Saturday, May 29, 2010

Small step for a man, one giant leap for Africa!

You may recall Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga were sentenced to the maximum 14 year sentence with hard labor for holding a gay "public engagement ceremony" in their home country of Malawi.  To think, when I was in Africa everyone kept saying Malawi was so friendly!

I'm thrilled to announce they were pardoned today!  Malawi's president Bingu wa Mutharika said they commmitted crimes against our culture, our religion, and our laws".  He also added that he granted the pardon on "humanitarian" grounds even though he didn't support it.

What amazing news!  International pressure WORKS!  Now we need the powerful figures who spoke out (Clinton, Obama, Madonna) to help them obtain asylum, at least until the threat of mob "justice" subsides.  When they passed the sentence there was talk about boycotting Malawi, but what we need is to go to places like Malawi.  We could affect so much change if rather than laying out at the pool at the Delano Miami Beach, we simply visited places like Malawi.

Until today, that prison sentence for two men simply holding a "public ceremony" that did not infringe on anyone's rights said lout and clear: You have no free will.  It's my way or the highway! Our species is so possessive.  We are a race of those Seagulls loudly squawking in Finding Nemo and what they're really squawking is: Mine! Mine! Mine!  
 We squawk: My woman.  My Arizona.  My bike lane!  I was running down Christopher Street to the west side on the bike lane (there's actually a bike path now) and a woman on a leg-powered scooter turns into the lane from a side street and says to me, "Get out of the bike path!"

I may be running in the bike path, but she's on a scooter!  Is it the wheels that give her the authority to order me out of the lane?  She is powering said scooter with feet strapped into a wedge heel.  A wedge heel!  Rather than give her a piece of my mind, I blow by her thinking I am going to blog about you!

Have you ever been puzzled why certain stretches of beach are off limits, labeled "Private Property"?  Or observed a plot of land for sale and paused to think how odd it is that we think we can own parcels of the earth?  Did you know that "W" hotels actually OWNS the letter W?  Or that Tiffany's owns their color of robin-egg blue?  Mine! Mine! Mine!

Who do we think we are?  This attitude (I do declare) hearkens back to the fear of death (I can hear you thinking: there he goes again--prattling on about death).  But at least I'm talking about it!  How many let the knowledge of our impending demise seep subconsciously into their lives, where it manifests (much like self-loathing) in myriad icky ways that are not talked about?

I finished a great book by Matthew Alpert recently that claims fear and reality dovetail. Every animal (even humans) deals with anxiety on a daily basis in order survive.  The Dodo had no anxiety at all, and look how that worked out.  We have this anxiety, same as a rabbit when faced with a bobcat.  Unlike the rabbit, we have this consciousness of our own mortality and unlike the bobcat, we are unable to flee the threat of decay and death.

This consciousness put a paralytic strain on our egos.  Alpert hypothesizes that evolution favored a physiological adaptation: the idea of an immortal soul.  It's not god, or faith, but a part of the brain which helps us get through this slog we call life.  In our minds, we can now live forever  Perhaps the reason fervent belief in god is not yet categorized as a psychological disorder is because it is a common trait? A necessary trait, to varying degrees?

Is death so hard to face that our brains have fashioned a way out?  It reminds me of what my grandma said, after Lasik surgery that gave her 20/20 vision: "I see too much now....look at all that dust!" Or my mother who tells me (wasting her breath): "Jesse, there is such a thing as too much truth!" It is insanely hard to face the idea of ceasing to exist.  I prefer Mark Twain's take on it: "Death does not worry me.  I was dead long before I was alive and it didn't bother me at all."

If we could get to his way of thinking---maybe we'd all just live and let live.  And stop clutching onto religion, plastic surgery, the gilded cage of a power job, possessions, possessing others.  Is this not all conscious avoidance of death? Check the world's top two resident tyrants: Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, Iran's Ahmadinejad (little man with a Napolean complex), and North Korea's Kim Jong Il (featured on Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians) How low will each stoop to get one more street named after them, to obtain more obsequious bows from fearful subjects?  Each killing of an insubordinate, each token of power clenched in fist increases their chance at immortality.

Is legacy immortal?  A funny story I remember about Dinah Shore: She had a golf course named after her in Palm Springs, which she was proud would live on forever.  And the minute she died they wiped off her name and gave it another!  So what is the legacy you will leave?  My friend Jimmy recently told me of his plan to restore his old high school and purchase textbooks.  Bea Arthur donated $300,000 to buy a new shelter for homeless youth.  Malawi's president has pardoned two innocent men. Wake up, look around.  Dare to share the bike lane.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Maybe we should lie a lot more?

Hit up Hartford for the premiere of Violet Tendencies.  I was treated to amazing hospitality by the fine folk up in Connecticut.  It was my first time to Hartford.

The screening was on the absolutely stunning campus of Trinity College, and the capitol building was impressive.  Otherwise there's not a ton going one!  Apparently, it was once a huge hub of business (and still the hub of insurance companies like Aetna---how does Hartford feels about Obama-Care?!)

Besides that I saw some run-down residential buildings sporting signs like this:
"NO LOITERING, AND THAT INCLUDES RESIDENTS!" Love that one.

It was great see Violet Tendencies with an audience.  They laughed in all the right places!  I had a blast meeting great people and am glad the film is out in the world.  This weekend Mindy Cohn is hosting the premiere in Honolulu, and Casper Andreas is near Bermuda hosting a screening on the "Pride of the Ocean" luxury liner!  Where's my tropics?  Next week I'll be in Ft. Worth, Texas, and then Seattle.

In Hartford, I met the mother (and also the aunt) of hottie Alex Quiroga, who plays the guy who kicks my character out of bed.  When he came on-screen, his mother and aunt screamed for him.  Said Alex later when I told him of my envy: "I'm pretty lucky in the family department."  I should say so!

Also in Hartford is the Mark Twain House.  Twain is one of my heroes and I was lucky enough to get a tour by the very knowledgeable guide Matthew.  Did you know Twain had red hair?  It was amazing to see the desk where he wrote his most famous works, including much of Huckleberry Finn.  Have you read that one recently?  It's amazingly current and laugh-out-loud funny, and I'm not sure who says it's racist but it's exactly the opposite.

Some Twain quotes I caught in the museum:

"Travel is fatal to Prejudice" --

I agree, with 2 exceptions:
1) when one travels to make war.
2) when one travels to evangelize.

"Man is the only animal who blushes, or needs to." 

Don't you think man ought to blush a lot more!? 

"Only tell the truth to one who is worthy of it." 


No comment!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Myra Mains...washing dishes in a gimp mask!

Our gay Pride theme this year is death.  Sexy death, of course.  Our friend Anthony died in January, and he always generously hosted our Pride prep in his salon, with his boyfriend Xavier.  Since he is gone, we chose to remember him and all the gays who have gone before...in our festivities.  It's admittedly a bit macabre, marching down Fifth Avenue as the Merry Mourners in his honor.  That said, it's crazy enough for us to actually go through with it.  We think Anthony would have liked it.

For visuals from Prides Past, click the "gay pride" label below this post.  This year, the girls are already getting clever with their names.  So far we have Miss Paula Bearer, Miss Daisy Pusha, and Anita Plot.  CoolDan was originally Miss Faye Tal, but opted for Stiffany ("I think we're alone now").  Bam Bam will embody Miss Lavinia Hearse.  I was originally going with Miss Cass Kit, or perhaps Miss Rhoda Will...but then decided to ask my Facebook friends for some help.  Here's just a sampling of the genius they produced.

Miss:

Pearl E. Gates
Prim Reaper
Bea Reaved
Zombea Arthur
Lotta Grief
Helena Handbasket
Formalda Hyde
Reanne Carnation
Eula Gee
Myra Mains

For the record, whatever you need----ask for it in your status update!  I think I'm going with Myra Mains because...you have to say it out loud.  Still, look at all those great names going to waste!!

I've left the costume up to my friend Harrison.  He's one of those guys who is just majorly talented at everything creative: haircutting, styling, fashion, wigs, art. Hate him!! Just kidding, I love him and I trust him implicitly.  Even when he sends me this urgent email and says I have to buy it:

I open my email from E-bay:
HARRISON THOUGHT YOU WOULD LIKE THIS ITEM: "Black Mystery Rubber Fetish Ski Mask"


Suddenly I find myself shelling out $50 bucks for a black mystery latex fetish ski mask.  As I do, I crack up and think: I LOVE MY LIFE!  I never thought being an adult could be so much damn fun. 

I believe Harrison will be cutting out the face and adding a wig somehow because I was also instructed to buy a red (as in...red!) wig.  Not quite sure what to expect, but I foresee Thierry Mugler meets Lady Gaga in the funeral dungeon.

The mask arrived yesterday so I texted Harrison.  He texts back, "Don't play with the hair and mask, I know u!  I should get it so I can work on them."

He does know me, because when I get his text not to play, Myra Mains is washing dishes in a black mystery fetish ski mask...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

*SPOILER ALERT* SATC 2 review

This time around Samantha has yams all over her face instead of sushi all over her body.  It's good for estrogen levels.  Now you know!

All of New York City, or so it seemed, turned up to Radio City Music Hall for the straight female's gay pride AKA the Sex and the City 2 premiere.  I went with my cousin Alyssa who actually got to shake Sarah Jessica Parker's hand and had a grand time spotting celebrities, for which I have no talent.  She spied obscurities like Gayle King--Oprah's "friend"--, Ashanti, Whitney Port, and when I asked, "who's the hot guy over there?" She answered,"Gilles Marini, the hung naked guy from Sex and the City 1." I quickly realized Alyssa is very good to have around!

We had great seats and weren't too far from Gabourey "Precious" Sidibe.  The two women behind me muttered to each other: "Did you see that movie Precious?" "Oh I could never see that movie, sounds just awful." And there, in essence, is your SATC-going audience.  Who needs realism when you can have fashion and $22,000 a night luxury suites with private butlers in Abu Dhabi?  Like in the Great Depression when everyone lived in shanty-towns and went to the movies to forget and see beauty and money and glamour in musicals like Golddiggers of 1933.   

There was a reference even to the 1930's film. Carrie and Mr. Big love to watch old movies, and begin with "It Happened One Night"-- where Carrie says (and who would say this in 2010?) that Claudette Colbert is so beautiful (?) She ain't Hedy Lamar!  Then again, neither is SJP!  Carrie soon gets fed up with Mr. Big lazing around the house and declares "We need to work on our sparkle!" Which of course I love, but the sparkle ends up not being so much cartwheels on a dance floor but... a diamond ring.

The movie begins with a big gay wedding.  Look for me here, and at the next day's brunch behind Samantha.  The gay wedding features the most unlikely pair of all time (Why?  Are audiences most comfortable with two gay men who have no chemistry or sex appeal) There is a rousing musical number by Liza Minnelli (what was she wearing at the premiere?!) performing "Single Ladies" with all the choreography.  I wish I could show you my Liza impression from set!

The girls promptly leave New York for Abu Dhabi (actually, Morocco) where the rest of the film takes place. Old Patricia Field really outdid herself with these costumes in the desert!  If you're looking for a 2.5 hour fashion show--here you have it.  Charlotte falls off a camel at one point and (ready to laugh?) gets up to find her outfit shows a camel-toe!  The audience went wild for that -ahem- and then Carrie runs into her old BF Aiden in the souk and they end up...kissing.

This is the central plot here: The kiss that could ruin her marriage!  How the audience screams in terror (especially those two girls behind me who couldn't bring themselves to ever watch a film like Precious) "Don't do itttttt!!!!" as Carrie kisses Aiden.  The film makes such a big deal of a kiss (punctuating it with Samantha getting arrested for kissing on the beach) and how it will bring down Carrie Bradshaw's entire world that I checked out mentally (thankful for gay films) until the hilarious part when Samantha drops her purse and condoms fall out and all these men get upset so she gyrates her hips and yells: "Yes, I FUCK!" 

In an absurd twist to grant muslim women some kind of "liberation"---the girls meet local women who hide beneath their black birkas...FABULOUS NEW YORK FASHIONS!  Yes, repressed women who get their hands chopped off or gang raped for driving a car without a male escort---care mostly about hiding the latest souk-purchased Gaultier beneath the birka.  Is there not something insidious in that?

On a side note, I just walked down 7th street at Avenue A and they are filming the Smurfs movie!  Are the smurfs taking over Manhattan for its fashion sense?  Has Vanity traded his mirror for some swanky East Village duds?  More importantly, is he sharing a love nest with Gargamel?

Back to the fiction: So how do our Abu Dhabi heroines get out of town when being chased by a mob of men angry at Samantha and her condom cache?  They run out in birkas.  Now it's a screwball!  They can't locate Charlotte until they spot her lavender Louboutin's (oh the mayhem!) and can't get a taxi until Carrie pulls up the birka to reveal a leg, in a totally inexplicable reference to the clip of Claudette Colbert she watched with Mr. Big.

Roger Ebert says in his review: Sex: about the same. City: Abu Dhabi. Two: half the movie's IQWhat can I say folks?  I liked it better than the first one!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

....And the City!

What a world, what a world!  The other day I won an internet contest (thank you Towleroad.com and ModernTonic.com!!) for tickets to the premiere of Sex and the City 2 at Radio City, plus a night at the new ACE hotel!

My first thought was: Radio City is gonna be a MOB SCENE.  But my cousin Lyssa in Oregon is a SATC junkie who said, "Take me!" I said, "Get out here!" Guess who got out here?  I'm really happy I won because this is a big deal for her.  She's getting her face done and her hair did for the big night...

I'm also in the film, probably in a few spots.  I guess I can let go some details from shooting.  Like how Sarah Jessica Parker (do you wonder what they call her in person?  Like, does anyone actually call her Sarah-Jessica?  They call her "SJ") Old SJ was the only one of em who wore her super high heels to set.  The rest of them tromped in wearing UGG(ly) boots.  Samantha especially sat there until just before action when a handler gingerly removed her Uggs and replace them with some chic shoe.

And Liza Minnelli?  Poor girl is in such pain!  I'm sure she looks amazballs on screen but it took 3 days and 300 takes to get it though all the while girl is so needy for the love of her audience and fans that you can't help but pull for her....in between cigarette breaks and rides on the back of a golf cart to her dressing room.  She also sang everyone a sweet Gershwin tune before she left, "Every time we say goodbye" (Wait, is it Gershwin?)  More behind the scenes later...

After my big prize win (I never win anything, wow!) I was awoken at 4am to screams and scuffles and look out my window to see this guy getting the SH%(#@T beat out of him.  I'm on the phone to 911 screaming, "Should I throw something at them?!" and I look to what I can grab and all I see is this hideous glass purse that all my friends use as an ashtray.

By the time I'm clutching said glass blown purse and ready to hurl it at the assailants below, the victim somehow (in a fit of adrenaline) leaps up and runs off.  He doesn't make it very far and plops (dead?  Seriously concussed?) in the street a few houses down.  The cops do arrest one guy and how am I supposed to sleep after that?  I can't imagine hurting someone physically, not just why do they do it....but HOW do they do it?

My cousin is welcomed the next day to my not-well rested face as she steps over splattered human blood at my doorway.  Today we went downtown to Battery Park and on the way checked out the cemetery next to Trinity Church.  For the record, if you're gonna get a headstone don't get the dark brown stone...it looks better, but it doesn't keep!  When I'm reading, "Who shalt forever be reminded of..." I really want to finished reading!

Best preserved stone (as with skin) is black.  Alexander Hamilton's crypt is white.  It reads, in part, "His talents and virtues will be celebrated long after this marble has mouldered into dust."  Yes, his talents and virtues will be celebrated and marveled at but honey...so will his asinine human stupidity!  One of the great minds of this nation died at 47 years old in a DUEL.

As my friend Jimmy tells me, Hamilton's eldest son died in a duel years previous and Hamilton himself was instrumental in outlawing dueling in New York---which is the reason his ill-advised duel took place in New Jersey!  Will we ever learn?  Alexander Hamilton: Girlfriend, you prove that no matter the intellectual capacity of a human we all seem to be governed by base emotion.  Thank HEAVEN you died with your honor (cough). 

Saturday we went on a fun scavenger hunt around the city for the launching of gay social networking site FABULIS.com.  We were split up into teams and took photos performing all sorts of randomness.  The team that won (we lost!) had a car and driver (unsportsmanlike conduct, IMHO). My favorite moment was laying down in Washington Square Park with Anita (dressed as Madonna) doing the caterpillar over my terrified body...oh, and posing atop of the bull statue downtown with (inexplicably) an Indian girl not more than 4 years old.
Harvey Milk day does not suck!  Do we?
Our team next decided to go to Coney Island for some major points with the Ferris Wheel down there, but suddenly the F train stopped and we were in East Brooklyn???  The MTA agents, proving they (and their service) have disassociative identity disorder, simply said (without apology) "The F train is acting as the A train this weekend."  Tell it to Bellvue, freak!

My weekend wraps today with a...wait for it...baby shower!  You see, there is normalcy in this city.  Or is there?  When shopping for the baby shower with my friends at "Babys R Us" -- we are looking over Louisa's registry and I hear a voice on the left: "Are the penis flavored pacifiers on there?" and a petulant voice on my right respond, "Hey, I want one of those!"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Join me!

After being denied the ability to add more friends on Facebook for some time, I finally caved (it seems so arrogant) and created a fanpage.  If you are on FB and haven't joined already, please "like" me here!  I'm gonna be spending most of my time here, so as not to double the time-wasting I do on that site. There are no limits on friends on this new page, and I can also now (again) fan other people's pages.  Thank you! 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

60by80 - right-size travel

Hello out there---Click to read the Q&A I did about travel and new york for 60by80.com.  While you're there, poke around and make summer vacation plans--60by80 a fantastic travel site made just for you! 

Huge thanks to the fine folks at 60by80 for this interview, as well as for advertising in our Fire Island Summer Calendar. 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I am all over the place! (Bear with me)

BEAUTIFUL!  There's always that time of year, okay FOUR times a year in NY where one day you realize: It's SPRINGTIME!  Or the dreaded, it's WINTER.  Yesterday for me was SUMMER....I ran along the east river and back through Tomkins Square Park which is my neighborhood park and will forever epitomize my New York experience.  I just love that place, its elms and grass...its "Temperance Fountain"!!  Yesterday, all the neighborhood was out with their dogs at the dog run, lying on the grass, squirting each other with super-soakers.

Summer has arrived and it makes me wonder: Would I realize the beauty of yesterday had I not gone through a long hard cold dark blizzard-filled winter?  Do the seasons make us actually appreciate more the good times?  Or is that masochistic, like a battered wife proud because he hasn't hit her this week?  It also makes me wonder: How did I grow up in Oregon?  Not seeing the SUN for months at a stretch takes a serious toll on your psyche!  But what if we lived in a place where it was sunny all the time?

The tropics are synonymous with paradise, but would we appreciate it after a while?  To paraphrase an a movie whose title now escapes me.... (ok, roll your eyes and say this scoffingly, and as sarcastically as possible): "Another beautiful day in Africa..."

More importantly, if I lived in the tropics---would I do anything?  There is some serious laziness going on around the equator.  Understandably.  Why toil when it's so nice out?  Wait, why do any of us toil at all?  When we get more, we only WANT more.  Maybe those tropical folks have it all figured out.  The Pet Shop Boys chime in on with their latest "Love, ETC."

Too much of anything
Is never enough
Too much of everything
Is never enough

You need more You need more You need more
You need more You need more You need more

Which brings me (am I tracking?) to the oil gushing into the gulf of Mexico.  It's common knowledge (to those of us who admit it) that we won't truly search for a fuel alternative until every last damn drop of black oil is raped out of the earths core.  There's just too much money to be had.  The impenetrable greed of man that allows such a gush (this is no spill.  A glass of milk gets spilled.  This is an ongoing GUSH.  It hasn't stopped has it?) Nobody wants to think about it!  Like when I was in Zimbabwe and the people I stayed with didn't want to talk about their highest rate of inflation in the world or why sugar wasn't stocked on stores shelves (one day I'll tell you why).  In Argentina, they never want to talk about corruption because it is so insidious and so pervasive so...what are you gonna do?  You cache it away!

Here in the USA...who wants to think about Iraq and Afghanistan and soon Pakistan?  We did a couple marches, realized they weren't effective and, much like Argentina and Zimbabwe, we catalogue it as a fact of life we won't deal with or acknowledge.  So sorry to remind you...

The oil gush?  I heard that thus far all of the clean up and fees and fines are equal to approximately 4 days of BP's profit.  Yup!  If we can survive ourselves, I wonder when evolution will favor a species who cares just. a. little. bit. more?  What, teabagger???  You calling me a socialist??  Pilgrim, get a passport.

Not sure why, but I am doing a LOT of wondering today.  As they say in Rogers and Hammerstein's Carousel (which --has anyone else noticed?--is a terrible musical, thematically.  It basically condones domestic violence. He did it out of LOVE...!) Anyway, one of the song lyrics is: "What's the use of wondering?" Stop thinking!  Detach.  Let's make jokes!  I saw the funniest film the other day---I must be on the brink because it got bad reviews!---"CHOKE".  It's about this sex addict whose day job is at an 18th century colonial fort.  So random, so lovely. 

In between visiting his dementia-addled mother at a home and being accused and accosted by zany old ladies (You touched my Woo-Woo!!) he meets a woman who wants him to fulfill her burglar/rape fantasy. This is the kind of film I want to write!  Genius! And I quote: "Don't rape me on the bed, rape me on the floor.  The comforter is made of silk and it spots easily." 

This makes me want to read the book it's based on: Choke, by Chuck Pahh...(looking this up) Did you mean: Chuck Palahniuk  yes, google, that's what I meant.  I want to read his book.  Did you know he's ALSO from Portland, Oregon?  I wonder if HE wonders if winter rain makes summer all the brighter?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Death and Taxes

Perhaps the only person to compete with Mae West ("I used to be Snow White, but I drifted...")for timeless one-liners would be founding grandfather Benjamin Franklin.  His assertion, "In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes" really never ages, does it?

On the taxes front, I'm doing pretty good.  I got a refund, which I was NOT expecting.  My accountant says I should thank Obama's stimulus package.  I knew I voted for him for a reason!!

And now on to the second imperative:

I was thrilled to be able to attend this years Broadway Easter Bonnet competition.  It's the culmination of the fundraisers for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS...they raised over 3 million, I believe, this year alone.  The show is always spectacular and intimate, and what makes it extra super special for me is that the last living Ziegfeld Girl, Doris Eaton Travis, who always makes an appearance.  When I saw her 3 weeks ago, she was 106 years young!!  Back in 2004 (or 2005?) she even did a little time step tap routine! 

This year, in 2010, she didn't tap, but she still stood, still walked, and told the cheering crowd how happy and proud she was to be "Back on a New York stage; back in front of a New York audience".
Doris Eaton Travis, Easter Bonnet 2010
My friend Jeff snapped the photo above.  Doris thanked the producers of the pageant for having her, and said she hoped to be back next year.  That won't happen because Doris died this week, at her home in Michigan.  It was a brain aneurysm, they say it was peaceful.

With her goes the Ziegfeld era.  The New York Times has an excellent piece on her extraordinary (and extraordinarily long) life
If with Doris the living door on Vaudeville shuts permanently, so it did for me with the MGM musical era when gorgeous virtuoso dancer Cyd Charisse died two years ago at 87.  Ok, hang on Nanette Fabray, it's not completely over!

Neither is the golden era of cinema.  My hopes rest on the 100 year old two-time Oscar winner Luise Rainer.  She remains a hero, mostly because she stood up to Louise B. Mayer, asking him for more choice in her roles (and perhaps to not be made into a Chinese woman as in her Oscar-winning "The Good Earth"!)  He said, "Luise, I made you and I can break you." And she pretty much disappeared off the scene, but you know what?  Louis B. Mayer disappeared off this earth in 1957 and Luise Rainer is still here and active and garnering much love and much laud in 2010!

Suck it, Louis B!

The fact we all have to die is padded by religions which say, "you don't have to die!" How appealing is that??  Having chosen not to be this kind of wishful dreamer, I've pinned my hopes on humans.  I though maybe Doris Eaton Travis would cheat death forever, keep on appearing at each and every Easter Bonnet competition from here to eternity.  In doing so, maybe I could too.  Her sudden death came as a shock, and a personal blow.

When I was struggling with my sexuality, I used to think that each new girlfriend would be the one who would have the power to change me.  The one to make me go straight.  That never did happen, but I kept on in my quest thinking: If she'll only have me, I could be normal and get married; have kids.  My slimmest of hopes turned to impossibilities: If only Julia Roberts will have me, I could be normal.  

If the last living Ziegfeld Girl Doris Eaton Travis is still alive, maybe one day I won't have to go away.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fabulous Beekman Boys!

Big congratulations to my friend and fellow OUT columnist Josh Kilmer-Purcell who is taking over all forms of media this summer!  For those of you who haven't read his heartbreakingly hilarious memoir "I am Not Myself These Days" from time as a NYC drag queen Aqua who worked the circuit with live goldfish in his bra while dating a well hung drugged up hustler with a heart of gold, you absolutely SHOULD! 

Josh has since done an about-face and is now a goat farmer, making goat milk soaps with his partner Dr. Brent Ridge in upstate New York!  He's also written a new memoir about it called "The Bucolic Life: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers: An Unconventional Memoir" which drops on June 1st.  It's already getting rave reviews on Amazon. 


Not to be kept to the bookshelf, he and his partner are also starring in a brand new reality show The Fabulous Beekman Boys.  Their show premieres June 16 on Green Planet.  If you can go from a drag queen to a goat farmer, you can do just about anything!  Get inspired to reinvent your own life by learning more about the boys, their farm, and even help name their kids in the Great Goat Vote on the show's website.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Grandmas Gone Wild

Sunday, I called my mother to wish her a Happy Mothers Day (I recently had a laugh watching an episode of Mad Men where Midge, played by Rosemary DeWitt, is a greeting card writer working over-time in 1960 because "They invented this thing called Mothers Day").

Did you call your mother?  When I spoke to mine, she said she didn't really feel like a mother anymore, and mothers day doesn't really mean too much because all her kids are grown up.  To which I replied, "Lady, you were still over at your mother's for Mothers Day when she didn't know who you were..."

And my mom said, "And when she did know who I was, she thought I was sleeping with dozens of men." Now my mother has only been with one man in her life, my father, so needless to say it was disconcerting that her own mother--my grandmother--would come up with such wild accusations.

My mother went on, "She thought I was sleeping with all these men, but she never judged me for it. She just kind of rolled her eyes."  As in, that's my daughter...the whore

Ah, unconditional love.  From the orbit of Venus!  How is it that old people can be so demented AND salacious? Why is it that we LOVE old people to be salacious?

We threw a "Betty on the Bay" party out on Fire Island to watch Betty White host SNL with a bunch of friends.  We even served "Golden Cougar" cocktails---don't ask the recipe, it had something to do with Snapple and Rum (hey, it's an island--you use what's around, like Maryanne and her blasted coconut cream pies).  In each skit Betty White played some version of sexually inappropriate, which naturally reminded me of my grandma when she lost her marbles.

Remember the scene where Betty's grandson leans in to make out with her?  I related because my grandma at one point called me up to propose marriage! "I hope the age difference doesn't bother you," she cooed.

"Oh, we'd make all the papers grandma!" I told her and it was truly sweet because she thought I was a gentleman caller!  When I visited Oregon I'd spend my afternoons with her, watching old movies like "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing".  She was only 83, to Betty White's 88, but at 83 my grandma Gloria was really only about 4, and aging backwards.

I know this because I recently babysat a 4 year old and we went to the movies (big mistake and not just the movie---a vomitrocious Miley Cyrus vehicle).   Sitting through a Miley Cyrus movie I wished I were 4 because then I would have (mercifully) no idea what was going on.  Kind of like my grandma.  Grandma never really could follow along or understood how the plot went from a to b, until the theme song came on and she'd hum sweetly Love is a many-splendored thing...Or if there were a steamy embrace between Jennifer Jones and William Holden she'd perk up and say, "I remember this part...."

I'll bet!  That's funny.  It's a galaxy away from the mornings where Grandma would return from Venus as herself and fully aware.  When this happened she'd start to cry and then ask me pointedly: Why am I still here?  And there's no humor to mine in that. 

A slutty Betty White makes you laugh because sex is young and virile and alive.  Salacious old people are as hormonal and hopeful as teenage Miley Cyrus.  Propose marriage to me anyday, but please don't ever ask me why you're still here.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Handy Man!

Been out on Fire Island helping a friend readay this giant home for the renters who are coming in next week.  I have new respect for migrant workers...and homeowners everywhere!  After spending hours upon hours with a can of pledge and a rag wiping down each of hundreds of wooden lever blinds, I've decided I'm definitely a curtains man.  Curtains forever!

Had a blast with a Dyson vacuum.  My favorite part was sucking up the spiders, earwigs, and bee yes... alive!!  Over the last week, I met a giant frog, slugs, and a really thick garter snake.  There's also raccoons out here, which I have yet to see.  And here I though the only wildlife on fire island were the tick-infested deers and the seasonal influx of pig bottoms!

Cleaning is tedious and menial, but it's almost like therapy.  Who needs a psychotherapist when you've got a can of pledge and thousands of blinds to keep your mind from worldy troubles?  Plus you learn things.  For example, I can spot poison ivy.  And did you know that gasoline spoils?  Or that if you toss treated wood into the fireplace you can get poisoned from the fumes?  Haven't verified that one yet.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

If the sea is not sparkling...

My friend Alexia took this photo from my friend Paul's flat in Capetown.  I stayed here for several months a few years back.  We drank wine and listened to Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" watching whales out in the ocean.  As the day finished, the sky turned all sorts of lurid rainbow including a layer of bright green.
There's nothing like the light over the south african sea.

Monday, May 03, 2010

*New* Fire Island interactive Summer Calendar!

I'm an entrepreneur---I also just learned how to spell that word!  CoolDan and I joined forces (JADE) to create this interactive calendar (and by interactive, we mean it in the old-fashioned camaraderie sense, not the new-fangled advertising internet definition).

We've got fabulous advertisers, snappy sayings, famous occasions and highlight special birthdays like Madonna and King Ludwig II.  We also provide an end of summer round up and winners circle (who will end up "Most likely to be jailed in Dubai", for example?)  See below how to get yourself a copy!

The season is swinging already out there, and the new owners (FIP Ventures) of Fire Island Pines are determined to bring you the best of the best without sacrificing anything in the way of community spirit.  Let the season begin...

Our spiral bound calendar (celebrating months May through September) is sold at Gostoso and Fresh Market in Fire Island Pines, and Rainbow Dreams in Cherry Grove!  Not near there?  Not to worry.
The illustrious cover

Just because you're not on Fire Island doesn't mean you can't have a piece of it.  You can even interact with your friends or play with yourself (if you prefer!) no matter where you live!

Here's a sneak peak at a couple of sample months:
Click to make bigger.  Thanks to our fantastic advertisers for jumping in bed on board with us! 
To get your very own copy, send a check for $20 (no shipping fees!) made out to:
Jesse Archer
151 First Avenue #205
NYC, NY. 10003

You may also send $20 via PayPal using the "make a donation" button on the right side of this blog (below the Twitter icon).  If you go this route, please send me an email once you've done it:
jesse@jesseonthebrink.com (I don't check paypal often) along with your shipping address.  If you'd like, I'll personalize and sign it...and I can also forge Cooldan's name (he's left me to Lebanon for the time being)

This is the start of our creative collaboration and we appreciate your business.  Happy Summer!!