Thursday, December 31, 2009

Whining Warning: Get Over It.

I've mentioned before how fond I am of massages at the Kabuki Springs because of my incredibly messed up back. Yes, I did, you just weren't paying attention. Pay attention. So now I have photographic proof of just how fucked up my back really is:This is mrpeenee's back, an xray of it actually. It is not mrpeenee doing the mambo; it is mrpenee responding to the totally cute xray tech's admonition to "Stand up straight with your back against the board." Incidentally, if xrays revealed soft tissue and if this particular one was a little more inclusive, we'd all be looking at the half hard (or Hollywood Loaf, as John Waters calls them) of mrpeenee's peenee as a result of said doable technician laying hands on to try to position mrpeenee up against the board. He looked a lot like this, but, tragically, in more clothes:

So anyway, my scoliosis has gotten worse and my discs are degenerative (Please, no degenerate jokes. MJ, I am talking to you.) The up side is that when I took these xrays to my doctor to demand more vicodin, scrips started flying, baby. Woo hoo, score. He also sent me off to the Spine Center and the UCSF Pain Center. I am very centered. Both centers had all sorts of fascinating insights: I have a rib that "Doesn't move right" which causes me one whole subset of grief; my extreme double jointedness, which I always thought was sort of cool turns out to be another problem; and the Spine Center doctor recommended rubbing peppermint oil on my nose. It's supposed to block the pain. I wanted to point out vicodin does that too, but I was distracted by thinking about the xray tech and never got around to it.

All of this leads to more drugs, physical therapy, peppermint oil for christ sakes, and blah, blah, blah. I've been down this path plenty of times in the last twenty years as my back has gotten worse, and all I really wanted was the more drugs part, but I'm willing to pretend to be a good sport and follow their advice. Even the peppermint oil.

Oh, also, speaking of cute technicians, there was this extremely humpy nurse at the Spine Center who refused to make eye contact with me while I was stuck out in a corridor waiting for something or the other (probably peppermint oil) and who eventually fled into another office and SHUT THE DOOR. Pussy. He looked a lot like this, but, tragically, in more clothes:

Please expect sporadic posts as long as the vicodin holds out. Coherency has never been my strong point and now I'm loaded. wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Miss Neely O'Hara

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Passed

Twas the night before Crixmus......and Urban Street Pirate dropped by.

The next day was a little something we like to call "Christmas." Maybe you've heard of it? While everyone else was snoring away at visions of sugar plums, I got up and made Spice Applesauce Muffins and then served them with tea in bed.Don't you wish you were married to me? Yeah, sometimes I wish I was married to me, too.

And then, PRESENTS:

Including the present that had been transported to the floor sometime during the night.No one is pointing any fingers, but I have my suspects.

Suspect A: j' accuse.

Gifties were a big hit. I got lavender argyles, hoo hoo.

Urban Street Pirate thought we had given him a stole. I considered explaining it was, in fact, a largish bath mat, but decided to leave him his sad little dreams.Besides, I think he looks good in it. If you see him out at the bars tonight, be sure to compliment on it.

I gave R Man a netsuke shelf. Saki dug it. Shades of old, prissy poofs in Tilling, we have turned into E.F. Benson's Georgie. Someone shoot me. Please.

I also found a totally cool picture frame at a consignment store,so I went out to Ocean Beach, shot some random pictures and blew one up for it as another R Man present. He likes, but then again, it's all about the frame.

In my post about the new color in the dining room, that sharp-eyed minx, Diane von Austinberg, demanded to know what we were putting in the living room where the astronaut picture had been. Zip it sister, I wanted to snap, it's a secret. Well, now the truth can be told. R Man's christmas present is up on the wall where the astronauts lived so happily for so long.And then Christmas was over. How was yours?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Paper Tiger

My white trash mommie could not bring herself to prepare me for the wild world by teaching me to cook, balance a checkbook or even run a washing machine, but she did manage to instill one housekeeping virtue in me that I have never shaken: One must not waste wrapping paper. When I was growing up, Christmas morning was a tense exercise in a sort of reverse origami; paper was meticulously removed from packages, folded neatly and then put aside for next year, then you could look at your present. If it wasn't for the various hurricanes that swept through our home, I'm sure there would still be the crumbling remains of paper from before I was born.

As it is, R Man and I have a vast collection of wrapping material going back to when we first got together in New Orleans, and we've lived here in San Francisco for 21 years. Pictures of our Christmas mornings show us growing grayer, but the pile of gifts looks like it never changes. Only our jammies evolve.

This year, though, I was just a wild man and actually went out and bought new paper. You can do that, you know. I was standing in Walgreens looking at their pitiful selection (and why in one of the few times in two decades that I've bought paper I wound up there is just one of those Christmas mysteries) when I was struck by a particularly gay roll. I couldn't decide if the decorations were martini olives or billiard balls, but amidst all the insipid Santas and holly, its cheeky humor appealed to me mightily.

And then, like one of those trick pictures with blurs that resolve into dolphins or cats or lesbians when you look at it the right way, I suddenly realized it was just tree ornaments. How disappointing, but I got it anyway. I plan on sticking with my claim that it's olives. As you can see:

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Mall. Dear God. The Mall.

What do I have in common with my heterosexual brethren? Aside from the fact we all like to stick our wieners in somebody's mouth? We all hate shopping. Hate, hate, hate it. In any form or fashion hate it. Not just Christmas - any time. I have mentioned, have not I, how thrilled I was to discover you can buy clothes at Costco. I would never venture beyond there and Walgreen's if I could help it. But Christmas rears its ugly head and I'm faced by my two problems: I love to give presents and I love to get them. I don't particularly care what's in them, I just thrill to the big, unopened pile of them, the mystery, the possibility of them.

So, that finds me this afternoon in Bloomingdale's, the nadir of a man's shopping experience. All I wanted was some shirts for R Man, but no, that's asking too much. I picked over racks of crappy, really expensive schmata that couldn't have announced more clearly its origin in slave labor sweatshops if it had a logo consisting of shackles and whip. All of it trying so very hard to be so very hip and failing miserably and all of it apparently targeted towards skateboarding suburban boys with mommy's credit card. And why on earth would that market be in Bloomingdale's? Even I, in my failing decripitude, could find a hipper store than that without breaking a sweat. The whole place seems to be shrieking "Weren't the 80s a bitchin' decade?" Well yes, but time to move on, darling, move on. And so I did, fleeing to the mall outside and running straight into a lounge area filled with middle aged guys parked there by their wives. I'm sure their glazed, bitter expressions mirrored my own. For an instant I was sorry not to have been straight, so I could have sent the little Missus off handling the shopping while I sat glumly thinking about porn. But then I remembered, you know, vaginas and all that. I decided it isn't worth it.

So here is the statement that truly reveals the depths of my stodgienss: "Thank god for the Docker's store." Well, it's better than Walgreen's.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

New Paint

Ach, mein little pusses, we've finished repainting the dining room and it looks seriously fabulash. And by "we" I mean "Urban Street Pirate/Superagent Fred" because R Man absolutely refuses to allow me to handle a loaded paintbrush, ever since we attempted painting a fireplace in his old apartment 26 years ago. I gestured airily at something (probably explaining what a nitwit he is. I do that a lot) and wound up leaving a trail of semi-gloss drops across the rug and him since I was holding a brush at the time. Well, I was painting, wasn't I ? Of course I had a paintbrush in my hand. He can't remember where he left his glasses this morning, but he can still cling to a tiny little mistake from a quarter of a century ago.

Anyway, our salon before, at some long gone Thanksgiving, complete with turkey, beer and wine. Lots of wine.

and now

We also scored a new little cabinet and lamp for an awkward spot between two big windows that does quite well. The chest is lacquered over rice paper with the history of the Han dynasty printed on it and the lamp has little carved Jade panels set in it. Lovely.

I keep meaning to post this shot of a house out by the beach that I'm wild for. While the phrase "California beach" brings to mind blue skies and sun-kissed muscley surfer boys, the beach here is usually foggy and grey. Although there are surfer boys, thank heavens. So this little blast of garishly saturated color out there is always most welcome.

Gratuitous surfer boy.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Spam. A Lot.

O goddamit. I have resisted using word verification on comments to my posts because I have always regarded feedback from you naughty pusses as the best part of this blog. Certainly the comments are the most amusing bits and in many cases the only way I have of knowing that my readers have not died or gone back to jail.

But suddenly, I am the victim of a rash of spammy comments. Cyrillic, Japanese or some other weird ass Asian looking gibberish, dubious English, all of them including as the only recognizable elements words like "Shart" "lesbian" "Viagra". Scarily enough sometimes all in the same stewpot of a sentence. And always, oddly, in old, old posts that I had long since forgotten about and which have nothing in common. And pointless. Why some spam freak would want to attach to my blather about changing my email name is beyond me and yet that a particular, long-gone post draws them like flies to spilled honey. Or MJ's knickers.

Well,no more, motherfuckers. mrpeenee's security setting has been cranked up like Joan van Ark's jowls and it's going to stay that way.

To celebrate, a little man pussy:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ugly Hats. Loaded Santas. Tis the Season.

Truly, I have no vanity. When one's best feature is in one's pants, being concerned about fashion seems like too much trouble. Even so, when I discovered my new winter hat (in a hardware store, natch) this afternoon, I was a teensy bit disconcerted by its aggressive dorkiness. It looks rather like a cloche which has been left out in the rain more than once; it emphasizes every flaw in my long bony face like a neon arrow; its color is most likely described as Hairball Gray. And yet, I adore it. Mostly because it fits, which is not something I come across frequently in what little hat shopping I indulge in. I have a big head (not in the sense of being stuck up, remember, the only deadly vice I skip is vanity) but in the sense that I have a great big skull; one assumes it must be all the super duper brain matter lodged therein. Knit caps, on the other hand are designed for the daintily empty pinheads of all the geisha boys one sees around here. Plus, this particular one is warm and covers my ears, which are always icy. R Man can pretend not to know me when we'e on the street together, I don't care as long as my ears aren't numb.

And then, right after I snagged my hat and was walking down Castro admiring my startling reflection in every window, we ran into Santarchy, a flipped out parade and party of miscreants tarted up as old Saint Nick. Old Saint Nick on a bender, but still.... About a couple hundred Santies and every one of them tripping like a million screaming monkeys. We passed one small group that was either fighting or trying to wrestle one of their number up off the sidewalk. Hard to tell. A good time was being had by all.

I do love San Francisco.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Oh chiclets, I’m sure from time to time you ask yourselves “What of Kallipygos?” Worry no more, my impertinent ladyboys, because mrpeenee™ is here to explain Kallipygos is of ancient Greek origin meaning “Beautifully Buttocked.” Or in the vulgate, “Baby Got Back.”

“Well, duh,” goes up the cry of the legion of excessively educated mrpeenee™ fans. “Obviously that’s what it means. Everyone knows that. But where does it come from? Whence, baby, whence?”

I was just getting there, if you could just keep grasp of your knickers. Setting aside the question of whether buttocked is actually a verb (apparently it was in ancient Greece. Is there any surprise there?) our good friends at Wikipedia supply us with this charming origin tale:

"The people of those days were so attached to their sensual pleasures that they even went so far as to dedicate a temple to Aphrodite of the Beautiful Buttocks, for the following reason. Once upon a time a farmer had two beautiful daughters. One day these girls, getting into a dispute as to which one had a more beautiful backside,[5] went out onto the public street. And by chance a young man was passing by, the son of a rich old man. They showed themselves to him, and when he saw them he voted in favor of the older girl. And in fact, falling in love with her,[6] when he got back to town, he took to his bed and told his younger brother everything that had happened. And the younger brother also went to the country and saw the girls, and he fell in love with the other daughter. And so when the boys' father tried to get them to marry someone of the upper classes, he couldn't persuade his sons, and so he brought the girls in from the country, with their father's permission, and married them to his sons. And so these girls were called fair-buttocked[7] by the citizens, as Cercidas of Megalopolis says in his Iambic Verses: "There was a pair of beautiful-buttocked girls[8] in Syracuse." And so these girls, when they got wealthy and famous, founded a temple of Aphrodite[9] and called the goddess the Fair-buttocked,[10] as Archelaus of Chersonesus tells us in his Iambic Verses."[11]

Isn’t that the most charming thing you’ve heard today? No? Well, in that case, you have much too colorful a life. Personally, I think the world would be a better place if young ladies were still to indulge in spontaneous, public ass contests. I imagine the scene as two chicas hanging out, arguing so hard about who has the best buttchops that they have to accost a perfect stranger for his opinion.

First Girl: Yo, buddy, help a sister out. Tell us who has the best ass.

Passing gentleman: I beg your pardon?

Second Girl: Just take a look and tell us which booty you like best. Get a load of this: firm, high and round. Looks like the moon made out of candy.

First Girl: Yeah, it’s not bad, but I got a rump cleft that makes men weep.

Passing gentleman: I’m not sure…. Maybe if I fondled them vigorously and simultaneously….

First Girl: Well make it snappy, we got goats to milk.

Passing Gentleman: Hmm, I think I’m going to have to go to my tongueometer.

Face it, the world is a lesser place since the passing of the ancient Greeks. Even Gerald Butler all tarted up as a Spartan love dog in that 300 movie although finer than fine, was not enough to make up for the death of Ass Olympics.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Sport of Queens

Listen chiclets, R Man and I continue our home improvement spree. Last weekend, we tapped our friend the Urban Street Pirate to paint our dining room. You may remember, when this color was applied to our entryway, I was not enthused. I believe I may have used the word "Cheeto" to describe this particular orange. But now that I see it in the dining room in all its glory, I am entranced. I am willing to admit I was wrong. It's difficult for me to do so, but only because I have to so rarely, I'm unaccustomed to it. In fact, I typed it wrong twice just now. Nevertheless, I'm in love with it, brilliant, velvety; the closest description would be butternut squash. We have plenty of mahogany in there and it goes fabulously. Urban Street Pirate just has to finish some touch-ups tomorrow and I'll put the room back together. Expect photographic proof soon. In the meantime, here's the work in progress to show before and after colors:

Sort of After, sort of during

While we had the dining room torn up. we had to move dinners into the living room and discovered we quite like it. The room is long and narrow, and the far end where we have a wall of bookcases had inherited a couple of ugly arm chairs that served their purpose, but never did much for the looks:It was all rather Barbara Pym's Home for Unwanted Furniture. Once we shoved a charming black game table that's been floating around looking for a place to settle down there and starting have meals off it, we realized it would be a wonderful alternative to the dining room.

We agreed some traditional Louis XVI dining chairs with arms would be just the thing. We could pull them away from the table for casual seats and use them at table for chow time. I decided to hit the thrift stores on Saturday on the hunt, knowing that you never, NEVER find what you're looking for when you have something specific in mind, but figured I needed to start someplace.

The first store I sailed into, a consignment store on Polk St. had these dazzling contemporary white leather chairs, bam, right in the front.
The first things I saw. Totally not what I was looking for, totally irresistible. Demonstrating how very meant-to-be it was, R Man was across the street; I called him, he loved them, we sprang $300 for the pair (a steal) they fit in the car (with Urban Street Pirate, R Man and Me squashed in the front) and suddenly we have a new dining experience. It had to be the only shopping experience I've ever had that was easier than Costco.
Saki digs them.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Back on Back

I made dumplings tonight to go with the turkey soup from Thanksgiving. Of course, they were delicious. I have a dumpling talent, what can I say? The real reason for making them, of course, is to run around screeching "Mit Dooompleengs" in my German accent. As a side note, let me admit all my accents, German, British, Sexy Vampire, Sassy French Maid, all of them sound sort of like Boris Badenov. It's not that I'm unaware of this, it's just that I don't care. Thank you.

Also of course, the menu allows me to address both R Man and Saki the Evil and Adorable Cat as Mein Little Dumpling. It's amazing how they both get the same look on their faces when I do so.

And then, I was looking for a picture of a naughty German pussy boy (hopefully in lederhosen) to go with this post when I ran across these photos. Why ask how? It's the interweb.

Yes, they're icky; the schmoe had gotten a Vietanmese massage that included cupping where they stick cups filled with hot air on your skin because of evil spirits or excessive farting or who knows what. I was struck by them because I once ran across the exact same ickiness at the tubs here. A very attractive muscle lad and I were passing the time and when he turned around (yes, we were naked at the tubs and he turned around. Connect the dots.) I was treated to a closeup view of what looked like the tail end of some plague victim. He swore it was some ancient Asian medical treatment; I swore if he didn't get out of my room, he was going to need some even more aggressive medical intervention.

Oh, l'amour.

But wait, there's more:

Muscley lederhosen. Thank you, thankyou very much.

Just in Time

Looky! I've found my Christmas cards for this year! I can't tell you what a relief it is to cross that little chore off my to-do list.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

A work of genius.

Mrpeenee Goes Back to School

So there I was, last September, minding my own beeswax, when an acquaintance dragged me into the sordid arena of higher educationment. She's a professor at one of the local degree mills people go to when they can't get into real schools and she needed to scrape up several "community partners" for her classes to take on as projects. In this case "community partner" is apparently university talk for "victim."

Once again, as I have so often, I agreed because it was easier than saying no. As my love life goes, so goes my professional one. Supposedly the student group was putting together a marketing plan for an event I'm organizing. I guess I could have asked if they actually knew what a marketing plan was, but these things always become clear too late.

The day of reckoning rolled around, doesn't it always? I had to go their class to hear the presentation. It turned out to be amusing in its awfulness. I was a dreadful, dreadful student and even I could have done a better job of faking my way through an assignment I had given no attention to and was completely unprepared for.

Part of my role was to ask them follow up questions after the presentation, but I finally gave up and just laughed when their designated bullshitter struck out so spectacularly. Their sole idea was that we distribute flyers for our conference. Flyers. Like I'm running a bake sale.

MRPEENEE: "Where, exactly, am I supposed to hand out these flyers?"

MRBULLSHITTER "Uhm.... Neighborhoods."

God love him, he went down swinging, hollow as a drum.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Crash Dummy

Tragically, none of these officers responded to the scene.

You guys, I saw a wreck yesterday afternoon. It was so cool! And yet, I didn’t actually see it after all. It was so lame! I had nipped over to a fancy new salad bar and was bringing my tasteful box of greens and goodies back to my desk for lunch. As I was standing on the sidewalk, waiting to jaywalk safely across the street, I was thinking (if you want to call it that) about something or the other, string theory, or porn, or how very delicious my salad was going to be, when BLAMMO, a truck pulled into the path of a bus and was rewarded by getting its front fender well and truly crunched.

It was pretty apparent no one was hurt and the truck was one of those fancy Escalades, so all of us standing on the sidelines were able to be thrilled without being concerned; everyone seemed to agree a Cadillac pickup just deserves whatever traffic mishap it encounters. The whole thing was directly in front of me, right where I would have been looking if I had actually been looking at anything instead of standing there with my eyes glazed and unfocused and I only snapped to when the ka-blam noise jarred me awake.

That’s what I always look at as the main drawback to any time travel I might stumble upon. I know that were I to go back in time to witness Lindbergh landing in Paris, or that sailor kissing the nurse in Times Square on VE day, or the Kennedy assassination, or whatever, at the crucial moment, instead of paying attention, I would be looking around thinking “I wonder where I can get some tacos?”

Mmmm, tacos.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cracker Talk

Growing up in the South, I was exposed to the wonderfully lurid dialect of a world that I’m afraid has disappeared without much more trace than my inability to say the word “oyster” (as dear Diane von Austinberg points out, I inevitably pronounce it OISH-chuh.)

My grandmother was able to announce “that boy is just not right” and have her inflection specify anything from mental disability to criminal tendencies (plenty of that in my family. Or “Fambly,” as we would say) to homosexuality (that would be me.) When my other granny would glare at you and growl “I am fixin’ to straighten you out boyuh,” it was time to run. I was a grown man before I realized the words “ball” and “boil” were not homonyms. And it has only been R Man’s patient tutelage that has taught me to move the accent from the first syllable in “insurance” to the second one. Who knew?

But I have now lived in California so long that my accent has been scrubbed clean. At least, it seems like it to me, so I’m always surprised when people I meet claim to be able to hear it in my voice. I assure them that this is nothing since I originally sounded like a road show version of Tennessee Williams’ greatest hits. Still, sometimes I hear “dollar” roll out of my mouth in the form of “dollah.” And I have been met with blank stares when I use the simile “Running around like a monkey with its ass on fire” to describe how busy I am. At least I pronounce it as “fire” and not “fahr” so that has to count as progress, right?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Stinking Rose

Oh, mein little poodles, I am so glad we communicate through the internet; even that may not protect you. I whipped up a batch of hummus tonight - tasty, tasty, tasty, but I'm afraid I might have gone a wee bit long on the garlics. I ate a tangerine and brushed my teeth twice, I am a very small step from using Clorox as a mouthwash, and yet the paint on the wall in front of me as I type this is cracking and peeling. When I exhale, people on the far side of Oakland probably faint. If I expire tonight in my sleep, I'm sure it will be from Extreme Stinkiness. All I ask is that I be buried at sea and not in some hazardous waste dump.

If only my Breath of Death had been with me this afternoon. I had to speak to a group of students from a very down market vocational school about starting one's own business. Ugh. Even by the most charitable standards these kids were unimpressive; that's why I could have used my super wall o' garlic, maybe I wouldn't have had to smell them. As they were leaving, one of them assured the teacher he'd see him on Monday "If I'm not sentenced tomorrow." Hold on to that dream, sweetie, that's what I say.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Amazingly, all my inshights come from eavesdropping. After lunch, I was waiting for the elevator back to work, hanging on the cusp between being irritated the elevators were running so slowly and not really being in a hurry to get back to my desk, when I was surrounded by a gaggle (three actually. Is that a gaggle?) of the computer nerds who work on the floor below us. As are so very many computer nerds, these looked to be Indian or Pakistani.

One of them was talking about his girlfriend. I inferred from what I overheard that she was pretty and sexually active. Inference was necessary since he talked about her in this junior high kind of giggly way that relied on innuendo and ellipses when what he really needed was the phrase “blow job.” Never the less, his fellow nerds seemed very impressed.

This continued even when the elevator finally showed up and we all got on. He wrapped up by abruptly assuring them that wedding plans were not a consideration since she was “just a Mexican.” I was so astonished I almost broke the sacred social rule of Never Look at Someone in the Elevator. Partly it was because I was immediately embarrassed , as if I committed a faux pas just be being there. It was also because the guy was so dumpy, I was amazed to think any chick would allow him to sniff her panties, let alone a hot one bang her. And he’s going to dump her? What a schmoe.

Also, there was the weird sensation of hearing racist comments so causally unloaded. Did the fact the he was a minority make it OK? I can imagine how three dumpy white guys sharing that in a crowded elevator would be received.

So, hot chica, if you’re reading this, run girl, run. He’s a jerk, you can do better, his stubby little dick is never going to get bigger and his mother hates you. You can thank me later.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

This Just In:

Who knew marmots could incite such passion? Comments in the previous post revealed sordid vaudeville acts, bizarre publications and the fact that MJ was preparing to give birth to a Canadian marmot (which she’s looking to unload, if you’re interested.) My, my, the things a simple blog brings to light.

But you guys, wait, there’s a better way to discover the dirty little secrets of possible psychotics. The Magic Nine ball answers all. Sure, the skeptics can jeer, but just this evening, I asked it “Did that muscley Thai rent boy/masseur give me the clap?”

and it answered “Bet everything on it.” OHMYGOSH, isn’t that eerie? It’s obviously in touch with the Higher Plane; insights like that don’t just roll off a marmot’s back you know.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Baroque News

I was jamming with the Baroque Choral music station on Pandora radio earlier cause that's the kind of wild dog I am, when I ran across this description:

“Georg Philipp Telemann was born in Magdeburg, the son of a Lutheran deacon who died in 1685, leaving the mother to raise their three children alone. The youth showed remarkable talent in music, but was temporarily discouraged in his chosen pursuit by Puritan Lutherans, who told Telemann's mother that he would turn out no better than ‘a clown, a tightrope walker or a marmot-trainer.’”

It seems like they’re saying that as a bad thing. A tightrope walker? Who wouldn’t want their fatherless kid to turn out as an aerialist? That’s so cool. You know if he was around now he'd have a dynamite little number featuring a soundtrack by Erasure and be the hit of Cirque du Whatever. And don’t get me started about them hating on marmot trainers. When I consider the danger untrained marmots present to our community, why I just have to say “Forget you, Puritan Lutherans.”

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We Fail an Energy Audit

The energy audit came delivered by not one, but two cute, cute guys. Having your life veer into the set-up for a porn video is just part of living in San Francisco. They were here for two hours, shooting laser tape measures and climbing into the attic and furnace room and other places into which I have never set foot in twelve years of living here. The big finale was a large vinyl tent thing athwart the front door with a huge fan in it to suck all the air out of the house so they could measure where the air leaks are. The verdict: we have lots of leaks. Leaks in the furnace return, leaks in the walls, leaks in the vents. Ryan, the earnest, cuter one did compliment us on our fireplace damper. Oh boy. There is no insulation and the furnace is working four times as hard as it needs to, but we have a dynamite damper.

I'm glad Ryan was so cute, his boyish charm gave me something to think about at the very end of the review when we got to chat about the asbestos in the ductwork. Ay. So our options are to hold our breath the entire time we're in the house or replace all the ducts, in addition to a new furnace and lots and lots of insulation. When I lined this audit up, I already knew we were going to be in for a chunk of change, I just hadn't thought the words "environmental hazard" were gong to play a part. At least the guys were cute.

Monday, November 9, 2009

No Thanks

My boss Mike announced today that he is leaving the agency to take a job with a United Nations agency in Switzerland. I explained to him that was impossible, that only the heroes of Barbara Cartland novels have jobs for the United Nations in Switzerland, but he seemed unconvinced. So now I need to start planning his farewell luncheon.

I need also to stave off my co-workers’ merry assumptions that I will be taking up his role. These are understandable assumptions, we haven’t had a new hire in our office since 1995. That’s fourteen years for the mathematically challenged among us. In that time we have shrunk from about 60 employees to 22, almost all of whom are deadwood waiting for retirement to sweep them away. To say I’m the best suited is not necessarily flattering; it’s more like recognizing that I'm the last one standing.

Here’s the sticking point: I Don’t Want the Fucking Job. I do not want to take on 250 per cent more work for 15 percent more pay. I do not want to supervise the dolts I already resent working next to. Mostly, I love my current job and do not want any more responsibility, which would only serve to expose my lack of business acumen.

Have I mentioned that when I meet people they frequently assume I am a big shot business whiz? I have a title, I have business cards and I’m tall. Apparently that’s all you need. I figure it’s like some kind of test. If you can finish a conversation with me without deducing that I am just a schmoe wearing a tie, than you should not be in business for yourself. God help you.

What am I good at? I’m very capable at organizing our training program and I’m wonderful at going to parties. I know everyone in town and have a talent for connecting people. “You need to talk to Gwen,” I say, knowing Gwen will straighten your ass out and save me from doing so. I know who will give you free legal advice and who you should stay away from when you want to get some marketing tips. I am the yenta of the entrepreneurial community. It is a talent I never expected and would hate to waste.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Home Front

Before I expose yet another degree of my dorkiness, let us revel in some boy booty, shall we?There. Don't we all feel better now? I thought so.

Back to my dorkitude: my closet organizing spree led to a run to Goodwill this afternoon. Total whee. We packed so much crap in our car, Urban Street Pirate riding in the back seat barely fit; it looked like the Clampetts on the move. We unloaded all of it, busted lamps, unflattering jackets and personal electronics so old they belonged in museum instead of a thrift store. Everything except the collection of curtain rods in various sizes. The guy on the truck eyed them and announced, very firmly, he was obviously accustomed to donors not wanting the crap denied, "Are those curtain rods? We don't take curtain rods." I immediately considered denying they were curtain rods, except, you know it's hard to pass them off as anything else. Plus I thought about all the curtain rods I've seen in Goodwill Stores over the years. Barrels of them. Where do those come from? Is there some kind of drapery hardware genesis going on I don't know about?

I refused to argue and just dragged them back home to shove them in a corner of the garage. And having hauled off a gross ton of household goods and debris, shouldn't my garage look swept clean? Nope. It looks just the same as it did before I crippled my self digging all this stuff out. I think my neighbors are sneaking castoffs in here behind my back. Bastards.

So the point of digging through our garage is in preparation of our Energy Audit on Tuesday. That is the real level of what a dork I am. Not only are we getting our insulation checked, but I am looking forward to it. I love having someone who nominally knows what they're talking about examine my house and tell me what to do to keep it from falling down around my ears. If they're cute, even better, but as long as they have a clip board, I'm all on it.

The nice lady scheduling this warned that it's so thorough, it would take a couple of hours. Ooh, daddy. Talk to me about my dirty furnace, my clogged ducts, my shameless lack of insulation. And then fix it. No more drafty living room, no more chilly bathrooms, heaven.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Out of the Closet

How sobering it is to realize that, for me, the highlight of our recent redecorating spree was emptying and then tidying up the freshly painted linen closets. I truly am Martha Stewart in a gay man’s body. I make no excuses, I find it immensely gratifying to throw crap away; to haul off mounds of no longer wanted possession to the Goodwill thrills me. I took eight giant garbage bags of old sheets and blankets to Animal Care and Control, aka The Cat Jail. Even as I type this, homeless kitties are snuggling into high thread count flannel, thanks to me. I am a hero.

You know that home redecorating show Clean House, where they barge into homes that are awash in mountains of junk and then shovel all that junk into a yard sale and redecorate for the schmucks who were previously buried there? I am just the opposite of those schmucks: whereas they cannot let go of their stuff, I cannot get rid of it fast enough. Whatever their sickness is, I have none of it. Maybe I could sell a vaccine.

Just to prove I am not totally lost to sentimentality, though, part of this most recent round of closet and drawer ransacking turned up the remains of my favorite Mardi Gras costume. I made it by removing the arms from a baby doll and wiring them to wear as a kind of headpiece so they looked like devil horns. Some people were quire disturbed by them which thrilled me no end. Those will NEVER go to Goodwill. I think I’d like to be buried in them, please.

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...