Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Caution: Irony Ahead

R Man and I had both agreed that the only way to make his lost pair of glasses reappear was to buy him a new pair. Fate just works that way. Besides, he hated the ones he was making do with and so we trotted off to the Eye Gotcha on Castro St. to go glasses shopping.

It’s seems sort of remarkable that there are so many of our friends who are near-sighted or need reading glasses that every time we have a party, conversation turns to optometrist stores. And not only stores in general, but Eye Gotcha in particular. Everyone goes there and everyone loves Karen, the assistant there who picks the perfect pair for you out of the overwhelming choices available and gently but firmly turns you away from those that would make you look like Dame Edna on a toot.

We wound up with these:Terribly chic from the Berlin based Mykita. They’re also very flattering on R Man, although considering the price, it seems like they should be able to double as sex toys at the very least.

And then R Man went home, looked down on the floor of his bathroom and found his old, long lost glasses. Boom, just like that. I hate irony. In our defense, I should mention the floor is black, cream and white speckeled terrazzo tiles, the perfect camouflage for anything that falls there. Trying to find pills you’ve dropped is like one of those Where’s Waldo puzzles. Next I suppose we’re going to misplace the cat in there.


Opinions in San Francisco vary about whether Frank Chu is a performance artist or a lunatic. Whatever else he is, Chu is a constant presence on the streets around my office, in the very heart of the most respectable, businesslike part of town, in fact, you can see my office in the shot below. He appears daily carrying a protest sign that varies content, but usually says something like:


This example, by the way, surfaced years after Clinton was out of office. For that matter, Chu has occasionally demanded the impeachment of Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton, for those who may have been napping during that particular day in American History, is, technically, dead, therefore his danger of being impeached seems slim, but you never know.

Omnegron is one of the words Chu either just makes up or are whispered to him by aliens.

Anyway, now someone has put up a website where you can create your very own Chu sign. Sign by ACME ChuMaker.
I do so love San Francisco.

Monday, April 27, 2009


When R Man and I got married, the insightful Miss Janey pointed out in a comment on this very blog: "lots and lots of being married really is one partner misplacing the phone while the other helps look for it. And there's why we marry- two people looking is better than one."

In the spirit of that totally true truism, we have spent the last four days looking for R Man's glasses.  He feels the loss very keenly since his backups give him a  headache after a while.  I have been reduced to looking in the freezer for them.  When I told him that, he admitted he'd already looked there.  Damn.

Anyway, if you run across them (in the dryer, perhaps) be sure to let me know.

Whatever It Takes

One of my favorite blogs, Go Fug Yourself, is crafted by two sassy gals who also have a gig writing a column for New York magazine. In their charming post about the loss we all share of Bea Arthur, they mention:

“whenever one of us runs up against writer's block … the person in question gives up and types, "And then there's Maude," and turns the column over to the other for an infusion of ideas”

A confession which makes me feel so connected to the world of Real Journalism, since I too use gibberish to move past being stuck. When I write press releases, I frequently (actually, every single time) get frozen and unable to think of another goddam synonym for "business." When that happens, I temporarily use as a filler a sentence I would have employed had I followed my dream of being the author of a series of trashy romance novels for Ladies.

The sentence?

My lips burned from the lash of his kisses.

Fabulous, huh? Had I been the new Barbara Cartland, I would have stuck it in every single book. It would have been my trademark.

That said, my constant fear is that some day I will forget to edit that little gem out and will distribute a release to the wide world that includes a quote from mrpeenee announcing “My lips burned etc., etc….”

For more Romance covers go here

Word of the Day: Tailpiece

In Young Frankenstein, the ever-so-brilliant Teri Garr announces firmly that the monster must have “an enormous Schwanstuker.” I’d always assumed it was a made up word that just sounded faintly German, but house boy and cunning linguist (such a small leap from Young Frankenstein to Austin Powers) Horatio Aldebrtus reports that according to Wikipedia it is “a malapropism from German Schwanz, "tail", and Stück, "piece." Now Horatrio keeps running around yelling “I gocher Tailpiece right here, baby.” Oh, these young people today.

Also, R Man is still sick, but better and taking his medicine very regularly, even though it also makes him sick. Friday is the last day of the meds and we’re both looking forward to it. He insisted on going to work today, mostly because he’s bored from being stuck at home, but promised to go home at noon. The only good thing is that he’s restricted to eating bananas, rice, applesauce and toast (BRAT!) all of which I love and which just shows I have the tastes of an elderly invalid. Mmm. Applesauce.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Back in the Sick Room

Wasn't I recently whining, at length, about being sick? Indeed I was, but I'm ever so much better, thanks. Now, though, R Man is sick and NOT WITH SOMETHING I GAVE HIM. I want that clearly understood.

Poor lamb is having digestive issues and that is as specific as I am going to get. Our friend John claims his mother completely exasperated her doctor by refusing to refer to anything below her jawline except as "Down There." I think that's a brilliant policy and I have now adopted it wholeheartedly. Bowels, liver, knees, if I had uterus (I'm pretty sure I don't,) all of it will henceforth be Down There.

So we had to go to our friend the doctor this morning for some nasty pills that are supposed to be clearing everything up. I hope they do, I hate it when R Man's sick. I have to force myself not to hover, urging tea on him and asking every fifteen minutes how he's doing. It's not really nursing him back to health, it's more like hectoring him into wellness. Which reminds me, I have to go make some more tea now.

Also, houseboy Honore Rowenus reminds us that we haven't featured any of the boys lately and that it's his turn. I do hate to disappoint them, so I promised if he was a good boy and took the tea to R Man, I'd see if I could squeeze him in.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More Joys of the Luddite

Our dear friend John is a gadget whore. Any device is irresistible to him, no matter how obscure, unnecessary or unproven its function might be. Naturally, he sprang for a Kindle as soon as it was available. He tried flaunting it to me, but I was vastly unimpressed. For one thing, it looks like a puny Etch-a-Sketch. For another, all its selling features compare it to printed books, and not in a way that says the Kindle is better, simply that it is as good as a real book. So why not get a real book? $350 for something that you then purchase downloads from Amazon to use? What?

I think its main promise is that you can download books instantly. Well, you know, I live in a big city with plenty of bookstores available (although fewer than there were before Amazon, thanks. Goodbye Staceys, adieu Cody's) and when I want a book, it tends to be not that difficult to purchase one. They make a big deal about having 250,00 titles, but I figure once you eliminate Belva Plain and investment how to's, you probably down to the five figures.

So I'm a a grouchy old man. Goddam young punks and their gizmos. So what? When they can wire Barbara Pym and E.F. Benson directly into my brain, let me know. On second thought, I've already done that, never mind. When they can stream porn directly into my brain, THEN I'll consider an upgrade.

Hair Don't

Oh no, Can it really be? Is the pompadour making yet another return? How many damn trips around the track can it get? I never liked it in the first place. No one is so short that piling your hair up to the point of being a traffic hazard is a good idea. Forget it. Stop it. Put down the comb and back away from the mousse.

Exhibit a. Zac Ephebe, or whatever is his name is, has never done much for me, but even I am moved to pity by an image that looks like his wee little neck might snap at any minute under the weight of all that hair.

And those of us of a certain age will remember the last time the poodle do reared it's tortured head. The early 80s have so very much to answer for.

Certainly Maxwell Caulfield and Ryan Idol have both increased my pulse rate and my pants, but it was their manifold other charms rather than their bouffy dos that did it for me.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ah Wimoweh, Ah Wimoweh

Ever since I cut my thumb open in the yard this morning, the cat has been hanging around me in an unusually solicitous manner.  He fools no one.  I know he's waiting for me to weaken from the blood loss so he can spring on me.  Although it seems unlikely that he could take me in in a fight, I'm still planning on sleeping with my door shut tonight.Gratuitous 80's pop beefcake. Tight Fit? Whatever you say sweetie.

Back to the Garden

Such a lovely, lovely delicate day here today. Warm, on the verge of being hot, sunny and blue, the very definition of the perfect Northern California afternoon. Just the thing to tempt an elderly gardener (that would be me) out into the yard to heft a pickaxe and see if he could bludgeon the garden into submission. I call this my "Christina, Bring Me the Axe" persona.

The garden won. It always does.

My back hurts, my thumb is bleeding, I need to go dig a berry thorn out of the side of my hand. But before I go into surgery, let's take a walk through Le Jardin des peenee, shall we?

The big show off, say something coral beauty above? Passion flower, a vine now twining fifty feet from where I planted it and completely oblivious to abuse. You go girl, that's what I say.

The big purple blur above is one of my local favorites, my beloved ceonothus. No photograph ever does justice to its dense cloud of sapphire blue beauty in the spring. Ah me. The cheery rose red flowers are a chrysanthemum called "Ruby Slippers." Every year they are a reliable source of bright color over a long time. They are what gardeners call a "promiscuous bloomer." Just like me.

In a burst of uncharacteristic optimism this fall, I broadcast wildflower seeds (or birdfood, as our friend Dan calls it) all over the bare spot left by removing a tree in the upper back corner. Apparently Dan's assessment is right on the money since the only survivors are poppies (yay) and several of these charming golden boys. I'm not sure, but I think it's an erysimum, or wallflower. I've seen these all over the place here and lusted after them, so their appearance in the yard is a big deal.

God love him, this poor old apple tree is pretty much the only survivor of the owners of our house in early 80s and the only people who passed through here interested in gardening. It is as far in the very back of the yard as it can be, way beyond where I could give it any attention and yet, every year, it puts out these lovely blossoms and then a few tough little crab apples.

We have a beautiful yellow rose that I found in the marked down section of the nursery. I pointed out to the guy working there that it was, to use the technical term, dead. It was just a stick, long after all the other roses had leafed out. He said he'd give it to me for three-fourths off. How could I pass it up? A dead stick for seventy five percent off. Turned out it wasn't quite dead yet and in the years since has produced enormous quantities of big yellow blooms and these fantastic orange rose hips.

And then there are our geraniums (I know they're actually Pelargoniums, but it's too confusing to go into that here. Plus I have several true geraniums, just to make things even more murky.) Nothing is easier to cultivate and we have batches of them, but these with their psykodelic red/pink/fuschia thing going on are some of my favorites. I notice now there is also a great big old weed coming up in the middle of them, which I failed to observe when I was out taking pictures. I suppose I have to back out and take another whack the yard

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Burglar Fail. Booty Win.

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

I'm always amused by Hapless doofuses injuring themselves as a result of their own stupidity. What could be funnier? Here we have not only a classic doofus-gets-his-just-reward, but a humpy one to boot. Those abs! That ass! That incredible lack of ability to kick off your shoe when it’s caught! Fantastic. I'm sure he'll make lots of new friends in jail.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Joan, John. Whatev

I always heard about Miss Joan Crawford's last movie, a sad little abortion called Trog, but have never seen it.  I understand the whole mess was so budgetless, Joan had to change clothes in the back of a car.

Had I known that John Hamill (below, seen lounging about the forum) filled a role in it, I might have been more industrious about tracking it down.

I Dreamed a Dream

You know the video of Susan Boyle singing on Britain’s Got Talent (doesn’t that title seem a teeny bit defensive? Who said you didn’t?) She comes on stage looking like a cafeteria lady dressed up for the Christmas party and then belts out a showstopper from Les Miserables. The audience and judges are humbled by their previous shallow derision of her; fat girls the world over swoon, at last they have an underdog turned hero. I actually liked the performance, not even I am that much of a curmudgeon, but I ask myself “Has this poor creature no gay friends, some poof with a pair of tweezers who could have pruned them eyebrows?”

My only cavil (aside from the shrubbery above her eyes) is that the whole affair invaded my dreams last night. I should mention the AIDS drug I take reacts with fat to cause long, vivid, odd dreams and we had heaps of leftover macaroni and cheese last night. Mac and cheese plus Atripla equal a night full of Technicolor.

So, the dream was that I was a judge on a reality show (yes, I was Simon Cowell, so maybe it was a nightmare) who would rate people’s decorating skills. An interesting twist was that I had to break into their homes to do so. My favorite part was hefting a giant red pipe wrench to bust open their windows to climb in and start dissing the couches. A Lady caught me in her bedroom and begged me not to vote her off the show, but darlings, those window treatments…. Oh dear.

Maybe I should skip the macaroni and cheese tonight.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Girls and Their Friends

That sharp-eyed, clever minx Muscato points out in the photo in our Big Blog post below that the Lady on the left seems to be wearing some very odd strap architecture to help deal with (one supposes) her massive mamms. One does wonder, just what is going on in there? Well, at least if one is prone to horrified fascination, one does. Is that a ... harness? I understand brassieres are themselves harness underwear thingies, but this seems more like something that would show up on an elderly leather fetishist at Folsom Street Fair, not that you would want to see it.

I need to stop worrying about this and move on. This is all the fault of The Lisp, whom I still think of Shirley, despite his shrill, goatlike protests.

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's All One Big Blog

mrpeene, Thombeau and TJB share a group hug, recklessly instigated by TJB.  Tragically, a small dwarf was crushed in the enthusiastic burst of blog love.

I stole this from the Lisp.  Who knows where he filched it from.


The radio show was pretty amusing. A woman I know well and like from an economic development nonprofit here was on it with me, which made the whole thing more comfortable. She and I pretty much nattered along and occasionally the host would butt in with some question that I'm sure she thought made sense, in her sad, deluded way. I would ignore her and talk about whatever I wanted to. Worse were the callers, two of whom were cranky and hostile to my agency. Yeesh. If you'd like to revel in my dulcet tones, you can go here

Skip to the part where the guy calls me "just a bureaucrat."  You can almost here me preparing to call him a cracker bitch, but I didn't.  You know why?  Because I am a professional.


You know how you'll be hanging around with your chums and someone will say "Is (fill in the blank) still alive?" Jane Russel, fer instance. And then you'll have to go Google it and you find out how very many odd movies Jane Russel was in.

Very much like that, I've found, is the Phil Spector trial. Someone will ask "Did they ever convict him?" and then someone else will say "Is Phil Spector still alive?" and then someone will say "Is Jane Russell still alive?" The answer to the first question has finally arrived at "Yes. They did. Second degree murder."

I think this trial has hovered around the edge of my brain because it a) reminds me how much I adore the Wall O'Sound, b) it seemed to drag on a terribly long time without actually doing anything, and c)it provided a chance to appreciate how bizarre Mr. Spector looks.This is from today and is an improvement, early in the trial he really looked like an alien. An alien who wanted to eat your brain with a girl group soundtrack.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Radio Killed the mrpeenee Star

I'm going to be on the radio on Monday morning, which seems like such an odd statement to make. Doesn't the very idea of a radio show sound like something from another era, another century? And yet, I'll be spending an hour tomorrow morning on some public radio call-in show, pretending I know what I'm talking about. In all the years I've been the media guy for our office, I've never done one of these and frankly, never really missed it. I hate call-in shows, with their moronic callers making up inane questions just to be on the air. Maybe instead of small business, I'll just start reeling off fashion tips and sex advice, that's always popular.

Easter Lunch

So what's up Easter day at Chez peenee? Luncheon for eleven; glazed ham, macaroni and cheese, asparagus, fruit salad and DEVILED EGGS. I love R Man's deviled eggs. Lots of champagne and cosmos. Music by Celia Cruz. We'll save ya an egg.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Gotta Go

For the second year in the row, our agency is giving us two hours off early today. Typically, we have always had this tiny little perk for the day before big holidays like Thanksgiving and Labor Day, but getting off early for Good Friday seems very odd for a federal agency. They do know Easter isn't a federal holiday, right? Right? Not that I'm complaining at a short day. Yay, in fact. So how come we don't get this for Buddha's Birthday, and Ramadan, and what about Gay Pride?

Five of us were standing around the kitchen discussing this and it came out that four of us are not Christians (it's San Francisco after all.) A buddhist, two jews and me. The token Christian lady seemed incredulous. Obviously it had never occurred to her that she worked in an office of heathens. It seemed sort of comforting to me.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Present Tense

You know the most insurmountable part about being a slob? It's the fact that I don't care. When I was four years old, my basic costume was a tee-shirt, a pair of jeans and tennis shoes (in the south, they are universally referred to as "tennie shoes.") Fifty years later and my preferred outfit is the same, only the sizes have changed. That's why R Man will buy me presents that try to make me dress myself more like an adult, perhaps an adult who has a responsible job with a federal agency and occasionally has to look like he can actually button a shirt.

For my birthday, he came across with three lovely shirts, two subtle stripes and one very severely plain white linen that would make Lawrence of Arabia swoon, it's so cool. I should mention I do have dress up clothes I wear to work, but I am so deficient at shopping, they comprise a very limited pool. I'm sure my coworkers can tell the day of the week by the shirt I come in wearing. The slate blue with small black checks? Must be Thursday. So three shirts is no small gain.

Also, in birthday news, we have a quince miracle. Quinces are tough ass flowering shrubs with flowers that look like cherry blossoms on steroids. I planted one (called a Texas Scarlet in honor of my heritage) years ago even though I had heard they don't like to bloom where winters are warm. Places like, oh, San Francisco. Never the less, I persevered and was rewarded with a scraggly bunch of twigs with vicious thorns and no blooms. But lo, this, year, ON MY BIRTHDAY, I looked out and there was the most beautiful quince blossom any queen could ask for. What could be sweeter? Short of a Brazilian porn star, I mean.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Partners in Poo

I was going to put up a post about the importance in long time companionship of partners being willing to listen to each other’s news bulletins about their bowel movements, but I just can’t. Recent semi-frank conversations with other old couples secure in their partnerships reveal that this is truly the underlying key to a life lived together in harmony: poop chats. For those of you out there whining about being single, you might want to bear that in mind. You get hooked up and suddenly euphemistic heavy conversations seem to be part of the territory.

I just thought I’d warn you.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Grease Revenge

Who knew eating fatty junk foods was a learned ability, a talent that had to be developed and which could be lost? Did you know? I didn't know. As I mentioned R Man and I have abstained from eating fatty stuff since his heart surgery a year and a half ago. My plans to celebrate my birthday with a lunch of chili hot dogs with mayo and cheese was going to be a rare exception, and one to be savored. And, in fact, we did just that, but you know what? Chili dogs? No big deal. Certainly not the epicurean delight I remembered. Plus about twenty minutes after I stuffed them down, I felt like I had been smacked by a baseball filled with Crisco. I tried to disguise the chili induced coma as a birthday nap, but really, I just can't handle it. So now, I can't drink liquor and I can't eat junk food. What's left?

I suppose I have to get a grip here. Houseboy Jurgen Morpheus has taken to wearing all black in mourning for my deceased junk food capacity. Not such a good idea.

Friday, April 3, 2009


I know the Diesel man is not everyone's cup of muscle tea.

They're wrong.

Bon anniversaire

The ever charming Donna Lethal has sent us a Happy Birthday greeting on the wall of our Facebook page (a sidenote: I have no idea what Facebook is or does. I signed up for it and now it keeps bothering me.) Thank you Mme. Lethal

Yes, it's true, mrpeenee's birthday is Sunday, April 5. Yay. I will be 54 years old. Actually, I can now leave out the exact number of years and simply render that statement as "I will be old." Do I care? No. Honest, I don't. Many, many of the friends I started out with are not here now. Dead, doncha know. Since this is the only alternative, I'll take it.

To celebrate, I have a shiatsu massage lined up for Saturday night. The evidence that I'm old is not that I will not be chasing boy butt on that night, but that I am looking forward to having some guy poke his elbow into the knot between my shoulder blades MORE than I would any boy butt I can think of, even the one in the post below. Sort of.

For my birthday itself, R man, Urban Pirate and I are planning a luncheon blowout of hotdogs with chili. Since his heart surgery a year and a half ago (how time flies when you're not dead) R Man and I have been very virtuous about avoiding fat, so no hot dogs except for special occasions. We'll also go out for Thai food that night. I assume I will spend April 6 burping, but it will be worth it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I'm still feeble enough to justify working half days.  I came home after lunch, tried to take a nap, but the cat will not get off me and I can't sleep under him, got up and started reading the blogs, only got as far as Fabulon, realized I have my jammie pants on backwards.  All this without drugs!  I must be improving rapidly.
random, arbitrary naked guy, cause I feel like it.

In Which Credit Is Taken

Financial advice from mrpeene e So every year or two, some evil little troll manages to get their grubby paws on my credit card number.  The...