Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Gray Lady Weighs In

The New York Times Travel section has a story today about the attack on Dick Jefferson and Ryan Smith in St. Martin. The article notes other problems gay and lesbian travelers have had vacationing in the Caribbean over the years including the 1997 incident in the Cayman Islands, but sadly left out reference to the ensuing protest T-shirts that said: "CAYMAN, MY ASS!"

  • Read: Attack on St. Martin Worries Gay Groups (NYT)
  • Previously: Island of Lost Souls
  • Sunday Worship: Shane Keough

    Who wants a car wash?
    Shane Keough from "The Real Housewives of Orange County."

    Saturday, April 29, 2006

    Weekend Fritters

    Kevin Peake and Alan Ritchson.

    Former Aquaman and "American Idol" contestant Alan Ritchson.

    'He Put His Hockey Stick WHERE?'

    When did Wayne Gretzky become a flamer?

    Friday, April 28, 2006

    The Plot Thickens

  • Duke lacrosse team rape accuser made similar claims against three men in 1996. (Source)

  • Draft Wood

    Is everybody ready for this weekend's NFL draft?

    Page 1 News (04/28)

  • Baldwins Behaving Badly: With just five weeks left in the Roundabout Theater Company's production of "Entertaining Mr. Sloane," Jan Maxwell has quit the cast, apparently unable to get along with a co-star, Alec Baldwin, who she says "created an unhealthy and oppressive situation." She referred specifically to an incident in which Mr. Baldwin punched a wall because he was angry that the air-conditioning was not turned high enough. A bunch of drama queens on Broadway is hardly news. And isn't the only thing that really matters here is that Chris Carmack is still onboard? (NYT)

  • 'Nuestro Himno': Anti-immigration types are getting all bent out of shape about the Spanish version of "The Star-Spangled Banner," renaming it "The Illegal Alien Anthem." Yeah, they're mad as hell all right, but not enough to learn the words in English. (WP)

  • Pension Reassignment: The European Union has ruled in favor of a geriatric tranny in Britain who sued for pension rights. The British government, which allows women to collect a pension at 60, still considered her a man because she was born as one and therefore could only get the benefit at 65. I wonder if trannies can get all the other perks of being an older woman, like osteoporosis and degenerative bone loss. (PinkNews)

  • Flaming Attack: Two men are being questioned after a gay friendly pub in Bolton, England, was set on fire. (PinkNews)

  • Plagiarism 101: The publishing house Little, Brown and Co. announced that it was asking bookstores to stop selling the "unconsciously copied" novel "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life" and to return any remaining copies to the publisher. This seems like the only sensible thing to do, yet publishing industry experts seemed surprised by it. "In the book industry . . . this is really fairly unheard of," said Jon Schallert, a retail marketing consultant based in Florida. "They must have a very good case . . . if Little, Brown and Company is going to such extremes," said Lorraine Shanley, a principal at Market Partners International, a consulting firm in New York. So in publishing these days punishing someone for stealing is now considered an "extreme"? Hear that, Janet Cooke? (WP)

  • Long Island Lolita: On "Entertainment Tonight" last night, Amy Fisher blamed excessive Ecstasy use for her shooting Mary Jo Buttafuoco. Finally we have an answer for that heinous act by her, but how does she explain how she could have sex with Joey? (AP)

  • Some Vacation: As the authorities in St. Martin "investigate" the gay bashing of Dick Jefferson and Ryan Smith, many others are relating similar holiday experiences. (Washington Blade)

  • Gay Unfriendly: The Bay Area Reporter has a great article about the Caribbean's hostile underbelly, too. (BA Reporter)

  • 8 Percent Hot

    People magazine's annual 100 Most Beautiful issue came out today, but I could only find eight:

    Overheard in the (212)

    Waitress: So where are you from?
    Mom, Dad and kids: Wisconsin
    Waitress: Oh, that's great!
    Dad (surprised): Have you been there?
    Waitress: No, but I love cheese.

    The Diner, 14th and 9th


    As you have probably guessed, we're back from our West Coast vacation. It couldn't have been more perfect: great weather, lots of time by the pool, lots of quiet time with Michael, and lots of time with my fun family. The only way it could have been better would be if I'd been able to fit a few more friends into the mix. To those I missed, believe me when I say that I would have loved to have had a few more days to catch everyone. I'm lucky I got to see my sweet college friend Debra (above). She has 21 birds, three dogs and two cats living in her funky Hollywood digs, and I've never seen anything quite like it. The cats interact with the birds like it was completely normal. My cat -- who has never been around an actual bird in his entire life -- still gets his teeth chattering and is ready to pounce when a pigeon lands on the air conditioner outside the living room window. It was so fascinating to watch the habitat Debra & Co. have created. Also got to spend time with my best pal Mark (we met in sixth grade camp in suburban Detroit!). Mark came to the Hoffs-Sweet concert with us and, as usual, we had so much fun hanging out.

    My nephew, A.J., gets more adorable with each passing year. Sporting his kenneth in the (212) T-shirt, he had no time warming back up to his Uncle Kenny and Aunt Uncle Michael, but then inched his way toward my Shit List when he turned to Michael at the lunch table at the mall and said "I love you." (I'm guessing he loves me so much more that he figured it didn't even need to be voiced aloud). My sister is having another vomit-filled pregnancy yet still managed to get herself up and about and we had our usual fun time. She took no time in making fun of my "grown out" hair telling me that I looked just like John Tesh. (Naturally, I went straight to the barber shop today and am nearly bald now.) The weather was great so we were able to continue the pooltime at my parents' house. Brother Terence and Mom were fun and their normal hilarious selves. My sister is due in mid-October, so I figure I will be back around the holidays to meet the latest addition to the Walsh-Chilinski-Jaurigue clan ...

    Hardly Black and White

    If you think you know everything there is to know about the Duke lacrosse rape allegations, think again. Just when I'd begun to think that weekly news magazines were completely useless in this day and age, Newsweek has written a brilliant piece about the case that is sending shockwaves through America. I've followed this scandal closely since it broke a few weeks ago (partially because I'm a scandal junkie, partially because of work I do), but not even Dan Abrams -- who has been quite thorough in his reporting -- has uncovered details Newsweek has dug up.

    Notably, Newsweek has found out that the other stripper working that night, Kim Roberts, first told a lawyer she'd contacted that she did not think the other dancer had been raped: She was mad at the other stripper, who was almost passed out in the car and not talking. Roberts said she had not collected all the money owed them for the dance, and she wondered if the other dancer was somehow hustling her. Later when this lawyer shared her story with other lawyers, she became livid. "I feel like he preyed on my naivete," she told NEWSWEEK. "I don't want someone to play me like I'm stupid." Shortly thereafter, she had a change of heart about her feelings about whether her co-stripper was lying and turned to 5W Public Relations in New York, which represents the rapper Lil' Kim (the dancer says she is a huge fan of Lil' Kim's). An e-mail she sent to the firm begins, "Hi! My name is Kim and I am involved in the Duke Lacrosse scandal." She goes on, "Although I am no celebrity and just an average citizen, I've found myself at the center of one of the biggest stories in the country. I'm worried about letting this opportunity pass me by without making the best of it and was wondering if you had any advice as to how to spin this to my advantage."

    The PR agency released the e-mail to the press. According to the Associated Press, which interviewed Roberts, she "took umbrage at the notion that she should not try to make something out of her experience. She's worried that once her name and criminal record are public, no one will want to hire her. 'Why shouldn't I profit from it?' she asked. 'I didn't ask to be in this position ... I would like to feed my daughter'." (Meantime, the alleged victim's father cannot shut up on television and seems to be damaging his daughter's chance of getting a fair trial in exchange for his own 15 minutes of "fame."

    Court records obtained by AP and by NEWSWEEK show that Kim Roberts was on probation from a 2001 conviction for embezzling $25,000 from a photofinishing company where she worked, helping to keep payroll records. On March 22, eight days after the alleged rape, Kim spent two hours in jail for breaking the terms of her probation (she had left the state, her attorney says, to visit her sick father). She posted $25,000 bond and on March 30 found a lawyer, Mark Simeon. NEWSWEEK then goes on to untangle a very suspicious relationship between this lawyer (Simeon) and the DA who is prosecuting this case, Mike Nifong.

    Some truly exceptional reporting in this week's NEWSWEEK.

  • Read: What Happened at Duke?
  • Thursday, April 27, 2006

    Morning Wood: Ryan Phillipe

    They don't get much hotter than Ryan Phillipe, so there was a collective sigh of relief sprinkled with Schadenfreude when new pictures surfaced this week in which he didn't have a completely perfect six-pack (wait, was that a sigh of relief or just the sound it made when the rest of us stopped holding our stomachs in?). A little belly or not, Ryan's 100 percent hot!

    Sid 'n' Susie Deliver

    Saturday night's Susanna Hoffs/Matthew Sweet show at the Roxy on the Sunset Strip was pure pop heaven. They performed their entire album of 1960s (and one '70s) favorites, "Under the Covers Vol. 1," then came back for an encore of "Manic Monday" (during which Susanna seemed to genuinely forget the words, with the audience gleefully coming to her aid) and a Matthew Sweet song I didn't recognize, but that brought the house down.

    As if the pictures above hadn't already illustrated this, yes -- Susanna Hoffs has entered into a pact with the Devil. The woman is more gorgeous at 47 than she was at 27. "Best legs in Hollywood!" was the word in the audience -- and just about the "best" everything else (she is just too adorable for words).

    If you haven't already, check out the "Under the Covers" album. You'll be glad you did.

    This Town

    The autographed headshot of Ruth Buzzie may no longer adorn the wall at my favorite El Pollo Loco on Sunset Boulevard, but that doesn't mean the streets of the City of Angels aren't still littered with discarded stars and worn-out cars ...

    As we pulled into the parking lot across from Crunch gym, Michael spotted Young MC driving out in a new black Mercedes. Like the complete geek that I am, I busted a move over to his car and accosted him for a photo-op -- only to realize that the "Celebrity Fit Club" winner was shoveling McDonald's food into his mouth. (He was understandably not happy when I asked if I could take a picture but begrudgingly agreed.)

    The night we had dinner at my favorite Tex-Mex place in West Hollywood, Marix, Michael spotted a familiar face at one of the tables near where we were having a drink waiting for ours. It turned out to be Brittny Gastineau of "Gastineau Girls" fame, along with her boyfriend, Richard Voll, and another guy. Fortunately we figured out that she wasn't actually Adrianne Curry before saying anything to her.

    Stranger Than Fiction

    It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Amy Sedaris and "Strangers With Candy." But it was only while I was in Los Angeles over the weekend that I found out that the character Jerri Blank was actually inspired by a real person, one Florence "Florrie" Fisher. Apparently Fisher was a motivational speaker in the 1960s and 1970s who traveled to high schools around the United States, speaking about her past as a drug addict and prostitute, a profession that she took up in order to support her addiction. In addition to her speaking engagements, Fisher wrote an autobiography, "The Lonely Trip Back," which told of her life from childhood up to the point she became a motivational speaker. In 1970, she appeared in "The Trip Back," a public service announcement detailing her appearance at a New York high school. My friend Mark gave me a DVD copy of the PSA and it's truly one of the funniest things I've ever seen -- the woman is completely insane: "Now I know that I can't smoke one stick of pot, I can't take one snort of horse, I can't take one needle of cocaine because I have an addictive personality," she explains to the horrified students. Continual talk about "negroes," "squares," "rat-finks" and "using goofballs" also brought a smile to my face.

    According to Wikipedia's entry on her, "Fisher's trollish appearance, thick Brooklyn Jewish accent (think Joan Rivers), and larger-than-life tales of prostitution, botched abortions, and lesbian jailhouse encounters turned her into a cult figure in the late 1970s, with bootleg videos of her public service announcement becoming a collectors' item in the 1980s. Amongst those who saw the video were Stephen Colbert and Paul Dinello, who saw a resemblance between Fisher and their friend Amy Sedaris. The two men showed Sedaris a copy of the video, and suitably impressed with an impression that Sedaris did of Fisher, they built a television series based around the concept of Florrie Fisher going back to high school."

    The result was, of course, the brilliant Strangers with Candy.

    Kenneth in the Two-Twelve

    Dear Kenneth in the two-twelve,

    Maggie and I have been watching the Amazing Race on CBS. There are two guys (
    Jeremy and Eric) on there who are always talking about scamming the ladies, but we have tendency to think they might be gay.

    Since you are the expert on such things, and God knows you don't have a problem researching such scandalous details, we were wondering if you could set the record straight.

    Your biggest fans,
    Bill & Maggie

    Dear Bill & Maggie --
    Although I have never watched "The Amazing Race," I believe this should answer your question.

    Kenneth in the two-twelve

    Model Behavior?

    While I was on vacation, I received an e-mail and two comments all within a minute of each other (read: all written by one person) in response to one of my Morning Wood posts. In this particular post, I pointed out that this model was extremely hot and appeared to be an aspiring actor as well. I have no way of knowing if these comments are really from my Morning Wood pick, but if they are, it's safe to say that some people just can't take a compliment. Although this young man may have won a few beauty contests in his day, there's some serious ugliness deep inside him ("Hope you die of AIDS"), which is to say nothing of his ugly use of punctuation and capitalization. Oh, and I don't think any spelling bee trophies are in his near future either ...

    Hi there this is XXXX XXXXXX, I was looking through the Internet and ran across your Stupid Page about me wanting or trying to be a Actor. Who are you to say Im anything your a Pathetic Nobody who writes to him self to make your self feel imporatant. No one knows who you are and no one cares who you are and never will. I have a FAN base over 20,000 Loyal fans and I have done more things with my one hand than you could do in your whole life. If you do not remove this BULLSHIT I will have my Lawyer Kane Law firm in LA contact you and Sue your Pathetic ASS....Believe it or dont your choice Im tired of Low lifes like yourself with nothing better do to with there time than write BULLSHIT about people you have no idea about. I give you 2 business days to have this SHIT off your site or I will proceed with Legal Actions. Have a Great Day


    God u got to be kidding me. U that lonely. Get a life buddy and pick on ur self. U wish u were this hot and this successful. But ur not. Ur a FUCKEN loser, low ass that will always only be that. Do something with ur life, instead of acting like a dumb idiot. If i were u i would be imbaressed to even walk out the door. Stick ur head in a toliet, maybe that will brighten u up a nit. The whole world is laughing at u how low u r to try to feel good about urself.

    Tuesday, April 25, 2006

    Hollywood & Pine

    Picked up the latest issue of Film Review magazine in West Hollywood over the weekend, which profiles "the new wave of Hollywood heavyweights" making their presence felt in Tinseltown. The cover boy is one Jake Gyllenhaal, whose presence has long been felt around my neck of the woods ...