Saturday, October 22, 2011

There and Back Again

Outside the Menil Gallery, my favorite museum in the world.

mrpeenee is back from the magic that is Houston. While I did not literally kiss the San Francisco ground upon returning it was only my backache the stupid plane had given me that stopped me. So what were some of the highlights from my childhood home? Enchiladas. That's it. Turns out the sole reason Texas exists is to create superior Mexican food. I ate it every single day I was there, some days snarffling it up for lunch and dinner.

I had rented a Cadillac in order to fit in as well as I could. When I went to pick it up, the guy presented me with an SUV. "I do not want a truck. I want a car," I explained. I might as well have announced I wanted a pony. The rental guy pointedly turned to the fleet of cars stretching away from us. All SUVs. Welcome to Texas.
My brothers and me. I know some people would think it not fair that I am the prettiest, smartest, tallest and youngest, but that's how things roll in my family.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lone Star

This year marks a significant anniversary for me; it's the year I will have lived in San Francisco longer than I did in Texas, where I was born. Beyond a mere statistic, it is also a great comfort to me. I will be chanting it to myself on Saturday morning, far too early, as I go winging off to Houston for a family visit.

I have a complicated relationship with my family. When I'm with them, they amuse me, sort of, but when I escape back here I find myself with no great desire to return anytime soon. In fact, I haven't been back to Texas in the last six years. I blame George Bush, but the fact that they all, and especially my father, make me sort of crazy might have something to do with it.

My plan stretches no farther than Mexican food for dinner three nights and barbecue and Gulf Coast seafood for the other nights. I had looked into possibly visiting some galleries, but the most interesting one has obviously changed focus, now concentrating on lesbiancentric spoken word. Yo. I think I'll pass.

Trust me when I say none of the boys I ever run across there look like this:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

China Doll

I forgot to mention in my News You Can Use from Vermont bit below that Super Agent Fred (proving his absolute superness) boosted a small set of china from the house for me. Let me hasten to add there was more than plenty of other dishware to cover the loss, and perhaps "boosted" is too harsh a term to use. Let us think of it as "taking an advance on his inheritance."

They're the sixties space age pattern on the right, just the thing to set the heart of an aged queen survivor of that era, such as I, to racing.

Of course, I needed absolutely no more china, groovy or otherwise. R Man loved to give me dishes for Christmas and birthday presents and I have been working the thrift store kitchen section for thrity years, so we gots plenty. Not that that has ever stopped me.
The good stuff. Lots o' good stuff.

The everyday stuff. Cause every day, my posse drops by and I need ten soup plates. Oh wait, that's right. I never need ten soup plates. And I have no posse.

The overflow. Some of it, anyway.

In fact, I was back at it this very afternoon. Diane von Austinburg, Fred, some other friends and I are planning a big Thanksgiving in cabins down in Big Sur, the beautiful, rugged coast south of here. Diane and I have suffered through cooking in rental kitchens often enough we agreed it would be a good idea to stock up on various pots and pans, dishes and silverware in advance to take down with us and then just abandon there for future renters to bless us for.

We've all been there, I assume. Kitchens stocked with the filters from espresso machines, the implements to cut hardboiled eggs into perfect little slices, asparagus steamers, but no timers, or pots with lids, or decent knives. So I trotted off to the big thrift store on Valencia Street to begin the hunt.

And what a thrill it was to have a focus and not feel vaguely ridiculous about bringing home yet another bowl. My three rules are 1) nothing can cost more than $1.50, 2) it has to be a Useful Size (whatever that is,) and 3) it can't be chipped. That's the real sticking point. Even if something started out in pristine condition a very short time out in the war zone that is a thrift store rack leave all these poor dishes looking like they have lost a rough fight.

For years, I have resisted the siren lure of plain white china with gold rims knowing that the gilt never lasts long in dishwasher combat. This then is my big chance, cause what do I care if the gold wears off? All it has to do is last through a couple of dinners and then it's "So long sucker."

Of course in the middle of my "Just buying for a one way trip to Big Sur" I ran across a most charming little Staffordshire bowl and a Wedgewood salad plate, $1.50 each. What was I going to do, pass them up? I don't think so. Turns out I am, after all, a big ole china queen.

I also snagged a small-ish box for the chargers and cables and other electronica ephemera that are running over the basket they currently reside in, but Saki has laid claim to it.
Cats: utilizing their inherent cuteness in service to some diabolical plot they are then too lazy to execute.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

There and Back Again

Vermont is lovely this time of year. Super Agent Fred's parents had very kindly invited me to tag along with the old darling when he went up to visit them in their ski house, very possibly with the laughable idea I would keep him out of trouble. I couldn't even keep him out of the vicodin. Wait, wait, that was me. Never mind.

All photos courtesy (more or less) Super Agent Fred because my goddam camera battery was dead. Again.

It was very, very pretty, perfect weather, Tim's mother and stepfather are charming and cool, as were the various friends and relations also visiting. Tom, the stepfather, had built the house as a base for his skiing proclivities and also as a rental. Two units, with a total of seven bedrooms, three or four bathrooms, two fireplaces and two kitchens, both of which were very much of the temporary kitchen ilk we've come to know over the years. In other words, no pot to boil pasta in, lots of odd implements (none of them useful,) and TWENTY ONE skillets. I counted. I also cooked every night.

The last evening, there was lots of hemming and hawing about "We can go out to eat...." "We'll need to figure out ...." "Where does everyone..." "Reservations...." and other sentences trailing off into the land of the vague until I finally broke down and offered to cook. Again. It's amazing how fast vagueness can turn into solidarity and agreement in the face of somebody else making chicken pot pie.

I had a lovely time.
Dolls continue to haunt me

Apparently even New England comes equipped with hillbillies

I also heard about Diane von Austinburg's crack claiming I looked unnatural in nature.
I laughed, but I managed to keep a very lemony look on my face. So there.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Super Agent Fred and I are off to Vermont tomorrow. Have you heard of Vermont? I understand it's this adorable little state, popular with lesbians and cheese enthusiasts. And then, at the other end of the spectrum, I'm going to visit my father in the old folks' home he just moved into in Houston. Whee. In fact, Super whee.

In unrelated news, the woman who trims the nails of Saki, my Evil and Adorable Cat, warmly recommended giving him a bath the last time we went in for is pedicure. A cat. A bath. A catbath. Doesn't that just seem to be asking for trouble. After all, Saki barely tolerates going in to have his razorlike talons nipped down. I'm sure washing him off would only lead to sulking and cat turds in my bed. We have filed this under "Ideas, Bad."

Here's a good idea:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Street Fair

Oh, Castro Street Fair. Super Agent Fred and I stumbled into each other there yesterday and that was pretty much the highpoint of the day. That and the vicodin I washed down with a dainty little Cosmopolitan. If you've been to any street fair, I'm sure you know the drill:

Smoldering fajitas contributing to global warming.

And semi-naked boys, contributing to nothing.

My favorite booth was the "Girl on Girl Dodgeball." Plus, I accidentally bought raffle tickets to win admission to Cirque du Soliel when I thought the prize was a pass to a bunch of art shows instead, but by the time I figured it out, too late. I suppose that means I will inevitably win to see, as Carmen on South Park says, "a bunch of gays in sequins."

Sunday, October 2, 2011

TV P Nee

I am one big fan of the TV show Criminal Minds. Grim FBI agents talk in curt sentences with occasional wisecracks whilst tracking down serial killers. The A&E channel (that's arts and entertaining for those of you taking notes because the show is both entertaining and art) very kindly provides us with marathons of these shows every weekend, hour after hour of the agents kicking in doors, which is my favorite part. On Friday night , I counted them kicking in seven doors in one show. I almost got a little stiffy. Almost.

Oddly, the channel will sometimes repeat the same three episodes in row. Am I ashamed that on that same Friday night I watched the show where the killer glues his victims' eyes open (classic) and then, two hours late, watched it again? Well, yes, a little, but then, as a small victory, I changed channels.

Speaking of changing channels, I did not make it through the dreadful BBC sci fi show Bedlam last night. Ghost Whisperer had already plowed the same ground as a show with Jennifer Love Hewitt who saw ghosts no one else did and slept in false eyelashes. This was the same idea, but without her enormous fake eyelashes and enormous genuine breasts, but with the astonishingly adorable Theo James frequently "acting" in nothing but a towel.
I have no idea why I can't find a picture of Theo showing off his humpalicious lean torso like he did on the show. Sometimes the internet just lets you down. But not even his flat tummy and sizeable tits were enough to keep me around. I had to go watch the boys kick in doors.

In Which We're Calling It In

In the middle of an unnecessarily annoying and complicated day last week, my phone decided to commit suicide. I was Ubering along playing Ya...