I was huddled in my bed feeling like an idiot, which is not unusual. The day after I posted my triumphant cry that Spring had sprung upon San Francisco, a storm front blew in, the skies opened and it’s been cold and rainy ever since. True, that is spring weather, but it wasn’t the spring weather I had been so very smug about.
As usual, when I’m not happy, I got up to go eat. Something. Anything. I remembered that I had roasted a bunch of baby carrots just because I wanted some roast carrots and there were still quite a few left. As the carrots were whirling around in the mircrowave, I also decided I would make custard. My cooking decisions are almost always based on “What do I have and what can I do with it?” In this case, eggs, half & half, sugar, vanilla and salt pointed towards custard. The fact that I was longing for some sweet blandness didn’t hurt.
Nothing is easier to cook than custard. The most technical part is breaking an egg. If you can do that, the rest is just measure and stir. It is in the oven right now, in its bain marie, which is a fancy name for a pan half full of hot water, almost finished.
While it was baking, the carrots were ready, but I realized I wanted some carbs with it. Bread, tortillas, left over scones, I wasn’t being picky. I had just bought a loaf of this wonderful cinnamon bread I love. Sort of sweet and rich, it’s very similar to challah. Its only downside is that it comes as a whole loaf, unsliced. Instead of just slicing off the end bit and calling it a day, I decided to slice the entire thing to make giving into temptation in the future just that much easier.
Amazing how very tasty the carrots and the cinnamon bread were together. An unplanned triumph. A serendipitous snack, and isn’t that really the best kind.
The timer for the custard just went off. I know you’re supposed to test if they’re done enough with a silver blade stuck in the middle to see if it comes out clean. But I have no silver blades. Get real, this is not Downton Abbey. Silver is terrible metal for knife blades, It’s soft and so it dulls faster than you can eat. I just gently shake the pan to see how much the custard quivers. You want it past the jiggly stage, but not firm, because it will continue to cook as it cools.
OK, so, carrots, heated and eaten, bread sliced and also eaten, combination: a radiant stroke of genius, the kitchen cleaned, the custard cooling and just quivery enough.
I realize all this kitchen madness is not terribly worth a post, it’s just that all of it took place between 3:00 AM and 3:45 AM. It is pitch black outside, no one else is stirring, even the raccoons have gone to bed, but here I am at my peak. This is when I am the most energetic (not saying much) and clear headed. Some people are made for the night and that’s me.
It wasn’t until I retired and the shackles of employment released me that I found out I am an owl. All those years waking up to go to work just when I was most ready to doze off, how wrong they all were.
I’ll go take my meds and get in bed; not to go to sleep, but because that’s my favorite place to read. So I’ll be reading and struggling with the cat over who gets the best bed position, a fight I lose every night, and along about dawn, I’ll doze off.
It’s a perfect world. At last.
All these lovely specimen are courtesy of the stunningly well curated blog For the Love of NudeMuscleMen I borrowed them without permission and I hope they do not mind my poaching because I really do think whoever is picking the art for the collection has an impeccable eye.
We interrupt mrpeenee as we do just about every year around this time to announce the Spring has arrived in San Francisco. Each year we try to make the announcement with a cheery demeanor that manages to hide our smugness and each year, we fail. Nyah, nyah, nyah, snowbound motherfuckers. There are justifiable reasons why it costs so goddam much to live here:
armies of cute boys,
and a springtime that is what poets fumble around trying to describe.
The cherry trees (and flowering plum trees, I can’t tell them apart) are the first outliers of the season and I shot these in two blocks of 18th Street. Multiply that times the whole city and you get an idea of what I’m smug about.
One great disappointment was this tiny cottage which has been a source of delight for years. Since we first got here, the house was painted a soft pink and a medium sort of burgundy. It was a fine color combination, no big deal, until the cherry trees in front of it bloomed and they were the exact same colors as the house. It was amazing. As a house owner and a gardener, matching the two seems like such an appealing idea, but I know how hard it would be to pull off. Getting an exact shade of paint is almost impossible, getting TWO is a miracle.
And now, some idiot, who probably bough the house when the trees were out of flower, has painted it brown. Just brown. Too add salt to the wound, one of the two trees appears to be dead. Possibly out of color-related grief.
Also a shame is that for some reason, Asian magnolias, which were also a harbinger of springtime and which were very common around town, seem to have sort of vanished, This time of year, almost every block seemed to have one or two and now I don’t see them anywhere. Golden Gate Park had a huge collection of them, including some from the Himalayas that were 50 feet tall. The Arboretum, which housed most of them, moves things around a lot, to keep it fresh, a few years ago dug up a grove of them. Mistake. The grove was an example of how many varieties of them there are and I always thought it was charming in spring, the big pink and purple and white blooms on the bare branches; just lovely.
Still, I need to go out to the park. Even a shut in can appreciate the beauties of spring.
The always illuminating blog Cafe Muscato has a charming President Day celebratory theme. Which was handy since I had no idea today was President’s Day. Since retiring, keeping track of holidays is sort of moot. If you don’t work, everyday’s a holiday! Besides Muscato is located in Washington, where the day is more of big deal than anywhere else. I’m sure most Americans know it mainly as the Mattress Sale holiday and how did that wind up together anyway?
The “tune” included in Muscato’s post reminded me how littered with blanks my ability to name presidents is. I’m OK for about the first five. OK, four. but after that, things sort of dribble out. I know there were two Adams, two Roosevelts and two Bushes (which, let’s face it. were two too many) and Millard Fillmore. San Francisco has an overabundance of streets named after mediocre presidents, including Fillmore, and the Fillmore, famous nightclub shrine of 60s Rock ‘n Roll, takes its name simply from its location, so that’s how Millard Fillmore is related to the Jefferson Airplane.
More interesting than presidents who ran on the Know Nothing Party (and thank you for THAT trend) let us turn instead to over-photoshopped beauties, a trend I mostly run across when shopping around for illustrations for this blog.
Do we think this guy looks like this in real life? Is it possible some creature resembling this walks into Starbucks and orders lattes? How could chaos not break out? There’s that Uncanny Valley thing, which wikipedia explains better than I do, to wit:
The concept of the uncanny valley suggests that humanoid objects which appear almost, but not exactly, like real human beings elicit uncanny, or strangely familiar, feelings of eeriness and revulsion in observers.
Revulsion may not be the feeling this youth stirs, but he doesn’t exactly look human either. I mean, I wouldn’t mind a few hours in a romantic setting with him, but still, that utter perfection looks like it owes more to Mattel than to good genes.
Also part of the photoshopping madness we have the “Just keep hitting the enlarge button”
Nobody loves a great big whopper better than I, but there comes a point when we’re back in the Uncanny part of town. I’m OK with a “touchup” let’s say, something that’s in the way of wishful thinking. But honey this, this reaches structurally impossible.
I went for an MRI late this afternoon. This was not one of those “I don’t have anything better to do, maybe I’ll go in for an unpleasant medical experience” things. Having gone to my back doctor for more than a year, I think he realized I was not just going to go away and so he ordered one to have a little look see at what is actually going on inside my back. Why am I whining all the time, in other words.
Sweet pancakes of mine, I had always heard how LOUD an MRI is, but was unprepared for the reality of it. It is stick your head in a jet engine loud. I am of the generation that shared in the hearing damage of serious rock shows and none of them were this loud. And that was with earplugs and these sound deadening blocks on my ears. “Sound deadening.” It is to laugh.
They shoved me into a tiny tube after repeatedly asking if I was claustrophobic. How I wish I said yes, maybe they would have given me drugs. mrpeenee’s new Rule Number 1: Always demand drugs when in a hospital. Even if you’re just visiting some patient. Then the racket cranked up.
I remembered reading about some christian who chanted “Christ’s mercy” as he was being martyred (and these pagan guys in charge of martyring were terribly inventive. Saints are depicted usually with some reference to how they met their grisly fate; Saint Lucy with her eyeballs on a plate, Saint Agatha with her titties on another plate, Saint Lawrence, who was grilled and toasted alive, is shown holding a griddle, which usually looks sort of like a waffle maker. In the Sistine Chapel, Jesus is getting up from his chair and turning away from all the damned with this air of “I am through with you. Later bitches.” and all the saints form a sort of scrimmage line between him and the out of luck souls trying to scramble out of hell. But Lucy, Agatha and Lawrence, ready to tackle them and still holding those damn plates and griddle, give it the air of very odd buffet. Christians. So weird.)
Anyway, I tried mentally chanting “Christ’s mercy”, but it didn’t seem to do much, possibly because I am a heathen, so I switched it up to “RuPaul’s mercy, RuPaul’s mercy.” That didn’t do much either. I just gave up and started hoping I would begin hallucinating soon.
They finally dragged me out. The tech cheerfully said “Well, that was a long one, but we got some great pictures!” I was literally staggering and limping from being cramped and not moving for 45 minutes, but it was after 6:00, these guys were ready to get out of work, so they kept announcing that I just had to go through the double doors. They had the air of a bartender shoving the last drunks out the room.
I didn’t care. I was so glad it was over, I would have crawled out if I’d had to. So now I’m home eating Oxycodone and ice cream in about equal measure. But we got some great pictures! Maybe I’ll get some wallet size ones.
So Saki has the tiniest little substance abuse, or just substance great fondness. Cat nip, of course. The heartbreak of so many happy homes. I keep most of his toys in a charming wicker basket in the living room. Every other Monday, the cleaning ladies gather up all the toys that have escaped and put them back in the toy box; I expect this is accompanied by a disapproving sniff. I’m only surprise they don’t drop in a pamphlet about Jesus is The Light.
Recently I brought one of the catnip snakes up to my room so when those rare moments of consciousness pass by I can play with Saki, poor little neglected waif. Now in the wee-est of hours, I will hear, somewhere out in the dark, Saki licking and sucking and grunting and making Nip Love to the Nip Snake.
I have my own substance problems. Using them isn’t the problem; laying hands on them is. Last summer, my pain doctor started on a quest to find something to replace vicodin in my daily life. He emphasized it was because along with vicodin comes ibuprofin or aceteminfin. neither of which are good for your liver. This has nothing to do with Congress’s sudden feverish attack on opioids. Oh no. Thus began the Summer of Annoying Drugs. Some made me sick, some made me crazy (literally. The Children and Super Agent Fred developed this worried look about me) and then I found Opana. I’ve spoken about this before; just as I got used to it working really well and being a great help, the FDA pressured its manufacturer into removing it from the market.
The press pointedly said the drug they were removing was Opnana Extended Release. I was taking Opana Immediate Release. Patience is not one of my many virtues. I asked both doctor and pharmacist if that made a difference. Nope. It’s gone. And so I wound up on Oxycodone, which I have long resisted since it is so trailer park trashy and you know what a Lady I am, especially about those things I put in my body. Which is a temple. And possibly a bowling alley.
Then yesterday at my monthly doctor visit, the good doctor said “You know, I’ve been thinking, the only thing the reports said they were removing was Opana ER, so I started wondering if maybe Opana IR is still out there, so I checked and it is. Why don’t we get you back on that?”
Thank god for years of government work which has left me immune to fatheads. I did not shriek about how that’s what I said in October. I simply agreed, oh what a clever idea, aren’t you a good boy.
So now I’m back on Opana. My back and I are so very glad. Of course, it comes in big ass pills, that I cut in half and then take every three hours, so I’m pretty much on a steady, higher plane. OK with me.
And Saki is all nipped up, so everybody is happy. Until our next crisis.
I had a day of errands yesterday, tedious, but necessary. Since the first item on the to-do list was dropping the car off for its checkup, said errands had to be done on foot and the always charming subway. At least, the transit people here claim it’s a subway; I think of it more as a very large petri dish growing ever more exotic contagions just waiting for me.
The weather was pissing. I have lived here for 30 years and still do not have a decent rain coat. Every winter, comes the rains and I am surprised once again. I have this windbreaker kind of vinyl thing that I think of as my rain coat, but it’s really more of a fog coat. Anytime the ambient water precipitates into more than the picturesque fog we’re famous for, the jacket immediately surrenders and I find myself wearing what is pretty much a wet garbage bag. I have finally ordered a real rain coat. I expect it to get here about the time the drought returns.
One of the few pluses to our adventures in soggy land, was that my path went past the old James Lick Baths. These were originally a Victorian era bathhouse where gentlemen could go for their monthly bath. I don’t think there were regular shenanigans, although, men naked together, how far off could shenanigans be? It now houses some fancy schmancy architecture firm, I think.
What charms me is that San Francisco in the late 1970s had an abundance of the kind of bathhouses run specifically for shenanigans and nothing else. R Man lived here then and had wildly sordid tales of the establishments, One specialized in fisting. its signage nothing but a drawing of a muscular arm with a stripe ominously far up it. One had the cab of a tractor-trailer truck where you could live out your trucker daddy fantasies. The tubs R Man was fondest of wound up being the Episcopal Sanctuary and Hospice for AIDS Victims. Of course, AIDS is what did in all those louche sex palaces.
Of course the tragedy of the plague is very clear to me. and the loss of all these naughty redoubts is just a small footnote along the way. But oh, how wonderful it would have been had some enterprising homo gotten the James Lick Baths and re-opened them as a fuck and suck under its original name.
O little lamby eyed children, I meant to post something about the start of Carnival on its actual start date which was Jan 6, but somehow a week has snuck past. It happens.
So Happy Carnival. Carnival is the season that leads up to Lent and which finishes with Mardi Gras. The general idea I was always fed was that it was a chance to get all the wildness out before Lent, a season when you’re supposed to be all pious and godly and pruny faced and give up shit in order to show your neighbors what a good christian you are. In reality I assume it’s simply one of those pagan holidays the Church gobbled up to get the pagans in the pews. Surely, at this time of the year, after you’ve been snowed into some hut with a bunch of other stinky vikings, all of whom eat far too much cabbage, you are ready to cut loose and so here we are with some patched together holiday.
I moved to New Orleans in 1980 specifically so that I could live there during Mardi Gras. I had come to visit during Fat Tuesdays in college and had such a good time, basing my life on the idea of being in town when the holiday hit seemed like a brilliant idea. And it was.
I had no idea before I got there that there was an entire season of parties and parades and shenanigans that led up to the actual day of Mardi Gras, but once I found out about Carnival I plunged in with wild enthusiasm. There is, or was, an air of giddy good times al over New Orleans during Carnival. Any fuck up is shrugged off with an air of helplessness and the statement “It’s Carnival.” Of course the street is suddenly closed because of a parade. It’s Carnival. Of course you can’t get into your favorite restaurant because it’s closed for a party where people wear paper plates on their faces. It’s Carnival. Of course some former trick shows up at your doorstep and wants to spend the weekend. It’s Carnival.
And that was the real thrill of the season for me: a substantial uptick in the amount of sex to be had, and I was already busy with a considerable quantity of boy pussy even without the whole “It’s Carnival” bit added in.
When I lived there. I can remember 4 bars, just in the French Quarter, that housed back rooms devoted to anonymous, but high quality, sex. I would strike out late in the evening confidant I would spend the next four or five hours getting blow jobs and butt fucking strangers and thought nothing of it. It didn’t seem louche or strange or sordid. It was Carnival.
On one fine Mardi Gras afternoon, I fought my way through the crowd up to the balcony around a bar called Lafittes in Exile. There was a wall of men hanging over the railing which provided a shield for me to get down on my knees and go to town on this cute, cute boy’s wiener. I had only really got rolling when an employee tapped me on the shoulder, not to berate me, but to ask that I take it inside. I was annoyed. I found out later from friends who worked there, it was simply a duty that got handed out to patrol the balcony and stop nasty business from getting out of hand. The job was called Cock Cop.
I don’t know why they bothered, it was never that uncommon to run across a couple of guys engaged in sodomy in some doorway. Ah, l’amour.
Of course all that’s done and gone and I feel sorry for the queers of today who missed it. But, oh whatever Saint blessed me with the idiotic idea to come live in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, my most sincere thanks.
That’s what Mary said after she finally popped the biscuit out of the oven. Little did she know.
I had a lovely christmas, thanks. Secret Agent Fred was over at his abusive boyfriend’s place (which is actually Fred’s place, but when the boyfriend becomes too abusive, Fred comes over here to hide. Life is so complicated.) So it was just me and Saki and some banana pudding and some left over home made chicken pot pie (beyond delicious) and some fudge, also home made, and some oxycontin. Saki would stand on my chest screaming that it was time to feed him, I would stumble downstairs, scrape out the cat food, eat a piece of fudge and fall back in bed. Fabulous.
As is this mid-century Norman Rockwell knockoff.
You know those two gentlemen on the end of the couch are planning sodomy once they’ve fed their wives enough Manhattans, those teens by the clock are tripping like a thousand screamin monkeys and think they’re talking to Chrissie Hynde and the old farts in the kitchen are chained to the stove after last years’ “incident.” Happy Holidays bitches.
Speaking of planning sodomy, here:
I have mentioned before that I am not good about remembering anniversaries. I am, for instance, the only person in America who does not know what date Christmas is. I look it up each year, people tell me in an exasperated manner, and a tsunami of advertising has been created to remind me, but I still have only the vaguest idea it is the 24th or the 25th of December. I’ve got it that it’s this coming Monday, but I’m not sure what date Monday is.
Let us move on from mrpeenee’s little learning disability back to the subject of anniversaries. I wanted to mention while it’s still 2017 that this is (or was) Saki’s 10th birthday (back in July.) Happy burfday little man. He looks annoyed.
It is also the tenth anniversary of this blog. Whoo hoo! I know I have, of late, rather ignored it, but it’s still quite dear to my bitter old heart. It has led me to virtual friendships with many of the readers, the few that stick it out, and acts as a kind of diary for me. When I need to remember the date I was married, I look it up here. I suppose the death of net neutrality will lead to something like a dollar to publish it and 10 cents to read it, which will be the death of mrpeenee cause even I will not cough up a dime for this gibberish.
And this is the year my house turns 50 years old. I think it looks quite dapper for half a century. Certainly better than I did at 50. There’s no particular midcentury stylishness about it. It’s a two story box, essentially, with one long room across the front and another long one across the back and the kitchen and stairs in between. Upstairs, there’s a bedroom in each corner with a bathroom in between. It suits me quite well, I like the unfussy simplicity of the floor plan.
To celebrate, some nekkid guys: