Changing The World One Pansy At A Time!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Today is “WRITE TO MARRY DAY” where bloggers across California & the country are encouraged to post about Proposition 8. Coincidentally, my Vote-By-Mail ballot arrived in today’s mail. I need to vote absentee because I’ll be working the polls next Tuesday, election day.

On Page 1 of the Ballot I had the distinct privilege of casting my vote for Sens. Barack Obama & Joe Biden. I found myself oddly emotional in the quiet of my office to be able to make this historic choice after this long, long, election season. I became emotional again (read: enraged!) when I turned to Page 5 of the Ballot & under State Measures finally read the exact wording of the Proposition 8:

ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME-SEX COUPLES TO MARRY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Changes California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. Provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in the Sate of California.

What part of the above has any place in a Democracy? In the United States of America are we now using the polling place to ELIMINATE rights? The Supreme Court of The State of California in a majority ruling found that it is unconstitutional to prohibit people of the same gender to marry one another if they choose. But on November 4th we’ll use the ballot box to formally write discrimination into law & inscribe into the Constitution the ELIMINATION of rights of a certain group of people?? Why? Because the MORMON CHURCH thinks it’s wrong and are carpet-bagging this issue by funding it from Utah? Because ROME is against it? That Sir, is UNAMERICAN!

If voting for Barack Obama is about taking back the country from the fundementalists, the Christianists (not Christians!) the richest 1% and the racists then voting NO on Proposition 8 is part & parcel of this same movement!!

It is almost funny to walk around my neighborhood. The plethora of NO ON 8 Signs is overwhelming. Folks just don’t have one sign. Whole yards & walls & windows are covered in them. And I don’t live in a primarily “gay” neighborhood, but a Jewish one. There are more NO ON 8 signs than Obama signs. This makes me feel very good. So I was shocked to find the above leaflet on the ground near my house today. Republicans & haters are so good with ‘code” aren’t they? No idea what they “REAL EQUALITY” is that they’re referring to; but we all can recognize the allusion to “ABUSIVE AFFIRMATIVE ACTIONS” for being the race-baiting that is surely is.

The other photo shows my front window with its OBAMA & NO ON 8 Signs surrounded by Halloween lights!!! (I AM TheGayGardener after all!) The NO ON 8 Sign is a little crooked I may have been a little drunk when I hung it up! This election is very stressful!!

To my friends & foes, family & Church members, neighbors, clients & followers of TheGayGardener: I want you remember my face, to think of me, and the thousands like me, to make this personal, when you vote on Tuesday. Could you really, REALLY deny me the most basic right that all of you have enjoyed your entire lives? I have great faith in you & in my fellow Californians to do the right thing and say NO! to Hate! VOTE NO ON 8! (FILL in circle #115 on your ballot if you’re in Los Angeles County)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Just Say No

ELIZABETH TAYLOR Did it EIGHT times!! ZSA ZSA GABOR NINE Times! MICKEY ROONEY 8! CHER did it for 9 DAYS & BRITNEY SPEARS for less than 2 Days!! And it ain’t just celebrities! HENRY XVIII did it SIX times and we all know how those ended. BUT I CAN’T DO IT ONCE?????? Really???

Of course I am talking about MARRIAGE. And as the campaign for equality has heated up state by state, so has the campaign for hate. So soon after the California Supreme Court found it unconstitutional to deny the right to marry based on gender; the frightened haters pulled together & put PROPOSITION 8 on the Ballot which defines marriage as only between a man & a woman.

Quite honestly I never thought I would see this in my lifetime. That I would be “allowed” to legally get married to my partner. But as soon as San Francisco, and Massachusettes, then the state of California & now Connecticut, revisited laws that discriminated against a person’s basic right to marry whom they please; I thought Hell Yes! Why not?? Am I less a person than anyone else? Less a citizen? Less entitled to the liberties & rights of any other American. My responsibilities are no less. I pay taxes, I observe the laws, I vote, I clean up after my dog, I volunteer in my community.

Don’t be fooled by the (yes, very effective) advertising on behalf of the haters. These ads are being paid for in large part by out of state bigots, namely the MORMON CHURCH. (77%) Which, given their historical respect for the sanctity of marriage (BIG LOVE, anyone?) is a fucking joke. Also please note: The Proposition is deceptively worded: If you support something you tend to vote YES! However; if you support everyone’s right to marry & do not wish to write discrimination into law, in this case vote NO!

The heroic Mayor of San Francisco, GAVIN NEWSOME, who really started this whole ball rolling. is now being used as a tool for the haters. If you live in California you have certainly seen the commercials featuring the Mayor at a Marriage “Rally” saying: “It’s gonna happen (Gay Marriage) weather you LIKE IT OR NOT!” It is made to sound like a threat! But oh, it’s a Promise!!! It IS Gonna happen, maybe not on November 4th. Maybe the haters will prevail & somehow take a perverse joy in the fact that they will have “annulled” the hundreds of marriages that have already taken place. I pity them. History will judge them as harshly as any ignorant, bigoted, pathetic group; that ever hailed from Little Rock, or Philadelphia, or Selma.

First Link is a list of those on the ”Dishonor Roll” the major contributors to the Yes on Hate Proposition. Next is the home of the No! On 8 where you can read more & contribute. Last is a beautiful & brief video regarding this matter called, “Permission” Watch it!

SAY NO TO HATE!!!!! VOTE NO ON 8!!!!!!!!!

Dishonor Roll

No On 8

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"Halloween Headquarters"

So The 99 Cents Store calls itself your Halloween Headquarters and they are soooooo right! You gotta check it out.

I love these Halloween Centerpieces. Everything came from the 99 Cents Store. The orange painted buckets that I trimmed with black & orange feather boas (soo cute) & filled with black artificial roses & twigs.
But leave the Halloween aisle because there’s plenty more to see. The large orange plastic goblets would be fun at a party & the smoked black glass compotes would be terrific too. I filled these with little orange “pincushion” plants all also at The 99 Cents Store

Elevate the lowly Pumpkin!! A simple pumpkin in anything raised will look so smashing & dramatic. Use your champagne buckets & urns. For the smaller ones use sugar bowls & eggcups! And don’t be lazy if you’re going to feature them, at least clean & polish them a little. Scrape the mud off & use a little mayo or olive oil on a paper towel & make those babies shine!

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Here Kitty, Kitty!

One of my favorite Halloween things to do with the kids…oh, wait, I don’t have kids. But if you do or you’re just a crafty queer with too much time on his hands this one is easy!
Take three of those small pumpkins. Not the minis they are too ridged. Use the small “Baking” or “Spice” ones & paint them a glossy black. Once dry attach them one the other with toothpicks or better yet, those wooden kabob skewers broken in half.

Paint eyes, nose, mouth with other acrylic paint or use buttons or beads & adhere with pins. Felt or construction paper for ears & a tail. I used these little feather boas & wrapped an arrange boa around her neck for a Halloween Tramp look!

This month don’t throw out your faded flowers or dead bouquets. They make for a spooky Haunted House theme. Roses & hydrangea work best but any flowers will do. Red roses particularly are great because when they are dead the red becomes black! Oooh scary!

A “scary” conversation I recalled today:

My sister visiting Los Angeles for the first time:

Sis: “Hmmm, I never realized that this was such a FRENCH town.”
Me: “uh…it’s not, what are you referring too?”
Sis: “all the store signs…everything thing is LA this & LA that!”
Me: “That’s L. A. as in Los Angeles!!!

She later expressed alarm that I had so many disabled kids in my neighborhood; due to a plethora of signs that read
SLOW! CHILDREN AT PLAY. I only wish I was kidding.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

"Oh Captain, I'm so Frightened"

That's a quote from the delicious Dame Maggie Smith as she boarded the sailboat of Charles Nelson Reilly for a sail around Marina del Rey! (I know!!)

Anyway... TheGayGardener is on the record as not being a big fan of the scarier aspects to a Halloween Celebration. This is not a moral judgement. It's just that tombstones & skeletons, and spiders & cobwebs seem like something we all should be FIGHTING against not celebrating. Though so many homes show such a creative spirit withe these "spookier" aspects to the Holiday!

Having stated my objection I will offer these hints: BamBOO!!! Not just a scary Halloween word...becasue of its particular "knot" quality when spray painted white, bamboo sticks make a very cool party favor or place setting/name card adornment. Simply spray & break into uneven pieces, tie with raffia or orange & black ribbon and VIOLA!!

As an alternative, if you've been lucky as TheGayGardener to travel around& see the world's most beautiful beaches, you've likely amassed a collection of coral! Much of which is "bone" shaped & can be arranged into a spooky & effective centerpiece

Or how about this? Pumpkins are like $1 ea & you can amass quite an impressive decorative collection for under $20. I love WHITE ones if only because they are so "deco" Try painting the natural indentations of the pumpkin with an orange (or black!) glitter paint Arrange on a cake plate with smaller similarly painted pumpkins, raffia or straw & you have a wonderful & economical centerpiece!! GAYGARDENER HELPFUL HINT: Most commercial pumpkins have their "skins" treated with a waxy substance. If you want the glitter or any paint to penetrate sand or seriously BUFF the pumpkins first

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Spotlight: MAX!

For some reason the photo of Max-The-Cat (his full Christian name!) would not appear in the last post
So here is your SOLO baby!

"Why can't witches have babies, Max?
"Because their husbands have "Hallow-Weenies"

Max just loves a little Haloween humor!
Did I mention I live alone with my cat!!???

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

T-Minus 16 Days & Counting!

Nope, not talking about the Presidential Election which also is less than 20 days away (Thank God!)
I’m talking about HALLOWEEN, also known as the GAY CHRISTMAS!! Why? I’m not sure. I do know that most major cosmopolitan cities have some sort of Halloween parades or celebrations. And many gay people work as stylists or “costumers” And there is the whole Halloween thing about “Masks” but regardless, if you’re gay or gay friendly you just gotta love Halloween! October 31st is now SURPASSING CHRISTMAS in terms of monies spent on decorations, costumes, parties etc. etc. Can you believe it? I also think that because it’s not modernly a “Religious” celebration that that adds to its popularity!

Over the next few days, TheGayGardener would like to provide you with some cheap & easy (!!!! Describes so many of us, no?) tips to having a fabulous HALLOWEEN!

First of all: CATS!!! And the most wonderful loving intelligent cat I know is my MAX! Isn’t he adorable? A cliché, I know, the gay guy & his cat. But Max is something else! He literally follows the sun around our house in order to capture the optimal light, should I deign to take his picture. He is that desperate to be famous!! Sound like anybody you know???

If you’ve read this blog, you know my Halloween obsession with CANDY CORN! It costs like $3 for 25 lbs or something and it is the ultimate in cheap, edible décor. You can fill clear glass vases with it & shove a candle in there & have a marvelous candleabra. But TheGayGardener prefers to paint terra-cotta pots in “candy corn” colors” and use them around the garden! The photo shows a standard medium pot but those taller, thinner, pots used for herbs actually work better!

Many Craft & décor magazines show “scary Halloween” look by placing old black & white photographs in frames. I’ve done them one better & you can too by taking cheap black frames & using black & white toile instead of old photos. This little tableaux costs less than $20 & makes a hell of a statement in a modern or vintage decor

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, & my hometown, really did me proud last week! Republican Vice Presidential Candidate, SARAH PALIN, was roundly & loudly booed on center ice while opening the hockey game between the Philadelphia Flyers & The New York Rangers.
The Republican Owner of the Flyers said Plain’s appearance was not a political event but was meant to honor her for being America’s best known “Hockey Mom” (I just threw up in my mouth a little writing that) The boos finally gave way to some intermittent “pity” applause as I think people felt sorry for her two kids she brought with her, the littlest even dressed in a Flyer’s jersey.

Palin was greeted with protesters from the moment she arrived in Philadelphia. One demonstrator carried a sign that said, “Back To Alaska, They shouldn’t have asked ya!” THAT is so Philly, I LOVE IT.

You can watch the opening ceremony here. Note the Obama signs behind Palin as well

I have my own sad history with the Flyers. The year was 1973 & The Flyers had just won the Stanley Cup. The City of Philadelphia & the surrounding suburbs went crazy. All the boys in the neighborhood decided to honor the team by creating their own custom t-shirts using one of their white Fruit of The Loom undershirts & adoring them with the name of the favorite player & his number all done with black electrical tape. The Flyers’ colors were black, white & orange Well I may have loathed hockey, but designing sportswear was certainly something this little nine year old could get excited about! I neglected to recognize the importance of the “team” colors though. And in my practical, fastidious way, thought it better to use painter’s tape so as not to harm the white cotton of my t-shirt & naturally preferring the pretty royal blue of the painter’s tape over the boring black electrical one. I debuted my shirt last; and was met with such derisive laughter I can hear it today. Apparently that blue was the color of the New York Rangers, the very team that the Flyers had defeated to win the cup & had I watched a single game, I would have known that. Screw it. I’ll still take the fantasy of fashion over accuracy any day.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008


“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without!” that’s an old Depression era recipe for getting by in tough times. And as the scary events of the past week hint at another Depression, this is still good advice.

Think of how our grandparents were (and are) the original “recyclers” Whole drawers devoted to those clear plastic bags that fruit comes in. Shoe boxes full of “twist ties”, giant balls made from saved rubber bands. They hated to throw anything away. We did lose a little bit of this attitude as “the greatest generation” gave way to “the disposable generation” That is until the last few years as we have come to realize that maybe all those plastic “one-time-use” items weren’t such a good thing for the planet & where does all that “stuff” get “disposed” of anyway?

As a garden designer I am presented with numerous opportunities to recycle every day. One of my favorite thing to do is try to imagine new uses for old objects. Old wooden ladders (a staple for me) make terrific plant stands. Old brass or iron bed frames or headboards make fabulous, artful, trellises, fences or just simple art in the garden.

I found this old dresser, buffet table, in the trash. The lines of the piece & the wood itself were too wonderful to let it go. I washed it with an antique green stain & then sealed it to prevent water damage. I use the drawers for garden storage and am constantly re-arranging the pots on top as per the season. This would also make a great potting table.

Use your imagination. I bet you can come up with a whole new purpose for something around your house that’s just begging to be used! Sort of like JAMIE LYNN SPEARS who according to The National Enquirer is knocked up again!

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008


10 years ago last night, a 21 year old young man named MATTHEW SHEPHERD , was brutally & savagely beaten; tied to a fence & left for dead. His heart was stronger than that though & he actually didn’t die for 5 more days. Matthew’s slight body was so horrifically broken that the passing biker who found him thought he was a scarecrow at first. Officials determined that Matthew hung on that fence bleeding, exposed to the elements, & in a coma for 18 hours.

The two young thugs who murdered Matthew confessed that they wanted to teach him a lesson. That this is what happens to faggots. They are currently rotting in jail where they will remain for the rest of their lives.

Matthew lives on in drama & literature (most notably the play & later film; “The Laramie Project”) in the still broken hearts of his wonderful parents; who run the Matthew Shepherd Foundation; whose mission is to “replace hate with understanding, compassion & acceptance” And in the hearts of millions…especially boys like me.

Matthew Shepherd Foundation

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Sunday, October 05, 2008


Yea! I know the old saying that “A critic is a legless man that teaches running.” But screw that. I RAN to see a film tonight that has garnered great reviews called: RACHEL GETTING MARRIED directed by JONATHAN DEMME & Starring ANNE HATHAWAY. Now, The SILENCE OF THE LAMBS is one of my favorite films & I think it a prefect film directed by Mr. Demme. And I LOVE Anne Hathaway. I have loved her since THE PRINCESS DIARIES & thought that any young “girl” actress who could hold the screen with MERYL STREEP, as she did time & time again in the brilliant, THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, is certainly a talent to be reckoned with. And also I thought she was brilliant & clearly under appreciated in BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN. Having said all this, I think
that RACHEL GETTING MARRIED is one of the biggest pieces of crap I have ever seen on film. I saw it at The Arclight in Hollywood & deeply regret the $14 I paid for assigned seating. But more importantly I regret the two hours I wasted from my life watching some of the most under-written, yet oddly over-played scenes ever on film! As a gay man, I can honestly say that I would rather kill myself than attend such an ugly, sparse, yet over-done wedding! Give me JESSICA & NICK any old day. Any filmthat brings back the reclusive, yet endearing & hugely talented, DEBRA WINGER just to have her sleep-walk thorugh the film, only to regain consousness just in time to punch her daughter, as played by Hathaway, in the mouth…deserves to remain unseen!

All was not lost at The ArcLight however. I escaped from the theatre with the wind behind me. And after watching Ms Hathaway unconvincingly smoke for two hours…I desperately needed a cigarette. I am standing outside the theatre when a stunning blonde with a terrific body, beautifully & sexily dressed, approaches: “I’m sorry, but would you have a light?” I whip out my lighter & light her cigarette. I look closely at this amazing creature & suddenly realize…">IT’S ELLEN BARKIN !!!! I meekly say: “ How are you?” She says “Good!” I say: “You look GREAT!” And I MEAN it! And she responds: “Thank you! That’s always nice to hear!” And saunters away. Perfectly. And I think DAMN!! Now that’s a scene I would have paid to see, let alone be in! The satisfying drama wa really going on outside the ArcLight.

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Guy A Girl & A Pizza Place

Even TheGayGardener takes a break now & then & goes out to dinner; though never again to THE BELMONT (as you all well remember AND you can add THE BOWERY to that list but that’s a whole other blog) One of my favorite places though, is TERRONI on Beverly Blvd. One= Because it is a really cool place with a great vibe. Two= Because they serve delicious & authentic pasta & pizzas so much so that they won’t slice the pizza so don’t even embarrass yourself by asking. Three= It’s two blocks from my house so I can drink all of the Brunello Di Montelcino they can serve me!!

So I’m at TERRONI the other evening & I am waiting outside for my guest to arrive. I notice a really cute guy in a rugby shirt, smoking & talking animatedly with an exceedingly thin, waifish, blonde girl. Guy notices me “checking him out" & hides behind said blonde. No matter. I then hear them talking excitedly, perhaps arguing. They settle the argument & end up in a loving embrace. They celebrate the “truce” with another round of cigarettes. I then hear the girl addressing the guy & realize her accent is British. I suddenly realize that the couple is BALTHAZAR GETTY (as in VILLA!!) & legendary homewrecker; SIENNA MILLER! You’ll recall that Balthy just left his wife & four kids; (one of whom was just ten months old), for the distracting charms of Ms. Miller. Getty is one of the stars of a TV Show that I adore, BROTHERS & SISTERS. He is much shorter & lighter & grayer in person, I can tell you. Ms. Miller’s charms & resume still escape me!

I feel so bad about HEATHER LOCKLEAR. I think she is really troubled. As you all know by know she was arrested in Montecito for driving under the influence of prescription drugs a mere three months after getting out of Rehab. Here’s my theory: Like BRITNEY SPEARS, Heather is still in love with her former husband, BONJOVI’s RICHIE SAMBORA. And just because they cheat on you or whatever doesn’t mean you can or should leave them & expect to live happily ever after…I’m just saying. But I LOVE HEATHER! She was the femme fatale for my generation & I even watched her dreadful last series, LAX. Her character, HARLEY RANDOM (I shit you not!) once had a line that was so awful yet oddly truthful, that I wrote it down: “ Life sucks for everyone sometimes. That’s why we have jets & fast cars & alcohol & drugs, to help you get over the rough spots!”

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