Thursday, August 31, 2006

Oh! What a beautiful morning!
Last night I went to sleep without the fan on for the first time since I can remember. I also actually had jammy pants on AND slept most of the night under my velvet quilt. This morning, I woke up and was NOT SWEATY and I am right now salivating over the possibility that I will want to wear a SWEATER for my walk to work.
Yes children, I perk up considerably when the summer turns to fall.
I'm also feeling really damn ACCOMPLISHED today which probably helps the mood as well. Yesterday I defrosted the freezer, cleaned out all the half yucky and billions of years old condiments from the fridge, wiped it all down, and reorganized. Then, I went to the grocery store and spent the entirety of my $75 catering payout to refill it. I had a bit of sticker shock, but I got a couple of big ticket items (shrimps, fancy bacon, fancy butter, and fancy cheese, roasted eye of round) so it makes sense. I just have to hold to my promise to actually EAT all this stuff before it goes bad and I have to throw it out.
In addition to the freezer project, I did two loads of laundry, all the dishes, and swept and mopped the kitchen floor. Then I put away all the records and videos on the floor and tidied the magazines. Who am I? Seriously, my "git-er-dun" attitude is sort of scaring me. That's a really good thing, though, because today has got to be a git-er-dun day. I have to make artichoke green chile dip for a catering pick up this afternoon, in addition to getting the trays ready. I have to get started on making 48 servings of chicken fried tofu for Saturday. I have to program the new cash register. I have to receive the Frankferd order and wrap the tofu. AND, I have to do all this while taking care of what has become a pretty consistently busy line. Whew! Bring it on. I am hoping that I get my copy of small deadly space today to help me amp it up a notch. I better take some other stuff with me just to make sure, though I did pretty well crankin it out to Bob yesterday. Bob played not only "So Alive" by Love and Rockets but "Kiss You All Over" by Exile yesterday morning. It really helped me make it through.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Well now, I have some things I want to talk about, but first, I will finish my promised Boston travelogue. I am so close to being done, I just have to do it!
Plus, Sunday was a funday! So, here goes:
Sunday morning we got up eventually, and finished cleaning from the afterparty. We had a heck of a time figuring out what to do with all the leftover booze(the leftover food we packed for picnics, and there were only a couple leftover cupcakes!)
Kyle came over and we went to breakfast at the most amazing breakfast place in JP: Sorella's. I was losing my mind over the menu...something like 8 pages of omelets, pancakes, french toast, and other specialties. I remember that rebby had the Portugese Omelet and she was in heaven...mine had salmon and cream cheese and avocado and god knows what else in it. I begged for a copy of the breakfast menu to take home but they were out (luckily, sissy mailed one to me this week! :) It was awe inspiring, and the wait did not seem out of proportion to the goodness. In fact, I think it was the only time we really had to wait for breakfast on this trip, which is unusual for Boston. After the amazing breakfast we had to run some errands--first to the grocery store to get some rabbit food for the bunny, then we stopped at the liquor store so rebby and I could get some Magic Hat to transport across state lines. We ended up with a case of #9, and a mixed case of summer brews including the Circus Boy Wheat, Hocus Pocus, some #9s, and a couple bottles of batch 357 mystery beer. It was yummy and sort of grapefruity. (aside: there must be some beer ingredient that causes the grapefruity taste, because it seems to occur in a lot of beers. Is it hops? malt? I dunno) We then dispatched with Kyle, but I honestly don't remember how. Did we take him to the T station? I think so. We returned to the house where the newlyweds continued to pack for their honeymoon to MassMoCa. Rebby and I decided that we just couldn't leave without a visit to Salem, so we printed out hasty directions and said our goodbyes to the ladies, and jumped into the truck.
It was a little scary getting out of the city, but once we were on the highway it was a lovely drive. The end of the trip into Salem involved a lot of little twists and turns through tiny towns, but we found it just fine. Right about 4pm on a Sunday. We parked the truck in a public lot and tore through the streets on a mission to get to the Pirate Museum before the gift shop closed. I thought I would be able to find it by instinct, but we ended up asking a very nice resident who was watering her garden. It turns out we were right around the corner!
We made it in plenty of time and I got a really nice new pirate flag mug that has lots of flags on it. I still think I could do a much better job running a pirate museum gift shop, but that will have to wait until I get my summer home in Salem. (ha!)
From the pirate museum we headed toward the witchcraft shop. Rebby almost gave up looking for skull rings but I found a tiny basket of them on the counter. She got a new one and then we walked on to the mall, where we stopped in some more gift shops. I ended up getting a great t shirt with a little skull and crossbones that says Salem on the front, and the back is all about wenching and pillaging and drinking. I love it. By the time we were done in that shop, most things were closing, but we did stop in to the Salem Thrift Store. Unfortunately, there were no magical finds there (that we could afford), but it was funny to see that the Salem thrift store has a whole section of historical re-enactment costumes.
We got back on the road to Boston, and had to decide which of the historic campy restaurants on Rt 1 we were going to visit. We stopped at Hilltop Steak House because I was charmed by the giant cactus and thought it might be a real Rat Pack kinda place...but when we went in, it looked like any Ponderosa you might find in anytown, USA. Not worth our time. So we headed on to Kowloon, which was the exact Rat Pack experience we were looking for. We didnt' end up getting seated in the tiki lagoon, where all the guests had leis on and there were lots of fountains and colored lights and plastic trees, but we did get a SCORPION BOWL and I did get a FLAMING PINEAPPLE. It was glorious. Rebby had duck with lychee and I had never seen anything so gorgeous. What a good time.
We finished our meal and headed back into the city for an evening of cable. We settled in and were treated to a documentary on Blackbeard, followed by Hangin with Judas Priest! It was magic. Then our last night of vacation, and in the morning we packed everything into the truck and headed home. Boo. The trip home was extra miserable due to construction and by the time we finally arrived we were both CRAN-KAY. But all in all, it was a lovely, lovely vacation. Thanks for gettin married sis!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Sorry about the broken promise. I will, eventually, finish the Boston travelogue. Maybe even today, as I will need periodic distraction from the HOUSEWORK.
But now, I want to talk about Robert Plant's birthday!
We had a great time at the birthday brunch. People really dug the squeeze my lemon pancakes, even though one of the servers had a hard time actually saying the name of the pancakes for the first half of the brunch. By the time we were rockin out to Zeppelin 4, though, she pulled me aside and said "now I LOVE saying Squeeze My Lemon Pancakes!" Hee hee. The Stairway to Vegan Plate got good reviews too, though it took a while for it to catch on. In the end we sold out of all the specials except a few pieces of frittata, which I think sold later. Good times!
It was an all girl crew and, let me tell ya, that felt really nice. At the risk of being reductionist AGAIN, I think that the majority of whining that goes on at the quizzle is done by boys. The ladies are just EFFICIENT. It's great.
After I was done with my shift, I couldn't leave because Zeppelin III was on. Finally Jill came and took it out of the player and offered me a ride home. Awesome!
I ordered a pizza, opened a bottle of red wine, and popped in The Song Remains the Same. The wine is unfortunately not very good, but I slugged it down with some lemon lime seltzer. The pizza was awesome....a deep dish pepperoni from Leetle Neepers. And the movie....well. I was trying really hard to concentrate on Robert since it was his birthday and all, but Pagey just demands my attention. I am still and always bothered by his outfit though. Why could he not wear a matching top and pants? He's a Capricorn, for chrissakes, you would think it would bother him as much as it does me. He's got the zodiac/dragon pants on and the rose top. I know that the rose pants exist, because somewhere in my memory banks I have seen a picture of them, though I couldn't find one online last night. It's a dilemma. Still and
Don't get me wrong, though...Robert is equally amazing. I really love the way they play off of each other in's just a thrilling thing to watch. And of course, nothing beats Robert's fantasy sequence. What you should know, if you don't already, is that his entire thing is totally tongue in cheek. He's a brilliant man.
OK! I'm fighting with my media player right now. More later.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Happy Birthday Percy!

Yep, the original Golden God turns 58 tomorrow. We will be celebrating at the Quiet Storm with an unofficial Robert Plant theme brunch featuring Squeeze My Lemon Pancakes with Raspberry Syrup, Stairway to Vegan Platter, and Kashmir Spinach Frittata. We'll also be rockin the Zep.

If you can't make it for brunch, please enjoy these priceless gems from Bobert and celebrate in your own way:

Hereis a Youtube upload of one of my all time favorite Bobert performances, from the Concerts For Kampuchea.

And hereis a very, very funny question and answer he did with Blender.

You are the Devil card. The Devil is based on the figure Pan, Lord of the Dance. The earthy physicality of the devil breeds lust. The devil's call to return to primal instincts often creates conflict in a society in which many of these instincts must be kept under control. Challenges posed by our physical bodies can be overcome by strength in the mental, emotional, and spiritual realms. Pan is also a symbol of enjoyment and rules our material creativity. The devil knows physical pleasure and how to manipulate the physical world. Material creativity finds its output in such things as dance, pottery, gardening, and sex. The self-actualized person is able to accept the sensuality and usefulness of the devil's gifts while remaining in control of any darker urges. Image from The Stone Tarot deck.
Take this quiz!

I am honestly surprised at this result! Sure, I'm INTO the devil card, but I never thought I was so much IDENTIFIED with it. I always thought of myself as an Empress type. But hey. Must be all the metal I've been listening to.

Speaking of the metal and the devil, I got The Number of the Beast on CD at the used store in Oakland on Monday. It really is a fantastic album. I was sort of scared to buy any Maiden albums myself because I'm not into the Eddie covers. But I really like listening to Maiden, and of course old dodgey Bruce is in my metal top three. (currently at the bottom, if you are wondering.) There's a song on it called "Invaders" that sounds so very much like the Judas Priest song "Invader" that I just have to laugh when I hear it, and also a song about a prostitute that I don't much care for. But, it's got the big heavies..."Run to the Hills", "Number of the Beast" and "Hallowed Be Thy Name." Certainly worth the $7.99 investment, plus it is a reissue with some bonus computer material I haven't looked at yet and some really cute pictures of the band through the years.

So, I've been going to Blockbuster a lot in the last week...mostly to catch up on my Margaret Cho watching, and to pass the time when I am not working but have no energy or drive to do anything else and don't want to sit in my computer chair playing bubbels. I watched the Todd Haynes weird flick Safe, I watched Rockstar last night, and earlier today I watched One Crazy Summer on the recommendation of one of the baristas and this weird dude who likes to hang out at the QS and bust in on our conversations. Can't say I LOVED any of them, but they were all okay. This evening I watched a documentary that raised my ire...Tying the Knot about gay marriage. I try not to be reductionist as a general rule, but this film left me with a seething rage for straight people. That's not really fair, because even the documentary itself is full of very supportive and rational straight people, but it also had plenty of quotes from dimwitted fucktards that had me beating my couch and screaming. And of course, when I say straight people, I mean straight AMERICANS. I think it is very important that every person in the country sees this film. It's probably fair to say that it is a little emotionally manipulative, but the stories it tells are real stories and probably only representative of countless others who have been screwed over financially after the death of their life partners. I cried for an hour after I was done watching it. Sometimes Christians make me cry.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Ok, now it's been too long and my memory is all fuzzy, but by special request I am going to finish my Boston Gay Wedding Travelogue.
When I left you last, it was the big day. We got up early and I started cooking again, rebby started cleaning again, and the sisters went to their hairdo appointments. Things progressed very well, and although everyone was a little bit nervous, it was mostly a chill morning. We went over the lists again, packed everything up, and headed out to the wedding site.
When we got there, I flew right into wedding coordinator mode. All the vendors had either already been and gone or were just arriving, and everything was incredibly smooth. We got the tables all set up, and the chairs for the string trio, and rebby went to work on the AV stuff. After we had all our duties figured out rebby and I went to work making the centerpieces---big sand buckets with flowers and beach balls and sunglasses and cameras and sunscreen and bugspray. It was all very bustling, but still, really chill. Everyone seemed to be in a great mood. I chatted with the bartender girl about the signature cocktail (champagne with a rose water soaked sugar cube...YUM!) and chatted with the DJ and the trio director and caterer and the officiant. He was super awesome. The sisters got upstairs to get their beautiful dresses on, and we finished all the last minute preparations. The place looked gorgeous, and we couldn't have asked for a better day. Guests started arriving before I knew it, and I almost forgot that I needed to change too! Finally I went upstairs and put on my party dress and fabulous hat and got my important bag all ready...rings, and vows, and my reading, and tissues and sunblock and bugspray. Got back downstairs to greet some of the guests and chat with the family, and then the sisters came down...looking SO LOVELY! They were still a little nervous, but mostly everyone was just all smiles and chatting. Everyone milled around for a bit, sipping on the delicious cocktail while the string trio played special arrangements of Billy Squier, Queen, David Bowie, and some local rock numbers. It was so funny to watch people sort of stop in mid conversation as they sort of recognized a song. Then the time came...I got everyone more or less together and cued the director to play "You Shook Me All Night Long", which was the cue to start moving to the wedding site. People took their places under the tree and I took my place between Matt and Dad, after making sure that the ring bearers got their rings (I think they ended up with the wrong rings despite my best efforts!) and the brides got their vows.
The ceremony itself was very sweet, and also full of laughter. Just like the sisters themselves! There was a kahlil gibran reading, and some reading from a decision about gay marriage that in the context of an actual gay marriage brought tears to everyone's eyes. The officiant managed to get the names of both our parents wrong, which proved to be the source of much in family humor later. The vows were amazing...I was trying really hard not to cry as I still had to read my thing and I didn't want to be all choked up. But everyone was at least a little misty eyed. I did my reading from Mr Rogers and it proved to be a big hit. The ceremony was exactly the right length...a lot of times I think people who have untraditional ceremonies err a little on the side of being TOO short, but this one was perfect. Lots of cheering and hugs and kisses followed, and then we headed to the beverage table to get drinks before the photo shoot. The bridal party people went to the secret back garden where we were photographed in all different configurations, including some really cute group hug pictures that I think brought out the best in everyone. It really was very celebratory. I was extremely impressed that the caterers made sure to come back to the photo area to get us some food...especially since rebby and I had neglected to eat anything but some stale pirate booty all morning! After the photos, it was time to just mingle with guests and eat some delicious food that was displayed oh so attractively. I ended up missing a lot of the things because I never really got a chance to sit down with a plate, but I did get some delicious little spring rolls and some really good cheese and fruit. Tried to encourage people to go to the video message room and leave video messages...I don't know how many they ended up getting. Met some new people, chatted with some old familiar faces. It was such a sweet party! Then it was time to get people gathered in for the cake cutting, and Matt's awesome toast. He is such a funny guy, and he just loves my sissy so much...I was weeping again automatically. After they figured out the cutting, and didn't smear it in each other's faces, it was time for the first dance to "You Shook Me" Some of us joined right in, but we had a hard time getting folks on the dance floor. Eventually the DJ took matters into her own hands with an awesome circle dance to "We Are Family" really did get people going and a lot of folks stayed to dance more after that. Sissy and I got down to Shakira, and then Allison requested a special song "I Put A Spell On You" and sissy did an awesome belly dance performance. We tried really hard to find something that all the Johnston kids would dance to, finally settling on the Violent Femmes. Shannon and Staacy went over to dad to complain that the older Johnston girls had gotten all the rhythm in the family. HA! There was more dancing, eating, drinking, and carousing, and then it was cake time. Wow, that cake was good! We didn't act fast enough though and only got one little piece. But, yum.
Rebby ran off to arrange the alcohol transfer, and we started to say goodbye to folks. Then the sisters went out to have their vespa getaway photo op (I was dead set against them actually riding the scooter in their dresses, so we "staged" a ride around the driveway for pictures) It was so cute! The perfect ending to a perfect day.
Afterward we went upstairs to change and then load our stuff back into the car. There was some Johnston family shenanigans and bad ass photo ops with the sunglasses...really fun. Allison and Mandy rode home on the vespa, we followed in the highlander, and the rest of the family followed in the car. There were some tricky twists and turns which resulted in dad actually honking angrily at us, which we joked about. It seemed silly.
We arrived back at the place and I went into tailspin mode getting things ready for the afterparty. It was a wonderful time, lots of people hanging out on the porch chowing down and not drinking nearly enough (there was SO MUCH booze left over!) The vegan red velvet cupcakes were a big hit. I was very happy to wander into the secret Elyria meeting in the living room at one point. We all did a great job of not collapsing after all the excitement, but eventually everyone cleared out and we went to bed without leaving too much of a mess.

Whew! That was exhausting! Tomorrow I will finish up the Boston travelogue with tales of our 1 hour trip to Salem, and the magic that is Kowloon.