Changing The World One Pansy At A Time!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hey Mickey!

Remember that scene in that stupidly titled but great film TRUE CONFESSIONS, the one where DUVALL & DENIRO play brothers one a cop & one a priest? The brilliant CHARLES DURNING steps into the confessional (One of the sins he needs to atone for is murder) and says,"Bless me Father for I have sinned; it's been 20 years since my last confession...I've been busy!!!" Well, that's me. Sorry I have not been keeping you all up.

But I did want to share this one little slice of L.A. life that happened this evening:

I'm at WHOLE FOODS after work, just like the other 10 million people in Los Angeles. In the 10 items or less line.
The lady on front of me is, naturally, on her cell phone. Leaving a message for someone. "Call me on my other line. Not my cell. The number is 323-93..." Stops dead. Quick look at me & she leaves the line to go over to a corner to, I assume, complete her phone number on the message. I'm slightly annoyed. thinking who the hell do you think you are bitch? Like I'm going to overhear & memorize your number & then start calling you & stalking you. And clearly privacy is really not a priority for you, or you wouldn't be talking on your cell phone in line at that grocery store!

She returns to the line. I give her the once over from behind. Odd outfit. See-through white blouse over a black bra/camisole.
Loose fitting black pants. Black socks & some sort of flip-flops like she's understudying the lead in MADAME BUTTERFLY.
she's swiping her credit card & I get a good look at her face. 60 if she's a day. A LOT OF WORK. But pretty good. Tight but not overly "pulled" Pale skin so translucent, I know at a glance's a huge ANN RICE fan. Makeup "artfully applied"
as they say. I pay for my things & see her outside again in the parking lot.

"Who IS She?" "Who WAS she?" "Who does she HOPE to be?" goes one of my favorite lines from THE BOYS IN THE BAND
then it hits me because I start singing (mercifully to myself) "Oh Mickey, you're so fine, you're so fine, you blow my mind... hey Mickey!" Yep! It was TONI BASIL. One hit wonder form, oh hell, I don't know, 1977? But she is kind of immortal. Because 30 years later some gay guy like me can sing all the lyrics to her one song & even say" "Hey Toni!" "I had that song on a 45!!"
"And I'd never stalk you!" Oh sure I wish I HAD heard your phone number but only because I want the name of your plastic

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Uncle Ted

I cannot even begin to tell you my family’s obsession with all things “Kennedy”

Irish Catholic with seven kids, my folks rather fancied themselves “Kennedyesque” (without the trust-funds or the Hyannis Compound of course)

I can remember my Irish Grandmother literally praying the “rosary” because JACKIE had been “ex-communicated” when she married a divorced man. (ummm,well,Nana, it was ARI ONASSIS)

And when questioned by me why she still said JACKIE KENNEDY when the world said JACKIE ONASSIS; my own mother said: “The Church never recognized the second marriage & neither do I”

Growing up the only “artwork” in our home was a framed painting (print?) in a place of honor; called “My Beloved Johns” depicting JESUS with his arms around JFK & Pope John XXIII (and if any of you have a copy of that I would LOVE to buy it from you)

When Jackie died, I sent a “Mass Card” & received in return a lovely Thank You Card from John & Caroline, which though of course it was a sort of mass mailing; I was still impressed because they had probably received millions of cards.

I met John-John once when I was a waiter in New York. He was so handsome that I simply could not look directly at him, But when he made a small request that I change the music we were playing, I promptly declined. “It’s CHER, John, it’s “Heart of Stone” and you’re in a gay restaurant! Sorry!” I still regret that!

When John-John’s plane went missing I took off from work & sat riveted by the TV until they recovered the bodies. Then I cried. And if I ever hear that “I Will Remember You” song one more time, I’ll throw myself into the ocean off Cape Cod.

Which brings me to the sad news about Ted Kennedy today.
Yea, I know, Chappaquiddick, the womanizing, the Good Friday Sexual assault (by his nephew) in Palm Beach, the famous Roger Mudd interview where he couldn’t articulate a reason he wanted to be President and sat silently for an eternity, the sad tortured life of his former wife Joan (the most beautiful of the Kennedy girls…JFK used to call her “the dish”) but you know what? TED KENNEDY IS THE UNITED STATES SENATE. That is why Sens. Byrdd, Leahy & Schumer seemed so devastated today. He is called “The Liberal Lion” And if you are an American alive today there is not one piece of legislation that has benefitted you or protected you from some harm, that he did not have a significant role in or help to bring about. It’s that simple. And he is, as I read earlier today, “our bridge to Camelot” As long as he lives and remains; so too do the goals & ideals & dreams of that brief time long ago, when we were young and the country was young, and we were literally going to the moon & beyond. He is, as he said, the physical embodiment of the song that says that “the hope never dies & the dream lives on!”

I’m saying a prayer to St. Jude for you, Uncle Ted.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Art, Death, & Garage Sales

You all know I’m a garage sale fiend. “One man’s trash is another man’s (_____________) well, it’s actually treasure; but you can substitute the name of any starlet on THE HILLS. Anyway; one fantasy I have long had is that I find some great piece at a garage sale or swap meet that turns out to be some rare & priceless object. I am not alone in this that is why ANTIQUE ROADSHOW is such a hit. Its also why I loved that documentary a few years back called, “Who the Fu** Is Jackson Pollack?” Did you see that? It tells the story of a fabulous old broad who buys a painting at a thrift store for $5 to give to a friend as a joke & it turns out to be a really valuable work by the American painter, Jackson Pollack & upon this discovery our heroine exclaims the above film title. Then things get more dramatic as various prissy art experts & dealers etc debate the authenticity of the painting.

Anyway; so bout 5 years ago I go to this garage sale in Hollywood. I see this enormous & colorful painting displayed on an easel. “How much for this?” I inquire in my best God-I-really-like-it-but-can’t-act-too-ineterested-garage-sale-speak.
Guy says $5. I get it home & see the signature; “Rauschenberg 86” OMG I start googling, looking for other Rauchenberg works, only to ultimately determine that my painting was likely done by Ruth Rauschenberg of Sherman Oaks, CA & not the world famous Robert Rauschenberg of Texas. But for a little while I was so excited to think my fantasy was about to become reality.

The real Robert Rauschenberg died today at age 82. In reading his obituary I was delighted to learn the story of how when he was once without canvas to paint on he took the quilt & pillow off his bed, hung it on the wall & applied every means at his disposal (including nail polish!) in order to create a work that he was inspired to do. As if he didn’t have any other choice. I think that says a lot about the life & spirit of a great artist. And he was one. Even if it’s a Ruth Rauschenberg hanging in my bathroom, I recognize that.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bride of The GayGardener



Yep this is exactly what my wife would wear if I were going to marry a woman. I don’t think its all that attractive but it sure did get a lot of publicity for SARAH JESSICA PARKER & her new SEX & THE CITY film. **Photo of London Premier courtesy of*** Sara is wearing a lovely green frock by Alexander McQueen & the aforementioned hat is a one-of-a-kind creation by the talented (if whimsical) Philip Treacy, who also did that feathery thing for Mrs. Parker Bowles when she wed Prince Charles. This little green garden number would cost over $5,000 if you could buy it.
The reviews for the film thus far are mixed but I cannot wait to see the girls & all that fabulous fashion again. (Maybe not the hat) Another reason I am looking forward to SATC is my dear friend, JULIE HALSTON is reprising her hysterical turn as “Bitsie Von Muffling” along with her “husband” NATHAN LANE. I bet it’s huge (But I did say the same thing about Speed Racer!)

Oh & Speed actor, EMILE HIRSCH must not be too happy with the film’s performance either. He fired his agent yesterday.

One couple that should send flowers to their agents are Jonathan Rhys Meyers & Natalie Dormer. THE TUDORS is giving them such a rare opportunity to show off their skills & talents on a weekly basis. The damn show keeps getting better. All these dream sequences foreshadowing doom. And Sunday night featured not one but 2 dance numbers! Forget The Sopranos…it’s DIRTY DANCING WITH THE ROYALS! There was that sexy savage number between Henry & Anne (followed by a raw & violent sex scene) & then the show ended with Anne (joyful with a new pregnancy) twirling round & round & round while her father laughed the devil’s laugh! Anne’s days are definitely numbered; she only reigned for 1,000. So this is likely her last pregnancy & I hear she’s only in for 3 more shows. Maybe she can haunt Henry from the grave in future episodes

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lest We Forget

Here's a great little history lesson from BOB HERBERT in THE NEW YORK TIMES
For those of you who may have forgotten:

The last time the Clintons had to make a big exit was at the end of Bill Clinton’s second term as president — and they made a complete and utter hash of that historic moment. Having survived the Monica Lewinsky ordeal, you might have thought the Clintons would be on their best behavior.

Instead, a huge scandal erupted when it became known that Mrs. Clinton’s brothers, Tony and Hugh Rodham, had lobbied the president on behalf of criminals who then received presidential pardons or a sentence commutation from Mr. Clinton.

Tony Rodham helped get a pardon for a Tennessee couple that had hired him as a consultant and paid or loaned him hundreds of thousands of dollars. Over the protests of the Justice Department, President Clinton pardoned the couple, Edgar Allen Gregory Jr. and his wife, Vonna Jo, who had been convicted of bank fraud in Alabama.

Hugh Rodham was paid $400,000 to lobby for a pardon of Almon Glenn Braswell, who had been convicted of mail fraud and perjury, and for the release from prison of Carlos Vignali, a drug trafficker who was convicted and imprisoned for conspiring to sell 800 pounds of cocaine. Sure enough, in his last hours in office (when he issued a blizzard of pardons, many of them controversial), President Clinton agreed to the pardon for Braswell and the sentence commutation for Vignali.

Hugh Rodham reportedly returned the money after the scandal became public and was an enormous political liability for the Clintons.

Both Clintons professed to be ignorant of anything improper or untoward regarding the pardons. Once, when asked specifically if she had talked with a deputy White House counsel about pardons, Mrs. Clinton said: “People would hand me envelopes. I would just pass them on. You know, I would not have any reason to look into them.”

It wasn’t just the pardons that sullied the Clintons’ exit from the White House. They took furniture and rugs from the White House collection that had to be returned. And they received $86,000 in gifts during the president’s last year in office, including clothing (a pantsuit, a leather jacket), flatware, carpeting, and so on. In response to the outcry over that, they decided to repay the value of the gifts.

So class is not a Clinton forte.


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Friday, May 09, 2008


Want to make God laugh? Plant a garden! Particularly in Los Angeles.
The intense weather fluctuations make it very challenging. We’ve had weekends with temps almost 100 degrees already (in which I lost 3 hydrangeas) & now we’ve settled nicely into “May Gray” which describes the dreary days where the sun never shines & which of course proceeds “June Gloom” No wonder people start to invest in fake plants & flowers.
The artificial succulent planter above isn’t bad; but in L.A. spotting the fakes is a parlor game that we all play & are exceedingly good at.

But then Mother Nature shows up & shows us up with the splendor of the jacaranda. God I love these trees! They only bloom for about a month; mid April to mid May. But wow! What a show!

And speaking of shows…THE TUDORS just keeps getting better doesn’t it? That Jonathan Rhys Meyers is such a show-off. That naked butt-in-the-moonlight scene went on for what? 20 minutes? He IS really good though. And now that ANNE BOLEYN (Natalie Dormer) is a few episodes away from losing her head; I am just starting to like her; or at least pity her. And her clothes are smashing! And Blessed Mother of God! That HENRY CAVILL just gets more impossibly handsome every week. I miss JEREMY NORTHAM though. His last scene was so wonderfully underplayed. What a pro! It’s perfect that this show is on on Sunday nights because it really is THE SOPRANOS for history buffs.

Not so great apparently is SPEED RACER. I was way wrong on that one.
I even got the opening date wrong. The reviews are awful & the box office will likely be anemic too. I guess I just stick to my decades old “cartoon crush”

Remember when I told you about what I thought was a lovely children’s book called “AND TANGO MAKES THREE” The TRUE story of two male penguins (Roy & Silo) who bond & form a pair & nurture a little egg that hatches into a little penguin called Tango? Well a whole bunch of folks (read: bigots) don’t share my high opinion of the book. It ranks high on the list of The American Library Association of “Most Challenged Books of 2006” I think the opponents of such a sweet & true story are really the “most (mentally) challenged” and should just stick their heads in the ice again & shut up.

Congratulations to:
Scarlett Johansson & Ryan Reynolds on their recent engagement.
Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon on their recent nuptials
And Barack Obama on his being the presumptive Democratic nominee for President.

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Friday, May 02, 2008

"A Little Birdie Told Me"

Look at this little guy. He's a "house finch" Which sounds so dismissive of a wonderful bird & rather like a "house wench"
He just alighted on my garden gate. And the reddish orange on his head & breast were beautiful. I had to race & get the camera & sneak a pic through the screen window so as not to alarm him.

I'm off to San Diego to attend the wedding of m dear friend, the writer; Leslie Billera.
You'll remember we wrote that "dating guide" "TO GET TO THE GARDEN, YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH HELL"
In which I provided helpful & healing garden & floral remedies to assuage the pain of dating in a metropolis such as Los Angeles!

SPEED RACER opens this weekend & Yes! I am going to see it. "Speed" was one of my first "crushes" I am not kidding. MY very first crush was on the adorable blonde FREDDY guy on SCOOBY DOO (Mainly because he wore that "ascot" or scarf around his neck!)
But I loved the "darkness" of Speed. And his long-lost brother, RACER X! Hmmmm he was a hottie! I am sure a shrink would have a field day with the fact that my first "man-crushes" were on CARTOON MEN!

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