Category Archives: trips

Thanks Were Given

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Thanksgiving, yes, it actually can be amusing, especially if you cut out all the family drama and sneak off to the beauties of Big Sur instead.

Food was terribly tasty. Nom nom, in fact.
We went hiking along a trail I remembered from years ago as both easy and charming, wandering back and forth along a small creek up to some waterfalls. But when we got to the start, the path made a sharp left and then veered up a steep ravine. After we had slogged there and back, I read the park’s brochure and found out the old trail had been the victim of a big fire down there in 2008 and they rerouted it so the old one could recuperate. Burned, schmurned, I say. The end was the only good part.


But then, we went to the beach a couple of times cause, you know, it’s California and stuff. Man, was that ever worth it.

Balmy, sunny weather down amongst the gorgeous rock formations and a few notably cute boys just to make things interesting.

Also, we played Yahtzee every night, including the evening where I hit 7 (SEVEN) yahtzees in four hands and still only won one of them. I had obviously fallen in with a rough crowd. Dice sharks.

I know this is not what Brian Eno playing a fast hand of Yahtzee actually looks like, but it is what I think he SHOULD look like.


There and Back Again

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Outside the Menil Gallery, my favorite museum in the world.

mrpeenee is back from the magic that is Houston. While I did not literally kiss the San Francisco ground upon returning it was only my backache the stupid plane had given me that stopped me. So what were some of the highlights from my childhood home? Enchiladas. That’s it. Turns out the sole reason Texas exists is to create superior Mexican food. I ate it every single day I was there, some days snarffling it up for lunch and dinner.

I had rented a Cadillac in order to fit in as well as I could. When I went to pick it up, the guy presented me with an SUV. “I do not want a truck. I want a car,” I explained. I might as well have announced I wanted a pony. The rental guy pointedly turned to the fleet of cars stretching away from us. All SUVs. Welcome to Texas.
My brothers and me. I know some people would think it not fair that I am the prettiest, smartest, tallest and youngest, but that’s how things roll in my family.

Lone Star

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This year marks a significant anniversary for me; it’s the year I will have lived in San Francisco longer than I did in Texas, where I was born. Beyond a mere statistic, it is also a great comfort to me. I will be chanting it to myself on Saturday morning, far too early, as I go winging off to Houston for a family visit.
I have a complicated relationship with my family. When I’m with them, they amuse me, sort of, but when I escape back here I find myself with no great desire to return anytime soon. In fact, I haven’t been back to Texas in the last six years. I blame George Bush, but the fact that they all, and especially my father, make me sort of crazy might have something to do with it.
My plan stretches no farther than Mexican food for dinner three nights and barbecue and Gulf Coast seafood for the other nights. I had looked into possibly visiting some galleries, but the most interesting one has obviously changed focus, now concentrating on lesbiancentric spoken word. Yo. I think I’ll pass.
Trust me when I say none of the boys I ever run across there look like this:


There and Back Again

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Vermont is lovely this time of year. Super Agent Fred’s parents had very kindly invited me to tag along with the old darling when he went up to visit them in their ski house, very possibly with the laughable idea I would keep him out of trouble. I couldn’t even keep him out of the vicodin. Wait, wait, that was me. Never mind.

All photos courtesy (more or less) Super Agent Fred because my goddam camera battery was dead. Again.

It was very, very pretty, perfect weather, Tim’s mother and stepfather are charming and cool, as were the various friends and relations also visiting. Tom, the stepfather, had built the house as a base for his skiing proclivities and also as a rental. Two units, with a total of seven bedrooms, three or four bathrooms, two fireplaces and two kitchens, both of which were very much of the temporary kitchen ilk we’ve come to know over the years. In other words, no pot to boil pasta in, lots of odd implements (none of them useful,) and TWENTY ONE skillets. I counted. I also cooked every night.
The last evening, there was lots of hemming and hawing about “We can go out to eat….” “We’ll need to figure out ….” “Where does everyone…” “Reservations….” and other sentences trailing off into the land of the vague until I finally broke down and offered to cook. Again. It’s amazing how fast vagueness can turn into solidarity and agreement in the face of somebody else making chicken pot pie.
I had a lovely time.

Dolls continue to haunt me

Apparently even New England comes equipped with hillbillies

I also heard about Diane von Austinburg’s crack claiming I looked unnatural in nature.

I laughed, but I managed to keep a very lemony look on my face. So there.

Vermontino

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Super Agent Fred and I are off to Vermont tomorrow. Have you heard of Vermont? I understand it’s this adorable little state, popular with lesbians and cheese enthusiasts. And then, at the other end of the spectrum, I’m going to visit my father in the old folks’ home he just moved into in Houston. Whee. In fact, Super whee.
In unrelated news, the woman who trims the nails of Saki, my Evil and Adorable Cat, warmly recommended giving him a bath the last time we went in for is pedicure. A cat. A bath. A catbath. Doesn’t that just seem to be asking for trouble. After all, Saki barely tolerates going in to have his razorlike talons nipped down. I’m sure washing him off would only lead to sulking and cat turds in my bed. We have filed this under “Ideas, Bad.”
Here’s a good idea:


How mrpeenee Spent My Summer Vacation

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Usually I don’t put up new posts because I am a lazy slug, but since returning from Los Angeles, I’ve felt that I couldn’t move on until I actually post something about the trip. Plus, I am a lazy slug. Herewith, mrpeenee’s LA confidential. Progress on my slug-like state seems unlikely.
Our flight attendant was totally booty-licious.

I kept referring to him as our “stewardess” which I know is technically incorrect, but Miss Lady Girlfriend was nellier than even I, so it seems OK. His name was Marche (or possibly Marshay) which led to my repeated incantations of “Marche, Marche, Marche.” Our attendant coming back lip synched the safety instruction tape. People applauded.
The weather was mild, we went swimming at night (which I love,) the bougainvillea was spectacular.


We hit the boy bars in West Hollywood, where we were staying, and I drank cocktails. The bartender at Mickey’s was making up fake drinks to set out on the bar (who knows why? It’s that kind of place.) He seemed embarrassed that I wanted to take his picture, but he has nipples like gumdrops, so what does he expect?


Frank Gehry designed a building that features a four story pair of binoculars by Claes Oldenberg in either Santa Monica or Venice. I can’t tell them apart, says the Northern California snob, and I’m too lazy to look it up. I wanted to show Secret Agent Fred, but I had left the address in the hotel, so I asked Fred to text our friend John to ask him to Google it. John texted back “Tell the heiress to go buy a goddam smartphone.” Bitch. I managed to find it anyway, because I am triumph incarnate. The building is going to be the new L.A. headquarters for Google. Isn’t that brilliant? I hope they can afford a new paint job for the binoculars.


I took more pictures of the way too cool restaurant at LAX than I did of anything else the whole trip. I thought it was still closed, but it turns out it’s been re-opened, so we blew in for drinks.

The place is, obviously, Judy Jetson cool, but the renovation it suffered somewhere down the line is tragic. As 80’s as a Cyndi Lauper tribute band with these ridiculously inappropriate diner style tables and chairs. Somewhere there is a designer who should be dragged out and shot for this.


I’m Back

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the author, amidst the iris beds in lovely, lovely City Park

It was a very amusing time. Stinky hot the first couple of days, but then a huge storm blew through on Monday night so it was lovely and cool on my birthday and the next day and then I left just as it was starting to heat back up. Perfect.


The view from my slightly shabby room. At least the windows opened.

My dear friend Magda took Monday and Tuesday off from work so we could just wander around, which was all I wanted to do.

Turquoise skies above the French Quarter.
The old place didn’t look that different from before Katrina, maybe just a little cleaner. The most shocking thing was all the big trees along St. Charles Avenue that been toppled by the storm. That beautiful arching green roof over the street, gone.

Also, lots and lots of dirty street kids hanging around the French Quarter. Ick. And I speak as someone who was both poor and young and lived in the French Quarter at one time.
Where did mrpeenee live, back in the day?
Barracks Street (seen here considerably tarted up since my time)


And Chartres Street, with R Man. A balcony, a patio, cheap rent and a sweet boyfriend. The definitive French Quarter life.

On the other hand, everywhere we went for lunch or dinner was fabulous. Shrimp, red beans, gumbo, beignets, po-boys – all the greatest hits, and they really were great. The only misstep was at the fancy, fancy Commander’s Palace, where the semi-snooty captain informed me the gumbo did not come with rice since the Chef considered it to be filler. Well, you know the filling in Oreos is filler, too, but you got to have it. I considered suggesting he trot out to Popeye’s Fried Chicken and get some damn rice but I didn’t. A lady never makes a scene, unless she really, really feels like it.

I kept seeing all these charming shabby houses in Magda’s neighborhood, just crying out for my loving touch. I thought I would move back there, restore one of them and plant a lavish, Southern garden, but then I got back here and realized I had, once again, briefly lost my mind. Leave San Francisco? I’m pretty sure that’s simply not possible.

Also, I got to spend some time with Jason, blogger extraordinaire from over at Night is Half Gone and it was most amusing.
He is as sweet as he seems in his writings and he took me out for shrimp po-boys at a place I’ve always heard of, but never been to and was deeeelish. I had planned to gossip about all of you, but I was too busy prying details about Jason’s private life out of him. Select morsels of which are available for a nominal fee from mrpeenee, Inc. For an additional $5 I will add in sordid details that I make up randomly.

A good time was had by me.

Aye, Candy

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It must be the phase of the moon. In my post earlier this week whinging about a lack of treasure trail photos, Princess and Mean Dirty Pirate both came through with leads on some here and here and here. Then, that old darling and terror of the Midwest, Thombeau, forwarded me an email with yet another shot that a fan of his had sent him for me. I don’t know whether this generous benefactor wants his identity known. We will just call him scottjim. We will refer to the picture he sent as “You Can Give an Old Man a Heart Attack Like That, You Know. Not that I Would Mind.” Photographic proof provided:

Don’t you think he looks like a younger, cuter Thomas Jane? Of course you do.

In the same vein, I was thrilled to discover that one of my favorite soft core artistes had branched out into the world of the nekkid. One so likes to see a performer stretch.

Soft

On the road to slightly less soft

Just stupid

Lastly, we present the case of Tim Tebow, well-known christianist and football person. Football, for those of you like mrpeenee who can never remember, is the one with the pointy brown ball. Anyway, Tebow is also now an underwear model, albeit one who will not be actually modeling underpants because he’s afraid nasty homosexuals will take a peep at his junk. Quel scandale. Perhaps he should look into wearing a burqa, just to be safe.
In case you were wondering, here is Mr. Tebow at some athletic (TOTALLY NOT HOMOEROTIC) event.

“Fifteen bucks. Just put the tip of it in your mouth. No one has to know.”

I love this photo because a) it reminds me how fond I am of the old Julie Brown song I Like ’em Big and Stupid and b) I also have a weakness for a little known gay porn sub-genre known as Rascally Elder Coerces Humpy Doofus into Sexual Shenanigans They Will Both Sort of Regret. Its obscurity is possibly due to the fact I just made it up. But you know you’d watch, wouldn’t you?
In travelin’ news, mrpeenee wil be haunting his old stomping grounds in New Orleans starting on Saturday. I plan on connecting with old friends Cow Queen and Magda (seen here with mrpeenee in a publicity still from their last disaster flick Valley of the French Quarter Dolls, co-starring Thombeau as Helen Lawson.)

I assume we will behave like teenage girls just escaped from some damn dirt farm. I also hope to hook up with that blogger’s blogger, Jason, from Night is Half Gone . I’ll be back April 7 with vivid memories, even if I have to make them up.

Home Again, Home Again

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Oh, ma petit baguettes, we’re home. What a lovely trip, but before I get down to griping about getting sick, bad food and fat fellow tourists, let me answer the questions burning on everyone’s lips: How was Thombeau? Charming, ebullient, pixie-ish, totally the most fun to hang out with you could ask for. Other adjectives would include sweet, self-effacing, and smart, but you can probably tell that from his blogs.
Plus, as a bonus, he threw in his way cool and very leggy friend who signs her comments on Fabulon and the Chateau as Maggie the Cat. We had a wonderful and all too brief time in a bar Maggie recommended (she seems like the kind of gal who would be an authority on the best bars wherever she might find herself, and I say that with deep admiration.)

Diane von Austinberg joined us and kept Jessica company while Thombeau and I discussed the mysteries of blogging and gossiped about you. Both Thombeau and Jessica were filled with vastly amusing stories, I just wish you all could have shared in the good time.
So, back to the blow-by blow, and I do mean blow. The train from here to Chicago was just what we wanted. We had a teeny little room.

A lot of the scenery tended to look like archeological remains of a lesser civilization.

But some of it was lovely.


It was all very relaxing since there is NOTHING to do but stare out the widow and nap, two occupations I happen to excel in. The food was vile, they screwed up my grilled cheese sandwich, which takes real dedication. We finally skipped the dining car and grazed ont eh snacks I had brought along.
So either their attempts to poison me were successful or the snacks didn’t agree with me, but I arrived in our very nice hotel room, greeteed Diane and announced she had to leave so I could proceed with a vigorous round of puking. Food poisoning. I spent the whole evening levitating between the bed and the toilet and wishing you could euthanize yourself through an act of self-will. God knows I tried.
The next day it was all gone, lalalalala. Diane and I walked down to Millenium Park and the Art Institute for lunch, so beautiful.) We hooked up with Thombeau and Maggie the Cat; drinks, laffs, aimless walks. Saturday we tried to go back to Millenium Park and the Art Institute, but R Man got sick, poor lamb, so we stayed in and had room service.
Let me mention here what a wonderful friend DIane is. She came all the way up to Chicago and we did absolutely nothing. She was very cool with that, so yay for old friends who love you.
Everyone else left Sunday morning, but we had most of the day to ourselves, so we finally got to the Institute and the park where they had planted out the most spectacular swathes of purple flowers. I don’t what they are, they have square stalks like mint.

Then it was on off to Annapolis and a visit with my in-laws, over which let us just draw a discreet veil, noting only that I suffer as do the martyrs of heaven. I will mention one of the highlights of the trip was hiding from them in their backyard, lying on a cushion in the grass, soft warm Southern afternoon staring up at the sky through the branches. That was nice.
Anyway, glad to be home and back in the blog.

Bon Voyage

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Darlings, it’s just a whirl around here. Tomorrow morning we board the train for Chicago, three days and two nights across Utah and Nebraska and various and sundry other nasty little Republican redoubts. We’re looking forward to it immensely. Plans for this have been in the works for months, but I was never convinced it would actually happen until tonight while I was packing.

The lure of sleeping on the train and days of enforced idleness is delightful. But wait, there’s more. Diane von Austinburg is flying up from Austin to spend time with us, R Man’s oldest friend is blowing in from Florida and I’m planning on lunching with Thombeau, master of planet Fabulon and the Chateau. Big times all around.
I know I’ve been bad about all that posting stuff, but I promise to better, as soon as I get back. Since our trip also includes a jaunt off to Annapolis to see R Man’s psycho family, that won’t be until June 7, but my dears, I’ll have such stories then.