The CrackBerry Chronicles: The Big Reveal

Written by Elaine Santore. Posted in Arts/Entertainment, Culture, Events, Human Interest, Opinion, Politics

Published on February 19, 2009 with 5 Comments


Elaine Santore, aka Crackberry Lascivious Carriage, getting ready to perform
with the Burlesqueteers at the Uptown Club in Oakland, Feb. 16.
Photos by Luke Thomas

By Elaine Santore

February 19, 2009

The Siebel-Newsom spawn: because population control is so 2008

Good news: the economy can’t be that bad if the first couple of San Francisco can still afford to procreate.

Let’s be honest, folks – this baby is going to be really, really white. I mean, have you ever seen Gavin dance? Let’s hope the child doesn’t inherit Gavin’s blaccent. And that Gavin and Jennifer don’t become the kind of parents who let their kid scream while throwing food and silverware on the floor during Sunday brunch. Because those are the rare instances when I consider getting my tubes tied.

In all seriousness, I’m sure the Siebel-Newsom baby will be tall and attractive, with symmetrical features and a large trust fund. Basically, everything yours truly was blessed with at birth, except for the tall part and the trust fund. (However, I’m convinced Mom and Dad hid my trust fund under the house but lost the map. Or maybe they dug it up during the ’90s for a weekend trip to Reno, but forgot to replace it. I’m sure it will turn up somewhere.)

Best wishes to the happy couple and their little person!

Bob said it best:

May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

Bob Dylan

FCJ (Mis)Adventure: Hubba Hubba Revue

Almost one year ago, I read a column on SFGate by Violet Blue titled “Ugly Violet: Every girl online is fat, ugly and unsexy. Here’s how to get over it.” Blue wrote the column in response to (what else?) an anonymous commenter who called her an “unattractive skank” after watching one of her videos.

In the column, Blue quoted Bombshell Betty, a burlesque performer, entrepreneur who teaches the popular Burlesquercise classes and pinup workshops in San Francisco. She also performs with the band Fromagique, writes a blog, and launched a new blog this year devoted to “The Bombshell Challenge.” One of Betty’s quotes stuck out to me, and followed me around in my head for almost a year:

As new people come into my classes and experience how the group encourages others who do not represent our society’s unattainable ideal of what is beautiful, they see how sexy these other ‘imperfect’ women are when they are letting go and feeling sexy, and it allows them to stop judging themselves so harshly.


Bombshell Betty performing with Fromagique at the Uptown.

At the time, I considered writing a response to the column, but feared it would be perceived as a desperate ploy to fish for compliments. Or, even worse, a perfect opportunity for not-so-anonymous trolls from blogs past to rejoice. So I stayed silent.

I’m not breaking into unfamiliar territory here. I wrote about weight and body image issues four years ago when I was an Op-Ed columnist at the Daily Nebraskan, and I convinced myself that if I stopped writing or talking about it, the problem would go away. Or if I surrounded myself with people who told me the positive things about my looks, I would feel better. But I didn’t.

After months of logging onto Bombshell Betty’s site and contemplating signing up for Burlesquercise, I finally worked up the courage to enroll in two sessions. This garnered a mixed reaction from family, friends and co-workers. My friend Alex asked me: “Are you going to be onstage in a big martini glass?” For a while, I simply told people I was taking a dance class and left it at that.

I felt almost an immediate change after the first class. Not just physically, but in how I felt about my body. The quote from Betty held true because I began being less critical of myself and other women. A challenge, no doubt, after watching so much media coverage devoted to Jessica Simpson’s weight and coming across a blog on Spike.com about “The Top 7 Butter Bodies.”

As the weeks went on, I became more comfortable sharing my experiences with others, enough to post a note on Facebook inviting my friends to see me perform in the Hubba Hubba Revue at the Uptown Nightclub in Oakland. Most of the responses were positive. One former co-worker jokingly asked if the economy had inspired me to resort to such extreme measures.


The Uptown in Oakland.

My debut with the Burlesqueteers was fun, nerve-wracking and exhilarating all at once. I’m grateful for the opportunity to dance with such a positive, beautiful and supportive group of women. I highly recommend Betty’s classes to anyone interested in learning burlesque, or just a change in your workout routine.

For those who missed Monday’s show, there’s another opportunity to catch yours truly perform as my Burlesque persona, Lascivious Carriage, on Wednesday, Feb. 25 at Stage Werx in San Francisco.

Oops, I guess y’all want to see some photos of this thing. Pics slightly NSFW for all you civic and corporate suckas out there.


Scarlet Fever and Red Velvet.


And the big finale.


The Bombshell herself, Bombshell Betty.


Time for tassel-twirling tricks!


Some serious superpowers here.


And introducing…Lascivious Carriage. (Legal definition here.)


Welcome to Oakland, bitch.


With Holly Highbeams (who became a grandmother recently – congrats!) and Red Velvet.
Holly gave me my stage name!


Curtain call with the Burlesquercise freshman class.


With Miss Kitty (right).


Till next time … xoxo

Elaine Santore

Elaine Santore

Elaine Santore was born in San Francisco during the awesome '80s. She spent a considerable amount of her childhood around City employees, all of whom taught her the value of pretending to be productive. After graduating from Saint Ignatius College Preparatory, she transferred schools three times but eventually received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln in Psychology, with a double minor in Political Science and Textiles, Clothing and Design. This unique area of expertise makes her qualified to critique the sartorial missteps and psychological problems of local politicians. Elaine's work has also appeared in 7x7, California Home + Design, Filipinas, the Daily Nebraskan, SF Bay Guardian, and Spin.com.

More Posts - Website