Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Don't Ask, Do Reply

  Those Craigslist personals rarely disappoint, and this time around it looks like some U.S. soldiers are using the online classifieds site to solicit sexual encounters in Afghanistan. While it's technically not illegal for military men to do this, the ads have launched as many investigations as this one will fantasies ...

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They Forgot Turd Burglar

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    Wow. You know the Liverpool Football Club is having a PR problem when they have to remind their people not to use terms like "coon," "nip," "wog," "chink," "fairy," "tranny" and "retard," although this introduction to "knob-jockey" is a welcome one! 

Uptown M(mm) Train

   Spotted on the way to work today -- and yes, I think people who take these kinds of photos are a little creepy.

(Also snapped THESE.)

But We Wound Up at HoJo's for Hamburgers to Go ...

  Fun piece on David Mixner's blog about disappearing restaurant chains in America including Sambo's, which I was just talking about at work. Loved Howard John's growing up -- and was particularly tickled when I moved to New York and there was still the location in Times Square, just down the way from the Paramount Hotel. Fried clams and baked macaroni and cheese (that burned the roof of your mouth) were my faves! Read HERE.

The Gore You Know

Gore Vidal died a year ago today. If you were on the fence about whether or not you wanted to know more about the legendary writer's private life, here are just a couple of tidbits from Tim Teeman's upcoming biography, "In Bed With Gore Vidal: Hustlers, Hollywood and the Private World of an American Master," to be published in November by Magnus Books:
Vidal loved sex, and gossiping about it: he estimated he had had sex with a thousand men before he was 25. He told his nephew Burr Steers he had successfully pursued and had sex with Fred Astaire when he first moved to Hollywood. Steers says, “He also told me Dennis Hopper had a lovely tuft of hair above his ass. He never told me how he knew that.” Another close friend of Vidal's revealed Vidal had asked, when hearing the friend was staying at the legendarily louche Chateau Marmont, "How is the Chateau?", before adding: "Brad Davis [star of Midnight Express and Querelle] was a beautiful boy and I fucked him on the bathroom floor of the Chateau Marmont." Davis, who was HIV-positive, died of a drug overdose in 1991.

For most of their lives together, Vidal referred to [Howard] Austen [his partner from 1950 to 2003, when Austen died] as his friend. His true love, he claimed, was Jimmie Trimble (above), a boy he had known at prep school who died fighting at the Battle of Iwo Jima. Vidal slept with Anaïs Nin and enjoyed close friendships with women including Claire Bloom and Joanne Woodward. He and Austen had sex with hustlers, or “trade” as Vidal called the handsome, “straight-acting” young men he liked. Paying for sex appealed to Vidal because it meant with this, as with so much else in his life, he was in control. He was mostly the “top.” In bed as in life, no one was going to screw Gore Vidal.
Do we really have to wait till November?

Read more HERE.

Pre-order now HERE.

NLGJA Names Michael Luongo Journalist of the Year

Exciting news -- and Michael is a friend of mine!

The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association release reads in part:
The NLGJA 2013 Journalist of the Year is Michael Luongo, a freelance journalist, editor and photographer and New York University adjunct professor who teaches travel writing. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Bloomberg News, CNN, National Geographic Traveler, Gay City News, The Advocate, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel+Leisure, Details, Man About World and other publications, with most of his travel writing and international correspondence work concentrating on the Middle East and Latin America. 
One Excellence in Journalism Awards judge commented that Michael Luongo "gains amazing access to the Palestinian, Israeli, and Egyptian worlds. His ability to weave a narrative draws the reader into his stories, be they about pinkwashing in Israel, the difficulties of being gay in Palestine, or what became of the out, gay activists in Egypt's manifestation of the Arab Spring. He also shows versatility, reporting on both the gay world for the mainstream media and on the lesser known aspects of straight Arab society in Egypt and the just plain fascinating continued existence of Samaritans in Israel." 
Another judge noted: "Luongo produces well-researched and sourced work that simply isn't done by many - even any - other news organizations. His travels potentially put him - and even his subjects - at risk as he pulls together his stories. His work focuses on many under-reported topics and underserved segments, especially of LGBT life."
See the full list of winners HERE.

Russian Roulette

Joe Jervis has a report from the LGBT protest outside New York City's Russian Consulate HERE. This attack on human rights has got to stop now. I'm almost glad the Olympics are being held there so the world will have to face what is going on.

The Making of 'Madonna'

The 30th anniversary of Madonna's debut LP has generated a number of remembrances (mine's HERE). But none more interesting than Rolling Stone's "oral history," featuring the people who made "Madonna" happen. Some highlights ...

Producer Reggie Lucas:
Most of the people around Madonna at the corporate level did not get her and for the most part did not like her. You could see them recoil from her bohemianism. Everybody thought she was crazy and gross. I would never say she was a punk rocker, but she used to wear little boys' shorts, and white t-shirts with holes in them, and then she had little ring things in her ears. She wasn't the weirdest person I'd ever met, you know? I'd worked with Sun Ra! So after hanging out with the Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Madonna didn't seem particularly avant-garde.  
(Lucas gave a separate interview HERE in which he finally laments the fact that he was never properly credited for his huge role in the creation of Madonna's sound, producing six of the album's eight tracks.)

Sire Records founder Seymour Stein:
I told her, "The first night out of the hospital, let's go out to dinner, you, me and Mark." But I forgot about it. I get back to the office, I get a call, it's Madonna. She says, "Where are we going tonight?" I said, "Oh my god, the Talking Heads are in town, I'm going to see them at Forest Hills." She said, "We'll go together!" I introduced them to Chris [Frantz], Tina [Weymouth], Jerry [Harrison] and David [Byrne]. David gave me a thumbs-up sign. He was impressed. 
Sire A&R man Michael Rosenblatt:
My line was "Seymour, she's going to be bigger than Olivia Newton-John!"
Art Director Carin Goldberg:
When I heard the name Madonna, my eyes just sort of rolled back in my head. I thought, "Just what we need, another gimmicky one-name girl singer who will have one album.'"
 Read it all HERE.

Book Shelf: 'Eating My Feelings' by Mark Brennan Rosenberg and 'Intolerable' by Kamal Al-Solaylee

A couple more gay memoirs have come to my attention:

First up is Mark Brennan Rosenberg's "Eating My Feelings: Tales of Overeating, Underperforming and Coping With My Crazy Family" is a collection of essays about his struggles with weight and body image, both as a kid in the 1980s and as a gay man in NYC in the 2000s. He will embark on a national book tour beginning Aug. 14 with the first stop at Word Bookstore (126 Franklin St) in Brooklyn. "Eating My Feelings" is available for pre-order now HERE. More info HERE.

The other is "Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes," Kamal Al-Solaylee's Lammy-nominated memoir of growing up gay in the Middle East:, and the trials and tribulations of his once-prosperous family:
In the 1960s, Kamal Al-Solaylee’s father was one of the wealthiest property owners in Aden, in the south of Yemen, but when the country shrugged off its colonial roots, his properties were confiscated, and the family was forced to leave. The family moved first to Beirut, which suddenly became one of the most dangerous places in the world, then Cairo. After a few peaceful years, even the safe haven of Cairo struggled under a new wave of Islamic extremism that culminated with the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981. The family returned to Yemen, a country that was then culturally isolated from the rest of the world.

As a gay man living in an intolerant country, Al-Solaylee escaped first to England and eventually to Canada, where he became a prominent journalist and academic. While he was enjoying the cultural and personal freedoms of life in the West, his once-liberal family slowly fell into the hard-line interpretations of Islam that were sweeping large parts of the Arab-Muslim world in the 1980s and 1990s. The differences between his life and theirs were brought into sharp relief by the 2011 revolution in Egypt and the civil war in Yemen.
Order HERE.

Song of the Day: 'Sylvia's Mother' by Bobby Bare

My "867-5309/Jenny" post elicited this response from a friend:
Subject: Outdated telephone songs 
Here's a song that's far better than I remembered it from back in the day. But it hardly matters because the lyrics will confuse anyone under a certain age to no end. (Even more than 867-5309.)It's the Shel Silverstein song "Sylvia's Mother," sung by Bobby Bare, whose version -- in my opinion -- is better than Dr. Hook's. But I can just hear the questions: How come he's talking to Sylvia's mother; why doesn't he just call Sylvia? What's an operator? Why's he being charged 40 more cents; doesn't he have a monthly plan?

Morning Wood

Page 1 Consider (07/31)

Cat Got Your Tongue?

 From HERE.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Nick Jonas 'Never Does This'

But he had to pose shirtless so you knew his diabetic ass was "healthy." 

Birthday Girl: Lisa Kudrow

Here's wishing the wonderful Lisa Kudrow a very happy 50th birthday! "The Comeback" is perhaps the greatest one-season show of all time -- right up there with "My So-Called Life" -- which somehow makes her ongoing "Web Therapy" all the more bittersweet. Her Web-turned-Showtime series is probably my favorite fictional show on television, yet oddly I don't know that I've ever actually laughed out loud while watching. It's smart, entertaining and amusing, yet somehow it just makes me cherish Valerie all the more. Love you, baby girl!

RIP: Eileen Brennan Is Dead at 80

Sad to read that Eileen Brennan died on Sunday. The old broad acted in countless movies ("The Last Picture Show," swoon) and television shows ("Will & Grace"), but more than anything, she'll always be Capt. Doreen Lewis to me, who had little patience for Goldie Hawn in "Private Benjamin." RIP, funny lady.

James Deen: Fame Is Useless and Fleeting

In case you missed it, porn star James Deen gave a rather revealing interview to the New York Post over the weekend. In it, he has some choice words about everything from his "Canyons' costar Lindsay Lohan and director, Paul Schrader, to the notion that he would rather work in mainstream films versus porn. (He wouldn't.) Read HERE.

Marilyn Takes Manhattan


  I was daydreaming and accidentally got off the subway at Bryant Park instead of Rockefeller Center this afternoon on my way to work. Call it kismet, but my error was rewarded with this photo display in the station by the late film producer and photographer Sam Shaw, who was hired by Billy Wilder to shoot the film poster of "The Seven Year Itch." The subway grate is definitely a classic. But it's his other "candids" of Marilyn Monroe in the city that still leave me breathless.

BREAKING: Manning Acquitted of 'Aiding the Enemy'

NYT: WikiLeaks Source Is Guilty of Violations of Espionage Act

A military judge on Tuesday found Pfc. Bradley Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy, but convicted him of multiple counts of violating the Espionage Act. Private Manning had already confessed to being WikiLeaks’ source for vast archives of secret files. Read HERE.

Don't have a lot strong opinions about the crimes he is said to have committed, but am pleased he was not found guilty of aiding the enemy. This guy has been to hell and back -- the U.N. torture chief says his treatment was "cruel and inhuman" (way to go, America) -- hope they don't sentence him too harshly.

Drunk Naked Girl on my lawn last night - m4w - 28 (Elma)

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Talk about your missed connections.

Testes, 1-2-3; Testes

If you can watch these (naked) rugby players check their balls for testicular cancer without turning into Beavis and Butt-head, then you're a bigger man than me. View HERE.

Sign Language

A Midsummer Night's Dream Makeover

 The new issue of Details has some "modern" summer style ideas for you HERE.

Hotel Carter's Secret Past

To New Yorkers with Times Square experience -- I worked for years in the New York Times building on West 43rd Street -- the Hotel Carter is best known as one of the dirtiest hotels in America, the place next to the club where Puff Daddy shot someone when he was Mr. J. Lo, or where Joel Steinberg hung out after finally getting released from prison for his role in the sad death of his adopted daughter, Lisa. (It also houses the Lucky Star deli!) But it turns out the Hotel Carter -- then known as the Hotel Dixie -- used to be known for something far less shady: It was home to the Central Union Bus Terminal, which at the time was the largest enclosed bus station in New York. Scouting New York has all the fun details HERE.

U.K. Fans Serenade Debbie Harry and Chris Stein With Blondie's Greatest Hits

Skip to 3:30 in the clip to see a rather adorable display, with British fans turning karaoke into a love letter to Debbie Harry and Chris Stein on BBC's "The One Show." In particular, this glass factory worker from Norwich -- with a  literal heart of glass -- caught Debbie's ear!