Category Archives: san francisco

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?

Traffic Report

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I write this in the most hushed tones and from a location that must remain secret for there are Forces out to kill me.  Kill me, I tell you.

Every time I’ve left the house this week, I’ve had to deal with drivers who were obviously bent on taking me out, assassins of the road.  Or maybe assholes of the road, same thing, really.

Are they on drugs?  Possibly, although, I personally have driven when I was so loaded I thought my hands were robot powered spiders and done better than these goons.  Are they zombies?  Their lurching progress implies so.  Are they zombies on drugs?  Again, maybe.

Secret Agent Fred and I were attempting to flee the Castro yesterday when we were blocked by a minivan more than double parked.  Sitting athwart 18th Street, it was more like triple parked, or at least 2.5 parked.  It’s possible the excess bumper stickers plastered on it had finally gotten to the driver.  Or “driver,” I should say.  It was less like an effort at parking and more like someone simply abandoning his car.

And today after piloting around other cars that made the streets a fucking slalom course, I was trapped by two drivers in a fight, possibly to the death, over a parking place.  San Francisco is a tiny place and parking is a premium, but even with my longtime experience, I was impressed.  The two cars (one was a minivan again.  That’s always a bad sign, I think.) were both sort of partially wedged into one spot while their drivers got out to better scream at each other.  I couldn’t get past, I couldn’t back up, because the car behind apparently thought this was some kind of street theater and as I sat there, I realized, “This is just how innocent bystanders get shot.”

Which is when a guy on a bike pulled up and yelled at the screamers that they were douche bags.  It was a perfectly correct assessment, but I thought “And that’s just what we need.  Encouragement.”  Encouragement or not, finally the minivan gave up and was going to retreat, but by then traffic was so backed up in both directions, he couldn’t.  I was seriously considering taking my phone out to play a hand of Yahtzee, but the driver behind me suddenly emerged from his coma to reverse out at top speed like he was Jason Fucking Bourne, followed by me and the minivan.

Just remember, when you come to San Francisco be sure to wear a flower in your hair.  And pack some serious heat.  You might need it.

Cars.  They’re only good as props for muscle pussy.  Amiright?

Seen on the Street

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I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while, but my fast paced life as a celebutant is just so darn distracting.  Anyway, last week I spotted this shaggy looking drag queen in the Castro, hanging out on a milk crate with a giant keyboard on her lap, serenading passersby with this warble as aimless as it was tuneless, commenting on Life.

Oh, people walking down the sidewalk
Coming home
from the train

 I saw her again this afternoon and was struck by three distinct things at the same time, cause my super duper brain is just that awesome.

1) Her repertoire is very reminiscent of that rendered by Eddy Monsoon in Absolutely Fabulous.  Perhaps you remember it?  Eddy had only one song, which consisted of only one line which she had written decades before in an attempt to jump on the singer/songwriter bandwagon and had clung to ever since.   It goes like this

I’m walking down the road,
People sayin’ hello….

Believe me, the similarity is striking, although my friend in the Castro was selling hers with considerably more verve.

2) Secret Agent Fred lives in a sketchy-ish part of town across the street from a place that identifies itself as “The Medical Arts Building.”  Details about which medical arts, exactly, are going on in there have been elusive, but since we always saw a bunch of drag queens on the sidewalk out front, we decided gender reassignment was probably on the menu.

Because these girls were uniformly unconvincing, we decided it was some kind of training center and dubbed it Tranny College.  Our theory was that they had a box of wigs and a box of handbags in the back; on the first day of classes, students are herded back there and instructed to take one from each box.  The next day they get their diplomas.  Congratulations!

My point is that the street musician looked very much like a graduate of Tranny College, but poor thing must have been at the back of the wig line.  It looked a lot like she had a dark possum on her head.

3) I was reminded each time of one of my favorite music videos ever.

Al Green, Love and Happiness on Soul Train: is there a more inspiring sentence in English?  But what makes this particluar video so noteworthy?  It is a wonderful version of one of the greatest songs ever.  EVER.  Also, there is the big lump o’ love and happiness on exhibit in Mr. Green’s polyester pants.  But particular to this post let us turn our attention to the church lady on keyboards.  I love the fact that she has brought her purse out on stage with her and put it where she can keep an eye on it at all times.

Also, one has to admire the consistency of her sour expression, which says to me that her thoughts never stray far from her conviction “These chillrun have done turn their backs on da Lawd.” even as Al is rocking it.

Have mercy.

Guys with Balls

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So it turns out there is this football thing (to reiterate: football is the one with the pointy brown ball, although why it’s a ball when it isn’t round bothers me.  Stupid thing looks like some internal organ.  With stripes.) on Sunday called the Super Bowl.  It’s not the Supreme Bowl cause that’s this

No, I’m pretty sure it’s some football thing, cause I pay attention and since San Francisco is one of the teams (there are two) playing in it, it’s been sort of hard to ignore around here.  Also, San Francisco won the World Series last fall.  Oh, and the orange and black clothes they wore were not their Haloween costume, like I thought, but were, in reality, their uniforms.  Isn’t that adorable?  Between the two contests, life around here, in the World’s Most Gay City, has been annoyingly boyish.  And not in a good way.

I would be more upset, but the quarterback (which is sort of like the Head Stewardess or RuPaul on Drag Race) is Colin Kaepernick and this is what he looks like

so, you know, slack is cut.

My plan to survive the whole sorry mess is to head out for an early tea with the Fashion Sensation at Nieman’s.  That ought to do it.

Also, condolences and get well soon wishes to Jason in New Orleans who has to actually put up with the game being played there.  Stay strong sister.  I’ll try to send healing vibrations your way as I tuck into a petit four with all the other Ladies.