Saturday, October 4, 2008
The man can deliver up patter in a rapid-fire pace.
As much as I scrambled to jot down all the juicy bits, I couldn't keep up.
Maybe I'll have to pack in die-hard journalistic habits - stop scribbling with pen and paper in hand - and turn a precise compact video camera on my subjects in the future.
Then, you'll see for yourself, what all the harping is about.
Of course, I'm raving about comedian Patton Oswalt.
The outgoing charismatic performer started out as a bit player on a myriad of TV shows such as NewsRadio, Dr. Katz, Mr. Show, and Seinfeld.
A bit of the rennaisance man, Oswalt also penned sketches for the long-running series MADtv and frequently lent his voice to Comedy Central's Crank Yankers as one of the program's below-the-belt prank callers.
In the tradition of the New Beverly Cinema, Oswalt was invited to host a mini-festival of films at the trendy little "it" cinema in Hollywood proper - where Edgar Wright, Quentin Tarantino, and Seth Green - are inclined to pop in to catch a classic thriller or much-ballyhooed comedy when schedules permit.
Two Matthau features - "Charley Varrick" & "Taking of Pelam 123" - were on the double-bill.
Oswalt started off his "set" by recalling the first time he attended a screening at the theatre many moons ago.
Before the curtain went up, he dashed across the street to pick up some Chinese "take out", to munch on during the screenings.
The hilarious comic laughingly recalled to the audience - how he painstakingly packed away the little boxes of food in various pockets on his person - to avoid being detected by the ushers.
When he plunked himself down upfront in the theatre, he was startled to witness many of the patrons eating openly under the footlights without any qualms.
"I think you could have dragged a hibachi in here and no one would have blinked an eye," he chirped.
Julia - a co-host of the event - was quick to point out why.
"Sherman (the former owner who passed away this past year) had a policy. As long as you share the goodies, it's okay."
The audience roared!
Anyone who frequents the New Beverly has probably experienced a glitch or two that may occur on screen from time to time.
Oswalt's takes the cake.
One night - at the climax of Casablanca when Humphrey Bogart is saying good-bye to Ingrid Bergman at the end of the film - the screen plunged into darkness.
As the befuddled film buffs twisted in their seats in the dark, they couldn't help but overhear a lot of cursing emanating from the projectionist's booth upstairs.
Out-of-the-blue - one of the guests started to whistle the film's theme song - "As Time Goes By".
Within minutes, the entire audience was warbling along!
The comic noted that on occasion he attended screenings at those "other" theatres.
At one funky movie house, Oswalt was settling into "Citizen Kane", when an obnoxious drunken lout started to curse Orson Welles on screen.
"You homo," he cried out in disgust.
Turns out, it was screen legend Lawrence Tierney!
Everyone was scandalized.
About twenty minutes into the film, his handler sauntered into the dark theatre in search of him.
"Lawrence. Where are you? We gotta go."
In response, Mr. Tierney allegedly stumbled to his feet, and as he started to exit, he could be heard uttering a tribute.
"Not bad. The film's okay."
At another screening of a film he starred in, Mr. Tierney's conduct was so wild at the Egyptian Theatre (he allegedly pi**ed into a beverage cup fashioned in the image of the Prince of Egypt so he wouldn't miss any scenes) that they kicked him out!
His rantings about the fat a** of one actress were annoying to some, too.
"She tried to fu** me. That bit**," he grumbled as he headed towards the exit.
Understandably, Oswalt has been contemplating penning a tell-all autobiography.
That foray into the world of publishing had some benefits for the crowd last night.
Each of the book editors that held court with Oswalt, zipped off a gift package of books and novelty items, to woo him their way.
Oswalt raffled 'em off at the theatre last night, much to the delight of his fans.
Gosh, I was 4 digits out on one draw.
Always the bridesmaid, never the bride!
Patton and Julia excitedly reminded the audience about a twenty-four night of horror films slated for screening at the New Beverly Cinema on October 18th.
The $20 admission will go towards paying for renovations at the theatre.
So, pitch in, won't 'ya?
Oswalt will return on Sunday night (October 4th) to screen two features on his favorites list - "The Line Up" and "Blast of Silence".
So, if you're in the mood for a stand-up comedy act, attend!
You just might wet your pants.
A handful of Sarin Palin's bulldogs filed a lawsuit this past week to block an investigation triggered by accusations of "abuse of power" - or remove "alleged enemies" of the VP hopeful in charge of the proceedings - on the grounds that the action was politically motivated.
In round one of the battle to keep a lid on Palin's alleged wrongdoing, the Republican camp was dealt a fatal blow.
Superior Court Judge Peter Michalski dismissed the lawsuit without any qualms.
In his legal opinion, the Legislature was within its jurisdiction to pursue the issues and had the authority to likewise investigate the circumstances surrounding the firing of a public officer on dubious grounds.
The rag-tag band of Palin supporters - which consisted of five Republican lawmakers and one legislator - were quick on the uptake.
Without skipping a beat, a petition was filed in the Alaska Supreme Court, asking for an expedited appeal.
The court, finding merit to the arguments, set an oral hearing for Wednesday next in Anchorage, Alaska.
Defense attorney, Peter Maassen, essentially scoffed at the last-ditch effort by Palin's camp to head them off at the pass.
After all, the investigation will be completed by Thursday.
"There is no need for an appeal," he noted for the record.
He was quick to add that at "no time" in history has a court ever suppressed the outcome of a legislative investigation."
He's forgetting one thing.
Just because it hasn't happened before - doesn't mean by any stretch of the imagination - that it can't happen in the future.
History is not static.
Daily events shape it, after all.
Just before 11 p.m. last night, the verdict was read by the Jury foreman.
A panel of nine women and three men deliberated more than thirteen hours before rendering their decision.
Mr. Simpson, and his accomplice - Clarence Stewart - were convicted on twelve counts stemming from a much-publicized armed robbery and kidnapping incident which took place last year in Las Vegas (NV).
After the verdict was read, the Heisman Trophy winner was cuffed by a deputy and led away to await sentencing.
Although there were three weeks of testimony to sift over, insiders say it was a handful of secret audio recordings, that probably turned the screws on O. J. Simpson and his partner in crime, Clarence Stewart.
The tapes were damning, for sure.
The defense attorney's argument that the altercation - which took place in a hotel room in the gambling mecca in the desert oasis - was simply a botched attempt to recover memorabilia stolen from Mr. Simpson just didn't fly.
"You may all say he didn't use common sense. But the real issue is whether he had criminal intent to commit a crime," attorney Yale Galanter argued in closing statements.
The prosecutors, on the other hand, managed to convince the jury that the armed robbery was masterminded by Simpson who called upon five disreputable ruffians to carry out his nefarious plan.
The state established in the eyes of the jury that Simpson and his cohorts robbed the victims at gunpoint after they were tricked into thinking they were going to savor a windfall sale with a wealthy collector.
Chris Owens, the State prosecutor on the case, convincingly argued that "they thought they could spin it" because - after all - it was Simpson's stuff anyway.
The jury found differently.
O. J. maintained he never saw any guns during the shake-down - in spite of the fact witnesses testified at trial that they packed two revolvers that day - a .45 caliber Ruger and a .22 caliber Beretta - at Simpson's request.
But, it was probably a twenty-six minute encounter which was slyly taped after the ballsy robbery, that probably did the former NFL player in.
One of the gunman met with Simpson at a local restaurant after the robbery and was questioned as to whether he "pulled out the piece" in the hotel hallway.
Simpson was anxiety-stricken over the possibility that the overt act may have been captured on the Hotel's security cameras for future referenc.
Clearly, Simpson was trying to determine if there was any evidence on tape establishing the brandishing of guns, so he could tailor his defense accordingly.
During the course of the trial, friends and business associates turned against Simpson to protect their own hides.
In return for becoming state witnesses, four of the accused were permitted to plead guilty on lesser charges.
The counts of armed robbery and kidnapping against Simpson and Stewart carry potential life sentences.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Well, it had all the appeal of a train wreck.
Smacked of a messy divorce, perhaps?
If two women get into a war of words, it's a cat fight alright!
But, when men start to batten down the hatches, they're just posturing.
Didn't 'ya know that?
Nonetheless, Al Davis cited irreconcilable differences for the split.
Yup, Lane Kiffin got sacked.
And - maybe I was mistaken - but it looked like Davis was out to humiliate the young buck on the heels of the dastardly deed.
"When I gave him the news, he asked if that meant he wasn't going to get paid, and I told him yes."
No alimony, dude!
Something to that effect.
According to Davis, Kiffin was guilty of spreading "propaganda" and telling "lies" around the grid.
In sum, Kiffin's conduct - Davis lamented - was unprofessional and showed disrespect.
At one point in the press conference, the owner of the illustrious Raiders, produced a letter (in support of his claims) that was allegedly hand-delivered to Kiffin and followed up with special delivery by Federal Express.
Davis had his gloves on and was ready to face his opponent in the ring.
But, Kiffin wasn't about to lace up.
In a separate interview, at a different location, the green coach scoffed at the letter.
"Just because he put it out for everyone to see doesn't mean anything."
When pointed questions were asked, though, Kiffin was reticent about fessing up to the facts.
After noting that he intended to take appropriate action elsewhere first before spilling the beans to the media, he was adamant about one thing.
"I felt embarrassed for the guy."
Dude, a little late for reverse psychology.
You're the one outta the job, Kiff!
Obviously, the young stud was dishing Davis, and the word got back.
I hand it to the wrinkly old guy for coming out of his corner all spunk and guts.
Ah, just betcha, the young buck thought he could outwit the old codger.
That's what my instinct tells me, anyway.
Kiffin says he wasn't trying to get fired - if not - he's not very big in the smarts department, is he?
Years ago, when I was a naive young man, I started to argue with my boss one day.
In about two seconds flat - I was jolted into reality - when my superior interrupted my rant to enlighten me a tad.
"I'm your boss."
If you can't figure that one out, you're dead on the playing field.
Looks like that's what happened to Kiff!
A controversy arose when a writer from a blog site (Blue Tidal Wave) submitted a story for consideration on Digg - which alleged that footage from a Katie Couric interview - was being "held back" to gain some advantage in the leverage game.
The writer, going by the moniker - The Saint - first lifted a quote from media critic Howard Kurtz, to jump-start his report.
"The worst may be yet to come for Palin. Sources say CBS has two more responses on tape that will likely prove embarrassing."
At this juncture, the Saint - less than Saintly judging by his scurrilous actions - proceeded to twist and distort the information to suit his own personal agenda.
According to the Times writer, David Sarno, the Saint took Kurtz's revelation and transformed it into an accusation of censorship replete with his own sounding board.
In short, here's what he posted.
"CBS evening news insiders say the censoring of the Palin interview was orchestrated by CBS news heads and Couric in an effort to show the McCain (!) campaign that they should choose the struggling nightly news program for their exclusive (!) interviews."
Well, for starters, there were enough red herrings in that little ditty to entice any super sleuth!
Sensing that Tidal Wave's tale of intrigue did not pass the smell test, either, the reporter at the daily followed up with a question or two of his own.
Ha! The Saint confessed.
The alleged CBS source was not that, at all.
The "insiders" fibber-boy was referring to - did not have any clout - and weren't heavyweights on the inside at CBS with privileged information, either.
"It was just a friend."
In addition, he admitted shame-faced the two only spoke "off-hand".
The icing on the cake?
"There never was any permission to cite a source."
When it comes right down to it, the Saint did not know if additional unused footage would be used at all, or if ever.
So, he put on his thinking cap, and dredged up the titillating accusation that the CBS camp was holding back footage with future strategies in mind.
It has since been determined that footage does exist; however, the wild scenario fathomed up by the Saint was nothing but a load of "hooey".
The truth of the matter is - Couric shot material separately for a "Questions" segment - which included a matching interview with Senator Joe Biden.
After chastising various individuals - and raising the issue of ethics in reporting - David Sarno uttered up what is undoubtedly the quote of the day.
"If there's one thing you learn from reporting on the Web, it's to be careful what you swallow."
Thursday, October 2, 2008
A posse of protesters are planning a rally down at the Federal Courthouse on Monday, October 6th, to protest the recent conviction of medical marijuana distributor, Charles Lynch.
On August 4, 2008, the jury in the Charles C. Lynch Federal Court case began their deliberations after arduous closing arguments, numerous jury instructions and a taxing two-week trial
Mr. Lynch was found guilty of conspiracy to possess and distribute marijuana, two counts of providing cannabis to adults under the age of 21 years old, possession with intent to distribute and maintaining a drug premises
To some, Mr. Lynch has being unjustly charged with crimes that fly in the face of current State Law.
In his defense, a few have argued that Mr. Lynch followed all his business license requirements, city regulations, county restrictions, and state law.
Notwithstanding, Mr. Lynch's counsel asserted in court that his client contacted the DEA before setting up shop, to determine if his plans fell within the confines of Federal law.
Mr. Lynch alleged that the DEA representative he spoke to waved him off.
"It’s up to cities and counties to handle that [medical marijuana dispensary] matter."
I personally recall reading an article in the morning daily - after-the-fact - that reported the DEA official in question adamantly denied the comments were ever uttered to the defendant, Mr. Lynch.
In fact, if I recall correctly, the DEA Agent insisted that no one at that office would ever make such a wild statement, in view of their vigorous attempts to shut down pot dispensaries in recent months.
It should be noted that in another case this week, a Federal Judge refused to impose prison time on a man who had produced and distributed edible medical cannabis products throughout the state of California.
Despite sentencing guidelines calling for at least two-and-a-half years in jail, U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilkin exercised her discretion to sentence Michael Martin, 34, to five years probation, with one year to be served in a halfway house and one year to be served in home confinement.
The dramatic sentence caused the courtroom full of patients and activists to erupt in applause.
However, it should be noted that Mr. Martin did agree to a plea bargain, in view of the fact a stiff sentence appeared to be on the horizon, otherwise.
Faced with the threat of more serious charges and the specter of a Federal Trial in which no information about State Law or medical use could be introduced, Martin pled guilty in Federal Court to manufacturing marijuana edibles and did not contest the government finding of more than four hundred plants seized in a DEA raid in September (2007).
In a speech to the court that had observers in tears, Martin spoke eloquently about why he had acted on behalf of patients, describing the cancer patients he was proud to have helped, the support of his loving family, and how he had only acted on behalf of others, never for profit.
That speech, the enormous volume of letters of support for Martin the judge received, and the lack of any evidence that any edible produced by Mickey was diverted to recreational use, all helped the judge declare that this was a unique case that did not call for a normal sentence, and certainly not the more than three years of federal prison that the law mandates.
Comments from the bench about the tensions between State and Federal laws also made clear that the Judge understood medical cannabis cases to be different from other federal drug cases, and she joined several other members of the federal judiciary in departing from the government's sentencing guidelines.
"The prosecution of good people like Michael Martin, who are trying to give patients the choice of an edible, non-smoked medicine, is a travesty," said Rebecca Saltzman, ASA Chief of Staff.
"The government says smoking is a bad delivery method then prosecutes those who provide an alternative - ridiculous."
The Lynch case differed in some respects.
Although it was argued in court by the defense counsel that Mr. Lynch obtained his license for the dispensary like any law-abiding citizen would - and thereafter acted within the full dictates of the law - the prosecutor and the DEA Agents accused that Mr. Lynch exploited his role as a legal dispensary, sold medical marijuana willy-nilly to underage youths - and quite flagrantly - played up his role as a supplier in a manner that was careless, in question, and not in keeping with State Laws.
Of course, that is a quick sketch of arguments I gleaned in the local press.
I have not researched the issues thoroughly, so I can not take a position one way or the other, in this instant case.
Supporters familiar with the case, on the other hand, have been quite vocal.
Although allegations of wrongdoing were made, the Lynch camp is quite adamant that no evidence was presented in federal court that substantiated the bald-faced allegations.
A representative at Americans for Safe Access - Don Duncan - was inclined to protest the outcome, too.
"Terrible justice. We must protest his sentencing."
Hence, the rally, which is being scheduled for October 6th at the Federal Court House, at 312 N. Spring Street (at Temple) in downtown Los Angeles at 11:00 A.M.
See 'ya there!
Every street is Main street in a certain part of town
You've got to pay the rent and you like to play around
Every street is Main street when you're a star
Every street is Main street when you've not gone that far
To the Theatre you must go
You're a masquerade clown
And a puppy dog frown
Performing in a world
That's not too big around
Main Street, Baby!
The Chinese have a long-held belief they are descendants of the dragon, a conviction which is firmly embedded in their customs and traditions.
On these shores (in our Western Culture) dragons are usually feared.
In China, however, the dragon is held in high esteem because of its fertility, supernatural power, vigilance and poise.
In fact, the dragon dance at Chinese New Year, symbolizes the bringing of good luck and success in the coming year for all human beings on earth.
In China, where the majority of people depend on agriculture for their livelihood, the timely arrival of rains is of utmost importance.
The legends say that the dragon dance was first performed as a means of making peace with the "Dragon King" so that he would release rain onto the drought stricken lands of the farmers.
In essence, Dragons are the governors of rain.
Dragon dances are also performed at New Year to scare away evil spirits.
During the dance the performers hold poles and raise and lower the Dragon.
I witnessed the young students painstakingly learning how to perform that task last evening under a cloudless star-lit sky.
Sometimes a participant attaches a "Pearl of Wisdom" to the pole - and then entices the Dragon to follow him to the beat of a drum - as if searching for wisdom and knowledge.
Maybe the students were in the early throes of staging the Dragon Dance, because this portion of the performance was not in evidence during the rehearsal I caught quietly from the sidelines.
Dragons used in the dances vary in length from a few metres to up to 100m long.
Longer Dragons are thought to be more lucky than shorter ones, though.
The dragon dances are performed during the day or night.
If night has fallen, a blazing torch will be carried to light the way.
In the actual ceremony - which I saw performed in old Chinatown in San Francisco during Chinese New Year a few months ago - a team of dancers carry an image of the dragon on poles.
The skilled dancers - lift, dip, thrust, and sweep the head - which may contain animated features controlled by a dancer and is sometimes rigged to blow out smoke from pyrotechnic devices.
In Frisco, firecrackers were also tossed into the street, which effected a theatrical quality to the performance that was electric!
The dance team mimics the supposed movements of the river spirit in a sinuous undulating manner, too.
Since the dragon dance is a highlight and a main focal point for the celebrations, great expense goes into fashioning the costumes so they are magical and beautiful in every facet of their creation.
The costumes used in these celebrations are usually made in specialty craft shops.
Often, they are imported at great cost, using funds raised through pledges at local cultural and business associations.
So, what happens when a group of artists focus their aesthetic eye on a handful of athletes and sports figures?
In - "Hard Targets - Masculinity and Sport - the time-honored arch type of the male athlete as an aggressive, overtly heterosexual, hyper-competitive, and emotionally remote subject has been shifted in an exhibition that opens at LACMA next week.
Opposing views on masculinity and sport (including the rituals and accoutrements that surround the intimate male-dominated world) are insightfully offered up by artists Mark Bradford, Harun Farocki, Brian Jungen, Shaun Leonardo, Collier Schorr, and Joe Sola.
Each artist examines the way masculinity is characterized and performed in a sporting context.
Complex systems of desire that accompany the way society views and consumes athletes and sporting events are explored in the intriguing exhibition, too.
In tandem with the art exhibition, there will be two open dialogues during the course of the show, which runs from October 9th through January 18th at the Hammer Building
In the discussion on - "Talking Hard Targets" - Artists and Historians (Jeff Sheng, Kori Newkirk, Jennifer Doyle and Christopher Bedford) will address how contemporary art engages and disturbs conventional codes of masculinity especially in regard to the athletic imagery.
Bing Theatre October 16th (Free)
"Conversations with the Artists" focuses on New-York based artist Collier Schorr who will speak with LACMA's assistant curator of Contemporary Art (Christopher Bedford) about "performances within performances and the dualities in movement and gesture".
The subject alludes to ranges of masculine emotions and expressions, according to Mr. Schorr, and should prove to be an enlightening discussion.
Bing Theatre October 10th (Free)
This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and made possible by Nike Sportswear and the Contemporary Projects Endowment Fund. Contributors also included Vidal Sassoon, Steve Martin, and the Broad Art Foundation.
Well, the White Party kicks off next week in Las Vegas.
To gay men, it's comparable to the super bowl for straight guys.
From October 10th thru 13th - the exotic desert oasis will be inundated with a truckload or two of biceps and studly bods hailing from all corners of the civilized planet - Miami, Paris, New York, and Los Angeles.
DJ Brett Henrichsen will rev up the dance floor at Friday's "BEACH BALL" event which will feature the hottest models in AUSSIEBUM swimwear.
Saturday's WHITE PARTY (DJ ABEL spinning) will take off at the trendy-setting HOUSE OF BLUES where a state-of-the-art concert sound and sizzling light show is sure to dazzle.
At press time - special appearances by LADY GAGA and Sagiv and Max (Cher Returns) - were firmed up.
While a number of the bodacious boys will kow-tow to tradition and dress to the nines in chic outerwear in pristine shades of white (with a strong display of tats and raw flesh) - a rebellious handful may go for the gusto in sultry black to thumb their noses at the crowd.
The POOL PARTY at Mandalay Bay on Sunday promises to be the biggest splash of the year, though, with DJ Morningstar stirring up the senses.
But, the party-hearty, will still be dancing away 'til the wee hours at Sunday Night's Studio 54 Bash, in a backdrop that will feature wall-walkers, sensual videos, live dancers, and a spectacular light and sound show.
A pride of beauteous boys will no doubt be schmoozing, sashaying, strutting - and likewise - stroking away the night with caution thrown to the cool night breezes fluttering in off the desert.
When I asked a couple of pals if they planned to zip down to the desert hot spot this week, they shrugged.
"We're not into circuit parties."
Yes - the annual event is known to be part of the "circuit" - a high-profile boy-toy weekend out with a naughty reputation, to boot.
The phenomenon first sprang from early tea dances (wild rainbow-themed parties) tossed on Fire Island in the heady days of gay liberation a couple of decades ago.
The circuit soirees came on the heels of underground rave parties, and were run by savvy multi-sexual trend-setters, who publicized and professionally produced 'em with a lot pizzazz.
As a result, the must-attend parties attracted a scintillating social mix.
Show-biz music headliners were also booked to lure in the trendy jet-set.
While the parties are open to anyone these days, the circuit events are generally perceived as social hubs for the active gay man.
A big attraction?
The highly-touted offerings are typically lavish, prestigious affairs - with elaborate lighting, music, and decor with widespread appeal to the A-list man - held in venues that can accommodate their all-encompassing circle of friends.
But, the events are costly.
Even the most far-reaching party-goers don't attend all the events; after all, there are too many calendared across a wide expanse to afford a catch-all for most.
If a die-hard circuit officionado manages to pull off the stunt, then he's truly a golden circuit boy, by any stretch of the imagination.
Circuit parties are known to attract a broad demographic - from shy young dudes just out - to totally liberated gays in their mid-twenties and up active in the rainbow hub.
Expect to spy a handful of well-tooled silver-haired "daddies" in their 50s, too.
Couples in long-term relationships are still inclined to savor the events also.
In essence, the parties are a tribal cultural event.
Some say, circuit parties are analogous to a ritual holiday for the gay/lesbian/transgender community and a "celebration" of gay life, liberated sexuality, and freedom of expression.
In sum, the white party experience is a war cry that calls attention to the power, strength, and unity of the gay community.
Critics allege that circuit parties are a breeding ground for illicit drug abuse, though.
Throngs of young vibrant men, bent on partying all night - and enhancing each glorious sensual moment - are known to use the addictive booster "Tina" (known as meth and crystal).
For this reason, there has been a concerted effort by responsible members of the community to curb an outbreak of addiction, which has proven to be costly for many participants.
Some have lost their jobs, lovers, vibrant health, self-esteem - and a capacity to thirst for precious life - due to chronic addiction.
Many outreach programs have raised concerns about the underpinnings of circuit parties; particularly, with regard to the misuse of drugs (alcohol, marijuana, speed and ecstasy).
The warnings about potential overdose, dehydration, and impaired judgment (leading to unsafe sex and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases) have been underscored, but often fall on deaf ears.
In fact, circuit parties have been blamed for crystal addiction and the rampant transmission of a handful of virulent sexually-transmitted diseases - such as HIV and Hepatitis - among gay men within the borders of North America.
Notwithstanding, the circuit parties have been bad-mouthed on the grounds that they are superficial, too.
The whole emphasis, for example, appears to be on looks, sexual appeal, and being with the "in" crowd.
If you feel embarrassed about taking your shirt off, then you may feel uncomfortable at the Las Vegas weekend blast.
After all, guys around the country have been working out for months to sculpt the perfect body to show off at the extravaganza next weekend.
When these dudes toss off their "T's", to reveal perfect pecs and rippling abs, heads will swoon.
An adrenalin rush for everyone, no doubt.
But, the cries of hedonism are not unfounded.
Just flip through any major gay lifestyle magazine. Half the ads are for plastic surgery, nose jobs, and teeth whitening. The other fifty percent are blurbs for lawyers who specialize in DUI's and lewd conduct in public places.
Does this reflect the underbelly of the gay culture, warts and all?
No matter, just because a handful of revelers are inclined to overindulge, doesn't mean you can't get away for a zesty day or two of fun in the desert with your "brothers and sisters".
The VIP high-profile events have been orchestrated by pro party person - affable Jeffrey Sanker - the undisputed "King of White".
A few years ago, as I was munching on a salad at the front counter at the ever-popular French Marketplace, Sanker and I engaged in idle chit-chat.
Of course, I didn't have a clue who the young hottie was.
In the course of the conversation, I guess I dropped a bombshell, when I innocently batted my eyelashes and quipped.
"And, what do you do?"
"I throw parties," he responded without hesitation.
Later, I learned that was quite an understatement, if ever there was one.
But, you don't have to attend all the scintillating events, or haul your a** into the dark starry night 24/7.
Or fall prey to peer pressure, either.
Just drop down on the sidelines at the pool party, sip on an exotic cocktail or two, and quietly take in a few rays.
Or, top off a day of sight-seeing with an energy-boosting appearance at one of the party extravaganzas later in the evening, before heading home.
Say "no" to Tina, though!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Well,it wasn't exactly the kind of e-mail you'd get from that gadfly Anne KilKenny, but it piqued my curiosity nonetheless.
The maker of Trojan® Condoms is taking its show on the road - and stopping into campuses around the country - with the Trojan® Evolve Bus Tour.
In essence, it's a call for Americans to "evolve" about their attitudes towards sex and condoms.
Students will have the opportunity to laugh along with some of today's hottest comedians on the Trojan Campus Comedy tour which is going to be zooming onto campuses around the Nation in November.
As proud sponsors of the Vans Warped Tour, the makers of Trojan® brand condoms will also team up with a handful of your favorite bands, too.
Both tours will criss-cross America - inviting people to evolve - by personally pledging to use a condom every time and advocating for comprehensive sexual education in schools by signing the Trojan Evolve Petition.
Along the bus tour route, participants can also encourage friends to continue or change sexual health behaviors by recording video testimonials, which will be posted on the Trojan Evolve web site.
"Trojan Evolve is a call to action," says Jim Daniels, Vice President of Marketing for Church & Dwight Co., Inc.
"We’re quite literally going city to city asking Americans to pledge to use a condom every time, sign a petition for change and help turn the tide on the unhealthy state of sexual health in this country."
All Americans will be able to follow the tour’s progress and become a part of the movement by taking the personal pledge and signing the Trojan Evolve Petition virtually at the Trojan Web site (which also includes important links to third-party sexual health resources).
The Trojan Evolve Tour launches in the wake of newly released CDC statistics indicating that one-in-four teen girls has a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Syphilis, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia continue to rise in the general public.
This is in addition to the 65 million Americans already living with an incurable STI.
And for the first time in fourteen years, rates of unintended teenage pregnancy are growing, contributing to over three million unplanned pregnancies occurring each year.
Yet, only about one-in-four sex acts among singles involves a condom, resulting in over a billion acts of unprotected sex each year.
"The Trojan Evolve tour is critical and timely," said Dr. M. Joycelyn Elders.
Elders is a former U.S. Surgeon General and is currently advisor to the Trojan brand.
"The problem is clearly not due to a lack of resources. Ninety percent of American households want comprehensive sex education, yet the government has spent over a billion dollars on only abstinence education, which according to its own studies is ineffective."
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Last week on a couple of occasions when I heard aircraft overhead, I glanced up innocently.
I was taken aback at the vivid night sky - and particularly - the brightness of the stars which seemed to beckon me.
A day or so later - at about four o'clock in the morning - I woke up to hear a soothing voice inside the inner recesses of my head repeat a message over and over again.
"There are alien life forms in the region of the Big Dipper."
Over the next couple of days, as I reflected on the incident, a voice spoke to me again.
"Man has been going about space travel the wrong way."
The "beings" have visited this planet in the past!
Contrary to what mankind thinks, "they" don't believe humans pose a threat.
In the next year, they'll be passing through earth's atmosphere.
That's all the information I am privy to at this time.
Don't Bogart that joint, Arnold!
According to patient rights advocates, Governor Schwarzenegger’s veto of AB 2279 - a bill to protect job rights for California’s medical cannabis patients- is a setback for fairness and non-discrimination.
However, Americans for Safe Access (backers of AB 2279) have vowed to continue to go on and fight the battle in the courts, if necessary.
AB 2279 would have stopped workplace discrimination against hundreds of thousands of patients who are legally-entitled by California State Law to use Medical Marijuana.
AB 2279 was proposed as a solution for a "right to work" which was compromised by a California Supreme Court ruling earlier this year.
The Governor’s veto means that California employers can fire workers who use marijuana for medicinal purposes - which is permitted under State law – even if the individual uses medical cannabis in the privacy of their own home.
According to Don Duncan, a representative at ASA, the Governor has misstepped.
"The veto represents a failure of common sense for California’s embattled Governor."
ASA has been heartened by the number of people who helped fight for patients’ rights during the campaign for AB 2279.
Staffers have noted the battle isn't over yet.
"It is important that Governor Schwarzenegger and his staff understand that Californians strongly disagree with this decision. This is not the last time the Governor will be asked to sign legislation to protect patients’ rights."
Consequently, ASA is asking supporters to call Governor Schwarzenegger office in Sacramento and inform him they are not in accord with his decision.
Governor's Office: (916) 445-2841
In the alternative, ASA staff are requesting that California residents write to the Governor personally, and urge that he reconsider his position.
ASA has drafted the following letter as a guideline for supporters to follow.
"I am a medical cannabis patient/supporter who is very disappointed in your decision to veto AB 2279, a bill that would have stopped workplace discrimination against legal medical cannabis patients. This veto leaves hundreds of thousands of law abiding Californians in jeopardy. I expect the Governor to work with lawmakers to protect legal medical cannabis patients from discrimination next year."
An Edmund Burke quote is applicable here.
"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little."
The first day Anne Kilkenny's e-mail started to worm its way around the Internet, Zimbio (where my blog is fed to) posted it right away for web surfers to take a gander at.
When I first perused the little missive (!), I thought it was a hoax.
Because word about Sarah Palin's past indiscretions were leaking out each new day the sun rose on the horizon, I figured the unexpected reveal was a public relations ploy to release a bit of the dirty laundry to lessen the impact when the media got wind of it.
Actually, I don't know what the fuss is all about, either.
Once I figured the e-mail was legit, I was a little put off by the fact that it was so passive, in its approach.
I mean, voters appear to either love Sarah or hate her.
In Kilkenny's expose (if you will), I found her discussion about the various issues raised, to be balanced.
The Alaskan resident - now being referred to as a gadfly - criticized where she felt it was due and gave credit where it appeared there should be some.
When I read in the morning paper that Ms. Kilkenny received a lot of vitriolic hate mail on the heels of its release on the Internet, I was surprised.
The e-mail communication amounted to milquetoast to me.
Apparently, some "attackers" have hurled insults her way, too.
One Palin supporter was inclined to accuse the middle-aged mother of being jealous of the former beauty Queen, for instance, for not having been the most popular school girl in class herself.
Why do people always have to resort to kitchen-table psycho-analysis?
Voters should accept the fact Kilkenny tried - as best she knew how - to shed some light on Sarah.
Nothing more. Nothing less.
Good on her!
Over the weekend, the Eagle Eye ( spy drama starring Shia LaBoeuf) soared into blockbuster heaven with ticket sales hitting pay dirt at $29 million and some chump change.
But, when you take a gander at box office sales racked up over the past few weeks - and take note of the feature films that nabbed 'em - it is quite evident that the movie-going public is pining for a thrilling screen adventure on a limited budget.
For example, three weeks ago - "Burn After Reading" - opened with strong sales at $26 million when no great contenders were in the running that weekend.
As predicted, "Burn" tickets floundered when "Lakeside Terrace" opened its doors the following weekend.
The action-adventure about a corrupt cop snatched up the bulk of available movie ticket moolah for the taking around the country this past week.
Then - the "Eagle Eye" soared into movie houses - and the audiences flip-flopped again.
Yup, savvy filmgoers turned their backs on both the Comedy "Burn" and the thriller "Lakeside Terrace" to settle into comfy theatre environs to catch the spy thriller from Dreamworks starring Shia LaBoeuf.
What does all this tell 'ya?
Film buffs are in a lethargic state.
There's not enough cash to spring on all the movie offerings, so they're being selective, I guess.
Dribs and drabs, that's how I'd characterize the ailing movie business, right now.
What's the next big weekend hit?
Whatever opens with a name star in the next few weeks, I suppose.
Gambling on which movies will be a hit or miss makes more sense than betting on the big sports leagues these days.
5 to 1, I'm right!