The Shame of it All

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I suppose there’s no use attempting to hide the humiliation of our street.  Just this evening, our neighbor Eric (the one that the head of our home owners association tried to imply was connected to the mafia, not the other one) was hosting a rocking xmas party.  In the twenty years we’ve owned this house, R man and I redecorated two bathrooms and the kitchen; Eric installed a hot tub and a keg dispenser.  PAH TAY.  It would be just like a frat house if only there were a few humpy, sexually curious frat boys.  No such luck.

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frat action

But tonight we plumbed depths I never thought such a quiet, respectable street would know.  As I was floating in my bath, trying to think of way to remind myself to block a Facebook lowlife when I’m dry, I heard Eric crank up…, well, there is no other way to say it, a KARAOKE machine.

I know, I know, how will we residents hold our heads up at the grocery store?  It’s one thing to have a mafioso down the block (in fact, I can see how it might be handy,) but to have the machine that led to the zombie-like, undying path of “Afternoon Delight”?

I actually have no idea what the guests were taking a crack at.  It certainly didn’t resemble any tune I’m familiar with.  And of course, it has to be a fancy one replete with special effects that make your voice sound like it’s coming through the Flock of Seagulls’  synthesizer.  Or maybe that’s what the chick who was taking her turn actually sounds like.  If so, it would explain her enthusiasm.  This is probably the only time anyone will ever let her warbling out.

There is only one answer.  I have to sell this house and do so PDQ, before word gets out just what kind of neighbors comes with it.  Damn.

Playgirl Centerfolds of the 70s and 80s: the Karaoke of Porn

 

The Ice Man Cometh

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I have always been skinny, but when R Man died, I sort of let things get out of hand and lost 10 or 15 pounds which put me in Gaunt territory.  My doctor has been haranguing me to gain weight ever since.  I think he just does it out of habit now.   And I have.  In fact at this last check up, I weighed more than I ever have, 187 pounds.  Doctor Man still thinks I need more.  Some people are never satisfied.

I asked him about joining the meal delivery program I had volunteered at for years.  I figured they owed me.  The good doctor said “Ugh, you don’t want that.”  Instead he suggested Ice Age Foods, which he has been using for a while.  As its name suggests, it is based on the ever so hip Paleo Diet.  I explained I do not do “hip.”  But he said it was good and good for you, low fat, high protein, blahblahblah.

Since I am above all things else, lazy, I figured a company that brings me food couldn’t be all bad so I sprang for a month’s trial.  And honestly, it’s not bad.  The odd part is that everything tastes like tacos.  Since I love tacos that’s not a problem, but it does seem like an unlikely niche to plant your recipes in.

So far I’ve had Lasagne Tacos, Pork Stew with Meatballs Tacos, Tri Tip with Yams Tacos, and Lemon Pepper Chicken Tacos, which by far were the worst.  I have never put a food product in my mouth that was as tough as the chicken.  I gnawed on it for a while and finally spit it out and it looked exactly like it had when I put in.  Plus, lots of odd little bones, possibly not even chicken.  So really it was Tough Weird Meat and Bones Taco.

Digging around on their website, I ran across this gem under the headline:

What’s with the Mexican Influence at Ice Age Meals?

So apparently I’m not the only whose noticed the taco theme.  Their answer:

most of the culinary ninjas in our kitchen hail from Mexico, Central and South America.

OK, glad you’re paying attention to their culinary background, but you do know most restaurant kitchens run on hispanic labor and they’re able to crank out French, Italian, Thai, Lesbian, whatever just fine.  Also, I want it clearly understood that had i known this company referred to their prep and line cooks and chefs as “culinary ninjas” I would have never gotten beyond that and moved on to some less ridiculous web page.  Possibly featuring naked men.

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not a taco

Since everything tastes like tacos, and since I am determined to undermine the whole “paleo” thing, I have taken to adding ground cheese to the dish and then wrapping it in tortillas.  When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  When everything tastes like a taco, I don’t know, I seem to have lost the metaphor, but tortillas improve the dishes dramatically.

So, am I going to become a loyal customer?  Hmmmm, maybe.  After all, I love tacos.  On the other hand, I really would like lasagne that tastes like, I don’t know, lasagne.  I think the real test is coming up: Thai Meatball Curry.  I adore curry, but honey, Curry Tacos is where I draw the line.  We’ll see.

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khmer warrior taco

Monumental

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img_5673Earlier this summer, there was a sudden rush to finally, finally rid several Southern cities of the statues that littered them and which were memorials to the Confederate side of the Civil War.  The side that lost, but that held on to a grudge that still lasts.

tumblr_ox039q5l7o1qz6f9yo5_1280Most of them had been nominally erected by the widows and mothers and children of men who had marched off, but never came back.  That is, granted, a sad motivation, but just behind the respectable shield of grieving for the dead was the horrible reality of what those men had died for.  Those idiot boys had gone to war to protect the institution of slavery

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Growing up as I did in Texas in the 1950s and 60s seemed to be the end times for sentimentality over the Civil War.  The passionate,Victorian era clock-winders that I had read about or seen in movies were all gone.  I went to a white elementary school, but integration had found its way into my unimportant little burg by the time I entered middle and high school.  The circle of losers and nerds who comprised my friends had black members; my parents seethed that I had black friends.  The century of the war ending happened the year I turned 9, and to a 9-year-old, a century is the definition of forever.

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And then boom, this summer, we are suddenly back to Great Lost Era of mrpeenee’s Ninth Year.  I had seen the statues and memorials and ignored them.  Considering they had lost, the South had a mania for enduring no one would forget.  OK.  Won’t forget, got it on my to do list.  Only, I never once considered what we were be excoriated to remember.  I had black friends in a high school named for Robert E. Lee, the major commander of the southern forces.  I had more immediate things to ignore.

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So now the statues have been removed, some by work crews who had to disguise the company’s name and their own identities because the tempest over that removal was so hot.  And now all that’s left behind are the bases, or plinths, they rested on.  There is a much lower pitch struggle over how to deal with them.

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I say leave them, now as memorials to the struggle a lot of right-minded people fought over more than a century that their generals and statesmen graced them and that they were a constant source of irritation and pain to the descendents of the slaves those men fought and died to make sure remained slaves.

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Even with the monuments gone, no one is going to forget the Civil War or the guilt America bears for allowing some men to own other men in the first place.  Several of the plinths are very attractive in their own right and with the statues gone, all they are is sort of sad.  Leaving them standing empty is not some defiant, sore loser gesture against the fight to remove the shameful memorials but as a salute for a long, grinding fight that was finally won.

I’m proud of the people who fought that fight and congratulate them.  Maybe they should have a salute for all they did.  Maybe they should have a monument.

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Boop

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I’m only putting this up and pretending it’s a post because I have been such a laggard in posting anything. Plus it was banned! How scandalous. Plus, despite WordPress insisting on dating this as Nov. 1, I put it in on Halloween, so it’s timely.

Hot Dog!

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As an American person of America, a couple of times a year, I will be in the grocery store and suddenly decide I have to have a hotdog.  There I am, faced with packages of meat tubes.  Their excessively phallic nature immediately calls to my smutty hind brain which responds gleefully

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while my responsible conscious shrieks “No, no, stop that.  That is not what is in that wrapper.  All that is in there is some pink thing that has somehow managed to qualify as “Meat,”  and sodium by the bucket, chemicals I can’t even spell, and grief, sorrow and remorse.”  Somehow, the hot dogs wind up as dinner that very evening and now the grief, sorrow, remorse and heartburn have all kicked in.

What is it with these nasty skinlesss sausages?  Isn’t that phrase in itself enough to make one turn aside?  But I remember loving them as a stupid small child, and thus I need to be retaught, a few times annually, that they are to food as Miley Cyrus is to singing.  Anyway, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go knock back the traditional post-hot dog quaff: Alka Seltzer.

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Just to make me feel better.  Plop, plop.

Elder Care

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And so tomorrow I’m going to the doctor to discuss how both of my rotator cuffs have suddenly decided they want some of the attention my scoliotic bad back has been hogging for all these years and have abruptly started aching and restricting some range of motion, including no longer being able to point at the place on my back where the pain is centered. Who would have thought bones had a sense of irony? My joints have declared war on each other.

And Tom Petty died, Since 1981 when I stumbled across his album Damn the Torpedoes, he was always one of my favorites. He made his own music that I loved. I was so poor at the time, I cleaned houses for a semi-living, eatng my employers’ peanut butter and dancing to this album at full blast when I should have been vacuuuming. Some how David Bowie’s and Prince’s death failed to strike me the way this did. Just one more milestone to remind me I’m old. I mean, give me a small break, it’s not like I’m going to forget it.

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Gratuitous naked man who is, apparently, not old.

Skin Deep

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So, after cleaning up all the scrapes and scraps and cuts and bits that came from my fight with the garden, I tried to be extra conscientious about keeping it clean and sterilized and, of course, it took about a day and a half to get infected.  I wound up on antibiotics that I finished yesterday, yay, with only puking once.  Any prescription that ends in “…xin” is guaranteed to do a job on my delicate stomach.  So that’s over, I’m guzzling yogurt to replace all the flora and fauna that the meds killed off in my gut and things will be great very soon.

In the meantime, let us turn our attention to a much more appealing topic, the ever popular Muscle Pussy.  I always try to include some example of it in my posts because 1) it amuses me and 2) there is so much of it available now through the magic of the internet.  When I was a young poof, I could never have dreamed of a day when there was such a wealth of beefcake spread out before us.

Usually, I just paste up some taut skinned youth and don’t really discuss it, but today I have to protest this beauty’s tragic choice of body adornment, or “ink” as the youth of today would have it.

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Look at that flawless, smooth, clear, satiny skin, tagged with the stupidest array of strip mall tattoo parlor art I’ve ever seen.  It looks like he just wandered in between his shifts at the Olive Garden and had them slap on whatever they had time to finish before he had to get back to work.

Oddly enough, considering what an old codger I am, I don’t mind tattoos in general, but if you’re going to cover a lot of ground with them, there should be some idea or concept that pulls them together in a cohesive style.  You know this boy, on the other hand, doubtless has Bart Simpson in there somewhere.  “Molly.”  Really?  What happens when Molly decides she’s a lesbian after all and dumps you and your beautiful tits?  And “1994”?  I remember 1994, sort of, what about it?  I know, it’s probably when he was born, which makes having this much numbnuts stupid tats just that much worse.  I can’t get over how lovely his skin is.  It’s like he has no pores.  To cover any of it seems like a waste.

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Then we have this boy, with a much more discreet and attractive… something.  And I’m talking about the tattoo, by the way.  I don’t know, is it backwards?  So he can read it while he admires his big, fat man piece in the mirror?  Is it “This end up” in latin?  Who knows?  And leopard skin hair!  I haven’t seen leopard skin hair since I was a gay young thing.  And that was a long time ago.

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And this last boy just because I thought he was pretty and had such lovely eyes.

All these came courtesy of the fascinating tumblr site Sparticus 2000 .  I cannot recommend cruising around there enough.

Thug Garden

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Everyone who is even an occasional gardener knows that, inevitably, the garden fights back.  One goes into this with vague images of looking like Scarlet O’Hara surrounded by her delicately scented vale.  Then you run into the reality that the only scarlet is supplied by the bloody gash you have.

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Which of course brings us to yesterday.  My gardener, Z,  was here and we were standing in the middle of the yard discussing what is a weed and what is a fortuitous invader (the distinction can be difficult) when, all of a sudden, I was falling.  I assume I shifted my weight and the terrain, steep, rocky, and very uncertain of foot did the rest.  I have no real idea what started the whole thing; one minute I was upright, the next I was a small avalanche.

Anyway, once I fell I started to roll and bounce the rest of the way.  I came to rest wedged against a tree fern.  Never have I been so glad to see a tree fern.

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This is sort of how I landed, except a) it wasn’t on purpose and b) I certainly did not look that good.

Z was very concerned and helped me to my feet, which was no small task.  I was sort of between two beds and not terribly accessible, plus I was shaken.  And stirred.  In the words of Warren Zevon, the yard “really worked me over good … /Sort of like a Waring blender.”

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What a lovely garden accessory.

Fortunately, I was wearing long pants and along sleeved shirt, but I was still a bloody mess.  A collection of cuts and scratches and a couple of big-ish places where the top layer of skin was scraped back and all manner of garden debris shoved up under the remaining skin.  I was a mess.

Super Agent Fred was at hand, luckily, and able to help with the bandaging.  Fred is sort of living here now and I realized how nice it is to have someone beside the cat around during these crises.

Now, of course, the worse ache has dropped by. I woke up with the distinct impression that several Trolls had beaten me with their collection of hammers.  So I’m signing off now to go find the opiate and the valium and my bed.

Once again, the garden wins.

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Better even than Miss O’Hara

It’s the Weather

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I been trying to scrape up the energy to post something, but energy seems to be thin on the ground these days.  Mostly, it’s hot.  I know my readers everywhere but here have been dealing with the atmosphere turning into something like a slow roasting oven, but this is San Francisco!   We do not do hot weather.  It is an outrage.  Records all over the place being broken, with temperatures over 100, which is something in Celsius, who knows?  It is fucking hot, how’s that?

My house has no air conditioning, which is pretty much never a problem, except when it is.  Like now.  How I hate to climb into a bed with the sheets already warm.  And only a sad fan huffing hot air around like that helps.

Last night, in the middle of sweating and being grouchy, I suddenly smelled smoke.  Wildfires are all around us and smoke has been kind of a background scent for weeks, but this was, suddenly, much stronger and getting more pungent fast.  More neighbors and I gathered in the street in this vague sort of way, asking each other “Do you smell smoke?”  I think if I had announced “No, I do not” in a firm voice, everyone would have just said “Oh, great. Thanks” and wandered back home.  Instead, I said, I was calling the Fire Department.  There was a sense of great relief.  Turns out no one wants to be the one to deal with bureaucracy, but I worked for the government my whole career.  Bureaucracy is my home turf.

So I called and the emergency operator was incredibly chill.  Speaking with her was like tuning into the Mellow Jam Hour.  Eventually the firetrucks rolled in, one on each end of the street, cause apparently someone else called and one end of the my street is one fire station and the other end is another.  Fine with me, they were as cute as the cliché.  When you apply to be a firefighter, do you have to send in a headshot?

The tromped through my house, complimented me on both my decorating and my garden (this is so San Francisco) and poked around in the brush that fills the canyon behind me.  We all agreed, yes, you could smell the smoke (which made me feel better; at least I’m not crazy in that general direction,) the short cute one said “It doesn’t smell like   a brush fire, it’s too sweet.” “Like cedar” I said and he agreed with charming enthusiasm.  If it got any more gay cozy, we were all going to have to plan brunch.

 

 

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I swear, this is what showed up when I called 911 for the fire truck.  I may have to set a fire out back myself.

We went back out front and the  truck from the alien firehouse came down to chat with their fire man buddies (probably planning brunch) and eventually toddled on off.  The smoke faded, still with no cause, and the cat and I went back to watching porn.

The hot weather finally broke around dawn, but the huge fire down in Los Angeles has already made its way up here and is making my eyes burn and my sinuses dribble down my throat.  I’m slowly drowning in my own snot.

On to more weather news, but this without humpy firemen.  My father, my remaining brother, 5 of my nephews andneices and their nigh countless children, all still live in Houston, where a no-big-deal hurricane hit late last week and then stalled and dumped an astonishing flood.  More than 50 inches in one day.  San Francisco’s annual rainfall average is less than 24 inches.

My brother and I have been texting, him airily assuring me everything’s fine, which is what everyone in my family says right up to the point when they have to scramble out of the kitchen window to escape.  When I was in high school, the morning I was supposed to leave on our senior trip, our neighborhood was so flooded, my neighbor and classmate Stephanie and I were ferried out in a National Guard truck.  We made quite an entrance at school that day.  And then Stephanie and I went off to the beach for the weekend, leaving our mothers behind to cope.  But they were tough old Texas gals, didn’t bother them.  Probably glad to be rid of us, they spent the day drinking beer and watching to see if their houses were going to flood.  The houses didn’t, but they did run out of beer and so they talked the National Guard guys into giving them a ride to the liquor store.

Now that, motherfuckers, is Texas.

I Wish I had a Man Around the House

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The refrigerator started making an ominous thumping noise a few days ago like the bass line from the trailer for a bad science-fiction movie.  Two days later it was colder outside than in.  Our old plumber had died.  Thats how long we’e lived here, we have outlived our service guys, so I had to find a new one.  I had one in mind like this:

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The opening shot of sooooooooooooo many vids.

But he answered the phone with a dense Russian accent,  so I had to adjust my fantasy pipe layer to something more like this:

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Yu vant your pipe laid?

He came out and said the freezer drain and gotten plugged and turned the bottom of the freezer into an ice berg.  A thaw, an extra copper wire to heat the drainpipe more effectively. and a couple of hundred bucks.   Do I really have to mention he did not look like any of these Slavic dreamboats?  Amazingly, at least I didn’t have to buy a new refrigerator.

I love my house, but I hate taking care of it.  There is a constant sense that I should be doing more and since my daily schedule is rather relaxed.

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I suppose it’s not exactly The Impossible Dream.

So when my tub began draining slowly (and for a boy raised in the swamps to notice means the water is REALLY  leisurely on its exit,) I decided to fix it myself.  It helped my confidence that I had done this before.  The seal is actually a small bucket shaped thingy (wittily called “a bucket.”) that hangs from two brass rods that connect to the back of the plate that holds the little switch.

I got the bucket and wires, took the bathtub drain apart, with a great deal of assistance from the cat, and found out,  naturellement, I had gotten the wrong part.  It’s not the bucket, its the lever the bucker connects to. I hd simply allowed myself to be swayed by the dream that a plumbing device was called a bucket.  On the bright side, the wee little bucket is just the right size for the Barbie Doll Diorama I’m still planning on creating.

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