Thursday, August 2, 2007

Etiquette when on Bart

I am a daily rider of BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). We have a real love/hate relationship. I would break up with BART, but it's proven to be the quickest way for me to get to and from work. I don't know if it's the actual system that I dislike, or if it's the people I am subjected to when I'm on the train. I think it may be a combination of both.

My primary complaint is the cleanliness of the trains. I know a New Yorker would probably eat off of the floors of a Bart train just to show me what a diva I am being. I suppose if I were to compare it to a subway it's not so bad. But guess what? I’m not. So the trains are dirty. They gross me out. I refuse to sit in the last row of seats on any of the train's cars. Too many times have I boarded a train to find a homeless person has taken refuge in that row of seats. More often than not, I find someone sprawled out, and fast asleep in that row of seats. And they smell. If the seats weren't upholstered perhaps they wouldn’t smell. It might make the conditions more sanitary. But the seats are covered in cloth that is saturated with brown stains. All of the seats appear to have these stains. When I think about where those stains come from, my stomach just curdles.

My secondary complaint is unseasoned users of Bart. You can tell the unseasoned user upon entering the station. They always walk slow, like the world is their oyster and time isn't of the essence. These same people stand stationary on the left of the escalator when everyone knows that this is the moving line. They look all bewildered when you push past them to make your train. Of course they are also on the train, with their bags, obstructing the entrance/exit. Why are people so clueless? If you know you have a long ride in store, move your ass to the middle of the train. It's not that difficult. Example: I get on the train in West Oakland in the morning. There are people standing right in the path of the doors, with four suitcases. I assume they are going to the SF Airport, yet that stop isn't for another 30 minutes. And there they stand, as if the exit will come at any moment. Bart has provided maps for people right next to the door of each train so that they are aware of each stop the train will make. Of course the maps are ignored.

My third issue with the train is safety. Have you seen your Bart police as of late? Somehow I don't feel reassured when I see them on the platform. It's just another reminder that any concerns that affect your safety in this country are dispensed on an "as needed" basis. So when I get to the platform and there is a cop with a German shepherd milling about, I become a nervous ninny. What are they not telling me? Was there a threat? A scare? The last thing I need is for some anarchist to play suicide when all I want to do is go home. Don't pull me into your political shit. I don't care who engineered the damn train, or who profits from the train’s use. Since I am wearing my politically incorrect, insensitive hat right now, I will admit a secret. I never ride the Fremont train. You know why....

Anyhow, I wonder why Bart doesn't pony up for some beefier security. Can we get some sort of deterrent for crime on the trains? Bart’s prices are forever increasing, yet the trains remain dirty, the service is inconsistent, and the security measures are non-existent. Maybe I do want to know who's profiting from that 20 cent increase I keep incurring.

I got to thinking about what could make my BART experience less painful. Below is a list of Do's and Don'ts. If you follow them, I think everyone will be less tense and able to make the experience a bearable one.

Do be considerate of the people around you. If the train is crowded, don't move around too much and bump people with your bags. Just stand still. We know it's cramped but your moving doesn't make it better.

Do wear deodorant. I don't care how hippy your roots are or how sensitive your skin is. Wear it, damn it! And don't skimp. Why should I be subjected to your funk?

Do move to the middle of the train if you know you're going to be on it for a good 10 stops. It's inconsiderate to everyone else if you are obstructing the entrance and exit.

Do step off the train to allow people to enter and exit if you're forced to stand right by the door. And take your shit with you when you get on and off. I hate having to step over people's stuff to get on the train.

Do have your ticket ready to put in the turnstile when exiting the station. Don't hold everyone up while you search the depths of your jumbo purse for the ticket.

If you are going to breathe with your mouth open, DO use a breath mint. This is aligned with the request to be funk free.

Don't blow up the damn train. Don't even conceive of this. Take your barbaric solutions back to the Middle East where the people are used to such extremism.

Don't fall asleep and rest your head on my shoulder. I really hate this. I don't know you like that.

Don't stand stationary on the left side of the escalator. This is the moving line. Keeps it moving.

Don't block the entrance of the train if you are standing in line on the platform. Step to the side so I know you aren't boarding.

Don't drink coffee on a crowded train. If it spills on me, we're going to have beef.

Don’t put your bags on an empty seat and act like it’s an inconvenience to move them if someone wants to sit down. That’s just rude.

If you can think of other do's and don'ts, feel free to add them in the comment section. I will update the list as we go.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Steve and Barry's are Coming to Town

Steve and Barry's are moving to the Bay Area! Bow chicka wah wah! If you aren't up on them, they are known for their stock of well made but affordable goodies. They have exclusive rights to the Starburys, the athletic shoe created by famed hooper Stephan Marbury as well as Sarah Jessica Parker's new line, Bitten.

The store's grand opening takes place August 1st, 2007 at NewPark Mall in Newark, CA.

People, I haven't been this excited about an opening since H&M came to town. The only thing that could top this in my opinion would be if Nick at Night throws the Facts of Life back into rotation. Seriously, I have been itching for a life lesson explained under the knowing eye of Edna Garret.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Yawn.. Posh & Becks Move to America- DOES ANYONE REALLY CARE?

I am suffering from insomnia. That is the only justifiable reason I have for staying up until the wee hours of the night watching, "Victoria Beckham Comes to America." Is that your judgement I smell? Guess what wankers? I don't bloody care! I am majorly glad that Simon Fuller had the genius to produce this awesomely bad reality show because it is serving as fodder for my next blog! I am also anxious to expand my vocab of "English-isms."

So the show begins with an expose for the numb-nuts out there that don't know who David Beckham and Posh Spice are. Who are they? Well, David is that white hot white guy that is known for the heat he brings both on and off the soccer field. Victoria "Posh" Spice might be the Spice Girl with the least amount of obvious talent but she managed to bed and wed Beckham, and birthed two of his offspring, all the while maintaining a posh physic sans stretch marks. Sure she has millions to aid her in this effort but what I am trying to convey is that she is definitely talented to have pulled all of this off.

Now that we know who the Beckhams are, we are treated to a hot and steamy photo shoot on the set of W Magazine. Ladies, have your vibrators handy for the reruns cause David is heating up the screen. There is dust, and sweat and low riding hip hugger jeans... okay, now I'm drooling on ma' laptop. Bravo, stop the madness! Madrid has never looked so good. The only thing marring the picture is Posh's bony ass. That bitch hasn't seen a frame she didn't want to be in. So we are forced to watch Posh canoodle with David, and Posh is even kind enough to let us in on a little secret. She knows that the world thinks David's ass is fiine and that her ass is just weird looking and guess what, she doesn't bloody care! So at the end of the shoot, she and David part ways. She manages to shed a tear (those acting classes sure are paying off) before her suv pulls away. It's off to America!

When she arrives she is dropped off at the home that is her and the fam's temporary residence until she finds them a house. The rental is (dare I say), posh. It's fabulous in a very modern way. The only thing i don't get is the montage of dogs on the wall. Who would want a mishmash of dogs they don't even know on their wall? The photos look like leftover stills from a greeting card photo shoot.

The more I watch, the more I wonder if Posh is planning to get involved in politics. Why else would she be motivated to star in this piece of shit reality show? She has more money than one could ever need so what is the reason for this desire to appeal to the masses? Her efforts at likeability are laughable. She comes across as a Jessica Simpson clone, complete with the airhead qualities and the BFF hairdresser and make-up artist.

Posh's first order of business in America is to acquire a personal assistant. She says up front the girl can't be cute or skinnier than she is (as if that were possible- I mean keep it real, if Posh was to lose any more weight she'd only be able to stand up with the aid of an IV). So the assistant arrives and Posh, in the hopes of making a good impression, does something she'll only do once, and never do again- she opens her own front door!

After what has to be the strangest interview I've ever had the priviledge of witnessing, the assistant is hired. One is forced to assume that the assistant got the job based on her looks. She is the equivalent of four Poshe's weight wise (which would make her about my size) and she's sporting a mullet. She definitely failed the Q & A, see the questions below:

Assistant: Am I going to be personally assisting David?
Victoria: No, why do you want to?
Assistant: No, um yes?
Victoria: Why do you find him attractive?
Assistant: Well, he's not bad looking....

Clearly Posh finds the girl's honesty and missing fuckability factor a comfort so the job is hers. The job entails explaining words like intersection to Posh, and arranging for mock earthquake drills.

Another order of business is getting to know the who's who of Hollywood. So Posh has lunch with Perez Hilton. Does anyone else think that Perez is turning into a camera whore? He is seriously high off of the smell of his own pooh. I mean he's everwhere I look these days. He's on the View, he's on the D-List with Kathy Griffith and now he's on Posh's reality show. For the love of all things sacred! He is a blogger, not a celebrity. Posh confronts him about all the mean stuff he says about her and he promises to replace the alien symbol he photoshops over her head with a crown if she agrees to get bigger boobs, smile less, and send him naked photos. Okay he is like the biggest queer so why does he want naked photos of Posh? I am either confused, sleep deprived and imagining things (like Perez enjoying the site of a naked woman) or Posh is really a man. Which is it? Did he really just ask her for naked pics? I am moving on. The best part of this segment was when he asked her who she doesn't like. Spice Girl loyalty kicks in and she doesn't hesitate to let the world know her disdain for Eddie Murphy (hello, he was just named the baby's daddy of her sister Spice's baby). She also doesn't care for those trashy nymphs like Paris Hilton that choose not to wear knickers (people, english-isms kick ass).

Next Posh buys a house. A 17 million dollar house that is. She chooses a house previously owned by Lional Ritchie. He even laid the wood floors. The neighbors are Batman and Spider Man. Posh theorizes that if the neighborhood is cool enough for those super heroes it's good enough for her and the fam.

We get to watch Posh shop, because she doesn't own enough shit and because there aren't starving people in the world. Amongst her purchases are a blow up doll to throw off the papparazzi, a pair of cut off shorts from Kitson, some shoes that don't seem to fit her and just what her hubby needs, another watch. I am so bored already- not only with this show but this blog. I have to end it. So playing some feel good music we learn Posh has accomplished her mission and achieved all that was needed to bring her family to America. The next scene is of her and David arriving in America together. That would be it. Did I really just sit through an hour of this? What a waste.

In conclusion I have learned that Posh has a pretty shallow personality but she's harmless. She enjoys self tanner, kissing on her hot husband, spending frivilous amounts of money and posing while her make-up artist takes pics of her with her camera phone. Hmm... glad I've added this to my memory bank. My mom will be so proud.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mom or Anthropologist

I am trying to wrap my brain around the recent level of laziness that seems to have enveloped my child. I don't know if it's puberty or summer that has spawned this mutant creature, but I barely recognize him. Instead of my handsome 13 year old I see Jabba the Hut.

Not that he's ever been one to hop up at the crack of dawn, do 100 push ups, followed by a mile long run, all before I've opened my eyes. But lately it seems I can't even convince him to shift positions on our couch. From sun up until sun down, he is immobile. He is moved only by hunger or bladder pressure. I am fully convinced that if he could, he'd have a potty chair and a personal fridge placed next to the couch to make life that much easier. His clothes have been replaced by a blanket that he's converted into a toga. Next to him on the couch are all that he considers essential: cell phone, house phone, remote control, laptop open to his myspace, and video game controller.

As if it's not enough to resemble the Hut, he's encompassed his way of communicating. I can't understand a damn word my mutant child speaks. Every time he opens his mouth I curse the absence of subtitles and look to God for translation. To make matters worse his friends all speak this alien tongue. Since they are the only ones that do, he has taken to having at least one co-inhabitant at all times. They spend their days sitting around my living room in their togas, speaking their foreign language, and chugging away a week's worth of Gatorade in one day. I guess all of that inactivity works up quite a thirst. Meanwhile, I make mental notes to to sign up for a course in Ebonics/Hyphie 101. Does my local community college even offer such a class?

Probably the most irritating of all is the amount of consumption that has become my mutant's daily requirement. He and his breed eat endless amounts of food and my bank account is really feeling the pinch. This breed doesn't do dishes either. Cleaning hasn't been introduced to their species yet. When you suggest to them that they get up and clean their mess they make a weird sound (half grunt/half squeal) and look at you with a very perplexed expression, as if to say, "I can't understand the words that are coming out of your mouth right now." I guess my expectations for a bi-lingual mutant are a little out of reach. Someone please find me that Ebonics course, stat!

I feel like an anthropologist, studying a new tribe. I wonder if National Geographic would be interested in my findings. Do you have a mutant sharing your space? And if so, what did you do to reclaim your child? I seriously hope this isn't it for the next 5 years. No wonder they created college. Without it, the mutant would never leave and the parent would go insane.

Monday, June 25, 2007

My December

MTV is offering listeners an opportunity to preview the latest effort by Kelly Clarkson, "My December" before it's June 26th release. Visit to hear the album, for which Clarkson either wrote or co-wrote every song.

Despite cancelled tour dates, fired managers and label conflict the album holds it's own. I like it. It's more rock than pop so you have to be open to that sort of thing. I think Kelly's voice is amazing and her lyrics are honest and easy to relate to. "My December" may not serve as the soundtrack for Laguna Beach's fourth season but so what? It still rocks. My favorites are Sober, Haunted, Maybe, Be Still, and Irvine.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Something out of Nothing

I’ve been totally out of the loop for the past couple of weeks and apologize to my two readers for not posting anything new. In my defense, I must say, there really isn’t much going on in the news right now. Case in point- I watched the local edition of the 11 o’clock news last night and the major story was about how recent studies show the oldest sibling is usually the smartest (I can adhere to that way of thinking). I wake up this morning to the same story only this time it’s on GMA. So you know when GMA is googling random shit and building a story around it, there is nothing much to talk about.

Never one to back down from a challenge-(and writing about nothing IS challenging- don’t believe me uh? Well try it some time.). I did some serious internet surfing and came up with the following stuff. It’s interesting to perhaps no one- but nonetheless, I am posting it:

…..Eddie is Scary Spice’s baby daddy

According to TMZ, DNA tests conclude with 99.9% certainty that Eddie Murphy is the father of Scary Spice’s baby. Reps for Scary Spice confirm that the mama has received the results and she’s now doing the “Money Dance.”

Upon hearing the news, Eddie Murphy’s reaction was one of denial. He is appealing to the Maury Show for a second round of tests. I am kidding. Actually I was watching Inside Edition last week and Eddie told reporters he’d take care of Iris Murphy Brown should tests prove the child was his.

Go short for the summer:
Long locks are yesterday’s news. The inverted bob is the cut to have this summer. This observation isn’t enough to send me running in search Edward Scissor Hands with a request for him to work his magic on my crop. Unfortunately I don’t have the bone structure for that sort of extremism. However, these femmes do and they are rockin the new look well:

Websites worth visiting:
If you’re totally bored- check out some of these sites. I’ve happened upon them and I have to say, they are Grreat!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Rev. Jerry Falwell Dies … and Teletubbies Everywhere, Rejoice

The Rev. Jerry Falwell, founder of the religious right, has past away at the age of 73. Falwell had a history of heart trouble and was found unconscious in his office at Liberty University.

Jerry Falwell, a southern Baptist minister, will probably be most remembered for preaching intolerance toward gays, feminists, abortionists, revolutionaries, lesbians, blacks, the ACLU, People for American Way, pagans, Jews, Arabs that work at Quick-E Marts, men who wear their hair long, woman that color their hair pink, people that listen to disco, rap or any other music with a sexual undertone, people in inter-racial relationships, people that drink on Sunday and while I am sure I am forgetting a myriad of other people, let’s not forget his distain for that pesky, purple Tele-tubby.

Through the years, he used religion to criticized Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and supported Ferdinand Marcos, the deposed president of the Philippines. He opposed SALT II, a treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union to limit nuclear weapons.

But his primary focus was on domestic issues - opposing the Equal Rights Amendment, supporting the teaching of creationism in public schools, resisting gay rights, pornography and a women’s right to choose.

Falwell’s church services were broadcast on hundreds of TV and radio stations. Once, he claimed to have an audience in the tens of millions. "Abortion, family values, and the moral underpinnings on which the nation was built we call the Judeo-Christian ethic, is important to us," Falwell said. His group raised millions to support politicians armed with the same moral agenda. In fact, his support of George Bush’s campaign in 2000 led John McCain to cry, “Not fair!”

Jerry Falwell was no idiot, despite the moronic rhetoric that came out of his mouth. He built a successful career and a massive following, by making statements that shocked and awed just about everyone.

The most memorable moment of Jerry’s career for me was his attempt to out one of the Teletubbies. He theorized that the puppet must be promoting a gay lifestyle since he wore purple, carried a purse, and sported a triangle on his head. Jerry didn’t mention Bert and Ernie, Peppermint Patty, or Big Bird and Snuffie, which I consider to be more obvious targets for such speculation.

After Sept. 11, Falwell declared God's anger with gays, lesbians, abortionists, and feminists had contributed to the terrorist attacks. He later apologized blaming just the terrorists. In 2002 he said, "I think Muhammad was a terrorist. I've read enough of the history of his life, written by both Muslims and non-Muslims, that he was a violent man, a man of war." These comments led to deadly riots in the Muslim world.

Falwell’s life was full of irony; as was his longstanding feud with Hustler Magazine’s creator, Larry Flint. The basis for their battles in court? Freedom of speech. Yep- Jerry wanted to sensor Flint and everyone else when his own career was fueled by the fire of saying whatever he damn well pleased regardless of how it made other people feel.