Saturday, July 31, 2010

Separated at Birth: Lady Liberty and Hillary Rodham Clinton?

Clearly still sensitive about her carpetbagger status during her years in the Senate, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton went for a quintessential New York look at last night's rehearsal dinner for daughter Chelsea's big wedding in Rhinebeck, N.Y.

'Post' Script

Did some more work for The New York Post this week:

Every day is different when you're reporting. At one point, THIS story was going to be divided into three parts, with the Blomberg angle plus another story examining the cultural significance of saggin', and a fun "man on the street" piece where we spoke to a bunch of high school kids about their droopy drawers (you should hear what they had to say about Obama's advice to "pull your pants up"!). In the end, it wound up only being a tiny piece on Bloomberg's press conference.

THIS was one of the most difficult stories I've ever had to work on. Truly heartbreaking stuff.

On the Rag, Vol. 99

A weekly look at what's making news in the free gay magazines:

Next -- with a little help from JR of -- makes a case for saving the city's sex shops, currently under fire from law enforcement. I have ambivalent feelings about this: while I am no fan of the Giuliani years and the "60/40 bullshit," I live near two HUGE adult "video" stores and the growing scene of hookers, johns and kids loitering outside them concerns me in wake of the news that someone was "menaced with a pistol" outside the Blue Store last week. The spillover, in fact, has begun wrapping around in front of Michael's apartment building, which is on one of Chelsea's nicest residential blocks. My take: I have no problem with the stores or even what goes on inside of them. But ya either gotta cum, or ya gotta go. But given the very nature of cruising, I don't see how this is possible, and it's just not appropriate for neighborhoods. Hey, Rudy: Isn't this what Times Square was for????

Frontiers takes a tour of the cool pools of Vegas.

Sign of The (L.A.) Times

I'm guessing the copy desk is the least of the Tribune Co.'s worries at this point, but ... (thanks, Jim!)

Get It While It Lasts

Must Be Some High-Falutin' Grass

You mean water isn't enough?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Mr. Snook 'n' Jive

How Long Before 'The Real Live Real Housewives'?

Stephen Colbert and Andy Cohen of Bravo brought Bethenny Frankel and Kelly Killoren Bensimon to life with a staged re-enactment of their famous "I'm up here, you're down here" basic confrontation. I give it a month before this becomes an off-Broadway play.

You'll Be GLAAD You Came!

Join host Bethenny Frankel, Alex McCord and hubby Simon van Kempen, Jujubee and Sahara Davenport of "RuPaul's Drag Race" and figure skater Johnny Weir for GLAAD's Summer Rooftop Event, this Tuesday, Aug. 3. For tickets or more information, please click HERE.

  • What: The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, presents “GLAAD Manhattan," sponsored by Delta and Rokk Vodka. The tropical-themed event will feature a silent auction, balloon artists and a swimsuit fashion show.

  • When: Tuesday, Aug. 3 6:30-9:30 p.m.

  • Where: 20th Floor Roof Top Garden at 230 Fifth Ave.

    To read my write-up of last year's fabulous event, please click HERE.
  • Hunks of The Hill

    The Hill released its annual 50 Most Beautiful List, but here are the only three men you guys need to worry about, so let me save you some time:

    Ben Dunham, a Huntsville, Ala. native, is the only one of the three who placed in the Top 10 -- an impressive No. 5, with only one (less-attractive) man ranking higher -- and it's easy to see why. The 31-year-old environmental adviser to Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) not only looks like a movie star, he became a bit of a tabloid sensation last year when he briefly dated smoking hot “Mad Men” star January Jones, who he met while she was in town lobbying for environmental causes. (Color me green -- with envy!)

    What to make of Hudson(!) Hollister(!), a "single," 28-year-old Republican from Joliet, Ill. The bio on this counsel for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee makes Aaron Schock sound, um, straight: Amiable. Hyperactive. A good listener. That’s how Hudson Hollister defines himself. But that’s not the entire picture. Add gentleman, funny, good conversationalist, and beautiful to that list, and you get a better snapshot of who he is. It’s hard to believe Hollister was once the “socially awkward” home-school student he claims he was. Hudson says Mom and Dad’s genes, good grooming, CrossFit workouts, and “lots” of moisturizing are his health and beauty secrets. Hollister’s perfect date would be to attend a wedding with that special someone, celebrating something real and concrete. (Think of the beautiful babies he and Schock could have back home.)

    And in distant third place -- hey, picking from the list wasn't easy -- is Sean Joyce, a 24-old Republican from Altoona, Pa. 
Joyce, who works for Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), lists himself as "dating" and says “Rugby is my life." (Ten points for butchness.)

    Gay Day at Six Flags!

    Mark your calendars, boys: Gay and Lesbian Day at Six Flags will take place Friday, Sept. 24 from 6 p.m. until midnight at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ. A portion of the net proceeds will benefit the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund. For complete details, please click HERE.

    Morning Wood

    Thursday, July 29, 2010

    Pull(ed) Quote

    Had my first (freelance) byline in the famed New York Post today, about Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand cleaning up on The Hill's 50 most beautiful list. Sadly, I wasn't able to include the hilarious Ben Widdicombe's take on the whole thing:

    "Given that they say politics is show business for ugly people, a 50 Most Besutiful List for DC is a little like handing out prizes for the tallest gnome. Still, it's impossible not to be proud of our gun-lovin' junior senator snagging the third spot (even if we suspect that if Caroline Kennedy had gotten the seat, she would have come at least second)."

    In Bed With Ben Cohen

    Luckiest bathrobe in the world ...

    Hitler Was Gay (and Other Things Your History Teacher Never Taught You)

    Why is the ridiculousness of "don't ask, don't tell" so painfully obvious to everyone except anyone who can get anything done about it?

    Robby Ginepri: Grin and Bear It

    Robby Ginepri hasn't had a lot of luck winning two matches a row this year -- he lost to Rainer Schuettler yesterday in Los Angeles, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. But even so, I still can't get enough of his scruffy cuteness.

    Passive Aggressive

    Is This Completely Necessary?

    It's bad enough Russell Brand is ruining a classic movie like "Arthur," but now we've got to look him parading around in his panties? If only he were caught between the moon and New York City ...

    Thursday Ad Watch

    Michael stumbled upon this old Equinox advertisement (framed!) on the sidewalk last night on West 21st Street. Not sure what the details are, but it kinda reminded me of those sexy Chris Evans photos from a few years ago.

    'Rush' to Judgment

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt, aka "that kid from '(500) Days of Summer" -- the only thing I've ever seen him in -- was spotted yesterday filming his latest movie, "Premium Rush," about a bike messenger who picks up a package at Columbia University and subsequently catches the attention of a dirty cop. He's cute, but that sounds like the worst movie ever.

    The $102 Million Dollar Man

    I have no idea if Russian hockey player Ilya Kovalchuk is worth his historic -- and now disputed -- 17-year, $102 million contract the New Jersey Devils. But I certainly wouldn't mind taking a crack at his stick.

    Sunglasses (To Hide Behind)

    The 2002 model, left, vs. the 2010

    I want to send out a huge thank you to MAUI JIM, who read about my Lasik surgery online a couple weeks ago and kindly offered to outfit me in a new pair of sunglasses -- my first new pair since getting some throwaways at the Beverly Center back in late 2001 when I was still wearing contact lenses!

    After seriously considering some aviators, I ended up picking the snazzy new ATOLL (in light brown with bronze lenses). I was told that "Maui Jim is like Xanax for the eyes" and I can't say I disagree. Even better, ever since I got my new shades I've had that fab old Tracey Ullman song "Sunglasses" (a Skeeter Davis cover) stuck in my head, only now I don't have to be jealous that I can't wear a pair too!

    Wednesday, July 28, 2010

    Touched by an Angle

    I know I avoid working -- why take a job when unemployment pays a portion of my rent?!

    Where Are They Now? Matt Moline Edition

    Just wanted to give a shoutout to Matt Moline -- aka Kathy Griffin's former hubby -- to congratulate him on his recent graduation from Columbia University! He received his Bachelor of Arts degree with cum laude honors -- and although he's poking fun at himself for completing this task "22 years and two months later," I for one am duly impressed. Way to go, Matt!

    Dmitry Tursunov Gives 'Em What They Want

    Dmitry Tursunov followed a shirtless practice session by posing for pictures with fans and answer reporters' questions yesterday in Los Angeles, at the Farmers Classic (more shirtless proof HERE). Although he was knocked out of the qualies for singles, he will be playing doubles with equally hot Travis Rettenmaier, who you may remember from THIS shirtless spread.

    Awkward, Party of 2

    I'm just surprised I'm not involved in either of these uncomfortable-looking "pics with" Zac Efron and Martha Stewart!

    Morning Wood

    The Leak Monster

    Jon Stewart -- and the rest of Chelsea -- wants to know how Dan Choi could get kicked out of the military for violating the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, yet Bradass87 lipsyncs Lady Gaga 24 hours a day while filtering secret Army documents to WikiLeaks 24 hours a day, and no suspects a thing!

    UPDATE: Roll the videotape: 

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010

    'Puppet' Masters

    It's a hard tough job, but someone's gotta do it. Gavin Stewart Rich Binning Village Voice columnist Michael Musto passed judgment on actors' genitalia this afternoon at the open casting for the revival of "Puppetry of the Penis," at the Green Room Theater in New York City.

    From the Polka to the Pokey

    Maybe it's because I grew up in neighboring Madison Heights with a Polish stepfather and his Warren-based family, but this really made me laugh!

    Animal Attraction

    Chelsea Handler has the life every gay man dreams of -- including Dave Salmoni.

    Rosanne Cash: A 'Composed' Life

    Just finished Rosanne Cash's smart new memoir, "Composed" (out Aug. 10, Viking Adult). Although she is the eldest daughter of Johnny Cash, she was anything but "high on arrival," which is (sarcastic -- in parens for Thomas) shorthand for saying it's a refreshing look back at a celebrity life that steers clear of tawdry details and sensational revelations.

    Cash famously turned her back on Nashville some 20 years ago to fulfill her calling as a true singer/songwriter/artiste in New York City-- rather than a record-label hit puppet she had all but become during her '80s heyday -- yet everything about this book celebrates her Southern heritage, rooted in family, music, joy and heartache.

    In fact, rather than reading like a memoir, much of the book feels more like a conversation about old relatives, complete with fascinating intimate details of the ups and downs of various family members (it doesn't hurt that's she's often talking about Johnny Cash, June and Carlene Carter or George Harrison, so you feel like you actually know 'em). And even when she's talking about strangers, there's a down-to-earth charm that seems to indicate that even in her own memoir, Ms. Cash would still prefer not to have the spotlight entirely on herself, an ambivalence that has haunted her since the recording of her first demo.

    Which isn't to say this isn't at times a little frustrating. Most fans would probably prefer a little bit more dish than, say, paragraphs devoted to the whereabouts of the president of her dad's U.K. fan club or old coworkers from her quasi-internship at her dad's label's London office when she was 20. To read "Composed" would have you believe that Cash has only had sex with two men in her life, that she never had any heated arguments with her ex-husband or never clashed with her less-famous siblings. (Surely her shared musical connection to her dad must have created some tensions, but even some less personal dish about a night at the Grammys or a country music gala would have been nice.)

    And even when she is discussing others, clearly her goal is to not ruffle anyone's feathers -- there's a disclaimer about her memory in the introduction and a thank-you in the acknowledgments for allowing her to remember her OWN memories the way SHE remembers them. (In fairness, that could just be the Augusten Burroughs Effect, but it seems more like a woman who was taught by a prim and proper Texas mother than if you don't have anything nice to say about someone, don't say anything at all.) The closest she comes to expressing anything even remotely negative -- save for a hilarious line about flight attendants -- is when she says she had to leave town in 2005 to avoid the hoopla surrounding the release of "Walk the Line," which she found to be "an egregious oversimplification of our family's private pain, writ large and Hollywood-style." Yet she never mentions that her half brother, John Carter Cash, was credited as an executive producer on the film, and even had a bit role as Bob Neal.

    But just like Cash's music, the book is truly beautiful to experience. Although compact for a woman with such an interesting life -- just 241 pages, which I finished in two sittings (Belinda Carlisle's was even longer!) -- her use of language is so thoughtful and intelligent (her eulogy for stepmom June brought tears to my eyes -- Rosanne is indeed a Writer) that anything you wish she'd addressed but didn't is forgiven. And by the end, you realize that despite a lifetime of willful guardedness, Rosanne Cash has accomplished something that she is clearly uncomfortable doing -- she's let you see inside her family for a moment, and it's a moment fans will not want to miss.

    P.S. I read this book with no glasses and it was really nice.