Thursday, January 28, 2010

Anthony Valente (1978-2010)

Most everyone I know is devastated over the loss of Anthony Valente.  It appears my friend died last night, and I don't know much more yet except to say that I'm heartbroken.

Anthony and his partner Xac were always so excited for our Gay Pride theme that each year they hosted a dress-up pre-party for us in their Chelsea salon.  They also hosted many a fundraiser for community charities, and even let us shoot (for free) a scene for Violet Tendencies.

I wish I could go back in time and give him another hug.  Anthony was so quick to hug and so full of life.  His Facebook page now is of course a non-stop flow of memories and goodbyes, and I love what he wrote in the "about me" section:
Take everything you've ever been taught, throw it all away, and discover the truth with an open mind.

A couple of weeks ago, he texted me to stop by and see him at Splash.  I wish I would have gone to see his smile. My heart goes out to Xac and the rest of his tribe.

Today has not been a good day.  My friend and reader Don Skiff had to face the confessed murderers of his son Donnie, who pleaded "not-guilty" and are playing the court circus for all its worth.

JD Salinger died today, too.  Pause here for the Holden Caulfield metaphor I'm not going through with.

Suffice it to say, I hope to find a way to remember my friend.  All those who knew Anthony sparkle a little brighter today because of him.
Rest in Peace.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Late for Work

So funny.  Is this the story of your life???

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Marines want ME!!

It's been a funny week.  I get a flyer in the mail from the MARINE CORPS.  As in Be All That You Can Be!  They want ME!  How desperate has our Armed Forces become that they're recruiting me?  I guess I could use three square meals a day and a paycheck?  And who knows---I'm sure they'll need a whole new pink platoon when we invade Yemen to frisk muslim males for explosive powder in their panties.

What seals the deal for me, and for thousands like me, is that if I complete and return this card today (offer expires 03/31/10) I will be sent more information along with FREE dog tags, duffle bag, or a skullcap!  They were kind enough to include another card, that says "See If A Friend Will Join You."

Can you see it now?  The enticing flyer is fronted with a photo of a Marine and the caption "From the top of the rappeling tower at recruit training, you can see for miles." which is presumably meant to capture my imagination, which is what the Marine Corps is known for.

Next I'm walking up Fifth Avenue, when I see a large crowd rallying outside of Bergdorf-Goodman.  They're animal activists, and they've got bloody signs of animals being skinned alive and tortured and they are chanting, "Stop the Insanity,  no blood for Vanity!" Which is pretty catchy I must admit.  I go up to root them on and just as I do, it occurs to me that the winter hat I'm wearing is made with rabbit fur.


But back to my mailbox, which is where all the excitement is going on these days.  I was excited to receive an anonymous package which did not tick.  I opened it to find it contained the gift of a half Police Officer,  half glittering Merman ceramic ornament.  His name is Officer "Pike" which is both a species of fish and a Pilates position.  Either way, he is definitely sparkling!

Do you love the arm position?  Please don't miss the double-belt feature, which helps keep your fins from slipping and is trending among only the most slim and fashionable of law enforcement offishers.  Do you think Offisher Pike is the one attempting to recruit me to rappel with the Marine Corps?

I include this close-up to show the detail work on the eyebrows. 

I think I understand what this Officer references. Very clever!  I love this gift and shall treasure it forever.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Violet Tendencies Purple Poster

Violet Tendencies movie poster is here!!  It doesn't give too much away, but hopefully makes you intrigued to know more and see the film.  Plus, it matches my blog!  That's Mindy Cohn up top, starring as the last fruit fly, Violet.  Thanks to my talented friend Michael Coates, who designed and created this poster free of charge.  You are awesome!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fire Island Interactive Summer Calendar!

They were offering free Pilates classes, so I decided to see what all the gizmos, devices (and hype) was about.  It sure was fun to play around with!  At one point, on my back and helped into stirrups connected to springs, the instructor asked if I'd been here before and I said, "To the gynecologist?"

Yesterday was also the first time I'd been told to "Genie the arms" and though I don't think I broke a sweat in an hour, I am truly grateful to Pilates because "Genie the arms" has been forever added to not only my phraseology, but my dance floor choreography as well.    

Last night was some serious head to head GLBTQRSTUV competition: Lady Gaga concert VS. Fire Island share-a-thon.  Lady Gaga won, of course, which meant that my friend Travis (who owns a home on Fire Island) was at the concert last night instead of hunting for summer shares at the share-a-thon.  "Will you pimp my house?" he asked me of all people!

I brought CoolDan with me and there we are at a booth, luring men to buy into a share at a house on Shady Walk in the Pines (sleeps six--$11K for 1/4 share, $19 K for 1/2 share - May through Sept. if interested!)  Dan and I, who usually do Survivor Weekend and spend the night on the sand of Fire Island, are now posing as home-owners pimping out an actual house.  Without words, we looked at each other and burst into hysterical laughter.  Of course half the homeowners at the Share-A-Thon know us well and didn't take long to chime in the shock, "YOU TWO??  What, are you selling shares under the boardwalk???"  We got a few kicks telling them how July 4th weekend is in high demand under the boardwalk.

The coolest thing is that we met a lot of new homeowners because we'll soon be marketing a Fire Island Summer Share Interactive Calendar.  Oh yes, recessionistas R us!  My writing and Cooldan's fartwork have finally merged into one!  We've even come up with a company name, sporting our initials ("JADE") and have a mock up ready to print.  Each month will feature my one-liners, real game-changing nuggets like, "My husband went to Fire Island and all I got were these lousy crabs!" combined with Cooldan's random, fun photo-shopped images.  We've got way too much free time.

The calendar part is interactive, so summer housemates can tick off how often they cooked, cleaned, tricked, did drag, got wasted, etc each month.  You know you want a JADE calendar!  We'll sell it at Gostoso Fire Island Pines in a few months, and probably here too.  Check out the cover baby!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

NSFW? You need a new job!

How much do you lose for being frank?  I lost my google sponsored ADsense years ago on this site because they blocked me.  The brink is too racy for Goodle's advertisers.  Ahem--are you interested in advertising on the right margin here?  It's only $50/month, but sadly, you wouldn't get any hits from China.  Now I know this isn't the first time you've seen Google and China in the same paragraph!

Cooldan was recently in China making samples for a fashion collection he's designed called ELHE (and I'm so proud of him!). He tried to go to my site from over there and he could see parts of this site, but not the blog!  Who goes trolling the internet looking for nudity and controversy?  I want that job, but only so I can know who to blogroll. 

You'd think it'd be better off in this country, but holy firewalls!  Bam tried to get to my blog from work today and received this message:

 "Nudity, Pornography".  That's not exactly the way I'd categorize my blog.  Would you?  I consider it more about thoughts and ideas, rants and raves, and sharing anecdotes and inspiration from others on the brink!

It doesn't feel good to a) be censored and b) be categorized.  It's so claustrophobic in this naked little box.   But this got me to thinking: I haven't featured glorious male nudity for a long time on this blog--- although one of my top referrals is when users search the web for "naked men at the car wash."

Since we've been labeled, may as well live up to it.  It's high time I remind China and Great Walls everywhere exactly what they're missing!  Let's look no further than some on-set antics from our upcoming feature, Violet Tendencies! 

This juicy booty belongs to my friend Murphy, who showed up in a hot pink Borat sling bikini for the opening scene!

Here's another delicious behind-the-scenes male nudity!  I get up close and almost personal with my gorgeous, hung friend Fredrick.  This was shot in old-fashioned sepia tones by our beautiful and always game on-set photographer, Jocelyn.

It's so nice to be able to share what I'm known for in the blogosphere and beyooooond!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Vaudeville, Va-Va Voom and Violet!

Camera DIED!  Rude!!  First my computer, now my camera. I've trouble getting used to the idea that electronics have the life-span of a goldfish these days.  Because you know those antique phonographs are still going strong.  Ye olde 1912 Vitrola plugs along fine and dandy, but my 2006 Olympus is kaput.

They just don't make thing like they used to!  I wish this would've happened before Christmas, so I could have put it on my list for Santa.  Now I rely on Bam's iphone cam (I'm boycotting AT&T) which isn't exactly high quality. We hit David Barton and Suzanne Barscht's annual Toy Drive a few weeks back.  It was at his big, new DB gym in the former Barnes & Noble at Astor Place.

The gym is amazing and the party was a huge success with tons of donations, celebs and free booze.  Remember the East Village Toy Tower they dismantled a couple years ago for "structural" (read: rats) reasons?

So how did all of its contents suddenly end up on the shoulders of local legend Lavinia Co-op?  Check out her colorful coat of many plushies:

The Toy Drive was also a chance for the gym to give out free month-long passes to everyone and their mother.  Just in time for the Skinny and Buff New Years resolutions!  At every gym around town and across the country, boys eagerly await the end of January, when resolutions fade along with exploded gym crowds.

Also at the party, Burlesque beauty Dirty Martini danced her pants off!

Which reminds me!  This past Saturday my friend Ryan and I hit a Brooklyn studio where we danced all over a green screen in our underwear for hours.  Crawling, cartwheels, chaine name it, which will all be edited and mercifully (I hope) manipulated into silhouettes that will be inserted into the opening credits of Violet Tendencies -- the final touch to the film which will then be, yes, finished!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Going Down...

I'm excited to go to Los Angeles in early February to shoot the Going Down in La La Land.  It's a film with a script by Casper Andreas based upon the book by my friend Andy Zeffer.

I'm not going to be naked in this film, for once.  I don't even have to take my shirt off!!!  But luckily for you, stunning actor/model Matthew Ludwinski will!

Matthew plays Adam, an aspiring actor who comes to LA to make it big.  He rooms with Candy, an overly ambitious, selfish-but-she-doesn't-know-it, hilarious sidekick.  Candy will be portrayed by the indomitable talent Allison Lane.   

I will be playing Adam's bitchy office boss, Matthew.  Once he gets through with me, he'll plunge right into porn!  Who can't wait to see that?  I'm not sure of the whole cast yet, but super thrilled to hear that comedian Alec Mapa will play a part, and that legendary wit Bruce Vilanch has been cast as "Missy", a famous porn director who can make your ass famous!  Going Down begins production later this month in La La Land.  Yay!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Food!! Fabulous FOOD!!

I'm eating again after 10 days of ridiculous starvation on the Beyonce Master Cleanse fast.  If I never see a lemon again...!!!!  Clearly I'll never be Buddhist.

The master cleanse was an amazing test of willpower, but then again so is not punching the TV each time I turn it on.  I lost 8 pounds I probably didn't need to lose: 156 down to 148.  I promise to gain it right back.  The biggest benefit from the Beyonce cleanse?  All the money saved on food and alcohol!

I do not miss hangovers, but back in my drinking days I slept better than I have been without eating.  This morning I woke up at 2am and couldn't go back to sleep.  2 AM!  My brain knew today was the day I was finally gonna break-my-fast, and it just wouldn't quit!  So I get up, wander around the house, read some, fiddle on Facebook, and since I'm not sleeping I decide to go to the gym.  By now it's nearly 6 am, and on my way I decide to text Cooldan who has ALSO been fasting with me.

I text that he must call right when he wakes up so we can share together the novelty of EATING again.  Just after I send the text, Dan calls me...he's wide awake for the same reason.  We're about to be born again feeders!

We decide to meet up after I get done with the gym.  I don't expect anyone to be there because the sun is hardly up.  I've only seen this hour of the day from the other way around!  But the locker room is a-buzz.  Men are dressing, in starched button-down shirts and collars.  One man has lined out all his toiletries, another is expertly putting in cufflinks.  WALL STREET!  They're talking about a seminar.  

I'm definitely the odd man out.  I feel like I'm one of the ghosts in a Dicken's novel being shown how my life might have, or maybe should have turned out.  A seminar!?  I get an awful vision of some lecturer drumming into your head what you're supposed to learn, and how you're supposed to deal with scenario A or scenario B, and completely unaware there could be a scenario C.

It reminds me of school and it's not that I didn't like or excel at school, but the concept of education in this country has become corrupted by teaching for the test, fixing numbers to make the district look good, systematically stripping students of individuality; no child left behind!  They put a moratorium on my imagination after the 9th grade.  I remember the exact year, because it was Mrs. Chiotti who was the last teacher to ever assign me to write a story.  Just...a story of fiction.  In order to practice my skills as a writer and storyteller.  

Right after that, reading was no longer to get lost in a story, character, or idea, and writing became a tool strictly used for analyzing something to death.  To do outlines and charts and strategic essays and  compares and contrasts.  It wasn't until I was out of school and its conforming chokehold that I slowly began to rediscover and develop my own creativity.

Hearing these suit and tie guys talk this morning about their work seminar made me think of the rules I don't follow and soberly reminded me why I find it such a struggle to survive sometimes.

Of course, there was also the fact I hadn't eaten in ten days.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I've always wanted to be a pin-up boy!

Recently I was approached by the very talented artist Paul Richmond.  He's created so many amazing paintings, and even contributed to the GLAAD art auction I volunteered for this past year!  Paul wrote to ask if I'd be up for my likeness being painted in a new series he's doing that will exhibit in Chicago this June at the Halsted Gallery.  Paul writes: 

I am a painter who often uses imagery from popular culture in my work, which addresses issues of sexuality and identity with a humorous twist. In my “Cheesecake Boy” series, I depict male models who can’t seem to keep their pants on (reminiscent of the contrived pin-up girl scenes from the 40’s and 50’s) as a way to challenge traditional ideas about gender roles.

One of Paul Richmond's Cheesecake Boys in "Mistletoe Madness"

You know where this is leading, right?  Love it.  He's got a lot of other notable gays in his pin-up boy line-up, including Del Shores, Alec Mapa, Darryl Stephens, Perez Hilton, Mike Ruiz, Ari Gold and more!  For each of one us, he's dreamed up a different scenario of how exactly our pants are going to be ripped off.  His idea for mine?

The Jesse Archer Cheesecake Boy piece for the show would be reminiscent of a vintage slasher/horror movie poster, with you trying to escape from an ominous villain (by way of a dark, scary forest of course!) with your skimpy shorts getting caught and yanked down by some low-hanging tree branches. This would be an homage to all the hapless female victims of slasher movie monsters whose wadrobe malfunctions proved to be their downfall.

I'm so honored!  I told him I can't think of anything better than for my image to pay homage to female slasher victims who can't keep their clothes on!  Plus, I'm a runner so I'll give that villain a good chase.

He's already done the mock-up, and had me send some reference photos.  Tentatitvely titled, In Hot Pursuit, check out his sketch here, along with the accompanying reference photo.  Look at those treacherous, fabric-ripping branches!  This guy's so good, his pin-up boys should be on the side of a bomber!  Can't wait to see the final product...and everyone else's too!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Beyonce's Master-Cleanse

Can you believe it's going on 9 days since I've eaten??  This is ridiculous.  Cooldan and I decided to do this whacky fast---it's what Beyonce did before Dreamgirls--which is a mixture of squeezed lemon juice and organic maple syrup and (honey, I am not buying bottled, it's from the tap!) water.  With a dash of cayenne pepper.  That's all we've had for the past 9 days.

The first three days are brutal.  After day three, it's really a breeze.  The only thing is I can't sleep, because I think my brain is probably freaking out.  Let it!  So the only solid thing I've ingested are sleeping pills.  Otherwise, I'm still able to go to the gym and buzz about, but I admit the sparkle is a mite diminished, prompting Bam to label the cleanse: "Less of Jess!" all the while he relishes torturing me by eating big fat burritos right in front of my nose.

When we went to the movies last weekend (saw two incredible films with a lot to say about the human condition, yet in two strikingly different ways: Up in the Air and A Single Man, both highly recommended!).  Bam taunted me with a big tub of movie popcorn which was absolute agony, and today I found myself standing beside a food cart just...smelling the scented air of cooked meat.  Yet I wouldn't even say I'm hungry anymore.  Food was something from a former lifetime.  Funny how adaptable human beings are.  That's the one thing we can definitely all agree with regard to humans, right?  So adaptable.

I'm not even exactly sure why we're fasting.  It's not like I'm beyonce and need to trim those big hips for Dreamgirls!  I'm not doing any nude photo shoots this week or anything.  It's not beach season.  I don't even think I need to lose weight.  "Is it because we want to look like the aliens in Avatar?" I ask Dan.

He reminds me we're on a De-Tox, taring the excessive holiday indulgence.  I have to admit there is that.  I'm also saving a ton of money!  There is the challenge aspect, too; I love a test of wills.  Okay, and I wouldn't mind looking just a little more like that Avatar.

It's incredible how much food regulates the day.  At night, there's no dinner.  More time and boredom sets in.  Bam has gotten so bored of eating alone that he's joined us!  If you can't beat 'em!  He's now doing the cleanse, but his own "modified cleanse" which includes coffee and beer.  We will break-fast on Thursday, and I'm really not supposed to stuff my face out at the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet right after not eating for ten days, but we may do that anyway.

Today, as Dan and I measure out yet another dosage of the liquid concoction that has sustained us thus far, it is with both pity and humor that I watch Dan squeeze lemons into juice and ravenously eating the pulp inside of the rind as if it were the last scrap of food on earth.  I quiz him on whether he's been cheating on the cleanse because he's always been big on cheating.  We're both really weak, and he can't take my grilling. "Fine, I had a carrot on Thursday," he says. "Are you mad at me?"

I'm very disappointed I tell him, before adding, "I had a slice of tomato the other day."

This gets me thinking how hysterical it would be if I weren't on this cleanse at all?  If I was pretending to go along with Dan, drinking this nasty maple syrup lemon liquid and complaining about starvation, but behind his back I'm greedily pigging out on Pizza Hut, Benny's Burritos and Taco Bell gorditas.  The idea of that just kills me.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Chichen Itza!

Another magnificent pile of rocks! When in Cancun, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see these legendary Mayan ruins.  They tell you about this really cool chamber inside, with a throne and panther and prized jewels, but of course you can't enter.  And for a few years now, you're not even able to climb the steps.  Trying to navigate small steps and steep grade is the fun part!  If I'd have known those rules I never would have gone. 
Here's the postcard

Tourists watch as we make fools of ourselves.

This is where they played that game like soccer, except the losing team all got (literally) slaughtered.

Chichen Itza Mayans were particularly entranced with skeletons.  And Pumas.

One day, I'm gonna write a site (that actually makes money!) giving travel tips, so here's a preview: Don't bother with Chichen Itza!  I've been to most all the ruins in the Americas and here's my list of which pile of rocks are actually worth it:

Xan-Xan (Trujillo, Peru)
Huaca de la Luna (Trujillo, Peru)
Nasca Lines (Peru)
Ciudad Perdida (Colombia)
Sacsayhuaman (Cuzco, Peru)
Teotihuacan (near Mexico City, Mexico)
Tikal (Guatemala)
Machu Picchu (Peru)

Yeah, so it's all about Peru.  Tikal is truly awesome, if you can get there.  A close second, IMHO, to Machu Picchu...mainly because I know for a fact you can bribe the guards to let you sleep on top one of the temples and awake alone to the sound of howler monkeys and sunrise over the jungle canopy. could hit Chichen Itza and all its souvenir stands.  As you walk to each different section of the ruins, you're surrounded on all sides by vendors selling little wooden pumas, ceramic recreations of the temple, skeleton heads, and as you pass they solicit, "Amigo!" "Good Price!" and my favorite, "Almost Free!" We called this experience "Running the Gauntlet". 

Chad, Bam, and Scott run the gauntlet

I remarked to my friend Scott how bizarre it was that people here were selling replicated remnants of a deceased civilization.  That's what's left of the Mayans.  Imagine if we all were wiped out and all that was left was a bunch of crap sold by those people profiteering from our demise.  Scott said, "Have you been to Ground Zero lately?" 

I forgot about that.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Wax or Game Show Host?

Did you catch Bob Barker saving the whales on Rachel Maddow tonight?  Madame Tussaud's has really outdone herself! He makes me want to join anti-whaling activism, live to be 86 if I can be that color of orange, and play a mean game of Plinko.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Back in Business!

Computer is back, and woof!! How exciting. I guess I've got an ancient Mac model, being that it's nearly five years old and already ready to retire (it takes after its father, clearly!) Anyhoo---seen a lot of stuff this week, including AVATAR in 3-d at the Imax, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Finally, the aliens are the good guys and HOT. In fact, so hot that I've decided if I can't fall in love with those beautiful blue aliens, then I will stop eating until I look like one of them.

The only thing (besides Sigourney Weaver's avatar looking creepily like her) that bothered me was the main character, Sam Worthington, who is supposed to be crippled. I have no idea how they got his legs to look atrophied, but it's the same problem I have with straight actors always playing the few gay characters offered by Hollywood: Why can't the crippled guy be actually crippled? I mean, how many chances does a crippled actor have? The roles are few and here they give it to a perfectly bipedal actor.

I suppose you really have to be a little person to have your niche roles secured, but one day technology will be able to make tall actors into the woeful circus midget and wham: Oscar!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

2010 and Bust!

Hey all! I hope everyone had a merry new years! The first day of 2010 was a bit of a doozy for me. I had a dream on New Years night where I died!! That is SO not supposed to happen -ever-but I did die. Strangely, I got a second chance to live. It was like a video game where I could re-do the last moments before I died. Basically, I had to avoid buildings that were falling on top of me. Impossible!!

When I (finally) woke up, I restarted my computer and it died. So here I am at the APPLE store using a public computer. It will cost a small fortune to get my laptop fixed, but hey: at least it wasn't that dream which came true, or the world that ended, or (fate forbid!) my liver that failed!
It's only a computer.

I hope to be back in touch within 3-5 days. Still wishing you all a very happy New Year!