Wednesday, June 30, 2004

A charming anecdote. Did I ever tell you my worst diarrhea story? The time I went to Hawaii after suffering from internal hemorrhoids for the first (and only) time in my life? You know, the time I couldn't poop for a week and I got inside that slick aluminum tube and crossed the ocean to that tropical paradise.

Once I got there the horrible condition continued. Touring the sites of Honolulu with Justin wasn't all that enjoyable since I was lugging around last week's toast, cereal, hummous, catsup, a peach or two, some corn, and who knows what else. Finally I said to Justin, "I need to go a drugstore!" and he watched as I bought that miracle elixir, Ex-Lax (sidenote- the original headquarters of Ex-Lax is just up the street from my friend Les's place in Brooklyn). One pill and all I had to do was wait. Sure enough a few hours later I was blissfully cleaned out. Or so I thought.

Justin said, "Let's go to Hamburger Mary's" a renowned (now-demolished) gay bar. So I got prettified and we walked downtown and inside the bar I enjoyed a refreshing beverage. And all of a sudden I realized that the wonder drug was taking effect again. I digress, momentarily, to note that I am extremely sensitive to all medicinal products. They do strange things to me, like break out in hellish rashes or lose interest in interesting things. That little nasty pill I took that morning had decided to activate its wondertwin powers while I was in a homosexual establishment. Did I mention that I hate using public bathrooms, hate being in the bathroom when there is someone else there? Now urinals are okay, it's the toilet part that ooks me out.

Anyway, I scurried through the crowd of tourist homos, many proudly wearing brand new Hawaiian shirts, and headed into the men's room. Why people feel the need to announce to the world that they are in Hawaii by wearing newly purchased brightly-colored floral shirts is puzzling, similar to people who go to a concert and buy a t-shirt and put it on right away. But back to the story. The bathroom was packed, a long line snaking toward the stalls and urinals. Men, some of who were very attractive, gossiping and flirting and eyeing each other. I imagine many paired off for amorous adventures. Something that I wasn’t particularly interested in at that particular moment. As I scanned the room, my intestines were making the most peculiar noises and I was aware that something was very, very wrong.

What to do? What to do! Suddenly I realized, 'There must be a woman's bathroom!' And there was, right down the hall. Empty, oh there must be some sort of minor deity, because that bathroom was completely empty and I rushed into the stall and squatted (I can never sit on a public toilet seat, who knows who last sat/shat there) and all hell broke loose. I could tippytoe around what happened but then this is a charming anecdote so I won't. If you have a sensitive stomach or are about to eat a chocolate sundae, I would suggest you immediately visit Mark's blog and look at the cute dog picture or enjoy
Jonny's discussion of mid-century kitschy Phoenix architecture. Or perhaps you want to know what happens when the chemicals found in Ex-Lax react with my body? Well, as I was mentioning all hell broke loose and poop literally flew everywhere, splashing the toilet seat and the floor and the back of the stall. Everywhere. Chocolate slime. Garnished with bits of vegetables (I really needed to chew longer!). Filth and nastiness.

OhmiLordJesusandHisMotherandLittleBrotherJamesetal. It was the most disgusting moment of my entire life, both visually and smell-ually. I turned, looked, and looked away. Did all of that just come out? How was that possible? Now what to do? I mean, the stall was coated. It was obscene.

I chose the easy route and fled that room, now several pounds lighter (Mary-Kate, forget the finger-down-the-throat business, I recommend Ex-Lax, you won't ruin your manicure and you can afford it, young billionaress!). I found Justin and said in a hurried whisper, "We have to go now!" and evacuated that destroyed bathroom, that awfulness.

Oh, I've always wondered what happened when the next person wandered in and came upon that one-of-a-kind Rorschach test. Sometimes I feel a tad guilty, knowing that some poor immigrant woman had to clean up that mess. But its not like I was ever going to confess to it. Until now.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

As the work progresses, I find that not having a kitchen sink is driving me bonkers. Last night I had a home improvement nightmare. Sigh. Oh, and the plumber was nice but not cute.

I've added another project- removing the wall-mounted heater and putting a small book shelf in its place. I have to behave myself now, or I will spend all of the home equity money. Behave!

Monday, June 28, 2004

Coming home from work, I walked in the door. The empty space below the kitchen window suddenly has the bones of cabinetry. Ohh, I am excited.

Day 3.

Hey go see Fahrenheit 911, it was a good movie.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Today was almost normal. We met in the morning and I bought materials and a new water heater. Doug and Jason fixed my kitchen floor boards. Work on the new cabinets begins tomorrow. I took a nap in the afternoon, Joey sat on my back and purred loudly as I dreamed.

The day before.

Tonight I went barhopping. At IBTs I just missed hearing Panchesco sing. It had been too long since I've seen him. Chatted with people, played Sissy Bingo (Matt won the big prize). Too crowded at Woody's but was surprised to hear Scott S. singing, he was really good. Back to the Denture Inn where I sat and chatted with Chris. It was just nice being surrounded by my friends and feeling normal again.

Fluttering about the light on the front porch were a couple of these monsters, which Adam is particularly fond of:

Saturday, June 26, 2004

I called Pat after the funeral and it was calming. The boy's girlfriend had given the last eulogy, she was so sweet, it was obvious how much she cared for him. And she is Jewish. The preacher got up afterwards, according to the program, to give a "message." Turns out his message was that only Christians would ever get to see the boy again. This wasn't a short message either, it went on and on and fucking on. I watched the girl and her family become more and more stunned. I doubt that his funeral infomercial for Christianity got many people to call Judy and hear her say "Certainly, sir!" when they asked for that special package in order to see the dearly departed.

I wondered whether I was the only one to feel this way, besides the Jewish people there. But all my friends agreed and many were as angry as I was. This wasn't the place, wasn't the time to attract converts. It took away from all of the sweet remembrances. Enough.

High humidity has begun and the swamp coolers don't make it feel particularly cool. The next few months will be steamy at the house. Did I mention how much fun it is to wash dishes in the shower? I can't wait for the new sink and counters to be installed.

Friday, June 25, 2004

At the visitation the archaeologists sit at the back to the right. I sit in the last row next to Stacy and weep, glancing up to see my friend and his wife standing in front of the flower-draped casket, receiving condolences. Their 19-years-and-one-day-old son is gone. It seems unbearable, I know how much he was loved, how proud his parents were of him. The boy's friends cluster toward the front, the young men crying and not being embarrassed by it, the girls sobbing softly. You can't hear that because there is music playing, modern music that he liked, seemingly out-of-place like the elaborate floral displays that he wouldn't have been interested in.

The pews are blonde wood, with a folding kneeling rail which I study, study, study because if I can only figure out how it works I won't cry. But that little exercise doesn't work and Dottie puts her arm around me and I wipe away the tears. Lots of boxes of tissues, not a wastebasket anywhere. Later I go up to them and "I'm so sorry," and he says, "I am so glad you came." I think about this when I sit back down and realize that he needs to know we care, and I do. I agonize over how awful it is that his only child is gone.

They have very close friends, and they have been spending a lot of time with them, talking and talking and talking. I worry what will happen next week when the family and friends go away and it is quiet. How do you fill in the gaps, the holes? How do you make sense of something that is completely senseless? I don't think there are any real answers. Maybe these are dumb questions to even wonder about. I wish things could have been different.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

At home awaiting a plumber estimate. Just like on "This Old House" the costs of a renovation job goes up, up, and away. I need to have some plumbing work done and thought I would take care of my water heater, which sits in an ugly tin shed in my side yard. The first estimate came in at $2,600 to move it and do some other work. Well, I guess it will be money well spent. I'm going to buy a big belt sander and do the kitchen floor myself. It will keep me out of trouble.

Kitchen after demolition.

Thanks for the kind messages, I've spent a couple of nights thinking about my friends, I can't imagine what they are going through.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

What to say? My friend's teenage son, his only child, was taken off life support yesterday afternoon. On his birthday he got on the back of a motorcycle and the driver smashed into a wall at the end of a dead-end street. No helmet, Arizona doesn't have a helmet law. What a waste. What do I say to my friend and his wife? What can you say when this sort of thing happens?

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

This Old Casa. I'm having work done on the kitchen- the counter and sink torn out and replaced with a replica of the original 1927 counter and sink. The old folding ironing board closet re-opened (it was plastered over) and converted into a spice rack/kitchen tool closet. Today Doug and Jason removed the old sink and uncovered the ironing board area. The only setback has been an unexpected call to the plumber to replace some valves that were rusted open.

The Before picture

The long-hidden ironing board closet.

The ironing board patent.

I feel like Nancy Drew- except the only clues that turned up were a 1941 nickel and a 1998 postcard written in Spanish. I promise I won't cook any of the recipes from this collection.

Are you hungry? Sarah was looking at this website at work, I'd seen it on somebody's blog a couple of years ago. What were they thinking? I mean, WHAT were they thinking?The food stylist and the recipe maker must be burning in Hell's kitchen at this very moment.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Many little things....

1). I'm making cupcakes for Patti's birthday tomorrow- butter pecan and cinnamon swirl with cream cheese frosting.
2). A friend's son was in a serious motorcycle accident this morning. I hope everything turns out okay- it is one of those situations where there isn't anything I can do. I really hate motorcycles.
3). Jeffrey T. is camping out along the border with a group that saves immigrants coming across the border from dying from dehydration. A lot of people here in southern Arizona hate these immigrants. They aren't going to stop coming until the Mexican government reforms their system and the wealth concentrated in the hands of a few families gets spread around some. Oh wait, that is what George Bush is planning for the U.S. Shit...

Sunday, June 20, 2004

At last night's party we played Celebrities and the ones I put in were people who died in tragic boat and plane accidents. This preceded the tragic car incident, which I discovered this morning was a tad more extensive than previously thought.

It's a scorcher outside and I spent the early morning doing yardwork, which included watering the neighbor's fig and lemon trees, since no one is living fulltime at the house and they are being neglected. Their new puppy, who lives outside with Buddy the elderly dog, is so friendly, tries to chew my fingers through the fence, but chews softly. Buddy looks on, her little nose red where the tip is worn off (I think she likes to root in the dirt like a pig). Sometimes I buy her dog biscuits, and when I feed them to her I see who worn and stubby her teeth are as well. When she gets out she comes and finds me and I take her back home. I wish the neighbors liked her as much as I do.

Scott S.


Saturday, June 19, 2004

Oh what a night. Three drinks. He says, "No!" and I say "What?" but it is too late to stop and later I undress in the backyard and put my clothes directly in the washing machine. Why is the smell so acrid and acidic, well that is because of the margaritas. It was amusing, I guess, and luckily the car escaped the mess, although his clothes (and mine) didn't.

Friday, June 18, 2004

My lovely rash. Often, after taking antibiotics, I develop an ugly rash. This time was no exception. I have dozens of small red spots covering my upper chest and now it is spreading to my face. So pretty. Maybe I could do a dot-by-dot and see what it makes.

Went to a toy store after dinner. Saw lots of strange toys and a few familiar ones. Tinker toys, now that was something that I played a lot with. They had an erector set, but it was made out of plastic, not the sturdy metal one we had, with lots of sharp edges. Seems like toys were more educational back in the old days, including just a bit of danger.

His last day at work was today, and in a week he and his boyfriend are getting in the U Haul and driving down the yellow brick road to San Francisco.Expurgate is one of the most creative, smartest, experienced guys I have ever met. Plus, he has the prettiest eyes and this wicked smile. Happy ever after, Tucson will be a bit less exciting in a week.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

At the tile store I picked a buttery yellow for the main tile and a cornflower blue for the trim. I will probably have to repaint my kitchen when the new counter/sink is finished- I think I will go to the library and see what colors were in style around 1930 or so.

I have a tobacco tree in a pot in my front yard and two days in a row a hummingbird came and sipped nectar from it while I was on the phone. That was sweet to see. I've always liked birds- we had chickens, geese, ducks, and guinea hens when I was a kid. The guinea hens would fly up on the roof every night and make that bizarre noise they make. There are chickens down the street at the horse corrals, and sometimes I hear the cocks crow. I will admit that the persistent loud chirping every morning at 5 AM is driving me crazy.

Joey looks at me. She likes birds too, watching them out the window. I suspect she would like them best wedged between her sharp little teeth.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Where is it? The goddam home equity checkbook that I had in my hands three weeks ago and now seems to have vanished. I've looked everywhere and I'm thinking maybe it went into the recycling bin my mistake, since I'm missing a bill as well. Fudge, fudge, awww fuck.

Bought a sink and faucet for the kitchen. Tile tomorrow and then maybe next week a new kitchen counter that closely resembles what would have been there in 1927. The floor is next- replace a few wood strips and borrow a belt sander and inhale wood dust. My kitchen will look so nice, I'll want to eat off the floor.

Word of advice- don't bruise your urethra. Painfullllll.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

It is funny how a single action or a few words can shape how you perceive someone, change your opinion. Afterwards, you try to recall the original way, but there is that taint, that recollection sifting through, calling you over and over- "Remember?" It is a wicked thing, that deja vu feeling.

Yesterday Brian sent me an email. We haven't spoken in perhaps ten years, a messy fight at a bar in Phoenix that was later closed for a liquor violation. He is someone I didn't expect to hear from, and was pleased that the fight seemed amusing now, although at the time it was particularly nasty. We gossiped a little- about his cracked-out ex, the ex's hot roommate now cooling his heels in prison, and on a mutual friend- sometimes Arizona is such a small world.

I have two small world stories. 1). At the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, with my now-ex and my German-ex Philipp. I turned in one of the galleries and there was Rick from Houston, a hot Italian guy I met in Austin at Splash Bash and briefly dated. 2). At an Italian restaurant in Boston on a steamy hot 4th of July, we had just discussed the small world thing and in walked David E. from Tucson. "Hey David," I said, "What a small world."

What's your small world story?

Monday, June 14, 2004

I've never been a good liar. When I was five I accidently set my sisters' playhouse on fire and ran in the house to tell my mother that robbers had done the deed. It would have been much better to just say I was playing with matches.

I find it easier to just tell the truth if someone asks me something ("Do I look fat in this?") or avoid situations where I really don't want to tell someone something. I guess this annoying truthfulness is why I can be so pissed off at certain politicians for lying, including lies that end up killing someone.

My cats are pretty good liars- they always look so sweet and innocent. The other night I was having a very pleasant dream and Joey reached out and grabbed my lower lip with her claw. I woke up (fast!) and asked her why she did that naughtiness. All she could say was "Meow!" Which is what she says about everything, now that I think about it.

I dreamed of being back in my college dormitory. While many parts were factually incorrect, for some obscure reason I was able to recall the keys exactly. I mean, why would I bother sticking that little, useless tidbit of information- the shape, size, method of numbering- inside my head. I suppose it sits next to the names of television show characters, mating habits of monkeys, and other arcanity that clouds up my mind.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Buzzed. The Chronicle of Riddick was fun to see- that Vin Diesel is a hotty, isn't he. A visit at the Denture Inn where Jason and I played video trivia games (he likes the Food & Drink category) and said hello to Chris and Doug.

This morning I cleaned house- I know very exciting. And what about giving myself a new haircut. Buzzzzzzzz...

Homer buzzed.

Friday, June 11, 2004

In other news. Hopefully no more All-Ronnie-All-The-Time, since he is supposedly getting buried tonight. Did you enjoy your day off? I had to work and quite productive. I see that Rush Limbaugh, our National Addict, and wife number 3 are calling it quits. That's wife number 3. Yes, he is one to be telling other people how to live their lives. Why is he so popular among conservatives???

I'm making bean soup and thinking about fruit tarts. But first, the pile of dishes in the kitchen must be washed. Arghh, I've tried and tried but the dumb cats can't get the hang of it, they don't understand the concept of rinsing after they lick the crumbs off.

Jason as passanger.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

At the neighborhood Safeway you see lots of harried Mexican women surrounded by their three or four children. The women puzzle at the meat, trying to figure out which bloody cut to buy. The kids want to go down the cereal aisle or the one that has the Mexican candy. I tried to like it, the salty tamarind stuff, the chalky fruity blobs, but it is just too nasty. I like nice pastries better, preferably from Nick's shop in Amsterdam, but that is a continent away.

I pick out some rhubarb and hand it to Jason- "You are going to make me something with this." Later, when I'm not looking, he picks up a package of meat. That is his to do whatever he wants with, as long as I'm not looking. At home Puff and Joey are mesmerized by the package.

A visit to Dr. Fred today, who diagnosed a certain problem as a bruise. He thought it was amusing and laughed when I told him the cosmetic colonoscopy story. I like my doctor, he's a nice guy.

Jason is cooking and I am feeling spoiled, everyone deserves that once in a while.

Cafe Poca Cosa

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Enough! Yes, I know Nancy has a coffin fetish. She can't keep her lips off those pricy mahogany caskets, I know it is awful tempting. I mean when I drive by that Caskets for Less store on Stone Avenue I just start to drool.

The earliest memory I have of a national event was Eisenhower's funeral back in 1969. I sat next to Mamma on the couch and we watched, she explained what the significance was. Now Ike was a real president, someone to admire. He was a manly man, kinda like John Kerry and John McCain or even Dianne Feinstein. Not a wussy-pussy-boy like G. W. Bush and Reagan, who was kinda nelly if you ask me- and what was up with Ronnie Jr and the whole ballet thing. He should have played rugby instead, he would have been ahead of his time.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Hiccups. Spicy foods, especially jalapenos, makes me have hiccups. I made Jason vegetable curry and some pasta and the curry makes me hiccup bad.

Today's big adventure was to have my brakes replaced. It took forever! I wish I lived in a city with excellent public transportation. Tucson does not, I've never actually gotten a bus here.

My tobacco tree is blooming and so is my Texas Ranger. But I'm a tad lazy so it will be a few days before I get around to posting a photo.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Day of Mourning??? So Ronnie Ray-gun has kicked off and I could find myself getting more excited by a chocolate donut or maybe belly button fuzz. I've avoided the news- All-Ronnie-All-The-Time. I see that Andrew Sullivan messed his pants because Ronnie was such a frickin' excellent role model. Sullyvan wept 'cause he caught a glimpse of a picture: "PAYING HOMAGE: This image put a catch in my throat." Yawn, staying up late cruising for sex online does that to ya, Andy.

It is frickin' hot here in Tucson, but I fixed the auto AC so I guess I can't stick Ronnie in the back seat to mummify him. Now of course the front brakes need to be replaced. They make a nice screechy sound sometimes, kinda like Laura Bush when she runs out of liquor in the morning.

I buzzed out the fu manchu- although I kinda thought it was an okay look. Tom, who has a fu manchu, and I discussed this last night. His looks pretty good, perhaps because he has a blonde-red version. I dunno what will show up on my face next.

I think I was just channeling Expurgate.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Damn, the 1970s porn star look doesn't appeal to some guys. Actually, I think the porn stars from that decade weren't all that bad.

Dan and Gaylen, who were not porn stars in the 1970s.

The wedding was sweet and Rob and Laura were lovely and had a nice time.

Laura at the door.

Freshly hitched.

I had to assemble the cake and protect it from a lousy brat.

The heat was bearable but I was glad to scoot home at 9:30. Remind me not to get married when it is 104 degrees. Oh wait, I'm queer and we are not allowed to get married in Arizona. Never mind.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Rob and Laura are getting married this afternoon so I went and bought a festive shirt and changed the goatee. Okay, so does the fu-manchu look suit me or not?

Homer's new look, a keeper or no?

So the Pope doesn't like fags. Oh my, kinda ironic for the head of a church that has to have crowbars handy to separate the priests from the altar boys' asses. Honestly, why anyone venerates that guy amazes me. And for someone who is supposed to be chosen by his invisible god, he certainly is in crappy shape. Not that I feel sorry for him- under his rule the Catholic church has become increasingly archaic and his policies (no birth control, women=servants, homos=evil, cover up pedophiles) have done more harm than good. It iritates me our equally idiotic president and the first bitch are over there photo-oping with him.

Jason and I went to Da Vinci's last night for Italian- I had gnocchi with a slightly hot sauce. Very good. [I pause to run out to the car and grab the doggy bag I forgot last night]. Afterwards we got a video- Brotherhood of the Wolves- which was excellent. The costumes, sets, and cinematography were great.

Today's high will be 107. Nice!

Thursday, June 03, 2004

The old house across the street is owned by Joe, a very good looking Hispanic man. He is renovating it to rent it out and today I asked myself in. I was surprised to find that it is a mirror image of my house, the only major difference is the fireplace, which had a rounded-arch opening and the overall size of the rooms, which is a little smaller (I think the house is narrower). I wandered into the kitchen last and was amazed to see that it is almost completely original. My kitchen was renovated at some time and most of the original features were removed. Three of the details my house lacks are:

Breakfast nook.

Hidden ironing board closet.

Tile backsplash.

Of these I will be having the last two restored and now I'm contemplating the first, which basically divides the room. That is somewhat problematic, but it looks really nice. What to do? I have the money available, so now I have to puzzle the situation for awhile.

Oh it's hot and the AC is out on my car. I'm taking it in tomorrow morning, in the meantime I drive my portable oven with the window open and it is quite unpleasant.

Also unpleasant are the nasty letters-to-the-editor published in the Tucson Citizen, our community's slowly dying afternoon paper. Tucson is basically a community made up of people who moved here from elsewhere, only a small percentage were actually born here. The number of senior citizens is very high- I noticed the contrast on the plane from Minneapolis last week- more than half of the people on board were elderly.

The moment these people move into their stucco and frame houses they start screeching about those damn illegal immigrants. A stream of people moving north from Mexico pass through this area, heading into the United States looking for work. Wages in Mexico are so awful- 35 cents an hour or some such foolishness, that a minimum wage job in the US is a dream-come-true.

Many recent elderly immigrants from Michigan or North Dakota or Nebraska can't understand why we don't shoot-to-kill these poor people from Sonora or Chihuahua. In response, the US government has increased border patrols and made it much more dangerous to come across. The number of young men and women dying in the desert increases each year. Now people are fighting over whether good samaritans should offer these people food and water. The problem isn't going to be solved any time soon- now until the Mexican economy gets dragged up enough that there is no incentive to come here. I'm guessing that the hate-filled retirees benefit a great deal from the immigrants- cheaper housing, cheaper food, Social Security payments- but all they can see is the darker skin and Spanish language, and not the individual hopes and dreams.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

I've been lying on my bed reading, the cats hovering nearby. Occasionally Mama Cat, lies down and looks at me. That look means "Rub my stomach, now!" People who say animals are dumb have little imagination.

Indian food for lunch- so good. The vegetarian restaurant that Jason wanted to go to has closed and is re-opening as a barbeque place, ironically. So we had Indian and the owner was there, as cheerful as always, glad to see me. Once we talked about our houses and she tried to convince me that a trailer was just what I needed. Hmmmm. No.

Speaking of trailers, I think newspaper photographers love to take photos of trailer homes flattened by tornadoes. There was one in todays paper. I feel bad for those people, whose little aluminum dreams get blown away so easily.

Joey napping in the sock drawer.

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