Category Archives: san francisco

Muscatoed

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le Muscato.  Artist’s impression

Those few of you among us with their memories still intact might recall that that blogger among bloggers, Muscato from over at Cafe Muscato, blew into San Francisco for some business meeting inflicted by his employers, Golden Handcuffs, earlier this summer.  We enjoyed a couple of quiet evenings together, but never got around to the thrilling San Francisco touring I had promised.

So when the old darling announced he would be back, I was determined to make up for my lackluster show last time.  Sadly, the results were only so-so once again.  This time, my lazy ass laziness was not entirely to be blamed.  The weather was, unusual for the Bay Area, not co-operative.   With more than a week and a half of heavy rains and dank the local scene would would fit in perfectly for the East Coast he was attempting to escape.

Still, we had a charming lunch at Neiman’s.  Muscato allowed how he had never crossed their sacred threshold, so I was delighted to introduce him to one of the grande dames of shopping.  In the Texas of my youth, Neiman’s defined a certain type of quietly stylish and extremely well-heeled Ladies.  These sad times have marked a slide in how much of the 1 Percent still hang their heads there, but the proportion of Good Hand Bags was encouraging.

The Bacchanal was rather subdued.  Neither of us drink much now and Muscato (as perhaps you recall) had a couple of serious heart ailments recently-ish and is being very, very good about sticking with his diet, virtue which can cut into a real Ladies Who Lunch kind of repast.

I am so impressed with Muscato’s determination to stick with his diet.  I know I couldn’t make it past the patisserie around the corner from his office.  There would Dr. Mark be, explaining the evils of carbohydrates while I would be wondering if I could get to the bakery before they ran out of the squishy red berry compote.

Then we rolled out to the far edge of town to a park that was large fort and barracks since the city was founded in the late 18th century.  Now it’s an odd, but lovely chunk of greenery in this very urban corner and includes the very site where Kim Novak throws herself into the Bay in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo.  The mention of that bit of history had Muscato ready to go like a terrier at a rat.

How disappointing then, that the storm that had been stomping us all week had also brought down a couple of truly enormous eucalyptus trees across the one narrow road that goes out to our destination (technically, it’s Fort Point, but it has such Vertigo induced fame, they really should give up and just call it Point Kim.)

Clouds blew back in by then and had a somber stroll through the AIDS memorial grove, a charming site, but more than a little sad for those of us of a certain age.

and speaking of our certain age, Muscato mentioned how attractive a nap sounded about then an I agreed with an alacrity which might have been the teeniest bit over enthusiastic, but it did sound good.

So Muscato will  be here through the weekend; we plan dinner Friday night when Mr.Muscato will be here and I’ll have a chance to meet him.  I’m terribly excited.   I might not have mentioned to Muscato my history of making up lurid stories about friends when coming across their partners for the first time, I’m sure we’ll find out.

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Of Course, what would an afternoon with a couple of old queens be without an ongoing appraisal of the youth passing by.  Muscato tends towards these dark, pirate-y type.

 

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While we all know my heart belongs to the more luscious, debaseable type.

Bloody Moon

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And you know what else?  Living in San Francisco means not only that we’re the center of the disaster movie universe, but also that the tattered remains of the hippie era refuse to die here.  Proof?  Sunday evening was both a Super Moon (a full moon with “the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, resulting in the largest apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from Earth,” thank you Wikipedia, and a term I never remember running into until recently and now which seems to turn up as regularly as a Dame Edith Farewell Tour) and a full lunar eclipse, a so-called “Blood Moon” because of the red color it takes on.  Naturally all the hippie-wiccan-Burning Man types and others who don’t keep their pubes trimmed were wild for the prospect.

This being San Francisco, the fog blew in right at sunset and obscured the whole thing.  All the pagans were terribly disappointed, poor dears.  It’s just as well, I had planned on sacrificing a goat, but they were all sold out and Saki absolutely refused to cooperate.  I had hoped that the ceremony might help unload my house in New Orleans which STILL has not sold.

What is wrong with these fatheads?  It’s a great house and I’m throwing in all of my exquisite taste that I lavished on the dump for free.  I don’t know, I suppose it’s just bad moon ju-ju.

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Goats. Never around when you need them.

Cinematic Outrage

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My dears, I return after far too long away to report on the movie San Andreas, a film that features the destruction (again) of California (mostly San Francisco) and Dwayne Johnson’s titty muscles in about equal parts.  Mr. Johnson’s chesticles are well worth spending the time with and the earthquake/tsunami destruction is most charming, although whenever the “actors” slowed down to deliver the “dialogue,” things really hit a rough patch.  The sight of Johnson effortlessly boating about in a debris flooded financial district was worth the price of admission all by itself.

Equally amusing was the lighthearted attitude the movie makers took towards San Francisco geography.  Characters start out on one side of downtown, emerge seconds later clear on the other side of town and then announce they have to go to Chinatown to casually loot an electronics store because, I don’t know, there weren’t any downtown?  I’ll never know why because they then decide to take a walking tour of the most inaccessible hills around here, part of which included a jaunt up Russian Hill, completely off any sensible route, but coincidentally right outside of a building I used to live in.  “Hey I used to live there!  Cool, huh?”  What better review could a film ask for?

Also Dwayne Johnson and his mantitties, in order to get to Coit Tower, parachute into the ball park, which is about as far from Coit Tower as you can get without leaving town.  Why?  Who knows?  I had stopped trying to figure that out by then and they hadn’t even wiped out Golden Gate Bridge yet, an absolute requirement in any San Francisco based disaster; you just sit there waiting for it to finally happen.  I have to say, having seen the bridge go down more times than a power bottom in a gay porn festival, this was a particularly satisfying collapse.

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Also, Dwayne Johnson in a series of tight shirts.

Serious

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San Francisco won the World Series.  Whoo.  Yay.  Considered me as thrilled for the home team as it is possible for a gay man completely uninterested in sports to be.

Celebrations of the win around town turned into the widely expected teeny tiny riots.  Dozens arrested, people stabbed or shot, small-ish bonfires hither and yon (and by “yon” I mean the middle of Mission Street.)

Even the Castro, our gay epicenter, was not immune, but much more tastefully.  Secret Agent Fred and I were down there about midnight (long story, let’s just leave it at we were down there.)  Toilet paper streamers crumpled onto the street everywhere.  I’ve been saying for years how the Castro has been dwindling as Gaylandia, but last night, perhaps, just perhaps, gave me pause as we heard someone screaming “Christina!, Christina!  Clean up this mess.” And plenty of people apparently got the joke.  Maybe there’s life in the old girl yet.

Before: streamers artfully strewn.
After: crap in the street.

I am Ashamed. Sort Of.

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The ever urbane Muscato from Cafe Muscato describes an afternoon swanning about Vienna and then asks what the rest of us lesser mortals did lately for amusement.  I bought a suede coat and a pair of giant blue and white porcelain vases; got trapped in a clusterfuck of traffic because of this World Series thing here for an hour and a half and then leaned out of my car window and spat on a limo that was causing a bottleneck on the only escape route out of downtown San Francisco.

Even as I let loose, I wondered who on earth I had become.  I may have launched originally from Texas, but I’ve been a Lady for years now.  Nevertheless, the limo’s passenger’s look of horror was immensely gratifying.

I may have been watching a little too much American Horror Story lately.

Blah Blah Blogging

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I’ve spent much too long this evening trying to pull together some kind of post about spending the afternoon in the war zone Castro Street has turned into

(construction has ripped up the streets and sidewalks like a gutted fish forcing you to navigate these narrow temporary corridors fenced in on all sides.  It’s like being stuck inside Thunderdome.)  Frustration with getting anything more than that parenthetical news bulletin reminds me of one of my favorite Dorothy Parker quotes:

“I hate writing, I love having written.” 

Not so much block as complete desolation, I can’t think of anything or how to say it if I do think of it. I start to wonder if English is really my first language.  Would I have better luck in Urdu?

Besides, what is blogging anymore but a quaint and dying hobby much like tatting?  One by one, most of the blogs I used to read that, like mine, were first person accounts of how the blogger got along with their maddening (fill in the blank: spouse, job, addiction, cat, whatev) have all pretty much slipped beneath the waves, leaving me and a few other ranting souls, wearing our tinfoil hats and carrying on.  Having a blog used to be hip, and then it was trite, and now it’s sort of musty.

So I decided to redecorate, hence the new background and header photo and other snappy touches.   Also, looking up the Dorothy Parker quote (in order to get it actually correct.  I’m pissy that way.  I also don’t use “comprised” when I mean “composed.”   Pissy.) I found a quote of hers that was unfamiliar to me, and which I’ve decided to use as my new cri de coeur:

“Heterosexuality is not normal, it’s just common.” 
Who ya gonna call when you need snipers removed from your tastefully decorated crime scene?
SWAT BUSTERS!

Spring

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Perhaps you heard?  Sunday, April 20 was both Easter (as I like to point out, a Jewish fairy tale about zombies celebrated with symbolically ritualized cannibalism.  Fabulous) and also the highly unofficial holiday of 420, which for reasons no one knows celebrates marijuana.

I don’t really care one way or the other about either of them, in fact, I had forgotten this was Easter until Friday when I was trying to make reservations for brunch.  My biggest complaint on Sunday was that the confluence of both meant that every idiot in town whose driving was impaired either by religious fervor or dope, or both, was in my way.  There is an intersection where three streets cross and some buffoon attempting a left turn had some crisis of confidence and just gave up, sitting in the middle, blocking the rest of us.  Maybe it was an art piece, there’s lots of those around here.

On the brighter side, the brunch was just charming and included an ice cream cone for dessert and I found a great couch for the New Orleans house.

Also blooming right now is my beautiful, beautiful cereus, so yay for spring and all that.

Things That Lead from One to Another in mrpeenee’s Universe

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This is one of the driest winters in California history.  Finally, this evening a smallish storm has rolled in and I opened the windows to revel in the pattering, got distracted by the internet and just now realized the house is filed with the pungent aroma of skunk.  What the hell, skunk?  You don’t have anything better to do than wander around on the only rainy night this year stinking the place up?  Stupid dumb skunk.

While I was lost in the wonders of the world wide web, I stumbled across a series of references to what many authors claimed were the worst movies ever made, movies worse than the Lindsay Lohen oeuvre, a series by some schmoe named David DeCoteau. The series is called “1313.”  I have no idea why they’re considered a “series,” they seem to have no discernible relation to each other except that the main feature of each is a bunch of attractive young men running around in their underpants.  Sounds good to me.

Here’s the trailer from my favorite

Is that great or what?  Plus you know from the trailer that the movie is so bad that you don’t need to waste any time actually watching it.  The trailer is sufficient unto itself.

Amazingly, one of the panty bitches was Corey Monteith.  Perhaprs you remember this Monteith person, he’s the guy who OD’ed last year.  I only remember it because all the news outlets were slobbering so much about it at the time.  In researching semi-naked men of the 1313 world, I discovered I had completely mistaken just who Corey Monteith is.  Was.

This is Corey Monteith.  He’s dead.

This is not Corey Monteith.  He’s not dead, but he is who I’ve been thinking was Monteith all this time. What do you know?

But then I also ran across this, which actually looks funny.

It’s on my list.

Ironic Hair

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Polk Street is an odd San Francisco thoroughfare.  It runs through several very schmancy neighborhoods and yet it manages to be shabby.  Castro is the more well known gay center, but Polk was the original gay ghetto.  We lived near it and I got to know it well enough to realize every block had a liquor store, a dry cleaner, a cheap diner and a gay bar.  Every block.  A very short hop down from the center of what was the rentboy stroll is the front door of City Hall.  It’s San Francisco, there’s not a lot of room to spread out.

But the last decade of skyrocketing rents has routed pretty much every bohemian or louche or plain old funky neighborhood and Polk Street is no exception.  Almost all the old gay hustler bars have given way to guys with oversized glasses and teeny tiny hats drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon.

It’s Hipsterland: expensive, ironic and grimy.

Pretty much I don’t care, they got to go someplace, I suppose, but this week my barber called to say his back had given out and I needed my hair cut and somehow I wound up at the People’s Barbershop on Polk at Bush Street.

A temple to hipster’s fetish of guy-ism with a hearty dash of steampunk thrown in for decor, if it was any more hip, I would have been issued a monocle and a wool vest.  Who am I kidding, if it was any more hip, I would have been barred at the door.

So now I have a $60 haircut I don’t like.  The sides are fine, but the top has sort of a poufy roll which, considering how little hair I have to work with, is pretty amazing.  I look sort of like Julie Harris in Member of the Wedding, but not as attractive.  Or butch.

I’m Already Gay Enough

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I wish, quite sincerely, that I could more like our blog pal Jon, master of Dolores Delargo Towers and Give Em the Old Razzle Dazzle.  Gay Pride celebrations are something Jon looks forward to, embraces in their fullness and enjoys completely.  He is, even as I write this, cutting a big pink and lavender swath through the middle of London.  He is most certainly unlike me already wondering how to go out for coffee tomorrow and avoid Gay Pride entirely.  In San Francisco.  The center of the gay vortex.

I understand Jon has the right attitude, that the celebration is the result of hard work and real sacrifices by better men and women than me who struggled in the face of oppression.  I know the idea of a huge parade and citywide party that lasts for days in honor of sexual deviancy is one which would have amazed and delighted those people.  And yet, I don’t want to go.  I feel, keenly, that I am ingrate.

Plus, I’m sure this year’s shindig will be unusually full on.  A major victory in the Supreme court is reason enough to celebrate and the timing of it seems almost deliberate.  The weather is even cooperating, unusually balmy and California-y, after a freak summer rain earlier this week cleaned everything up just in time.

I still don’t want to go.  My bad.

I think a problem is having been exposed to Mardi Gras for so long and New Orleans’ brilliant grasp of how to have a good time.  That’s what I want here, the sassy lack of inhibitions, carpe fucking diem, that full throated WHEEEEE.  Certainly, Gay Pride here tries for that, but somehow misses.  Maybe it’s the earnest fussing over not hurting anyone’s feelings that hides behind the curtain of “inclusiveness.”  Maybe it’s the corporate sponsorships butting in: “Gay Pride brought to you by Miller Lite, Citibank and Various Other Entities that Would Have Fired Your Gay Ass Fifteen Years Ago if They Knew You were a Cock Sucker.”  Although they’d probably have a hard time fitting that on the banner.  Maybe I’m just turned into a grumpy old man who dislikes crowds and fajita stands.  That’s it, it’s evolution.

So I’m not going.   I am an ingrate and a bad person, but here’s what it comes down to:

What we want for Gay Pride:

What we get:

So where can I go for coffee?