Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Kenneth in the (323)


I don't remember why, exactly, Kenneth has flown off to LA-LA-land... But he's asked me to share these pics with you:

"View from Crunch gym"

"John Belushi slept here..."

"I could get used to this..."

Can't Have it All


Check out Shortbus hottie Jay Brannan's new video over on NewNowNext.

It also appears that former Warrior Princess Lucy Lawless is set to star in a new series: Spartacus: Blood and Sand, from Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert (who were behind Xena).

HAIR Raiser


What kind of Drama Queer am I?!

I've never even heard of Gavin Greel... Apparently, he's been in Thoroughly Modern Millie, and is currently starring in Hair. It also looks like he's playing for the pink team.

Read Mr. Greel's candid "coming out" interview here on The Advocate.com

Straight Lies


Got a couple photos from KW to share with you this morning afternoon (sorry for the blogging delay)... But before I do anything else, I must send a shout-out to my pal Rob Byrnes whose fourth novel, Straight Lies, goes on sale today.

Rob is the Lambda Award-winning author of When the Stars Come Out and an all-around great guy. If you haven't checked out his other books (The Night We Met and Trust Fund Boys), you totally should!

From the press release:

"From award-winning author Rob Byrnes comes a wickedly entertaining caper involving red-hot men, cold hard cash, and deliciously dirty deeds…

Grant and Chase are a fun-loving pair of small-time hustlers with no money, little patience, and lots of get-rich-quick schemes. If only they could pull off the perfect crime—“The Big One,” as Grant calls it—Chase could finally quit his job at the supermarket and the two could retire in style.

Romeo Romero is the world’s hottest openly gay celebrity. He’s got the face, the abs, the fame, the fortune—and the sex video that could destroy his career. If this naughty little tape should fall into the wrong hands, Romeo’s adoring fans would be in for one big surprise: He’s straight.

When Grant and Chase hear about the video (thanks to a notorious Hamptons’ gossip), it’s a no-brainer. All they have to do is steal the tape, blackmail the star, and collect the cash. But then, when they stupidly leave the video in a New York cab, the would-be crooks have to wheel and deal with a sleazy tabloid editor, a lesbian real estate agent, a kinky Internet stalker, and an alluring boy toy to finally get to the truth…behind not-so-straight lies."

Monday, March 30, 2009

Do You Hulu?


As if Facebook, and X Tube You Tube weren't enough, looks like we've got yet another reason for distraction... Our friends over at AfterElton report that Hulu has added the original (read: British) Queer As Folk to its roster.

I realize it's really old news (10 years!), but I loved this show--particulary the ever-charming "Vince," aka Craig Kelly, and his love for "take-aways." A quick check of Mr. Kelly's imdb page reveals he's been busy for the past decade... Why haven't I seen anything else he's done?!

No Mystery Here


I realize I probably shouldn't use the (212) as my personal "soap box," but since Kenneth has left the reins to me this week... Here goes!

From Box Office Magazine:

"A sloppy adaptation and poor lead performances cost The Mysteries of Pittsburgh a chance at arthouse success" [Read the full review here]

Now, I'm not one to usually revel in another's failure, but... I've been telling folks since the fall of 2006 that MOP the film was destined to flop.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Laura and 'Mary' or is it 'Nellie'?


Got an email in my in-box earlier this afternoon with the above subject line... Didn't recognize the address it came from (alot of numbers, followed by "vzwpix.com"), so I wasn't about to risk contaminating my kid brother's computer (which I borrowed to check my messages) with the latest virus.

About 10 minutes ago, after a grueling day of celebrating Polito family birthdays (Mom's 3.26, bro-in-law's 3.27, kid bro's 3.28) with a spare rib and chicken dinner from Metro-Detroit's finest rib joint, Chicken Shack, followed by a few rounds of Wii bowling (not as easy as you might think!), followed by a few rounds of "Finding Nemo Go Fish" (just isn't the same--"Got any Dorys?") with my nephews, I decided to give in to my curiosity and open said email message.

What did I find, you ask? A message from our Dear Kenneth: "I didn't have time to introduce u on the blog bur it looks like ur off and running. Pls post this ... wasn't on the ground five seconds before I ran into Laura Ingalls herself!"


Kids' Choice Awards


To be honest, I wouldn't even know about the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards if it weren't for my recent obsession with discovery of Degrassi: The Next Generation on The N, where the KCA's have been touted for the past few weeks.

Click here for a list of winners... While I'm not a viewer of her TV show, i carly, I've recently been turned on to Miranda Cosgrove's "About You Now," by my housemate, Dan, who tells me is a cover of the BRIT-award nominated/Cathy Dennis penned single by the Sugababes. (Where was I in 2007?)

franQ in the (347)


So Kenneth is off traveling (in the (323) again, I think), and he's asked Yours Truly to fill in... I promise I'll do my best to not be so "self-aggrandizing" or talk too much of my novel Band Fags! or the soon-to-be released Drama Queers!

Looking forward to the week ahead...

On the Rag, Vol. 31

A weekly look at what's making news in New York's free gay rags:

Next has just the thing to help inspire you to get your summer bod.

HX introduces you to Jonte, who is "a hell of a lot more than Beyonce's choreographer."

Read all On the Rag posts HERE.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Winning Streak


A sweet reader from France sent me this rather interesting video of athlete slash Dior model Romain Mesnil, who apparently ran out of money because he lost all of his sponsorship. That sucks for him. But lucky for us it seems he can no longer afford clothes, as you'll see above. Ooh la la!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hit the Jackpot!

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

O, No She Didn't!

Did you catch poor Oprah on Wednesday when the topic was "Living Without Labels," women leaving their husbands and boyfriends for other women? First "Work Out" star Jackie Warner came on to talk about all the straight women she attracts. (Her boy-crazy former fling Rebecca joined her, going on and on about how taken she was with her boss woman but never mentioning how she did it all for more screen time!)

Then Oprah got down to business, cross-examining all of these formerly straight women about how on earth they ended up becoming involved with woman. (BTW: Did anyone EVER think Carol Leifer was straight?) Now god knows Oprah doesn't have anything against the gays (truthfully, the ghost of Gayle King loomed large in the studio that afternoon making some of Oprah's questions sound almost tongue-in-cheek!). Yet, I couldn't help notice the intrinsic double standard that still permeates the airwaves when talking about gay men versus gay women. While "girl on girl" action is frequently fetishcized and encouraged in pop culture ("Girls Gone Wild" makeout sessions, anyone), gay men are still often painted only as the over-the-top queens that some of us are.

One of Oprah's guests was Dr. Lisa Diamond, a well-spoken women's sexuality expert who was there to promote her new book, "Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire." Sure, an Oprah plug is a writer's dream come true. But I couldn't help but cringe for her as Oprah made one juvenile comment about gay guys after the next -- at which Diamond laughed nervously at first, but eventually kind of ignored her -- not to mention repeatedly breaking into singing the title of an article about the subject in the new issue of O called "She's So Fine." (Like me, Diamond seemed to have NO IDEA WHY Oprah was doing this, although a quick Web search seems to reveal there's an Akon song with that title, so perhaps that's what O was getting at?) Some people insist that Oprah deliberately asks "naive" questions because she is trying to dumb her topics down for her Middle America audience, who may not be as worldly as she is.

Still, I think it spoke volumes about the gap that exists between the level of respect gay men and women are given by many that when the subject of men who rate themselves as a 6 on the Kinsey scale (6 being "exclusively homosexual") was broached, O felt comfortable saying: "The full-blow sixes, we can all tell. Love 'em. Really fun to be around. And they do great hair and stuff. It's harder to tell with a lot of women." (I had to rewind my DVR because I couldn't believe she'd just say that on national television!) Sure, she said it to get a laugh. Yet she bent over backward not to offend the lesbians by checking with Diamond during a commercial break before coming back to carefully and rather sheepishly ask why so many "attractive" women seem to leave men for women "who really, kinda don't look like women."

It's the little things, O. Think about it.

Drama Queens

Be sure to check out the latest installment of "In the Moment," the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center's online soap. In the fourth episode, one of the characters confronts the fact that he might have been infected with HIV by his philandering partner. (As is common, the couple had stopped using condoms -— so when one of them cheated, it opened a Pandora’s box of issues.) While the idea that a guy would cheat on his boyfriend is borderline preposterous, a cameo appearance by "Noah’s Arc" hunk Darryl Stephens will make you glad you tuned in. Learn more about the groundbreaking series HERE.

Apartment Zero


Yesterday sure was an emotional roller coaster. Out of nowhere, my real estate agent -- who had gone MIA after presenting me with nothing but overpriced crap a couple weeks ago -- suddenly took me to see a half-dozen apartments, all of which I would seriously entertain calling home. 

As this was going on, news leaked out about mass layoffs at work, with pay cuts and other negotiations in the works. While I was immeasurably thankful to still be employed at the end of the day, it was difficult learning several colleagues wouldn't be coming back, some of whom I count as friends. It was a stark reminder (like any of us needed it) of just how bad the economy is right now and how tenuous things really are. (All but one member of my family has now either been laid off, had full days cut, or has been asked to take leave without pay.) While all of this was unfolding, a friend of mine at work -- who'd been off for a few days -- confided in me that he'd suddenly gotten married on Sunday. I was so happy for him and then so sad that he felt like he should keep it under wraps because it wasn't the right time to share "good" news on a day filled with so much tumult. (People getting married should ALWAYS be allowed to be happy about it, shouldn't they?) 

No sooner had I begun to pull myself together to resume the apartment hunt it dawned on me that I might actually need to make a decision on one of these places -- and fast. I'm heading West for a week on Sunday (another source of stress -- traveling), and today is Friday. Further complicating things, with the exception of the neighborhood and general price, each apartment is COMPLETELY different -- from street-level garden style to sleek high rise, and everything in between. (Do I want charm over function? Is a doorman important? Can you put an air conditioner in a window with security bars? Is the school too close? Is the place too close to the bar? Should I really be moving now at all???) I thought if I gave myself some time to clear my head and weigh the pros and cons, I'd begin to see things more clearly. Instead, bedtime came upon me and I was completely at a loss. Earlier in the day I called my brother Bill and jokingly told him that he should come up from D.C. to help me decide (like he has with every other apartment I've ever had dating back to when I was a "kid"). At first he said he had plans, but then later in the day -- and much to my delight -- he actually said yes! (He'll be here at 1 today!) Maybe he can make everything all right. Sometimes I don't feel like I was cut out for all this grown-up stuff ...

501 Skivvies

If these new ads from International Jock are indication, sales of Levi's underwear are about to go through the roof. Get yours HERE.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hopelessly Devoted

If my aversion to renting movies can be traced to one period in time, it was definitely the summer of '78. Going to the show, as Michiganders call it, has long been one of the greatest and most economical forms of escapism, and escape was just what I was needing that June I turned 11. While the history books tell us the late '60s were one of the country's most tumultuous times, being a child of the 1970s was hardly a walk in the park.

Like most of the nation, I spent those seven months in '74 transfixed by Patty Hearst -- only I wanted TO BE her. (She was newspaper heiress and she wore a beret!)

Watching Linda Blair have a torrid affair with her hunky abductor, Martin Sheen, the following year in the made-for-TV movie, "Sweet Hostage," only made my Patty obsession grow stronger. (And besides, with access to William Randolph there might be hope for the fledgling Hiller News.)

Most of '75 was dominated by news of the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, who was last seen in a restaurant parking lot in nearby Bloomfield Township. (I used to pretend a Sambo's we occasionally went to was the scene of the crime.) Son of Sam kept me on edge during most of '76 and '77. I can still remember being seated on an ottoman at our neighbor Karen Muthil's house that balmy Wednesday in August David Berkowitz was arrested. (His mugshot still gives me nightmares.)

Meanwhile, we were busy being terrorized by our area's own serial killer, the uncreatively named "Oakland County Child Killer," who had murdered four kids my age and was suspected of many others. (You try sleeping at night when there's psycho driving around your neighborhood in a blue AMC Gremlin abducting and killing kids your age.)

So by the time fifth grade let out in June of 1978, playing tennis and going to the movies were the only thing on this kid's exhausted mind. And in the course of about six weeks, my friends and I made three trips to the Abby Cinemas across the way from Oakland Mall in Troy, Mich., to see what turned out to be three life-altering movies:

"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (film number 3) may have starred Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees. And it may be considered one of the worst movies of all time. But I was 11, and I loved every second of it. While I had grown up listening to all sorts of music, my older brothers were more Simon and Garfunkel types, so "Sgt. Pepper" was -- for better or worse -- my first exposure to Beatles music. Need I say more? (After later buying a cassette at Green Acres drugstore of other non-Beatles performing these classic songs, you'll be happy to know I now own the album by the original recording artist.)

"Heaven Can Wait" (film number 2) was a wonderful picture (the Academy agreed). But it was the sight of dreamy Warren Beatty on the big screen as a Los Angeles Rams quarterback that sent my homosexual panic into overdrive. (Has there ever been a more handsome man?)

But it was the first of the three films I saw that summer that has provided me the most lasting escape. My Olivia Newton-John obsession was already out of control at this point. "Please Mister, Please" played on my family's basement stereo nearly nonstop, and it didn't take much for me to re-enact the balcony scene of "Evita" to ONJ's "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" off her "Making a Good Thing Better" album I picked up at Korvettes. So when the sun-kissed 30-year-old high school student beauty debuted "Hopelessly Devoted to You" up there on the silver screen, I knew my fate had been sealed.

Now I'm not so vain as to think my "Grease" obsession is any more profound than any other gay boy's. (I read "Band Fags." I get it.) I mean, who didn't sing into a hair brush and wish they were Sandy in that skin-tight black body suit? (Side note: John Travolta NEVER did anything for me. Not then. Not on "Welcome Back, Kotter." Not even in "Saturday Night Fever," although I might have given him a protective handjob in "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.") But I will say this. I'm 41 years old now living in a 12-square-foot small one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. And I STILL have my "Grease" trading cards. It's been over 30 years since that fateful summer. Yet every time I see or hear something from "Grease," it feels like -- however briefly -- I'm 11 years old again and all my cares get tucked away. And that's a kind of devotion that feels anything but hopeless.

App to Be Gay

If the frosted hair and the voice aren't enough to tip you off to another gay guy in the area, then have I got the just thing for you. Grindr is a new iPhone app that uses GPS technology to sniff out other homos in your vicinity. Download it on iTunes HERE. Or you could just look for other guys who have iPhones.

Page 1 Consider (03/26)

  • Booty Call: For a sport that is notoriously homophobic, Pittsburgh's college basketball team sure is enamored with DeJuan Blair's big ass. (NYT)

  • HIV, My Ass!!! Hundreds of veterans are have been streaming into the Miami Veterans Hospital to be tested for HIV and hepatitis after officials there announced that improperly cleaned colonoscopy equipment might have exposed them to infection. More than 3,200 veterans who had the procedure at Veterans Affairs clinics in Florida from May 2004 to March 12, 2009, may be affected. (NYT)

  • Veto Threat: Even though it's like to not make a difference, Gov. Jim Douglas of Vermont wants you to know he's a dick about gay marriage. (NYT)

  • Coming Soon: Embrem Entertainment announced this week that it has acquired worldwide distribution rights to "The Big Gay Musical," a movie musical romantic comedy shot in New York in the fall of 2008 starring many Broadway actors and Brent Corrigan (aka "the Traci Lords" of the gay porn industry). I have no idea what it's about, but I already like where it's going. (Official Site)

  • Taboo: As hard as this is to believe, would you believe that some of China's 1.28 billion people are gay? The government isn't buying it, so men are having unsafe sex with other men and then infected their wives with HIV. How traditional. (365Gay)

  • America's Next Next Top Drag Queen: Because no one is happy to leave well enough alone, LOGO has just ordered a second season of "RuPaul's Drag Race." Applicants can apply HERE.

  • My Two Moms: Under new rules established this week, New York City will now allow lesbians who are legally married to list both parents' names on their children's birth certificates. (AP)

  • Cajun Cravin': The New Orleans Wine and Food Experience takes place May 19-23 with 1,000 international wines to taste and food from 75 of the region's finest eateries. (Passport)

  • Carrey-ed Away? Rumor has it that Jim Carrey was just too convincing as Ewan McGregor's jailhouse lover in "I Love You, Phillip Morris," so now it's going straight to DVD. (Towleroad)

  • RIP: John Hope Franklin, a prolific scholar of black history who profoundly influenced thinking about slavery and Reconstruction while helping to further the civil rights struggle, died Wednesday in Durham, N.C. He was 94. (NYT)

  • Morning Wood

    How many strikes would you give him?

    Wednesday, March 25, 2009

    Sidewalk Cafe

    This breakfast I saw on a stoop on West 21st Street looks almost as good as a bowl of Crispy Hexagons ...

    Rough Trade Off

    I don't want to sound like I'm blaming the victim here because the murder of popular New York radio host George Weber is so heinous it boggles the mind. (No one deserves to be treated this way.) But just as public service announcement to my fellow gay Internet-loving readers (we've all met people online at one time or another), you might want to avoid running ads on Craigslist for young men to come over to your house to "choke" you while engaging in oral sex. You just never know which Satan-loving 16-year-old with a knife fetish (and a girlfriend) -- and a propensity for violence -- might show up. On his MySpace page, the teen wrote, "If you disrespect me then I will fuckin' break your neck." Somehow I guess it wouldn't take much for a 16-year-old "heterosexual" who is being paid 60 bucks for sex with a man to feel, um, "disrespected." Now the real homophobic character assassination begins as the defense claims it was Weber who pulled a knife on the "poor little misguided straight boy" and he was just "fighting back" against the "pervert." Very sad. (Full story HERE.)

    Music Box: Terry Hall

    Considering how I am, it's surprising I've never gotten more obsessive about Terry Hall. His fun hair and acute anhedonia alone make me love him. But then you throw in the fact that he's been a part of some my favorite songs of the last 30 years -- "Ghost Town," "Ain't What You Do," "Really Saying Something," "Our Lips Are Sealed," "Can't Get Enough of You Baby," "Thinking of You" and "Walk Into the Wind" -- you'd think I'd have more than a compilation CD to show for it. Listen to what I mean:

    Vegas featuring Siobhan Fahey: "Walk Into the Wind"

    Fun Boy Three: "Our Lips Are Sealed"

    The Colourfield: "Can't Get Enough of You Baby"

    The Specials: "Ghost Town"

    Bananarama featuring Fun Boy Three: "Really Saying Something"

    And here's an exciting update to my Tom Tom Club post from January. Further supporting my belief that you should never give up on old music finally making it into the digital age, it's been reported that in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Island Records, a two-disc deluxe edition of the Tom Tom Club's debut album is about to be released, with the deluxe-ness being the hitherto unreleased "Close to the Bone" album! Unbelievable news. Can Slow Children be far behind?
  • View all Music Box posts HERE.
  • Upcoming Songs
    Caveman Lyrics
    Live Your Life Lyrics
    It Just Makes Sense Lyrics
    Low Lyrics
    Flo Rida
    Producer Lyrics
    Marques Houston
    Blame It Lyrics
    Donnie Klang
    Chillin' Lyrics
    Put Out The Flame Lyrics
    Sexy Ladies Lyrics
    Playa Playa Lyrics
    Kanye West
    Get your own here.