Changing The World One Pansy At A Time!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008



Shocked! I’m shocked I tell you! That after that false alarm regarding salmonella in tomatoes that it actually turned out to be salmonella in Mexican grown jalapenos. They just found another poisonous pepper today! I mean really, food grown in MEXICO can make you sick? I had NO idea! No gracias!

Thanks to everyone who called & texted (?) & emailed regarding my well being after yesterday’s EARTHQUAKE. And to the more than one of you who inquired as to whether that was a photo of my BATHROOM after the quake I say: “hardy-har-har!” I’m an (almost) middle-aged gay man but that doesn’t make me fuc**** ESTEE LAUDER! Photo was some drug store in West L.A.

Can I enlist all of you my dear friends, in a simple but critical quest? Because if I hear this phrase (or worse, READ IT!) once more, there will be bloodshed!

The phrase is: “I COULD CARE LESS!”
Translated this means that, in fact, You DO care. Perhaps deeply. But you care enough that we can measure it in degrees. You COULD care MORE , but you could also care LESS.

If you have “bottomed-out” (so to speak) in your level of caring, if something or someone really has no effect on you, then it is correct (& necessary) to say: “I COULDN’T CARE LESS. I care so little that it is impossible for me to care any less!

Look, I had NUNS for 12 years in Catholic School, I know I’m screwed up. But this kind of “intellectual laziness” would drive the late Sr. Pauline Marie I.H.M. insane!

O.k. this photo isn’t that great but can I tell you how much I love POTATO VINES? Maybe because I’m Irish but these lowly little guys are fabulous! They grow fast. They can take intense sun & some “neglect” They stay green year round. And their little white star shaped flowers with yellow centers are just plain sweet. No, they do not have a fragrance, but they are such stalwarts in the garden that’s a small price to pay. They do as well in containers as they do in the ground. If you need an inexpensive, quick-growing, vine to cover a wall or hide something, I can think of nothing better!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008



It takes about 3 full seconds to realize “oh crap! It’s an EARTHQUAKE!” You first think “Damn! That’s a bad car accident!” or “Is there a demolition crew on the street?” Then as the shaking continues & gets worse your next thoughts are: “Is THIS IT?” “IS THIS THE BIG ONE?” And usually by then it’s all over.

And that’s what was going through my mind at 11:34 a.m. in Los Angeles today as we rolled through yet another quake. Then the REAL FUN begins. How BIG was it? As I stood in the street with dozens of my neighbors today (Yes it was a work day, but no one actually WORKS in this neighborhood) the guessing game began right away. “That was a 6!” I say. “No! 4.8” counters the girl next door. We were both wrong as the first report had it at 5.8 later revised to 5.4 Then we all stroll down Memory Lane: “Were you here for the BIG ONE?” Referring of course to the Northridge Quake of 1994. And laughingly mock those who were not here in L.A. at that time; sounding like some grizzled veterans of a foreign war. Then we all return inside to our separate homes; likely to not speak again until the next BIG ONE or some other shared disaster.

Thankfully no one was hurt in today’s quake & damage was minimal; broken bottles, rattled windows & rattled nerves. It’s coming ,that BIG ONE…we all know it’s coming…but we just return to our safe cocoon of denial. In 2 days no one will even be speaking of it & by week’s end we’ll have totally forgotten it. Until next time.

Photo Credit: Jim Loomis Los Angeles Times

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

News Blackout



If a scandal happens in Beverly Hills, does it make a sound?

Not if it happens to a popular Democrat it would seem. Now I DO hate this story & I dearly hope it is not true. But what stinks to high heaven is that if this had been a Republican it would have stopped the presses a’la LARRY CRAIG.

The NATIONAL ENQUIRER (yea I know, but they pay for their stories & are usually accurate & are more reliable than CBS & Katie Couric these days. SEE ALSO: COURIC/McCAIN/GAFFE COVER UP) is reporting that former Presidential Candidate, SEN. JOHN EDWARDS had an overnight visit with a woman alleged to be his mistress & the mother of his child at THE BEVERLY HILTON. The Enquirer first broke the story of the love child in November while the campaign was in full swing. And it of course was denied. And no one really believed it. Then a weird thing happened. An Edward’s campaign aide named ANDREW YOUNG (no! not the famed civil rights activist) issued a statement that he was the father of the child, despite he himself being the married father of three.

Fast forward to this past Monday evening. The Enquirer is tipped off that Sen. Edwards was in town & visiting a female friend at The Beverly Hilton. The “friend”? A woman named RIELLE HUNTER the very same lady mentioned in the November story. The reporters confront Edwards as he’s exiting a back staircase, & allegedly the Senator ran back into the stairwell & HID in the MENSROOM for 15 minutes!! You can check out the actual story on the N.E. website. The above photo shows the Senator & his friend. Is it just me or does she look like some harried British comedy actress caught unawares coming out of SELFRIDGES?

MATT DRUDGE at thedrudgereport is all over this story. And he was the one who broke “Monica & The Blue Dress” story that impeached a President. Draw you own conclusions. If it is true then it really sucks. Not least because the Senator’s wife of over 30 years, Elizabeth is battling cancer & doesn’t need this crap. Which is really the only reason I can see for the deafening silence regarding this story. And if it is true then Edwards just needs to come clean & we can all thank God that Edwards is not the Democratic nominee for President.

Something I am NOT thankful for & on my personal top 10 reasons to kill myself:

I’m riding my bike home last evening. They were taping DANCING WITH THE AMERICAN IDOL STARS or something down the street at CBS. The taping was over & the studio audience was returning to their cars. I pass a small group of young girls about 16 or 17 years old. One of them points & yells: “LOOK! IT’S DAVID HASSELHOFF” I turn around & see no one. I am alone in the middle of the street. With a sudden horror I realize SHE MEANS ME!!! I couldn’t peddle fast enough to get home. O.k. THE HOFF is still a good looking man. And I only wish I had his body. But damn it. I was in 4th grade & watching him play “Snapper” on "The Young & The Restless" years before his BAYWATCH fame. So I think it safe to say that he is a few summers older than me!! Although our livers are probably the same age. I’m sure that young lady’s heart was in the right place even if her eyes need some corrective procedure

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Remember seeing that exclamation in comic books? I think it was a polite way to say “Oh my God!” It was still silly & only could be found in a cartoon world. Now we just text: OMG

Speaking of cartoons, I just saw THE DARK KNIGHT & yes Heath is everything they say & more. More I guess because you feel so much sadness rather than joy at his performance; knowing it’s his last. And let me just say that AARON ECKHART (Harvey Dent) is like a cartoon of HANDSOME. His face should be next to the definition of handsome in the dictionary! A jaw line that could cut glass AND a CLEFT CHIN!! Terrific hair, a great voice & oh, yea he can act too, the bastard.

Speaking of the Batman, I’m sure you have heard about CHRISTIAN BALE’s recent troubles where his mother & sister accused him of assault. He was questioned by the police. But the British bobbies were so polite they waited til after The Dark Knight premiere to question the actor! I don’t know exactly what happened but I did learn a few things about Mr Bale while reading up on this story:
• He was plucked from obscurity in Wales to star in Steven Speilberg’s EMPIRE OF THE SUN at age 13 in 1987. (this I knew but many folks don’t)
• His mother was a CIRCUS Performer & a dancer
• His grandfather was a ventriloquist & a stand-up comic
• His late father was a pilot and after moving to the U.S. became a famous environmentalist. And after getting divorced from Christian’s mother; married the feminist icon, GLORIA STEINEM
• His lovely wife, “SIBI” was once a personal assistant to WINONA RYDER

Jesus! You could make a TRIVIAL PURSUIT: THE CHRISTIAN BALE EDITION out of all this stuff!

I love low centerpieces don’t you? The big tall ones just inhibit conversation at the table. I quickly made the above one with some faded hydrangea & roses for a little diner I gave last week. So easy.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Waiting Room

Long before I was TheGayGardener; even before I was a cosmetics consultant; or an actor…I was a waiter. I worked in fast food places & pubs & more than one fancy restaurant in New York. I made good money & I actually liked it. I liked meeting new people & the fast pace & yea, the tips. I have a great appreciation for fine food & have eaten in some terrific places in L.A. , New York, Mexico & Europe. And I have a very keen appreciation for just how difficult “serving” people can be.

Los Angeles is not known for the high quality of its food service. Maybe because the wait staff generally do not view what they do as a “vocation” but merely a way to pay the rent until their screen play sells or they get that great part that is surely coming to them! I get it.

I have had mediocre service before. I have had atrocious service before. But never in the history of dining out, has their been service as bad as that suffered by me & nine of my friends at THE BELMONT in LOS ANGELES tonight. Oh, I guess that poor hapless waiter who served Jesus & his 12 friends in that upper room on that Thursday night; probably wasn’t that great either… but at least he had the excuse of being distracted by the 30 pieces of silver & all that feet washing & just the drama of the whole evening. I have NO idea what was bugging the guy who was (allegedly) serving us tonight. But I doubt it was quite as dramatic.

In a nutshell: We did not have a reservation but were happy when a table opened up as the small bar cannot really accommodate more than 10 people for drinks. We ordered another round fairly quickly & waited. Asked for menus & waited. Our drinks came. We then waited several more minutes to place our food orders. Christ! If anyone was WAITING in this story it was US! Why DO they call them WAITERS? We finally place our food orders & guess what? WE WAITED!!!!! OVER AN HOUR!!!!!! I wish I could say our server was embarrassed or tried to appease us in some way, But I can’t! After someone in our party went to FIND HIM & complain, he returned to our table with nary an apology. When I pointed out that in addition to the Hour wait, the party next to us had been seated 20 minutes after us & were now enjoying their meals. With his very best: “I HAD 5 LINES ON AN EPISODE OF ENTOURAGE ATTITUDE” He explained that that party was here before us, in another room (????????!!!!!!!!???) and in fact we were “LUCKY TO HAVE THIS TABLE!!”!!!!!!!!!!! After I recovered from a new brand of rudeness that left me breathless: I had to almost laugh at the audacity of that statement. I was seated with friends who are extremely successful & well known & regarded in the Fashion & Television industries-including a friend visiting from Italy, we uncomplainingly paid almost $5 a gallon in gas to get there, $5 to park, $10 per cocktail, and nearly $20 per sub-par entrée & this gentleman felt we were lucky to get this table!! Now this place WAS cool & hot about 3 summers ago, but I think it has been quite some time since any celebrity above the D LIST darkened its door. But that specific HOLLYWOOD ATITUDE is still readily available if you want to pay for it!

Don’t just take my word for it! Go to CITYSEARCH LOS ANGELES. Here are some of the quotes from reviews for THE BELMONT:

-“lousy staff, made to feel like they're doing us a favor being there”
-“wait staff is extremely unfriendly and inattentive. 2. The owners of the place troll around too much”
-“the worst service ever!”

And in summation:

-“the Belmont's service has become so horrifically bad you would have a more pleasurable time hanging out at a Dennys in Bakersfield.”


Good Fashion Sense


This is my new friend, ETAI. He likes orange creamsicles & The Gay Gardener!! He & his equally beautiful sister, LAEL's "Auntie" is my friend, Christian, also known as "The Angel of Sierra Bonita"
So much fun gardening with you guys! Thank you!

Good Riddance


Actor(??) STEPHEN BALDWIN says that if BARACK OBAMA is elected President, he will leave the country. Now I know it's difficult to keep all the Baldwin Boys straight....with the exception of the very talented ALEC. But the last feature film I remember this particular Baldwin doing had to do with a boy, girl, boy THREE WAY and that was called (wait for it...) THREESOME. Oh, yea & then little Stevie found Jesus but I do not know if these 2 events were related in some way. He could have seen how awfulthe film was & had an urgent need to repent. Where will he move? France?? If he's looking for some God-based theocracy; I'm sure one of those fundementalist "stan" countries would be happy to have him. That turban thing might be a deal breaker though.

Chinese Laundry




So you all know how I feel about China. When they are not poisoning our pets, or putting anti-freeze in our tooth paste, or oppressing the personal freedoms of its citizens...they're a GREAT Country!! And they will soon be the world's host's at this Summer's Olympics.
Say what you will but man can these guys GARDEN. Above are just of few of the topiary displays form the Beijing Olympic Gardens. Any country that can do these kinds of things with some boxwood & ivy & wire frames will most assuredly soon be the leader of the world. Of course no word on what the landscape artists were actually paid (if they were) but hey! guys! Nice Work!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Happily Ever After




My friends, Laura & Andrea just returned from their honeymoon.
Laura is a small town Texas girl who wanted a simple, dignified, tradtional wedding emphasizing the Spiritual element of Holy Matrimony.
And Sweet Jesus! Did She get it! In a CATHEDRAL in SICILY, with an ANTIQUE HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGE & FIREWORKS (yes, fireworks)
And Yep! Now that I can legally get hitched I want NOTHING LESS than what Laura had!
Well, I'll skip the white dress...white just washes me right out!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Simple Answers To Complex Questions

O.K. This is my absolute FAVORITE new BLOG!!!
Yea o.k. MINE is good! Andy Towle @ Towleroad is terrific
And (Grudgingly) PEREZ HILTON is a MUST read
But KEVIN at S.A.T.C.Q. is first of all ADORABLE! I'd HIT IT as Kevin would say Secondly; rather ballsey as he spots the gays as he see them
And finally...posts photos of some really hot gay men!
The site is the first one under my LINKS column

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Bonnie Prince Max


"Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown."
-Wm. Shakespeare

"But easy lies the cat upon a throne"

Santorini Shabby Contemporary

This was a quick (1 day) turn around in Culver City.
Client loves Greece & dragon flies!!!
I loved doing it. Chairs are from the 70's & sconces from the 50's
All before my time :)

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Riding The Bus in Los Angeles

Gas is nearly $5 a gallon in L.A. & many parts of the country! Where is that cheap Iraqi oil we were promised? Hmmmm

To make matters even more challenging; CA is now a “hands free” state! It is now illegal to hold your phone in your hand & converse while driving. All our problems solved, right? HA! You know what isn’t illegal & is more common & drastically more dangerous? TEXTING!!! Have you seen these people typing away on their key pads with their OMGs, LOLs, IMHOs etcs, ?? It is INSANE! It is a first class miracle that even more people are not killed on CA roads every day! You may have seen the bumper sticker: “Pray for me, I drive in Los Angeles” No kidding.

I digress…So I get the great idea to try taking the bus again. Not to work, but on my day off so there is no pressure. I agree to meet my friend for a late afternoon hike in RUNYON CANYON where all the celebs go & I have written about before. It’s only about 8 miles or so from my house so this should be easy. Straight up Fairfax to Hollywood Blvd then right and you’re there! Well, not quite.

I walk the 2 blocks to the bus stop. Blessedly, a bus appears within seconds. ALL ABOARD!! Uh yea. As soon as the 3 elderly ladies with their shopping bags & 8 Asian tourists (one with a bike & 2 with kids in strollers) board ahead of me. Oh, a delay; as the tourists are told that the DAY PASS price has gone up from $5 to $8. Why anyone would need a DAY pass to anything when it is 4:30 in the afternoon is beyond me. Thus begins an exchange of monies between the tourists & the bus driver & fellow passengers that lasts for about 10 minutes.

Now safely ensconced in my seat in the middle of the bus, I start what I estimate is a 15 minute journey. The bus is a local & not an express so let’s say 20 minutes. In my experience on a local bus there are “announced stops” And, if you want to stop at a place in between the announced stops; you signal by pulling that cord (which I always get a little-kid-thrill out of doing & always reminds me of I LOVE LUCY when she stopped the train!) These memories were very small consolation this day. I soon realize that in addition to the announced stops, someone is ALWAYS pulling that God Damned Cord! So we’re going to be stopping at every single block. I saw a person board at one intersection & get off 2 blocks later!!! HELLLOOO AMERICA!! This is why WE’RE FAT!!!! Yea, I know, maybe they were making a transfer or were suddenly struck ill. But hell they could have walked to their nearest urgent care center in less time than riding those 2 blocks on the bus.

Now the matinee begins. At one stop a very large, smiling, perhaps developmentally disabled, person bounds onto the bus. He seems very happy to secure his usual seat at the back. Good for him. I hear a rather pleasant voice asking him: “Hey dude, you having a good day?” Oh see this IS a positive experience! Why am I so cynical? I think to myself. I then get a little queasy feeling in my stomach as I hear the next words: “Oh, no prob…I’m used to the staring!” Oh God, is the speaker disfigured in some way, I wonder as I timidly attempt to sneak a peek at him. Well, yes, but at his own hand. A young African American guy with a grown out afro & some sort of GENE SIMMONS tribute makeup that has his eyes encircled with black kohl. A sad little OWL, my new friend. He also seems to be wearing some sort of sheeting. Maybe on his way to some HALLOWEEN in JUNE after school party?! The d.d. man clearly did not wish to engage with our costumed rider. He simply grunted & got off at the next stop. Dashed at losing his audience; our K*I*S*S devotee begins to sing aloud along with his Ipod. I cannot say the song was familiar to me. But it did have lyrics something like this: “I’m down with the hood, I’m gonna rock with the hood…you’ll see me in my casket with my .45…motherfu****, motherfu***” Delightful! What teenager couldn’t relate. I used to sing along on my WALKMAN with LIZA MINELLI on the bus when I lived in New York!
I was so relieved when my stop was announced nearly 40 minutes after my journey began. I wasn’t even annoyed at the bus driver who lectured me that I had to “pull the cord when I wanted to get off” even though it was an announced stop. I figured he had enough problems as SNOOP Jr. was still warbling away in the back.

The bus costs $1.25 each way. I would have spent about $5 in gas & it would have taken about 15 minutes. I really think Angelenos want to do the right thing. We DO care about the environment. But pubic transportation? It’s not the GREEN Factor. It’s the FREAK Factor.

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