I’m so grateful for coffee

Today’s coffee cup (it’s blurry; so am I), brought to you by Tom, is from Alonti Cafe and Catering. It was part of a gift bag he received a few years ago while he was working on a Habitat for Humanity home through AIDS Foundation Houston. AFH is the third HIV/AIDS assistance organization with whom Tom has volunteered over the past eleven years. I think he’s a stand-up guy, that Tom. He can’t be doing it for the coffee cups, because we have an abundance.

People are strange

Today’s coffee cup is brought to you courtesy of an August 1998 visit to Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California.

Where, upon seeing something that looked like this:

Becky quietly said to Jim, “And that is why I don’t swim in the ocean.” Which caused a total stranger to turn and blare at Becky, “YOU WON’T FIND THOSE HERE!”

Not everyone in Southern California is mellow.

Coffee Cups and Kings of America



This morning’s coffee mug is brought to you courtesy of my old job as a bookseller. Our manager, Tim W., decided it would be more economically friendly to drink our water out of mugs than styrofoam cups, so he purchased Bookstop (Anyone remember Bookstop? It was Bookstar in New Orleans.) mugs for all the staff and wrote our names on them with indelible pen. Over the years, my name is disappearing little bits at a time, but my memories of being a Bookstop assistant manager really are indelible. The store changed my life in so many great ways, as it brought not only fantastic people to me but was my doorway into AIDS awareness and queer writing and politics. Would I be a writer without Bookstop? Yes. Would I be published? Hard to know. That time of my life provided the place and support I needed to find and develop my voice.

And for future reference, if you read A COVENTRY CHRISTMAS, the bookstore manager in that novel is in NO WAY based on Tim W., who was never anything but good to me and for whom I feel the greatest affection.

Now, about this king thing… I first saw a reference in FARB’s blog, then it was all over my AOL welcome screen, that W thinks brother Jeb should run for president. Let’s just nip this in the bud now, shall we? I have a plan.

I freely admit that I’m an Anglophile. It’s true; I love many things British. So I agree that we should gently put aside our nation’s silly founding notion that we didn’t need a king. I’ve been watching the British royal family for years, and as far as I can tell, they make a lot of money and cut a lot of ribbons, have interesting horses and dogs, and occasionally trot out to publicly tsk tsk something they think is in bad taste, but for the most part, they are harmless figureheads who do some good in the world and often make people feel better about bad things.

If the Bushes want to be our nation’s royal family, I’m all for it. Paying them a salary equivalent to what the British royals make would cost boatloads (and when I say boats, I mean BIG boats, like the size of the Queen Elizabeth or the Queen Mary or whatever all those bigass boats are named) LESS money than the Iraq war has cost, for example.

Some of the Bushes already look kind of funny in that inbred British way, and others are attractive and would look good on PEOPLE magazine just the way Diana and Sarah Ferguson always did when they were photographed at Ascot. The matriarch already has chests full of pearl necklaces, so we won’t have to buy those, just maybe a crown or tiara or two to match, and I know someone at Mikimoto who might be able to negotiate some good prices on that. Hopefully, they also already have their own mansions, because it’s really hard to get the government to furnish new housing quickly, just ask the people on the Gulf Coast. Or I guess we could move the royal Bushes into some of our national landmark homes, if they promise to keep the dogs off the furniture.

And just like the British royals, they wouldn’t have any real power–that would still rest with the government, or at least the corporations that are funding the government. And the Bushes already know how to peel off those reassuring statements along the lines of “Good show!” as W proved with such bracing comments as “You’re doing a heckuva job, Brownie!”

So please, by all means, make Jeb king and keep this family busy playing whatever is their version of polo, or providing the tabloids something to write about, while everyone else tries to fix some of this country’s messes.

New Orleans, Part Two: Pajamas and Calories

When I was able to make a Friday night LJ entry from the hotel in New Orleans, I said I wanted to be at Cafe’ Du Monde and would go the next day. Can I just say that Tim is the greatest friend ever for reading about my craving and offering to walk there with me, in our “casual wear?” Yes, it’s true. I was wearing a blue silk tank that I sleep in and some jersey jammie bottoms that could–and did, I hope–pass for pants. Tim was in the Guinness jammies the dogs gave him for Christmas.

Okay, here’s a secret. I’m pretty sure Tim sleeps in the buff. But when others are present, he sometimes sleeps in this ensemble:
Continue reading “New Orleans, Part Two: Pajamas and Calories”

By popular demand…

And by popular, I mean three people, here are more photos.

Back in the 1980s, when I wasn’t as sweet as I am now (shut up, Tim), a co-worker gave me a coffee mug that says, “Perfect Bitch.” I thanked him for agreeing believing I was perfect.


Here’s Timmy drinking from the Perfect Bitch mug. He should have taken it home with him, as it’s the ideal “I just quit smoking” mug.


Do not adjust your monitor.


Paul and Timmy at Barnaby’s, a favorite Montrose restaurant.


Tim looks so serious. Rex is dreaming of a 7.5-pound perch.


Me, plotting ways to make Jim miss his flight. Jim, knowing what I’m doing.