Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sweet Potatoes

Taken by an urge to recreate Thanksgiving, now that it's safely passed, I made a turkey breast (I whimsically refer to them as bosoms so often that I live in dread of doing so to the butcher. Why is life so difficult?) and my granny's cornbread dressing and sweet potatoes roasted with onions and thyme for lunch today.

Sweet potatoes are tough-ass tubers and the most effective way to deal with them is to use a kitchen hatchet. Despite being a good cook, there are many things in a kitchen which give me the willeys; food processors are obviously just waiting to chew off my fingers, gas stoves are bombs on the verge of going KABLOOEY at any moment, and hatchets, eeks, hatchets just seem like props left over from some slasher movie.

Nevertheless, me and the hatchet faced off the sweet potato, mano a veggie, and I triumphed. MMMmmmmmmm tasty.

Before:
After:


Also, I don't know why, but I was just reminded of my college friend Gene who attempted to sell me cocaine once with the stipulation that I then share it with him. I now realize that my explanation to him that that was just not how things worked was my first marketing consultation with an entrepreneur. It just goes to show, but what, I'm not sure.

Random houseboy cause I'm sort of loaded and feel like it:

You're welcome.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tag Results

You know people cross breed schnauzers with poodles just so they can refer to their poor dog as a Schnoodle. So, mein little Schnoodles, I admit it, I spread on the uber-nasty Kreativ Blogger award/meme like some affordable rentboy passing along crabs. I’m not proud of it, but I do think it turned up some interesting tidbits. For instance:

I should have guessed, but didn’t, that Miss Janey is one tough chick. With fierce hair. Do not cross her.

I was able to lure Askthecoolcookie out of retirement, which I’m delighted with because I find his blog terribly amusing and it has one of the best blog names (Doing Hard Time in Shaker Heights) I’ve run into.

Amy has refused to obey my commands. Foolish mortal. I forgive her because she sent me her mother-in-law’s recipe for tortillas and the most fabulous Mexican chicken soup known to man.

MJ is just bitter. Bitter, bitter, bitter. Plus she seems to have developed an obsession about my hat. One doesn't know whether to feel pity or disgust for the freak-on she has about it, but I'm pulling together a restraining order, just in case.

There is no one like Muscato, of course, for a note of glam.

Mostly, I was struck by the almost universal revulsion noted for the Kreativ Blogger logo. I have to agree, it is repulsive; in the words of MJ a “… dreadfully unattractive Holly-Hobbie-esque, Strawberry-Shortcake-ish logo….”

I wanted to see who might be responsible for this, and for inflicting the semi-word “Kreativ” on the world. Were they being ironic? Misguided? Just plain stupid? Since the rules of the meme required that you link back to whatever enemy had tagged you, I thought tracking back up stream to the originator would be easy. I ran aground about ten links back, because somebody didn’t follow the rules. Isn’t that always the way?

A quick Googe showed that this is an award that has been around the block. Page after page going back into the dim mists of 2008. It also showed that the logo has suffered in the intervening posts. One wonders how did this:


Turn into this:

And why?

The award has gone through whole communities of bloggers. I suppose that’s part of the charm of the internet. To me from a world of cineastes via TJB, but it’s also landed in universes of Ladies who write romance novels, or who turn paper towel rolls into art, or who refer to their spouse as “My Dear Husband.” Gay Buddhists. Healthful cooking. Blogs that are schmaltzy or grim or dull or, rarely, cool. It’s the internet, you know.

I never did figure out whose fault this was, but one of them did include this photo.

I suppose it makes the search worthwhile

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Meditation

The R man is attending a series of lectures on meditation techniques. It seems hanging up a picture of the Buddha is not enough.

Who knew?

Part of the classes is a CD of guided meditation. Since I am a totally, totally good sport, I agreed to join him the last few evenings. Besides being a good sport, I am also always prepared to lie down for a while. Many people may refer to this as napping, but I think of it as centering myself.

The CD walks you though focusing on each part of your body as an exercise to encourage being present in your body. I've been through these before as part of different yoga sessions over the years and this one is a particularly fine one; the instructor has a lovely calm voice.

Since the point is to be present, you're supposed to try to keep your focus on each part as she goes along ("Bring your kindly awareness to your right big toe. If it was missing, you might greatly lament its absence." So true, so true.) I cut myself plenty of slack even as I try to concentrate and try not to think about the next time I make tapioca, it's absolutely essential that I dissolve the sugar first. Right knee, right, okay, right knee.

And then, my favorite part. About four fifths of the way through, there is suddenly the unmistakable sound of someone washing dishes in the background of the CD. Very faintly, very quietly, but it's there, cups and plates rattling around the sink. Each time, I wait for it to happen and each time I'm vastly amused.

I have mentally named the narrator as Solstice Moon and I picture her recording this in the ashram, grinding her teeth as Elk Meadow starts cleaning up the kitchen in middle of the session, even though Elk knows this CD is important to Solstice and is it her fault the fucking brown rice burned again and everyone knows if Elk Meadow would just get rid of that moustache she might get laid every now and then and anyway her real name is Latrice. Breathe.

So I'm all centered and stuff now. Ohm.

Monday, January 25, 2010

It's been raining for days and days, soggy, gray and chilly. I got up Sunday morning and all the clouds had blown away to leave one of those fabulous sunny California days. The hills that are usually the color of a Siamese cat are totally lush and green. I decided to blog about how wonderful living here is, but by the time I went back upstairs to get the camera to prove it, the clouds had blown back in and it had started raining again. Rats.

Portrait of the Author's soggy, gray, chilly yard

Naturally the big fern is wild for it.

And all the cyclamen I saved last year are blooming, yay.

But I was not feeling the cold wet love. I know serious gardeners would scoff at a little sloggy rain and get out in the yard to take care of the tasks required this time of year. I know because I used to be a serious gardener out there in the muck, but I have come to my senses now and decided to live with the weeds. How bad can they be? So I came back inside and made banana muffins instead.
Also, this just in, the Evil and Adorable Saki the Cat always leads with his left paw when playing (or slashing at my hand. It can be hard to tell them apart.) He's an orange tabby. He lives with two elderly poofs and has no interest in Lady cats and his favorite lounging station is a hot pink pillow. And we think he's Jewish. So. A redheaded, gay, jewish southpaw. It's like he's covering all the ACLU hot spots.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Taggety Tag

mrpeenee hasn’t been tagged in forever, even though I’m one of the few bloggers who doesn’t mind memes. It’s so much easier to fill in one than it is to actually think up something to write about. So instead of pretending to whine, I will accept gracefully my tag from that horse-riding bitch TJB.

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.

Yeah. Whatever.

2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.

Oh, dear god. Both Jason and TJB mentioned how dreadful the logo was and they're quite right. The fact that all three of us wrinkle our collective nose at it only proves how wretched it really is. And the spelling of “Kreativ” irks me. It's like Kathi's Krativ Krafts.

3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.

Stirred Straight Up. He rides horses like a Lady, don’t you think? Plus you should go over there right now and see how cute he was with really short hair in Italy. Bastard.

4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.

Blessed Lana, I’ve already discussed how many men I’ve had sex with, what asparagus makes my pee smell like, and my double-jointed thumbs. It’s not like I’ve been holding back over here.

All right, all right, let’s see, seven. OK:

Doc: The antidepressants I’m on (Lexapro) make coffee and dark chocolate taste awful. Repulsive. In all the reading I’ve done about them, no one else has mentioned this side effect. Yay, I’m a freak!

Sleepy: I can sleep straight through for twelve hours at a stretch. It’s not a weakness, it’s an art.

Sneazy: My sneezes can set off car alarms, they’re so powerful. Our poor cat Maggie lived with us for 18 years and she never got used to them, god love her. She would always bolt away like she was being attacked.

Dopey: I’m still wearing this hat. Shut up MJ.

Happy: Despite the general tone of this blog, I have a genuinely cheerful disposition. Just don’t push me, bitch.

Grumpy: I also have a sour streak that I give vent to in brittle snark; people often think I’m making brittle jokes. They’re wrong.

Bashful: A big part of my job is making small talk to strangers. It was torture originally, but I made myself do it and now I give classes (literally) in networking. I’m a pro.

5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers and post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.

Nope. Not going to do it. This madness must end somewhere and it ends with me.

Oh, all right, I tag:

Muscato

Miss Janey

Askthecoolcookie Even though he claims he’s on hiatus. This will teach him.

MJ

Donna Lethal

Amy

And I ran out of victims. It’s the problem with being at the bottom of the list, TJB and Jason beat me to it.

On with the Show

Always on the edge which is cutting, mrpeenee recently decided to branch out into rock star territory. Since I already have the attitude and since lack of talent appears to no longer be an impediment (see Lambert, Adam) I realized all I need was a totally kick ass name. Fortunately, Band Name Generator was there for me. Names supplied, in no order of total kick ass-ness, were:

· Beloved Mrpeenee Of The Content Minor

· Muff Of The Mrpeenee Hunger

· Mrpeenee Of The Unforgiven

· Lone Mrpeenee

· Mrpeenee Sanity

· Remote Mrpeenee

· Mrpeenee Of The Manager

· Mrpeenee Priority

· Mrpeenee Funky

· Mrpeenee Cushion

I’m leaning towards mrpeenee Funky, since that seems to cry out for a Bootsy Collins range of costuming, and who wouldn’t like that, but anything with Muff in it is also hard to resist.

Naturally, the houseboys are all auditioning to be in the band. In fact, little Augustus Tertiarius had to take to his bed, the excitement was too much for him, poor thing.

We’ll be playing here all weekend.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Workaday Nastiness

Even readers of this blog paying absolutely no attention (and goddess knows there are plenty of you) will know I just love being snarky. The opportunity to show my ass with a bitchy turn of phrase is just something that adds a little sparkle to my day. Even better is when I can be professionally snide. So imagine my thrill when I was able to crank up the Dowager Quarterly tone like a Donna Lethal trained laser as part of my job this week.

Part of putting on our annual shindig for local businesses is shaking down fat ass corporations for sponsorships. All that standing around being charming is not free, you know. One of them, who shall remain nameless cause I’m sure they have some marketing slave whose job is to just troll Google looking for any mention of them (hint: it’s like the mean drag queen said about her ex-boyfriend’s dick: “Soft, micro.”) was trying to come across all cheap by getting the benefits of the $15,000 level but only paying $5,000. Cheap bitches. You want to buy a Mercedes, you do not offer Hyundai prices. Anyway, I got to spend the most enjoyable part of Monday morning composing a stiff little email encouraging them in very polite terms to go fuck themselves. The chilly phrases just rang out.

Now, the event’s organizer is going back to them to offer another chance. I told him he could portray me as the hard ass bitch who wanted to castrate them and he could be their little pal cutting deals behind my back. The alacrity he agreed to this may have been suspicious, but what do I care? I got to be paid for being nasty and did so in high minded sentences that would have passed muster with Barbara Pym.

To celebrate, I have allowed houseboy Gaston Gilles Foucalt out of his box. But he’d better behave, that’s all I say.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Strap It On

Are you a Lady who cannot trust her man out the door with his baby maker? Are you just some guy who is afraid he is getting too much of the love action? Perhaps you are a freak, or a Mormon (much the same thing, actually, but that's neither here nor there) and you need to have your Johnson locked away safe and tight.

The answer is the men's chastity belt. Oh, yes, bitches. You can have that troublesome peenee under lock and key and never have to worry about, you know, erectile stuff again. Because you simply cannot trust a rogue dick.

The animated display for the CB 6000 is particularly cool.

Order today, but DO NOT send me pictures.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I am IM

Those of us of a certain age will remember, probably with a fond snicker, International Male, purveyor of the finest in rentboy sleazewear. IM came to my wandering thoughts tonight thanks to Infomaniac’s horrifying salute to middle age delusions here. Much like normadesmond’s comment, I initially thought MJ was implying the photo was actually of TJB . It seemed unlikely, but I’m easily convinced, so I was willing to go along with it, but I did think to myself, I thought, “Girl needs to ease up on them late night runs to Denny’s.”

Anyway, once my mental train had left the station steaming towards International Male, it was but a short Googe to discover that they have, like so many of us, faded lately. Their sad little web presence shows them to be pedaling the same schmata any other down-market Abercrombie and Fitch clone is. And by the way, when did straight boys start dressing like urban queers? Am I the only one concerned by this?

Poor International Male, to have lost its marketing focus just when everybody, straight, gay, questioning, lost, whatever, started dressing like pole dancers from the wrong side of West Hollywood.

International Male, circa 1984, their glory days:

Oh, wait, no it’s not, it’s Dolce Gabbana. My mistake. See what I mean?

Meanwhile, Back at the Rink

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Insulatia

I hesitate to mention the chill, knowing there are people who read this in Chicago and Michigan and other places where the caribou howl at the glaciers, or whatever goes on in those godforsaken hell holes, but yesterday I had to stay home and deal with the guys installing insulation in our house and it was freezing. It must have been in the low 40s, for god's sake. Since they were doing all sort of manly things in the garage with the duct work and what not, I couldn't turn on the furnace and instead huddled in the living room trying to read without removing my hands outside of the (tasteful) blanket I was wrapped in. Not easy. I wound up weeding in the yard just to warm up.

Damn, I hate paying for home improvements that are invisible, that don't wind up as something pretty. Don't bother ragging on me, I am perfectly happy being shallow. I know patching up the drafts will make our little homestead more comfortable, but it will do nothing towards reaching my ultimate goal of murmuring "The new Tony Duquette? Little me? Oh, don't be silly."
I was able to slip-cover a matching pair of houseboys, though, while I was stuck here, kicking around the house. It was nothing, really.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Panties on Parade


Possibly my favorite caption (or"cutline" as the cognoscenti would have it) I've ever seen in the SF Chronicle: BART riders were shocked Sunday to see some riders not wearing pants.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

From the Sublime to Whatever

The great Maria Montez in the Cobra Women, rockin' out with what must define "hootchie kootchie girls" and King Cobra. Be sure to note the sort of uneasy look on the snake's face. Who can blame him?

More Almodovar


Salty Miss Jill, in comments on Broken Embraces, mentions Rossy de Palma, a star among star for Almodovar fans. I wanted to mention one of the movie's highpoints is her cameo, playing the crazy (literally) wife in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. She makes the most of the bit, appearing with a wadded up piece of red paper in her mouth. It takes a real star to pull off an entrance like that.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Broken Embraces

Oh, my little shopping bags, we went to see the new Pedro Almodovar movie, Broken Embraces, tonight and it was beyond wonderful. He is my favorite director in the world and this stands up with some of best stuff. It even includes a sort of movie-within-a-movie that is easily recognizable as a reference to Women of a the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, which is mrpeenee's favorite move of all time. Penelope Cruz is great, I don't know if it's working in Spanish or teaming up with Almodovar again or just the scripts themselves but here and in Volver, she is so much better than anything else I've seen her in.

An amusing part of Almodovar's movies is the fact that he likes to work with the same actors in film after film and so you get to recognize old friends, sometimes in similar roles and sometimes in widely different ones.

The plot is interesting, but he also includes a lot of his old humor, which had sort of wandered off during his Bad Education days, so yay for that. And the colors, the way his work looks. I loved it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Stop the Kidman Madness

Have I been brooding, thinking dark thoughts, fretting? Of course I have, ever since Jason, commenting on my paean to Dusty Springfield, mentioned the possibility of Nicole Kidman starring in a film about Miss Springfield.

Firstly, the very idea of moving Dusty Springfield to the screen makes me uneasy. Everything I've ever read about her emphasizes what a troubled, fragile, contradictory woman she was and Hollywood tends not to be able to do any of those things well. Asteroids blasting the Brooklyn Bridge to smithereens, yes; sexually ambiguous cutters with fabulous voices, not so much. I remember the New Yorker's review of the recent Edith Piaf picture describing it as "the usual gin-and-regrets," sort of movie. I feel sure the best we could hope for here would be "gin-and-regrets-and-mascara." Lots of mascara.

Plus I don't really like Nicole Kidman. I know, gasp. The only thing of hers I was amused by was a Chanel commercial that costarred Rodrigo Santorro (mmmmmmm) who was also Xerxes in The 300. Who cared what Kidman was getting up to on the right side of the screen when everyone was watching him on the left to see if would pull his panties off.

Face it, she won an Oscar for wearing a prosthetic nose in The Hours. Julianne Moore was tremendously better. Where is the justice? And am I the only one who thinks that scene of Moore in the room filling with water looks like something out of The Shining? I have to assume Nicole Kidman lip synching You Don't Have to Say You Love Me would simply be too painful to watch without drugs, or maybe even with them.

So here's my proposition for her: why not remake Green Acres instead? I'm sure the role Lisa Douglas is possibly within her range, even if she could never rise to Eva Gabor's star magnitude.
Don't fuck with me, bitches.

Speaking of The 300, Gerard Butler could be Oliver Douglas, especially those famous scenes I've just made up of a nude Oliver coming down a spiral staircase, over and over again. Tell me you wouldn't wear out the pause button on your remote on that.


And the sexually ambiguous carpenter Ralph?
Who better than the ex-Mr. Kidman, Little Tommy Cruise.

Mariah Carey could be Arnold the Pig.
Photo of Miss Carey special thanks to Notorious J*O*E
Three percent of the international gross and the idea is all yours. Let's do this.



Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Carnival and Buddah

Happy Twelfth Night to you all. This is the start of Carnival, so in New Orleans the grande dames of society (also known as the Old Bats) are rockin it ON hoping to have their husbands stay to the end of the party rather than sneaking off to the stripper bars in Metairie. And just now my slightly retarded I-Tune shuffle feature for once came through and is playing an old timey Mardi Gras tune, Iko Iko. The gods speak to us. Around this time of year, New Orleans radio stations dig out an array of the same songs each year, like Christmas carols, but more cool. Mardi Gras Mambo, Tipitina, Big Chief: I loved them all right up to the annual point of being sick to death of them.

Also, this being the twelfth day of Christmas, appropriately enough, I got my last present. Actually it had just been held up, but the timing seems propitious and now that it's here, I'm thrilled.
A ginormous carved, gilded face of Buddah. Perfect for our bright red hall.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

DUSTY SPRINGFIELD - ANYONE WHO HAD A HEART

Continuing to eschew any music performed since the Berlin Wall fell, I’ve reached really far back and been listening over and over to Dusty Springfield cover “Anyone Who Had a Heart” all weekend. I much prefer her version to Dionne’s because, hello?, she’s fucking DUSTY SPRINGFIELD. Fer Christ sakes. God knows, Miss Warfield has her massive strengths; in fact I think she may be an android. She hits every note like a tuning fork, chews up and farts out the most complicated time signatures Burt Bacharach can throw at her, and don’t forget Psychic Friends Network, which alone would land her in my pantheon of greats.

But Dusty Springfield has such a beautiful smokey tone and so very much more personality. So many of her songs express the universal pain of “You have broken my heart, used me and discarded me and I will never get over you, so I’m going to bite your dick off the next chance I get.” Vulnerable, but never a doormat.

While looking to download this, I ran across about a bazillion covers by everyone except Alvin and the Chipmunks and all of hem suck. It’s a tough song, as anyone who has tried to sing along with it on the radio knows. The time is all over the place and switches back and forth like a speed freak’s attention span. Most of the mediocre covers simply ignore that, slow it down like it’s some mellow lounge tune and muddle on through. They should be ashamed. If you can’t handle it the way it’s written, stick to Stevie Nick’s Greatest Hits, that’s what I say,

Friday, January 1, 2010

Jane Fucking Eyre. The Nerve

The last time I took the Book Quiz, I wound up as Lolita, which thrilled me no end. This time, I'm Jane Eyre. JANE EYRE? The fuck? The most passive prig in literary history, oh, no, no I thank you. Plus the fall from Lolita to Miss Jane "Don't Mind Me" Eyre is so dispiriting. Like moving from a hot dog to stale bread. Oh dear.

So here's the sad news:




You're Jane Eyre!

by Charlotte Bronte

Epic in scope and vision, you like looking at your own complete history. That said, your complete history is pretty much crazy. You seem to be followed by suitors, craziness, fires, and incredible turns of both good and bad fortune. Through it all, you persevere while maintaining adherence to your own somewhat middle-ground moral code. While you have confidence that everything will work out in the end, you sometimes wonder if it's worth it along the way. Oh sweet sweet Jane.


Take the Book Quiz II

Happy, You Know, New Year and All That Stuff

Indeed, mrpeene wishes you all the happiest of holidays, now that they're safely out of the way.

I know 2009 has been widely reviled, but I was kind of fond of it. I think it just got a bad rap from hanging around the wrong crowd. Once again, I have managed to fool my bosses into not realizing I have no idea what I'm doing, so I didn't get fired. We managed to not only keep our house, but refinance it. And I'm totally sorry Bea Arthur died (a moment, please,) but I didn't, so yay for that. I learned how to make the uber-tasty Chicken Marballa. All in all, a perfectly fine year.

Plus we all made it through the carnival of Michael Jackson's death and that has to count for something. Media are still trying to resuscitate that story, nosing around for dirt, but for real, what's left? Is someone going to uncover he was a junkie boy lover who dabbled in Arabic tranny moments?Oops, too late.

So, on with the brand new shiny decade. R Man and I spent New Year's Eve the way we always do, asleep. I went to bed about 10:00 knowing that shortly before the stroke of midnight, I would be woken by the fireworks echoing in the canyon we live in. Sure enough, 23:50 on the dot and KABLOOEY. Glen Canyon opens into the Mission where hooligans set off some serious explosions. In the past, it has sounded like the fall of Saigon down there, but this year was rather restrained. The economy, everything gets back to the economy.

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...