Monday, March 31, 2008

More N Madness

Darlings, I never even thought of this until thombeau brought it up in the N post below. I frequently sign my messages to the old dear as "Neely," an homage to the great Valley of the Dolls heroine, Neely O'Hara (interestingly, thombeau often claims the persona of Helen Lawson, the bitter, washed up old hag of that great work. Just sayin') Anyway, I had never considered the fascinating little known fact that my real middle name, bestowed by my sainted mother, is Neal.

Also interestingly, at one point in my mid-twenties, I had to look at my birth certificate because I couldn't remember if my name was spelled Neal or Neil. Maybe it was the drugs. I don't know.

Today's Game is Brought to You by the Letter N

I try not to do these meme things too much, although I love them. They’re like narcissistic solitaire. I got this one from The Other Andrew

Use the first letter of your middle name to answer each of the following. They have to be real places, names, things... nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person you took this from had the same first initial. You CAN’T use your name for the boy/girl name question.
Famous artist/band/musician:

Four-letter word:

U.S. state:

Boy name:

Girl name:
I don’t know any girls.

Nutira (they’re nasty swampy things in Louisiana that have big, orange teeth. Honest.)

Something in the kitchen:

Reason for being late:
Nervous nellies

Body part:

Isn’t there something with peach juice in it that starts with N?

Something you shout:
Now. Get out of my way you stupid motherfucker.

Something you eat:

Ball o' Fire

Thanks to the wonder of Netflix, last night we watched Ball of Fire, a 1941 Howard Hawks movie I'd always heard about, but never seen. A young Gary Cooper, looking suave and luscious, and Barbara Stanwyck with her fabulous gams uncovered pretty much the entire running time. The plot is some gibberish about a professor studying slang. Hey bopa ree bop! Slide, jackson and make a mook with the cardpass! Don't be a log, put the clutch in!

Some of that was actually in the movie, some I just made up, all of it sounds like most of the dialogue, painfully delivered by a roster of MGM character actors who deserved better trying to sound hep and coming up pretty short. Like George Bush discussing the interwebs. It was amazing, though, to see Babs rise above the material and prove there was no movie she couldn't survive. This is just one more reason R Man is so suspicous of letting me loose on the Netflix queue.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Return of the Houseboy

You may remember how concerned I was that our houseboy Hubert Rodrigo had vanished after winning the 2007 Stitch and Bitch award from the Bay Area chapter of Creepy Old Queens Seeking Unique Crafts (below, at the COQSUQ awards luncheon.)

Imagine my surprise when we finally tracked him down to discover that he had accidentally become a World Wrestling Federation superstar. Honestly, these boys, you have stay on top of them every single minute.

Anyway, we're all glad to have Hubert back crocheting in the dorm where he belongs. Plus, he's full of the most amazing stories about the WWF, especially the dressing rooms. You just wouldn't believe what goes on there. I am a little worried about the fact that his nipples seem to have become sort of stretched out, but we're working on that.


It's only my extreme laziness that has kept me from mentioning that I had lunch on Thursday with joe*2*hell who was visiting here from New York. Joe, it turns out, is devilishly cute, ravishing, and the quintessential New Yorker, talking faster than a cab driver on speed and all the while managing to be amusing and charming. He left me fluttering behind him, gasping in his wake as he revealed his life story, sordid episodes and opinions bam, bam, bam. I loved it, it was the most fun I've had at lunch in ages. Part of the Joe News was that he's fleeing New York City for the more quiet environs of some upstate burg, where he will, no doubt, become the town hussy shortly. I quietly mentioned a parallel I noticed between him and Eva Gabor (if only Miss Gabor had worn a beautifully trimmed beard it would be even more pronounced) and even started singing the theme song from Green Acres, but he seemed unimpressed with my acumen.

Dahlink, I love you
But give me Park Avenooo.

One of the most interesting things about the lunch was the shop talk about writing a blog. If you read both of our blogs, take it for granted that we were talking about YOU.

Friday, March 28, 2008

oh. Mandie.

When we were in Las Vegas, we stayed at the Hilton where Barry Manilow, Mr Music and Passion himself, was playing. To promote his act, the key card for our room had his picture on it, complete with his little monkey face grimacing as he's belting out one of many, many big numbers. When I got back here I found the key card in my wallet and in a moment of misplaced whimsy, propped it up on my desk at work.

Since then several people visiting me have been most struck by it. (I want to mention that when they redecorated our office I adamantly refused a visitors chair for my cube under the mistaken concept that if people couldn't sit down, they wouldn't stick around to bother me. I obviously underestimated the stamina of my co-workers.) Anyway, these visitors keep commenting on it, always in sort of mystified tones. "Is that Barry Manilow?" they ask in disbelief. It's not that these folks are so cool that Little Miss Manilow is beyond them, more, it's that they grasp on some level that I am not, and could never be, a Barry fan. Still, they feel compelled to share their fond, fond memories of the man who brought us Mandie. One of them started humming something. I have no idea what.

I have to get rid of that goddam key card.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Earth Hour 2008

I'm always wiling to sit around in the dark. I like it.

black flag

You know who I like? I like Henry Rollins. I think it would be fun to go with him to some anarchist lesbian vegan demonstration protest against something or the other.

I've Got Mail

What impels people to forward the inanity of their email to their entire address list in general and me in particular? The nature of my job is such that my business email address is spread wider than Brittney Spears knees and consequently I'm on the receiving end of a non-stop idiocy barrage from an army of people I don't even know. Especially Rose.

I do not know Rose. Based on the drivel that comes through her inbox to me, I do not want to know Rose. And yet, not a day goes by that Rose does not feel compelled to share the wit and wisdom that has found her. Today was a blast that announced that the word "picnic" derives from the acts of lynching African-Americans. I had to read the idiotic explanation twice to believe I was understanding what it was claiming. For one thing "nic" was supposed to be the euphemism for a highly offensive term that the organizers of the picnic would use. The idea that a lynch mob would feel so queasy about offending the sensibilities of their victims that they would tiptoe around a racial slur is the least worrisome thing about this whole thing.

Anyway, Rose old girl, I'm a federal employee and I'm pretty sure sending me email that makes me grind my teeth and go a little crazier is a felony. And even if it isn't, it should be.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Veggie Man

You have to look on the bright side, you know what I mean? Say your boyfriend winds up in the hospital with his chest cracked open and very expensive doctors rummaging around in there rearranging the plumbing and nurses have chats with you that involve the phrase "...harvesting his veins," you know the upside? Vegetables. Plenty, plenty delicious vegetables.

In order to escape the hospital, R Man had to agree to a consultation with a dietician who recommended that we sign up with a farm up near Sacramento that delivers a big ass box of veggies and fruit every week. While they pimp their qualifications as wholly organic as the big selling point, what really has made a difference to us is the sheer massive quantity Capay Farm drops off. It's easily twice what I would have normally bought for us in a week and having it bursting out of the refrigerator makes me crazy to use it up.

Consequently, our dinners now comprise heaping mounds of salads and stir fired this and roasted that. Add in the fact that we have sworn off fat and you just know the tres heart healthy life we're maintaining at Chez Penee. And beets. Did I mention beets? I adore them and I 'm roasting this morning's bunch right now. And some of the most fabulous apples I have ever scarfed down. Of course every silver lining has a cloud; in this case, it's leafy greens. Chard, kale, spinach, all the stuff that a Southern boy's granny shoves down his throat. I'm usually ok with them, but the farm has been providing three or four huge bunches of them each week. Enough already. If it wasn't for the cheese enchiladas I sneak in during lunch at work, I'd be so healthy I couldn't stand myself.

I really do like it. Mmm. Tasty.

The terribly cool picture is by a German artist named Till Nowak

Monday, March 24, 2008


freak out

Happy Easter! Rise from the Dead!

The promised Peeps Joust. Jason asks if equipping them with umbrellas would point them towards second lining (a New Orleans joke) but since the finale includes at least one of them sploding, it seems unlikely.

Donna Summer I feel love '77

darlings, I remember 1977. It looked just like this. Honest. In fact, I was frequently so loaded in 1977, I looked just like this. Honest.

Friday, March 21, 2008

It's a Good Friday

The agency I work for announced that we can all go home today at 3:00. A sincere and wholehearted Yippee for that, although also slightly mystified. Someone had to explain to me that today is Good Friday, a fact which had slipped past my constant vigilance. I made the usual joke about any Friday that gets me off work three hours early is a good one, but actually I knew about Good Friday. Honest. I was raised as a Christian, a Baptist in fact, even if it didn't stick. Christians, you know, are the one who worship some zombie god with rites of ritual cannibalism and homophobic vitriol and chocolate bunnies. I am all for chocolate bunnies.

Speaking of bizarre cultural tidbits, have you ever seen Peeps jousting? You put two Peeps in a microwave, arm them with the little plastic spears you garnish tropical drinks with, hit the microwave on high and let the games begin. I'll try to post the youtube video of it, but youtube has not been cooperating with me lately. We'll see.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Easter Houseboy

Our spring houseboy, Robin Eloysius, is terribly proud of the job he's done hiding Easter eggs in his rock garden. He reports there are no fewer than four dozen in this picture. We take his word for it.


Happy Spring, one and all. This is always my favorite time of year. I'm old enough to remember when asparagus and strawberries, two of my most beloved foods, actually had seasons and only showed up in stores around this time of year, which adds to my love of it, even if you can get them year round now. Plus my birthday (April 5th, mark it down now, plenty of time for shopping) is right around the corner and I look forward to it every year like I was still 10 years old and hoping for a new bike.

January 1 seems like an odd time to celebrate New Year's when this season is so much more obviously the time of new starts. Even here in uber-mild San Francisco, we're all glad to have the wet season pretty much behind us, with all the flowers everywhere you look. The irises, poppies (yay) and the beautiful, beautiful purple clouds of ceanothus. The hills are bright green for the next couple of months before they fade back to their dun color. My garden, while still a shaggy mess, is suddenly filled with color, so to celebrate, I'm including a few closeups of some of my favorite plants.

Monday, March 17, 2008


It's a matter a quiet pride that even with as little discrimination as I show in my taste in men, I have never thought David Hasselhoff is anything but questionable.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Viva report

Bette Midler was one great show. She whizzed through all her greatest hits, up to and including From a Distance and Wind Beneath My Wings, neither of which are my favorites, but even those, she was totally able to sell. And the ones I was looking forward to, like When a Man Loves a Woman and Do You Want to Dance? and, especially, Hello in There, were everything I wanted. Sophie Tucker jokes? Check. Dolores De Lago, the Toast of Chicago? Check, and complete with a chorus line of showgirl mermaids in wheelchairs doing precision maneuvers. You don't see that everyday. And, of course, a bang up cover of Viva Las Vegas. I loved all of it.

The sound was a little overamped sometimes and everything you've heard about the incredible size of that place is true, and that's not always a good thing. We were on the fourth row and when she hiked over to the far side of the stage, she might as well have been in another theater. Lots of charming costumes. For one song, she glided down some stairs, stumbled at the bottom, yelled "These fucking shoes," hurled them into the wings, ran back up to the top of the stairs and took it from the top. She's a star.

The Strip in Las Vegas turns out to be stuffed full of fat ugly people in not very nice, not very clean clothes reveling in drunken bonhomie. I've had my turn being plenty loaded in the streets, so I should be sympathetic, but so many of these yahoos seemed to be trying too hard, determined to have the time of their life or else.

We spent time in the Belagio, which is about the same size and quiet, understated good taste as the Vatican, and the Paris, excellent counterfeit charm. All in all, it is, as Bette said, a city that could teach Kraft about cheese.

I won 5 bucks on the slots in the airport. Hoo hoo.

Friday, March 14, 2008


We're off to Las Vegas tonight for the Bette Midler show tomorrow. I'm sure it will all be, as the sign says, Fabulous. We plan on walking around and gawking at the lights like rube goobers and not much else. We don't drink and gambling bores both of us and I'm too cheap to indulge in rent-boys. Maybe we'll get really wild and stay up watching tv until midnight. Doggies!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Houseboy Glue

Does anybody have some super glue remover? One of the houseboys, Pulius Oscar, kept singing "Werewolves of London" and he only knows that one line about

"Drinking a Pina Colada at Trader Vic's
His hair
was perfect"

so he kept singing it over and over and the other boys just got fed up and glued him to the wall with his butt pointed towards the front door and now the UPS man keeps stopping by with less and less plausible excuses and I'm tired of answering the doorbell.


I am way too lazy to ever actually be involved in conspiracy theories - keeping track of all the possibilities just seems like too much work. Never the less, in the case of the former governor of New York, Eliot "Put It on My Tab, Baby" Spitzer it seems astonishingly coincidental that the vice would just happen to put the hammer down on the very escort service that Spitzer favored with his custom. Maybe they were going after dozens of hooker entrepreneurs and this was just one of them, but I haven't seen that in any of the stories.

Eliot is my man and you want to know why? In every photo, grimacing, shocked and pained, he always looks like he's wearing exquisitely applied eye-liner. Lancombe, probably.

Plus, every time I see his name in print it reminds me that when I was a wee little fruit, I had a huge crush on Mark Spitz. It was probably a combination of the moustache and the Speedo. When I was 17, this was the closest to porn I had come. I still sort of like it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Gomi Style - AquaMirror

So much cooler than anything on the decorating channel

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

freak out

Ronettes - Be My Baby

Haven't I already posed this? God knows I have inflicted it on everyone I cab drag in front of youtude. Things I love about it:

Eyeliner a mile wide and two feet deep.

Ronnie Spector dressed in the most demure Chanel-esque suit shaking her ass like a metronome.

The little shcoopy motions the girls do as backup with their hips popping and their arms rocking in tight little circles. I frequently break into that same routine, sometimes at Safeway.

It is the most perfect song ever.

Little Britain goes Lady Marmalade

I adore Emily. I want to be her when I grow up.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I was looking for a picture of my lost coat and me when I was distracted by this one instead, which is one of my favorite shots and much better than brooding over some stupid jacket. So this is Diane von Austinberg, me, and Super Agent Fred at the Monterey Aquarium in this very cool giant plastic tube that allows the surf to break over your head. Whee. More proof that I am as easily amused as a not very precocious eight year old.

CSI: Parking Garage

We parked in the garage of the new condos next door to R Man's building and returned this evening to find the rear window busted out. Blammo! I have to point out that in all my many years of living in high-crime, big city environs, this is the first time I've been the victim. It was just my turn I guess. So many times my old friends Magda and Cow Queen and I would be walking through the French Quarter and notice the glittering remains of somebody's passenger window. "Look," we would exclaim in our most Susan Hayward-ish voices, "Die-ya-munds in the guttah." Well, I'm not laughing now.

Much worse than the busted out window, which we're going to replace tomorrow, was the theft of my black leather jacket from the back seat. The bastard! The dear, dear Diane von Austinberg spotted that coat for me in a really pokey little junk store, never worn and only $80. I wore it until every crease reflected a matching wrinkle somewhere in my own hide. The bond between a gay boy and his leather coat is not an inconsiderable one and I'm going to miss it. The idea that some cracked out ho is wearing MY COAT down on Sixth Street right now... ooh, it makes me want to spit. Fortunately, I am too much of a lady, but still, first George Bush and then daylight savings time and now this. It's almost too much.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The first of many

Jason over on the Night is Half Gone blog is feeling reminiscent tonight about his first date. It reminds me of my first time, a guy whose face I've forgotten, from 32 years ago. He snagged me at the end of my shift on the front desk of a motel in Austin. He was staying in the hotel with his wife and kids while in town for her father's funeral. He wore too much English Leather and came in my mouth. I was astonished. I still remember his name: Nick Coffee. Mr. Coffee.

Later, as I was driving home, I remember thinking "I guess I'm gay." It wasn't horrifying or exhilirating; it was more like finally figuring out something I couldn't quite grasp before, like finally coming up with a song lyric I had been having trouble remembering. "Oh. Suck dick equal gay. I get it."

So I lied this time

bedroom toys
Powered By Stimulators

Doesn't everybody?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Houseboy Surprize

Houseboy Number 136, Libertad Angus, was so mad about not getting to go to Palm Springs with us that he decided to sneak into the suitcase and jump out in the hotel to surprise us. It was sort of a sweet idea, but unfortunately, he got in the wrong bag and wound up in our gastroenterologist's lab. Beats me, the darndest things go on around here, it's just wacky. Anyway, he popped out during a lower endoscopy and apparently all hell broke loose. Honestly. Jane has always been a perfectly darling doctor to us, especially as a doctor whose job entails taking a peep up the old poop chute and I just don't know how I'm going to face her after this. Not that I actually face her while she's working, but you know what I mean.

Oh, that bad Libertad.

yeah, yeah, yeah

bedroom toys
Powered By Personal Massagers

I'd like to point out a few things.

1) the test is full of glaring typos, so who are they to talk?

2) if I paid more than $800 for a piece, it had better be pretty damn good.

3) I'm cheap. That's news?

Palm Springs redux

Our fellow blog traveler Joe 2 Hell asked in the Palm Springs Weekend post below:

“did you stay at one of those cleverly named "Inns"??

Inn Too Deep

Inn Over My Head

Inn Deanna Jones
etc etc”

I know, impertinent, but we like him, so ok. Plus this is a picture of him from his blog

So we have to cut him some slack. Plenty, plenty slack

Anyway, coincidentally enough, the first time R Man and I went to Palm Springs, lo these many years ago, we did stay at one of the Inn (place cliché here) hotels. It was the Inn Exile. An eye opening experience, even for me, and you may have noticed when it comes to sleazy venues, I’ve been around the block. A few times.

So the Inn Exile is extreme Palm Springs. Every inch of it is paved, the walls sprayed with cheap white stucco in order to maximize tanning potential. More than a couple of days there and you’d turn into a raisin. It was like checking into Chernobyl. Multiple pools, hot tubs, steam room, little fuck pods scattered around the grounds. If Hugh Hefner had been gay, this would have been his sleaze dream. The other guests had this leering air of just waiting for friskiness to break out, but honey, they were grizzly. I would have cut off my dick and sewn it in my butt before I’d give it up for this bunch.

Each room came equipped with a VCR and three porn tapes, just to set the mood I suppose. Appropriate too, since I have since noticed several D level smut films set in this resort. Charmingly, there was a porn maid who came around each morning, picked up the tapes and left three new ones. You don’t get that kind of guest attention at the Hilton.

We have since moved to El Mirasol, a much more sedate place next door to Inn Ex. It’s a series of cabanas built by Howard Hughes as a guesthouse and is lushly landscaped. Much nicer. But I do miss the porn maid.

Telephone Tree

A sign of my sweet, sweet nature is a that I go along with cold calls. I do not make rude remarks to total strangers calling me up in the middle of dinner wanting to know if I want to take a survey, vote for billy ray obama clinton, donate to the crippled orphan policeman softball league, or whatever. I say in my most genteel manner, "No thank you" and then I hang up gently, but firmly. It's all too easy for me to imagine myself in their miserable shoes, my rent dependent on making a quota of hits that my jerk ass boss has set sadistically high; spending all night in a cubicle the size of a toilet amidst a roomful of trailer trash coworkers; the highpoint of the shift being my break for dinner where I have to heat up leftovers in an off-brand tupperware bowl except the fucking microwave in the "kitchen" is still broken. I am close to tears just thinking about it, so if some poor schmuck snags me on the phone, I usually am at least polite.

There is, of course, an exception. Isn't there always? I absolutely refuse to play along when said schmuck asks for "the Lady of the House." What the burning fuck? It's 2008 and they're stuck with some script from a bad Lily Tomlin skit. No, there is no Lady of the House, but if you'd like to take on the Bitch, I'm ready for ya.

Bring it.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Palm Springs Weekend

Hello sweeties, we're back from Palm Springs, a lovely quiet weekend, lounging around and eating too much.Everywhere we went, we were surrounded by elderly gay men, creaking old Marys who made me feel like a hot young thing. I'm all for any vacation destination that supports my delusions. We had brunch at Merv Griffin's old hotel. Could it be any gayer? Well, yes, since Jonathan Adler had recently overseen a recent redo of the joint that played up its inherent kitschy 70s aesthetic. My bitter complaints that all the thrift stores in Palm Springs present slim pickings these days are explained by the Miss Adler's work. Bitch must have cleaned out every junk shop in 500 miles to accumulate the salute to vinyl upholstery and shag everything she created. Very late mod, on overdrive. I was there and I don't remember all of this bizarre style in the Jimmy Carter era.

In Which We Take a Trip

  I was reminded of the following story by this charming illustration I stumbled across on Tumblr.  It is a sheet of blotter acid from back ...