Aluminmania

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I mentioned once, in a long gone post, that I had a vast collection of the aluminum platters and and dishes and other hostess ware that was so very fashionable in the Fifties   when I was barely out of the egg.  At one point, thirty years ago or so, they were more than abundant in the thrift store circuit.  Junk stores were awash in them.  I was tired of pining over the cool mid century pieces I couldn’t afford when I went to a friend’s yard sale and bought my first two pieces.   I decided I would buy them whenever I rana cross them and they were less than $2.

Over the years, I stretched my budget al the way up to $5 and very rarely, something really spectacular, sprang for as wild as ten bucks.  Even with those parameters I managed to amass quite a pile.  And that’s exactly what it was: a pile.   Stacks and heaps and teetering columns in every corner I could find.  It was a testament to R Man’s love that he put up with it.

Finally, he announced I had to do something with all the various trays that had once been the pride of Bennie Lou Spitzer and other hostesses of the White Trash Nation.  Late one evening, I started out putting some up on the walls of out downstairs half bath.  By the time I finished  had this:

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Th effect was pretty spectacular.  Guests would emerge spluttering and wild-eyed.  One down side I had not expected was when some velcro would give way and the platter would crash to the floor with a terrifying kaboom.  Why this always happened about 3:00 AM we’ll never know.  I blame ghosts.

When I sold the house, the buyers asked what I was going to do with the collection.  I thought they wanted to buy and offered to sell it.  Turns out they just wanted to make sure I took it with me and didn’t leave it behind for them to deal with.  Pussies.

Well, deal with it I did, finally.  When I pulled it down from the bathroom, it wound up filling the car.  I rattled around with it as a passenger for a few days before I finally dragged it all up to the apartment.  It spent a few days sullenly taking up room.  I realized it would stay in al those bags and baskets forever unless I tackled it.

Step 1) Unpack it all so I could see what I was going to be dealing with:

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Step 2) Go find the Valium

Step3) Stick the motherfuckers up.  It turned out to be incredibly easy.  I used industrial strength adhesive velcro.  Bot of the outsides of the each velcro strip were adhesive.  Really, really adhesive.  You had better be damn sure where that stuff was going, cause otherwise, all you can do is learn to live with it.  But all it was stick the velcro to the back of the aluminum, mash it against the wall, repeat.  The most difficult part was pealing the film off the adhesive side.  My trick was to slide the blade of an Xacto knife under the film and then just peel away.  It’s also a very effective way to stab yourself in the thumb repeatedly.

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In the end, it wasn’t so bad, a couple of rather trying nights, or rather, very early mornings.  Once again, my energy, stamina and interest level are all at their peak right around 3:00 AM so it was a good thing all of this was essentially silent.  Peeling back the backing, screeching under my breath when I stabbed myself with the Xacto blade (Man, those things hurt,) and trying to keep Saki out of the peels.  Saki has an insatiable love of eating plastic and this particular kind of plastic has exactly the texture.  He’s like a junkie around it.

The downside is that since it is pave for the hall, there’s no way to get a photo of the whole thing.  You’l have to take my word for it, the effect is rather startling.  In a good way.

Also, our dear friend Mikey, a star of that filthy Chaturbate site has sent me a picture of him that he wants put up here so mrpeeenee readers can go be salacious, should you care to do so:

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mikeys address is chaturbate playwithme55

He’s very entertaining.

 

Back in the Culinary Saddle

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At one time I was a regular and good cook.  I made dinner most nights, whipped up dinner parties for our worthless friends, even shared kitchen duties with Diane von Austinburg, which is not easy for the poor victims who have tried to work with me.  But the saintly Diane is the only exception.  If it’s not her, get out of my fucking kitchen, I’m working.

After R man died I … withdrew from cooking.  It wasn’t anything planned, I just wasn’t interested any more and cooking for one person is so dull.  It was easier to live on cookies and sandwiches from the deli at the top of the canyon.  Anyway, some of  you may remember last March I came out of my cooking coma by whipping up a batch of custard.  It was such a success I followed with batch after batch.  Nothing quite like a prim little cup of custard when one is feeling peckish.

So now, Here I am in my new kitchen taking in out for test spin, so to speak.  Adjustments  like where do you line up the ingredients, and where is the stirring spot, and, most importantly it turns out, how does the oven feel like cooperating.  Hmmmmm.  I just hit the time in my old oven when, without fail, the custard was ready.   Here I opened the door to jiggle the pan and see if it had.  Nope.  Cups full of sloshy eggy juice.  Oh dear.

I had had such hopes; it seemed sort of like if the first batch came through, it must be a good omen.  I gave them another 7 minutes in there and just tried them again.  Still slopping around.  Plus Tom Petty’s “American Girl” is playing with it’s all too appropriate verse:

God it’s so painful
Something that’s so close
And still so far out of reach

Custard.  Still out of reach.

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And then followed by the Stones

Don’t make a grow man cry.

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Followed by Queen

We will rock you

Which may be a good sign? Maybe?  Custard has to set up.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

I sign off with Buffalo Springfield’s anthem to paranoia

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stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

And now I have completely lost any through line I might have had.

My Many Lives

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Does her Highness, the Queen of England pick her nose or is she walking around with 80 year old boogers?  These are things that come to me when I am not sleeping.

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It’s San Francisco, where a street car can just be hangin’

You may remember my casually mentioning in the last post that I was supposed to be getting the last of my furniture that they had been using to tart the old pace up.  They being the staging company who was charging me to use my own furniture to decorate my own home.  I have come to believe you need to simply embrace absurdity.  Is there any escape from it?

I had seen the house post staging, I admit, it looked better.  More modern, less shabby and stylish.  My realtor assured me what they were going for was “aspirational.”  I think they succeeded,  I looked at my own house with a vague idea that I wished I lived like that.

Anyway, that was when I noticed that the stager, who had pointed out a few specific pieces he was particularly struck by and asked if he might use them in the project.  I said sure; I was moving, what did I care?  It didn’t occur to me that he was talking about my favorite pieces of home wares and that I would be doing without them until the house sold.

The reality sank in as Super Agent Fred and I were arranging my new digs and I kept announcing “oh no, no. The ‘insert gilded mirror, console, skull and bones couch, whatever really cool item that I loved and which was still at the house, being cool there.’ ”   Consequently, each room has qa bare spot in it, reserved for whatever beauty was going to someday live there.

Well. someday, came today and it was just as chaotic and shrill as the first moving day.  My building management took exception to the moving truck blocking the driveway; another apartment was moving in simultaneously and there were a few polite, but tense exchanges about hogging the elevator; and at the end of the day, my apartment, which had settled into a charming and cozy and pretty little place to hang your head was once again stuffed with boxes and littered packing paper and mirrors and art leaning against the wall just waiting to stub my toe.  Ah me.

I made a half-hearted attempt at pushing things into piles that would possibly be considered, by the more generous minded, to make sense, but then I just said “Fuck it,” fed the cat (who adores the chaos of moving days,) and went out to my favorite restaurant for strawberry shortcake.  Because the big mess here at home will last; strawberries will not.

Tomorrow will be here soon enough.  In fact it’s tomorrow right now.  I have an engagement with “Big Louie” to come take the cedar chest that once belonged to my Great-aunt Lucille and which I have clung to and used with love since 1977 to my favorite niece, Lotus, who of all my brothers’  children is the only one with any sense and with a nice house.  The stager has also agreed with alacrity to take the beautiful, beautiful acrylic and glass coffee table which has to be one of the most gorgeous pieces of furniture I’ve ever had in my greedy clutches.  I have tried to fit it into every nook, cranny, triangle and unlikely position, up to and including the bathroom, but it simply will not fit.  So adieu, oh beloved.  Of course the stager agreed to take it, he got an erection just looking at it.  But so did I.   Oh, well.

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The lovely table, in situ , in New Orleans long ago

So I’m still content, just with a exciting and new project: redecorating the apartment I finished decorating last week.

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I need an assistant, a PERSONAL assistant, to handle all these taxing demands

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As the brilliant Julie Brown once said “Smart guys are nowhere, they make demands
Give me a moron with talented hands”

Contentment

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I am just reporting to say that I am happy.  Except for the very dark days following R Man’s death, I was never exactly unhappy, just sad without him and deeply settled into a most comfortable rut.  But selling the house and moving down into the Castro, gayest of gay neighborhoods, has certainly slung me out of the rut and I am better for it.

My old house was in this odd little elbow of San Francisco: a canyon almost rural with all its greenery and wildlife, but sort of suburban, all these Brady Bunch houses and living there only possible with a car.  Here, I am most definitely urban.  The main street of San Francisco roars past my front door and I walk everywhere.

My favorite coffee house is less than a block away and most of my favorite restaurants are within easy striking distance.  I will shortly have lived here for two months and have not cooked once.  Were it not for Super Agent Fred making tea, I would have no definite evidence the stove even works.  I was a good cook for decades and now I am not.  I like it.

And I love my odd little apartment.  It’s sort of a triangle with every room whatever that geometric shape is where there are no equal lines or angles.  It’s only about a quarter as big as my old house and I had to get rid of so much stuff, I thought I would be pining after it all.  Nope.  I managed to cling to my glockenspiel, what else do I need?

I’m settling in, which is an interesting phase, figuring out where things want to go and making other things work, especially rectangular carpets in pointy rooms.  Just yesterday  my beautiful blue and white rug got back from the cleaners and fits snugly in the extra room.  You cannot imagine the sense of relief after dark nights imagining composing for sale ads for it.

The sidewalks bustle with natives and tourists who obviously regard this as some kind of homogay Disneyland.  And cute, cute boys every where.  Ah me.

I’ve come to realize the big house was perfect for R Man and me.  We had room not to bump into each other, but we never lost track of the other either.  After his death, though, the place began to turn more and more into a husk for me.  A dead shell that I moved through without even noticing.  So I think this new phase of my life is a good thing. I’m happy and so are the cute, cute boys.  It’s a wonderful world.

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Exhibit A

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Lighting effects are SO important

I am supposed to be getting my furniture back from the old house and after I get it tucked in, I promise a photo extravaganza of my new place.

The Towering Tower

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My life, after the chaos of the past six weeks, has suddenly calmed down, which is nice, but it leaves me sort of twitchy. Maybe I have post- move PTSD.

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I spent the beautiful morning in bed with blankets taped over the windows because my curtains won’t be ready until next week and also that’s just how white trash I am.

When I finally dragged out of my home-made vampire’s lair, I discovered the most San Francisco lovely afternoon waiting for me. I am still revelling in the thrill of walking to all the places in the Castro I want, so I walked over to Peet’s both because I wanted coffee and just because I could.

Then I came home and tidied and hung art and rearranged the cat box. A sweet afternoon that wound up with me sitting on the floor of the living room watching the fog blow back and forth across the very Space Age-y Sutro Tower. Lovely.

Sutro Tower is the radio, television, microwave, cell phone broadcasting tower that looms over all of San Francisco and which we all ignore.  It’s this enormous tower that looks like something from an expensive sci-fi movie and none of us pay it the least mind.  It’s just there.

And now it’s the focus of my fabulous view.  I’ll try again to take pictures from my living room of it, but because the room is a triangle all

 

the windows face each other and all that glare means you get pictures of glare.

Anyway, the lovely, spacey Sutro Tower

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and some towering boys

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The Whirlwind Whirls On

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I think I sold my house. I have been in such a whirlwind of activity this last month, most of it much too physical for a genteel widow of my declining years, that the actual reason (selling the house for as many buckets of money as possible) kept fading from view. Over and over, I would just be in the midst of so many simultaneous crises that trying to keep them all from collapsing seemed to be the ultimate goal.

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Extra muscle pussy because it’s kind of a long post without much beefcake and so I decided to toss in a little extraneous This Season’s Fashion in Towels.  You’re welcome.

So today, when Wendy, my realtor, called with this offer and strongly urged me to go with it, I was sort of surprised. Oh. Right. Sell the house. It’s on my list.

And even though all this crazy, complicatedly synchronized knife juggling has been furiously paced (We’ve only been doing this for a little over a month) this REALLY seemed to have just appeared out of the thinnest of airs. Three open houses over four days. I am, most assuredly, not complaining. I am just sort of stunned. I never even had time to bury a statue of Saint Joseph upside down in the backyard.  For those of you trying to pass off your dog of a house to some unsuspecting sucker, the fabulously straight forward named Discount Catholic Products, for all them Discount Catholics, offers a whole Saint Joseph kit to help you slip that troublesome radiation leak in the basement past your potential buyers.  I was going to include a link, but the URL was so long and looked so very much like some Ukranian scam, I decided to spare all of you its potential bad juju.

Of course, there’s many a slip etc., etc., etc., but at least it’s in the cup and headed in the general direction of my lips. I am concentrating on thinking positive thoughts.  Those of you still capable of thinking, please join me.

Oh, Saint Jospeh, pray for us sinners now and at the moment of closing.

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Kneeling at the altar.  Haven’t we all been there?  Saint Joseph is also the patron of Families, so when you fervently, but silently, ask “Get Aunt Winnie and the girl from accounting she wants to set me up with off my back,” you are praying to St. Joseph.  Bless.

Cliff Hangers

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I was putting together this bunch of boxes on wheels to store the porn that I kept from the vast purge last month.  The boxes required assembly of course.  God forbid you should buy a piece of furniture that is ready to be used.  Actually, this construction was really easy and straight forward and, best of all, required American tools like screwdrivers instead of those wonky allen wrenches which are never the right size for any subsequent use.

The first box took like 15 minutes to master, and after that, I finished the next three in about the same amount of time total.  It’s just figuring the diagram out, after that you can just zip through.

Anyway, here they are;

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Have you ever seen such tidy smut?  And each little box comes with a chalk board on the front to notate its contents.  I’m thinking “Smut” “Porn” “Filth” and “Spank Bank.”  Oh, and they’re on little wheels so you can easily access the oeuvre of Al Parker

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I’m always impressed with myself whenever I am accomplish some minor feat of handy-man-ism because it’s so very far out of my usual abilities.  I like arranging furniture; I want someone else to put it together before I have to deal with it.

I’ve also been contemplating how very many, many disasters averted at the very last second the last month of moving out of my old house and into this new one has provided.  I am not going to try and list them, there are simply too many for my fragile psyche to handle, but as one example, let me mention how I had to stop off at U-Haul on the way from one task teetering on the brink of absolute failure to another in order to rent a hand truck for yet another looming disaster.  Were it not for the support of friends like The Children, Super Agent Fred, and, of course, Diane von Austinburg, I would be weeping in a sordid bar as all my earthly possessions wound their way to the landfill and gypsies occupied my former home.

Speaking of which, if you would like a “virtual tour” of what the old place looks like now that its been at the spa for a month, do visit canyon garden

Also, naked guys

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I want to Break Free

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Having, more or less, survived our brush with garage sale greatness, the fucking garage was still not empty, which had been the actual goal.  The cash was a nice extra, but I was supposed to deliver a cleaned out garage for my snooty real estate company, which wanted to roll out a premier, hmmmmm, oh, you know something like, I don’t know, uhm, TODAY.

So yesterday I put an ad on Craigslist, the Press of the Great Unwashed, that announced “Garage Full of Stuff Free.” the ad itself ran:

“I’m moving out and need get rid of several chairs, a nice square dining table or game table, an old timey tv cabinet, a 6 foot long coffee table, a fancy chinoiserie chest, an antique Asian cabinet and a mahogany sideboard. Also two matching 7 foot tall bookcases, and two matching 30 inch tall bookcases.

I will be at the house from 11:00 to 1:00 and 3:00 to 5:00. The address is 47 Malta Drive off O’Shaughnessy.

Do not email and ask about specific pieces. By the time I reply and you see the answer it could be gone.

Look, I’m giving away free furniture. The least you can do is come look.”

I also stuck in some photos cause that’s what attracts the rubes.

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The star of the show

Naturally everyone emailed me anyway demanding the red chest, although the mahogany sideboard was pretty popular too.  I replied along the lines of “I’m not promising any piece to anyone.  You just have to come see if it’s available. And by the way, I said Don’t. Email. Me.”  That REALLY drove them crazy.

And then, just as I was walking out the door to go over and start the Great Giveaway, Comcast finally called me back and said “I can be there in 15 minutes and give you the internet connection you’ve been whining about.”  Well, hello?  What would you have gone with?  Furthering the dreams of loser hoarders or getting back online.  Of course I said yes, and figured, they can’t start till I get there and unlock the doors.

Beyond any deserved good luck, my realtor’s assistant was at the house and agreed to throw open the gates at the assigned time in my place.  By the time an hour later when I got there, there was nothing left but shattered bits and pieces and possibly blood. Andrew, who is sweet and demure said the scene was quite something.  A line down the block, people bringing huge tucks, snarling old ladies.  When he did let them in, he said it was a mad scramble and every one of them demanding the red Chinese chest, little knowing that Andrew’s girlfriend had already seen it and wanted it too.  Andrew, being a bright lad, knew which side his bread was buttered on, or his dick greased on anyway, stood fast against the hoards and in the end delivered the chest to his lady love.  It’s so romantical.

So all I did was sort of half ass sweep up the fragments and tell late comers to just keep moving.  What amazes me is that of all the things grabbed and yanked, no one took the two large matching book cases.  I know people don’t read anymore, but don’t they put things away?  Apparently not.  Goths at the gates, darlings, goths at the gate.

Anyway, if you want to see the house all tarted up, go here mrpeenee, staged

I still want the video with the aerial drone and they keep promising it to me, but it’s more like trying to calm some tantrum loving snot in the middle of a parking lot shrieking and kicking.

here’s some naked guy, just in case:

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I picked him cause I have painted one wall in my new apartment that same turquoise.   It’s very cheery.

 

4 Sale

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Part of selling my house was the need to unload about a metric ton of crap onto some unsuspecting suckers, which is the underlying reason for all yard sale, and so, last weekend I presented mrpeenee’s Yard Sale and Unwanted Crap Event.  Since I have moved into an apartment about a quarter as big as my old house, there was plenty of merchandise on hand.

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mrpeenee and Diane steering the SS Yardsale.  On a three hour cruise.

The always charming and incredibly patient Diane von Austinburg came out just to help. I had initially lured her into the con with the promise that we would be lolling about an estate sale run by some estate sale professional, which is honestly how I envisioned it.  Too late, I discovered all the estate sale people wanted, or rather demanded, all the furniture and household goods be in the house, undisturbed, so that people could prowl through my house under the pretext of buying second hand dishes when what they really wanted was to to look through my underwear drawer.   When I explained I had already moved out and all the leftover goods were down in the garage, they sniffed and said “no thank you”and so suddenly Diane and I were running our own Garage Sale.

A daunting task, but one we got through mostly because of Diane’s calm, good sense and in part, my finely honed ability to tell customers who got on my nerves to fuck off.

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Stuff.  Lots of stuff,

Diane and I spent the day before the sale trying to get the mounds of crap into some sort of order.  We arrived a half hour after we had advertised the starting time (it’s my sale and I’ll start it when I want to) only to find that some guys were refinishing the floors (LOUDLY.  MOTHERFUCKINGLOUDLY)and had shoved all the furniture we had left upstairs into the garage.  This lead to an exciting phase of the sale where we were trying to drag stuff out onto the sidewalk and make enough room in the garage for people to actually see what was for sale all the while customers were wandering around.

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mrpeenee. lord of all he surveys, and a picture of calm restraint.  And if you don’t like it, go find another fucking yard sale.

We discovered there are lonely people, sad, pathetic lonely people who come to these sales and try to chat up the sellers who are trying to convince actual paying punters that they wanted a decade old phone.  The lonely people buy nothing and take up an inordinate amount of time and attention.  Should you ever find yourself in charge of one of these events, feel free to tell the sad and lonely pathetics to fuck off.  I did and it helped relieve the stress immensely.

So, Super Agent Fred and our friend Jen helped.  We started out with several real deals, twenty bucks here, fifty there, and the pleasure of  pronouncing the cost of knick knacks that Diane had dragged home from some thrift store or the other was heady.

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Super Agent Fred keepin’ it real on the sidewalk

The second day, our other friends John and Dan dropped by with lunch and wine and the wine led to several rather odd bargains towards the end, but by then things were kind of unraveling anyway.  Some very shy and sweet Asian boy dropped in and I tried to force him to take (FOR FREE) this set of Limoges china plates.  I explained to him he could turn around and sell them on Ebay for serious coin, but he just seemed terrified of me.  I admit, I was rather strident, but for chirst’s sakes, how often does a stranger offer you expensive fine china and explain how you can make money off it and all you can do is giggle and demure.  I told him he was an idiot and that he had to leave.  That’s about when we decided to wrap up the sale and scram.

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Ali Baba’s Cavern ain’t got nothing on me baby

All in all, I made a sizable wad of cash.  I counted it multiple times and came up with a different amount each time.  I think it was about $1,200.  There is still a largish pile of furniture and lamps and china and just crap in general that I’m donating to a thrift store that benefits AIDS patients.

In conclusion, I admit to being tyrannical and loud, but somebody had to be.   Overall it was exhausting, but if it wasn’t for my sweet, sweet friends, I would have once again been totally sunk.  So yay for my sweet, sweet friends and yay for that kind of cute guy who took the ugly, beat up rug that I thought I would never be rid of in this lifetime.

The main thing is that it was one final step in severing my ties with my beloved home which is being tarted up even as I type this and will be on the market soon.

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Unfortunately, this guy had nothing to do with the sale,  I just wanted to put him in here.

I Feel Moved

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So at long last , after a series of crises that would have knocked the shit out of Job, I have triumphed and am not only living in my lovely mew apartment, but have just finished the long anticipated last haul.  Considering I started this process on April 5th (my birthday, sweetly enough.)  I don’t think I have ever been so physically exhausted and at one point during what turned from moving from simple relocation into some kind of  Death March, Super Agent Fred confided to our friend he had never seen me so stressed out.  And this is a friend who saw me through the dark days of R Man’s dying and death.

It was bad and one day I will recount the horrors.  let this stand as a symbol: yesterday (I think it was yesterday, it’s all a blur) I was stuck in very slow bumper to bumper traffic on an of ramp and briefly just dozed off.  I was awakened by the thud of my bumper hitting a very nice young woman who has since texted me and said there was no harm, so don’t worry about it.  I did not reveal to her that as son as I realized I had hit her, all I felt was a mild annoyance.  “Oh christ, not one more thing” was pretty much my whole summation of the event.

So anyway, here’s a picture of my new apartment with me,more or less conscious.

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I’m flying.  You need to imagine it without the cast collection of lampshades.

I’m sorry, I will write more soon, but I am beyond exhaustion. I am running on nothing but frazzled nerves at this point.  Look for scintillating insights and random punctuation soon.  Very soon.

Also, a naked youth

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