Shannon’s Super Sexy Blog. Music. Travel. Randomness. And a Lot of Wine.

Archive for May, 2005

We Dint Need No Millions

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

A long time ago, in a galaxy totally close by, I produced a play based on the TV show “Bewitched.” I haven’t thought of it in ages, but in a random search I came across a little bit written by Mr. SF, Hank Donat, who I kind of remember, a little. Before you start coming after me with scripts you want me to produce, let me tell you, this production cost very little money. I think we had a fund raiser where we lost money because so much sangria was consumed. Still, we somehow made it.

I even acted in the second incarnation of the stage production of Bewitched. I was the “Commercial Girl” and in between acts I did commercials, alone, on stage. I silently mixed cocktails, and drank them, I smoked a cigarette out of a long holder, drove a car, and hula hooped. Sometimes all at the same time. At the end (because it was Christmas) I got to go into the audience and throw toys at people. It was time consuming, nerve racking, and fun.

Someone quit in the speaking cast, after awhile, and then director Prentiss Smithson (who was also one of my best friends) made me take a speaking part. That part, a one-liner, was a lesbian activist who falls in love with Joan of Arc. My line? I remember it very clearly. “I like HER. I REALLY like her.”

That was a million years ago, really. It always feels like time is going by so fast, but that was eleven or whatever years ago and it feels like an eternity. So maybe time is not speeding by the way we think it is. Maybe days, and months fly, but years don’t. Doesn’t it seem like last June was a really long time ago? It does to me.

I haven’t seen Prentiss Smithson in forever, and he was a very, very good friend. It’s weird how people come and go in life. I remember so many insane nights sitting in the front room of Prentiss’s house on 16th Street in San Francisco, with all this Egyptian shit painted on the walls, drinking wine and ingesting whatever, eventually slithering around with a bunch of bohemian types to the soundtrack of “Hair” or the Velvet Underground, or Ween. It was quite a scene and I met a lot of people there. But now I am gone and they probably don’t remember me anymore.

But I remember Prentiss! And I know some of the people who read Poptarticus will, too.

Don’t forget to Zoom In

Monday, May 23rd, 2005

I desperately want this dress but check out the freaky mannequin! You have to zoom in for the full effect. (Track marks, forgot to wipe off makeup for two years, among other things.)

My good friends Pauline and Steve lost their cat Butch today. I know how much they loved him, so I am drinking a glass of Chimney Rock Cabernet in Butch’s honor. Farewell, Butch! In the next life I want to come back as a cat that is as loved as you were. Even if I can’t wear any Betsy Johnson as a cat.


Butch! Take care of yourselves P & S.

Las Vegas High

Saturday, May 21st, 2005

I bet you all are wondering, did I pay a million dollars to stay one extra night in Vegas, to see Queens of the Stone Age.

Well, no I did not. But I did try. For a while, until one reservation lady said “we have rooms, but it’s gonna be expensive. Stevie Wonder is in town, and he’ll sell it out.”

I’d think that was weird but I just spend $300 on tickets for the Rolling Stones this morning. I can’t believe I spent $75 for each ticket. What the fuck was I thinking of. Now I have two extra Beck tickets, two extra Wilco tickets, and two extra Rolling Stones tickets. I need to take a sober pill.

Anyhow I did not stay, and anyway I truly believe four nights in Vegas is about all I can take. That place is INSANE. And I have spent many a night there. It is even more insane than before, only because now it is expensive AND insane. Before it used to be, eh, a value and insane.

It has changed plently in the five or so years since I have been there. It is a different town.

The very first evening I won $115 on a video poker machine in the truly crap casino at the Best Western Mardi Gras, where we were staying. I hit four of a kind TWICE in something like twenty minutes. This would be my only streak of luck in all four days, but no biggie – I gambled with that money for a couple of nights, and also, I ate very, very well. Because if there is one thing you can do well in Vegas (besides gamble and roast in the hot sun like a piggie being prepared for dinner, also get really drunk on tall, fruity drinks and puke on the strip, not that I did any of these things… except the gambling part) it is eat well.

The very first night, after an excruciating set up of our booth at the Convention Center, me and my co-worker Freddy, plus my bosses Donna and Elliott, motored on over the the Forum Shops at Caeser’s for dinner at Chinois. This is a Wolfgang Puck restaurant, and I booked there thinking the sommelier would hook us up. He didn’t (except for an order of egg rolls – lame) BUT the food there was So Fucking Good. I was starving, and after some sort of crappy, boring appetizers, I wasn’t looking forward to the rest. But it was awesome. Sliced, tender steak with a sweet and sour sauce and Wasabi mashed potatoes, perfect fried tofu, Peking duck with pancakes… it was all awesome. Hard to believe food this good was coming out of a giant Wolfgang Puck type deal. He should go and check on his restaurant at O’ Hare Airport – they could use him up there.

One thing that bugged about this meal though – and I must say it bugs me to no end no matter where I go, was the wine “upsell.” I hate, hate, hate, when Mr. Waiter tries to sell some gnarly-priced wine to unsuspecting customers. Dude, please let us peruse the list and make our own decision. You are NOT a sommelier and are in fact only trying to make money for yourself, and not very suave-ly.

Oh yeah, we’ll take a bottle of that $225 bottle of wine, no problem. NOT! I feel so bad for all the people who got shafted by this guy. Vegas is an expensive town now, but Cristo. I didn’t hit four aces on a $5 machine. It was just quarters.

We got a $65 bottle of Roederer Estate from Anderson Valley and then, much to our waiter’s dismay, a $42 bottle of Australian Shiraz which went PERFECTLY with our food, thank you.

The next day we worked, and that night Donna and Elliott had plans, so me and Freddy went out. I have worked with Freddy (short for Frederique, she’s from France) since 1987, so we have a long history. Our relationship hasn’t always been easy, but time and age have mellowed it. Also we both really care about the company we work for. So it was fun to hang out with her.

We went over to Bellagio, thinking we might sit outside and watch the show on the lake with it’s mile-high operatic spurts. Fat chance. Lucky for us though, we ended up at the bar at Todd English’s Olives. Our bartender, Dave, took fine care of us, not even balking at the $9 glass of Rose I ordered. We had an uber tasty ahi tartare thing, and a flatbread with hummus and greek salad on top. We had one more thing coming (we told Dave just to bring us whatever) but we were full and Sweet Dave held back on the third thing, whatever it was. Instead we had a dessert of three homemade ice creams and three fresh, hot cookies. Then Dave brought us two Espresso Martinis, on the house! Yum! I think I love hard liquor, especially in Vegas.

After, I lost $20 at Blackjack and $20 at video poker. Freddy was so funny, asking questions like “so it’s bad if you go over 21?” All in all, a fabulous night.

The next evening, we went to the top of THEhotel (yes, that is what it is called) to eat at Alain Ducasse’s Mix. I mean, it is at the top – of VEGAS. You are looking DOWN at the MGM. We were way high up and it was so beautiful up there. The sun went down and it was pink and orange and so, well, Vegasy.

Bad Alain Ducasse/Mix – lame waiter. Trying for the upsell even on WATER. Sadly we fell for it (well I didn’t, but I wasn’t paying.) We probably had eight $12 bottles of water. Everytime I took a sip of water my glass was filled. When we left, all the water glasses were full of really expensive water. I pissed our waiter off good by ordering two appetizers instead of a appetizer and a main. And I know I could be such a better server and I would never, ever treat my customers like walking wallets. What a wanker.

Good Alain Ducasse/Mix – the sommelier. He ROCKED. For one thing, I asked him about a Pinot Blanc and he had two – one from Chalone and one from a winery called Lorca. He sold us the Lorca, which was half the price of the Chalone, and a bargain at $32. Later our French Corkscrew Supplier (who was paying for this fine event) would order two bottles of expensive, over-oaked red – one Kenwood Artist series Cab, and a St. Julien. Both wines needed to decant for a few hours, and they just didn’t taste good. He should have just let the sommelier decide, but he doesn’t speak any English.

So for dinner, I had an ahi tartare thing (WINNER – Todd English’s Olives) and then some porcini flavored gnocchi. I chose badly on that one. Everyone else was eating lobster and scallops. I just felt so bad for our Corkscrew guy, who was picking up the check, so I was trying to be nice. Then I saw how much he spent on the wine, as he was sitting right next to me. I could have ordered five lobsters for one of those bottles. Oh well. For dessert I had a really bizarre combo of some chocolate wafer thingies and a Lemon Grass flavored ice cream. It did NOT work. In fact all the food there was just OK to me, but damn if the setting wasn’t worth the $150 PP price tag, especially since I was not paying. But, the winner of the week, at a fraction on the price: Olives. I really loved that place. No upsell, fun bartenders, great food. At Olives they know what it’s all about.

After dinner we all went into the high-falutin lounge and had some more $15 glasses of wine. I was totally shocked when a big, fat, ugly bouncer came and told us we had to find another table as the one we were at was reserved. But there were no other tables. We got kicked out! We weren’t cool enough. Also we weren’t escorting any high-class hookers. Oh well.

So this leaves my last and final night in Vegas. I would go it alone. Donna, Elliott and Freddy left for home after we broke down our booth. I went out into the hot night in search of adventure, or at least another four of a kind.

First, I went to the new Wynn resort. It was OK. The outside was really cool with forests and waterfalls. But the inside? Boring. I left really quick and went to the Venetian where I drank a really strong Absolute Mandarin and Soda and lost $40 on a video poker machine. I really know better than to play in a place like that, but I was so thirsty, I can’t even tell you.

I cruised over to the Imperial Palace because they have this area to play blackjack where musician impersonators are dealers and once in a while some hot chick gets up on a stage thingy and lipsynchs to J. Lo. My dealer was Billy Idol and first I was way down, then up. It was fun there. At one point there were these two guys from Liverpool on one side of me and a frosted, older lady on the other. Then this Mariah Carey impersonater gets up and starts doing “Loverboy.” Well let me just tell you I HATE that song with a passion. I hate it, hate it, hate it. It sounds like three different songs with no direction and only Mariah’s practically naked titties could have made that song a hit. But when it was playing loud, in the casino at the IP, with Billy Idol dealing me blackjack, it WORKED. Everyone’s head (including mine) was bobbing up and down. It was pretty sick, let me tell you.

I knew it was time to go.

So I went next door to O’ Sheas. My gambling money was dwindling. I sat at the bar and played video poker, and actually got up pretty high, but of course I was dreaming about the four-aces (PLEASE) and I lost it all. A loud commotion threw me off. It’s Vegas, so I can’t really complain. But I think I’ve written enough, so I’ll continue this later.

Almost Forgot Myself

Wednesday, May 11th, 2005

Doy. Laurie commented on the last entry, well what happened with the Doves show?

The Doves cancelled a few days before, but I had to learn this from their website, and too late. I don’t know what was up with the Fillmore – no sign, no indication that that show was cancelled. Somehow the word got around – there were only a few people, besides me, who didn’t know what was going on. But still, the Fillmore could have least put up a sign.

So the Doves are coming back in June, and the tickets I had will be honored for that, so I sold them to some Irish guy in San Francisco. Then they will be in LA but on June 14, when I have a ticket to see Wilco at the Greek Theater. Can’t be in two places at once, homies.

It’s too bad as I just got my hands on a live Doves CD and it is hella rocking and cool. But Wilco wins.

The Doves have become uber-successful since I wrote this in Sicily in September 2000: “Back in my room, my first view of Orion this year, millions of stars, listening to the Doves (very important new British band – now Clea and Alex know.)” That was the same summer Coldplay was just starting, right before Kid A came out, right before my life totally changed. More on this later. (Clea and Alex were classical musicians I met in Taormina. We had a lot of fun there.)

It’s going to be a crazy summer. Already it is getting really hot. It was crazy in The Vine. Not crowded crazy, just the regulars Being Crazy. A couple of them, anyway. Or maybe that is normal. I think I live in a place where crazy IS normal. That place is in my brain.

Next week I am going to Las Vegas for the first time in a gazillion seconds. I dreamed about an alternate universe where people are made out of wax and you get around in roller coasters with no seat belts.

Minds (Not) On Fire

Friday, May 6th, 2005

OK, so a little more about San Francisco.

I lived there for so long, that it doesn’t really do anything for me when I go there. I mean, I am not dying to be there; it isn’t like an exciting vacation destination for me (plus I am always working when I am there.) It’s like going home, just ’cause I know it so well. It always feels like I never left.

I ate Thai food twice in four nights there – both times Tofu and Spinach with Peanut Sauce. For some reason they can’t get that dish right here in San Diego. They always throw some broccoli or baby corn in it here. Or they make the sauce too thin. So that was pretty awesome. Now I am thinking about it all the time. That is one of two things I am thinking of.

Staying at the Phoenix Hotel was cool, but MY GOD, was it noisy. I knew it was going to be kind of noisy, but it was like being inside of a club until 2:00 A.M. and then being in the parking lot of the club for the hour after. Cool rooms, uber-nice staff, killer pool. But I’ll only stay there again if I seriously don’t want to go to sleep at night. Well, maybe not. I’ll probably stay again next year, knowing me. Even with the loud bass & drum coming from the bar area, even with the crumpling of beer cans and gay guy giggles at 3:00 A.M.

One night I went to the Edinburgh Castle and had Fish & Chips with Paul, the designer of my book. Do this next time you are in San Francisco – tell anyone who has lived there more than two years you went to the Edinburgh Castle. They will ask you, “did you have Fish & Chips?” Every single person will ask you that. But they are really good – they deliver them from someplace else, all hot and wrapped in paper. Everyone there seemed like 12 years old but they still have The Bends on the jukebox. That place rocks.

Our big wine tasting thing was great this year – after fourteen years, we are kind of getting the hang of it. Plus I must say Andrea Immer/Robinson (she just got married and popped out a brat) is totally cool. She actually came to my table at dinner and thanked me & Chad for working so hard all day. (Don’t know what she was thanking Chad for, hee hee.) THEN she thanked us when she made her speech accepting the award. This is the first writer in fourteen fucking years that did this. Wine writers don’t thank me, though I have probably sold more of their books than any other single person on the planet. It doesn’t do a wine writer any good to piss me off. Let’s just put it that way.

After the dinner a bunch of us went back to the Phoenix and drank many, many bottles (more) of wine, hence the drunk chick picture in the previous entry.

This entry is pretty scattered and needs editing but let’s face it, I am still totally wiped. This is the sucky thing about having a blog, that constant pressure to write something good. Sometimes I can’t, it’s hard, but I have to write SOMETHING or it wouldn’t be a blog, right?

I do have something really cool to write about, the awesome thing, the better than sex thing, the I can’t stop thinking about it thing. But I have to get my head around it a little more. Before the end of the weekend… though I have a feeling only two other people are going to get it. We shall see….

In the meantime check out this interview with Paris Hilton. Man, there’s more to her than meets the eye!

I thought the whole ditz thing was suppose to be an act. Whatever.

Finally home but…

Thursday, May 5th, 2005

Totally Exhausted. I have lots to write about when my brain returns.

Something really cool happened in San Francisco. I knew something awesome was going to happen, and something awesome did, but it was a different kind of awesome, a better awesome, than the awesome I was thinking of.

OK you can see how tired I am. Until tomorrow, here is a shot I took in the Shenandoah Valley in the Sierra Foothills.



And here are a bunch of drunk chicks on a bed.


Good memories, but awesome to be home.