Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Beautiful Launderette

From the "Stars, They're Just Like Us" file: It may be a different brand of tennis camp, but it's still cute to see that even superstars like Andy Roddick have to make the best of the situation when dirty clothes begin to pile up off the court. Sure looks like someone wasn't planning to be around for Week 2 ...

Singing Its Praises

Finally got around to watching the first episode of "Glee," Fox's highly touted new high school musical dramedy. It's true that there's really nothing new here -- all of your archetypes and couples-who-are-obviously-meant-to-be-together-but-are-with-people-they're-obviously-not-meant-to-be-with are covered. But you can't help but fall in love with Matthew Morrison's earnest-but-sexy Mr. Schuester, and that alone is enough to make me care enough to want to see what will happen next. And if his glee club keeps delivering performances like this one -- a rousing boy-meets-girl rendition of Journey's classic "Don't Stop Believin'" -- then the progress report I'm sending home is most encouraging.



Friday, May 29, 2009

Act of God

"Gods of Football: The Making of the 2009 Calendar" is now available everywhere, including Netflix. More than 40 of Australia’s sexiest pro rugby players got “Naked for a Cause” and posed for the 2009 charity calendar. A video crew was there for every hot minute of the photo shoots. Check out some risque moments -- including a video of the fun -- AFTER THE JUMP. ----->

Dramarama

On Tuesday, my friend and KIT212 contributor Frank Anthony Polito's second book, "Drama Queers," was released. I caught up with the Fresh Prince of Hazeltucky -- who made me laugh me ass off with his "Band Fags" debut -- earlier today to get all of details from backstage:

KIT212: Congratulations on the success of your first book, "Band Fags." Your follow-up, "Drama Queers," just came out this week. What can readers expect this time around?
FAP: Thank you! It’s been an incredible year since BAND FAGS! went on sale last June. With DRAMA QUEERS!, readers can expect more 1980s fun and frivolity in Hazeltucky, MI. This time around, the story is told from the POV of Brad Dayton, the secondary/best friend character from BAND FAGS!

When my editor at Kensington asked me for another book, I really didn’t have an idea for one. Then I gave it some thought, and realized there’s a chunk of BAND FAGS! where Brad completely disappears. He and his best friend, Jack, have a falling out during senior year, and since BFs is Jack’s story, we only see Brad a few times during those 100 pages. We learn that he’s got a part in the school play, and he takes a trip to New York City to audition for Julliard School of Drama, and that he gets busted hanging out at a gay bar -- but we don’t SEE it happen. Now in DQs, we do!

KIT212: Was it difficult to write a similar story from another point of view? Did you ever have to recheck your facts to make sure the stories meshed?
FAP: The original idea for BAND FAGS! was to alternate chapters between Jack and Brad, telling the story from each of their POV. But because I only had about a year to write the story, I didn’t know if I could actually do this. Much of Jack’s life is based on my own, so I knew him much better than I did Brad at the time. After finishing BFs and having time to think more about Brad, I found it easier to tackle telling his story. Since my background is in playwriting, I have a pretty good knack for writing in different “voices.”

And yes, there were many times I had to refer to BFs, to make sure I was “filling in the blanks” correctly. I think there may actually be one or two moments in DQs that don’t quite jive, but I don’t know if readers will notice -- unless they’re diehard fans, of course. Then I want them to call me out!

KIT212: Now you say "Band Fags" is a novel. But I know you pretty well so I know some of it is drawn from real-life experiences. What was the reaction back in Hazel Park? Didn't you attend your high school reunion right around the time the book came out?
FAP: I did attend my class reunion back in September, after the book had been on sale for about three months, and most everyone treated me like I’m some Big Star. (It was about time!) That June, I did a reading in Detroit and a lot of my high school friends who I based characters on were there. A couple, I hadn’t seen since the ‘80s, so that was awesome.

One in particular, “Luanne the Lesbo” I don’t paint a very nice portrait of, and she was there. Fortunately, she hadn’t read the book yet! But I did stress to her that it IS a work of “fiction” and that anything negative that Jack says about Luanne, is NOT a direct reflection on my feelings for her. I think she punched me and told me to shut up.

KIT212: What has been the highlight of being a published author?
FAP: I’ve made a lot of new Facebook Friends, and met some really cool people as a result. I get e-mails from readers who tell me they enjoyed the book, and accuse me of stealing their story. Which is totally cool, considering I thought my experience was so unique. It’s great to hear how many guys also had gay best friends while they were growing up, and what kind of adventures they had together. One of the highlights was walking past the (now-closed) Oscar Wilde Book Shop here in NYC and seeing MY book in the window!

KIT212: What surprised you most about the experience?
FAP: The fact that nothing really changes once the book hits the shelves. I mean, yes, I’m more “famous” than I was a year ago. I’ve been invited to appear on radio shows, and to attend book club meetings. There are people out there who know who I am now! But at the end of the day, I’m still the same guy working a part-time job, struggling to “make it.”

KIT212: Will we be hearing from Jack and Brad and the gang again anytime soon?
FAP: Fingers crossed! I’ve recently started working with a manager and an agent, and we’re hoping to develop both novels “for the screen.” One of the strong points of both books, I feel, is the characters -- not just Brad and Jack, but the supporting ones, too. I hope to be able to develop their lives more, and flesh out the world even more, either in a film, or even better, a TV series. (Calling all potential producers! If you’re looking for an ‘80s-themed show with a gay teen protagonist … Give me a shout.)

KIT212: Will you be doing any readings to promote "Drama Queers"?
FAP: I have two readings planned thus far: Monday June 1st, Barnes & Noble, 82nd & Broadway in New York City, at 7 p.m. and Thursday, June 18th, Barnes & Noble, 500 S. Main St. in Royal Oak, Mich., at 6:30 p.m. I’m also having a book party at “1984” at The Pyramid in the East Village (101 Avenue A, between 6th & 7th streets) on Friday June 5th. This will include a special screening of the 1978 classic “Ice Castles” starring Lynn-Holly Johnson -- the slut from “Where the Boys Are ‘84.” All readers of the (212) are welcome. And if you say the secret code at the door (“Robby Benson”), cover is only $5!

KIT212: Great. So I guess I'll see you at Monday's reading. Thanks for checking in.
FAP: No, thank YOU!!

For complete details about the book readings, click HERE.

Brian Buzzini Post Script

Forgot to include these two famous commercials with my Morning Wood post earlier:



Cooper Union

With the exception of an apperance on "Sex and the City" about 10 years ago, I'm not entirely sure I've ever seen Bradley Cooper in anything. (He sure works a lot though: IMDB has him slated to be in SEVEN upcoming projects, yet I always get him confused with Scott Cann, who I think is about half his height) Whatever the case may be, Coop's hot. Consider "The Hangover" a date. (More photos at Details)

Move Over, Fred Asaire

Myk and Andrew, my married friends in L.A., sure will be happy to hear that not all of their rights have been taken away.

The Paper Trail

What's making headlines in community newspapers in the (212):

Gay City News: Slim on LGBT Cases, Sotomayor Wins Gay Praise

New York Blade: With recent polls showing support for marriage equality waning in New York, should we kiss gay marriage goodbye?

Ego Tripp

My first reaction to seeing these photos of Levi Johnston changing baby Tripp on GQ.com was, Oh -- no wonder Bristol Palin didn't want him to have unaccompanied visits with their son. But then I remembered the teenage media whore (or should I say media whore and whore whore) had already posed with the kid on the cover of People magazine (on a break from teaching kids how to abstain from sex) and that Levi was the "classy" of the two. It's surprising how entertaining stupid people can be sometimes.

Morning Wood: Brian Buzzini

If Michael Ontkean, Sam Elliott and Christopher Atkins were the early stars of my childhood sexual fantasies, then model Brian Buzzini was one of the biggest fantasymen of my post-coming-out early 20s. Classically handsome and All-American while still maintaining an slight edge, it's because of Buzzini and his countless International Male appearances that I'm able to be sexually aroused today by even the worst-dressed men in the world. See Brian in his best outfit yet -- i.e. birthday suit -- on the jump page here.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tommy 'Boy'

I'm happy to see that my reports of ATP "senior" Tommy Haas' French Open demise were premature. Not only did the 31-year-old German hunk not lose in the first round, today he held on for a five-set victory over 22-year-old Argentine Leonardo Mayer, who had disposed of James Blake in the first round. Looking good, Tommy!

Having His Cake and Eating It, Too

His hypocrisy is anything but cute

Looks like Father Cutie has made his decision between God and Hot Sex With Chicks and has decided he'll keep ... both.

Local Boy Makes Good

Tucon's favorite son Scooter LaForge: I knew him when

The only thing that makes me happier than one of my old friends beginning to enjoy the enormous success he deserves is when one of my old friends begins to enjoy the enormous success he deserves and gives an interview to Britain's Gay Times magazine in which I learn he was locked up in Belleview (sooooo Frances Farmer -- and they bought one of his paintings!) and once dated a guy who could suck his own dick. Love you, Scooter! Now when are we playing tennis again -- and bring you "talented" friend along, would ya?

New York Comes Out on Top

According to a review of Craigslist ads in ten American cities, New York City has the highest percentage of topmen in America. And while everything may be bigger in Texas, it probably won't do you much good:

“A whopping 73% of Houston's Craigslist-using inhabitants were seeking tops. Miami, San Francisco and Los Angeles were also bottom-heavy with 69%, 63% and 61% top-seekers, respectively.”

There's Something About James

Kenneth and James on the real Melrose Place, circa 1992

As my friends' Facebook horror stories continue to pile up (stalked by exes, nagged by geeky former classmates, outed to distant cousins), I added another happy ending to my list of social networking experiences. Came across my onetime really-close-friend and later roommate James' profile recently and sent him a note to which I got a warm and friendly response. There was some anxiety, you see, because James and I had one of those (I'm finally beginning to realize not atypical) crash and burn friendships that seem to only occur between single people in their 20s: We met when we lived in the same condo complex in Huntington Beach in the early '90s.

Both of us hated Orange County with a passion (he was from there, I had crash-landed at a friend's after getting my first job out of college at The Orange County Register), so would spend our days and nights plotting our escape to the City of Angels, where our lives were going to be way more glamourous. On my unconventional (Wednesday/Thursday) weekend, we'd trek up to West Hollywood in James' beat-up Datsun 240Z and bar-hop all night, longing for the day that we could do that and not have an hour drive home. I'll never forget the evening this hunky dark-haired motorcycle type approached me at Mickey's while his friend -- Dennis Stewart, aka Crater Face from "Grease" -- came up to James. (We both exchanged numbers with our "new guys" and were sooooo excited the whole ride home, and then played my double "Grease" LP all night when we got back to the O.C.!)

After much planning, plotting and saving, we finally made our big move in the spring of 1991 -- to a sparse two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment on South Bundy Drive, just a stone's throw away from where Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman would later meet their tragic ending. Things started out great --there was always something exciting happening nearby and we were meeting so many new people. But eventually both our schedules changed (I was now commuting 55 miles each way to The Register in a beat-up '83 VW Rabbit) and James and I began to spend less and less time together. (No more EVERY THURSDAY at Newport Station or Hot Tub Wednesdays back at Sea Spray Condominiums.) It also didn't take long for us to realize that our decision to to live on the Westside -- "to not be total queens" -- was just stupid (we WERE total queens, total queens who had to drive through A LOT TRAFFIC to go to Rage every night), and decided not to renew our lease, one we had deliberately only signed for six months in case things didn't go as planned. At that point, we started looking in West Hollywood, sometimes together, sometimes solo, as things had grown more complicated when James tried to fix me up with a sexy coworker of his, only to (perhaps) regret his decision when Marc and I became good friends (he played tennis, too) instead of lovers.

WeHo gallery boys James and Kenneth, with John Davis, circa 1992

In the end, James got a cool place in West Hollywood behind the French Market with his friend Carlos and I moved in just across Santa Monica with a couple, one of whom -- unknownst to me -- turned out to be legendary porn star Mike Henson). It was gradual, but within six months James and I -- once inseparable -- were no longer speaking. (Sadly, if there was a specific reason why I do not remember it.) Around the same time, I caught the flu for the first time in my life and literally thought I was dying, as one of my roommates now had pneumocystis pneumonia and I was no longer able to think rationally after I began to have hallucinations and bizarre dreams that I had insomnia. The same week I finally began to recover my transmission mysteriously fell out on the 5. All of this was beginning to be too much and with the realization that my two best friends in L.A. -- James, whom I adored and went through so much with to make our "L.A. dream" come true, and now, increasingly, Marc too -- were no longer going to be in my life, I decided it was time to make a fresh start. (I won't deny it: I was pretty devastated.) A month later -- in January 1993 -- I moved to Washington and have been an East Coaster ever since.

Jim Kenney and I get off on Gay Street

As it would happen, you may recall that my other favorite Facebook reconnection came with a D.C. friend -- also named James -- whom I had a falling out with at the end of '93. It's been so fun keeping in touch again (he looks exactly the same and is really successful) and if you're thinking what I'm thinking you're thinking -- how difficult is this blogger freak that he has all of these "fallings out"? -- I should say in my defense that all in all my track record is pretty good, with the same two best friends since 1978 and 1980, respectively!

L.A. James look great and appears to be doing really well too these days. We have been corresponding a little lately. and I surprised him with my cache of old photos, some of which he told me he'd never seen before. I have to say that it feels great to have healed these two old wounds, and I don't think either of them would have happened without Facebook.

Now, believe it or not, there's just one more of these lingering sore spots on my resume. And would you believe it's a boy from junior high ... named James?

The Bangles even wrote about my rocky relationships with these boys ...

Model Wood: Richard Lima

Now there are silver foxes and then there are silver foxes. This fox stumbled into the world modeling after escaping Los Angeles after the Northridge quake in '94. After being rejected by agencies all over South Beach, he walked into one more and two weeks later he was shooting with Bruce Weber for INTERVIEW magazine and then a Vesace shoot with Claudia Schiffer. Read Jason Kanner's complete interview with the Frosted Mini-Wheat-loving Richard HERE. (Via Major Model Management)

Page 1 Consider (05/28)

  • The Heart of the Matter: Some great news from a most unlikely source. David Boies and Theodore B. Olson, opposing lawyers in the 2000 Bush v. Gore recount, have teamed up to fight Proposition 8 in California, citing equal protection and due process, the argument I've been making all along. "This is not something that is a partisan issue. This is something that is a civil rights issue," Boies explained. In the end, the two lawyers suggested, the case might take them, again, to the United States Supreme Court. (NYT)

  • Fashion Statement: Forget about your gay uncle's hanky code of the '70s. White knots are in for 2009. (NYT)

  • Kenneth Is Annoyed: A Twitter reality series? (THR)

  • In the Hole: It seems Courtney Love owes a buttload on her Amex card. Perhaps if she's finally get her long overdue "Nobody's Daughter" album out and tour she's make some cash to pay her bills. (The bootleg of it floating around the Web is quite good.) (Reuters)

  • D-Listed: Everyone said reports that Kathy Griffin's long-suffering assistant Jessica Zajicek had quit were false. But she's noticeably absent from this promotional photo for the upcoming fifth season of "My Life on the D-List." (DetNews)

  • Ferris Scammed Here: Ferris Bueller's friend Cameron's house is for sale. Ferrari sold separately. (Arts Beat)

  • Show Me Awkward: I'm someone finally wrote about this "hug greeting" phenomenon sweeping the youth of America. If teenagers "prefer a friendly hug to a high-five greeting" what's worse is me around a 20something guy, who invariably does a combo high-five-into-a-handshake into-a-hug in one fell swoop, most of which I am far too uncoordinated to even begin to attempt. (NYT)

  • Himself or Someone Like Him: Matchbox 20 frontman Rob Thomas has a "big gay chip" on his shoulder, and I like it. (Huffington Post)

  • Michelle, Ma Belle: A first lady who admits she doesn't miss cooking? It's hard not to love Mrs. Obama. (NYT)

  • Withdrawal Method? A coalition of gay rights groups says a federal same-sex marriage lawsuit brought by two high-profile litigators is premature. (AP)

  • Cleaning Up California's Act: Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says that while he hasn't nailed down whether he will run for governor of California yet, he will remain an advocate for gay rights. Lucky for the City of Angels, both of Villaraigosa's likely Democratic challengers -- Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom -- both support marriage equality, too. (Advocate)

  • Man-on-Dog State: Pennsylvania has become the latest same-sex marriage battleground, with the legislature being pushed to pass both a marriage equality bill and one that would bar gays from marrying. (365Gay)

  • The Foyer Has Two Closets: Barbra Streisand has signed on to write about book about her homes, "A Passion for Design." (MSNBC)

  • Nothing Shady Here: Eminem's new album, "Relapse," has sold more copies in its first week of release than any other album this year. Nielsen SoundScan says the Detroit rapper's first album in nearly five years sold 608,000 copies, an remarkable feat considering "no one" buys CDs anymore. (I bought three Pat Benatar discs this week, BTW!) (AP)
  • Wednesday, May 27, 2009

    The Audacity of Silence

    L.A. ex?

    Here's the text of the open letter from Lorri L. Jean, the chief executive officer of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, to President Obama, who is visiting the Golden State right now. With the exception of capitalizing "president" in all uses, I sadly agree with everything:

    Dear President Obama:

    Welcome to California, Mr. President. I welcome you with a heavy heart because of the California Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Prop. 8, relegating same-sex couples to second-class status and denying us that most noble promise of America, “liberty and justice for all.”

    You are arriving in Los Angeles on the heels of emotional demonstrations throughout California and our nation and your silence at such a time speaks volumes. LGBT people and our allies have the “audacity to hope” for a country that treats us fairly and equally and for a President with the will to stand up for those ideals. From you we expect nothing less.

    We know the country faces many serious challenges and we have strived to be patient. We’ve waited for the slightest sign you would live up to your promise to be a “fierce advocate” for our equal rights while watching gay and lesbian members of the armed forces, who have never been more needed, get discharged from the military. And so far you have done nothing. No stop loss order. No call to cease such foolish and discriminatory actions that make our nation less safe.

    You pledged to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, Mr. President. You promised to support a “complete repeal” of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and pledged to advocate for legislation that would give same-sex couples the 1,100+ federal rights and benefits we are denied, including the same rights to social security benefits. You said, “Federal law should not discriminate in any way against gay and lesbian couples.”

    What of those promises, Mr. President?

    Your commitment to repeal DOMA has been removed from the White House website. Your promise to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was removed and then replaced with a watered-down version. And in the aftermath of yesterday’s California Supreme Court ruling, you have remained silent while your press secretary summarily dismisses questions about the issue.

    We not only need to hear from our President, we need his action. And we need it now.

    We need your words, Mr. President. But we also need your deeds. We expect you to fulfill the promises you made to us. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. taught us, “Justice too long delayed is justice denied.” Do not delay, Mr. President. The time for action is now.

    Sincerely,

    Lorri L. Jean
    Chief Executive Officer
    L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center

    Change of Heart

    OK, it's official: I'm now against gay marriage. Why the change of heart, you ask? Well, a friend pointed me to THIS compelling piece in The Weekly Standard that FINALLY explains why it is just so destructive to society. You see, legal gay marriage will lead to all girls becoming child-prostitutes. Why, you ask? Because the real purpose of marriage is to give girls something to save their virginity for, but since we gays don't care about protecting girls' virginity that's why we're OK with "destroying" the sacred institution. Makes sense to me. Get out your notebook, Michael Steele. And see you on the Sunday talk shows!

    Splendor in the Clay

    While I was sad but not the least bit surprised to see Robby Ginepri lose in the first round, most of my favorite men are rolling along at Roland Garros. Have a look:

    David Ferrer: best belly
    Roger Federer: best legs
    Fernando Verdasco: best everything
    Rafael Nadal: pretty in pink?
    Marat Safin: last hurrah?
    Tommy Robredo: Mr. Handsome
    Novak Djokovic: blue-suede tennis shoes?

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