Hip ReplacementWell, here I am back at work... or, more specifically, here I am back in my office. I have done so very little work today that I don't think it counts as being "at work." But I did a good deal of work on Monday of last week, which turns out to have been a paid holiday, and on Tuesday, which I know was a paid holiday, so I get a certain amount of freebie hours. I did do a little work, today, though... took a phone call, answered an email, and picked up our income for the month. I had intended to also do all the banking today, as well as the deduction register tasks like counting per-capitas and suchlike, but the time has gotten away from me... the bank is closed, and I intend to leave here at 5:30 so I can have dinner and change and do something beneficial to my hair before going out again to a party.
I instead got caught up on my blog-reads, went through my and the office's AOL emails (the office got 74 junk emails and 4 legitimate emails in the last ten days; I got 140 junk and about twenty-four legitimate... none of which were personal, just my subscriptions like the AA Thought of the Day and the YourDictionary.com Word of the Day, and four from eBay transactions). I also called my sponsor, which I was supposed to do on Monday, but since the electronic calendar with the reminder to call my sponsor is here on my office computer, instead of my home computer (since I am usually here on Mondays), I kept forgetting about it... we had a nice talk, anyway, and after talking about me and my program for a requisite number of minutes, we went on to solve most of the world's problems (unfortunately, The World tends to not take our advice, so nothing happens).
And that was pretty much all I was capable of doing. I am still tired from New Year's Eve, and on New Year's Eve I was still tired from Christmas. My Winter Vacation has been somewhat dichotomous as regards activities: I have been either running myself ragged and having a really good time, or curled up in my room being too tired to move and just a little bit bored. I mean, Christmas was an Herculean labor (though extremely enjoyable), and then on Boxing Day I stayed in bed as long as I could and then sat perfectly still in front of my computer for the rest of the day; later on I went out with Caroline to Pasta Pomodoro for dinner (she treated, which is such a rarity that I would have gotten out of my deathbed to attend), and then exchanged presents with her and watched the really cool videotape that Cookie made from the last year's Galaxy Shows.
Caroline gave me a gorgeous faux-fur blanket (the black-silver color and pattern of a timberwolf, with black velvet backing) for Christmas, and for my birthday a Hollwood-history appointment calendar with a most stupefyingly glamorous picture of Marlene Dietrich in white tie and tails gracing the cover, as well as a number of really cool photographs and bits of trivia and history sprinkled throughout; I gave her a cubic-zirconium and sterling pendant in the shape of a five-pointed star (her favorite shape) on a leather cord, and a pair of matching earrings that happened to come in a blue star-shaped box.
The next day was my birthday, of course, and I shopped and shopped and shopped, did a whole hell of a lot of walking, and went to a literary salon, and then spent the rest of the night with Grandmother in the emergency room (as described below). Then the next two days I stayed in bed, except for the many hours I spent sitting in front of the computer, reading and writing and browsing and dowloading and doing all sorts of tweaky things with my 3D Home Designer (I created a Georgian mansion and a London townhouse, both of dizzying vastness and elegance) and my Sims Creator (with which I finally managed to create two drag queen Sims, one in a short black dress and one in a long red sequined dress, and learned how to make a Celebrity Sim, though my Sim Marlene Dietrich was creepily sepia-toned so I need to find a good color picture).
Then on Monday I drove with Grandmother down to San Jose to visit with Aunt T and Cousin K and little 2nd-Cousins J and A (in the rain... which, as I've probably said before, doesn't really bother me; however, it bothers other drivers and makes them more bothersome to me... and when I found out that the huge twenty-minute backup on 101 was due to people slowing down to look at a not-very-spectacular accident on the other side of the freeway, I just about lost it). Once there, I ended up driving my Cousin K down to the rather stylish Santa Clara County Social Services Office (more rain-driving), where we sat and chatted for a couple of hours while waiting for The Beaurocracy to process some papers so that she'll have some food and assistance when she moves back home from Texas in February. Then we went to dinner, and then I left Grandmother with them and headed back north to San Francisco, where I was to meet the fabulous Jhames and several other noteworthy bloggers at Max's Opera Cafe (which, again, I've already written about so I won't go into it again... just suffice it to say that it was wildly enjoyable and extremely taxing).
The very next day, I slept in fairly late and then wrote the previous post; then I met Jhames again, right in my own little home! After showing him around the Manners Manse (when he saw my bedroom, which is currently rather more vertically messy than usual, he exclaimed “Jesus Fucking Christ on the Holy Cross of Calvary!”... which is a quite good catch-phrase and a vast improvement on my Grandmother's rather more pedestrian expressions of disbelief over the same mess), we got in my car and drove to Min Jung's place... or, rather, we drove aimlessly around in Montclair because I had gotten my previous memory of visiting Min Jung mixed up with my memory of visiting my friend Mary Jane... an honest and easy-to-make mistake! They both are called MJ, they both live in the Montclair hills, I have been to each place only once and at night. What had thrown me was that I'd forgotten that I wasn't driving when we went to Min Jung's before, so nothing looked right in the daytime when I was behind the wheel. At any rate, I ended up having to buy a map at the little grocery-convenience mart in Woodminster (this and Montclair are neighborhoods in Oakland, not cities in themselves), where I also bought a most glorious piece of faux "bling-bling," a thick fake gold nugget bracelet that only cost $12 and which was too "pimpy-fresh" to resist.
After finally finding the fabulous Min Jung and her fabulous hillside home, and meeting one of her roommates, and explaining to Min Jung that she's too fabulous and well-shod to be a mere fag hag and should endeavor to be a diva goddess instead (or, as I put it in pop-culture parlance, “You don't have to be the Grace, you can be the Karen”), and watching them play a big video-game with attitudinous snow-boarders that made me quite dizzy, and looking over the really lovely room that they have to rent (which Min Jung was using as bait to get Jhames to move out here), we drove down to Jack London Square for dinner at Pizzeria Uno with Hoopty and Cheyenne (I don't get straight people, but they were a lot of fun).
After that, we picked up Caroline, who was all diva-ed out in her not-exactly-Chanel black chiffon outfit and long black Dr. Zhivago coat (with its faux Mongolian lamb trim made of wig-hair) and who proceeded to flabbergast both Jhames and Min Jung with her exotic zaniness (she gets nervous around new people and tends to become an unstoppable fountain of personal information, sharing every little piece of oddness about herself that she can think of at once). We dropped off Min Jung and drove back to my house, where we prepared ourselves for an evening of revelry at the Living Sober NYE Dance in San Francisco. I wore my black Perry Ellis slacks with my new jeweled t-shirt from All-American Boy (and had my picture taken with the original in the window, so if it comes out I'll post it here), and my entire Suzanne Somers CZ bracelet collection (I omitted the three SS rhinestone cuffs) along with my two Suzanne Somers rings and my red sneakers.
Getting over to SF is always a bit of a trial, but on this night it was rather more so. I ended up parked at the top of the steepest hill I've ever parked upon (it must have been a 60-degree angle), about fifteen blocks uphill from the dance. This isn't usually a problem, but Caroline had insisted on wearing the cutest little strappy pumps, despite my advice to bring comfortable shoes, and so our progress was slow. But we got there in due course, and spent some time wandering around the Castro (the dance hadn't gotten started yet when we passed by, so rather than wait in line we went in search of coffee), stopping in at the Castro Country Club and running into a lot of friends and acquaintances in our travels.
Jhames had been instructed by a friend to not miss “The Glass Coffin,” so I dutifully trundled him around to view the Twin Peaks bar and explain its historical significance (it was the first gay bar in America to have windows, a brazen cry of freedom in an era when most gay bars were run by the mafia and didn't even have signs outside) as well as its other two nicknames (“God's Waiting Room” and “A Tomb With A View”... the clientele of the Twin Peaks tends to be more mature than in other bars, the big windows and bright lights are not always flattering, and queens are not kind about age).
Upon arriving at the dance and checking our coats, I was quite surprised to find myself dancing. I seldom dance, and almost never in public, and certainly not for more than one Really Crucial song at a time... but the combination of Jhames (who is a very good dancer, but not so spectacular as to intimidate one from joining in) and Caroline (with whom I haven't danced since Junior Prom) with the great Old School tunes being spun by the quite talented DJ Michael, I found myself in the midsts of the floor, shaking my bootie as if there was no tomorrow (and as a result, I woke up the next day wishing that tomorrow hadn't come... oh, my aching joints!) I saw many good friends and a number of nice acquaintances and a certain selection of men I would like very much to know, in the proverbial “Biblical manner.” I had a tinsel tiara on my head, “Groove Is In The Heart” in my blood, and there was no holding me back.
But all parties must peter to an end, and so taking Vince aboard we headed back to the car... a much farther trip than coming from the car, because it was all uphill and we'd been dancing and walking and carrying on for three and a half hours. Poor Caroline, aside from her foolhardy yet fabulous footwear, had been up since 6 am because she'd worked that day, and so our progress was rather more rickety than one might like. But we got to the car eventually, and found it in exactly the same place I'd left it (I wasn't entirely confident that my gears and parking-brakes would sit at that angle, though I pretended I was), then drove back to Vince's so he could drop off the receipts from the dance, and we went out to late-night breakfast at Sparky's, where we were waited on by one of the cutest waitresses I've ever seen, and had a really good time there. For some reason we all had to have blueberry pancakes.
Then back to Vince's, where Caroline fell on the bed and was out immediately, and Jhames went on the computer and read and wrote for a while, and Vince counted out the dance money, and I watched TV (the second half of The King and I and a bit of an AbFab clip show, interspersed with commercials for orange-oil cleaners and vacuum-sealed storage bags). When I started ooohing and aaahing over the colors and brushes and effects on a makeup-technique show on the Style Network (I have got to get digital cable), Vince showed my his Sister Closet, a shallow dressing-table/storage-space that was designed into the apartment in the days when his building was a den of showgirls, and gave me three gorgeous theatre-grade eyeshadow powders from his stash. I promised to reciprocate whenever he next admires some piece of my jewelry to which I am not more attached than I am to my family (he keeps ogling my favorite pieces, and I keep having to bat his hands away from my “babies”).
Then the time came to take Jhames to the airport... parting is always sad and awkward, but we managed to scoot him into SFO without my breaking into tears or falling on my knees and begging him to stay (not that I would have, no matter how much I wanted to... I am far too burdened with dignity). It's funny how you can be with someone for less than twelve hours aggregate, and yet feel perfectly comfortable and close with that person as if you'd known him for years and years. Just one of those things, I guess.
I haven't decided yet if I should have a crush on Jhames. He's awfully cute, and he doesn't have the high squeaky nasal voice I was afraid he might have, and he's kind and thoughtful and brilliant (in my “humble” opinion). But then, I think of crushes as ephemeral things, and he deserves better than something so shallow. There isn't enough physical “chemistry” for a grande passion, either, though. Yet he's had a lot more of an impact than just plain friendship. So I will simply have to reserve a special place in my heart for Jhames that is untainted by labels. He'll be My Jhames, is all (I never did ask about the H, either... but I like it so much, even if it is a pen name, and it makes him different from all the other Jameses and Jims in my life).
At any rate, one can imagine that after such a day and night, I would be a little pooped. So I stayed in bed again yesterday, getting up enough to eat and drink coffee and watch a little television (nothing worthwhile at all on regular cable... I must get digital) and read/write on the internet and buy another Suzanne Somers bracelet (I one day will own them all), alternately read from Sayers' Lord Peter Views the Body and Dennis' Little Me, and play with my Sims (I had to redo one of the families, as the “tone” of the neighborhood had changed and they weren't quite gay enough for me... so the five-man Hunkhouse family was deleted for the six-man Fratte-Boise family, all of whom are blond, built, and sluttily-dressed Aquarians).
And that, I believe, brings us up to date. I am going to go home now, eat some dinner, go to a party at the home of the unspeakable Princess Johnson, and then home again to bed and rest. Some more. Because I deserve it!
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