Saturday, August 31, 2013

It's electrifying!

So I know that at least one of you is asking "What has Cookie been up to?"

Well, where to begin.

About three, three and a half weeks ago, just as the husband and I were drifting off to sleep to the distant rumblings of thunder from spotty storms in the area, out of nowhere, a bolt of lightning went off.  You read about it here.

We figured that the modem was the only thing that got wiped out.  Case closed.  Move on.

But it wasn't.

In the last three weeks we have seen things failing in the house that should be failing.  First it was the modem. Then it compact fluorescent bulbs.  Then the house alarm panel.  All of this culminated last Sunday when the 100 amp circuit breaker went red hot and tripped, plunging us into darkness.

So we waited for it cool, and turned it back on.  All was fine for about five minutes and it went again, red hot again.  So we shut everything off, waited for it cool and reset it, and it stuck.

We also found a FABULOUS new electrician who offers 24 hour emergency service and he came out, replaced the breaker and charged $200 - for an emergency call.  I almost came in my pants when he told us how much it was going to be.  We were expecting $1,000 bill.

Mr. Electrician shows me the breaker and its all oily.  Circuit breakers come with a little lubrication from the factory so they will trip with ease, under the right conditions.

"You guys get a Helluva surge? These aren't supposed to do this."

I explained what happened and how things were failing.  The house has been tripping on and off.  The guy said that we should keep an eye on the appliances.  "TV's can take a surge and die a year later.  That washer with electronic panel?  Same thing. "

So I look him up on Angie's List and his company gets all A's and Page of Happiness award and a coupon for $500 off for a breaker box installation.

So, not wanting this to happen again, and thinking ahead to when we sell the cottage, I asked the dude how much was it to do a heavy up and go from 100amp service to 200amp service.  We'd been talking about it for months anyway, and it doesn't hurt to ask.  And if we put central air units in, we'd need it anyway.

So he does figuring and gives me a price and I plotz.  Holy crap.  I was expecting double.  And BGE will run the 200 AMP wire from the pole to the house for free.  "They want you to use more electric, so they make their money on the back end."

Anyhow Dude and his crew are coming in two weeks and are going to untangle the mess that is our house.  Included in the price is a whole house surge protector and better outdoor grounding.  And they are going to remove the remaining fuse lines as well.


And at Kabuki Zero's advice, and its pretty sound, we are replacing all of the surge protectors just to be on the safe side.

So thats where I have been.   Shocking, isn't it.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Before and After: Roy H. Frowick

Roy before - and...

Halston, old and crispy. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Drag This: The lie that tells the truth

Yes, that is I, Cookie, in a dress, the one time I have ever gone out in a dress, and it was on Halloween, about 20 years ago.  I haven't been that skinny since the first Clinton administration.  And I haven't put on a dress since.  Why?  Well, frankly, I'm not very good at it.  Take this picture - I refused to shave off my goatee, making it a bit less draggy and bit more gender fuck.   And frankly, women's clothes don't become me and I don't become very ladylike in them.

So I went and did it once, and there is the proof.

I'm sharing it because Muscato, that bon vivant and world traveler was writing about his visit to a drag show and how it was a drag.

A dear friend of mine once tried to impart his wisdom on me once by saying "There is no such thing as bad sex.  Sex is sex.  The same goes for drag shows. It is what it is."

I agreed with him, because when someone says something stupid like that what else can you do?

Look, I have had plenty of bad sex.  You know, you meet someone, look at them with beer goggles, its late and the bar is closing and you go to his place and you get him unclothed and you find that he's 6'5" and the 5" is as thick as a pencil.  Or you meet this really good looking mans man, and he's all man, with the perfect man's build, and you go back to his place and you find everything is covered in floral chintz and doilies.  And no sooner than you say "are those ceramic mime masks on your wall?",  Mr. Butch is on his back screaming for you to "fuck me like the woman I am."

Yeah, that is bad sex, right there.

Well, bad drag is a lot like bad sex.

There used to be a time when a drag Queen would take the stage and "a night of illusion" would commence.  Some would have great talent at picking their songs, or working the crowd or making you hoot and hollar for more.

And in these shows, they knew enough that the bad acts got tucked and taped like a penis in the middle.  Where most people wouldn't notice the lull.  Start them off right, finish them with a bang, and in the middle were Queen's who were "meh" because the head Queen running the show knew that people after to go potty sometime.

The bad shows?  They were beyond bad.  There was the "My parents just found out I do drag and their in the audience tonight" bad.  The performance that followed was always something tres dramatique. Lipsyncing "The Rose" or "I've Never Been to Me" kinda bad.

Once you find out that the Drag Queen's folks are in the audience and they JUST learned that their son does drag, you never get Sweet Pussy Pauline, an MC Luscious tribute with "BOOM I Fucked Your Boyfriend".

No, you get Buffy St. Marie or a song that starts off with the lyric "Hey, Lady..." and well there goes the night.  I know I should be supportive.  This man, wearing a dress that once belonged to a bridesmaid at Bohl-Holder wedding, in shoes high enough to give anyone a nosebleed, is exposing the real person that they are.   But its a drag show, not family therapy.

Call me a curmudgeon, but if its family therapy night, I want my cover back.

The other type of drag show that is bad is one in which men put on dresses and go out to the crowd and demand tribute like the audience owes them something.  I've seen these dude in dresses even bring out coffee cans for people to fill up why they parade around the stage move their mouths in a "oo-ah, oo-ah, oo-ah, brown cow, brown cow, oo-ah, oo-ah, oo-ah" as if that is supposed to make us think that they are singing "Its Raining Men".

I mean if you are out there to make money, put some effort into it.  Get an act up, girl.  Just don't act out.  You know what I'm saying?

But the worst of the worst was a drag show at Wall Street, a bar in Columbus, Ohio where the show was opened by a "Drag King" - a lesbian dressed up like a man - named "Jimmy" who had no talent.  The "King" came out on the stage, trying to do Elvis, but "him" small stature (maybe 5'4") and greased back hair (a Sha Na Na knockoff move) and glittery lounge jacket made him look like like a pip squeak.  Instead of lip syncing, "Jimmy" sang the lyrics of "Teddy Bear" while trying to force the girl voice within into a muffled growl. Jimmy was horrible.

Wounded animal horrible.

The only redeeming value to this charade was that "Jimmy" brought a female with him who was supposed to be his groupie, and that is where the real show took place.  The woman was dressed in a lycra white dress, two sizes too small, and giving real meaning to "Baby Got Back".  On her feet were black Doc Marten boots, and she tied the whole ensemble together with a black feather boa.  On top of her head was dark hair bleached white - the kind of white that looks yellow because someone did it using a box product and didn't prep their hair right.

But as "Jimmy" sang his groupie jumped up and down and writhed like a teenage girl.  Normally people would be buzzing with talk, booze and some drugs, because thats what happens when a bad drag act is on the stage.  But in this this moment of experimental theater you could have heard a pin drop had it not been for "Jimmy's" "singing".  Three hundred eyes were fixed not on the stage, but on this "groupie" and her tourettesesque performance.

And we all applauded.  Why?  Well because we wanted this to happen the following weekend.  No one was going to believe this.  And we were going to bring friends to see this.

And that's the thing about drag.  When its good, its really great.  When its bad, its awful.  But when its the lie that tells the truth, like the rehearsed group writhing over a no talent?  Sweetie, that's not drag, it's camp.

And camp is never bad.  Its just flawless as it is.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

It's a look

Good for hiding fly-away hairs.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Maybe its time we looked at the softer side of Sears & Roebuck

Someone's nipples have been amended.

Sears, formerly known as Sears Roebuck,  the Largest Store in the World - oh they of Americana's Wishbook fame, has evidently tried to expand their market share by offering items, that, eh, more people want and need in an effort to become more relevant in the lives of modern Americans.

As a child I would look through my grandparents Sears catalog's and find myself trembling in an oddly excited fashion looking at the images of men and boys older than I was, posing in their white tee-shirts and white jockey briefs.  They would be grouped together, or pictured alone.  They would be posed standing in scene showing them milling about, or some seated and others standing.  There were also the infamous poses showing a young man standing holding a football, either like shield in front of their chest, or raised about his head as if to imply that he was tossing the football in a friendly game of touch football between underwear clad friends.

In the 1970s, as retailers became attuned to the changing social morays and fashion, the briefs got skimpier, and the models became less like a clean cut young father, and more sexual.  For those of us clsoeted gay teens who hit puberty in the 1970s, Jim Palmer became the icon of the man we wanted to call Daddy.

Fast forward to 2013, and even those Jockey brief ads featuring Jim Palmer look positively puritanical to what has been found in Sears Online web site.

Like the picture above, there are listings under the heading "Elegant Moments" for black dog collars and leashes, penguin briefs and frilly nities that would shock the children of yesterday.  Indeed, back in the 70s, the only place to see these pictures was if one's father hid a copy of Playboy under his side of the mattress.

Instead of men, modestly posed in tee shirt and briefs, their genitalia penciled out to the point where they look like Ken dolls, Sears makes no apologies for men, women and their sexual fantasy needs as far as the item is concerned.

WANTED: Male Model willing to humiliate self by wearing "Vinyl Penguin Pouch".
Must have ball point sized nipples. Apply at Sears. 
I'm not sure who has a sexual fantasy involving a man wearing a vinyl bird on the from of his posing strap, but he is eye candy when you realize that he was paid to do this.  

And what of the name of the line, "Elegant Moments"?  Look at that picture above and tell me what is elegant about that outfit?

If there is anything amiss, it is the issue of nipples, which have been reduced to microscopic size on the men, and missing completely on the women.  Take for example, the Elegant Moments Black Lace Babydoll W G Strng Bk 3X.  The peek-a-boo boo boobalicous nighty has easy access cutaways on the bra cup.  However in the online catalog picture, when one zooms in, there is something amiss!

They have removed her nipples.  Why she has two fingers on each breast is beyond me, but it isn't hiding nipples, unless she is one of the unfortunate women born with Top-Hatch Nipple Syndrome, or THNS.

Some of their Photochopping, or use of MSPaint are rather sad:

The jiggly eyes set this apart, however, is this for man, or a eunuch?

I for one would find these more erotic had they been Craftsmen, instead of Elegant Moments.

To see more of the soft-core side of Sears, go here.

Creamy + Dried Beef + Mold = I am going to be sick

This has been floating around social media the last day or so.  I thought it had come from the Onion, but it was just Betty Crocker trying to put a new spin on Shit on a Shingle.

There is not one thing in this that I would ever think of combining and then serving to a human.

But what bothers me is the idea that the words "Creamy" "Dried Beef" and "Mold" could be used together in a recipe that wasn't from Mad Magazine.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Computer+Home Network+Comcast = Lizzie Borden Level Anger

Friends, when I tell you it hasn't been fun here in the past 36 hours, I mean IT HASN'T BEEN FUN.  Not one fucking bit.

It started on Wednesday night, as it was rumbling far, far away and rain was pour down outside, and in the moments when you lie in bed, drifting, slowly, into the gossamer portal of being asleep, when the bedroom lit up like a bomb had gone off in our front yard and CRACK resonated through the four walls into our very beings.

We both sat upright in bed and in the type of unison that becomes a happily married and entwined couple of many years, said at the exact moment "What the fuck was that?"

The dogs, in their room, started barking so I got up to comfort them, looked outside for damage and then glimpsed through the attic door to make sure we weren't on fire, and then approached bed, so I could follow the hubby into slumberland.

Next morning, its still raining, horrible humid, and according to the idiots that populate the morning anchor desk at WBAL-TV, heard that we had had some storms the night before. Duh.

I pull out my lap top, turn it on and "où sont les Internet?" I say to myself.   No connectivity to the outside world!  "But the television is working," says my mind.  TV, but no Internet?

So I go upstairs and check the wiring.  Everything is lit up as it should be.  No surge protectors tripped.
So I boot up my desktop, or as I like to call it "the place where the magic happens", and even it, hardwired to the network can boot up just hunky dorey fine, but no connectivity.  Mac Book Pro - no connectivity.  iPad? Nada.

"Well," I think, "poo!"

This is when I made my tactical mistake.  I called Comcast, our provider for support.

I hop through the prompts and get connected to "Bob" in the call center.  "Where are you?" I ask.  "Bob" is in the Philippines.   "Bob" finds our account and then asked what my relationship to the account holder.

"He's my husband," says I, and CLICK, "Bob" disconnects the call.

So I call back.  This is the first of seven call backs, none of which end well.  All of the script readers in Manilla want me to unplug this, replug this, move this, move that, etc., and so on, until everything is screwed up, but good.

FINALLY, I get a representative in Bangalore, a nice man also named "BOB" who tells me the cable modem is bad.  "YOU WILL NEED, TO, EH, TAKE THEM MODEM, UH, YES, MR. COOKIE, AND EXCHANGE IT FOR ONE THAT WORKS."

So I drive to Cabletown, where Comcast's office is and swap the modem, install the modem per their instructions.  I then call in to activate the modem, and the computerized IVR unit that Comcast uses and it can't find my account.

I get transferred to a woman who explain what is going on and how it has used up four of the hours on this world that God the Almighty has given me, and she says "I would really like to help you, but I can only provide support to the Western half of the United States.

We are stupefied, but not surprised.

Again we are transferred, this time to the "Executive Support Level" where I get a man, in America, named "Lou" who has the most delicious Southern drawl, and Lou activates this, activates that, reads through the memo and says to me "Do you have a wireless router that we didn't install?"

I answer yes, and tell him the brand.  Why?

"Well I'm wondering if your router got fried.  We've had storms in Lutherville, where I live, and did you have storms last night where you are?"

He's American.  He has a southern accent.  And he's in Baltimore - Joy of Joys!  I am saved!

Between the two of us, we get the desk top working.  Lou them tells me that a technician will be at the house in the morning to fix the connection.  I decide on my own to replace the replace the router because its a few years old.

Miracle of miracles it worked!  Civilization by 6PM.

So Lou calls me this morning and apologizes for my nine hours of a Chinese fire drill.

"I went back into the dump room (where they keep the returned equipment) and found your old Modem. I tested it and it looks like it took a hit through the incoming cable line.  You might want to replace that router, too."

I tell him I have and he thanks me for my patience.

My tactical mistake was thinking that just because the lights were all on the surge protectors that they had done there job.  I never once considered that something came in through the cable!

Still at 3PM yesterday afternoon, dealing with people who read off scripts, asking me to the same damned questions, over and over again, and those frustrating calls through those IVRs, I now think I have a pretty good feeling how Lizzie Borden felt 121 years ago when she took and axe and gave took care of her problem.

Thank God we don't have an axe.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What has Cookie been up to?

Peenee is always a fashion plate.

Well, I wish I had huge news, and I do.

The Husband and I had dinner with Mr. Peenee, Super Agent Fred AND the Diane von Austinburg last night at the Oceanaire in Harbor East.

The food was flawless, and the company even better.

If you have never eaten with Mr. Peenee, its really something to see.  The boy can consume massive amounts of food, on par with competitive eaters.  No crab cake was too large for him.

We talked about many things.  The weather.  The sweat soaked, glistening bodies of the shirtless young men sparkled running down the street in the early evening sun.  The topic of Texas came up and so did humidity.  I had my sidecars, and Super Agent Fred drank a Tidybowl, except the restaurant calls it an "Oceanaire".  Well at Casa d' Cookie it would have come with a little plastic toy man in a boat floating on top.

And that was all before the second round of drinks came to the table.  Then we talked about all of you.

Don't be afraid.  The only person who was brought up that brought snarls and pity was the kook hermaphrodite Stalker who used to stalk Mr. Peenee and be horrible to Mean Dirty Pirate.

If I lived in Columbus I would have gone over to Witch Mary's house, a couple doors down from Pot Smoking Phil, and had her do a spell that would force said Stalker to walk around and proclaim to every stranger that he meets that "I'm a total dick" for all the uncomfortable oogies he's caused.  Thats what I do for friends - I ask my witch friends to put curses on the ones who annoy them. So watch out.

And speaking of Diane von Austinburg, she was adorable and sweet and wise and funny.  I am jealous of Peenee.  And Secret Agent Fred? I want to see him naked.  But back to Peenee - I covet is light blue Converse shoes!

If you ever have the chance to meet Mr. Peenee, DO IT.  He's utterly charming, generous and surrounds himself with good people.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Mutton served with a simmering dish of repressed rage

One hundred and twenty-one years ago today, what turned out to be the most famous luncheon of the "Gay Nineties" was served up in Fall River, Massachusetts.  The meal, in the 90 degree high heat consisted of five day old mutton, and rotted pears from the backyard tree that Andrew Borden had collected from the ground.  The same ground where the family emptied their chamber pots that morning from the night before.  Andrew Borden was a notoriously cheap, and no waste was allowed in his home, even if it killed someone, and even if he was the one it killed.

No one spoke at the meal, save for asking for another serving of shit infused pears or fetid mutton on the verge of spoilage, because of a land deal that was happening between Andrew Borden and another family member.  The family's maid ate with the Borden's, and then rushed outside to vomit.  The doctor had been called to the house because of the stomach distress that everyone was suffering from.

While Borden's daughter Lizzie would ask her father to pass something, her anger was directed at Andrew's second wife, who's family would benefit from the land deal.  And to express her anger, Lizzie, would ask her father's wife by addressing her as "Mrs. Borden".  To quote author Florence King in her book, WASP, Where is Thy Sting, "oh, what a cathartic release that must have been."

And while the doctor claimed that the food was rancid from being left out in the heat, Andrew Borden would hear of such nonsense.  And he continued to insist that his family eat the rotting mutton, which even under the best of circumstances is an intolerable meal.

After the lunch - the whole family had been ill from eating the noxious food - life went on as usual at the Borden House, for what would be the last time.

For dinner, another round of spoiled mutton was served and then the family went to their rooms to sleep.  And tempers simmered in the eighty degree night air.

But the following day, August 5, 1892 would be a day full of surprises for the Borden entire family, and Fall River, for that matter.  

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Is it really just coincidence, my dear Peenee?

Who knows who is in these suits, but I can guarantee that it is not Cookie, or the Husband

At last I can confess: Mr. Peenee is coming to town.

All y'all don't know how hard its been for me to keep the news to myself, but I have.  I have wanted to tell you, but I haven't.  But now I have to spill the beans.

Peenee and the one and only Secret Agent Fred - think of them as the non-porn team of Bat Dude and Throbbin - are coming to Baltimore to get some things done.  In the process, I, that is me, Cookie, will be at their service.

But I find it odd that they chose THIS weekend of all weekends to come to Charm City.

And then it dawned on us whilst reading the shabby thing that passes as the Convention Center Marquee.

BRONYCON is here tomorrow.

And Peenee and Secret Agent Fred will be here, too.

At first I thought, no; this cannot be.  Its just coincidence.  The roll of the dice.

THEN, it was announced that Diane von Austinburg would be in town at the same time.

Well, I can put 1 and 1 and 1 together as well as the next person and come up with 111, no?

YES!  It was planned!

So what is Bronycon?

Bronycon is a convention of teenage to young adult males (into their 30s) who love, neigh, NEIGH, worship My Pretty Pony.

A Brony, flanked by his associates.
You read me right.

Men who get into My Pretty Pony.

Really Dude?  And in 40 years from now when you are being confirmed to Chair the
Federal Reserve are going to explain THIS at your Senate Confirmation Hearing?

This is just like Comic-Con, but without the diversity of various life forms, because EVERYTHING is My FREAKING Pretty Pony.

According to the web site, this is third or fourth year, and each year it keeps growing. Last year attendance shot from a couple hundred in its first year to 4,000.  And for this event they are expecting 6,000 people for the nightly entertainment events.  Thats 6,000 teenage males and guys into their thirties getting high and all My Pretty Pony on the moment.  Can there be that many men who get turned on by my Pretty Pony?

Of course, Mr. Peenee, Secret Agent Fred and Diane won't be in that mob of hormones galloping amuk.

Oh, goodness, no!

But they'll be watching, observing and taking notes.  And who could blame them. Wouldn't you? Why am I even asking you when we know what the answer is: of course you would.  And I bet that they'll also be cheering these Bronies on to be the most Perfect Bronies that they can be.   Why even Kabuki Zero would be here if he could, encouraging these bronies to "Run, Play and BE FREE!"

And I will do my best to see to it that there is film to record this moment in history when Peenee meets Brony.  

Honey, come back in, quick!

Those several months of static are over and the Redundant Variety Hour is back on!