Category Archives: secret agent fred

Seen on the Street

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One of the best features about my new (new-ish) apartment is the gym right next door.  Not that I use it for working out.  Eeks, no.  But it does pretty much guarantee a steady stream of really cute, well built guys streaming past my front door.  I would consider joining it just to go and ogle the boys changing, but all of them look like they come in their gym clothes already.  While that improves the streetscape, it does cut down on the ogling chances.

I’d prefer something like this:

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Also, while we’re down here on the street, I’ve recently seen a return of a graffiti (I believe there is a different noun for a single piece of graffiti, but I’m too lazy to look it up. You can if you’d like to.) I’m very fond of; the street koi.

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These have been around for years, sort of on and off.  I like them because they’re unusual, being on the street, and the play with a sense of perspective, as if you’re looking down into a koi pond.   And now, apparently, the artist has been commissioned to cover up temporary construction walls, so good for him.

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As I said, the koi come and go.  Imagine my surprise when I was in New Orleans once and stumbled upon a bunch of them there.  My friend Stephen said he was acquainted with the artist, but not fond of him.  He said the local theory of the random appearance of the art was that the artist would inevitably wind up with enough restraining orders against him that he would leave town until they built up in his new environs at which time he would strike out for new horizons.  I don’t know, I’m just going on Stephen’s possibly biased deductions.

I’m a fan of graffiti.  I think it can be charming and amusing and even beautiful.   Well, not when people jus splatter their tag up and call it day.  That has all the appeal of a car alarm going off.  But when it’s funny and makes you think, isn’t that art?

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Plagues Upon my House

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I have a cleaning service, which is  fancy way of saying cleaning lady, except these are a squad of them, so we need a plural reference.  The ringleader, Aline, is from Brazil where the oddity of naming your kid after an architectural fad or a little girls dress doesn’t exist cause they speak Portuguese.  We call her Leeny.

Leeny and I and the vacuum girl (she’s teeny tiny and totes the vacuum around strapped to her back.   I call her the Borg because the vacuum is just about bigger than she is which gives the unsettling effect that she is being absorbed, but, since Leeny is the only who speaks English, she’s also the only one to get the joke.  But we all laugh.  Stupid gringo.

The Borg erupts in a torrent of Portuguese and Leeny asks what are all these bugs.  Moths.  We were in the guest room which has charcoal gray walls and black WOOL carpet and is only disturbed every other week when the Dust Squad busts in.  In other words perfect breeding grounds for the mother fuckers.

Closer examination (or actually, the only examination I have ever given the room) reveals bald spots about the size of my hand where the worthless creatures have eaten the rug down to the base.  AND I only bought this rug a couple of years ago when I was trying to deal with the cat’s insistence on peeing in there.

Tomorrow I hurl my self into the world improvement.  I don’t mind it, I like decorating, but I just hadn’t planned to rid myself of several hundred dollars this month on a room I don’t use.

Also, the front door lock will suddenly no longer lock.   One of those :”You had ONE JOB….” jokes.   Of course, the two errands clash.  I have to be here for the lock guy and I need to go pick out carpet at the rug store

On the sunnier-ish side of things, the car rental crisis seems to have resolved itself.  I kept calling the Hertz guys about this and they would ask for the reservation number and I would explain it was on the paperwork in the car, which apparently was living a carefree life off in some car impound lot.   I would ask if they could not perhaps dig up said number by using my last name.  The would admit that they could, surly that I had breached their last wall of passive resistance.  I would be on hold for quite a little while, listening to what might have been music by Brian Eno, or maybe a computer that looked like Eno.  Eventually the Hertz guy would come back on and say they couldn’t find the reservation number either.

I looked in my account.  There is a long list there of all my trips to Houston and the cars I have known there.   It could be sentimental, but it isn’t.  And then when I get down to the very end where this last ill-fated journey should be, there’s nothing.  The list ends with my trip there last December.

So here’s what I think:  I had Loss Damage Waiver insurance on that little hot rod.   The cops eventually contacted Hertz as the owner of the car and told them where to go get it.  Hertz fetched the battered hulk to it to their car repair guys, along with all the other banged up vehicles that must pour into there every day and patched it up.  From Hertz point of view, the matter is concluded, I got a bill from them that I paid, so I figure it’s over, and I think Super Agent Fred has forgotten the whole sad business.

So.  One crisis down and two to go.   I ‘m going to go take a nap.

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If I had suspected this guy was involved in the Hertz fiasco, I would have paid more attention.

Pancakes and Rain and Smacking Fred in the Head

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I know I’m always yammering about how balmy (and fucking expensive) life in San Francisco is, but even here, winter visits occasionally.  Like today, gray, drizzling, the kind of dank cold that settles into your every nook as soon as you set foot out the door.  Of course, when I feel the urge to whine about our winter, I remember Mistress Infomaniac trapped up in the tundra of Canadia, battling caribou just to get a goddam coffee, eking a living as a professional seal blubber gatherer, and I have to count my blessings.

Like going out for delicious pancakes and sausage for breakfast in a cozy cafe with humpy waiters.  Since I tend to go to sleep at dawn, breakfast is a rare treat for me, but today I couldn’t get to sleep so I battled my way through the clammy chill and wound up with my favorite, lemon pancakes with marion berry sauce.  Because it’s San Francisco and we’re all fancy and stuff.  originally, the waiter appeared with French toast and when I demurred, he corrected his mistake by reaching over to the table behind me to pick up my pancakes from them and give them their French toast.  Which leads one to wonder, why hadn’t they said something when a large plate of pancakes appeared before them?  Do they not know what French toast looks like?  Were they simply blinded by the waiter’s massive chest muscles? The waiter (and his big round titties) assured me they had not spit on the pancakes, so I tucked in.

Anyway, tasty.

I came home, made a pot of stew, puttered around, never could get to sleep until about 9:00 this evening, almost exactly one hour before a thoroughly drunken Super Agent Fred decided to rock out downstairs with the worst music ever recorded.  Dylan.  The Association.  Gary Puckett and the Union Gap.   God knows why, his tastes are eclectic to the point of random.  I went downstairs, threatened to hit him in the head with gong mallet (it’s padded, OK?) and then did because he turned the volumeback up.  Sometmes beating your child is the only answer.

Speaking of abusive realtionships, have you seen Good Behaviour?  It’s fabulous.  It stars Michele Dockery, late of Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary, as a white trash crackhead grifter who hooks up with the astonishingly hot Juan Diego Botto who is by turn both sexy and menacing.  The banter is very tight and amusing, but not brittle and Dockery is great.  Thumbs up.  Go watch it.

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Botta.  Mmmmmm.  Botta

Always, Always, Listen to Cher

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via GIPHY

Allright bitches. It’s been a week. Unless you are planning a coup (and if you are, I ask, please don’t) it’s time to move on. We’ve all been through the stages of grief now: anger, denial, bargaining. whatever the other one is, and now it’s time for acceptance.

Unless of course, you are Secret Agent Fred, in which case the stages are Valium, cheap beer, Vicodin, cheap beer, and cheap beer. Also, Fred has used his art as therapy to “work through his issues.” Personally, I don’t think Fred could get through all his issues with a GPS and a machete, but, you go, girl.

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President Trump.  Snap out of it.  But also, here, just to make us all feel a little better on this cold gray day

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Fredtastic

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A few years ago, Secret Agent Fred decided he didn’t want to paint anymore.  The muse had deserted him.  He continued with graphic design and working in sketchbooks (see below for one of his gold leaf smut pieces)

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but he was through with his larger scale canvases.  I was disappointed, I like his work very much.  So I was delighted when he announced this evening that he had decided to take the brush back up.  His inspiration?  An airing last night on TCM of Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, one of the worst movies ever to see the light of day, but also starring Susan Hart.  It turns out he had started a painting featuring Miss Hart a while ago and had never finished it.  Actually, I had seen the canvas and had always thought it was finished, but he’s the artist, he gets to say when something is complete and when it needs something.  In this case, what it needed, according to Fred’s tiny little brain, was a raven spitting up blood.  I think it best not to ask why.

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I also always thought this was Diana Rigg, but I see now I was incorrect.  Also, I’m not sure why Fred is working on this lying on the garage floor (the painting, not Fred, or at least, not Fred the last time I looked,) but again he’s the artist.

Go see more of Fred’s work at Its Fredtatstic

Спасибо

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Those of you who remember my fondness for Nasty Mormon Boys will no doubt be unsurprised by my recent text to Secret Agent Fred which read “OMYGOD, do you know what you get when you google “naked Russian Orthodox calendar”?”

I wanted to return the favor to Fred since just this afternoon he absolved me from feeling guilty about eating an entire bag of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish.  Apparently they’re practically health food.

Anyway, to save you some Googling (although I know that’s where you’re all headed right after this and before hell) here are some previews:

This.

This:

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And this:

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A little of this:

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Not to mention this:

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And especially this:

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The one on the left looks especially Slavic.  Maybe it’s the white lace.

Do I believe these are representatives of the Russian Orthodox clergy?  Mmmmmmmm, no.  Nor do I believe that blonde tranny did not give me the crabs in New Orleans in 1987.  Do I care either way?  No.  Also, this just in, Goldfish crackers are not a health food.

I Hate Writing. I Love Having Written.

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In an almost charming back-and-forth in the comment section of Cafe Muscato , Diane von Austinburg and Muscato were griping about my lack of writing, blogging, mash notes, whatever, so I’m ripping off a portion of an email I JUST SENT to Diane as proof that they’re full of baloney.  There.

to wit:

“I had a dream some person stole a baby and then I was reprimanding them for this and then, I don’t know, they died? Maybe? Anyway I wound up with the baby and was terribly confused.

Did I tell you about the path o’ destruction I found here when I came home? A busted window, a broken lamp, a hole in the office closet door, my keyboard and mouse replaced because the old had “gotten fried,” and the dried remains of some mysterious fluid splattered all over the upper stairwell and hall. Secret Agent Fred blamed Saki, Saki took that “Maybe I did and maybe I didn’t” attitude cats are so fond of. I’m not sure I believe either of them.”

See?  I write.  News you can use, gossip, and slander all rolled up with possibly prophetic dreams.

Speaking of dreams:

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Also, while I’m recycling old emails to friends who don’t deserve them, here’s part of one I dashed off to Night is Half Gone’s Jason while we were ducking and weaving in New Orleans last month:

“two of my neighbors blipped up on Friday and tried to be trouble to me, but I charmed them into fucking off. Later, I mentioned to the contractor and one of his minions “I got 99 problems and that hag ain’t one of them.” Both of the guys seemed gratifyingly amused, less amusing was their attitude of complete astonishment that I could paraphrase rapper thugs. Bitch, what you looking at, I am down.”

I’m telling you, epistolary.

Crime Spree and a Movie

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Secret Agent Fred and I sailed off to go see Mad Max Fury Road the other afternoon and I am here to report that is one film that moves right along, apparently assuming, correctly, that no one in the audience is interested in thinking about what’s going on.  It nominally features the fabulous Charlize Theron and the always luscious Tom Hardy, but actually the stars are the almost constant explosions.  There is so much shit blowing up and the camera is tossed about with such carefree insouciance, it’s often difficult to tell who, or what is getting blown up this time.

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While I’m fond of sci-fi as a genre, the real pull was Mr. Hardy and his pouty lip beauty, but tragically, he’s off screen for lots of the running timing and for most of the first third of the show he’s dressed in what appears to be a gardening trowel strapped to his face.  So distracting.

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Plus, after the movie we got back to my car and found it had been broken in.  I had left it unlocked (which is most unlike me) so at least they didn’t bust out a window.  All they got for their troubles was a plastic bag of loose coins I kept for parking meters (Hoo hoo!  Must have been close to four bucks!  Score!) and a fabulous suede jacket from Coach, probably retailing at $400 or $500, but that I got at a thrift store for like $30 I think.  When I found it, I was swayed by the Coach label and the fact the sleeves were long enough for me, but honestly, it was always enormously too big for me.  It made me look like a well dressed refugee.

Much worse was the Levi jacket of Fred’s they made off with which was adorned with a collection of buttons, including one of Any Winehouse as the Madonna.  Fred is terribly distraught and who can blame him?

In Which mrpeenee Returns

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Cause mrpeenee likes to be stylin’ when he’s suffering through airport purgatory.

People of Earth, I know what very few posts I am able to scratch up here have lately turned into two flavors:

  • I’m going to New Orleans
  • I just got back from New Orleans.

This time I just skipped the “I’m going to New Orleans” part and I’m here to report I’m back.  Surely you missed me.  And was the old place charming as ever?  Why yes, yes it was.  Thanks for asking.  I had a great deal (possibly excessive) of deliciousness, including duck gumbo at a fancy place and shrimp remoulade at a decidedly not fancy place dear to my evil little heart.

I also got to hang out in a bar called Lafitte’s for their Tired Old Disco Night with Jason from Night is Half Gone.  Too fabulous, I only wish you could have been there.  The old darling really is charming, you know.  He assures us all the miscreants he teaches are wild for Beowulf this semester.  I’m skeptical, but he swears it.

He and I are were able to impress Secret Agent Fred with our in-depth knowledge of the song One Night in Bangkok.  I thought everyone knew it was from some odd Broadway musical named Chess about a real chess tournament held, logically, in Bangkok and written by the ABBA guys.  Didn’t you?

Fred brought along his boyfriend (yes, it’s true, he’s off the market.  Sorry.) who’s very fond of a snort or two so when Fred got bored standing around my house there watching me enthuse over drywall installation, I could send them off for drinkies and everyone was happy.

I particularly was happy because, at long last, drywall has been hung and you can now actually see the shape and size of the rooms.  Big, big yay.

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After, with the new exterior paint and the dumpster box out front which has apparently become a neighborhood fixture.

The back rooms before all the walls were ripped out to make one huge ass room.

  
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Huge ass ceiling of huge ass room.  And get off that beam, I paid too much for you to use it as a catwalk.

Oh, It’s a Perfect Day

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Secret Agent Fred and I stumbled in to a little place we know for dinner tonight and while we were tucking in, a wheezy three piece combo in the room next door struck up.  I was willing to ignore them until I realized they were covering (or attempting to do so) Pink Floyd’s Money.

From there on, it was just down hill, of course.  A Beatle’s medley; something Fred claimed was from The Smiths (for which I took his word, since I hate all things Morrisey;) and finally the smooth jazz sound of Perfect Day.

I like Perfect Day very much, the mismatch between the song’s cheery bubble of lalalalala and Lou Reed’s kind of atonal drone.  I have always assumed it was something of a sneer on his part against the very sunny type of music it parodies so spot on.  And yet, it also seems to be his sincere appreciation of what a perfect day is: simple, unstructured but full, happy.  With you.

So to then hear it ground out by the very kind of band the underlying mockery is aiming at was not just ironic, but thought provoking.  Three hacks plodding through their set, stuck in a barful of people who wouldn’t pay them any attention if their combined hair (which wasn’t much) was on fire.  Did the band get the joke?  Is that why they were playing it?  Or had some snarky hipster requested it and then gone off to snicker at his musical wit.

You know there’s that old joke that not that many people bought the Velvet Underground’s music, but they all went right out and started their own band.  Maybe that’s the drummer’s story and he insisted on including it.  Maybe it’s one twelve songs the keyboardist knows.  There are many possibilities.

Then when I was looking for a video to illustrate this post, I ran across this promo one from the BBC in 1997.  Again, it largely seems to miss out on the sarcasm I’ve always heard in the song, so maybe I’m just imagining it, bitter old queen that I am.  Still, that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

The cast is certainly star-studded.  Of course, Bono makes an appearance.  Is there  ever one of these kind of things he misses out on?  But also, David Bowie, in an earring that, were he not a Big Star or if he had had a friend on hand, surely he would have been talked out of.

Also, (look quick or you’ll miss them) Suzanne Vega, Doctor John (!), Emmylou Harris, sounding swell, and Tom Jones, who is not identified.  Did the BBC assume everyone would know who he is?  Maybe they were right.  Not to mention, Mrs. Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, pixie-ish as ever.

I hope you enjoy it.  Try not to get stuck on Bowie’s ear-bob.