Friday, October 31, 2008

Yo, Maggie

We give thanks to St. Margaret of Scotland, Patron Saint of reading and, we suppose, protectress of subway riders who miss their stop cause they're engrossed in their book. This very morning, I discovered, miraculously, my new coat has an interior pocket exactly the right size for a paperback book. If the salesman yesterday had only pointed out this feature, I would have been able to stop trying on jackets and shout "SOLD" and save us both a lot of time.

Here endeth the tale of Margaret, saint and holy woman.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Earlier this year, I was grief struck over the smash-and-grab of my leather coat from the backseat of our car. Bastards. But all that moaning and gnashing is behind me now, I've moved on and to prove it, I bought a new coat today.

Although I wouldn't say I was a better person for my loss, I would say I have a nicer jacket. I still miss how the old one was conformed to my crooked shape, but I'm sure this one will be too, some day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Houseboy Squash

I meant to make this fabulous squash risotto while Diane von Austin was here, but I got distracted cause, you, know, I was getting married and stuff. I made it tonight and I must say I had forgotten how delish it really is. Risotto with squash soup as the stock and sage and mushrooms. Mmmm.

Claudius Gunterius liked it so much he spilled it over his new little toga, so I had to have him wait in the laundry while we washed it. It's flattering, I suppose, to have ones cooking so appreciated, but these houseboys are so much trouble.

mrpeenee's Only Political Comment. Honest

Much better than a shot of Joe Biden, don't you think?

Several stories I've read this week quote McCain sources, or their apologists, discounting the polls showing Obama pulling ahead of the the troglodyte. Their logic? People lie to pollsters when asked if they would vote for a black candidate (or for that matter vote to remove the right of gays to marry.) So they're basing their hopes on the cowardly lies bigots tell to complete strangers in order to hide their shame. Fabulous. That's the kind of democracy that needs to be protected from the likes of, oh, say, Me. And ronda. And Miss Janey. And Thombeau. And Elizabeth. And jason (or jehsean) and TJB and Muscato and all the Michaels and everyone else who thinks.

I'm mrpeenee and I approved this rant.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Oh, What a Relief...

OK, so it's a tiny bit embarrassing that I am so tame my drug of choice these days is Alka Seltzer Wake-Up Call. I'm wild for it. It's supposed to be for hangovers, but it seems unlikely that if you were actually hungover, you'd be able to find it, it's sort of an obscure nostrum. I have a little pick-me-up with it every afternoon. It's a dynamite combo composed of bromide, aspirin and caffeine; soothing of mild aches and it makes you burp. Yippee. Plus, it comes in a tasty citrus flavor and the gay, gay, gay package graphics includes an exclamation point, so you know it has to be good.

Try some today. You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Blood, Sweat, and Home Improvements

Part of my thrilling weekend excitement consisted of putting down new shelf liner in the dank nether regions of the cabinet under our sink. Our last garbage disposal died because a leak in the pipes shorted it out. The nice plumber replaced it and the pipes and I replaced the nasty liner. Remind me again, why did I want to own a house? Naturally, I smacked my head on the cabinet door frame and busted my scalp open. I showed R Man, because that's what a boyfriend is for. He was sympathetic, which was nice and all I really looked for. I'm an old hand at contusions and know from long experience that scalp wounds bleed worse and look more serious than they feel. When I was growing up, my brothers and I were always winding up bloodied from some klutziness or the other, clumsiness seems to run in our family. We literally knew one of the emergency room nurses by name. My sainted mother was so inured to it all by the time I came along, her first reaction was to immediately yell at whoever had wandered into the house from the latest disaster "Don't bleed on the carpet!" Once we were quarantined in the kitchen (or if it was really bad, the garage) she would sort of triage to see if she could handle it or if it was time for another trip down to see Pauline at the Emergency Room.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Better Homes and Vicious Gardens

I'm sure you all will be relieved to hear that I did, indeed, contract with David, the world's most beautiful tree guy, to come whack down the tree in our backyard. He's coming November 11, I just hope that leaves enough time for his layout in The Men of Chez Peenee 2009 calendar, on sale soon at an airport bookstore near you.

When we bought this house, the yard was covered in an impenetrable thicket of Scotch Broom which I proceeded to pull out, stick by goddam stick and that, in turn, left me with a big space as bare as Sarah Palin's intellect. Since I am no fan of turf lawns I filled up the whole thing with shrubs and flowers, their lush survival is much more a testimony to San Francisco's benevolent climate than my skill as a gardner. My design plan consisted of sticking the plants wherever I could dig a hole big enough without hitting a rock. All that means the place looks pretty, in a aimless slacker sort of way, but gaining access to the tree I want cut down is tough.

I decided to clear a path by chopping down several spindly buddleia which have been so shaded out by the now-doomed bigger tree they weren't doing anything anyway. I'm pretty sure they'll come back from the roots; I hope so, their blooms are an unusual and beautiful dark plum color.

In the midst of my Christina-bring-me-the-ax spree I heedlessly reached up and yanked on a branch to see if I could just break it off rather than bothering with sawing it. Sure enough, it broke and smacked me quite hard on the head. People in my office today have been quite struck by the resultant scratches and bumps; I look like I lost a serious fight.

That's why when I see commercials of people lolling about in the garden, enjoying the dainty horticultural pleasures, I always sneer. I know the dark truth: gardens fight back

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Darkside of the Peenee

To be an American teenaged male and to be infatuated with Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon seems inevitable. According to Wikipedia, it is the third best selling album of all time, which must mean somebody is still buying it in order to get loaded, lie in the dark and listen, just listen. I myself was 17 the month it premiered and I got it as a graduation present from high school. I thought it was perfect; I am slightly embarrassed to say how very much I still am attached to it.

The summer after high school, when the album and I were both very new, I took a road trip with my brother Ed from Houston to Seattle. He had a van he'd upholstered in baby blue shag carpet and installed a top-of-the-line 8 track stereo (it was the 70s darling, bear with me.) In an attempt to make good time, he drove though a big chunk of Texas and then handed the wheel over to me late that night in far west Texas and pointed me down Interstate 10. The eight track was positioned, for reasons that elude me, behind the driver's seat so you couldn't reach it to change tapes while driving. Eight track tapes are, or were, a loop; they didn't end, they just started over. I roared off into the desert with Dark Side humming along and kept it on all the way through Texas and New Mexico while Ed snored away on the back. By the time I finally surrendered near the Arizona state line, I was hallucinating, but I knew every word on that album. I still do.

Thirty five years later, thanks to the wonder of I Tunes, I have stumbled across a most amusing album of solo piano covers of Pink Floyd songs by some group or misrceant called Vitamin Piano Series. It's totally charming with many of the songs culled from Dark Side and most of them with an odd twist, like a jazzy Money or a even more poignant Shine on You Crazy Diamond. Sometimes I wonder if I'm still in the van,hallucinating. It could happen.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Surrender, Dorothy

Why struggle against Mario Lopez? Why not simply admit he is the humpiest, most booty-licious butt boy on the planet and move on? It's what I did and I'm much happier now. Honest.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Combover Guy

I saw him again, Combover Guy. I don't know his real name, but really, does he need one? Surely everyone refers to him by that; it's possible his drivers license reads "Combover Guy." I want to be clear about this, I am steadily going bald. My hair is not receding so much as retreating, having long since surrendered to my forehead. And imagine my surprise in a threeway mirror a few years ago, to discover my hair is sneaking out in the back, too. Soon, the bald spots will join hands (figuratively) across my pate. Until then, I keep my hair shorty short short just so I cannot be accused of being Combover Guy.

His 'do is a masterpiece of artifice much like topiaries are to gardening. There is no part in it, the wisps swoop up and back and forward and side to side and every which way to finally gather at the crown in a sort of modified Gibson girl thang.

And how does he give directions to his stylist? (No mere barber could accomplish this. More of a partner in crime than anything else.) Does he plop down in the chair and announce "... and then I want this section to pivot back at 90 degrees to cover the right front quadrant?" I probably don't want to know.

If I could ever find out his email ( I would email him "Put your hair out of its misery!!!!!! Cut it all off now!!!!!!! Maybe grow a beard!!!!" Multiple exclamation points are important, otherwise he wouldn't know how serious the situation was, but really it would be an act of charity and love.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Trim a Tree

One long ago morning on the way to work, I was practicing staring out the window when I noticed an astonishingly cute guy driving a truck advertising his tree service. The way my mind works is that I can't remember the deadline I have for a project I promised faithfully to finish at work, but when it came time to have a tree in our yard cut down, the cute guy and his company immediately leaped to mind.

I called and he came over this afternoon. R Man was so struck by his good looks he had to leave while I took Dave on a tour of our yard and discussed tree issues and tried not to actually drool. And he's sweet as can be, not at all affected by being as dazzling as the average underwear model in a town full of poofters.

As a prudent homeowner, I plan on getting several bids on the project, of course. And then I will give the job to Dave because, HELLO, you should see his biceps.

His photo (which doesn't do him justice.) If you could see him, you would want to have your tree cut down, too. Hell, I'd plant one just so I could have him cut it down.

I wonder if he would charge extra to work in a series of fetching little costumes.

Facial Tensions

I despise shaving. Who came up with the masochistic notion that scraping your face everyday was a good idea?

So why do some men lok sexy with a few days' stubble?

And some men at least look like they're trying to look sexy?

And I just look like I'm preparing to ask you for spare change? Le sigh. I have to go shave.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fleet - It's Not Just an Enema Anymore

EEEEEK! RUN FOR YOUR GODDAM LIVES! WE'RE BEING ATTACKED! BOMBERS! Oh wait, it's just the Blue Angels and they're not attacking, they're rehearsing for the big air show this weekend as part of San Francisco's Fleet Week. And by "rehearsing" I mean flying so low you can see which pilots have bad acne and which ones have Tom Cruise's picture taped up inside the cockpit. They fly some super bad, super loud bomber that makes such a racket, they set off car alarms as they swoop by. Each year when they blow into town there is a local tradition of anti-Blue Angels opposing the glorification of the war machine, wasting fuel and the danger of performing aerial stunts over a densely populated area. They are always pooh-poohed by neanderthals whose gun-worshipping johnsons are stiffened by the sight of planes almost crashing right above their pointy little heads.

In theory, I'm not opposed to fleet week, but I would prefer the celebration to include appearances by some of them Marines who keep getting busted for appearing in gay porn

and a booth with Dan Quayle in it, dressed in a butt-less sailor suit, prepared to perform unspeakable acts for five bucks a pop.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Between R Man's disc problems, my bronchitis, our wedding, out of town guests, and my deep seated willingness to screw around, I have missed most of the last month at work. Today was my first full day back and I have to say, this work stuff sucks. I sulked at my desk trying to calculate when I can get to retire, but unfortunately, I can't count that high. I did have the pleasure of composing a frosty reply to a disgruntled member of the public's email in which I only barely refrained from addressing her as Crazy Bitch, but you know, thrills like that can only take you so far and soon as I was back to brooding.

I was very pleasantly surprised by office mates all congratulating me on my recent wedding. Even though we're sitting in one of the most left-leaning cities in America, none of them are exactly the new Jon Stewart and some of them probably think Palin is a swell gal, and yet they enthusiastically wished us well without batting an eye about two old poofs tying the knot. It was very gratifying.

Now if the Crazy Bitch will just go away.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Diane von Austinberg

So the fabulous, fabulous Diane von Austinberg has ended her annual visit and returned home, something or the other about having a life in Texas. I don't know. I always love her trips here and look forward to them as a little child would Crixmas. For me to be sick and puny during most of it seems so unfair. She certainly did more than her share of making our big post-wedding bash a success. You have to admire any guest who's willing to cut up crudities and dish sotto voice about other, less savory invitees.

We usually spend her trips cooking together and working our way through our many favorite SF restaurants and shaking down the local thrift stores. While we were still able to cover the food front (Grand Pu Bah thai food! Foreign Cinema brunch! Pasta with rapini! Yay to all and more,) I just was not up to the musty thrills of second hand hunting and gathering. Thus, we only had one afternoon on Valencia Street, but Diane, the queen of Other People's Crap, still managed to score a lovely little tea pot for herself and the cutest 50's sugar bowl in existence for me.

Love her.

Mostly, she was here to stand up with us at our wedding and that meant a lot to me. Oh honey, thanks. See ya when the bluebonnets bloom.

In Which We Are Arty

  When we were in Paris in April (and I love any story where I'm able to casually mention I was in Paris recently. Ooh la la.) anyway, w...