Friday, December 28, 2007

I'm Tired of Bad News

Our very dear friend Superagentfred just called to say his lover died this afternoon. We're off to Baltimore tomorrow, Saturday, just to offer our support, although that seems so little to do. Superagentfred was immensely helpful while R Man was in the hospital and I wish I could return the favor more actively than just turning up and saying how sorry I am now. His lover had been terribly sick, lymphoma, pancreatitis, heart problems all within the last year, but this is still shockingly unexpected. We'll be back on New Year's.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Beefcake Award

We want to congratulate our houseboy Hubert Rodrigo for receiving the 2007 Stitch and Bitch award from the Bay Area chapter of Creepy Old Queens Seeking Unique Crafts. Hubert Rodrigo was recognized for his lovely crochet work. He's seen here with Lester "Grabby" St. Jerome, president of COQSUK.

If anyone has seen Hubert Rodrigo since Lester gave him a ride home from the awards banquet, please let us know. We're concerned.

Happy Fabiola Day

Today, December 27 is the feast day of Saint Fabiola. She was one hot saint, from what our friends writing in the Penguin Dictionary of Saints have to say about her. A rich bitch and party girl from a prominent family in fourth century Roma, she dumped her first husband cause he was a jerk and then snagged herself a new man. Then, as now, the Christians did not approve. Fab (as I like to think of her) was herself christian and so eventually she felt the need to make up with the old poopers. She "performed severe public penance" and then took off for Jerusalem to join St. Jerome who was revising the New Testament there. I'm convinced it was some kind of rehab. If you just substitute "Paris Hilton" for "Fabiola" in our story so far, I'm sure you'll see my point.

Anyway, Jerome, who sounds like a real piece of work, was not embracing of dear little Fabby. He wrote about her "...her idea of the solitude of the stable of Bethlehem was that it should not be cut off from the crowded inn." Well, duh. Is this my kind of gal or what? I'm telling you, Jerome must be patron saint of combovers and pissy closet cases. Fabiola went on to be venerated for opening a series of hospices for pilgrims. Probably with a dynamite little cabaret in each one.

December 27 is also the anniversary of the date when we got our house, the Villa Fabiola. It was big, shabby and ugly, but we were convinced all it needed was some homo magic to fabulify it. Luckily, we were right.

Monday, December 24, 2007

All About Christmas Eve

I've missed you, too, darlings, but I've been so darned busy getting my hair cut and taking vicodan (don't ask) and crixmuss, crixmuss, crixmuss. It's been a lovely holiday so far, highlights have included:

Christmas cookies from the fabulous Dennis, the Pride of East Lansing. I happen to know Martha Stewart has forbidden the mention of his name in connection with cookies, so jealous is she of his genius. I wish I could share them with you except a) I'm not sure how to do that online and b) I already ate them all. Nothing speaks to the German elements of my bloodline like ginger flavored sweeties.

A fabulous pillow from our terribly stylish friend Anne. The christmas pillow. It's a huge picture of the back of a dahlia rendered in psychedelic hot pink and acid green. I love it.

A very successful trip to the spa for shiatsu massage and delicious sliced apples in the steam room. Not to mention the most gorgeous hunky man undressed next to me on the way in. It's takes so little to bring out the childlike wonder of the season in me.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dance of the Houseboys

The houseboys wanted to surprise us with a performance of their interpretive danse "Homage d'Equinox" to celebrate R Man's splendid and rapid recovery from heart surgery a mere five weeks ago. I considered pointing out that we are nowhere near the equinox, but they had already made their dainty costumes and I hate to see the look on their little faces when I disappoint them like that, so I just bit my lip and applauded ever so enthusiastically.

I'm sure you recognize Claudio Eugene, Hippolyte Auguste, and Seamus Tallulah, but you might not know our newest, Stubby.

Mary, Christmas

I know the only acknowledgement I've made of the season was a snarky post about how office parties suck, but in truth, I adore Christmas even as a little child would. The vulgar, glitzy decorations speak to my white trash homo self and the prospect of getting presents is always ok by me. When we were first together, I had to explain, firmly, to R Man that although I am not materialistic (if you could see my wardrobe, you would know that is the god's own truth) I demand a big-ass pile of presents every Christmas. The actual contents don't matter, I would be just as happy with several pairs of underwear gaily wrapped up, as long as they were new. I just enjoy admiring the glittering pile and then unwrapping them. I should mention that my mother installed an unshakeable need in me to preserve wrapping paper, so I meticulously tease off the tape, neatly fold up the paper and then get down to the present. We have gift wrap from when we lived in New Orleans twenty years ago that I re-use every year. I am not pathological, shut up.

This year, I was actually willing to give him a pass on the mass o' presents rule, cause, you know, heart surgery a month ago and all that, what the hell? I can be a sport. God love him, he came through anyway, and now there's big boxes and little boxes all waiting for me, me, me. He is so sweet.

We're also both fond of Christmas trees, I regard them as the biggest cut flower arrangement you're ever going to have, but this year fighting our way to Home Depot and wrestling one home and then dolling it all up just seemed too much. Instead, we got a wreath at a florist down in the Castro and hung it up in the living room. It smells like Christmas and that's what counts.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

petula clark - hits medley

So I've mentioned my fondness for Pet before, but this video, I think from 1996, seems particularly sweet to me. No work and she still looks pretty much like she did when LBJ was in the White House and, when it comes to Downtown, the girl can still deliver. For those of us of a certain haggard age, I say right on.

Smoke Gets in Our Eyes

The federal government spent years and a peepot full of money throwing up (in every sense of the term) an office building for 1,700 federal workers, including R Man, but not me in a dicey part of downtown. It's very green including natural ventilation that replaces air conditioning on most floors and elevators that stop only on every third floor, making employees use stairs to reach floors in-between. R Man initially hated it, but seems more resigned to it. Today may have changed that.

This was only his second day back in the office and he was looking forward to it; he is plenty sick of being stuck here at home, enough so that returning to work was appealing. Imagine. We drove in instead of taking BART and would have parked in a garage next door to his office, but there was a fire on Mission across the street from the building and the road was closed. We parked somewhere else and both of us headed off to work.

After I had been at my desk for only about a half hour, a woman I work with came by to mention she had gotten an email announcing they were evacuating the federal building because smoke from the fire was pouring in through the fabulously natural ventilation system. I called R Man who was just then reading an email from his boss telling everyone to hit the road. So we're back home hanging around. R Man is not happy.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bridge Games

San Francisco is a peninsula that juts due north, with the Pacific on the west, San Francisco Bay on the east and the Golden Gate connecting the two on the north. Obviously, if you’re leaving town, chances are you’re going to have to cross a bridge, unless, of course, you’re been really bad and are forced to go down to San Jose, but that’s between you and your karma.

The Golden Gate Bridge, heading north into the wilds of Marin county, is the most famous of the local spans, but the Bay Bridge, which carries you over to Oakland and points east, is actually the most heavily traveled. It’s also the more horrifying trip, but since it winds up in Oakland, I suppose that’s appropriate.

What’s so scary? The approach, sweetie, the approach. The two freeways here both come wandering into town and then have to make a sharp right to line up with the bridge. One freeway gives up and dies out there, but the other turns into how you get on the bridge. Since that’s also the point where it passes through downtown, it pretty much doubles in the amount of traffic it carries in the space of few blocks with entrances pouring cars in from both sides of the road. Some of the merges are only a couple of car lengths long, oops, here I come, look out.

The bridge is two decks, one headed east, one west, so the eastbound roadbed has to swerve over to go beneath the other one. Just as it snakes sharply left, right, left the road plunges between columns supporting the upper deck and the last two entrances, one on the left and one on the right, dump in. It’s like a luge course for cars.

Of course, there are big 35 MPH signs posted, but, get real, this is a freeway in California, everybody regards those as decorative. Local drivers know to just grip the wheel tightly, close our eyes and hit the gas.

I think the whole thing is a traffic control project. Before every trip that involves the Bay Bridge, I’m sure everyone thinks “Do I really need to go to Oakland? How bad do I need to be in Berkeley? Surely I can just walk there from BART, wherever it is.” And then coming home, you get to go through the whole thing in reverse and pay a toll to do so.

I’m going to get a bike.

Friday, December 14, 2007


I'd always heard Soft Cell's version was a cover of Gloria Jones' big number, but I'd never heard the original until now. I'm a big fan of wall o' sound girl groups so I'm wild for this.

Happy Holidaze

A dear friend reveals her plan to deal with her office party this year: “My strategy is to dress as if I'm ready to hit the festivities, and then hightail it to my car when it starts and head home early to snuggle up with a book. This has worked very well in the past and there's no reason it shouldn't today.” I can only applaud the artful little minx since I regard office parties with the enthusiasm I bring to a chance to stand in line at the DMV.

Why do these events even exist? The same people I see every day of the year and don't talk to suddenly take offense that I don't want to go out to lunch with them. I refrain myself from pointing out I don't want to ride in their elevator, let alone party down with them. The whole unspoken allure of these things is the chance to sneak out of work early with management’s semi-blessing. Why not just cut out the overpriced luncheon and turn everybody loose with directions to the nearest liquor store and be done with it?

But no, we have to rev up the holiday fucking spirit. So starting in August, there’s the committee meetings and votes on where to go and picking a theme and then the haranguing starts. “Aren’t you coming? You have to come. Why aren’t you coming?” Because small talk with you is painful. Because I would rather ride around town on the subway for an hour than stand around a no host bar with you. Because I’ve known you for fifteen years and I’m still not convinced that you’re a real woman and not a bad drag queen.

The party this year was once again at the fabulous Presidio Golf Club, which sounds swank, but, unfortunately, houses the locker room for the golf course as well so the first impression that hits you as you walk into the gala festivities is a big whiff of stinky old men. I live and work in San Francisco, a destination famous for its good food and I get to go to a Christmas party where the overpriced chicken smells like dirty socks.

Imagine my delight then when I discovered I had, genuinely and accidentally, double booked myself for that afternoon and promised to lunch with one of the volunteers who teaches classes here for me. What could I do? It would be so rude to bail on her. So sorry, can’t make the party, so sorry, work commitments, you know how it is, so sorry, you guys have a good time without me, so sorry. It was a lovely lunch, I had quiche, plenty of my colleagues were bitter that I got out of it and suddenly I couldn’t be in a more festive mood.

I love christmas

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dark Side of Arcanta

R Man went into his office today for a half day of work where he wrote briefs or did some kind of lawery thingy. He's recovering nicely, except he can't sleep, in fact he hasn't slept in the last nine nights, so he's plenty glum and tired, but surely he'll eventually doze off, right? Our whole life together he's had a tough time sleeping and is slightly resentful of my one talent, snoozing. If I lie down and close my eyes, I go to sleep, it's like step one, step two, step three. One of the main reasons we have separate bedrooms now, aside from my supersonic snoring, is that it irritated him to lie there awake watching me in the arms of Morpheus.

Over the last few weeks, my stumbles into unconsciousness have involved lying in the dark listening to Arcanta, Book of Mirrors, the fabulous CD from Thom Ayers, Little Miss Fabulon himself. The whole experience reminds vividly of being a sullen teen ager, in my bed late a night with Dark Side of the Moon on the turntable waiting for my life to start. I'm so glad it finally did.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Beach Blanket Madness

R man and I are taking walks pretty much every day to help him build his strength back up and also just to get him out of the house where he's going stircrazy. Today we went to the beach, a beautiful clear day with the sharp silvery light that shines here in the winter. Quite a few cute boys undressing and putting on their wet suits to go surfing. I know, it's very California, two weeks before Christmas and everybody's at the beach. I also know that plenty of people don't think of San Francisco as a beach town, but we have a long, lovely strip of sand with small, steady surf and water so fucking freezing that I have never even waded in it. I've mentioned my origins on the Gulf Coast, where the water is usually the same temperature as your blood and I've never been able to adjust to this. I'm pretty sure I don't want to. The beach here is called Ocean Beach, a name redolent of self evident common sense, sort of like naming a road Cars Can Drive Here Street. In honor of it, I've decided to take for my drag name Guy Wearing a Dress. Watch for my show at the Place Where You Can Buy Drinks Bar.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Divine (Pink Flamingos)

We're sending this out, with love, to our dear SuperagentFred to remind him that he is sitting in the center of the universe, Baltimore.

Juggling with Knives

My dear friend John and I were struggling through Sur le Table, the schmancy kitchen equipment store in the Ferry Building, today after a fabulous lunch of chopped beef barbecue sandwiches. I know I said I was attempting to eat more healthfully, but I was lying. Shut up. At least I passed on the custard filled Italian doughnuts, because I am filled with virtue. And barbecue.

So anyway, we were considering knives, beautiful German knives, for John to get his boyfriend for Christmas. The choice had come down to an 8 inch chef knife and an almost identical one with a hollow blade, a Santoku. The salesgirl swore it was the best for slicing. I'm very skeptical of specialized equipment, it seems like a solid chef's knife, a serrated one, and a smaller paring blade is plenty, and falling for a knife that specializes in slicing (as opposed to focusing its talents on interpretive danse, I suppose) is just another step along a path that leads to drawers full of dubious purchases. But John was very taken with both (I think he mostly liked saying the word Santoku, with increasing gusto) so he sprang for them. I supported him despite my doubts because what else can you do when you're out shopping but spend money?

John was also interested in another Japanese knife, one with a ceramic blade. The salesgirl was willing to go along with this, not just because it's her job, but because John's charm involves everyone around him in his world, and his world right then included ceramic blades, dammit. She pulled one down and let me tell ya, it was just weird. Knives are simply not supposed to have white blades. The clerk held up a piece of paper for John to slash through, which I thought was very brave of her, but probably only showed how little she sensed John's lack of self control.

He was on his way to a cutlery threeway when the salesgirl casually mentioned that the knife breaks if you drop it. We were both taken aback by the idea of an expensive knife that could take off the tip of your finger, but couldn't stand up to the rough and tumble of kitchen work. We passed.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Soldier Boy, Oh, My Little Soldier Boy

When R Man was just a tiny R Baby, his family lived in London where he was supplied with actual lead soldiers, knights, to be precise. Many, many years later, on a trip to visit his family, we found them and brought them home to live with us since his parents didn't seem to appreciate them properly.

They have shields and lances and plumes in their tiny little helmets. One of them had lost his plume in a tragic accident. I replaced it with a feather fallen out of a pillow which I snagged before our cat could get around to eating it. We're very concerned the other knights make fun of this one, calling him "Princess Mattress Feather." You know how cruel lead soldiers can be, the bitches.

And now I can't figure out how to load pictures from our new apple so I can't show you the darling photos of them. Soon, I promise.

You Want Fries with That?

Why yes, I am from Dixie. Since I grew up on the Gulf Coast of Texas, many people would contest that point under the foolish belief that the swamps of my childhood are not a part of the South. Let us examine these salient facts:

My aunt, blessed with the romantic and lovely name Marguerite, was always addressed as “Sister” by everyone in my family.

The high school I went to? Robert E. Lee. The band in which I played such a miserable tuba entered every home football game to the toe-tapping tunes of a minstrel show, playing “Come Down to the Levee,” “Waitin’ on the Robert E. Lee” and “Are You from Dixie?” I only missed by a few years the horrifying fate of performing in uniforms modeled on those worn by soldiers in the Confederate army.

I regard fried foods with a side of gravy as an essential food group.

And that’s really the point here, not my exasperated, conflicted emotions about life in the South, but about trying to overcome a lifetime of heart clogging menus to help R Man and me start eating in a more healthy way. I have always cooked the same way my sainted mother did, convinced that there is no food product some mayonnaise cannot help. So now when we have baked salmon on a bed of lentils, I still look around for the tarter sauce.

Still, I’m getting better. Since R Man’s operation, we have been terribly virtuous about cutting back on the fat, with nonfat sour cream and fat free butter substitute and no deviled eggs and braised ribs for Sunday dinner, no way. You know what? It’s not bad, it’s just different. And soon my little arteries are going to be singing. I just know it.

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...