Scenes From the Weekend: Kathy Griffin at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza and Superbowl 47

Once upon a time, I didn’t follow Kathy Griffin – didn’t watch her show, catch up on her stand up specials, etc.  Didn’t bother.

Those were dark, unfunny days, my friends.

Then my sister came to stay with me after I had a baby and filled my DVR with “My Life on the D-List” and a bunch of Griffin’s Bravo specials.  I got hooked right then and there, and the rest is history.

Much to my delight, Team Griffin came to The Bubble last Friday night for a show at Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza (or @tocap, as they say on the Twitter), and one of my pals scored us some tickets way high up in the balcony.  I’m talking way high.

Holy shitballs, we are high up.  Do not bring your antsy children up here!

This was my first visit to the theater, and it was about time.  I knew I was missing a gem – a first rate, smallish theater that I can get to without even taking a freeway?  What was my delay?  Other than the fact that nothing has struck my fancy until now.  Gotta get the kids to a musical, stat.

Anyway, Ms. Griffin didn’t disappoint.  She did spend a lot of time in the middle of her non-stop commentary talking about reality shows that I have not seen, but I’m so accustomed to her mannerisms now that I laughed anyway.  Surprisingly, too, Griffin must have gotten a nervous tic because she spent a good few minutes expressing her disgust about professional sports stars who have been accused and/or convicted of violent crimes.  She recovered in classic style, though, tossing back her hair and exclaiming with faux awkwardness, “Hey, it’s a comedy!  I just remembered!”

Meet and greet with fans c/o @tocap’s Twitter feed

I guess I’ve been either working or living in this area for long enough to be considered a native now, because Griffin’s opening commentary/roast about Thousand Oaks and the surrounding area was what made me laugh the hardest.  The typical jokes were there, of course – her friends worried about the long drive, suggesting she employ a colostomy bag.  She addressed the gays in the audience, asking “What job offer was so worth it that you joined the whitey heteros in the cul de sac?” She ripped The Acorn a new one, calling it “That shit show you call a newspaper” and complaining that she didn’t even make the front page – no, the cover story was about Thousand Oaks residents being mad at the US Postal Service.  And later, as Griffin performed a dramatic reading of an article about oral sex in Redbook magazine, she offered to do the first Q&A for the Acorn.

At one point she joked that there must be someone from the Acorn present, taking notes.  Um, no, that was me, writing quotes on the backs of receipts I pulled out of my wallet so I wouldn’t forget what she said.

I saw Griffin’s show in 2009 at the Universal Amphitheater.  I was much closer to the stage, and I recall that her act lasted about 50 minutes.  This time, even though I was in the nosebleed section and there was no big video screen to make her look closer, it didn’t matter.  Griffin performed for one hour and 45 minutes without stopping, and she was fantastic.  The only thing that made me truly not laugh was when she joked about husbands beating their wives if their team lost at the Superbowl.  I know it was only a joke, but I actually don’t think it’s funny to joke about domestic violence.  I mentioned that to my girlfriends later, and none of them were offended, so maybe it’s just one in four women who don’t find that material funny.

5-alarm chili verde 

Either way, I attended an awesome, violence-free Superbowl party Sunday, unless you count the beating my tongue took when I tasted the 5-alarm chili verde that was part of the new annual chili cook off that precedes the beginning of the game.  This was the second year in a row that the chili opened for football at the party we always attend in Granada Hills.

Kitchen crowded with chili-tasters

This chunky pot had big cubes of beef in it

 

This one used quinoa to bulk up.  It was good, but not a winner.  In fact, all the entries were good!

Voting was done by pulling the card of your favorite two and putting them in a Dodgers lunchbox.

Casting my votes. 

The winner was the jack on the left – a pleasant chili with a barbecue flavor to it.

Last year I didn’t place well in the chili cook off, so this year I pulled out the secret ingredient:  bacon.  It didn’t work – I only came in third place.  I have a whole year to come up with something to top that.  Maybe another pound of bacon?  I’m stymied.  I mean, how could I not win with bacon?  Maybe I should just but bacon in a pot and call it chili.

My baconator.  Not enough bacon, I guess.

It’s always a great time at this party hosted by my husband’s (and now my) good old friends.  We actually only see them once a year on Superbowl Sunday.  Now that we have kids, they have been coming with us since they were born.  Many of the adults bring their children who, oddly, are all boys.  This year the kids played Mario Kart and watched Mine Craft videos on YouTube, sneaking out only to get more fistfuls of Doritos.  The adults watched the game (and the commercials and the rocking halftime show) on one of six screens the hosts set up in the living room, the kitchen, the backyard, and the converted garage.

Rare photo of us together.  I took advantage of the presence of other adults. 

 So, what did you do this weekend?  

Also, if you or your kids are My Little Pony fanatics, please enter my ticket giveaway for the Los Angeles Twilight Sparkle coronation concert on February 9.