As some of you know, I work part-time as a real estate broker assistant. "Fair Housing" laws have been passed, so real estate agents can't discriminate. Say if a retarded person wants to buy an apartment, the agent can't say the sellers prefer not to sell to a retarded buyer.
REBNY, the real-estate board of New York, has come up with a list of words and phrases that may NOT be used when dealing with a prospective home buyer--
This is all such a cotton candy fluff of goodwill, isn't it? I love the fact that if we don't say the word discrimination, it means we don't practice it. Yeah right. This totally ties into the era of forced apologies I've been blogging about.
80% of New York City apartment dwellings are COOPERATIVES. This means any prospective buyer has to submit an extensive board package, and also must be interviewed by the board of the building. No matter what you make, earn or possess, this board can turn you down for any reason. And you know what? They don't have to tell you why.
So maybe real estate agents don't use the unlawful words like the ones above, they're on the up and up, all is genteely covered up and glossed over, but if (for example) you've got a board interview to buy a fifth avenue cooperative apartment, and you're a wealthy black family...(puffs on a cigarette) good luck.
Who wants to grow up? Certainly not me. Which is why I so identify with that irresponsible, ever-adolescent man in green tights: Peter Pan. There's even a chapter in my memoir (now available at Amazon!) where I met this Brazilian who thought I was the actor he saw in Peter Pan on tv. I watched the Disney cartoon today, and decided I have more in common with Peter Pan than I thought. In addition to all the pixie dust, he's decidedly not politically correct.
In 2007, there's no way we'd permit a film (yawn) the likes of this 1953 version. Check this out:
- Tinkerbell tries to kill Wendy by stoning.
- The mermaids have a jealous fit, and also try to kill Wendy ("We were only trying to drown her.") Then the mermaids implore Peter Pan to tell them a story. "How about the one where I chop off Cap'n Hook's arm and feed it to the crocodile?" "Oh I love that one," they gush.
-Later at the teepee Indian village, they sing a song entitled "What made the red man red?" Want to know? Apparently the first one kissed a maid and made her blush, "And they've all been blushing ever since." Then they pass around the peyote pipe and the kids have a toke.
Let's hope the similarities between me and Peter Pan end there. Bobby Driscoll, the gifted child star who portrayed the voice of Peter Pan ended up a drug addict, dead at 31, and buried as a "John Doe" in a paupers grave. His body was found in an Alphabet City tenement... 4 blocks from where I live!
Lastnight I bartended at a club over in that vast westside nothingness between Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen. They club hosted a "private party"--and as I saw the women putting candy necklaces and candles all around the place, and then change their panties right in front of me, I knew something was up. Turns out, it was a swingers party.
Surprisingly, it was an attractive crowd of straights. As the night wore on, couples met on the couches, lifted up their dresses, unzipped their zippers and went for it. For the first time ever, I witnessed pussy-eating in person. And I don't have a lot of firsts. Shockingly, the women were far more unsselfconscious...baring it all in front of who cares?
My favorite part was a man and a woman who came to the bar and ordered two club sodas. The next thing I know, he's got his hand up her dress and she's moaning wildly. At the bar. After a club soda! Then she's jerking him off, and it's getting hotter and hotter, until she picks up what remains of her club soda and stalks off. He sat waiting for her to come back.
"Can I get you another club soda?" I ask him. He looks at me dejected, "Have you seen the woman I was with?" I told him I hadn't, and she never returned. He sat there glum, depleted, nursing a club soda. In the gay world we understand, but straights perhaps aren't used to the concept: getting action is one thing, keeping it is another.
I've always considered Scandinavians the most evolved of humankind--just look at their laws, and the way they take care of each other and the planet (Norwegian whalers notwithstanding).
Plus they have integrity. Last year, the free press of Denmark ran comic renderings of the prophet Muhammed, and didn't fall prey to the "we're so sorry" mentality I mentioned a couple posts ago. When extremist muslims overreacted by killing people and burning Danish embassies --- what news did the American "free press" give us? The New York Times showed the Danish Embassy (in Syria) in flames on their front cover....but they didn't have the balls to show the cartoons (cartoons, people!) that incited the violence.
Danes are chill. Tivoli (in Copenhagen) is the world's first amusement park...and here it's no problem for gays to walk hand in hand through it. Try doing that at Disneyland. Or Syria. I have two great friends in Copenhagen -Magnus and Jacob- last time I visited, they told me gay marriage is legal in Denmark, but you can't marry in a church. This upset me, because of course you should be able to marry in a church.
They quickly corrected me. "Why would we want 2000 years of religious dogma clouding up our relationship?" Well said. Why didn't I think of that? I should've thought of that.
Magnus and Jacob recently called to announce they are getting married September 1st of this year. I'll scrape together some debt and get myself to Copenhagen.
Stage and screen legend Angela Lansbury is back on Broadway. Everybody is rushing to see her in "Deuce" probably for the same reason I did: last CHANCE to see her before she dies!
Lansbury is one of the last of old Hollywood, and you know how I feel about old Hollywood. Forget Murder, She Wrote--I remember her in Gaslight, Picture of Dorian Gray, and as the wickedest woman ever put to screen in (the original) Manchurian Candidate. Lansbury is legend.
In Terrence McNalley's play Deuce, she stars as a former doubles tennis pro, opposite Marian Seldes. They sit and speak for 90 minutes straight. I need a strong sedative to sit through any straight play, and this was no exception. You've got to get into the story, but first you've got to conquer the overwhelming desire to do anything but just listen.
Yes, the rumors are true. The actresses sometimes paused, forgetting a line, and you heard a stage lackey feeding them lines from behind a staircase set placed conveniently behind them. However, the play is still in previews, so let's cut them some slack. Besides, Angela Lansbury is 81 years old.
One can't help but wonder: what motivates an elderly woman with a recent knee-replacement to submit herself to a taxing show 8 times a week? Is it cementing the legend? Ego-gratification? Proving she's still got it? If I asked her candidly, I believe she might likely respond...."What else am I gonna do?"
Ceratainly not curl up with the knitting. Wait to go, Angela --you stud.
My friend Jennifer works for a medical company. She was out with her gay friend Rob at a company function and he whipped out some cocaine. She turned to her co-workers, "Do you guys mind if I do some?" she said, and they all watched in shock as Jennifer's nose leaned over and devoured a big old line of cocaine.
The next week at work, Jennifer got called to a meeting with her boss. Before she went, she called her friend Rob. "I've been called into a meeting...do you think it's about the cocaine? Or do you think I'm getting a promotion?"
Rob said, "If it's about the cocaine, just cry and apologize and say you regret everything. But you're probably getting a promotion." Jennifer said, "You're right, it's probably a promotion."
Jennifer's bosses confronted her about the cocaine, whereupon she burst into tears, apologized and said she regretted everything.
"You have a problem," they insisted. "Yes, I have a problem!" wailed Jennifer.
"You need help," they insisted. "I want help," lied Jennifer, crying.
It's a sign of our sensitive times. Somebody makes a racist or sexist or does some cocaine, and immediately they're seen on the radio, on tv, on the front pages making some lame "apology".
Suddenly they're in rehab, or meeting with Al Sharpton to apologize to the black community, at which point "Al Sharpton considers whether or not to accept" is all over the papers. Are we back in primary school? What's next--do they take away recess?
A while ago, a black NBA star was taped on a radio show saying "I'm homophobic, I hate fags." I give him credit, I don't want an apology -at least he said what he felt, he was being honest. And the next time someone calls him a nigger, I'm sure he won't demand an apology either.
These forced apologies (at the risk of losing your career) hamper free speech. Force apologies, and we can't assess the true state of our society, or do anything about it. The attitude is: why do we need to fix anything if it's all apologized and forgotten? It's like a dysfunctional family. On the outside it all seems copasetic, but nobody sees what goes on behind the picket fence.
I was wandering through Barnes & Noble bookstore today at Astor Place. Strange kooky people are always wandering through bookstores. They seem to congregate together, and when an assortment of them gather, it's like they feed off one another's energy and it sometimes erupts. Like today. One haggard old punker started screaming about this insane country and school shootings and so on. Then he got personal.
"I've got everything and nothing, do you hear me?!" We all heard. He was screaming in the packed bookstore cafe. "Shh.." someone said, and then he stood up and kept on louder, and louder. "I've got everything and nothing!" Hmm. Recently I've been thinking the same thing about myself. Surely we all must, at certain times. Everyone's ears pricked up.
"I've got everything and nothing!" he bellowed as the staff shoved him out. "I've got a cigarette....and no lighter!"
I sped through Rupert Everett's autobiography "Red Carpets and other Banana Skins" -- an illumination in all sorts of ways. None the least of which is his brilliant writing talent. You have no idea. This man is a writer first, before anything else.
Read the following excerpt. When he was out cruising during a hurricane in Miami.
"Historically, queers can always be counted on to go out as soon as their is a crisis. Riots and wars, power cuts and blizzards are all an excuse for a night out. Disaster makes us feel horny and connected, and anything illegal like a curfew brings out a rebellious streak that lies just below the surface of most of us....
(he found no one cruising that night)
..there was no one there. Just three police cars lying in wait in case any queers got the wrong idea. Oh no! Even the queers had been broken by the New America. We had become spineless virtual geeks. Cruising on line for a chemical fuck, or holding hands in a mega-church praying for forgiveness. There was nothing in between except maybe cardio and weight training."
OUT magazine did a spread on him in February. And they put Guy Pearce on the cover(!) not Rupert Everett (the one who is gay and OUT, after all) But after reading the interviews of both stars, I got the feeling that Rupert Everett was no joy. As a subject he was obstreperous, impatient and, after such a full and varied life, comes across as bitter. It's the most pervasive of plagues in our subculture: bitterness. I don't know there's any real way to avoid it-- but as I read and envied his life, by the end I couldn't help but sadly see his one true love was a dog.
Perhaps it's this tinge of bitterness that allows Everett to be such a deft observer of our times. He never minces words, never shies from exposing a tyrant, has-been or the homophobia of Orson Welles. He shuns the establishment and embraces the freaks as his friends, and his tales of transsexual prostitutes in the Bois de Boulogne of Paris are a million times more fascinating than Madonna, or Julia, or Sharon Stone. Frankly, all the celebrity names do his literary talents a disservice.
There will never be a celebrity as timeless as a trannie hooker in the Bois de Boulogne.
Today a gunman killed 32 people at Virginia Tech - in the most prolific killing spree in US History. This horrific event has the blogosphere fuming "GUN CONTROL!"
Gun control would solve what problem? They illegalized drugs...and are they gone? Are they no longer a menace to society? No. They're around only for those who really want them. Put strict gun controls, and who has the weapons? Only people who really want them. Only those with serious intent to kill. You'll only bolster a black market.
So as this world gets used to bombs and attacks, shootings and forced apologies, they want to take away more of my rights. Who is the good guy? In the eyes of whom? Someday one honky-tonk Bushie may get the notion to round up the defenseless fags or jews or persians and murder us one by one....because we no longer had the right to bear arms. That'll be right after they take away our wilting right to free speech. In the ultimate quest to take the freedom to be you and me.
Campus shootings are the sign of a much bigger societal problem - one that deserves a much deeper discourse than a knee-jerk "Gun Control!" scream from the liberal media. Just think --if a Virginia Tech student had a gun this morning, and had used it in defense, that shocking death toll would be a lot less than it is.
My good friends Chad and Scott own a fabulous makeup company, Three Custom Color. I'm a huge fan of their stunning glitter (living my motto: if you aren't sparkling what are you doing?) And recently, their eyebrow pencils and bronzers, foundation and lipstick have garnered lots of press --getting attention on pages of major fashion magazines and even from the cast of "Desperate Housewives" who wear Three Custom Color on the show.
Scott and Chad can custom-make a lipstick the exact tangerine orange of your favorite sweater, or even the same chestnut eyeshadow as your eyes. All you have to do is send them in a swatch of your sweater, a pic of your eyes, or even what remains of that discontinued puce lip liner from Yves Saint Laurent. Three Custom will expertly knock it off, and for lots cheaper!
People send them snippets of all sorts of sundry items to match color, which prompted me to ask. "What's the strangest thing you've ever received in the mail?" Chad piped up, "Once we received a huge thatch of hair in a ziploc bag." Scott winced. "It wasn't hair from the head."
"Someone sent you their pubic hair?" Yes, they affirmed. "And it wasn't just one or two, it was the whole bush."
"Did you match the color?" "We can match any color," said Chad. They're that dependable.
Ever since that conversation, I can't get their satisfied customer out of my head. I imagine her shopping along Main Street. "What a beautiful shade of lipstick," a stranger compliments, and the woman puckers up to respond. "Don't you love it? It's the same shade as my pubes!"
I have fat friends, skinny friends, ugly friends, pretty friends. Conservative friends, and rebel friends. So it goes to figure that just as my best friend Dan came out with his first collection (two posts ago) using all sorts and varieties and colors of fur, another friend (and another Dan) comes out this week with his rabblerousing memoir "Committed" detailing his work as VP of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
Dan Mathews uses high profile celebrities in activism that raises awareness about cruelty to animals (Infiltrating a Milan Fashion show dressed as a Priest is one highlight on his prolific arrest record). If vegetables tasted as good as hamburgers, he'd make me want to be vegan.
It makes for a well-rounded education to be exposed to different points of view. I'm only lacking in straight male friends. And that's too bad; I'd love to learn how to shoot pool.
On the books, 2007 should be my best year. Oddly, it's not.
I spent four or five years writing/rewriting my book You Can Run, and the film A Four Letter Word (which I co-wrote and star in) took the better part of the last two years. You Can Run is just published and A Four Letter Word premieres next month. These two creative endeavors which have so consumed me are now out in the world. Knowing this is fulfilling, yes, but I'm left feeling empty. Like...what's next?
The thing is, I don't know. What I do know is that I don't have a "real job" -- I've always fought and scorned the idea of a "real job" (just read my book or my bio). That's been my choice, and I own my choice. But it's hard to see friends having families, investing in real estate, affording health insurance. And then there's me: eating ramen noodles and making a movie about a slut.
I don't regret anything. All I'm saying is that sometimes it's lonely on the road less traveled.
Thanks for all your suggestions---on which queen I should be for Gay Pride 2007 --it was a tough decision between Butt-Pirate Queen, Dairy Queen, Queen-Size Bed, but at last I've settled on something I've been accused of all my life: the Flaming Queen. I know her by heart.
Get ready for a sky high red torch of a wig, red hot heels, and not very much else. It wasn't just the name that suited me, or the ease of the costume. I can get back at the bullies from Junior High. In 2007, the one they called a flaming queen will be marching fabulously down Fifth Avenue, while I can only imagine what they're doing. Beating their wives? Carpooling? Eating a TV dinner?
Our crowned conglomerate "Long Live the Queens" will hit the streets on June 24. Look out!
My best friend CoolDan is the head designer at Adrienne Landau, a major fur label. He quit his corporate job to pursue his passion for fashion, so he's lucky to have it. His first collection is fresh, fun, and colorful.
Using fur is frowned upon, but he's got a job, and by his own admission he can try to use less fur than another designer might. Still, Dan would rather have dead rabbits on his conscience than be trapped into a corporate america cubicle. Besides, half the time I criticize him for killing farmed minks and ermines, I have a piece of bacon hanging out of my mouth.
The color scheme is very Easter - she is wearing the bunny.
I caught Broadway's Pirate Queen on its opening night last week and haven't written about it because I'm sick of being mean.
But this big musical was overblown, overwrought, and took itself far too seriously. It's from the same producers as Les Mis, but the audience felt no empathy for any of the characters. 41 people booming their voices onstage is exciting--only if you give a rat's ass about the characters, or the story, or anything more than wondering what you should eat for lunch tomorrow.
The Pirate Queen audience is on their feet at curtain call - we couldn't wait to get home to the comparative excitement of sleep.
On a positive note, the costumes, hair, and chorus dancing were excellent. And the best thing about it? I spotted that hot guy Patrick Wilson (from "Little Children") in the lobby.
Theatre has been dying for quite some time, and for good reason. Everything these days is a revival because there's nothing fresh, and what's fresh is rotten.
One of the things that make new york great is its ability to transport you to another place time or galaxy, often within a matter of blocks. This weekend I walked downtown with Bam Bam.
"Good Good Taste" -Don't ask for it by name. Unless you speak Mandarin.
We ended up in Chinatown surrounded by crabs being clamped with tongs and tossed alive into grocery bags (their lives are worth about 25 cents a piece). Frogs sit in buckets, big fish float upside-down barely breathing in tiny tanks, and dead ducks hang by their necks in restaurant front windows.
It's all so appetizing, we decided to have lunch.
We chose "Good Good Taste" restaurant because clearly it's double good. It also looked bargain basement and decidedly lacking in any pretense. The place was packed, but we found a table and when the waitress came over, we saw the menu was entirely in Chinese. Except for the "Good Good" there wasn't one word of English.
I requested something with "no meat." I'm not vegetarian, but I've too often risked a foreign menu choice that landed on my plate a chopped up mystery meat with blubber and bones. Our waitress didn't understand me, as she didn't speak any English. All her other customers were Chinese. The owner started yelling from the back. "Chi-nese food only." Really??
The owner then told the waitress to kick us out, I think, which only made me want to stay. I can get by without Chinese - I can point and mime. But the waitress just ignored us and disappeared into the loud room of jet-black heads. We sat there wondering what to do until a customer at a nearby table said she'd help. In broken English she asked what we wanted. "Whatever you're having" we said, because it looked rather inoffensive. She kindly ordered for us, and our food was all very good good. $8 combined (numbers we understood).
As our new friend left, she walked by our table and asked, curious, "Where are you from?" and I answered awkwardly. "Here."
She looked like she didn't believe me, but it's true. I live not more than a mile away.
Most people spend Easter sunday singing Allelujah on a loop. I spent mine working at a sex party. Allelujah, indeed.
I'm in dire need of a real job--but until then I piece it together with sundry work...like doing clothes check at a private sex party. It felt powerful. "Strip to your underwear, and put all your clothes on this hanger." Everyone obliged. And then they paid me!
If I never get that real job, perhaps one day I'll work my way up the sex club ladder to land the coveted doorman position. Each time the doorbell rang, the doorman let patrons in saying, "I'm gonna have to ask you to drop your drawers and show me your dick." Okay! Music to my ears. The doorman tells me this line serves a fascinating purpose: if patrons show him their dick, it means they're not a police officer.
"Why would the police come to a sex party?" I wonder, and this says a lot about me.
Ever since the bladder infection (scroll down to the "not-so-fresh-feeling" post) Bam Bam hasn't been feeling sexual at all. I've heard of the right to take up arms, the right to remain silent, and certainly the right to sleep with as many people as possible. But Bam Bam threw me off the other night when he defended himself with "I've got a right to have a low libido!"
This argument left me speechless. I told my writer friend Ashley about Bam Bam's new "right," and she says, "low-libido...sounds like a drag name," she wrote it out on paper: Lola Bido.
Everybody's on the "Spiritual enlightenment" bandwagon. First was the Celestine Prophecy, then Conversations with God, the Four Agreements, and The Power of Now. I've read all of them, learned something from all of them. Though they're all pretty commonsensical. Today everyone's buzzing about "the Secret" which sounds like a not-so secret re-hash of the abovementioned titles. 2007 version.
In the exercise department, trends have gone from 70's distance running, to Jane Fonda, to jazzercise, step aerobics, yoga, and now...Pilates. I've recently submitted to this cultural phenomenon, just to see what it's all about. I don't think you can call it excercise -that would insinuate you actually sweat. Pilates was invented by some guy who was injured in the hospital and developed a technique for sitting up and asking for the nurse. Rigorous it is not.
Yesterday a fat woman walks in, sets up her mat and a liter of chilled Poland Springs water because nobody these days can breathe in twice before having to rehydrate. Absolutely ridiculous. She's got on these wedge heels which are just not flattering on a heavy set frame, and as she unlaces them and rolls her towel out onto the mat I'm thinking--what am I doing here? In class with overweight women? Anyone can do this.
What's the value of doing something anyone can do? I prefer to race marathons because not everyone can do that. It's like religion. Anyone can belong to a religion. Your average dimwit can believe in whichever brand of organized religion their mother and father raised them to believe in. Why do I want something that I don't have to work for? That puts me on the same level as those dimwits who never thought things out for themselves. I prefer to discover god for myself....that's if i decide to believe in a god at all.
Anyone can lean up out of a hospital bed. I prefer a challenge. Pilates is simple and new age-y: the "excercise" equivalent of "the secret" and next year it will be replaced by some new fangled finger-cymbal pinging trend, but I do notice it works. For all its lowest-common-denominator ease, Pilates works. I wish I could say the same thing of organized religion.
Check it out! The website for my romantic comedy "A Four Letter Word" is up and running (designed by J. Rippole, the same guy who did my site) --complete with cast & director bios and interviews, stills from the shoot, plus all sorts of bells and whistles. We premiere in Miami this May, and will do the festival circuit for probably a year before a limited theatrical release. In Chelsea, Casper directs Charlie David and myself for a big fight scene.
The other night I was partying it up on the westside when I get a text from Bam Bam who says he's sick and is peeing every five minutes painfully. He's peeing streams of red blood. I come home and we hobble to the Emergency Room at Beth Israel Hospital.
In the waiting room are homeless, drunks, and nodding out heroin addicts. They don't have an emergency. That's just where they go for a warm room in a cold city. That and the library. A new york city library in winter is swarmed with homeless (pretending to read so they won't kicked out) and their cumulative body odor is so strong that you have to breathe with your mouth. Not much different at the Beth Israel ER waiting room. One guy was holding a container of half eaten lasagna up to a fan. Cooling it? For a half an hour?
Bam Bam got quickly in, and they let me through with him on the simple statement, "I'm the boyfriend"-- a status that would not allow me into the hospital or ER in many of our redder states. The care was good, but the hospital was something right out of some baltic russian state. All the machines looked to be from the 80's, it was generally unclean, and they pulled ratty curtains to separate the "rooms." Shocking when you consider how much money goes into health care (and this is a private facility). I can't even afford insurance. Don't have it. So I'm really glad my piss is still yellow.
Bam was attended by the head nurse whose eyes looked at the ceiling after each comment. "Do you use drugs, alcohol or smoke?" he asked Bam Bam, eyes zooming to the ceiling. "No." Bam lies. "No to all three?" "Yes," Bam lies outright. He's a good clean boy from Oz.
After three hours, and several streams of bloody piss, Bam is hooked up to an IV of Cipro, and his results come back: he's got a bladder infection. Usually only women get bladder infections, so the nurse isn't sure how he got it. Maybe it's because he has foreskin? Maybe it's anal sex? Either way, Bam is flabbergasted. Then the head nurse gives him a few prescriptions and reads from the 'bladder infection care' brochure.
"Now I said it mainly happens to women, so don't get offended," the nurses eyes dart upward, and back to the page, "It says here: make sure to wash your vagina."
Just in: Anna Nicole Smith's autopsy, after noting the 9 drugs found in her system at the time of death also notes that her "anus is unremarkable." This is fascinating. I would like to know what makes her anus unremarkable. Was it not bleached?
This insight holds up an important unanswered question: What makes for a remarkable anus? --And how do I go about getting one? Is it the size and shape? Stretchability? Perhaps it's the power of the pucker. I'd really like to know. Wouldn't you?
I have worked as an assistant for several new york city real estate brokers. I have my license, but I work for other brokers because I don't want to do it full time. I couldn't look back on my life and say I negotiated real estate transactions for a living. Not like I'm saving AIDS babies in Africa, but still, there's so many more important things to do. And besides, so many of the moneyed people you work with live inside the bubble of an absurd small world.
I worked an Open House on the Upper West Side yesterday. The apartment was adorable, prewar detail, charming, just 10 feet from Central Park. However, it didn't have a doorman. Most people I know don't have doormen. Frankly, I wouldn't want a doorman-- they know all your business. What do you have delivered for dinner? How often do you go to the gym? How about all those hookers you ordered for your birthday? Your doorman knows it all.
So this apartment, adorable as it was, had potential buyers' panties in a bunch. "No doorman?" one woman wailed, "Then who would receive my dry cleaning?" In the coma of her Upper West Side solipsism, this is a legitimate worry. Like there's not hundreds of thousands of dead in Darfur. Like there's not a senseless war going on in Iraq. Who would receive her dry cleaning? "You'd have to receive it yourself," I said, and she marched out. "That's a dealbreaker."