Monday, June 30, 2008

Since 1974

Yesterday's Pride Parade was amazing. Our theme went over big, and everyone looked great. I ended up doing several cartwheels (in full drag and 6 inch heels) in the pouring rain! I loved every minute of it. The march was followed by (naturally) raging parties all night.

So I woke up this...afternoon...without a voice. It is my birthday. I just turned 600 years old!!!

As always, I accept well wishes and donations (!), but also thrilled to accept flattery from the likes of Walter (my very creative Argentine ex, who features prominently in my book You Can Run) who sent this gift to my inbox. Courtesy of his talent and immense photoshopping, I'm looking fabulous, buff, and...young!

I feel better already.

Gracias, Walter!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Happy Pride!

Big *sparkly* day today. Doing our best to contribute to this story from the Onion. I love the Onion! No shame in our game. Even if it rains on the parade. Which would actually be a blast.

To all those who make this happen today. To all those who went before, and who will go after:

Happy Gay Pride, New York City!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Secret Revealed

I did some investigating and found out who the top- secret star performer will be at the Pier Dance 2008 tomorrow night....she is...

....that's all I'm saying!

My First Diet

For my gay pride costume this year, my very gifted friend Harrison concocted an amazing coat-tail thing reminiscent of Uncle Sam. Well, if Uncle Sam was a flashy Russian hooker.

Thing is, the coattails are attached to this teensy weensy corset thing, which is really tight, and when I went to try it on....I could barely squeeze into it. I was literally busting out of this corset. Clearly, my metabolism is bugging out. That, or the corset is just too small. Although when I suggested this, Harrison looked at me and smirked, "It's a large."

For the first time in my life, I thought: I need to go on a diet.

Cooldan is not at his skinniest, either, and since we march nearly naked down 5th avenue, we resolved last week to go on a starvation diet. At first we pondered the "Beyonce" cleanse, which is a liquid mix of maple syrup and cayenne pepper, among other things. But...maple syrup ain't Mrs. Butterworth, that shit is expensive! Plus, Beyonce still has big thighs. And that recipe is way too complicated. My cooking skills don't far exceed microwaveable popcorn.

Ultimately, Cooldan and I decided on a modified Beyonce cleanse. Something we could easily access, and cheaply. Our answer: the baby carrots and campbells soup diet. I have never been on a diet in all my life. And now I understand why.

It's only been a week, and guess what? I'm cranky. I'm irritable. And I think about food all the time! I now understand why people who go on diets are always FAT.

I've slipped up with potato chips, red velvet cake, and nightly vodka cocktails. My friend Mich invited me to lunch, where I pigged out on anything that wasn't baby carrots and soup.

Cooldan has had less trouble, because he's got an additional weapon in his arsenal: water. He's been carrying around a jug of water and when he feels hungry and doesn't want a baby carrot or soup, he chugs water. Even at night, before he goes to bed, he's drinking water. His rationale? "Babies are onto something---they suck liquid all day." Yeah, but babies grow. And what about watery-tension? "We'll get laxatives, tonight, at Duane Reade!"

And what if that doesn't work?

"We're shaving our entire bodies," says Cooldan. "We always look skinnier without hair!"

Thankfully it will all be over tomorrow because after that I will never have baby carrots or soup again! And if I still look fat in my coat-tails after a week of my modified Beyonce diet, I may have to just modify that corset instead. I'm bringing scissors.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Drag Queen Roadkill

In 2004, in 8 inch stilettos, I did a faceplant into Fifth Avenue during the Gay Pride Parade. Mercifully, there is no footage.

But last year....

Our friend Wayne marched as "Queen Elizabeth." He looked regally stunning:

Wayne as Queen Elizabeth I

But while waiting for the rest of us queens to get ready, he overindulged at the open bar provided by our hosts XacAnthony Spa in Chelsea. She went from Royal Class to Trash!

This year, he wanted to be Wonder Woman. Could it have been from his experience last year on Wonder Woman's invisible jet? Watch below, as Queen Elizabeth plummets face first into a vehicle in the 2007 Pride Parade. Her intent, we surmise, was to get on the van.

She didn't quite make it:

Photo credit: Thomas Locke Hobbs
Video credit: Derek Coffer
(check back with them later for pics of this weekend's march. Where we're not sure who'll hit the pavement!)

The Gay 2008!

"Emergency Gay Pride Meeting!" The 911 call went out back in January. Even then we were off to a late start. Our pride theme had to be decided.

Each year our rogue group of gays and girls pick a different theme as we march together in late June's New York City Gay Pride Parade.

2007's theme was "Long Live the Queens," and featured queens throughout history. I was, of course, the flaming queen.

NYC Pride 2007: The Flaming Queen braves Fifth Avenue.

That theme was a little all-over-the-place. For 2008, we wanted something a bit more cohesive, like in years past. It took two full winter meetings (nearly 3) to settle on 2008's theme, because one of us (Wayne) really felt we should all be Wonder Woman.

Ultimately, being an election year, the decision was made to be "THE GAY VOTE" and turn ourselves into a smattering of slutty star spangled Aunt Sams. We figured it was the right time to be extra patriotic. Why? Because there's very little reason to be patriotic!

This year, we are mourning the loss of three our longtime regulars. (One got sober and can't be around me because I'm a "trigger" - as if I pulled her throat back and poured down the liquor! Another friend got bored, and then Neighbor Dan "can't get off from work" -flaker!)

Still, we will be 8 in total, including some fresh participants (anyone is welcome, write me!) and although we used to get ready in our teeny tiny east village hovels, we will (for the second year in a row) be hosted by Xac Anthony Salon, which has generously donated their time, talent, and booze to prepare us for Sunday's march. From there, we will infiltrate the pride parade with absolutely no credentials, somewhere around 23rd street.

Besides wearing very little, (and what little being red white and blue) each of us has an election "issue" we are to incorporate in the outfit, such as "endangered species," "global warming," etc. Cooldan, for example, will be "Mimi Gration" for immigration, and Bam Bam is "Miss Fiscal Deficit," focused on the economy. I'm settling for a simple "Ho-Bama." Yes I can!

I suggested we all march in black-face, carrying a sign reading "Black is the new White House!!"

But this suggestion has encountered strong resistance.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mormon American Princess!

I had the great pleasure of meeting writer/performer Steven Fales in Provincetown last year where he was busy performing his one-man hit, "Confessions of a Mormon Boy."

He gave me a copy of his book (of the same name) which I read entirely on the bus from Boston to New York, and this is unnatural. I type fast, but I read slow. This hottie has seen it all: sex, drugs, and spiritual terrorism by the mormon church (the latter leads to the former), and by all accounts should be down and out. But what is so inspiring about people like Steven Fales, is he has turned it all into creative success.

He's back this weekend...all the way from Salt Lake City....with a brand new solo show!

Mormon American Princess plays at Joe's Pub Friday (tomorrow!) at 9:30, and if you see it on Saturday, make a night of it. Fabulous funnyman Alec Mapa hits the stage at 9:30, followed by the Mormon American Princess at 11:30.

It's gay pride weekend---let's show support to these out, proud showstoppers!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Summer Splash!

I don't often make it to Tribeca. It's actually easier to get to Connecticut than it is to get across town from Alphabet City to Tribeca. Thankfully, my friend Paul made the trip well worth it.

Aside from Coney Island, I haven't been to the beach this summer, and Paul improvised a rooftop pool party with a kiddie pool which he filled after diverting pipes from his washing machine. Clever boy!

Paul planned also on getting a trampolinen for the party, but never got around to it. That's a good thing, for me, because I know one equation: Trampoline + shallow Kiddie Pool = Jesse dead.

Bam Bam, Cooldan, Paul & Friends

Cooldan, Paul, Justin, and
Jesse and Cooldan at play
James, Jesse. Or is it Jesse James?

Sex in the Midwest City!

Speaking of charitable institutions, here's a recent clip from the Rubi Girls.

The Rubi Girls
are a group of friends in Dayton, Ohio -- who formed a drag troupe that puts on shows for charity. So far they've raised over $200,000 to combat HIV/AIDS. I had the great opportunity to see them perform in Dayton and have blogged about them. They are also going to be featured in my next Out magazine column.

Here the Rubi Girls spoof Sex and the City. This video was used to augment a recent live performance. If you've seen the Sex & the City movie, you'll get the second part. But if you haven't, the first 49 second opening credits will definitely have you rolling.

Carrie Bradshaw is drag queen Ilseasa Plymouth, and New York City has been replaced with the hot-spots of downtown Dayton, Ohio....

Monday, June 23, 2008

Come into my Hole!

Broadway Bares 2008 photos. You can't imagine.

Broadway Bares 18, at the Roseland Ballroom (a midnight show!) was the best thing I've ever seen off-Broadway. Or on Broadway, for that matter. My friend Trenton invited me last minute. I can't believe I've been in NYC this long and haven't seen this.

I'll be going again, and making it a mission to make everyone else go, too.

How hot is this photo? Abs, breasts, color, dollar bills. Now that's atmosphere!

This years theme "Wonderland: A Trip down the Rabbit Hole" was an evocative, provocative, downright sexy spectacular! Filled with Broadway's best and brightest....undressed. It starts off with the rabbit in a number entitled "Come in my Hole"...and so the mood is set!

Funny "Come in my Hole" being performed at an AIDS benefit, but, as usual, I digress.

As do they!

Out came triple hot Tweedle-Dees, Tweedle-Dums, a huge Humpty Dumpty who ended up popping out of his fatsuit in a g-string. Nearly naked men performed "big time" as their g-strings expanded until BOOM! it flew off! The butterfly sequence, flying from the ceiling, put frickin' Cirque du Soleil to shame. A hooka pipe made me want to smoke. Mommie Dearest ran about flogging Christina with a huge wire-hanger to the tune of "Hanky Panky"with vintage Faye Dunaway sound bytes mixed in. You can't imagine the genius brought to the show.

And where in the world could this one-time event happen? Only in New York, kids.

At one point, Alice asks rhetorically:

"Why does wonderland always smell like latex, poppers, and cosmos?!"

That's only one great line (of many) I can remember because I was drinking heavily. Maybe that's what made it all the more amazing--the audience was standing, drinking, and were encouraged to scream and shout during the performance pieces.

Making cameos were the amazing Julie White (Little Dog Laughed, Six Feet Under), Nathan Lane (just saw him in "November"), and out actor Christopher Siebert (in the upcoming Shrek). And several others I didn't recognize.

What makes Broadway Bares even more spectacular is that this *one night only* show is all done in the name of charity. Created by a saint named Jerry Mitchell, and directed by Denis Jones, it's a fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. They raised $874,372 this year!

Keep in mind, this collection of 200 actors and dancers are still performing 8 other shows a week on Broadway. They donated what little free time they have of their own to rehearse and prepare for this. If there's any clique I'd love to belong to, it'd be this one. I should probably stop blogging and start writing a musical.

Or pick up dance?

My only complaint is: can we cure AIDS already and give them another good reason to strip?

I'm normally a total tightwad, but knowing all these talented people came together behind a great cause, I found myself dropping $20 bills in g-strings during the strip-a-thon finale...

Then I got whisked backstage...

Bottoms up!

I never thought green hair was sexy...before.

Backstage was the first time other men were wearing glitter and eyeliner, and (curiously) I was not. What's with that?
Here are Nick Adams (above left) and my hunky friend Vincent dePaul (right). These guys are not only great looking, but greatly talented! It was Nick's g-string that blew off in the Big Time number! I just blogged about him recently (he's in A Chorus Line), so when I met him, I said "Hey! I just blogged about you. I'm Jesse." and he's like, "On the brink?" Totally called out. Still, he was generous enough to pose for a photo.

Incidentally, I'll be marching in the Pride Parade on Sunday, wearing as much clothing as Nick is above. My body has to look just like his. I have exactly 5 days.

Above, with Vincent (he was in the original Hairspray film--as a teenager!), and Tory Ross who played "Hatchet-Face" in John Water's Cry Baby musical on Broadway (which just closed).

Vincent in-between Tweedles Dee and Dum. Nice sandwich!

My super-sexy friend Ben Ryan, (above) with Nathan Lane. I've known Ben for years. He was busy fundraising for Broadway Bares up until the very last minute---on facebook! I was finally able to contribute, right into his g-string at the strip-a-thon. Wouldn't you?

The only thing not for charity at BB? The backstage faux - fluffing!


My friend Trenton Straube in the background (above) is not trying to stop the action. He may be doing the time-step, actually. The best part of this photo? The two lady custodians in the far background. Totally nonplussed.

Cocktail in one hand, cock in the other. It's my favorite pose! So why am I looking so crazed?

Thanks to VDP, Mich Lyon, Ben, and M M for sending me the pics here. For an excellent photo play-by-play pictoral of all the sexiness on stage at Broadway Bares, go here!

See What Pride Means to Me

I'll soon post about the lastnight's absolute KNOCKOUT show, Broadway Bares...where the only thing not going to charity was the backstage fluffing!

Here's a teaser:
The Strip-A-Thon finale

Soooo much more to come on that. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, I was featured today in "What Pride Means to Me" series. Each day of Gay Pride month they feature someone different from the community. I'm honored to be a part of it. Click on the link to see what I had to say.

We are gearing up for Gay Pride, which is (of course) also my birthday weekend, so you know I've got a lot up my sleeve...and down my....

You'll see!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mermaid Parade 2008

For the second time this weekend, I hitched it to Brooklyn. On Saturday, I took the train all the way down to Coney Island to watch the annual "Mermaid Parade"

This parade is trashy, grungy, and one of a kind. I unreservedly recommend it. The Mermaid Parade is totally devoid of attitude and, seemingly, organization. But that's what makes it great--people just come for old fashioned fun, without any agenda. Well, unless you count the contingent of marchers carrying the sign: Mermaids Against Climate Change

Coney Island is one special place. It was the world's first amusement park, and the dream of its 1880's heydey was so intense that to this day Coney Island is fabled legend in the minds of most Americans. It is now derelict, but vibrant. Forgotten, but alive.

Yet not free from the forces of gentrification.

Astroland Park, the only remaining amusement park in Coney Island, was set to close this year after being bought by a development company fortuitously named THOR (bringing the condos!) It turns out, however, that Thor granted Astroland a one year reprieve, so I was thrilled to see the Mermaids in their fabulously downtrodden habitat for one final year.

From the Boardwalk of Coney Island, Brooklyn, USA:

The "marine antoinettes"...of course!

Then I crashed on sand. Love all the color and action on the iconic Coney Island beach (below):

Mermaids & Friends were still wandering the boardwalk when I returned:

For more on the magic that is Coney Island, visit the Coney Island History Project.


Happy Anniversary, Bam Bam!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Brooklyn on the Brink

Lastnight my friend Matthew had his birthday party at Sugarland in Brooklyn. I almost didn't go because Brooklyn at night on the always unreliable L train is never a treat. On top of that, it was pouring down rain. But Matthew talked me into it.

First of all, it was FREE. He also said I wouldn't want to miss the "performers" because one of them (Rose Wood) is famous for pulling things out of her vagina on stage. Seeing as I haven't seen a vagina (let alone things pulled, pushed, or flying out of one) since a Patpong Pussy Show back in 2003, I decided to brave the rain and the L train. He had me at vagina.

I got to Sugarland, a place which seems to get better and better as the hour gets later and later (or maybe that's me getting drunker and drunker?), and kept asking about the birthday show:

"What is she going to pull out of her vagina?"

"You're fixated on the vagina," said Matthew.

Of course I am fixated on the vagina. "So what is she pulling out of it?"

Matthew then tells me Rose Wood is not really a woman. So she's a drag queen?

She's not a drag queen either, he says. She's a "drag queen plus." she have a vagina?

Promoter Daniel Nardicio gets on the microphone to announce the show. First up is Ginger, and then Rose Wood. "One is old-school," he announces, "And the other is no school!"

Sure enough, no school Rose Wood got up on top of the pool table looking like Madmax meets Hedwig meets Dina Lohan and started swaggering about, swigging from a huge bottle of Jack Daniels, and this guy next to me is like: "This whore needs a TIP!" so he gets out a five dollar bill, approaches the pool table, and waves it in front of her.

Rose Wood has these pointy toe lace up Tim Burton-y booties on, and she puts one of em on the guy's chest and snarls, "Get the fuck away from me."

He runs back to me all scared. "She doesn't accept tips..."

Rose Wood capers about some more on the pool table, taking off these little pieces of fur to reveal breasts and a penis and I'm not sure what was real and what wasn't. All I do know is I wanted my camera.

Then she bends over, squats over the giant sized half-full Jack Daniels bottle, and pushes the neck of it up inside of her anus. Then she slowly stands, lifting the huge half-full bottle entirely...with her sphincter!

Amazing! Someone screamed "I love New York!" (Me, too!) But Rose Wood is not quite done.

She slowly pulled the open bottle of Jack out of her butt... and took a long, hearty swig!

Then she spit it out all over the audience. Being in the front row, it spewed all over my face.

I fear I may develop a hemorrhoid in my eye.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Eulogy for Cyd Charisse (1921-2008)

What is wrong with me? I am still crushed by the death of Cyd Charisse (I'm not the only one). I had totally planned on meeting her in person. There goes that dream.

Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly from 1952's Singin' in the Rain

Cyd Charisse is one star I thought would never die. The list of living studio stars has gotten very short for me: Olivia de Havilland (Melanie!), Angela Lansbury, Sidney Poitier, Kirk Douglas, Elizabeth Taylor, Esther Williams, Debbie Reynolds, and two-time academy award winning actress, Luise Rainer.

Luise Rainer is little known today because Louis B. Mayer famously destroyed her acting career after she demanded more of a say in the roles she was given. Can you blame her? You would definitely want more control of your acting career if you were a white woman forced to play a Chinese woman in 1937's The Good Earth (even if she did win a second best-actress academy award for the role!)

But there's no revenge quite like life, is there?

Luise Rainer is 98 today. Louis B. Mayer? Dead since 1957.

But back to Cyd Charisse. I've been watching every last clip of her on Youtube, commenting on them, and thinking what else can I do to memorialize her? Yesterday, I decided to head up to Broadway and catch the revival of "A Chorus Line" because there's a character in the show who mentions Cyd Charisse as an inspiration.

When I got up to 45th street to beg for a $35 student ticket without student ID, guess who was in front of me picking up tickets at the box office? None other than...Meryl Streep! I recognized her because she looks a lot like (get this) my mother!

An hour later when I went into the theatre, I waited for Meryl to arrive. For sure, I thought she'd slip in as the lights dimmed, but no. She entered a full ten minutes before curtain, and alone. No bodyguard. No attitude. Like a normal person!

I watched her wander anonymously through the crowd of theatregoers. Nobody recognized her. She could've been my mother. Meryl Streep! She had her hair pulled back in a pony tail and wore comfy clothes, definitely not dressed up. Miranda Priestly would NOT approve of Meryl, but I was impressed -- so easy going and chill.

She approached an usher who did actually recognize her, and they shared an easy conversation. Then Meryl found her seat and read the playbill, holding it a full two feet from her face like women her age do. Again, nobody noticed her. Later she was joined by a young girl, who I presume is her daughter. Then I headed upstsairs to my balcony seat.

The revival of A Chorus Line is tepid. In fact, I wasn't sure it wasn't dinner theatre in La Jolla. There was a fabulous black actress (Deidre Goodwin) playing Shiela, but most major roles were filled with an understudy. Then there was top-billed Mario Lopez, as the director.

The first line of Mario's playbill biography reads: "Mario Lopez (Zach) is internationally known as A.C. Slater from "Saved by the Bell." OK, any self-respecting actor would've hidden that far away, but Mario hails it as an international selling point. Saved by the Bell was huge in Guam. To be fair, he does bring the same layered acting he used with A.C. Slater to a Broadway show.

The guy's ego is huge, and maybe that's why I didn't like him. Or maybe it was because his role (Zach) is a smug director, who reminds me way too much of acting teachers I've dealt with who wouldn't give you an "A" unless you wailed on about your horrible childhood and then cried.

Anyway, Mario's ego has led to a fabulous Broadway feud happening right now. I hope you're following this one. It's great. You see, Mario Lopez is in love with his body. He's got a workout book out just now, and if you've seen his People Magazine nude spread, you might well wonder if he writes about how to inject human growth hormone, he's so ripped. That ain't nature! So imagine when mister worked-out arrives to join A Chorus Line and sees the guy playing the dance captain (Nick Adams) has an even more worked-out body. Eat that!

Mario couldn't. He threw a hissy fit and forced the producers to put a hoody sweatshirt on Nick Adams during their scenes together, so as to cover up his big muscles. Hysterical. Two *purportedly* straight guys feuding over who's got the better biceps. Sorry, is this A Chorus Line, or Showgirls? I half expected Crystal Connors to toss a handful of marbles onstage during the big "One" finale.

The great thing about Mario's ego is that it's turned into gold for Adams. He's got tons of press, won a 2xist underwear campaign, and is June's most beautiful man:
Nick Adams from

Thing is, I'm not interested in who has the better body. What about talent? Nick Adams is a kick ass dancer. You can just tell, in every step he takes. In the tight agility. It reminded me, yes, of Cyd Charisse.

*Pause for solemn reflection*

Then the character Paul comes on stage to give his poor-me-I'm-gay-and-maligned speech (the actor was great. Really. But I'm sorry, the monologue doesn't have the same resonance 30 years later), and in the middle of it he mentions his inspiration "Cyd Charisse" and suddenly I'm moved to scream out, from way up in the cheap seats, "WOOO-HOOOOO!" I just had to.

The actor onstage is unphased, but audience members look back wondering who is that crazy queen singin' out for Cyd Charisse? I smile back, melancholy. It was a eulogy from the rafters.

Even Meryl Streep heard.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Bam sent me these "educational" posters he found online. I needed a laugh! Thought I'd share. The "epic failure" tattoo one is killing me. Killing me! If you can't read the fine print, click on the images and they grow.


Her face!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Goodnight, Cyd....

I am devastated to learn that my all-time favorite dancer died today of a heart attack. Yes, I adored Ann Miller, but it was Cyd Charisse I loved.

She was 87. Her husband, singer Tony Martin, is 95. They were married over 60 years.

Cyd Charisse couldn't act, bless her heart. She couldn't sing either. But her legs were insured for one million dollars (each!) and in her MGM musicals, just wait for her to get down and dance. She embodied elegance and grace, and when the number called for it--"Beautiful dynamite," as Fred Astaire described her.

My favorite scene must be the "Girl-Hunt" from Bandwagon, or "Heather on the Hill" from Brigadoon, or "Broadway Melody" from Singin' in the Rain, or actually maybe it's the clip below, "Frankie and Johnny", the only reason to watch a movie called "Meet Me in Las Vegas."

"He was her mate, but he couldn't fly straight."

She was the only star I've ever stalked. When I lived in Los Angeles, I used to drive down her street (Calle Vista) in Beverly Hills, hoping for a sighting. Since then, I subscribed to a French fan-site, LEGS, which sends me links to their Cyd Charisse "Photo of the Month" each month without fail. I collected her glamour shots, and as I write this Cyd watches me from the wall above my computer.

One of the characters from A Chorus Line says he wanted to be her. That's me, too. I always wanted to be her. Watching her makes me smile. They said MGM had "more stars than there are in the heavens," and Cyd Charisse sparkled like the sun.

Sweet Dreams.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Prink it Out!

In High School English class we had to learn different WODs (words of the day) and WOWs (Words of the Week). Although it may not come across in my writing, they greatly expanded my vocabulary.

Luckily, you can get WODS delivered to your inbox every day via Subscribe for free here, why not? My friend Trent just forwarded me yesterday's entry. He didn't know why, but when he read the definition of "PRINK," he thought of me. Sweet.

Word of the Day
Saturday June 14, 2008

\PRINGK\, transitive verb:
1. To dress up; to deck for show.

intransitive verb:
1. To dress or arrange oneself for show; to primp.

Tara has supermodel legs and is already getting used to being prinked and coiffed as she prepares for her first beauty contest in the autumn.

-- Raffaella Barker, "Diary hatched, matched and almost despatched", Daily Telegraph, September 6, 1997

As you see, PRINK can be both transitive, and intransitive (we love a versatile verb) and should definitely be used in more situations than just Miss Tara's supermodel legs!

So try it at home, try it on the streets. Use it, learn it, prink yourself all over town. This is one reason to love education.

Because--put simply--the more you prink, the better you feel.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Her True Colors

I was so proud to be able to go out and buy Cyndi Lauper's new dance album Bring Ya to the Brink. Not only is it a great album, but I love Cyndi Lauper.

Cooldan took me to the recent True Colors Tour, and I saw her in March at Sydney's Mardi Gras. One of my greatest "NYC moments" (if you live here, you have them) was being at a bar, circa 2003, down in the Lower East Side. I looked up and saw Cyndi Lauper. She was there for a birthday party for a designer friend of hers (Nicole Miller?) Anyway, there was Cyndi Lauper, and I actually got up and hurdled a couch to tell her something.

While speaking with her, the DJ in this little bar saw her and put on "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." I suggested she get on top of the bar, and you know what she said? "Why the hell not?!" With that, she hopped up on the bar and we all lip synched together with her.

Cyndi Lauper, in an impromptu bar top performance.

After she got down off the bar, we did a conga line. I'm right behind her.

Growing up in small town Oregon, even in primary school I could tell something was different about me. I wasn't fitting in, I knew I was different, I didn't know how exactly, but Cyndi Lauper made me feel it was going to be okay. Something she said stuck with me.

Back in, what was it? 1985? Every girl in my class was mimicking valley girls, and when they weren't doing that, they were copying the dress of Madonna and Cyndi Lauper. I remember in those days watching an interview where Cyndi Lauper expressed her disappointment that other girls were imitating her: coloring their hair red, shaving square into it, just like she did.

In the interview, Cyndi said that's not what she wanted to inspire; she didn't like to see people copying her. She wanted to inspire others to be different, in their own special way. 20 years later, at that LES bar, I was able to tell her I'd never forgotten what she impressed upon me.

Cyndi Lauper is a rock star, yes, but I love her for another reason.

From a very young age, she told me I could be an original.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Adult Baby Presented at Spanking Party

Just to be clear, I was recently in Chicago blogging on a wholesome Playgirl shoot. It just so happened we were staying at the Hyatt during the International Mr. Leather party. And you've seen the pup shows, gear, and gimps to prove it!

Imagine my surprise one morning, when I wake up to find a card shoved under my Hyatt hotel room door. It features a man bending over with a very red naked ass, and reads: "7th annual Chicago Spanking Party" and it turns out this seventh annual stinger was being held that very night just down the hall!

I actually raced home from dinner to the Hyatt to see what it was all about. And since a photo says so much more than words, here you go:

At the spanking party, a spanker with a great uniform brought his own tools.

Bad Boy Daniel Nardicio gets his comeuppance!

In the background, a bare ass feels the burn. In the foreground, two attendees have a serious debate. They were discussing wood-carving.

In a nearby Hyatt storage closet, we uncovered an abandoned baby crib. In moments, we pulled the pants down an adult baby, stuffed him into the crib, and giddily wheeled it into the party as an offering from the spanking gods.

The adult baby was received with a mixture of awe and shock; the same reverent response as the Incas had when they first witnessed the conquistadores on horseback.

The adult baby was last seen in the Hyatt lobby enjoying a cocktail.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Put Some Gay in Your Day

Hey Kids-

So I just started writing for a new site called Gay List Daily. It's a swank e-publication that sends daily write ups to your inbox on people, places, and things you absolutely must know about. If you're in NYC, check it out and sign up at Gay List Daily. It's totally free (of course!)

If you don't live in NYC, check it out anyway. They have plans for global domination.

In addition to snarky fun daily write ups, they also do a weekly calendar. Below is what I wrote about for this weekend (it looks much better on their site!) Also, if you or your friends have a product or event to promote, let me know. I'll plug it if I can.

Sign up now--put some gay in your day!

New York 06.12.2008

Don’t Just Stay Cool, Be Cool!

The heat is on! Summer is here, and if you’re not already lying out on the beaches of Fire Island, then let us tempt you out of the house. So what if it’s hot? Some like it hot, and remember: You didn’t move to New York City to get intimate with your air conditioner.

Please Curb Your Dog!
Pink Flamingos at Chelsea Classics with Hedda Lettuce
Thursday, June 12, 7:00 & 9:30 p.m.

Sassy, brassy drag queen Hedda Lettuce tosses our salad tonight at Chelsea Classics as she introduces John Water’s 1972 classic Pink Flamingos. For a bargain $7.50, you can win fabulous prizes and watch star Divine prove herself the filthiest person alive when she becomes a human doggie bag!

Tickets: $7.50
Thursday, June 12, 7:00 & 9:30 p.m.
John Waters’ “Pink Flamingos” (Rated NC-17)
Chelsea Clearview Cinemas
260 West 23rd Street, New York

Gays and Guns?
The Impact of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Friday, June 13, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Times Talks refuses to hush up! One of the most divisive social issues of our times is explored in “Ask Not,” a documentary about the impact of the US military’s 1993’s "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy. The screening is followed by a panel discussion featuring the filmmaker, experts and former soldiers who’ve been discharged for being open about their sexuality.

Tickets: $20
The TimesCenter Stage
242 West 41st Street, New York

Bonus Points if you Race in Heels
Brooklyn Pride 10K Fun Run
Saturday, June 14, starts promptly at 9:30 am

Lace up, head to Prospect Park and sweat out Friday night’s liquor. This sporting event kicks off Brooklyn Pride day, and 50% of proceeds go to the Park Slope Geriatric Day Center’s LGBTQ Family Caregiver Program. Afterward, stay put for the Multicultural Pride festival until the parade kicks off at 8:30 p.m.

$20 pledge
10K Fun Run begins promptly at 9:30 a.m.
Festival: 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Parade at 8:30 p.m.
Prospect Park at Bartel-Pritchard Circle
15th Street and Prospect Park West, Brooklyn

Prince of Denmark Spotted in Central Park!
Hamlet @ Shakespeare in the Park
Through June 29, Tuesdays – Sundays at 8:00 p.m.

Seeing Hamlet outdoor at the Delacorte Theatre is about as close as you’ll get to seeing Hamlet the way Shakespeare did. Plus, Lauren Ambrose plays Ophelia (Claire Fisher dies!). Pick up free tickets at 1:00 p.m. on the day of the performance. Be sure to line up early. Go at 8:00 a.m. and bring a very long book. There are line monitors, so when it comes to the queue, neither a borrower nor a lender be!

Free (Limit 2 tickets per person)
Hamlet @ Shakespeare in the Park
Through June 29, Tuesdays - Sundays at 8:00 p.m.
(Certain date/time exceptions are posted online)
Delacorte Theatre
Enter Central Park from 81st Street and Central Park West