Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween - By Day

Happy Halloween! I took these photos two weeks ago at a pumpkin patch in central Oregon.

I fell in love with this little witch.

Beyond the pumpkins is one of the world's premiere rock-climbing destinations: Smith Rock.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Miss Mimi's New Career

Miss Mimi is back. Fabulous as ever.

The last time we heard from Miss Mimi, she was holding her own at Sidewalk Cafe. Soon she will be holding her own in a totally different capacity.

Our favorite flight attendant was recently in New York City on a layover. I went over to Crazy Dan's place to hear her latest.

Miss Mimi is 41, but she still has it going on. On a recent flight, she was propositioned by one of the passengers.

"Did you go out with him?"

"Hell no, he was Mr. Hote." Mr. Hote?

"Mr. Hard On The Eyes," explains Mimi.

Even if he were Mr. Eote, it wouldn't happen. Miss Mimi is married. To a 22 year old singer! Apparently he has some great prospects. Mimi's husband has an upcoming meeting with a record label in Vegas -- and they told him to bring his lawyer.

So who's gonna be his lawyer? You guessed it. Miss Mimi herself.

She plans to dress up in a suit and tie and settle in beside her client, making sure the "lawyer" gets a hefty cut in the contract. (she's gunning for 65%) "Just in case he gets a notion to run off with a younger woman," Mimi says. "Call it insurance."

Crazy Dan almost spilled his drink. "But Miss Mimi...who's gonna believe you're a lawyer?!"

Miss Mimi is unphased. "I can read in black and white."
Where's the dotted line? Get this girl a pen.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Space Needle's got a Rival

On the topic of abstract form, check out Seattle's central library. I spent several hours there last week, and was impressed from top to bottom. Designed by Rem Koolhaas, the building is all angles, ramps and color; it's futuristic, cold, colorful and feels like a star obriting Mars.

Seattle Central is one library you don't want to leave. Who knows. It may just inspire people to, I don't know, sit down and read?


For more pics and info on this stunner, click here.

Escaping the city


My friends Chad and Scott drove us upstate yesterday to Storm King Art Center. This is a 500 acre outdoor sculptural museum. I must admit that when placed in a dramatic outdoor setting, it wasn't so hard to put up with that over-hyped Richard Serra and his slabs of steel.

I'm not the most appreciative person when it comes to modern art. You know, conceptual piece like the "Sarcophagus in a glass enclosure." What's next for this imaginative mind? Coffin under the ground?

Or the jumble of metal shapes cobbled together outside the main building. I walked past a tour in progress. The guide was asking, "What do you think the railroad spike blob on the top represents?"

The tourists respond one after the other, "A pinecone?" "A brain?" "A raspberry?"

"Good," says the guide. "It could be any of those things!"

Despite the encouragement of free-thinkers, and the free range landscape, there are several rules at Storm King. Among the "Visitor Guidelines":

TOUCHING AND CLIMBING

We ask for your cooperation in protecting our works of art, as well as the safety of our visitors, by not touching or climbing on any sculptures. Anyone who does not adhere to the above rules will be asked to leave the premises!

If sculpture doesn't adhere to any guidelines, why should I?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The talent portion of the pageant

All glamor, all the time:

I spent the other day on the set of TV's Law & Order. They were filming down in Tribeca, an outdoor scene where the car pulls up with an investigator, and they needed extras to populate the street. The thing is, the camera was facing the car.

"We need you for reflection," the assistant director told us extras. To make sure that we see movement in the reflection of the car window.

It doesn't get much lower than doing that all day.

Crossing back and forth--the unsung story of those who play reflections in car windows.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Unconditional Love

The ultra-orthodox and chasidic jewish communities restrict the education of their children in order to make sure they aren't fit to ever leave the community.

Math and science are never taught beyond a third grade level. Yiddish is their first language, and English is kept at a remedial level. Exposure to radio, movies, secular news and literature is officially prohibited. For many, this may be acceptable, but for those individuals who would like to enter the larger world, there is help.

I'm all for a secular society. To find out how you can help or get involved, go to the Footsteps website. Footsteps is an organization that provides educational, vocational, and social support for those individuals who seek to explore the world beyond the insular religious communities in which they were raised.

My friend Matt volunteers for Footsteps, teaching math and science, and providing support to intelligent kids who never had a chance at a proper education. The stories he hears are heartbreaking because, should you choose to leave the community, you are not allowed back. Some of his students are there in secret, fearful. Others have fully come out, so to speak.

Often you see bus loads of orthodox Jews coming into the city. They go directly from their Williamsburg community in Brooklyn, straight to the diamond district in Manhattan where they all work. Pick up, drop off. No contact with the larger world.

Matt related the story of one man he tutors, who decided to drop out of the community. He missed his family and decided to try to see his father; to reason with him. One day he waited for the bus that unloads in the diamond district where his father works. When the bus pulled up, he spotted his father among the others in traditional hat, clothing, and curly locks of hair.

Father also spotted son-- in everday American clothing, hair cut short. He nodded in recognition. And then, without one word, he kept right on walking.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ellie of Provincetown

After singing a selection from the Lionel Richie songbook, Ellie of Ptown addresses her fans.

One of the most fascinating people I met this summer has to be a street performing transsexual named Ellie. She sits all day in front of Provincetown Town Hall, singing love songs to whoever will listen. In addition, she passes out her "Manifesto," now in its 7th edition--the newspaper for the world's one big happy family.

In it, she describes how she came to Ptown, the unusual signs that led her here to become, yes, an unexpected savior. In her own words:

"It's hard enough to buy the story of Jesus of Bethlehem; who on earth could buy the story of Jesus of Provincetown--a female version in micro mini-skirts, heels, see-through tops, with gorgeous legs and outstanding nipples that are flaunted with great abandon!"

Ellie goes on to explain that the feeling people get by being near her:

"Most people would have a hard time describing it--let alone explaining it: it's otherwordly and yet torridly earthly. It makes you want to praise God and screw at the same time!"

According to her manifesto, in September of 2006, Ellie announced her plans to run for President. Two days after, she brazenly announced that she was skipping the futile election process and directly assuming the role of America's real leader.

Ellie is here to spread the word that you don't need to be saved from sins, you need to be saved from death. You need not die! None of us needs to die. Take a good look at Ellie. She's 75; does she look like she's dying?

Quite a different message from that of Miss Sugarbaker.

I became immediately entranced. Who wouldn't be? I felt like praising god and screwing at the same time! Even better, Ellie of Ptown walks the walk she talks. At my book signing in Provincetown, not only did Ellie come and buy my book. She was the first one there.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Into Africa!

I'll be heading to South Africa in a week for film festivals in Johannesburg and Capetown. I was just there last year, living and working for a few months in Capetown so I have friends I'm excited to catch up with.

I also took off and hit a few other countries. Here's me in Namibia. The Namibian dunes are the highest in the world (at Sossusvlei). This picture was taken near the town of Swakopmund. I was there at the same time as Brad and Angelina, two people who make me proud to be American, just before their baby was born.

They have a Duneboarding adventure out there. Just grease up a snowboard, and boogie on down the dune. Then slowly slog back up it. It was hot, tiresome, and though I look like I may be about to professionally board down the dune, I'll admit it.

I went head first.

Monday, October 22, 2007

2 for 1 rehab

A Four Letter Word played to a great, sellout crowd up in Seattle.

Nobody made more of an effort to get there than my fabulous, crazy 50 year old cousin Karen. She works as a flight attendant for a charter airline, and had just returned from an extended trip to Bahrain. Then she got dressed up in a slinky frock and drove 300 miles through rain and storm from Mt. Adams to catch my screening.

When she arrived in Seattle, she needed to "unwind" so she guzzled a fifth of Rum. Then she made a to-go cocktail and when my other cousin Lyssa tried to take it from her, Karen started to chug it. Karen passed out in the taxi on the way to dinner, and then slept through a good portion of the film.

Afterward, at another bar, she explained herself to one of the festival directors. "I needed alcohol, I just returned from Bahrain!"

He said, "I thought you were going to say you just returned from rehab."

"No," says Karen, a new drink in hand. "I'm waiting for Jesse for that."

"What?" I say.

"So we can get the family discount," winks Karen.

Excellent. It's so wonderful to have a supportive family.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Violet Crumble

Thanks Casper for alerting me to this homoerotic....80's Australian candy bar commercial(!) I don't think the producers intended it that way, but then again it is called Violet Crumble.

That's how they do it down under. Getting you all hot for that big honeycomb bite.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Provincial Portland

I was supposed to take the train from Portland to Seattle. However, after a Burlington Northern train derailed near Tacoma, Amtrak chartered a bus instead. When I got on the bus, channel 8 news was there to document Amtrak's plan B.

A channel 8 newscaster asked a couple of passengers as they boarded the bus, "You were supposed to take the train, now you're taking the bus...how do you feel?"

The passengers responded heartfelt, "We feel really disappointed. The train ride is so scenic."

Then, as we pulled out of Union Station, I looked out the bus window to see the channel 8 cameras taping our exit....on wheels, not on rails! This is....news?

Just the day before, the FRONT PAGE of the Oregonian ran a feature querying, "Midnight Munchies?" and went on about the mischievous beavers that gnaw Cottonwood trees at the downtown waterfront by cover of night.

Beavers? Buses? Can you give me a murder, please? A roadside IUD explosion? I want my news sensational. Or have I been conditioned to want sensationalism, to be able to think: at least it isn't me!

There is comfort in the provincial news in places like Oregon, and yet it buffers us from the real world. "News" like this takes us further away from real problems in the world, and yet watching the sensational news stories I'm convinced they're not awakening any active resolve.

Maybe instead of presenting and seeking to solve real problems, the media is mostly conditioning us to passively watch television. Some kind of television. Any television.

A numb consumer makes for great ratings.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Miss Sugarbaker

*link in the last post is fixed*

The Silverado club in Portland, Oregon is just about to close (somebody bought the building, apparently). A shame. It's got one helluva atmosphere.

Lastnight at Silverado, I met a trannie named Danielle Sugarbaker. She wore loads of pancake makeup and long black drap-ey clothing, and kept offering me her huge press-on fingernail hands.

Danielle begged me for a drink, which at $1.75 I could afford. When I handed her a rum & coke, she responded very grateful because she was in the "final stages of chemotherapy" for the rabid cancer that was consuming her. No wonder she was so drunk. I hugged her and held her hand and offered kind words of encouragement.

Soon, another kid at the bar comes over to me. I mention Danielle Sugarbaker and her cancer. "This week it's cancer," he says. "Don't believe a word that Miss Sugarbaker tells you."

He goes on. "Last week Miss Sugarbaker told me she just had surgery on her ankles, and I looked down to see she was wearing 6 inch heels!"

At this point, Miss Sugarbaker comes over to offer me her big hand again. "I just got out of a chemo session this afternoon," she says, yanking out a strand or two of her long hair to prove it's falling out. "Yes, I'm dying."

The kid on my other side just rolls his eyes. "Miss Sugarbaker also says she's a millionaire, but she doesn't even own a car." And come to think of it, a millionairess wouldn't beg for a $1.75 cocktail.

I'm entertained and baffled and horrified all at once. So is tragedy the latest ice-breaker? Cancer the new pick-up line?

Bottom line? .....Don't believe anything Miss Sugarbaker tells you.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bored at Work?

A reader in Germany just sent me this link, and I'm having way too much fun. You just go to this site, upload a pic of yourself and transform it...in so many ways. You can see your portrait as El-Greco would paint it, or as an old man, or a half-chimp.

Here's me as a child. Mad Cartoon style:

Or as an east-Asian. Kabuki-style:



Try it for yourself. It's a little bit addictive.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

OUT November issue

The November issue of OUT magazine is here. My column this month talks about the recent time I was walking down Avenue C with Bam Bam and Mister Softee called us "faggots." This is nothing new, really, although I'll never get used to it.

I've been called faggot by the absolute dregs of society. Garbage men have heckled and laughed at me, I've been gay bashed by street urchins, and homeless people sometimes call me faggot when I don't give them money. Being American and white and male, it's important for me to understand how it is at the bottom of the barrel. If I were never marginalized, victimized or disrespected while walking innocuously down the street, what kind of self-important narrow-minded jerk might I be?

The thing that got me about Mister Softee, purveyor of high-calorie happiness, was that he thought he was justified. When I confronted him, he said since I was holding hands with Bam Bam, he had to call us "faggots" because there were children around.

According to a fat Puerto Rican slob, we needed to "respect the children" (why is injustice always performed in the name of some other people's children?) and in the column I wonder if what he's really afraid of is a world where children will learn to do something with their hands other than turn them into fists.

What a terrifying world that would be.

I Vote Cremation

My favorite grandma in the wholewide world died earlier this year, after a downhill dementia slide.

There were always funny/sad stories--Grandma Gloria thought my mom had lovers, she thought my cousin was illegitimate, and at one thrilling point, she actually proposed marriage to me. Her last adventures were spent in the middle of the night as she rummaged through the closets of her fellow Alzheimers' patients in the "retirement facility."

The nurses called it "Shopping" as in..."Gloria went shopping again" meaning that she had been pinching the clothes from her fellow inmates. Like for example when my aunt called my mother.

AUNT: "Does Gloria own a pair of blue jeans with pink embroidery on the back pocket?"

MOM: "No"

AUNT: "She does now."

Of course all her late night wanderings got her evicted from one nursing home, and moved rooms several times in another. But of course all that's done and over with. No more midnight bargains. Today I visited her grave and saw the headstone and all I can think is....she's down spoiling underground there. What is this archaic ritual we call burial?

I'd much rather picture her running around a thief in the night than down under there. Rotting away. In fact, looking at her headstone made me want to remember her outside of a cemetery marker. I kinda felt like going shopping.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Parental Warning

A Four Letter Word played here in the Living Room Theatre at the Portland Gay Film Festival. Oddly enough, this cinema has been built in the space that used to be a dance club called Panorama. It was at Panorama where they confiscated my fake I.D. So yeah, it's been a while.

I dragged some friends, an ex boyfriend (Sean) and my sister to the screening. They loved the film, even though my sister claims to be permanently traumatized. The trauma mainly results from the fact she is convinced the sex scenes were real.

Drinking afterward at the bar, I reassure her that it's all a cinematic illusion. She still isn't buying it. "Ok," I ask her. "Does that mean you don't think mom and dad shouldn't ever see it?" My sister just keeps guzzling her beer.

Next to her, my ex-boyfriend Sean says, "If your parents came here, and didn't leave themselves...I'd escort them out of the theatre myself!"

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Back By Popular Demand

Why? Because you know you want more...

I share a rare shot of the ceramic vagina being fed through a straw.

happy hour!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Heading Home

I'm so lucky to be traveling with A Four Letter Word, the festivals are taking me all over. It's also an excellent opportunity to promote my book You Can Run. I'm heading home to Portland, Oregon for their festival this weekend--wanna take bets on whether any of my family deign to see my film? Fat chance. Then off to Seattle for their festival the following weekend.

I feel like I'm on tour. Will it ever pay? Will I ever work? Doubtful, so don't forget to click that google ad (I've already made $25 from it) I put on my site! I'm also up for suggestions. How can I become a better capitalist? What else can I sell on here to make rent?

Sophie's Choice 2007

I hate to get into politics, I'd much rather live a hermit in Patagonia, but this time I have to.

Congress right now is about to vote on a Employment Non-Discrimination Act. If passed, it means that if you're a gay/lesbian/transgender person you can't lose your job just for being a gay/lesbian/transgender.

Here's where the fight begins. In the house, they say there won't be enough votes if Transgendered people are included in the bill. They say it can only be passed if we forget them, and amend it to protect only gays and lesbians. Do we pass the protections we can? Or is it all or nothing?

It's a fight that's pitted allies and gay rights activists against each other.

I have always admired the courage of transsexuals. I know it takes a lot more guts for them to live openly than it does for me. They also stand to lose their jobs a lot more jobs than gays and lesbians. It's an emotional issue. I say there's never a wrong time to do the right thing.

Expose congress for their bigotry if they can't pass an all-inclusive bill. I'd rather not get a lawful protection I never had before if it means I must abandon my brother. For me, it's about integrity. I love trannies. I look up to trannies. Let them continue to discriminate against us all, and let history say we stood united.

Yes, I would cut my nose off to spite my face. Plus, I don't really mind getting fired.

Representative Barney Frank says we must take what protections we can get, when we can get them. He's pragmatic, politically astute, and probably right. Check him out on Towleroad.

On the other side is Executive director of the GLBT Task Force Matt Foreman who says: "All of us, every one of us" in his op-ed piece here.

Who are you with? What do you think? What would you do?

Camp Classic

Clearview Cinemas in Chelsea has a weekly classic Hollywood cinema night hosted by one of my favorite drag queens Hedda Lettuce.

This week they showed "The Anniversary" with Bette Davis. I thought I'd seen everything. Now I have. In this film, Bette brings her three sons together to celebrate the anniversary of her marriage to a dead husband they all hated. If the premise isn't strange enough, wait till you meet their devil of a mother.

Her eldest child Terry is married. He has a wife and 5 kids who she can't stand. She quickly tells her daughter-in-law: "I had 3 kids---but unlike you, I had the common courtesy to know when to put the plug in."

It doesn't stop there. Her youngest son brought home his fiancee Shirley, and mother has a field day. "Could you sit somewhere else?" she tells Shirley, "Body odor offends me."

Near the end, when the son is about to go up to take Shirley up to bed, Bette quickly grabs her sons, tongue-kisses him, and turns to cackle at Shirley. "Try and follow that!!"

Bette Davis is mean, she's nasty through and through, and the best part? She is a one-eyed wonder. She wears a high-fashion eye-patch the whole time. "I'd spit in your other eye," screams Shirley in one fight, "If you had it!"

The strangest plot twist comes with third son Henry who is a compulsive cross-dresser. At one point he is chased by the police from a neighbors clothesline, dropping bloomers and bras in a trail of evidence. Mother forces him to put all his frilly things on the backyard bonfire once he gets home. When his relatives confront him, Henry says if he didn't wear women's clothes, who knows what other, worse, perversions he may get into???

Drag queen host Hedda Lettuce sat in the front row of the darkened theatre mumbling into her microphone. "I know how you feel Henry...I know how you feel."

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Faggoty Attention

Adam Joseph performs his song "Faggoty Attention" at one of the bar scenes in my upcoming film "A Four Letter Word."

After that day of shooting, the song stuck in our heads. It's catchy as hell, and at the most inappropriate moment, one of the cast would bust out "Give me your faggoty attention!" Sometimes we'd even sing it a capella, opera style. There's nothing better than performing faggoty attention in vibrato.

Here's the video Adam created for his single--watch him seduce this straight boy. Hysterical.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Another Good Reason to Travel

How scary is the Dayton, Ohio airport? After spending over 5 hours there, I should know. It's got a church sanctuary complete with an altar, a U.S.O military support office, and every five seconds over the intercom is the following joke announcement brought to you by Newspeak:

"The current threat level, as established by the Department of Homeland Security is Orange." And then she goes on to list what you must do, how you must report suspicious activity, etc, and because it is the home of the woman who invented the portable potty trainer, I'm sure Dayton, Ohio is first on the Al-Qaeda's hitlist.

At least the big cities have ceased to announce these patronizing, colorful alerts. But fear is more easily tossed around by and for the "Proud to be American" who has never left America. As my Aunt Aimee who lives in the tiny town of Trout Lake, Washington says, "Maybe the terrorists will choose the last target first!" Sure. That's what the Department of Homeland Security wants you to think. It's their intent. Then everyone will get the urge to pray at the altar and support the war. Not surprisingly, you can do it all right there in the airport!

An Orange threat? I'm waiting for them to upgrade it to a Banana threat because a banana at least has the shape of a big foreign cock gun. I feel more afraid already.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Another Good Reason to Die Young

Growing older is difficult, especially for a gay. What happens though, if you advance beyond the gay sin of wrinkles and a saggy stomach to become really old. Elderly. If you're gay person living in a nursing home or assisted living facility you have two choices: Either get right back in the closet or get bashed. The result can be suicide. Check out the sorry plight of gay seniors in this NY Times article.

The elderly have a tendency to revert right back to childhood - faced again with all the terrors of schoolyard bullies we've all known. Who's stronger now? This article makes me wanna bust into the nursing home shouting "Who did this to you?!"

Then, like a mama on rabies I will take hoist those shriveled up bullies out of their wheelchairs, grease up this recently recalled Chinese toy, and push em down in.

BINGO!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

You NAILED it!

Two beautiful friends, and born on the same day!

Happy Birthday, Cooldan!

Happy Birthday Ginny!

A Four Letter Word premiered in Miami back in May. Nobody had seen the film before, and as we went down to the screening, my friend Ginny made sure I wouldn't have to worry about its reception. "No matter what anyone thinks of the film," she said, "I'm gonna sit behind you and say YOU NAILED IT!"

Sure enough, she screamed "You nailed it!" any chance she got, and it caught on with everyone. There's no affirmation quite so exuberant. "You NAILED it!" Try it and see.

At the Miami premiere, Ginny NAILS it!

Nailing it, poolside. Bam Bam and me VS. birthday kids Ginny and Cooldan.

Friday, October 05, 2007

All Glamour, All the Time

I got a late start driving to Chicago. Heading through Indiana, I had to pull over and pass out somewhere near a waffle house, on a freeway off-ramp sandwiched between two semi-trucks. As it was late-night, I have to assume these drivers were also sleeping. When I woke up and got back on the road, I called Bam Bam and told him where I passed out.

He thinks I'm into truckers. "Did you leave your door unlocked while you slept?" he asked. Unlocked? Honey, I left the door open...just a crack.

I did make it to Chicago---my first time (and I don't say that a lot)! So excited to be here. If you're in the area, come to my book signing tonight at Hamburger Mary's, 8pm for You Can Run. See invitation below:

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I did it

You may notice the new ad on the upper right. Yes, I put an ad on this site, and before you think, Jesse has gone and put an ad on his site...he's a sellout, he has no scruples! I simply reply, where have scruples gotten anyone?

The google ads are all supposedly "tailored" to each site they appear on. The ad will change, but I see that my first ad is all about how to find sex offenders in your area. Are they spot on, or what?! That is genius. Now, dear readers, please do me a favor and click all over that ad.

I may actually make some cash from this blog, and you'll find out the address of your local sex offender. Then you can walk down the street and introduce yourself. Borrow an egg, or sit down and converse about scruples.

It's really a win-win situation.

Another Panty-Free Victim

For the Rubi Girls benefit for cystic fibrosis, Jonathan McNeal ("Ileasa Plymouth") performed Britney Spears.

The night before, he watched an episode of Ugly Betty while forming vagina lips out of clay.

These he then perfected, painted pink, and fired up in the oven. Ultimately, his pussy was hot glue-gunned into a pair of flesh-colored panties. Voila, he's got a vagina!! The Britney number (complete with a baby attached to a steering wheel) was a huge hit, and the panties-- well, I think he's onto something. Like perhaps a mass marketing distribution deal. Everybody wanted to try on the vagina. Even more insisted upon eating it out.

The Rubi Girls in repose:
How this ties into Cystic Fibrosis, I'm still unsure.

Everyone got a chance to go down. Here, Rubi Girl "Annie Biotics" shows us how it's done. In the true spirit of charity, "India Summer" (with labia) held her legs high, and her face in orgiastic ecstasy for most of the night.

The only thing matching her incredible endurance was perhaps the vagina itself, which never slowed down, and yet showed not the least sign of wear, tear or swelling.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Get that Candy!

I can't tell you what fun I had at Club Masque in Dayton. Here I am beating some innocent stiletto with my belt. I thought it was a pinata.




It held tenaciously to the ceiling.
















So, I attacked it with a pool cue.






















The bartender called me over, and I thought -damn, I'm getting kicked out!--but he just offered me a shot of jager. I could live in Dayton.

Despite my best efforts, that stiletto never tore open, no candy ever tumbled out. How hungry was I?

Next thing I know, I woke up next to the remnants of Wendys happy meal. This is pretty horrible, but admittedly, it's better than waking up next to Wendy herself.