Changing The World One Pansy At A Time!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Angels & Demons

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Whew! What a weekend!

On Saturday night I went to The Angel Awards. This is usually one of the most fun parties of the year. There was one year where a lesbian paid $100,000 to kiss Sharon Stone. A fundraiser for Project Angel Food honoring various “angels” to the organization, this year’s celebrity honorees were Shirley MacLaine & Elizabeth Taylor. Sadly Liz was too ill to attend, but Shirley was in fine form, bossy & charming. The evening raised over $500,000 for PA which delivers hot, healthy, meals to people living with HIV/AIDS & other debilitating illnesses

Afterwards my date, Jennifer Coolidge & I went to KOI with some of her friends including the actress, Kim Delaney. Beautiful & sweet & having a wonderful time on the new LIFETIME series, Army Wives which is a big hit for the network. As usual, the front of Koi is packed with paparazzi who did take a few shots of Jen. A few minutes after we’re seated, I see a young guy standing in a back doorway gesturing excitedly to a waiter. The next thing I know this same guy comes walking past our table with another guy AND….BRITNEY SPEARS!! “Walking” is not the exact word. She was moving as if one of her legs had “fallen asleep” or something. And that long awful straw wig which appears to be sewn directly into that baseball cap! And smudgy eye makeup. The trio dined without incident though they must have been hydrating quite a bit, because there were multiple trips to the lavatory. The kids were no where in site. And I ask you, where else to go when you’re having a public nervous breakdown brought on by the stress of your celebrity life but KOI??!!! On a Saturday Night!!??? I read in The New York Post this morning that Brit & friends had actually been on their way to Las Vegas when they were pulled over by the cops. No breathalyzers or vehicle searches but Spears did receive a little talking to by the cop
Speed Demon SpearsNew York Post

At which point Britney must have been hankering for some crispy tuna & black cod & steered the Mercedes toward La Cienega. I still don’t think the photographers out front had any idea that she was in the place!

Nor did I have any idea that this would end up on Perez Hilton!

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There are 2 tragedies at play here! One is that Jen, honestly, never looked better! She’s in great shape & looked stunning in this Alexander McQueen silvery dress with D&G silver sandals & flawless hair & makeup. But these damn photographers squat in front of you & take an “up” photo so that no one ever looks good!

But the real tragedy for me was in reading the comments section on Perez. Someone actually asked if the guy (me) was that guy from Brothers & Sisters/Alias…RON RIFKIN??? Now, Mr. Rifkin (pictured above) is an obscenely talented actor, but for the love of God….He’s nearly completely bald & he’s easily pushing 70!!!!!! I thought I looked kind of decent actually til I read this mood-killer! Also I am in awe of Perez too! So many people wrote to me who saw this on his site. He has a HUGE base of really diverse people who are devoted to the site. Good for him! And I almost mean that!

Perez Hiltoncomments

Milestones & Millstones

Indulge me here if you would…

Happy Birthday to My Dad, Charlie Trainer, Sr. who would have turned 75 this past week (August 22nd) “Big Chal” was the man who taught me so much of what I know about gardening. His love for his “lawn” bordered on the unhealthy. He was also the only gardener I ever met who actually gardened in wingtips! And his special “all-poly” pants. Miss ya Dad!

Also today, August 26th, marks what would have been the 55th Birthday of Michael Jeter. I’ve written about Michael here before so you know the story. What you may not know is that he gave one of the greatest performances in the history of the American Musical theatre; in the Tommy Tune show, Grand Hotel The Musical. If you click on the first YouTube link you can see the recreation of that number from the Tony Awards Broadcast. At the end you can also see a young (26!) GayGardener wearing glasses & applauding proudly. The next clip is immediately following, in which you can see Jeter get his much deserved Tony Award for Best Supporting Actor in A Musical from Lilly Tomlin.Happy Birthday Mike! Take good care of Sammy!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Star Gazing

Eastside, Westside, Beverly Hills…I’m rushing all over town. In the heat & traffic shopping for the job I’m currently on. BTW Smith & Hawken is having an amazing clearance sale! I bought some beautiful foot tall stone jars with lids for $11.99 ea.
The amusing thing about driving in L.A. is that sooner or later you’ll likely see a celebrity because, hey, they have to drive too! (Well, not to work because then the studio sends a car)
Ran into:

Emilio “Bobby” Estevez leaving Guidi/Marcello the Santa Monica Italian food import store. Emilio (Charlie Sheen’s older brother for you kids out there) looks terrific! He’s 45 but looks like he did The Breakfast Club last summer.

Tony Danza sitting outside Frankie’s Restaurant on Melrose. Tony looked like he may have had a glass or two of vino, but who am I to judge?

Morgan Fairchild looking serene West on Wilshire Blvd. Heading in the direction of Saks and/or Neiman’s.

If I could have gathered the three together we could have had a Fantasy Island reunion!

As I was headed home I see huge plumes of dark smoke on Santa Monica Blvd. It looked bad. And sure enough the news tonight says that Mickey’s the famous gay bar in West Hollywood was destroyed by fire. Thankfully no one was injured. But there’ll be a big hole in Boys Town till they repair Mickey’s. Hmm-mmm.

Monday, August 20, 2007

"Impossible, for a plain yellow pumpkin..."

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So you know that crazy-ass vine that just sprung up I told you about weeks ago? Well, the crop is in & it’s pumpkins!! But who the hell wants pumpkins during an August heat wave in Los Angeles? I sure don’t. Not really into vegetables that much; growing nor eating them. I’m a meat & potatoes kind of guy, if you know what I mean!

Infamous hotelier,LEONA HELMSLEY, died today. Thankfully there was a VACANCY sign at the door of HELL. The legendary QUEEN of MEAN became a tabloid favorite during her 80’s criminal trial for tax evasion for which she eventually ended up going to jail. Helmsley’s former maid’s testimony that Leona once said: “we don’t pay taxes, only the little people pay taxes!” was the quote that sealed her fate. Her reputation became further cemented in the MOW biopic; “The Queen of Mean” starring SUZANNE PLESHETTE in an unforgettable performance.

Speaking of bio-pics, looks like BRITNEY SPEARS is all set to play Country Canadian Crooner, ANNE MURRAY in “Snowbird: The Anne Murray Story” uhm, not really but Brit’s new growing-out do would make her a shoo-in for the role. And she can sing, or could!

This Just In: MERV GAY AFTER ALL! Hardly a bulletin, as this news did make it to Willow Grove, PA back in 1977 but The Hollywood Reporter made it official last week. Which is when things get really weird. On Friday, the day of Merv Griffin’s funeral, writer, Ray Richmond filed a story that outed Merv based on Richmond’s previous experience as a talent coordinator on Merv's show. Richmond's story was basically a valentine to Merv, but the story was eventually pulled of the THT website & wire services due to alleged pressure from Merv's powerful friends. Then "the story became the story" so back up it went on the web, but this time with revisions! So despite advances we still live in a world where beloved billionaires are afraid to come out & the reporters who tell the truth about them are threatened with libel suits & legal actions & revisions! The more things change, the more they stay the same!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Is It Friday yet?

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Holy Mercury! It was 90 degrees in Los Angeles today. I tried working in my own garden for a change but gave up after about 20 minutes it was too damn hot. And The Gas Co. is tearing up Genesee Ave & have been for the past 2 months. Can anyone answer this question? Do you know that hideously annoying “beep, beep, beep, beep” sound that acts as some sort of warning when a truck is backing up?
Is that REALLY necessary? Do those vehicles not come with rear-view mirrors? Are thousands of lives saved every year because of this alarm? Or are more lives lost because the unrelenting sound drives people to suicide? And what did we do for centuries before some genius invented this system? Anybody?

Somethings going on at Graceland. I think it’s the anniversary of ELVIS’ death. As usual hordes of people come to view the eternal flame at the gravesite. One person in the crowd even had a heart attack & died himself. Imagine? Whenever I think of Elvis (which is NOT that often) I recall a story a friend of mine told me. He was working for a talent manager who handled Priscilla Presley post-Elvis.
She was actually working a lot in films & TV basically because she was Gorgeous, not due to any acting gifts. One weekend word got around L.A. that Elvis & Priscilla’s daughter, LISA MARIE PRESLEY, had married MICHAEL JACKSON. Monday morning the Management company had a staff meeting in which the President said: “I have 2 announcements. The first is that I can confirm that Lisa Marie Presley married Michael Jackson on Saturday.” “The second is that the Doctors feel that Priscilla can be released from the straight-jacket by Thursday.”

Happy Birthday MADONNA who turns 49 today. Way to go Madge, you look terrific! Just one thing. You’re still a fabulous entertainer.
So I wish you’d just stop drinking Kabalah Water, writing children’s books, & pretending to be British (accent & all) In other words, Shut up & SING Damn it!

The Chinese are an interesting people aren’t they? I mean I know they’re the future and all, but when they’re not poisoning the children of the world with lead painted toys, they’re making toothpaste with ANTI-FREEZE. And just today I read that a nice young Chinese couple tried to name their new born baby, get ready… “@” Yep, the at symbol! Apparently in Chinese it means “love him” God Help us!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Love That Merv!

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“I’m still here. And I do everything wrong. Not on purpose, but I always have. I smoke & have all my life. I eat too much. Exercise? I take a taxi to a taxi!”- Merv Griffin on the secret of his longevity.

“Stay Tuned.”Merv’s suggestion for his tombstone

Today was one of those days when you think, ”Oh, THIS is why I live in Los Angeles!” Gorgeous! Clear, sunny, bright, not a cloud in the sky. Spent the day in Venice Beach where they have so many lovely, nursery & little garden shops full of antique garden décor & furnishings. Fun to window shop, but a little pricey for TheGayGardener whom, as you know likes to be fabulous AND frugal!

The brightness of the day was dimmed quite a bit by the announcement of the death of Merv Griffin at 82. When I was a kid, after a long torturous day in school I remember rushing home to watch The Merv Griffin Show on ABC at 4:00. (Oprah’s main time slot now!) The kind of talk show Merv did would simply not be possible now. He had absolutely nothing in common with the post-ironic-interview-as-parody, David Letterman; or the fatally-unfunny, Jay Leno. Or Ellen for that matter. In these hyper-commercial times Celebrities just appear on these shows to talk-up their latest projects for no more than 7 minutes. Merv actually had conversations! He listened, that was his great gift. And the guests!! Every few months he would bring out the rotund, black-clad, ORSON WELLES. Merv would ask a question & Orson would pontificate for the next hour and it was fascinating. The list of people he gave their first break to is mind-boggling. He even had Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. on before his assassination. My favorite shows were the SuperModels Shows. Merv may have even coined that term. He would bring on Modeling uber agent, Nina Blanchard and she would introduce some of her “stable” who would come on & chat for a bit. Such unknown names as CHERYL TIEGS, CHRISTY BRINKLEY & the first male SuperModel, JACK SCALIA (in a tux!) I learned so much watching his shows including the correct pronunciation of RoDAYo Drive. He will live on through his creation of JEOPARDY (though he credits his ex-wife, Julann with the idea) as well as WHEEL OF FORTUNE. (He once said he chose VANNA WHITE from a field of thousands of letter turner applicants because like all the great stars, Vanna’s head is bigger than her body!! Marilyn Monroe being another prime example)
There have always been rumours, despite his marriage which produced one son before ending in divorce, that Merv was gay. I have no idea if this was true. All I know is that this young gay boy growing in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania was wild about Merv and wanted to be like him.

A recent study shows a link between breast implants & increased suicides in women. If this is true we’d better get used to the idea of returning to Shakespearean times where the men played all the roles even the female ones, because half of SAG would be wiped out! Forest Lawn would run out of room. It’s been so long since I hugged a woman in L.A. & didn’t get the wind knocked out of me I can’t even remember when.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Off & Runnin'

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Remember earlier this summer I told you about a mysterious vine I purchased in China Town that was taking over my house & I could not seem to kill? Well one way or another some plant is going to overtake me in my sleep, so be warned! Above you can see the latest would-be assassin. In June I turned over the soil in my front window box to put in some new annuals. I soon saw this new sprout that I know I did not plant. And 7 weeks later it has come to this!
I know it is some type of squash as I can see the blossoms (Squash Blossom Pizza, anyone?) But as I do not grow vegetables I have no idea how it came to be. One tentacle is right now, reaching for my front door handle, I swear to God. I am just going to let it keep growing to see what happens. The only drag is that I also have a poinsettia in the same box so it looks like I am sending out some contradictory Holiday Message.

Speaking of messages…tonight is a HUGE night in Los Angeles as Washington Comes to The Lavender Ghetto known as West Hollywood! Coinciding with the Presidential Forum on LGBT Issues sponsored by The HRC & LOGO (Hey! Give TheGayGardener a show damn it!) Following the discussion (it is NOT a debate as the candidates do not address each other) there are 2 Fundraising events. One is for Sen. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON to be held at THE ABBEY & The other is for Sen. BARAK OBAMA taking place at AREA (which if you’re over 30 like me, used to be called THE GATE)
The main difference in the fundraisers besides the candidates themselves is that Sen. Obama is charging $250 per person for non VIP tickets while Hillary is selling herself at $50 a pop! Clinton is really smart. At that price TheGays will still have enough money left over for a cocktail or two!

“She put the ASS in pASSive-aggressive” -TheGayGardener on some unknown subject
(Oh alright…his mother!)

Monday, August 06, 2007

Happy & Grateful

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…just like The Secret says. But you know what? I am happy & grateful. I have never had a busier summer nor a more successful one as TheGayGardener. I have met so many wonderful people…clients who I now call friends. That adorable couple above are just an example. The famed producer MARIA MAGENTI (Puccini For Beginners) & her sweet partner, Mark. They invited me to help them with their fantastic home in Silver Lake. Though they have such great taste & instincts, I was very little help at all. But I am so happy to have met them. And to my new friends, Lisa, Shirley, & Madeline in Venice, CA...thanks for making my summer! You sheer delight at what we were able to accomplish with your gardens was reward enough!

Here's a little GayGardener secret: Guess where I picked up these fabulous Vietnamese glazed pots in Cobalt & Terra Cotta? JoAnn Fabrics And such a deal! Who knew that they even had pots & gardening supplies?
But they do (seasonally) & at great prices!! Check it out!

Friday, August 03, 2007

The GayGardener Supremacy

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Ok so I’ll go out on a limb here & predict that the new MATT DAMON vehicle, THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM will be the Number 1 Picture for this weekend…duh! Just came from seeing it & it is the thrill ride of the summer, James Bond Meets The French Connection. I don’t usually like cartoons & this one strains credulity at almost every turn but it’s impossible to resist so just go along for the ride. Mattie D is perfect in this role & could likely ride it all the way to the Motion Picture Retirement Home in the Valley. And those mournful wails you here must be coming from the home of BEN AFFLECK who hasn’t had a hit picture since…well, since….ever?

2 Notes on the film:

JOAN ALLEN Is such a terrific actress so why does she only do the BOURNE Films now? IS no one offering her good parts? While watching her I thought: “Screw Hillary! Joan Allen for President!”

And that JULIA STILES??? I suppose she’s attractive in a straight girl kind of way & her stiff acting style makes this robotic spy role perfect for her. But did any other actresses read for this? There’s an almost laughable scene where JS is trying to disguise her identity by cutting her hair & dying it black (from some unfortunate initial hi/lo lights look)
And you know what? It didn’t change a thing! Any spy/assassin worth his salt could have picker her off at 50 paces. Well, God Bless her!

I found this old carpenter’s box at a yard sale, lined it & filled it with red impatiens…cute no?

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

G.G. in D.C. Part Deux

Due to technical difficulties the text for this post from Washington did not upload or download or whatever the hell, so here it is:

Enjoying these “lazy, hazy, crazy, days of summer”? I sure am.
Due to privacy & piracy issues, my client here in our Nation’s Capitol has requested that I not post photos of the remodel I’ve been doing. (No! It’s not anyone in Politics.) So in lieu of those photos, I’m sharing some random shots I’ve taken around town.

So many great flowers & trees still in bloom. I love California, but miss things like the stunning crepe myrtle shown above. Everyone here has some sort of garden, even if it’s only some lovely pots on the porch or a perfect box of geraniums. I spotted the statue of the mystery lady just peeking over the wall of some random side garden. And I watched that little bird take a bath for over an hour in front of a 7/11!

Like you, I am stunned by the rapid decline of Lindsay Lohan. Given recent rumors I’m thinking that maybe all this is an attempt to mask the pain of feeling “a love that dares not speak its name” if you know what I mean. Very similar to the situation another talented performer found herself in during the past decade. I think her name was WENDY DALLAS or something like that!

O.K. the sun’s up…gotta get outside

More later!

So I’m back in L.A. now & could not be happier! After D.C. I did a quick side trip to Las Vegas where I stayed at The Venetian. Which is so kitchy & “faux”, it’s funny. And besides who can even afford the real Venice now, with the “Euro Pounding the Dollar” every day? (Aren’t I clever to get another currency in that sentence?) Vegas is unlike any place on Earth. If you want to get a glimpse of the “real” America just walk the Vegas Strip. You’ll see hundreds of large white people in cutoffs & sexually explicit Tshirts browsing in top tier shops (Chanel, Dior, Tiffany) & eating at world class restaurants. I had one of the best meals of my life at B & B, created by legendary Chef Mario Batali. Superb!

Nearly killed coming back from LAX by some idiot merging into my lane with no warning or signal. Guess what? He was on the phone! I hope that very important call was worth the risk of both our lives. I suppose I should be grateful he wasn’t texting, then we would have been killed. This has got to stop! Did you see those 5 poor teenagers who were all killed because the driver was “driving & texting”? Insane. Remember when we didn’t even have cell phones?
I totally agree with Peggy Noonan:

“Cell phones are wonderful, but they empower the obnoxious & amplify the ignorant!”