazed at the sheer number of fan sites/music video montages that are both really really creepy/stalkerish and totally, completely hypnotic/mesmerizing. I mean, have you seen these, people? And of course I can't turn away. Hours pass. Contacts dry out. I find myself unable to stop watching the 540 Vincent D'Onofrio-related clips from movies and TV and interviews and photo shoots because the Internet is a harsh mistress and she demands your attention, dammit.

Is is possible to spent an entire Saturday night watching some stranger's homemade videos set to ridiculously cheesy romantic music just to watch Vincent D'Onofrio have a rough sex scene with a C-grade actress in a movie from 1994? Um, yeah. Just like it's possible to watch about a zillion photo slide shows of him set to syrupy Sarah McLachlan music while his sad dopey Bobby Goren mug glows on my laptop.

This is officially time for Beth to Get A Life. Either that or to figure out how to make a slideshow of her own so I can stop feeling dirty and just sign on to the dark side of Internet video fan sites. In the meantime, I'm just sayin' if you happen across a Vincent D'Onofrio 2009 wall calendar I won't be sad if it shows up in my stocking.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Chi Re-alignment, Day 1

While on vacation, I picked up a book on how to have more energy and stop feeling so exhausted all the time. It seemed like a good purchase since most nights when I come home from work it's all I can do to microwave some food and avoid falling asleep on the couch at 9 o'clock. Not so cool.

I like that all of the recommendations in the book are logical (eat better food, get some sunshine and physical activity each day, etc.) and easy - given that the target audience is exhausted people, I figure you've got to start small. So today I took the action item of "eliminating clutter" in my home, which consisted of rearranging my furniture, cleaning out my closets and trying to create more energy in my surroundings.

I used to have a few grocery bags of old mail and bills stuffed under my bed and finally got around to shredding them. It sounds new agey, but getting rid of the paperwork under my bed really did make a difference in how I felt. It's like, the energy started to flow, man. Going through these old bank statements and credit card offers and water bills and employment contracts from long-ago jobs seemed very liberating and the idea that all of these things were under my bed made it seem very obvious as to why I wasn't sleeping better. Bad energy, man. No one can sleep when Bank of America is hiding out under them all night, right?

What a feeling! It's still like living in a cramped, noisy shoebox, but it somehow feels like a slightly roomier and more nurturing shoebox.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Pop Quiz: Denver Edition, V. 2

Pop Quiz, Hot Shots! (Yes, again.)
Question: During a recent trip to Denver, which of the following activities did Beth NOT do?

A.) Had a hot guy that looked an awful lot like Ryan Reynolds sit next to her in a SmartCar while being given a demo of the car's features?
B.) Finally watched "Flight of the Concords" and started to understand what all the fuss is about?
C.) Drove to the Tattered Cover and bored her mom senseless while surveying the bargain books section for almost an hour?
D.) Learned about glitter tattoos and substituted merlot for the more popular grape Kool-Aid at a barbeque for her dad's birthday?
ANSWER: Well it's ANOTHER trick question, naturally! I did all of those things during my visit. And I'm seriously not lying about the guy that looked like Ryan Reynolds. That SmartCar is a Guy Magnet, I have got to pick one up. I'm also not lying about the glitter tattoos, though I'm not so sure I need to pick one of those up anytime soon.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pop Quiz: Denver Edition, V.1

Pop Quiz Hot Shots!
QUESTION: During a recent trip to Denver, how did Beth and her mom spend their first day together?

a.) Eating "Chinese" food at a Chinese buffet that used to be Furr's Cafeteria, followed up by a trip to a new 85,000-square foot liquor store named Tipsy's;
b.) Eating "Italian" food at The Olive Garden, followed up by a trip to Target;
c.) Eating "seafood" at Red Lobster, followed up by a trip to Kohl's;
d.) Eating "food" at Appleby's, followed up by a viewing of Mamma Mia at the local movieplex

ANSWER: Well it's a trick question, naturally. The answer is A since the question was about the first day spent in Denver, but truth be told, we did every single one of these activities during my visit. And Tipsy's really is an amazing sight to behold, complete with weird manniquins located throughout its aisles and a fireplace big enough to keep all of Southwest Denver toasty. Mamma Mia was overwhelming and hilarious and silly and really quite embarrassing to see Meryl Streep wearing denim overalls, but to look over and see my mom actually lip synching and tapping her feet to "Take a Chance on Me" made it all worth it.

Ah, the homestead.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Let's all take a lesson from Olive, shall we?

Having recently found my way back to the blogosphere, I was saddened to read about the passing of Olive Riley, the world's oldest blogger, who died this week at the age of 108. 108, people. Truly, if this woman can post from her nursing home in (no joke) Woy Woy, Australia, than surely I can do a better job at updating the World of Beth on my lame cat lady adventures.

For a nice mental health break, check out her blog, which features some terrific pictures of Olive as well as some very grandmotherly floral design action. There's even pics of her doing the Can Can on her 108th's birthday next to some showgirls. I love this woman!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

More than 2 months later, Beth returns to the Blogosphere!

Well World at Large, it's been way too long. Pull up a chair and pour yourself a giant goblet of vino - we've got a lot to catch up on!

So I realize it's been a couple of months since last I've blogged and many of you have been (ahem) not-so gently following up with me to see what's been cookin'. A quick recap might be in order:

1.) Campin'. Yes. It's true. Pigs have flown. Hell has frozen over. Beth has camped! Okay, so it was for one night after a good friend's wedding and I was within 100 feet or so from plumbing and indoor shelter, but I think anytime Beth beds down in a tent with an air mattress in the out of doors it counts as camping. I found it helpful to down a few bottles of Prosecco beforehand to cushion the blow and put one's camping-phobic mind into a comfortably numb place. I have survived the wilderness!

2.) Spayin'. This one's a little more delicate. Seems that when Beth adopted her little white kitten from the SPCA and they SAID she was spayed they weren't so much telling the truth. Sigh. After taking her back in for surgery and making SURE that she was spayed, I can say I've got a whole new kitten at home. Gone are the days of screaming out the window! Gone are the nights of running restlessly through the apartment all night long! I may not have to throw her dirty little behind out the window after all.

3.) Travelin'. Okay, so not quite an international tour of the world. But I went to Seattle for a wedding and am headed to Denver next week to see the parentals and some old friends. It all counts as time off from work and a chance to get a new perspective, right?

4.) Refocusin'. July 4th marked my one year anniversary in San Francisco and with that has come a lot of thinking about priorities and lessons learned. For the past year I've been living as though this has been one seemingly endless business trip -- afraid to connect with people, afraid to let myself relax and enjoy my time here because I was so focused on "getting back home" and putting this tough year behind me. The reality is that while I might not want to live in San Francisco forever, I'm here for at least another year for now it seems, so I need to start thinking about how to enjoy and participate in life here rather than just hiding and passing the time. Still trying to figure out how that will translate into actions, but the mentality is starting to change and that feels remarkable. Stay tuned on this one.

Okay, so not quite Earth-shaking events, but that's part of the reason for not blogging more often. Keep checking back for more frequent posts, I pinkie swear.

Friday, May 02, 2008

An Open Letter to Netflix

Dear Netflix,

Jesus, are you trying to kill me here? Seriously, guys, when a person rents The Savages, Atonement, and Lars and the Real Girl all at the same time you really ought to include either a complimentary box of Kleenex or a gallon size drum of Prozac with the DVDs.

Because that person will start off with Lars and the Real Girl thinking "Boy, this looks like one really quirky indie comedy right here!", only she will end up being depressed after only a few minutes of watching it. She will once again realize how insanely talented Ryan Gosling is but feel frustrated because she never ends up actually connecting with the character of Lars and instead just thinks that it's sad enough that this guy is so withdrawn and isolated to come up with the concept of Bianca, but even sadder that we're supposed to expect the whole town to go along with the idea for 90 consecutive minutes. Sigh.
Then that person will pop in "The Notebook" and hope to be cheered up by a hunkier, less crazy version of Ryan Gosling and she'll remember what a piece of crap Hallmark/Lifetime pablum-fest that movie is (even WITH the kiss in the rain) and end up throwing the DVD across the room.

Then, later on, she'll try and watch The Savages because if there's one thing that never fails this person it's Philip Seymour Hoffman. Plus, with Laura Linney to boot, how can this movie be a bad thing? I'll tell you how, Netflix. It's about a brother and sister who have to put their dementia-ridden father into a nursing home. Um, nothing funny or quirky about that, not even in a dark-comedy sort of way, is there, Netflix? It's just dark. And more depressing. And very tiring.

So finally, this person will watch Atonement. Because surely a beautiful period film with James McAvoy (who, if you'll recall, Netflix, this person once referred to as "Mr. Yum-nus" from The Chronicles of Narnia) can't be all bad, right? So this person will watch the film and start to feel better because even after a horrible lie made in childhood, things ultimately end up alright and our two lovers are brought together again - OH WAIT THEY NEVER GET BACK TOGETHER BECAUSE THEY BOTH DIE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE DEATHS AND NOTHING CAN EVER BE PUT RIGHT AGAIN....ahem. Sorry, Netflix.

You see where I'm going with this, Netflix? Be careful what you mail to people in those little red envelopes. Just sayin'.
Your movie fan,


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Staying Young@Heart

So there's this documentary out, which I really want to see, called Young @ Heart about this choral group made up of folks in their 70's, 80's and even 90's who sing punk songs. Sonic Youth, Coldplay, Lou Reed, the get the picture.

And seriously, every time I go to You Tube and check out their performances I find myself laughing and sobbing at the same time. Tears full on rolling down the cheeks while giggling. Even when I know exactly what to expect it still just slays me. Love 'em, love 'em, LOVE. THEM. Below is a version of "Stayin' Alive/I Will Survive" that brightens my day every time I see it....but if you're feeling like you need something heavier, then go to You Tube and watch the performance of Dylan's "Forever Young" they do at a prison and you will be blubbering like a little girl. You've been warned.

Oh, and BTW, if you think you see Justin Timberlake in this you're right. No joke!

Oh, did I mention I've recently learned how to embed videos into my blog?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The M-Word

Greetings from Day Three of Vacation. After a brief client meeting today (siiiigh, yes I'm serious), I headed to Golden Gate Park for some outdoorsy fun in which I mean that I drove around the outdoorsy natural things, took some great pictures, and didn't really get out and walk or experience any of it first hand. This is about as outdoorsy as Beth gets, folks.

Anyhoo. First stop was the Conservatory of Flowers, which is this fantastic Victorian greenhouse straight out of a corset-busting A.S. Byatt novel. Clearly a hot spot for every retired person in San Francisco. The key here is that it's a HOT SPOT. As in, this place is a freakin' greenhouse and it was about 107 degrees in there, plus it was humid as hell. Dare I say (apologies to Robin here) it was MOIST AS HELL in there. My God, the Moisture! So much Moisture! The plants were dewy and glossy and my brow was feverish from the, ahem, Moisture, in the air. Not a particularly pleasant experience. But there was a butterfly exhibit and some toddlers were getting mighty excited about having butterflies land on them and even Beth's Bitter Heart of Stone had a good chuckle at that.
After the Moistest Experience Ever, I headed to the DeYoung museum, which was packed to the gills with hipsters and arty vacationers. Definitely need to spend more time there - I had to rush through it in order to get the Flexcar back on time.
Oh, and I saw some buffalo in the park. Random as hell. Go Buffs!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Beth Chillaxes at Home Doing Nothing: Vacation Continues!

Well folks, it only took two days of vacation for my super extra diligent vacation schedule to be shot all to hell. Yesterday was full of road trippin' not so much. So far I've slept in until the double-digit hours of the morning, caught up on my Law and Order: Criminal Intent episodes on the TiVo (Vincent D'Onofrio, you were so young and thing back in the day!), baked blueberry muffins, made chili and finally gotten around to watching Juno. Swear to Blog that was the sweetest movie EVER.

Okay, so that's actually quite a bit of stuff. I also got to spend some time on YouTube, where I can across this little gem. I'm sure most of America has already seen it, but if you're not a regular viewer of Cute, these boys might just make your day. The assertive snuggling has been a proven technique of mine for years.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Snuggly Otters and Sweeping Views: Beth's On Vacation!

Hiya kids and greetings from Vacationville - population ME. I finally got around to taking some time off and am trying to make the most of this week being a tourist in my own city. Yes, I've lived here almost ten months and there are still so many neighborhoods/museums/parks/areas I haven't seen. It's going to be a busy week, that's for sure.

Today started off with some coffee at this little cafe near my apartment that I've been meaning to check out for months. Hi, could it BE any cuter? Then it was a sun-filled drive down Highway 1 past Pacifica, past Half Moon Bay, past Santa Monterey to check out the world-famous aquarium and see if I couldn't steal one of the otters to bring back for Alice to play with.

The aquarium was absolutely amazing, as people told me it would be. It really IS worth the $24 cost of admission, and believe me I was pretty skeptical of that when I started off my tour. Of course the otters are riDONKulously adorable and joyful and snuggly and the educational demo station which teaches kids what their fur feels like just makes them all the MORE riDONKulous because they are super duper VELVETY AND SOFT. This just makes it all the more difficult not to crawl into the tanks with them and fall asleep on their little tummies. Sigh. For $24 I think I should be able to take a baby otter home with me, no?

Curiously though, my favorite creature at the aquarium was not the otters (and don't go making any jokes about the stingrays because those things continue to freak the hell out of me) but this guy pictured here - the black sea turtle. From what I can tell there was only one of them inside this giant wall of ocean fish creatures which made him see so unique and independent. He rocked the whole exhibit. You GO, giant black sea turtle guy!

Tomorrow's going to be museum focused, at least that's my intention at this point. I may end up vegging out and watching bad TV, but I'm trying to stay in the Activity Zone cause once you leave that, man, it's an uphill battle all the way.

Have things I should see over the next four days or so? Let me know....

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A quick open letter to my circa 1985 peach Princess Phone

Dear Circa 1985 Peach Princess Phone,
Damn, I've missed you. I mean, look at you. Who couldn't love that? For whatever reason I was talking at work today about Generation X-era technology and you came immediately to mind. No one here seems to remember you because they are all tech savvy Millenial kids, but I DO, Peach Princess Phone. I REMEMBER. I had to scour the Internet to find you, but when I tracked you down, this picture made me grin from ear to ear.
The hours we spent whispering secrets throughout my junior high and high school years will never be forgotten. I hope you're in a better place and still smelling like the Love's Baby Soft I drowned myself in.
P.S. Don't tell the Mac Plus and Atari that I've written you, I don't want to have any hurt feelings. You know how they can be.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Beth: Careless Lush or Visionary Trend Setter?

As loyal readers of the World of Beth can attest, I’m a huge fan of Drunk Shopping. I luvs me some drunk shopping. What can I say? Some people run marathons, or play with their kids/soulmates or remodel their lakefront summer homes to relax. Me? I slug back a few oversized glasses of cheap pinot noir and then hit the local Barnes and Noble for some tawdry self-help books.

Just recently someone passed me an AWESOME article in the Los Angeles Times about Drunk Shopping, which officially makes me some sort of tipsy, financially irresponsible visionary as I’ve been doing this for well over a decade before these newbies ever hit the InterWeb. Kids? Back in MY DAY we had to get drunk over cheap well drinks during Happy Hour and then WALK to an old school “brick and mortar” store and then stumble through that store precariously carrying your drunken purchases, potentially tripping and falling smack on your face in the process. Not to say that I’ve ever done that. Oh wait, yes I have. Several times, actually.*

There’s even a book on this topic – methinks I have found my next potential Drunk Purchase. God only know what could happen when Drunk Beth stumbles across the UK ChickLit section of

* Faceplants and near-faceplants have occurred at bookstores including: City Light Books (San Francisco), Barnes and Noble (Bellevue, Wash.), Half Price Books (Seattle), and Chapters (Vancouver).

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I'm not proud of this....

...but first of all, I just learned about MTV's "The Hills" like less than a month ago and it has proven to be more addictive than a vial of crack stuffed inside of a Twinkie and sprinkled with Oxycontin and soaked in heroin (a combination I would imagine to be very, very addictive).

So here I am, just now learning who Spencer is and who Lauren is and why they talk the way they do and struggling to figure out how she makes out with someone with that weird flesh colored beard, but I digress. While the rest of the world has been watching this insanity for two seasons, I'm just now looping myself in in the middle of Season Three. I am so, like, totally behind the curve, yah?

And then - God Bless You Broadband! - I just learned tonight that features full episodes of The Hills that you can download and watch online. The whole series to date. Right there at my fingertips.

I can feel the brain cells slipping away now. Don't say you haven't been warned if I start talking like a 19 year old socialite because it will only mean that I have been watching this show for the next 458 consecutive hours.

How is it that MTV was able to make me fall in love with it all over again a mere 20 years after Kevin and Julie had their argument about racism on the front steps of their luxury loft on the first season of The Real World? Don't make me quit you, MTV. Seriously, it's for realsies this time.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Two months later, Beth returns to the blogosphere!

Whoo. Phew. Ahem. Okay, folks, I am back! After two months of not a single post or update to the blog, I am finally turning over a new digital leaf and re-entering the blogosphere. What have y'all been up to? What have I been up to? A quick recap:

Getting a new kitten. I'm pleased to introduce Miss Alice Purrito de la Embarcadero to the world, who likes to run, jump, frolic, leap, scamper and explore every possible inch of this tiny 500 square foot apartment 24/7. Hot damn, kittens are exhausting. I am counting down the days until she becomes a mellow, lazy, cuddly lap cat like all of my other ones have been. That day will come, right? Right?

Visiting Seattle. What a invigorating trip - getting to reconnect with old friends over cupcakes, revisit all of my happy places (Half Price Books, Triple Door, the market, the Westlake Sephora...), do some shopping, drink performance art sake, and enjoy a tater tot omelette all in just three little days. Why did I wait so long to go back home? Why not do it more often? I almost cried when I could see the city from the plane on our descent into Sea-Tac. Home. At. Last. I need to do that more often.

Sprucing Up The Homestead. After some helpful suggestions from a recent houseguest, I'm pleased to say I'm starting to spruce up the apartment. This involves sending off a ton of kitchen and closet-related crap to Goodwill, paring down the book collection and incorporating some new color via throw pillows and about three bags of decorative knick-knacks from Crate and Barrel. Definitely feeling a little better about the place, even if it remains the Loudest Apartment On Earth.

Getting a California Driver's License. Nine months of living in this state and I finally buckled down and got a California license. I don't know why it took me so long. Oh wait, yes I do. This makes it real. This makes California my home. My legal place of residence. This means my Washington license isn't valid any more and that makes me deeply uncomfortable. Sigh. Trying to keep things moving forward instead of lingering in the past, but I have to say that's often easier said than done.

Shopping at Mervyns. Okay, this one I'm not proud of, it just happens to be what I did today on a whim. Everything was 50 percent off. I admit I felt my hipster cred being all but evaporated, what with shopping in the same store where my mom buys her mock-turtleneck shirts and elastic waist Mom Pants, but who I am turn down a $12 black cardigan and $10 t-shirts?

More to come, at least sooner than two months from now....

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Beth's Other BFF, George Michael. No, not THAT George Michael

So I guess Beth has been living under a rock, but I just now found out that Michael Cera of "Arrested Development" and "Juno" had this bizarrely addictive and hilarious Internet series called "Clark and Michael." Um, have you seen this thing, World at Large? It's worth spending some time with, if only to see the two guys frolicking a la "Three's Company during the opening credits.

I confess I haven't seen Juno or Superbad, but I did develop a pretty strong obsession with Mr. Cera during his stint at Arrested Development. He may be some sort of super comedic boy genius. Sure he was born in 1988 which makes me feel a wee bit dirty/Mrs. Robinson-esque, but hey, it's not like I want to do anything particularly naughty with him. Maybe a light saber fight in his garage while he's dressed up like George Michael and I'm dressed up like Anne, but that's it.
Um, was that weird fantasty maybe a little too specific there? It's time to go to bed....

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Blogging "Neath the Law With My New BFF

Let's face it - this blog is way overdue for some hilarious wackiness, and that's just what my new Boy Crush Jack McBrayer brings to you in this sketch called "Livin' 'Neath the Law" from Funny or Die. I"m sorry, but I could seriously watch this sketch over and over again and never find it getting old. There's another episode available here that teaches "how to keep your bitches in line" that is equally gut-busting. The bulldog pillow? The Georgia accent....the grin....the's too much. TOO MUCH I TELL YOU.

Have I gone off the edge? Perhaps a wee bit. But I love Jack McBrayer. Scratch that. I heart him, and you know that's like 10 times more serious than loving someone. I also heart Tina Fey-slash-Liz Lemon, but that's a whole 'nothing blog post in itself.
Happy I'm-A-Okay-By-Myself-Tines Day, folks. Put on your best NBC page jackets and find your own version of Kenneth to obsess over while eating caramels as you suft online all night. It's not sad. No, it's not. Not at all....

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

An Open Letter to the World of Beth

Dear World of Beth,

What am I going to DO with you people? You leave me no choice but to make a complete and utter cornball out of myself, folks.

To say "thank you" for all of the kind words and support and hilarious headbutting memories of Mrs. Puff just doesn't seem adequate - and yet, it's all I can do. Thank you for the calls and the emails and the text messages and the flowers and blog comments and strippergrams (okay, maybe not...)....thank you for just being there, and for Always Just Being There even when I am infuriating and difficult and distant and retreat from the world for weeks on end. Thank you for getting me through this. Thank you for making me realize that I am not utterly and completely alone. Thank you for supporting me through such an awful decision. Thank you for making me laugh even during tough times.

Thank you for being a friend (cue "Golden Girls" theme song....).

Seriously, you've all been so great. Headbutts and giant bellies for you all.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

A really awful, awful decision

Well World at Large, it's with an incredibly heavy and sniffly heart that I've made the decision to send Mrs. Puff to the Rainbow Bridge. We've got an appointment on Tuesday morning.

When I had to make this call with Thomas the Wonder Cat a few years ago, my decision was so much simpler - he had wasted away to just fur and bones and was a shell of his former self. I knew it was time and I was comforted that I had made the right decision for him.

It's not that clear cut with Puff. Where Thomas' decline lasted for several months (too long, I now realize) this has sprung up out suddenly, seemingly randomly, and in less than a month my apartment has been transformed into a 500 square foot pet hospital, filled with pills and special foods and Sub-Q equipment. It's so much to get my head and my heart around. How the hell did this happen?

The most heart-wrenching part is that, despite what the vet has called a "very guarded" prognosis, Puff's still very much her usual self. She's snuggly and alert and headbutting as usual. Still, we're likely talking a matter of weeks or months - they can't say at this point. But I'm enough of a realist to know that these "good days" will not last forever and the time will come when she'll waste away and stop "murfing" at me for food in the early morning and she'll hide under the bed and barf and be in pain all the time. And I can't have that - not for her and not for me, either.

There's a big part of me that feels selfish and cowardly for not doing everything in my power to help save Puff and give her the best care possible - second opinions, alternative treatments, etc. But in the end, the end result will always the same - this is, after all, a disease that can only be managed and treated but never cured. And I can't see her get sick like that, nor can I continue stuffing pills down her throat and making her miserable just to prolong her life. Instead I'd like to remember Puffster as she was....a cranky, opinionated, grossly obese cat with poor grooming skills and an endless appetite for snuggling close next to people while they're sleeping.

Think good Puff thoughts this week....

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Update on Puffster

Hey kids.

Yeah, I know. Almost two months since lastt I blogged and boy have I heard about it. The fact is, there haven't been a lot of quirky amusing stories worth blogging about - the holidays came and were is plugging along (stressful as always)'s just same ol', same ol'.

But I've got an update on Mrs. Puff that I wanted to share since I've only told a few about this so far. The Puffster's got "kidney insufficiency." I took her to the emergency room last weekend because she wouldn't stop barfing, and they had to hospitalize her for two days. I took her back for a follow up visit with the vet today and they're really concerned that she's not eating or drinking normally. Despite the fact that her kidney levels are totally normal again, if she doesn't improve on the eating/drinking front in about 3-4 days, then we'll have to think about sending her to the Rainbow Bridge. That's when quality of life issues come into play and that's just not cool with me to play around with.

It sucks. This came out of nowhere and now I've got less than a week to see some improvement before having to make one of the biggest decisions ever. I strongly believe that your pet will "tell you" when it's time for them to go and I'm not getting of those signals yet. This is all just so sudden. Anyway. Just wanted to say hi and thanks for the blogger reminders/nags. More to come soon, I promise. Hopefully with a happier bent. Stay tuned and send good thoughts for Puffster.