Saturday, August 28, 2010


Our dearest friend, Diane von Austnburg, will be coming in for a visit Sunday morning for a week. Her visits here are a great treat. We'll cook and gad about restaurants, tear up the thrift store selections and play Boggle till hell won't have it. We're just a couple of wild cats, I tell ya. She has very kindly offered to help out with R Man, but mostly I plan on being entertained.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Seemed Like a Good Idea

So my plan to get on BART this morning and have the train I was on go so fast between the Montgomery and Embarcadero stations that I would go back in time and not be late for work turned out to be so very not effective.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I was out watering the plants on the patio this morning before work. It was so lovely, still cool, but sunny and smelled good, little birdies singing away. I felt one small gay moment away from some stupid von Trapp number. And I only just realized shortly after lunch I had been walking around all day with a twig in my hair. Possibly a camellia, I’m not sure. Considering how very little hair I operate with, it doesn’t seem like it would be that hard to spot it, so maybe I’m just not vain. Or maybe this is another stop on the crazy train express. Could go either way.

Monday, August 23, 2010

It's a Sweet Life

We've been repeatedly assured by the local newsrag that this has been San Francisco's coldest summer on record. As if I need them to let me in on this breaking news. Fog, fog and more fog, sweaters in Junes, the fireplace roaring in July and no complaints from me. Well, maybe a few, I need the practice.

And then today, boom, a pleasant little break in the permafrost. Lovely and warm and the best part? This warm wave coincides with my jasmine blooming. Heady, delicate sweetness abounds. Mmmm.
When I planted this, on a trellis directly below my bedroom window, R Man was very struck and said how wonderful it would be to lay in bed and smell jasmine wafting by. I was more sceptical (as usual.) I wasn't even sure it could bloom here where it's so chilly and I only put it on that trellis because it was the only spot I had available. That's my gardening technique in one sentence: ignorant and sloppy. Whee.

R Man was proved right (as usual) and most summer evenings I can savor my own little Harlequin romance novel setting of jasmine perfume in my boudoir. On still, warm nights like this, though, the scent is astonishing. Heavenly. So I'm off to bed now to brood about going to work tomorrow and smell the jasmine.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Health Chat

Tonight, we continue our occasional series "TMI Theatre." The scene opens in Doctor Mark's office:

mrp: Would you hurry up. What are you, a baggage handler?

drmark: I don't know why you make such a big deal about this. You're a gay man.

mrp: So, you have patients who enjoy this? That's even creepier.

drmark: Shut. Up. And by the way, you win the prize for this week's largest prostate.

Proving that snappy patter is worthless when you're standing bent over an examination table with your pants around your ankles and the good doctor's finger up your butt.

I believe it's traditional to describe ones prostate at this point in terms of the fruit kingdom, typically a grapefruit or a watermelon. I prefer to think of mine as a guava. Stupid thing has never done anything for me except lead me into a series of wacky misadventures and now it demands to be taken for several walks every night out of my cozy bed and into the much less cozy toilet.

Also, you know that corn syrup ad? Yes, you do, it's all over the Overweight Housewives Channel. It's the one where two soccer moms are preparing to slurp down a gallon or two of some sludge based soda and one meekly advances some polite concern about consuming corn syrup as part of their bacchanal. "You know what 'they' say...." she mewls.

The other one turns on her and spits out, in the most condescending tone possible, a diatribe justifying the glop, including the fabulous rejoinder "Corn syrup is all natural." So the mousy one is put in her place, corn syrup reigns and they go off to explore their new-budding lesbian love, or whatever.

Just once, I want to see the mousy one shriek "Get you, Mary. Don't talk to me in that supercilious tone of voice, you slagheap. And by the way, arsenic, strychnine and bird droppings are all natural, too, but I don't plan on consuming them either." And then she would clock her, right beneath her smugly raised eye brow, knocking her to ground where she would kick her and smash her and pulverize her. Did I take my meds this morning?

Houseboy Seamus Feelpatrick assures us he never eats corn syrup.
We believe him.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Junk Score

I was hoofing off to the sci fi bookstore on Valencia yesterday and my path wandered by Community Thrift, my favorite junk store in captivity. Naturally, I had to pop in for just a quick scan, even though I wasn't expecting anything. Noodling through the furniture (which lately has been reduced to nothing more than Ikea's trash heap,) I ran across a charming, small mahogany china cabinet.

Until the 1960s, dining rooms had traditionally been fitted out with furniture inspired by early 19th century Georgian designers. The American version was referred to as Duncan Phyfe. Even though I have a passion for mid-century modern and sleek Asian design, when it comes to dining furniture, I have the same tastes as my sainted grandmother. So when I saw this little baby, I was charmed.

I was even more charmed when I pulled open a discreetly hidden drawer in the bottom and found it stuffed full of silver. Of course, I shoved the drawer shut, rushed up to counter and bought the cabinet. At home, an hour's worth of scouring it with furniture cleaner turned it into the perfect addition to our salon. It's probably built in the 1940s, sturdy and in good shape, except for one corner I need to re-finish.
the cabinet, in situ

The silver turned out to be a real mixed bag.
The haul

Some of it appears to have been boosted from a mid-level hotel and then some of it (mostly odd little spoons and forks for a variety of very specific tasks) is really good stuff. Also, there's a set that amazingly is the same as R Man's mother's. Obviously it was meant to be.

Also, I cleaned it with a technique I'd heard about for years, but had never tried. Line the sink with aluminum foil, pour in really hot water, add salt and baking soda and drop the silver in. Boom, some chemical reaction makes all the tarnish vanish. It works, honest. Come to mrpeenee for al your household tips. And beefcake.
The Beefcake

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