Sunday, February 28, 2010

A couple of days ago John called me from Phoenix to alert me that plans were underway to celebrate Jeffrey's birthday. So at noon we gathered at El Charro's restaurant (east side location), and had some delicious Mexican food (as opposed to the horrendous Macayo's nastiness).

John and birthday boy Jeffrey.

I well remember meeting Jeffrey on New Year's Eve 1996. I was instantly enamored with his personality and looks. When he went away in the spring of 1997 to the Peace Corps to Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta), I was very sad. He came back to Tucson and he has been a very good friend to me (ask him about that one blubbery phone call).

Carrot cake and German Chocolate.

The German Chocolate cake was the better. Happy Birthday Jeffrey!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Worst Mexican food ever. So last night I went to meet up with some guys at a chain Mexican restaurant, Macayos. Now normally I do not eat at chain restaurants- I prefer to spend my money at local places. But that didn't happen last night and anyways, it was certainly an experience.

About 36 percent of Tucson's population is Mexican-American. None of the customers, as far as I could tell, were Mexican-American. That is a bad sign at a Mexican restaurant. We stood around for a while and finally were seated in a room with really bizarre "Mexican" decorations. I guess everyone south of the border has enormous ceramic suns scattered around their house, with clown dolls hanging from the ceiling and multi-colored pots sitting around.

Chips and salsa came. The salsa appeared to be tomato juice with some chunks of tomato thrown in. Very bland and obviously formerly frozen. Gross. I noticed the Elderly-American people sitting around us enjoyed the spiceless salsa. One couple had even brought their Senor Bob and Cha Cha margarita glasses along, getting a discount on their drinks!

Food came- chili relleno and a cheese enchilada. Looked like Velveeta made an appearance, I really couldn't tell. I ate it, but yuck.

Luckily the company was fun and that made up for the food. But next time the guys get together for a meal, we are going for real Mexican food.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Post 2027. Finishing up a report at work. Spring time and the animals are out. I can hear the ground squirrels squeaking outside my window. A group of large hawks are flying around outside. Lots of bunnies hopping around the parking lot at work. I hope the coyotes don't eat them.


Speaking of bunnies, somebody's formerly tame rabbit has been visiting my backyard.


I gave it some celery to eat. I hope it comes back.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The last week or so has been spent prepping the guest house for Kyle to move in. It had been about four years since I last painted it, and it was starting to look messy in some places.

Kitchen before.

The kitchen had some paint splotches where Vince had been testing paint colors before he moved. The cabinets and floor also needed to be repainted. I chose a sagey-green and a light cream from Dunn Edwards (expensive).

Kitchen after, with Vince's artwork on the ceiling.

I painted the concrete floors throughout with a fresh coat of slate gray. The woman at Ace Hardware was very good at matching the existing color.

The bedroom posed a different problem. One of the walls had two big splotches of white paint and I didn't really feel like painting the entire wall. The solution, "Think like Vince!" I have several dozen cans of various color paints so I did a 1960s retro look with squares and rectangles of various colors.

Bedroom, after.

My mother dislikes it, "It is different," she says. I think it looks fun.

Next weekend I will not be doing any chores.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Vince's brother Mike stopped by to fix my plumbing problems. It is always good to have a handsome man to handle your pipes.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dinner with Jeff T. and Jeff S.

Jeffrey T. was visiting from Boston. He was up in the mountains and saw a mountain lion. He was scared! I guess I would be too.

Jeffrey T. and Jeffrey S.

I hadn't seen Jeffrey T. since his departure to Boston in 2005. It was nice catching up and hearing about his life after Tucson.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Caption this:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I personed the chocolate table at the chocolate festival, explaining the natural history and cultural history of this delicious substance. Considering I know next to nothing, except for what was told me by the woman who personed the table before me, I did an okay job.

I am enjoying the gluten.

At home I am making Spanish Rice for supper and figuring out what to do with the rest of the night. Tomorrow, painting the guesthouse kitchen.

Friday, February 12, 2010

"You don't like change," I tell my mother as we drive to Mexican Safeway. She protests, "I do like change!" I reply, "Name a change you like." She pauses for a moment...."I like the change in weather from Michigan to Arizona." We both laugh. "That doesn't count," I say.

I had made cooked refried beans with some spicy curry sauce for supper and I knew she wouldn't care for it. Two tiny spoonfuls was all she would eat. Anything spicy is "different." She doesn't even like black pepper on her potatoes. I'm starting to run out of ideas for things to cook her, because of the gluten-free business and also the fussiness about things. She could probably live on mashed potatoes and yoghurt. But I really don't want to see her get malnutrition, a problem that plagued my nice grandmother late in her life because she would only eat one kind of microwave dinner.

In other news.... been real rainy here, should have lots of wildflowers this year. Missing Henny-Penny and Forrest. Have to do some painting in the guest house this weekend. Work is slowing down. Two talks to give next week.

And one of the coyotes has taken to watching me watch it.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

If you can't see me, I'm not there.


Yesterday I saw coyotes four different times outside my office window. This one stood there and would slowly lift its head up to watch me, then duck down when it noticed I was looking back. So awesomely cute.

Monday, February 08, 2010

I used to really like Wikipedia. Not so much anymore. This last week a young man named Brendan Burke died in a traffic accident. He was noteworthy for being a young gay hockey player who came out of the closet and was not afraid to continue being involved in the sport. His father, a major figure in hockey, was very supportive. Typically, people who have made some sort of contribution to society end up with a Wikipedia entry. You can also find many entries for porn actors, fictional soap opera characters, and minor politicians.

After his death someone created a Wikipedia page describing his life. It was quickly selected for deletion. The debate as to whether it should be deleted is an eye-opener. Guys sitting around drinking beer and watching the Superbowl game, joking about whether to remove the entry. A Wikipedia contributor who writes articles on hockey pushing for its removal.

Basically, a bunch of straight men advocating for the removal or placement of the page within his father's Wikipedia entry. Gay people should not be seen or heard from.

We are entering a time period of heightened extremism directed toward homosexuals. Many religious fundamentalists want to target us through death sentences, forced conversions, or imprisonment. At the same time, these people also want us to be completely invisible. These are not mutually exclusive, since killing, imprisoning, or masquerading as straight basically makes us disappear.

Small little things, like preventing Wikipedia entries, are part of the same pattern. Go away. Shut up. Disappear. It will be interesting to see what happens in the near future.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

The clouds pulled away from the sky for a while this afternoon.

The orange tree in the front yard is loaded with oranges.

A dishpan full makes a half gallon of OJ.

Tonight, fresh-squeezed orange juice, gluten-free waffles, caramelized banana-pecan sauce, and scrambled spinachy eggs for supper. Mummy will be very happy.

I took the guys to Sweetwater Wetlands and we saw many ducks, coots, and turtles.

Jordan, Mason, Craig, and Jesse examine the sewage water.

It was nice to mosey along the trail and hear the birds.

Northern shoveler.

We played dominoes also, and I ate pancakes and tater tots. Later I hung out with Zane and watched a truly awful movie on the SyFy channel.

Today it has rained steadily for hours and a gloominess pervades my study. What to do?

Thursday, February 04, 2010

I was Juror 19 at the Federal Courthouse today. I thought there was a high likelihood that I would be placed on the jury, and after we were questioned (the judge was fascinated that I had done the archaeology for the courthouse building), I was in fact the 10th juror placed.

We sat through three witnesses. The defense kept objecting, it was very dramatic. After the first witness finished testifying the judge asked us if we had any questions and I was the only one who did, "Is there a photo of the gun in place?" After the lawyers conferred the judge asked the witness and he replied no.

It became rapidly obvious to me that the Border Patrol and the Homeland Security people did not process the crime scene properly or establish a clear evidence handling chain. As the third witness was being asked questions we were sent out for a break that lasted longer than expected. Then we were called in and told that the judge had declared a mistrial (no explanation given).

I'm not going to go into details because the case may go to trial again. But I doubt the federal government can convict the young man of what they want to convict him for.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Everyone should have a hand-knitted eggplant.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

My mother doesn't like it when I talk nasty about John McCain. I don't care. I no longer have any respect for this breathing sack of shit. Today he was blathering on about how we shouldn't repeal DADT. I called his office and told them 1). he should just shut up 2). gays are tired of being second class citizens, and 3). the woman who answered the phone should be ashamed to work for such a bigot. She was still nice to me afterwards. I told her it was very frustrating to be a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen and yet face constant discrimination.

Spring time has arrived. It feels nice outside, and my house is no longer cold. The cats still think they need to lie on top of me or sit on my lap. I have to put Joey on the floor over and over again.

I'm having a slumber party in the guest house on Friday. Mason, Jesse, and Craig are coming down from Phoenix and we are going to play games and drink adult beverages. My mother is not invited.

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