Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I actually do have a job. Had you forgotten about it? Don't feel bad; sometimes I forget about it, too. It has been all too present in my attention lately, unfortunately. Looming dead ahead is our annual celebration of bidnesses, a mad, gay whirl of galas and conferences and panel discussions and every other kind of dissipation short of a bal masque. I'll have to remember that for next year.

My contribution to the madness is twofold, planning (which I've been grinding away at since last June) and attending the events, being Little Miss Charm, spilling small talk like a vending machine. I am usually excellent at that, I can make intelligent contributions to the conversation without even attending to it and I can extract myself with great aplomb from just about any dead end chitchat, but this year, what with R Man's cancer and chemo as well as my disappointment over the Brazilian Porn Star Invitational not inviting me to be a judge AGAIN, I am just not up for it.

This could be a real problem since our first party, a networking mixer in San Jose on Monday, could have really benefitted from some attention from me in regards to drumming up some press for it and maybe even some attendees. Luckily, I spoke with the main sponsor today and she pointed out that "Everything below Palo Alto is really just Burbank anyway." Not terribly flattering to either San Jose or Burbank, but it does take quite a bit of the pressure off.

Houseboy Pandimonious Digitalis has very sweetly offered to help out, but since no one can find his pants, I don't think it will work. Oh well, it's Show Time.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Glorious Glop

I realize what is missing in our life during our present health related calamity: casseroles. When I was a child, deep in the swamps of Texas, whenever hard times struck, all the Ladies who knew the unfortunate object would rally round with casseroles. And Jello salads. But mostly casseroles.

During the dreadful, dreadful days after my little brother died, I remember a non-stop stream of pyrex serving dishes and bowls appearing in our kitchen, filled with mysterious gloppy deliciousness. All with the name of the Lady who had prepared them written on a piece of masking tape on the bottom so you’d know whom to return it to.

It’s all too easy to roll my eyes at most of my mother and her suburban sisters shenanigans, but I have to hand it to them, those gals knew how to whip up big tubs of comfort food during times of stress. Usually involving hamburger and noodles and cream-of-something soup, they could pull a family through just about anything and spare the befrazzled mommy from a trip to the store followed by a stint in the kitchen.

All of those women had a series of recipes at their fingertips suitable for sickrooms, trauma and funerals. In fact, I remember most of these dishes being called “funeral food.” And, of course, all of them had a ratings criteria for what emergency called for what dish. There were the standards that were good enough for not too close friends, the better ones a step up for family and people richer than you, and emergency ones that could be pulled together from ingredients at hand in the pantry (cue the Jello/fruit cocktail/Miracle Whip salad.) You know whole reputations were built on someone’s Tomato Fandango Surprise. And pity poor Velma and her universally despised Whole Wheat Mock Stroganoff.

So now when our friends ask us, with suitably solemn faces, “What can we DO for you?” I know they’re sincere, admirably so, and genuinely would run just about any errand or, even better, listen to me bitch and moan until their cell phone battery died, but what I really want is a Frito Tamale Pie. It’s just a shame those gloppy days are gone.

Monday, April 26, 2010

From mrpeenee's Kitchen to Yours

Ever since R man's heart surgery two years ago, we have been very virtuous about avoiding fat in the Chez Peenee Diet. Gone were the days of macaroni and cheese, gravy with everything, and the glories of french fries. We didn't miss them, honest. Roast vegetables became a great favorite. And then, with the cancer diagnosis, suddenly we sort of decided to adopt a more "what the hell" attitude. Case in point might well be our dinner tonight of hot fudge sundaes. Yum.

Here's the sauce recipe: take 7 ounces of fine quality chocolate.

Put it in a baggie and whack it with a hammer until it's well and truly busted up.

Mix with sugar, cream, butter, and some other stuff over moderate heat.
Bon appetit.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Chemo Land

Somewhere along about the second hour of R Man's chemo treatment today, I started thinking about those crackpots who fake having cancer. I understand people do a whole range of blazingly stupid or bizarre things and this just seems particularly unsettling because I am currently involved in it, but still, the phrase "what the fuck were you thinking, asshat?" comes strongly to mind.

R Man's chemo went smoothly, he's in good spirits, the nurses are very sweet and chipper without being obnoxious, and I can tell by the time we finish round four of the treatments, I am going to have to Take Steps against the so-called "decorating" in the waiting room. Grey and mauve and fluorescent lights; a day spent there and I feel rather unwell myself and I don't even have cancer. I think the frauds who hoax their friends into believing they have cancer should be sentenced to spending some hard time there.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wither Muscato?

I know those of us familiar with our sister blogger Cafe Muscato are concerned about his extended, and completely unaccaeptable, absence.

Oh, that silly tramp. What could have happened? Is he off on an undercover detail for the Good Taste Police? Terroristas? Animal Care and Control? Could the estimable Ermilia finally have snapped and turned on him?

I do miss the old darling. News bulletins about expat life in a Gulf that is not Mexico seem so exotic to little me. Plus he seems to be the only who who shares my misguided love for the works of E.F. Benson.

Come back Muscato. All is forgiven.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


So mother teresa and I were at the bar the other night (no, not Este Noche. We can't go there anymore, she got throwed out one time too many for biting the strippers. They had all started calling her "Jaws," even Bitsy, seen here looking particularly fetching, who never quite got the joke.)
She was going on and on wanting to know how could I continue with such equanimity. "Look, Titty," I said to her I said. What? Oh yes, darling, everyone calls her Titty, I have no idea why. Poor thing has abs bigger than her hooters, but still....

"Look, Titty, I don't have equanimity, I have a short attention span. Bad news just sort of fades into the background and I go back to my fabulous, fabulous life of washing clothes and cooking and refraining from slapping people at work. It's all I can do."

With that in mind, allow me to report:

I made a spectacular version of Elvis Presley's Banana Pudding. I would've taken a picture of it, but I ate it all. I literally licked the spoon.

We went out for a lovely lunch at Bar Tartine for our new friend Dwayne's birthday. After lunch we returned here and while in the yard, Dwayne found the glasses I lost up there more than a year ago, so now he's not only our friend, he's my hero. Yay Dwayne.

Our friend Gaye brought over a delish little picnic of cheeses and olives and almonds and some wonderful crackers called Raincoast Crisps. We recommend them wholeheartedly.

Friends have been universally supportive, offering help and sending us a rum cake, artisinal chocolates and a massage gift certificate. Total Yay.

I am pretty sure I have not slapped anyone at work.

Mostly, I am touched beyond words (and snarkiness) by the comments and support in the post below by you guys and by the posts on your own blogs. How very sweet you all are; I don't think you can know how helpful this is. I am, by nature, not a very huggy person, so I tend to keep people who want to comfort me at a distance because that's what I'm comfortable with. As a result, these online gestures are just what I need.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bad News

Thank you all very much for your concern about R Man. I know I’ve been too slack about keeping everyone up to date about what’s going on and I apologize. Here’s the news: R Man has non-small cell lung cancer. It is Stage 4, which is really, really bad. He starts chemotherapy next week, he has four rounds of it at three week intervals, after that his oncologist will determine how effective the treatment has been at reducing the size of the major tumor and possibly eliminating some of the smaller ones. The treatment is only supposed to prolong his life and keep him more comfortable; remission and cure are pretty much not possible. We went to our regular doctor this morning and he admitted R Man probably has less than a year to live.

R Man has been studying meditation for a while, which turns out to be very lucky, since now he can be all Buddhist-y and stuff. He’s very healthy and feels fine, so it’s hard to absorb all this. He remains stoic, I remain cranky. Same old same old. He plans to retire, probably at the end of April.

I’ll try to let you guys know what happens; I think probably there won’t be any dramatic changes for a while.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

mrpeenee's craptastic birthday

Was my birthday totally craptastic? Why, yes, it was.

It all started when I got out of bed. Doesn't it always? I started to black out and then kept swooning. It took me three tries to get back from the bathroom to my bed. I had stopped a medicine the night before in order to start a new one and our doctorman thinks the switch resulted in a series of mini-seizures. Fabulous. I suppose minis are better than full scale ones, but I would still rather have a blow job from some muscular youth.
Later that afternoon, en route to a birthday massage at the Kabuki Spa, I got a call from R Man. The results of his biopsy had come in; he has non-small cell lung cancer. We're supposed to see the oncologist on Friday and will have no details until then. Wikipedia assures us this is better than the some other kind of cancer, much like mini-seizures. Please see my comment above re: blow job, muscular youth about what we would rather actually have.
The massage? Fine, but you know, massages need to be a "here, now" kind of experience and I kept sliding off into "what if" crummy land. Hard to pay attention.

The evening finally was capped off by my second oldest friend calling me from Texas to say she has been in the hospital since February with a perforated colon. She may recover. She may not.

She'd probably prefer a muscular youth as well.
Yeah, happy birthday. I felt like the cosmos was yelling "But wait! There's more!" like a ginzu knife ad.

If you want me, I'll be in bed with the covers over my head.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Born this day

Yes, me, that's who. So you know, happy burfday and all that.

I love when people start talking about who they share their birthday with, because it allows me to sit back and then casually announce that mine is the same as

ABBA crooner Agnetha Faltskog (definitely woo to the hoo)

Booker T Washington

Greg Peck

and Spencer Tracy

which leaves everyone sort of "Oh yeah, that's nice," but then I roll out the big guns:

Miss Bette Davis. Top that, bitches. Well, actually my friend Ray claims he was born on Buddah's birthday, which is sort of tough to compete with, but even there, I'm not sure I don't come out ahead.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Well that certainly was an odd, odd weekend. Maybe it was all that Jesus stuff.

The very first thing Saturday morning, mrpeene was huddled in bed when I heard an all too familiar crash from R Man's bathroom. R Man had gotten up too fast and passed out again, but this time he hit his head on the corner of the vanity on his way down. A truly, truly impressive amount of blood.

He got cleaned up and refused to listen to my increasingly shrill demands that we immediately go to the emergency room. I retaliated by turning on the House and Garden channel, which he hates. After two and half shows focusing on the dubious merits of various cracker box dumps, he caved in and off we went. The eventual verdict: too much blood pressure medicine and getting up too quickly. Then we went to have pizza.

I spent Saturday night cooking for a lunch party we had today. Braised beef short ribs, buttermilk mashed potatoes, pasta with pomodoro sauce. Tres yummy. Tomorrow is my birthday and this was a celebration. Oh, and SuperAgent Fred gave me a tee shirt that say "EEEEEEEEEEEE. Lady Bits." Plus a super delicious strawberry and whipped cream cake.

All in all, except for hanging around yet another round of hospital waiting rooms, a top notch weekend.

In Which We Are Arty

  When we were in Paris in April (and I love any story where I'm able to casually mention I was in Paris recently. Ooh la la.) anyway, w...