Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Top 40 TV Opening Credits

Boy Culturist Matt Rettenmund misses opening credits from TV shows -- so he's put together a list of the all-time best. 

His post is timely because in the process of getting Damian to watch "Six Feet Under" for the first time, I was astounded by how painfully long its opening-credits sequence is -- and how thankful we are to be able to fast-forward through it despite the Thomas Newman theme! (It didn't make the list, natch!) 

When I saw the headline on Matt's post I immediately thought of three classics -- Valerie Harper's Rhoda blaming herself for World War II, Beth Howland's Vera and the exploding straws on "Alice," and "That Girl" flying a kite and seeing a mannequin doppelgänger at Bergdorf's. See which ones made the Top 40 -- including a sexy Valternative -- HERE

Transgender Wisconsin Student May Use Boys’ Bathroom, Appeals Court Says

In a world that suddenly seems to be heading in the wrong direction, it's nice to see justice still prevails sometimes.

A transgender student who identifies as male should be able to use the boys’ bathroom at his Wisconsin high school, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday.

The student, Ashton Whitaker, who will graduate from Tremper High School in Kenosha this week, first asked to use the boys’ bathroom as a sophomore. That set off a nearly yearlong legal battle with the school district.

In September, Judge Pamela Pepper of United States District Court granted Mr. Whitaker permission to use the boys’ bathroom at school, a ruling the school district appealed. On Tuesday, the second-to-last day of Mr. Whitaker’s senior year, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed that decision.

Mr. Whitaker’s lawyer, Ilona Turner, said that while the ruling applies only to her client, it sets precedent that a federal law prohibiting gender discrimination in public schools protects transgender people.

Continue reading the main story “This is just another building block on the large and growing number of courts to hold that discrimination against transgender people is illegal,” she said.

God Help Us All

As word circulates that Donald Trump intends to pull the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, I feel reassured knowing our planet is in good hands.

France Welcomes First Gay Refugees From Chechnya

Against my parents' better wishes, I took French in high school instead of Spanish. (Molly and Gary were right this time -- we lived in Phoenix!) But I just couldn't resist. Along with New York City, Paris just seemed like nirvana for a sensitive boy from Michizona -- and sadly it's starting to seem like I was 100% right to favor France as their handsome new president has done the right thing for queer people in Chechnya while our country turns a blind eye. Read HERE.

Bohemian Hotel 17 Closes Up Shop

The beloved Hotel 17 near Gramercy Park is closed for good, the victim of New York's never-ending obsession with greed. Read what being able to live there among the artists and drag queens of yesteryear meant to one newbie artist back in the day HERE.

Woody Allen filmed his reunion with Diane Keaton there ...

 and Madonna is rumored to have crashed there back in the day, before returning as a superstar for a shoot with photographer Bettina Rheims.

Wrestle Wednesday

Three more angles HERE.


While it's good to hear that the Cleveland police officer who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014 as he held a pellet gun has finally been fired, it's not comforting to know it was because the officer, Timothy Loehmann, lost his job for lying on his employment application -- not for what he did. Perhaps if he had been properly vetted in the first place -- the deceit was only discovered during the investigation into the shooting -- Tamir would be alive today.

Song of the Day: 'Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds' by Aimee Mann

Order HERE.

Fitting that one of the first albums I ever fell in love with was released in the weeks before my birth, 50 years ago this time of year. Also fitting that I couldn't find the Beatles version of this classic song to share with you today because it turned out the cassette of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" I picked up at Green Acres drugstore in Warren, Mich., was in fact "not by the original artists," back when that was a thing. (When I finally was old enough to afford the real thing I remember having a tough time getting used to the Beatles versions!) Happy birthday, Sgt. Pepper!

Morning Wood

UPDATE: Oops, today's was a REPEAT!
Just subbed this handsome guy in.

Page 1 Roundup (05/31)

The Daily News: This is the most exciting thing to happen to Kathy Griffin since she won an Emmy

From HERE.

From HERE.

Read HERE.

From HERE.

The New York Post:  Tiger Woods didn't even know what state he was in

The New York Times: Former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski says it's very likely Trump will pull out of this "terrible idea" -- also known as saving our planet 

The Wall Street Journal: Awkward Moments in Multiplayer Gaming: You’re a Sixth Grader? 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Robert Michael Morris, Mickey the Hairdresser on 'The Comeback,' Is Dead at 77

Positively heartbroken to read that Robert Michael Morris, who played Lisa Kudrow's hopelessly devoted hairdresser, Mickey Dean, on "The Comeback" has died at 77. The cause of death wasn't immediately available. As great as HBO's show about a washed-up actress trying to claw her way back into the spotlight in the age of reality television was, the show wouldn't have been half as good without Mickey by Valerie's side -- always there to make her feel the world was still her oyster, like it was perennially 1992. Deadline has more on the playwright, director and teacher who only took up acting later in life -- onetime student Michael Patrick King wrote the Mickey part with Morris in mind -- and thank god he did! Read HERE.

Perhaps the duo's greatest moment of all ...

We got a taste of what it would be like if anything ever happened to Mickey on Season 2 of the show, but it hurts way more in real life. RIP, Mickey.

Mary Kay Letourneau and Former Boy-Toy Vili Fualaau File for Divorce After 12 Years of Marriage -- UPDATE

Well, love is officially dead. I mean, if these two crazy kids can't make it, who can? 

TMZ reports:
Mary Kay Letourneau and the student she spent more than seven years in prison for having sex with are separating, according to a report. Letourneau and Vili Fualaau dominated headlines in the late 1990s after news of her crimes, which started when he was 12, emerged. 
However, the Seattle pair married in 2005 after Letourneau, who had been married with children during the affair, got out of prison for child rape. Fualaau, a 33-year-old who now has two adult children with his now 55-year-old former sixth grade teacher, filed for a separation earlier this month. 
Reasons cited for the separation were not immediately clear.

The pair have opened up about their relationship in recent years, especially during a flurry of media attention around a 2015 Barbara Walters interview that coincided with their 10th wedding anniversary. Letourneau was sentenced to 89 months in prison in November 1997, though was paroled the next year with an order to stay away from her student. She violated the order by meeting with Fualaau, becoming pregnant with their second child together, and was sent back to prison until 2004. 
This must be disturbing news for President Macron and his former high-school teacher turned wife.

Something a lot of people don't know is that this apple didn't fall far from the tree here. According to Wikipedia, Mary Kay's father, John Schmitz, was a Republican in the California State Senate back in the 1970s. He intended to run for the U.S. Senate in 1982, but his political career was permanently damaged that year when it was revealed that he had fathered two children out of wedlock during an affair with a former student at Santa Ana College, where he had taught political science. Her father's affair caused her parents to separate, but they later reconciled. According to friends, Mary Kay felt betrayed and thought her mother was a cold person who "drove him to it" by denying her father affection. Also, her brother John Patrick Schmitz was the deputy counsel to President George H. W. Bush. Her other brother, Joseph E. Schmitz, was inspector general of the U.S. Department of Defense under W before resigning under a cloud of suspicion. He is also a former Blackwater executive and is now a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump.

UPDATE: Hmm, perhaps love is still alive. Vili seems to now be saying he only filed for divorce because he wants to open some kind of marijuana business, and his background check will only be cleared if he isn't married to a convicted felon. Sounds fishy, but we shall see. 

Hopelessly Devoted to Her

Longtime readers know that way before Debbie there was Olivia. ("Kenny sure has a thing for middle-aged blondes," my mom astutely observed when I was in high school.) So I'm doubly heartbroken to read that her (successfully treated) breast cancer has returned and spread to her back. Here's wishing here a full and speedy recovery. Olivia's sister, Rona, died of a brain cancer in 2013 and we don't want to lose another member of the Newton-John family.

I don't like the sound of all of this "natural wellness" therapy.

Clean Up in Aisle Me

Does this count as PORN?

Weekend Tennis Roundup

I know things are already under way in Paris, but for the record:

Stan Wawrinka warmed up for the French Open by retaining his home Geneva Open title on Saturday, beating Mischa Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. The top-seeded Wawrinka clinched by breaking serve with a fierce forehand crosscourt pass to beat left-hander Zverev’s advance to the net. Wawrinka’s first title in 2017 is the 16th of his career, and the seventh on clay including the 2015 French Open. The Swiss is the No. 3 seed at Roland Garros, and first plays the 152nd-ranked Josef Kovalik of Slovakia. 

In the Battle of the Might Have Beens: Second-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France won his first title on clay when he defeated Tomas Berdych 7-6 (2), 7-5 in the Lyon Open final on Saturday. Tsonga dropped just three points behind his first serve, hit 13 aces, and saved both of the break points he faced to down his third-seeded Czech opponent. Tsonga's victory came a day before the French Open starts in Paris. No Frenchman has won the Roland Garros title since Yannick Noah lifted the Mousquetaires Cup in 1983.

Samantha Stosur outlasted Daria Gavrilova in an epic all-"Australian" final in Strasbourg, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3. I'd like to see Sam build on this in Paris -- she should have won her first Slam there in 2010 -- but I'm not holding my breath.

Sam joined a long list of people who thinks Margaret Court is an idiot.

UPDATE: And now Andy Murray has spoken out for equality

Unitard Returns to Joe's Pub on May 31

David Ilku, Nora Burns and Mike Albo

I caught the premiere performance of NYC comedy trio Unitard's residency at Joe's Pub -- Tard Core: There Are No Safe Words -- earlier this month and strongly suggest you head on over for the May 31 followup. (Additional performances on June 28 and July 26.) The set is littered with all sorts of hilarious topical bits about politics, gender, $12 avocado toast and the hyper-gentrification of the city. What makes their brand of humor so perfect is that they're just as willing to poke fun at blasé New Yorkers who swear the city was "so much better" when you had to risk being murdered every time you left the house to buy a quart of milk as they are people who moved here (because of "Sex and the City") and are willing to wait in line for four hours for [insert latest idiotic fad here]. I'm a big fan of Mike Albo having seen his brilliant one-man shows "The Junket" and "Spermhood" and Nora Burns from her critically acclaimed (and heartrending) "David's Friend." But it's bonus 'tard David Ilku (a member of the Dueling Bankheads with whom I was not as familiar) who steals the show with his Home Shopping Network bit, which stings harder than a regrettable impulse purchase featuring Dr. Sebagh's patented melon extract you made at 3 in the morning after a bad breakup. 

Tickets HERE.

Tennis Tuesday

You're going to want to go all five sets with this Modus Vivendi underwear ad campaign HERE.

Fun Couples: Prince Harry and Barack Obama

Jesus. How tall is Prince Harry that he seems to have a good inch or two over the best president in U.S. history?

Beach Bummer

That the best-selling Beach Boys song on iTunes is "Kokomo" tells you everything you need to know about what's wrong with this country.

Song of the Day: 'Wood Cabin' by Saint Etienne

Was on a "Good Humor"/"Fairfax High" bender over the weekend in anticipation of Saint Etienne's new LP, due out next week. Already bought concert tickets, too!

Morning Wood

Page 1 Roundup (05/30)

The New York Post: Guess we can't fault our two tabloids for coming up with the obvious (brilliant) headline!

The Daily News: Kudos for the "washed-up" part!

The New York Times: Investigation Turns to Kushner’s Motives in Meeting With a Putin Ally 

The Wall Street Journal: Karmic battle takes place on Shanghai River

Monday, May 29, 2017

'Happy' Memorial Day

Thank you to all the men and women who gave their lives on behalf of this once-great nation.

Mug Shot Monday

He's available since somehow he won't be spending any time in jail despite drugging and raping his underage sister. 


Being arrested for DUI couldn't have happened to a bigger prick than Tiger Woods.