Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Booze Hound

One thing I haven't done so good this week is blog.

However, this here sure is something, eh?

Kinda makes me want to go to Bristol and pick up some liquors.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Of Hobbled Unicorns

I'm off to the outlet malls! I'm taking the bus to meet up with my friend Evan and his mom for pancake breakfast then we're hitting the shops. What am I reading on the ride, you ask? Why, False Entry by Hortense Calisher, one of my faves. It's her first novel and I had never read it before.

One thing that bothers me about first novels is how the authors are trying to spit out every clever phrase they've ever thought of in their lives, as if this might well be their only work. Dear Hortense may not have been an exception in 1961, but that doesn't make me adore her any less. Here's the opening line:

Truth. In these days of so many trials by association, where a man A can show, with an infinity of fine brush strokes, how he once was an intimate of the man B, and the man B assert, with what only God might see to be craft of virtue, that he never knew the man A, I see truth as an old, hobbled unicorn limping through the forest of allegation and denial, pausing here and there to try to warm itself at some sun-foil of proof that shines for a moment through the trees.

And now off to buy all the Saucony's!

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Christmas Pig!

It's a Christmas Miracle! Santa knows just how I take my coffee!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Is That A Gloria Steinem Reference?

The $0.99 Store on my walk to work sure has interesting rules.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Also? Golden Bells!

I mean, if there's a Golden Girl on Late Night TV, I gotta feeling I have to post it here.

Hey, Betty White's gotta eat!

Let's Just Do It One More Time

So a few weekends ago I had the pleasure of driving 435 miles round trip to attend my nephew's first birthday party.

This was made extra fun by the stress my mom caused me by telling me the trip would be 8 hours each way, but in truth the whole excursion was about 12 hours total, including the party time, which involved at least a dozen babies, including the one related to me. Oh, and of course the snow storm was awesome too.

Most awesome? I listened to Miss Della Reese the entire way there and back. I am sorry no one was there to witness me deftly singing along, adding harmonies, fill, and inbetween song banter.

In conclusion, if you put me in a Chevy Aveo Or Simillar, give me a Large Dunkin Donuts Coffee and a singing dame, you're in for a good time.

Here's Della in an early music video. Happy Pre-Christmas.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Zachs In Snow, Variations on a Theme

Snow! Our first big storm.

One Zach enjoys the snow from the heated comfort of the indoors.

The other Zach? Not so much.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Do They Know It's Anne Murray

So today I took the day off to both START and FINISH my holiday shopping. Wish me luck!

In honor of not working, here's a lovely remake of a sometimes controversial holiday song:

And in honor of all things holy and my recent trip up north, here's Miss Anne Murray singing along with all the New Wave hits of yesteryear.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Canada: Couches and Closets and Bears, Oh My!

So I'm back from Canada, just in time for my office holiday party, which begins at 3pm sharp. I'm looking forward to swiping a bottle of booze, going back to my desk, locking my door, and having my own party.

In the meantime, here's some of the snaps I took on my journey.

Since I don't have my own office in Toronto, my coworkers nicely made this couch my work station.

There's a coworker popping up behind me!

This sign in the cloakroom amused me to no end. I was so tempted to see who was inside!

And I believe you've already seen my new friend, the Cheetoh Colo(u)red Polar Bear near the office. I have no idea what this is, but I now have a greater appreciate for Art, Canada-Style.

And now, time for Office Cheer.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

The (Christmas) Giving Tree

So on Sunday I was a little blue. Not too much, but I woke up tired and it was rainy and gray and I just wasn't feeling my best.

I also thought that because of the rain I wouldn't be able to pick a Christmas tree - who after all, wants a soggy Canadian six-footer in their apartment (except maybe this guy)?

And that is when I realized that the one set of footprints in the sand were Diana's. She came over for Make Your Own Taco Club not only with gingerbread tasties (a piece of which I am eating right now with my morning coffee), but with the demand for a tree and the wherewithal to get one and even bargain down the price (ably assisted by a Bostonian elf).

It is certainly the most beautiful tree I have ever had, as shown below with Kevin.

The tree was trimmed, Peggy Lee sang her Christmas Album for us, and Tacos were eaten.

And to all, a good night.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Live Blogging! Checkout line grossness

I would rather stick a fork in my eye than go to this man's holiday

Funny Valentines

Sometimes you just keep clicking around on the youtube, and you end up with Karen Carpenter & Ella Fitzgerald running through the classics. Go figure.

Thank you, internet.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Live Blogging! What The Daisy Is This Supposed To Mean?

In Blockbuster. Staring at it for several minutes.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

When The Human Is Away

This sure makes me feel better about leaving Zach each morning.

Here's a 10 hour video sped up to just over 30 seconds, of kitties home alone all day.

I can't wait to set the nanny cam at home!

I'd Like To Buy A Vowel

What do they "Need Cash" for?

Presumably for an extra "a."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Here's Something Nice

One thing I like is music.

Vanguard Records is giving us all a happy holidays with their sampler. There's some good stuff here, if you like good stuff.

It's Funny Because It Hurts

This is like that cute cat one, except different.

How The Stritch Stole Christmas

Christ on a Crutch, this is a good one. I get to use my Stritchy tag!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Picking Up The Tab

What did Shorty read this month, you ask? Why, Tab Hunter Confidential, by Tab Hunter!
This book came out to no shortage of fanfare in 2005, because this one time-teen idol (née Arthur Gelien) was relatively frank about what it was like to be gay in Hollywood in the 1950s, and how he - and the studios of course - kept his deviant ways a secret while he starred in B-movie pictures and publicly romanced Miss Natalie Wood and Tuesday Weld and other starlets.

Here's a nice publicity shot of Tab giving Natalie some birthday spankings. Huh. Not deviant.

Anyway, most interest-ing-ly for me & Shorty, was his two year romance with Anthony Perkins. I only saw Psycho - my first Perkins movie - a few years ago, and was bamboozled by how handsome he was. So, apparently, was our friend Tab.

They were both deep in the closet, though Tab insists he himself was more closeted for professional reasons than personal, while Tony had personal conflicts with his identity, on top of professional ones. Whatever. They would often double date with starlets to keep up their images, then they'd drive their dates home and meet up at Tab's for either some Romance, or a Fight.

Don't they look happy here on their double date?
I love this snap that Shorty scanned from the index, which Tab took of Tony in a candid and intimate moment.
It's just so sweet, right? I don't remember who that man is in the photo cropped in the lower corner.

It was around this time that Tab started making records, and even went to #1 with this ditty, "Young Love."

One particularly interesting thing to me was the story of a group lawsuit against Confidential Magazine, more or less the National Enquirer of its day. This was basically a superstar class action lawsuit against the magazine for defamation, and both Tab Hunter and Liberace were among the complainants, for allegations of "pajama parties" and "wild" behavior with their male companions.

What Shorty and I found fascinating about the coverage of the trial was that, as Tab puts it, "the mainstream media couldn't even come up with adequate euphemisms for homosexuality," so their parts were never discussed in the press. It was Maureen O'Hara who won the case for the stars, for proving a purported tryst of hers in LA happened while she was out of the country. Always the Irish lasses sticking up for the boys.

Frankly, I'm not sure how secret all this stuff was. Here's a publicity shot of Tab with Roddy McDowell, where I guess they're making breakfast together, in their underpants? And Roddy is bringing Tab a cake, and Tab is about to put a weiner on the stove?

Moving on...

Here's his description of Rudolph "Rudy" Nureyev, about their affair together in Italy in the early 1960s:

"Some mornings he'd materialize on the [beach], his bone white body with blue veins clad only in a silver lamé swimsuit. Rudy looked like a finely chiseled corpse freshly risen from an ancient crypt, and he walked as if the world was far beneath him."

I mean, who wouldn't like to hear themselves described that way? It's like a passage from Twilight, but with less ellipses(es).

Personally, I love this photo of him and Nureyev. Not only are they doing the recently re-popular side hug, but they seem to be pointing at each other, and not with their hands. Oh how I wish I could come up with an 'adequate euphemism' for this!

Later in life Hunter had his big comeback with John Waters and Divine in Polyester, and there's no putting the horse back in the barn (closet?) after doing a John Waters movie.

Of course he & Divine met up again in Lust in the Dust, which leads to the one Shelley Winters reference Shorty found in the index (he always looks for that first before deciding to read a book). Shelley was originally offered the Lainie Kazan role of Divine's sister, but turned it down. A true, crying, shame - 'cause that would have been a helluva flick.

Even without much Shelley, this was a pretty great book, and a fun tale of old gay Hollywood. We're going to explore more of this topic in the days to come.
Thanks Tab, for the fun tale!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Separated At Birth?

Recently, Zach sent me this adorable picture of himself. Apparently, he's experimenting with headware.

I kept scratching my own head to figure out who he reminded me of.

Then I remembered, my dinner companion for tonight.

It's good to know there's some consistency amongst those I choose to spend my time with. It's almost like Stritchy & Redford. Paul definitely did not lick that headgear off the ground.


Happy Happy Hippo

Now this here, this is a nice story.

Happy The Hippo was - irony alert - anything but. Much like Amber, when he lived in Washington, DC he was as glum as a goose. His mom had passed along, and he was living out his days in the hippo house all alone, and apparently afraid of people wearing hats. (Good thing he left DC before Aretha did the inauguration).

Happy-ly, he was relocated to Wisconsin - making the reverse trek our friend did - where he met a few lady hippos, including one he may breed with. 28 years later, he's a cheerful fellow.

My favorite part? Happy The Hippo literally gets a new dating pool. I mean, come on. This stuff just writes itself.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Nicks In Time

My friend Brian pointed this out to me. I'm not a big Rufus Wainwright fan, he kinda makes me itch, but I sure liked this quote about Stevie Nicks:

Certain intellectual gay men obsess over Stevie. She is a dinner party conversation in herself, served up as a kind of hors d’oeuvre before a conversation about the Pre-Raphaelites, or something. She separates interesting homosexuals from uninteresting ones.

Kinda surprised he has nothing to say about Dame Bassey, since he just wrote a boring song for her new album, but oh well. He & I are neighbors now, we can discuss at Billy's over Red Velvet.

A Holly Holly Christmas

So on Monday I saw my first holiday concert of the season - Miss Holly Cole at the Blue Note.

The show was rather aptly named "A Night Before Christmas." As my companion noted, the title would be a helpful way to teach foreigners the difference between definite and indefinite articles.

All I know is that it definitely was a great night. Along with some holiday standards, she treated us to a Tom Waits number ("Shiver Me Timbers"), the Pretender' "2000 Miles," William Bell's "Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday," and a few Cole Porter songs.Last time I saw her was in January 2007 with Doug, and it was a good show but maybe not her best - she was kinda whacked out on cold meds and kept cracking herself up during "Life Is Just A Bowl of Cherries," which maybe means something, maybe doesn't.

This time, she had a kick-ass band, was in top form, and I had one of those super-sweet drinks from the Blue Note's cocktail menu, with a cherry in it, which maybe means something, maybe doesn't.

Anyway, I was very excited before the show started when I peeked at the set list the saxophonist had placed on stage, and saw that "Cry If You Want To," one of my favorites, was on deck. It didn't disappoint. Here it is from a live show in I guess 1995. Her hair isn't quite as flippy, but then again, whose still is?

And here she is doing one of my favorite holiday duets, "Baby It's Cold Outside."

Thanks Holly, for kicking off the holiday season for me. Now to pick up my advent calendar.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I Love Smooties!

They're delitious!


David sent me this. I've watched it literally 100 times so far.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Riddle Me This, Stritchy-style

So, on Friday my friend Brian and I attemped to go to the MoMA for their Free Friday Night Fun-fest. I was a little tardy on account of not being a good person, but it didn't matter anyway, as the line to get in literally (that's a popular mis-used adjective these days, second only to irony) wrapped around the block - it looked like Election Day 1994 in Johannesburg.

Clearly even if we did wait in the line the experience would have been a bad one - the hordes of tourists with Black Friday shopping bags would have crammed themselves between us and the Tim Burtons, with children's grubby paws fingering all of the "art."

Instead, we wandered over to the "Museum" of Television & Radio. Brian had never been, and since we're both corporate members, it seemed like a lovely and free option.

One of the programs we ordered up in the viewing carrel was an episode of The Dick Cavett Show with Elaine Stritch, which was from about 1979. It was a fascinating half hour of TV, prompting Brian to say "They don't make shows like this anymore. I wish Dick Cavett were still alive." Well, some wishes come true anyway.

One wish I had was to find this clip on the youtube, but no such luck.

The point of this tale is not that Elaine talked about her experiences with alcohol, or diabetes, or did impressions of a native Chinese speaker (almost as bad as Rosie's) and a Black maid at the Hotel Carlyle, or even her Christopher Walken-like recitation of "Anyone Can Whistle."

What I found most interesting is she was telling Cavett about some trait or other that she had, which emulated her parents, and she said "I didn't lick that off the ground."

Neither Cavett nor anyone in the audience got the line, and she explained that it was something she picked up in England. I guess the closest cliche I can think of is "the apple didn't fall far from the tree." I did a google for the term, and the only non-dirty result I had was on a blog dedicated to that gay British boy band member who died earlier this year, but it didn't shed much light for me.Anyway, if I had a point in mind I've certainly misplaced it by now.

In Conclusion, Robert Redford didn't lick Stritchy up off the ground. Or something like that.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks, Past-Style

I have done a lot of things on Thanksgiving, but one time I did stuff with Colleen.

In what must have been 1999, I went to visit her in her first Grown-Up Apartment, in Philadelphia. We made a massive feast together, and photo-documented it for our friend Timmy, who at the time was in Mali, in the Peace Corps, and had only eaten some sort of corn gruel for six months and had probably only gone to the bathroom once in that time.

Here's Colleen putting the finishing touches on our candied yams:

And here's me, in a shirt I had stolen from Timmy back in college, proudly displaying some sort of delicious looking dessert.
God Bless America, and all our Feasts and Friends. I sure am Thankful for these things.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Wedding List(s)

Hooray! More photos from Dory's wedding are up for browsing and ordering.

I like this one, because you can see The Bride and The Man-Bride and me and Sarah and everyone is very happy. Plus, this was after the official part so they are now no longer living in sin.

This one may be my favorite. I'm not sure what's happening, but this is when I met Dave for the first time.
The mysterious thing? That's almost the same face I made at a DIFFERENT wedding. Here's me with Amber, reacting to my mother dancing to Usher at my sister's nuptials.

I guess Open Mouth Gape Face is my Signature Style at weddings. Congrats again DD!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Picnic, Lightning

Now, the truth of the matter is that while I work in BOOKS, I'm not the biggest reader of fiction. Nonfiction is more my game, with memoirs from and histories of Hollywood's 'Golden Age' being one of my favorite BISAC codes.

Oh, sure, I just finished An American Wife and liked it very much - it was an excellent romance novel set in the White House (and I'm mildly jealous since I took an English Comp class with the author in college), and just yesterday I finally bought a copy of Lush Life, at the soon to be extinct Biography Bookshop a few blocks south of me - Irony Alert! It's NOT a biography!

Speaking of Irony, nobody did it better than Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, who is no doubt my favorite writer. His genius positively staggers me, and I can read and re-read my favorites by him multiple times with new rewards with each flip of the page. One of my most prized possessions is a first edition of Pale Fire, perhaps my favorite book of all time.

(It's worth noting, in the great CRD Venn Diagram, that Miss Shelley Winters starred in a rather Kubrickian (very Kubrickian, I guess) production of his most famous novel).

Anyway, just last week his son took a break from opera singing and race-car driving to publish The Original of Laura, the novel VN was working on when he died. It is unfinished, and was supposed to be burned, and yet now, for the price of almost two Andrew Jacksons, we can flip through the master's note[card]s.

I'll get to that in good time and perhaps will even report back, but today I'm enjoying flipping through this slideshow from the Wall Street Journal. These are re-designed jackets for some of his classics.

Mr. Chip Kidd tackles Ada, something I personally have tackled multiple times in my life (from memory: in 1998 in Austin, TX, 2005 in the Catskills, NY, and 2009 in the Chelsea River Park), never getting much further than page 100, but loving the battle.
Stephen Doyle re-does Pale Fire, which thrilled me both in 1996 in Poughkeepsie, NY and 1997 in Miami Beach.
I can't even remember how many times I've read Pnin - at least a dozen. Carin Goldberg takes this one on, and while I prefer my banged up mass market edition, seeing this makes me want to break my heart all over again with this tale of viscous and sawdust.

Mr. Nabokov, my hat tips to you.