Monday, August 31, 2009

Out Takes

My friend Scooter and I lend a certain cartoonish charm to the recent GLAAD Manhattan benefit. Check out all the boys in OUT magazine's photo round-up HERE.

Short Cuts

To my readers in the Bay Area, you definitely won't want to miss this year's San Francisco Festival of Short Films -- aka SF Shorts, founded by my old friend Jim Kenney -- going on Sept. 9-12. The festival features 52 films in six programs of mixed-genre shorts representing 20 countries, nearly half from outside the United States. For complete details, visit the official Web site HERE.

For those who can't wait, The Times' Moment blog has exclusive online access to two full-length films screening at SF Shorts HERE.

Next Stop, Menjo's?

SPOILER ALERT: Like I'm not already hooked on HBO's "Hung" and its hunky star, Thomas Jane, now it seems Ray's son, Damon, is "a gay." Having grown up a 'mo in the Detroit suburbs, I can hardly wait to see where this is going to go. ...

Back to the Beach

I absolutely adore Santa Monica. So I was thrilled when I read I was actually going to be able to relive one of its most storied settings now that beachfront mansion William Randolph Hearst built for Marion Davies, the ultimate party girl of the 1930s, is open to the public. While the original pool is indeed open for use, sadly most of the house -- where stars like Joan Crawford, Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo often came to party -- has long been demolished. My fantasies about Marion's "three-day, on-the-beach, stop-the-band-at-4-a.m. soirees, however, live on forever. (Full story HERE.)

Marion Davies with Claudette Colbert, in 1937

Actor John Payne shows off his beach bod back in the day

Big Bill

The Times revisits the great Bill Tilden, who dominated the game during the flapper era, but who is often remembered more along the lines of Michael Jackson than tennis legends Rod Laver, Pete Sampras or Roger Federer, who sounds an awful like him, too.

Graceland

Went to see "The September Issue" with my guy and a group of friends on Saturday night in Chelsea. The theater was packed with fun queens, so I knew we were in for a good time no matter how the film actually was. Lucky for us, director R.J. Cutler did a nice job documenting the behind-the-scenes machinations of the production of Vogue's famed 2007 September issue, when advertising reached an all-time high (the book was 840 pages vs. this year's meager 584). While many of the people who work in the industry take themselves entirely too seriously, Cutler presents the subject matter in an unpretentious manner, never missing a chance to show how ridiculous these people can be and wisely focusing on the dynamic between editor in chief Anna Wintour and creative director Grace Coddington. The details are best experienced firsthand, but Coddington -- herself a former model -- is an genuine delight, and the complete antithesis of everything you'd expect a fashion editor to be. Her thoughtful yang to Wintour's icy ying makes the film. So much so, in fact, I was stunned when I later learned Grace apparently wanting nothing to do with the production when it began. You'd never guess this seeing how natural and comfortable she is sharing her feelings before the camera, the voice of reason in a newsroom full of completely unnecessary drama. My grade: A minus

Sporting Goods: Travis Rettenmaier

So what could be hotter than watching Robby Ginepri practice shirtless? Watching him practice against a shirtless Travis Rettenmaier, a 26-year-old doubles specialist from California who played for UCLA and has "the sickest hands ever at the net" according Robby’s trainer Paul Pisani, who isn't too hard on the eyes, either. See more pictures of Travis and his peekaboo underwear on Tennis Served Fresh over HERE.

On the Rag, Vol. 53

A look at what's making news in New York and L.A.'s free gay rags:

Frontiers puts sexy actor/musician Aram Kirakosian on the cover of its end-of-summer party issue

While Next features wannabe-comeback-queen Whitney Houston

Model Behavior

In his latest blog entry, everyone's favorite gay-next-door Ronnie Kroell reflects on his first year in New York City, and contemplates what's next now that his "Make Me a Supermodel" days are firmly behind him.

Ashe Saturday

The roster of music "stars" left something to be desired (Jordan Sparks, Jamie Bieber and Mateo), but it was A-list players all the way for this year's Arthur Ashe Kids' Day out at Flushing Meadows:

Serena Williams, Will Ferrell and Roger Federer
Kim "Why Am I Here?" Clijsters
Will Ferrell, Quddus, Federer, Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova and Serena

Fed gets serious with the funnyman
Serena and Maria laugh at Ana Ivanovic, who hasn't won a match in years
Ferrell shows he's feral on the court

Mixed Doubles

You can't walk 10 feet in the Hamptons without tripping over one of the "Real Housewives of New York," and yesterday's Grand Slam winners tennis exhibition honoring Andre Agassi in East Hampton was no exception. The event was a benefit for the Ross School -- featuring a doubles match with Petr Korda, Murphy Jensen, Mark Knowles and Rennae Stubbs(???) -- and I must say it made for some pretty awkward photo-ops. (How much you wanna bet Steffi said NO WAY to going to this one?)

Agassi, Christie Brinkley and Alec Baldwin were overheard saying, "Who are these people?"

Andre Agassi checks out his likeness by artist Tony Capparelli

Agassi meets her royal highness, Countess LuAnn De Lesseps, who I'm pretty sure could take a set off him

Bat-shit-crazy Kelly Killoran Bensimon and her girls, and Ramona Singer, sans her ranked hubby, Mario
Nick Bollettieri takes a break from his busy teeth-whitening schedule; and Lizzie Grubman, who refrained from running anyone over at the event

Aubrey O'Day, who stopped by the gala en route to a hooker convention

Sunday, August 30, 2009

America's Favorite Tattletale Speaks

Susan Olsen will be on "The Today Show" tomorrow morning to discuss her dishy new book, "Love to Love You Bradys." (Look for me in Chapter 9!) When Maureen McCormick wrote a tell-all memoir last year I just assumed she was exaggerating her drug use and misbehavior to sell books (how could Marcia Brady do anything wrong, after all?). But according to Cindy Brady, it's all true -- and then some. Read an excerpt from the book HERE.

Official site of the book HERE.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Quote of the Day

Here's the text of an e-mail message sent to me tonight by Francine, an old friend/co-worker at The Arizona Republic, who clearly still has a thing for Atex.

Subject: I can't believe I save this stuff

Going through old notebooks - wine is involved (duh)

"Have you ever woken up and thought, "You know, I'm just too glamorous for this world"? (WALSHK, 10/22/88 22:37)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Last Dance

DJ AM, the high-profile disc jockey who survived dating Nicole Richie and a fatal plane crash, was found dead on Friday evening in his apartment in Manhattan, the police said. An official told The New York Times that the 36-year-old, whose real name was Adam Goldstein, was discovered face-down in his bed wearing only sweatpants, with a crack pipe and unspecified prescription drugs nearby. The Times reported that Goldstein regularly posted messages on Twitter, including one final, poetic note -- lyrics from a Grandmaster Flash song -- that he posted on Tuesday. “New York, New York. Big city of dreams, but everything in New York ain’t always what it seems.”

Private Lesson

Click HERE to enter to win a date with Andy Roddick. (Proceeds benefit his foundation for disadvantaged children.)

Friday Ad Watch

Separated at Birth?

I was catching up on my DVR'd "D-List" episodes last night when I realized my dear Kathy Griffin is starting to remind me of a slightly less attractive version of another fave of mine, Miss Coco Peru. (Are you taping your wig to give yourself a faux facelift now, Kath? Come on!)

'Usually This Doesn't Happen'

For my younger readers who think I'm insane when I say "that gross old man" Ryan O'Neal was "the Brad Pitt" of the 1970s, I give you these shots of Dr. Howard Bannister in"What's Up, Doc?," one of the funniest movies of all time. (Via Deep Dish)

RUNWAY 6.2

*THIS POST IS BEING MADE BY (212) CONTRIBUTOR, FRANK ANTHONY POLITO

In keeping with more traditional "recaps," I've decided to pull out the stops and give you all the spoilers...so STOP reading if you haven't seen last night's Project Runway yet.

The Park Slope viewing party was pretty lame... Just me and Craig, sitting on the couch with our post-workout protein shakes (Whey -- yum!) Our housemate, Dan, is away, so Tim, Jay, and Jason were nowhere to be seen. Perhaps they read last week's recap and didn't like being (mis)quoted?

Tonight's challenge was to create a "chic" look for a preggers Rebecca Romijn, who I adored as David Spade's g/f back in the day on Just Shoot Me. Though personally, I preferred it when she had the "Stamos" hyphenated to her moniker. And speaking of... What is up with that last name?! How the hell does she get "Romaine" out of what clearly is "Rom-ijn"? Which I usually refer to as "Rom-jin." To tell the truth, I don't even know who she's married to now... Nor do I care... I think. (I'm resisting the urge to google it right now!)

Each designer received $100 to complete their look, which Rebecca said she wanted to be form fitting, to help show off her curves. I gotta say, her face is a little fatter, but she looked pretty good for being knocked up with twins. Not sure how far along Ms. Romijn-Whatever is, but Ra'mon guessed her to be in her "early second semester."

After a bit of sketching, and a quick 30 minute trip to Mood, the designer headed back to the work room to create their designs. The highlight of the evening belonged to Malvin, which he dubbed "The Mother Hen." I don't know what this poor guy was thinking! Talk about "conceptual." He got it into his head that he'd treat Rebecca's pregnant belly like it's an egg, wrapped in a bird's nest, and even incorporated feathers into his design. At one point, he told Tim Gunn he was going to make the legs look like "chicken thighs." Tim strongly advised him against this. (Can you guess who was "out"?)

Louise, who we didn't see much of last week, created a very nice negligee-type ensemble, in a cranberry color, with hand-dyed lace. Craig and I were both impressed. She made the Top 3.

Ra'mon came up with a purply number that looked kind of cool, though the overall consensus was "bowling ball bag." He found himself in the Bottom 3.

And what of hottie(?) Christopher? I can't recall what his design looked like, but Craig and I both agreed that we hate his beard! (The one on his face.) I thought "it looks like a chin strap," and Craig said, "He looks Amish... Or like a Whoo from Dr. Suess."

Filling in for Michael Kors was guest judge Monique Lhuillier (anyone?), along with Nina Garcia, Rebecca Romijn-Whatever and of course, Heidi Klum, who reminded the designers that all the judges have been pregnant... Which might explain what happened to Michael Coors!

Craig and my personal faves belonged to Shirin and Irina, but only Shirin made the Top 3, along with Louise, and "without nipples" -- I mean, Althea!

Bottom Boys -- I mean, Bottom 3 -- went to Ra'mon, Malvin, and Mitchell, who "just squeaked by," Heidi reminded him, after she auf weidersehened Malvin. Poor guy! He made himself feel better by determining he's "too conceptual for America." (If you took careful note in the background, you would have seen Whoo-boy Christopher crying again! Okay, first the hats, now the crying... Hello, Ricky #2!)

Tonight's winner was Shirin!

I had planned on showing you hers and all the other Top and Bottom designs, but Lifetime has made it such that the pics you download from their site are super teeny-tiny. So if you want to see all of tonight's designs, go here.

Project Runway airs Thursday nights at 10pm ET on Lifetime TV.


*FRANK ANTHONY POLITO is a Brooklyn-based writer, and author of the novels Band Fags! and Drama Queers!








Lash Blast


Heather McDonald does her HILARIOUS impersonation of stroke victim Drew Barrymore.

Dateline: MINNEAPOLIS

"The Real Live Brady Bunch" definitely worked, can THIS?

Sets and the City

With the start of the season's final Grand Slam event just days away, New York is in full U.S. Open mode. Before stopping by "The Late Show With David Letterman," Andy Roddick joined Nicolas Kiefer, Fernando Gonzalez, David Ferrer and a strangely thin-looking Jo-Wilfried Tsonga -- plus the ever-ubiquitous Bethenny Frankel -- at the W Hotel for the 10th Annual BNP Paribas Taste of Tennis, a celebrity-player cooking lesson to benefit the Food Bank for New York City. I'm not sure what any of the players whipped up, but based on the name of the event I'm guessing they all now know what balls taste like.

Defending champions Roger Federer and Serena Williams were looking fit at the 2009 U.S. Open Draw Presentation at the New York Times Center in Midtown.

Meanwhile, after ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange and receiving an Anti-Defamation League Americanism award, Venus Williams was on hand for the maiden voyage of the Zero Ferry, a free water taxi service from Manhattan to Queens running all next week for visitors to the U.S. Open. The complimentary service is provided by her sponsor, POWERADE ZERO, who will also be handing out bottles of Powerade Zero to thirsty fans taking the ferry to the tournament.

Venus and Serena -- along with Bud Collins -- also made a promotional appearance in Bryant Park for DIRECTV.

John McEnroe unveiled his new prostate cancer awareness billboard outside Madison Square Garden.

And Maria Sharapova attended the launch of Maria Sharapova by Cole Haan Colthe lection at the Cole Haan at Rockefeller Center. (HUH?)

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