Monthly Archives: March 2010


It seems Jennifer Love Hewitt (The Ghost Whisperer) has a shiny new toy that has all her friends and fans whispering.  What is it?  Well, it seems it is a sparkly new Va JJ.  Miss Hewitt went on The View to plug her new book and gave the ladies tips on how to raise your self-esteem.  It seems wearing pretty underwear, taking a bath with champagne and a tiara are top contenders but she also mentioned putting Swarovski crystals on her .. off-shore bank account.

Personally I think the woman has clean lost her mind.  Obviously her Happy Meal not only is missing the fries but the dipping sauce for her McNuggets.  Why am I picking on poor, tiny, Miss “needs to eat a sandwich” Hewitt?

1) Can we please stop it with books on love and self-esteem from celebrities.  She takes a bath wearing a tiara to make herself feel special?  SPECIAL?!  Honey you have a hit TV show, a 16″ waist and a pile of money!  How much more special do you want to be?  I could stomach this a lot more if it came from a “normal gal” who isn’t living in a McMansion in La La Land.

2) You put crystals on your kitty?!  There are only 2 questions that come to mind – why and how?  How do you get the crystals to stay there?  Sew them on?  Glue them?  Does it matter if you have a carpet, area rug or hardwood floors?  I wouldn’t want to glue crystals to a carpet.  If you get the peel & stick variety to affix to hardwood floors, how well do they really stick?  Do they fall off, showering people in a rain of gems?  What if they fall off at inopportune times?  Is it a choking hazard? Hey!  Inquiring minds want to know!

Why even do this in the first place?  Little Miss Romantic would have you believe it makes you feel pretty or sassy.  Guess what, I can feel sassy without having hot pink lead crystal glued to my hey nonny nonny.  I can, really.  Several magazine articles claim that men think it’s great  What?!  Really? REALLY?!  I can not believe that men think this.  I can not picture some guys wife/girlfriend/regular call girl stripping, flashing her disco ball vagina and having them think “Wow!  That is so wonderful!  I love that!”  Now if you put a steak and a glass of scotch by your crotch I CAN see them thinking that.  It sounds like huge PR stunt to (a) sell books and (b) sell stick-on Swarovski crystals.

By now you are thinking, “What does this have to do with San Francisco?”.  Well, nothing EXCEPT when I heard about this I immediately thought of our great drag community and asked myself how many of our Ladies would glitter their candy?  I’m thinking not many as they have WAY too much sense, fashion & otherwise.

So ladies, would you do this?  Gentlemen, would you want your lady to do this?  The polls are open.

Potato Smuggler on the Ferry or Weird San Francisco Jogger

I’m not sure who are stranger – joggers or bike riders.  I have some very strong opinions about militant bike riders but no problem at all with their ferry rider counterparts.  They are polite, place their bikes in their assigned racks or spaces and don’t impose any type of poser pretense on the rest of the riders.  Well yesterday morning was foggy and rainy and a dreary day to be sure.  Geek Grrl was somewhere on the sunny eastern seaboard so I had nothing to do except contemplate a nap since The Abomination (my Maine Coon cat) kept waking me up every hour to warn me of something dire.  I’m not sure exactly what she was trying to warn me of – global warming, demonic possesion, hippies in the punch bowl.  She tries.

Anyway I am trying to relax and here comes a bearded, middle aged guy, decked out in black spandex and smuggling potatos in his pants or at least that is what it looks like to me.  Not only that… he is jogging past me.  Umm, yeah, jogging past my seat on the ferry. I thought he just ran on the boat and was trotting to his seat.  No.  Mr Potato Pants jogged by me not once, not twice but four damn times before a ferry hall monitor told him to sit his joggy ass down.  I have no idea if his nuts had to get their own seat.

WHY do we have to be subjected to that first thing in the morning with no coffee or danish or glue to sniff?  It just isn’t fair.  Yeah, that was a great way to start a Monday.

Hog Island Oyster Company – Happy Hour Hell

First let me say that I LOVE Hog Island Oysters.  I have eaten here many times with fabulous results.  There is nothing like slurping down a dozen shiny globs of mollusk with a nice glass of bubbly and Hog Island has some of the BEST oysters around!  They are grown right up the coast and are yummy!  I have been to the restaurant at the Ferry Building in San Francisco as well as the Oxbow Market location in Napa.  All amazing.

However, this is different from Happy Hour.  On an average afternoon around 5pm, the restaurant is only 1/3 full however on Monday and Thursday’s from 5 – 7pm, the wee establishment at the Ferry Building turns into the 9th Ring of Hell.  Why?  Half price oysters.  Most of these beauties are $2 each so paying $12 for a dozen instead of $24 is a lure.  It was for me and I WANTED OYSTERS!

So I made a plan.  Last Monday I left work 5 minutes early, hurried over to the Ferry Building, got there at 5pm and… there were about 20 people already in line.  I put my single name on a sign in sheet and waited.  However the restaurant is pretty small with about 40 seats inside and another 20-35 seats outside depending on how many people are at a table.  After 3 names had been called, the rest of us were informed that it would be at least 40-50 minutes before more seats became available.  I usually catch the 5:20pm ferry back to Larkspur and I just couldn’t gamble that I would be seated and able to catch the 5;55pm ferry.  I decided to bail and re-form a cunning plan.

Well on Thursday, my bosses were leaving and told me I could leave early.  4:35pm!  I practically ran to the Ferry Building where I was sure I would be feasting on oyster goodness like the Walrus from the Alice in Wonderland poem.  It was more like I had fallen down the rabbit hole.  Now don’t get me wrong, getting there at 4:48 instead of 5:00 helped a great deal with the waiting list.  There were only 5 people ahead of me though one turned out to be a party of 10.  Great.

I see two empty seats at the front counter but I figure there is a party of 2 that will get it.  I check the list.  A party of 3 and  party of 4 ahead of me.  Why don’t they sit me there?  Then at 5pm a regular just walks in and the waitstaff seat him in one of those seats.  He wasn’t on the waiting list.  Why don’t I make a fuss. He’s blind.  As in blind with a dog blind.  If I complain I am immediately on the short list for Hell.  HOWEVER, there is still a seat between him and a business man on the corner.  There are no other single dinners, ummmm why are they not sitting me there?  Are they afraid I will go blind sitting next to the blind guy?  News flash: sitting next to someone doesn’t who can’t see doesn’t make you blind.  What makes you blind is something you would never do in a public place unless you wanted to be arrested.

It’s 5:10pm and I flag over a waiter, remark about the mad house around us (around 40 people currently waiting) and ask if there is any reason why I can’t have the seat I have been staring at for the past 20 minutes?  He looks at the list, glances around for the hostess who has been MIA for the past 10 minutes and tells me to take it.  I do.  At 5:15 I get myself seated, wave off the waiter who is trying to give me bread.  He looks at me like I am smoking dope.  I don’t need the tons of bread carbs – I just want oysters.

When my waitress shows up I tell her I want a dozen of the sweet waters and a glass of bubbles.  Simple.  After 5 minutes I get my champagne and my oysters. They are yummy but something is wrong… my oysters are dry.  Not dry like all dried out but dry as in bereft of the liquor or “oyster juice” for want of a better word.  I look up at the shuckers.  DUDES!!!!! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING???!!!!!!!

They are opening a bunch of oysters in advance so it will be easier to fill the orders coming in BUT they are trying to be fast and they are SPILLING THE LIQUOR ALL OVER HELL AND GONE!!!  This really annoys me.  Sure, I am getting my oysters half price but does that mean they have to let their standards slip over the cliff of expediency?  I was disappointed.  No matter the price, I should expect to get the same excellent service no matter when I am dining.

I pay at 5:33pm and am off by 5:35 to catch the 5:55 ferry back to Larkspur.  The Bottom Line:
Wait time – 27 minutes
Actual time at counter – 18 minutes

Up side – 1/2 price quality oysters
Down side – 9th Ring of Hell crowds, hellish waits, tight quarters, incorrectly prepared oysters

Is saving $12 on a dozen oysters worth the aggravation?  I say no.  My advice, pay the extra money and go on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday after work.  Relax, don’t rush, bring friends, have fun.  I guarantee the savings to your psyche will be worth it AND you will get your oysters properly presented.

The Walt Disney Family Museum – The Presidio

(Thanks to fellow Disney Geek Will R. who took this picture and yup, that is me on my iPhone.  We are total geeks)

It was a dark and stormy night.  Actually it was an overcast, lowering day but our hearts were full of giddy joy as myself and three stalwart companions breached the battlements of the Walt Disney Family Museum in honor of fellow Disney Geek Will R’s 21st+ turn around the sun.

This wonderful museum to “All Things Walt” was built in the Presidio, a former army base by the Golden Gate Bridge.  Why San Francisco for a museum about Walt?  Well, firstly this museum is about the Man, not just The Mouse and was paid for with Disney family money.  The Disney Corporation did not build this.  Walt’s daughter, Diane Disney Miller, lives in Napa with her husband, LA Rams football star & former Disney Studio CEO, Ron Miller.  Together they own and operate the award winning Silverado Winery in Napa.  Thus the museum to her Fathers memory in the area where they live.

This museum is inspiring, tasteful and widely encompassing.  It fills 2 floors and starts with Walt’s birth and childhood in Marcelline, Illinois.  It features tons of family photographs, an ambulance similar to the one Walt drove as a teen in WW1 in France.

You see his early animation works (Laugh-O-Gram Studios), his partnership with Roy, the live action Alice Comedy films, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the loss of rights to that character and the birth of Mickey Mouse.  You see cells from Snow White, Walts special one of a kind Oscar for that film which included one standard Oscar statuette along with 7 small ones on “stairs” next to it.  This Oscar was presented to Walt by Shirley Temple.  There is a section that discusses color mixing, ink & paint, original cells and the infamous Multi-Plane Camera (of which they have one and yes it is HUGE).

You go through the Wars Years, the War Shorts (including the infamous Der Fuehrer’s Face),’s_Face, realism in animation shows itself in Bambi, Walt’s pet project that was way before its time – Fantasia and the revival of the Studio with Cinderella.

You see Walt’s hobbies such as polo, pictures from his vacations with Lillian to Europe and South America where he worked on live action shorts.  There are family mementos, watches, pictures, lots of interesting things that give you a peek into the life of Walt.  However, the Museum does not gloss over the rough patches.  It documents The Strike in detail.  How betrayed Walt felt and the feelings from the workers on the other side.  It should be noted that not all of Walt’s people went on strike and not all of them felt work conditions were not fair.  However the Studio changed after that and so did Walt.

There are pictures of Walt at home, making sundaes for his daughters (Diane and Sharon) and their friends.  The most thrilling part for me personally was seeing the original Carolwood Pacific Railroad cars.  This was a live steam powered train that Walt would drive, give people rides on and ran on a track in his backyard of his Holmby Hills house.  It seems animators Ollie Johnston and Ward Kimball had their own backyard trains which got Walt obsessed with his.

You see the birth of Disneyland.  There is a special miniature Disneyland that includes all the rides (and only the rides) that were either original to Disneyland or that Walt worked on.  Thus the most recent ride is Pirates of the Caribbean.  If you look above the firehouse on Main Street, you see the lamp in the window that is always kept on, just like at the Park.  If you look sharp you will see two Walt’s on the streets.

There is an area devoted to the television shows such as The Mickey Mouse Club, The Wonderful World of Disney and The Wonderful World of Color.  As we travel by a replica of Walt’s office at the Studio and the planning of Walt Disney World, especially Walt’s vision for EPCOT, you know where this is going and it is not a happy place.

Walt Disney died of lung cancer on December 15, 1966 in Burbank.

However in spite of the sadness that this great talent has gone, you are left uplifted by the body of his work that lives on and brings joy to so many people.

It is a shame that Walt’s daughter Sharon did not live to see this as she passed away in 1993. There are so many things that fill this museum that it really does take 5-6 hours to take it all in.  Tickets are available on-line and are timed for entry however when the weather is bad and tourist season is low (winter), there is never a problem getting tickets.

They also have a theatre which features one Disney film a month along with films on special topics and seminars.  If you are peckish, they have a counter that sells lovely sandwiches, salads, cookies, lemonaide, etc.

Adult admission is $20, Seniors and Students (with ID) are $15 and Children 6-17 are $12, Children under 6 are free with Adult paid admission.  These prices are MORE than reasonable for a day of one of a kind entertainment.  If you are a Member, free admission is one of the perks.  Memberships are priced from $55 – $500.

If you are in Northern California, this is not to be missed.  It is TONS better than wandering around the Haight looking at aging hippies.  Trust me, you will love this!

Geek Grrl and A Rainy Thursday

This morning was overcast and damp from the pouring rain that blew through the Bay at 5am.  I was one of the first at the gate to await the ferry and guess who was right in front of me?  Geek Grrl from “Young Geeks in Love”.  Her counterpart was no where to be seen.  I tried to find the right words to approach her so I would not look like a stalker.  I seized on her backpack, decorated with Rockband patches as a conversation starter.

“You like Rock Band?”
“Yeah I love it!”
“Me too.”
“I put the patches in order of how good I am at them.”  (Vocals, Bass, Guitar, Drums)
“OMG, me too!  I sooo suck at drums!”

Thus began a cool conversation with the object of my blogging obsession of the past 2 weeks.  I found out the following in our geeky chat as we related stories of shipping deadlines, PC games and travel for each other:

* she is a game designer
* her husband is a game engineer
* her brother in law is a game designer
* her sister is a graphic artist for games

* she loves BioShock, Rock Band and tons of other cool games
* she is leaving for a weeks vacation next week to go back East and spend some time with her Mom
* her husband is on a business trip (no trouble in paradise – YAY!)
* she knows what it is like to “work hard, play hard”, be chained to a desk with a ship deadline and then get weeks of comp time to make up for it.  I told her about sliding flat food under the door to the engineers at AOL.
She was so nice, chipper and up beat.  I had my questions answered but now I just have .. MORE QUESTIONS.  How did she meet her husbnad, does she have pets, what kind, what is her view on pocket dogs, are they hiring where she works, can I clean out her cube for her – you know.. the usual stuff.  I hope  I see her tomorrow.  It would make for a good end to the week and maybe she will wear her cool flame shoes.

NaNoWriMo – Novel Evolution

I have heard publishers dread December.  It’s not because of holiday shopping or bad Santas but they dread the flood of book submissions straight from NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  These idiot authors think writing a book in 30 days means it is fit to be seen by human beings, let alone sold in Barnes & Noble.  It’s not but try telling them that.

My BFF Kat, who is a working television writer, told me the secret of writing is in the re-writing.  Nothing could be more true.  Not even a room full of chimpanses can produce something stellar on the first go round.  Especially for chimps.  You need at least 8 revisions before you start to see something worth while.

So I am now done with the first revision of my book.  Then will have to dive into the second revision including adding a more solid story arch for the essays (thanks Kat & John for the advice) and rearranging a bunch of pages as well as writing new content that will amount to at least 1/4 of the now current page count of 185.

I was planning on enterting Script Frenzy in April to write a 100 page play.  Huh, yeah… right.  I have some ideas… Death Kills, Death Kills 2: Terror in Disneyland, The Night Shakespeare Died, or something totally different.  I have no idea how to write a play.  I have some ideas and I thought it would be a good exercise to bat them around like The Abomination on catnip and see what happens, even if it sucks.

However, I need to start putting my house in order and right now the book revisions from my November project come first.  It is going to be great.  Yay!  I feel better already.  So I will concentrate on the book, bead sleeves and IF I have time will work on the play.  And yes, my sister and Rhonda Frost do get a credit if I decide to go with Death Kills.

Young Geeks In Love… Or Not?

So I haven’t seen the Young Geeks in Love (YGiL) for nearly a week.  I was starting to get concerned.  First I thought it was because I changed where I sat (My usual run is 8:20am on the ferry Mariposa) and they usually went downstairs so maybe i didn’t see them.  Then I started watching the people get off the ferry, like some freaky stalker, and didn’t see them either.  I thought maybe there were on vacation or at a geek conference or something.

Then Monday I saw her in the morning but not him.  I wanted to run after her and ask about her counter part but i thought that might provoke too many questions and inquiries and she might find out I was blogging about them and what if they aren’t a couple or they broke up or they are international spies and I blew their cover?

I am so confused.  Yesterday I took the early 7:55am ferry Napa as I had left early in order to stop by Starbucks at the Point on get chai & a free morning bun because how can you turn down FREE?  Today I am planning to be back on my same ferry so I will have to keep an eye on this situation.  More as it develops.

(Yes, that is a quick photo.  Not really great but it gives you an idea.  If you are an agent from Iran or China or Russia or whichever country we are pissed at today, this is NOT them.)

You are not getting a pony…

and you are certainly NOT getting $70-80,000 for a secretary job!

The way young people’s minds work is amazing.  I guess this means I am now an old person.  I like to think of myself as a mature person of snark.  “HEY!  You Kids!  Get Off My Lawn!”  Why the rant?  Well I have been looking for a full time job for… wait for it.. 5 years.  Yeah, 5 years.  I’ve had temp jobs, I’ve done theatre gigs, school class performances, sold things on Ebay, broke into my 401K.  Still looking for a full time job.

Let me tell you I was in the world of fab that I wish every damn day I had back again.  My life is just not the same.  My work world was challenging, the people were nice and fun, you could bring your dog to work, we had monthly beer bashes, there was a cafe on campus, a dry cleaner, travel agent, gym, fooz ball table, climbing wall.  We had tons of cash and hip titles like “Vice President of Fun”  .Ahhhhh, the life of glory & plenty that came crashing down as sure as Rome fell.

Guess what? The fun is over boys & girls but these kids didn’t get the memo.  They still think they can get $70,000 or $80,000 for a secretary/bookkeeper job that is 32 hours a week and starts at $40k, which is average.  Hear that Nemo – AVERAGE!  If you want to make 80K, you will have to sell your soul to the devil, otherwise known as some high priced executive in a soulless company where you will be his indentured servant and on call 28/9.  Did you see or read The Devil Wears Prada?  THAT is the kind of boss you will have while you have no life, your soul gets chipped away but you cuddle up with your money 3-4 hours a week because that is all the free time you will have.

So I am temping and we are looking for a bookkeeper.  QuickBooks is a must.  Nice guys to work with, I can see the Bay Bridge from my desk.  No you can’t bring your dog to work or decorate your desk with troll dolls BUT it is a nice job and we need someone.  Any takers out there?  Why don’t I take it?  While I can work a QuickBooks program but that is different than being good at math.  I suck at math and right now I am breaking out in a cold sweat of having to reconcile books in another few weeks if we don’t find someone.

It just makes me sad and frustrated that we can’t find a decent candidate because the people we like want too much money and the others have:
– Bad looking resumes
– Resumes with typos
– Live in Southern California
– Have references that are hinky and don’t check out
– Resumes with Typos  (I know I said it already but it bears repeating.  One gal who lives in the City was eliminated because she spelled her street “ofarell”.  Here is a hint honey, the street name is spelled O’Farrell.  EVERYONE who lives in SF knows that.

Next time I will tell you what not to do in an interview.  Wearing flip flops with a business suit is right out for one.  So, why am I pickin’ on the “youngins?  Because there are the only ones that I see making this mistake.  I am sure there are some clueless old people but most of us, through a thing called experience, had that idiocy beat out of us.  Just like when we saw Rome come crashing down around our ears in the bust of aught three.

Don’t Be A Clueless Cell Phone Asshat – Another Ferry Story

There are a few rules on the Ferry.  Eating & drinking is not one of them especially since they sell snacks, booze and coffee, though no clam chowder to my continuing displeasure.  I continue to look back with longing to my ferry trip across Puget Sound in Washington and my cup of amazing clam chowder.  It isn’t fair.  We even have some of their ferries but not their chowder.

Anyway, one of the big posted rules is no talking on your cell phone.  More specifically the rule as stated on the ferry website lists “Please listen to music or media devices only with headphones or earphones.  Keep cell phone conversations to a minimum.”  Which means turn your phone on vibrate or pick it up on the first ring, keep your voice low and your conversation quick if you HAVE to pick it up at all.  If you need to talk, it is accepted courtesy to go outside on the tail with the bikers where no one cares what you do.

So yesterday I boarded the ferry Mariposa (as I do most mornings now), sit in the front of the 2nd level so I can see out and open my book.  This woman sits down diagonal to me. My right, her left, whatever.  She is jabbering on her phone about her spawn and her spawns SAT scores and trying to get into UC Palo Alto.  Do they even HAVE a UC school in Palo Alto?  Now I understand the “voluntary cell phone free zone” sign she is sitting under.  This is annoying as fuck.  However, we are still in dock.  I figure she will hang the phone up once we get under way.  You know where this is going… no, she doesn’t.

So now I have a dilema.  Do I be the one that says something?  I have no problem doing it but she is a little out of my eye shot since she is not in front of me and I don’t know if she will hear me over her blathering about “Why are they having little kids there?” and “I can’t believe he said that to her.”.  Part of me wanted to chime in with my fall back position of chatting about her conversation to her until she gets the point but I am too far away.

Fortunatly, the gentleman two seats over in her row says “Can you please take your conversation outside?’  She looks startled, then people chime in under their breath with “Please” or “We really don’t need to hear your conversation.”.  Now she looks abashed.  Some one with a better view of human nature would consider her to be honestly sorry.  I’m not one of those people.  Let me clarify, she is sorry.  She is very sorry she was caught and called on her behaviour.  I don’t believe she is sorry she did it in the first place.  Why?  Because by her own admission, she rides the ferry all the time and this was “the first time I did this.”  Well if you ride the ferry all the time, you know the rules.  You are a selfish git who didn’t care about other people, you just wanted to talk to your idiot friend and that was that.  You only look abashed because you were called on your rudeness.  Let’s hope today is better.

I’m A Tweaker – The Story of A Sugar Rabbit

This is part of a window display at a lovely shop called Yolk in Silver Lake in Southern California.  Admit it, even if it is genius to have peep bunnies in plastic egg halves it’s even better to have the one peep bunny that is a tweaker.

Yup, there had to be 50 bunnies in that window but this one had to be different, special.  I really identify with this slightly off rabbit.  He seems to say “Hey, I could be like all of you but why bother?  I want a small fragment of originality to set me apart from the bunny herd.”

Maybe he was born different, maybe he got his ear caught in a door, maybe he was in a bunny brawl & it was pulled.  So many stories, so many possibilities but the rabbit stays mum.  Stoic.  An island of sugar silence.  Mayhap we should listen to the silence of this rabbit and learn something about ourselves.

Or we could just eat him.