Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Going to dinner and a party with Michael. Hope everyone has a safe and fun night -- thanks for another great year in the (212)!

Hoarders: Auto Edition

At least one person isn't upset with the mayor that his car can't get out from under the snow.

Music Box: Stephanie Mills

Don't think I'm exaggerating when I say Stephanie Mills' "Never Knew Love Like This Before" is one of the all-time great R&B songs. (Michael reminded me of Steph when he bought "What Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin'" on the iTunes the other day, which is his favorite song of hers). I'm still kicking myself for not already having "Never Knew Love" on my iPod all these years -- just makes me happy every time I hear it.

Interesting to note that the track's co-writer and producer, Reggie Lucas, would end up collaborating a couple years later with Madonna on her debut LP. Lucas produced most of the album and wrote "Physical Attraction" and "Borderline," the latter of which was Madonna's first Top 10 hit and arguably the album's best song. (Note the similar opening notes of "Never Knew Love" and "Borderline.") Madonna reportedly wasn't entirely happy with Lucas' effort. However, looking back on the songs they created together -- "Lucky Star," "Burning Up," "I Know It," "Think of Me" and the aforementioned "Borderline" and "Physical Attraction," all of which are classics -- it's hard to imagine anyone doing something better. If Madonna ever decides to do an album of covers -- and after "Hard Candy," isn't it about time she did? -- I propose "Never Knew Love Like This Before" be the first song she records. Would love to hear her take on this pre-"Madonna" Reggie Lucas classic.

Jimmy Destri's Gonna Make It After All

Interesting to read that founding Blondie keyboardist Jimmy Destri -- who wrote many of the band's best songs including their most recent hit, "Maria" -- had just sold his 4,500-square-foot Victorian mansion in Bay Ridge for $1.3 million. More than anything, I was happy to hear someone in Blondie had that kind of money -- if you recall, they were robbed blind by their original manager and then took a 17-year hiatus -- and especially happy for Destri, who was unceremoniously pushed out of the band after forming a substance-abuse problem during the band's late '90s reunion. Happy to hear Destri is thriving these days as a drug and alcohol counselor, although it sure would be nice to see him play with the band again sometime soon -- a proposition that seems unlikely if history is any indication.

One thing's for sure, though. Someone's ready to start living in the real world. How else could you explain willingly giving up the ability to pretend you're living in Mary Tyler Moore's fab old digs?

Revenge of the Winklevi

Can a sequel to "The Social Network" be far behind? The New York Times is reporting that Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss say misinformation led them to agree to a $65 million deal with Facebook and they now want to undo the settlement. Generally speaking, I have a big problem with people trying to back out of such agreements -- which are by definition not exactly what someone wants, but what they're willing to accept. But every case is different -- new information can taint things -- and with "The Social Network" likely to be my No. 1 movie for 2011 (check back next week after I've seen "Blue Valentine"), I wouldn't mind a second helping of this offline drama!

Morning Wood

I'd make an exception on Dorothy's no passes/glasses rule ...

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Your Love Is King

"Riptide"-era Perry King, from the adolescent-lust files. (See ALSO)

Who was YOUR teen celebrity crush?

Grind 'im

Best Grindr response ever -- please note XXX's listed age -- via my friend Derek Hartley
Dear XXX: 

You are the reason people are surprised when I tell them I am 41. It's not that I look especially young for 41. It's that everyone who says they are my age is clearly sixty. Please stop lying about your age. It only serves to scare 30 year olds into thinking the next ten years ahead of them will be rough roads indeed. 

Sincerely, derek

Ron Duguay: A Sculpture on Ice

ESPN had former Ranger and Hairdo Hall of Famer Ron Duguay on last night doing hockey analysis. Can't say I Remember this one, but Michael tells me he quite the sex symbol back in the '70s and '80s. He still looks great at 53 -- sort of a Canadian Pat Cash -- but you can really see his Jon Bon Jovi appeal in this old poster. Wikipedia says Duguay was "more widely known as a pop icon and a sex symbol than for his athletic talents," so I guess it should come as no surprise that he also made a Sasson commercial with some teammates back in the day in which he shakes his butt in designer jeans -- ooh la la!

Homo Box Office: '127 Hours'

After repeatedly failing to get my squeamish lover to go with me, finally saw "127 Hours" last night, along with Scooter and Matt. (Scooter's boyfriend was working and Matt's said he'd rather have his own arm cut off than sit through it.) The movie is nicely done. James Franco, as Aron Ralston, definitely deserves an Oscar nomination, even if I'd award it to Colin Firth for lifetime achievement if not necessarily a stronger performance in "The King's Speech." It's gorgeously filmed and well-paced, despite its claustrophobic setting and (essentially) one-man cast. I loved the montages Danny Boyle employed -- a la "Trainspotting" -- to convey Aron's various stages of distress -- delusions, fantasies, hopes, dreams and fears -- with clever music choices to orchestrate them.

All that said, "127 Hours" truly isn't for everyone -- and I don't just mean pussies like Michael and Jose. For me, rather than inspiring deep sympathy for Aron, the film mainly served to bolster my anti-outdoors edict. (I don't have a problem with someone sawing off his own arm, it's the idea of that someone would intentionally go hiking that bothered me!) I don't suppose you have to want to be or do everything you see in a film for you to feel like it was an exceptional piece of work. But in this case, I walked away feeling like a good article in the Sunday Times Magazine would have sufficed. My grade: B.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

All the Wright Moves

Although getting a photo of Mets slugger David Wright with his shirt off was a real coup, there's no substitute for this man in uniform.

Tracy Austin: I Was a Teenage Avon Lady

Besides all the hot men in my mom's old Avon catalogs, 1981 was also the year my favorite tennis player of the era -- Tracy Austin, then just 18 -- was on the payroll hawking her signature line of wares for America's favorite multi-level marketer. Venus and Serena Williams would later follow in her footsteps -- or were they drag queens doing Venus and Serena? -- and Jennifer Capriati would endorse Oil of Olay -- at age 14!! But Tracy's Avon campaign was by far the best a gal on tour ever looked in her "civilian" clothes. I'm still kicking myself for not getting a "pic with" when I met her that summer in Rancho Bernardo, California, during the Wells Fargo tournament leading into her second U.S. Open victory, where she defeated Martina Navratilova in a thrilling third-set tiebreaker. Little did we know, it would be the end of a great tennis career -- although her popularity as a corporate pitchwoman, for products like Canon, 7Up, Pony sneakers, Knudsen cottage cheese, Gunze apparel and her own line of Spalding tennis rackets, continued for a number of years, especially in Asia.

Seen HERE.

Tracy's Knudsen cottage cheese commercial with mom Jeanne is the cutest!

Watch a snippet of her Knudsen yogurt ad HERE.

American teenager hawks Canadian life insurance! 

Bed, Breakfast & Beyond

If I were going to concoct an imaginary plot of a straight-to-DVD film, it would be "Bed & Breakfast," a new romantic comedy about a sexy, uptight big-city woman who finds love in the most unexpected place -- a small country town. (Imagine!) I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess she HATES the town but then grows to love it, and she HATES the guy she eventually falls in love with. The casting is inspired, though, with Dean Cain, Julia "Stephanie from NEWHART" Duffy AND Eric Roberts -- mincing around as a gay guy. Is this actually happening?!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sticky Situation

Just wanted to give a shout-out to the guys over at QueerClick's Sticky site (not work friendly), who kindly post links from time to time to items on KIT212. If you're looking for fun gay stuff -- naked guys, porn and all things pop culture -- then you can't beat Sticky. Just don't do it at work -- unless you work at a gay bathhouse! See for yourself HERE.

From 'Better' to Worse

The cameras may have stopped rolling months ago, but the drama is still up to the sky with those "vapid queens" on "The A-List New York." Oh, shit. Now I'm a bully, too.

Score! David Wright Shirtless

After years of blogging about my search for the Holy Grail of shirtless celebrity photos -- New York Mets third baseman David Wright -- a kind reader sent me this shot of Mr. Wright last night, a "pic with" the hunky slugger taken a couple years ago -- before David got jacked up -- by a pool in Florida. While I've been down this road before, this one's definitely a home run. Enjoy!

RIP, Teena Marie

Very sad to hear that Teena Marie died Sunday at her home in Los Angeles. I always knew she was a big star in the R&B world and a critics' darling. But as a casual fan, I had no idea she had led such an interesting life, including an appearance on "The Beverly Hillbillies" when she was 8. At 54, she was way too young to die. A real loss to the music world. Read her NY Times obituary HERE. RIP, Lovergirl. 


Monday, December 27, 2010

Homeward Bound

Times Square looks glam draped in snow, purity aside.

The Mane Event

Forgot to post this yesterday on Boxing Day. As hard as it may be to believe, my pre-racket-club years (age 8-9) were spent boxing at the Crowell Recreation Center in Detroit. I actually come from a long line of boxers, so this seemed completely natural at the time, especially given my older brothers' obsession with professional fighting (Bill had Muhammad Ali posters all over his room and compiled his own rankings). I don't remember landing too many punches back then, but the thing I do recall excelling at was the leg weights -- how gay am I? I started "working out" in third grade! -- although you'd never guess it by looking at me today.

That's my brother Terence and me sparring briefly (note the Kristy McNichol 'do) before my brother Bill's big match against David Stubbs, in April 1976. The ref stopped it after the second round, but you gotta love my brother's slimming green tank -- he doesn't look an ounce over 88 pounds!

You Can Take the Boy Out of Michigan ...

Seventeen hours of nonstop snow and a jury-duty summons and I STILL couldn't get out of going to work today!

Todd Sanfield: Rx for Lust

What many people don't know about underwear model extraordinaire Todd Sanfield is that he is also a bit of a brain, currently pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy. Until he gets his degree, however, this new layout of Sanfield in Fantasticsmag is definitely good for what ails ya. See the complete spread HERE.

The Glamorous Life

You'd think being rich and famous is all limo rides and VIP rooms. But there's a dark side, too. My poor pal Natasha Leggero can't even go to Costo without having to disguise her appearance just to keep the fans and photographers away. We hear ya, Brit. We hear ya.

Fun Couple: Robbie Lawler and Danny Amendola

The mixed-martial-arts star and the Rams wide receiver make a nice team. I wonder this guy would mind?

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On the Rag, Vol. 118

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

Odyssey New York has Dolph Lambert as its cover man this week (See also: Ami, Bel)

Next magazine picks "Who's Next," the most exciting people on the scene in 2011