Friday, August 24, 2012

Heading Home

Burning Man 2012. I can't wait to behold the wonders of Black Rock City. See you in the dust!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Into the Wild West!

WELCOME, WYOMING!! The Grand Tetons are hazy from forest fires in nearby Idaho. The smoke makes for amazing sunsets. Los Angeles - you know what I'm talking about!
Here in Jackson loving all the quirks that make the west still wild. Nobody locks doors (their cars or homes), I've been staying with my buddy Jade and his amazing hound Reggie and riding on the back of his Harley motorcycle without a helmet -pfft, not required. I met a guy at the local hangout, the BIRD, and Jade tells me he's homeless, a drifter. Under a barstool, I see his rolled up sleeping bag. And what about all the southerners (with their thick drawls) overheard all over town? I'm told Wyoming is a popular destination for the gallant south. "They're rich... and they like to fish." 

We've been totally taking advantage of the great outdoors. Cliff jumping!!
Cliff Jumping with Jade and Dylan
Jade and I got zapped by stinging nettles trespassing into the old cabin where they filmed the 1953 Western SHANE.
"Shoot em with your gun, Shane!"
The cabin has seen better days. No roof, nettles for flooring - but that view! I recently saw SHANE. A highly mediocre classic, IMO! Fight scenes with a million punches where nobody ever gets hurt - the poor sound mixer must have been working overtime sound effecting all those worthless punches. And don't get me started on Paramount passing Alan Ladd off as an imposing gunslinger. Bless.

We floated the Snake river (aka "Stroking the Snake") and only capsized twice. Dylan's poor dog has been traumatized AND we lost a beer and my shirt. Shock. 
Erin, Dylan, Jade
I rode the inner tube for a while, lazily. I begged Dylan and Megan to paddle me forward as I sat there and did nothing. "Pretend I'm Cleopatra entering Rome!"

Oh, Tallulah
The group behind us were students at the University in Laramie. They let out of the river before us, and I said, "Be nice to the gays!!" For some reason out here, there's a theory abounding around here that Matthew Shepard's killing was a drug deal gone wrong and not a gay hate crime at all! But back to the students - they were also soon-to-be missionaries who plan on smuggling bibles into China to spread the word. Don't get me started.

Some people go to foreign countries to squeeze out their limited lives onto another culture (I guess you got me started), and others go to foreign countries to absorb another culture and learn that there are other ways. Dylan (below) just got back from serving two years in the Peace Corps in a remote village in Ghana, Africa. It was his birthday last week.
Happy Birthday, Dylan!
Here is my new partner in crime, Erin. She has absolutely no filter, will do anything for a reaction and makes the Energizer bunny look like it suffers chronic fatigue. I call her Tallulah. It's the Tallulah show - with no commercial interruptions! She graciously adds, "The Tallulah show - now featuring Jesse"... 

We went camping up at Curtis Canyon. She taught me how to use bear spray and after a few thousand drinks she gathered neighboring campers, regaled them with tales of this that and the other -and then, as if to remind us that we were in the Tetons, took off her bra and tossed it into the campfire. "Why did I do that? I loved that bra!", Tallulah wailed as it went up in flames.
the Tallulah show
Randomly collected audience - thoroughly entertained
I like this photo of us. Let the games begin! 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hollywood: Liza Minnelli, Pool Parties and Pals!

I thought the heavens might rain glitter seeing Liza Minnelli at the Hollywood Bowl. Also known as the gayest thing ever. As my pal Matt Breen put it, "If Liza dies on stage, we can dine out on the story the rest of our LIVES!" 
with Ronnie Kroell (my gorgeous co-star from Into the Lion's Den) and Matt Breen pre-Liza. She arrived 45 minutes late and a lot sweaty. Then she proceeded to sing songs nobody knew, and consistently talk about Marvin Hamlisch, the recently deceased composer of A Chorus Line. He became such a talking point that every time she mentioned "Marvin", we all took a shot of wine. 

If only we could have done that on the set of Sex and the City 2 for her 4-day "All the Shingle Ladies" scene! The best I ever saw Liza was catching her show at the Palace... but this? We had a blast, despite Liza! What good is sitting alone in your room? 
It soon got heated between those wanting to hang on every word of Liza's never-before-heard slowest hits feuding with those of us having fun at her expense. What were we supposed to do? Liza insisted the house lights flood the audience the whole time. And we did put on a better show. Especially after security forcibly removed my friend Scotty from the venue. 

Now officially the gayest thing on the planet is not Liza Minnelli at the Hollywood Bowl, but being EJECTED from Liza Minnelli at the Hollywood Bowl. I want that on my resume! 
Pre-concert picnic with Scotty, Tina, my USC darling Helen (chugging wine), Andreas, Matt, Christian and Jeremy. 

Matt's boyfriend Andreas is Austrian and just moved to LA for looooove!! And wouldn't you? They are the cutest couple ever. I got to know Andreas when the Austrian was in Australia for a few months this year. He was my swim club buddy and partner in crime and when he left Sydney I was bereft! So fun to see him happy in LA and for us to reunite for a few shenanigans this side of the Pacific. 
Post FuBar creaming - Andreas' first trip to IHOP!

Wait, who is this? 
No trip to Hollywood would be complete without a bit of FILM BUSINESS! Had a great meeting with prolific writer Chad Darnell and producer Kathy Weiss about our next project, LIZARD PEOPLE - an inter-generational comedy/drama set in Palm Springs. He's already got Leslie Jordan and myself attached, with scripts to George Takei, Richard Chamberlain and Robert Gant. He's scouted locations in Palm Springs and is looking to join forces with GLEH, and now seeking investors - if interested, hit me up for an investor pack and script. I can't WAIT for this project to film.

I'm also very excited about Allison Lane's (Candy from Going Down in La La Land) new feature, "The Homewrecker" now in its final draft stages... just love seeing my friends making their creative dreams happen. I'm currently working on writing scripts for a couple treatments I developed back in Sydney... and you inspire me!

Also inspiring was Audrey & Mel's annual Crab Boil. I was lucky to fly in just in time for Audrey to give me crabs!

Of course no trip to LA would be complete without pool parties. Like Sunday at the Standard Hotel in an alien shaped waterbed cabana. "You have no idea how uncomfortable this is!" Bottomless drinks courtesy of the lovely Scotty!  
Frank, Scotty and Jerem

Another day, up to the Hollywood Hills.... for an iconic pool party at the home of Chad and Brian
Jeremy, Messe, Andreas, Matt: We have never looked better!! 
I also got to chill with Jeremy and Christian at their beautiful, secluded oasis... complete with massive dog and my old squawking nemesis Romeo the parrot. Makes me want to move back to Los Angeles!

But then I remember being trapped in my car in traffic on the 405...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Dolores and Joys of San Francisco

This blog has become not much more than a travel recap this season. I haven't had the right moment, headspace or situation to sit down and write anything thoughtful, but since I stopped keeping journals (and since I feel like if I don't write it down it might not have actually happened)... here is my trip to San Francisco!
This robot (above) was a dancing stereospeaker... definitely a highlight of a perfect day with pals at Dolores Park.
Here's the thing about San Francisco - not only is it beautiful, you will NEVER be the most disturbed, degenerate or delinquent person around no matter how hard you try. That alone makes it an uplifting place to visit. Then there are the random conversations, like this overheard at Dolores Park: "I can't tell if those hot guys are guys I've already slept with or guys I plan to sleep with." Pause. Someone else answers: "Do you think option 2 could insinuate option 1?"

My friend Ross lives next to Dolores Park, in the "Beachhouse". We made many trips to his beachhouse for refills on the mobile margarita bar he brought to the grass and shared with everyone.
On one of these trips, I was accompanied by a friend of his I'd just met. As we walked, the friend says "I know I just met you but I've got a confession..." and he tells me that the night before, returning home at 4am, he encountered a homeless guy. The homeless guy was his same age - and reminded him of his brother - and they got to talking and he ended up inviting the guy home.. to take a shower, eat something and sleep in his bed. It wasn't sexual overture in the least, and as he fell asleep he thought maybe he'd be killed. Then decided, "If the universe punishes me for doing the right thing... I don't want to be here anyway." Sooooo San Francisco!

The reason he confessed all this? The homeless guy was still with him - back on his blanket at the park. He wouldn't leave. He couldn't get rid of him. He followed around like a puppy, absorbing any and all kindness offered. How do you extricate yourself from the situation without sounding like an asshole, and thus nulling and voiding all the previous generosity?
I don't like the name DOLORES at all. It sounds old and frumpy and should come with a girdle, but then recall it means "hurts" in Spanish and I like it better, especially after this day at Dolores Park.

Lightening up any situation, Lia joined the picnic. I met Lia in an island off Honduras with CoolDan years ago and we spent a magical night on a deserted island I will never forget. On another memorable SCUBA diving adventure, Lia couldn't be hauled from the ocean back into the boat, no matter how hard the instructor pulled her arms her chest kept ramming into the side of the boat so finally he said, "Lia - there are two big reasons you aren't getting into this boat. Your tits!" 

I was really in San Francisco to celebrate the birthday of my pal Neighbor Dan who now lives there. I was able to pry Crazy Dan into joining the celebration from New York - he's a flight attendant and got us 1st class all the way across the continent. This meant keeping him up all night to ensure we made the early morning flight. No easy feat!
Neighbor Dan, Crazy Dan, Harrison and Corey... posse complete! We hit up an incredible Tina Turner tribute at Trannyshack.
We don't need another hero!
Later, we went to a fundraising party for a Burning Man theme camp, and I tried out the torture device. Dolores? The party was called Comfort & Joy! Obviously.

Buena Vista Park. Indeed!
Dan rented a car and took us up to the Napa Valley for some wine tasting.
And totally passed out on the ride home!! HA!!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Gone Rural!

Spending some time relaxing with my parents in rural Washington state, surrounded by pine needles and fresh air. It's a beautiful time of year to chill out and Mt. Adams is looking mighty majestic.
The mountain has a lot of snow for this time of year which means the water's high. We went hillbilly rafting down the fast-flowing creek and punctured both air mattresses.

Fresh from our high school reunion, Rachel came up with her beautiful baby Ryan. Been waiting 18 months to meet her! We took a bicycle tour around the valley and tired her out. Hipstamatic makes today look timeless.
There's a big dairy fair and parade this weekend and my favorite cousin Karen plans to rock up to the festivities in style. She's got a motorized beer cooler, complete with cat co-pilot.
Travel in comfort convenience!