Saturday, August 15, 2009
A motorist in Baltimore cruised through a red light and unexpectedly ended up in the glare of spotlight.
The hapless individual ran smack dab into celebrated Gold Medalist Michael Phelps out-for-a-spin in his trendy upscale vehicle.
The impact slightly-crumpled the front hood on the Cadillac Escalade sport utility vehicle owned by Phelps.
However, the other vehicle suffered considerably more damage to the front side where it was impacted by the SUV.
The accident was not the athlete's fault - but (oops!) - a routine check of Driver Licenses revealed that Phelps was tooling around the mean streets with an expired out-of-state license.
The high-profile swimmer fessed up about having downed an ale about an hour prior to the incident, but DUI charges were not pursued.
Alcohol levels must have been within the legal limit.
In fact, according to Officers on duty that night, Phelps showed no signs of being impaired.
No word on whether Phelps was questioned about any intake of the demon weed that landed him in hot water a scant few weeks ago.
Police Spokesperson (Anthony Guglielmi) reported to the media that the local Police were aware of the swimmer's 2004 conviction for drunken driving.
For this reason, they did not give Phelps any special treatment, and made sure that everything was done completely by the book.
The accident took place around 8:45 p.m. on Thursday.
Phelps was cited for driving without a license and failure to establish residency in Maryland.
No fines are involved, but Phelps will have to appear in court and explain why he was zipping around Baltimore without a valid license.
Although gung-ho Phelps has focused on his swim career with a vengeance in recent days - in retrospect - it appears that the studly Submarine Sandwich spokesperson has failed to keep up-to-snuff on matters in his personal life which obviously tending to.
Pedestrians on the street spied Phelps right away after he exited his pricey wheels with an injured ankle, and subsequently, rushed in with cameras to capture the event on film for posterity.
His last words on the subject of drinking and driving (uttered up on the heels of the DUI conviction in 2004) are coming back to haunt him.
"Getting into a car after anything to drink is wrong. It’s dangerous and unacceptable," Phelps said after his 2004 arrest.
So, how did Phelps end up in the SUV that fateful night?
News at 11!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Michael Phelps...bid on swimming lesson with Gold Medalist at e-bay! Proceeds go to Max Cure Foundation...
One of my readers - a Michael Phelps fan - excitedly posted a comment on my blog to inform me that there is an auction underway on e-Bay for the Max Cure Foundation (Roar for a Cure)
Why was he so excited?
The highest bidder on a Michael Phelps item snags a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a swimming lesson from the World Champion Olympic Gold Medalist.
At the moment (5:39 pm/Thursday August 13th) there aren't any bids on the Phelps offering, but I expect it is due to the fact the word isn't out yet.
Well, it wasn't, 'til now!
The auction describes the Michael Phelps charity-raiser as a:
"Child Swimming Clinic"
100% of the proceeds benefit the Max Cure Foundation!
Michael Phelps Child Swimming Clinic
Starting bid is $750.00
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To bid on this item cruise to the e-bay auction site:
The Max Cure Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 2008 whose mission is to fund pediatric cancer causes.
The Foundation was established by the Plotkin family in honor of Maxwell Grant Plotkin who was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of B-cell Lymphoma when he was four.
Maxwell continues to bravely fight the disease with the specific hope he'll be able to inspire others to rise above adversity.
Info for the Max Cure Foundation:
The Max Cure Fund For Pediatric Cancer Research at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York City is dedicated to researching pediatric cancers, improving treatments and finding cures that will save children’s lives.
The primary mission of The Max Cure Fund is to raise $5 million to underwrite the establishment of a research laboratory at MSKCC in the Department of Pediatrics.
The lab will be devoted to researching, treating and curing childhood cancers.
The Max Cure Fund For Pediatric Cancer Research has already raised hundreds of thousands of dollars towards its goal and has been honored by organizations including Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and The New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
For more information on Max Cure Fund go to:
The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is the world’s oldest and largest private institution devoted to prevention, patient care, research and education in cancer.
Its scientists and clinicians generate innovative approaches to better understand, diagnose and treat cancer.
Its specialists are leaders in biomedical research and in translating the latest research to advance the standard of cancer care worldwide.
For information go to:
In spite of the fact Spring 2010 is a bit far off, Fashion Designers trotted off to Milan recently to unveil their collections for men on runways that breathed new life into male animal chic.
As a kaleidoscope pulsated passionately in the background, Etro's confident macho male models strutted out in lively pant-and-shirt ensembles etched with wild Hawaiian prints, vivid paisleys, and - on occasion - streaks and splashes of pure unadulterated color sure to appeal to the peacock of the species.
Meanwhile, Roberto Cavalli was inclined to butch up his collection military-style, with the emphasis on male machismo.
Elaborate epaulets and toggles on wide-shouldered jackets effectively pumped up the upper torso to create a flattering virile silhouette.
Subtle industrial hardware flourishes beefed up the "studly" image, too.
Street-smark Jacobs was wise to turn-out a bevy of biker jackets of all practical and fanciful persuasion (kinky, beefy, streetwise) sure to be winners in the mainstream.
Hollywood types - Depp, Pitt, and Pattinson, for starters - may be inspired to pluck up Jacob's quirky elongated Tuxedo on a fashion whim.
Come Spring (probably sooner), flaunting fashion-conscious dudes and a show-off gym bunny or two will undoubtedly snap up a gauzy (see thru) muscle shirt with armholes down to the waist that casually tease potential suitors when exposing a pumped-up pec or two.
Salvatore Ferragamo, one of my favorite chi-chi designers, trotted out chic suits with a big spotlight on subtle Italian tailoring and styling.
Slim double-breasted suits in fine wool or cotton gabardine will be all the rage when the first flower buds longingly strain for innocent spring skies that herald new prospects for the coming year.
Two-tone shoes, built on simple two-lace tie-up structures, made a welcome entry, too.
Ferre didn't surprise much, instead preferring to stray along mostly-familiar fashion territory with signature design flourishes that have been big sellers for that powerhouse in the past.
The stylish man-about-town may go broke over stand-out stand-alone (entree) pieces enriched with gold embroidery (still a fashion rage and revving up on T-shirts and designer jeans) or tooled in sexed-up body-hugging butter-soft leather.
Sleeveless shirts (tailored in all the right places) may entice a muscled chevron (or bicep) to flex a bit for show when a man's on the prowl.
Some uppity fashion editors did not warm up to Alexander McQueen's vision for Spring.
Just maybe, it was because naughty Alex elected to go a bit cerebral in Milan that week.
Instead of flaunting his collection on stage - so that the keen eyes of the critical fashion press could feast upon the offerings in a practical context on the runway as crafted fabric shells shaped and molded to flow in harmony with body parts and flesh - McQueen elected to present an esoteric video of an emotionally-charged artist smearing clay on walls.
McQueen's jumping-off point when under the fashion gun?
The slightly-balmy designer's off-the-wall presentation of the collection consisting mainly of suits and work wear daubed with paint - strung out on (yawn) plain old racks - underscored that it might be so.
I found the novelty fashion statements - decorated with line drawings, abstract prints, and patchworks - were bang on in view of the trends making leaps and bounds in pop culture circles this past year.
The so-called "lived-in-look" critics have turned a blind eye to - merely signal that the male of the species is becoming more comfortable in his skin - real or imagined.
The most whimsical offerings were out of "Costume National" labelled a collection for "Travelers & Curious Explorers".
Ennio Cpasa featured drop-crotch pants (great for hiking jaunts in France , n'est-ce pas?), ensemble pieces with rough edges to toughen up the image, and macho army boots to anchor any of the fashion fantasies about to take flight.
One design adventure - a cropped satin jacket with floral embroideries - hinted at a romantically-inspired trend to surface next year as the economy picks up, the recession is turned back, and the pleasure principle rails the day on the American fashion front once again.
Salvatore Ferragamo individual elegant style
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Like me, you probably imagined actor Mathew Modine to be a bit of a wimp.
After all, he's built a successful acting career in the mainstream by playing nerdy-type roles, pivotal to the plot.
In Pacific Heights, for instance (a thriller which featured Mr. Nice Guy in one of his break-out roles) a mild-mannered Modine character thrust into the path of a diabolical menace, turns-the-tables on his unrelenting foe (Michael Keaton) as on-the-edge-of-their-seat audiences cheer him on.
So, when Mathew strode down the red carpet last fall at the AFI Film Festival - six-foot-two and clad in leather and jeans - I was taken aback.
Modine is a closet hunk, folks!
The handsome star was bubbling over with enthusiasm over an upcoming project, so I jotted down every little juicy tidbit, for future reference (a post, natch).
But, when I queried him about his personal life, I got a stern look from his publicist hovering protectively on the sidelines.
"A no-no. Don't go there," she seemed to be cautioning.
A second later, after a brief pause, Mathew also piped in casually.
"Pretty personal stuff."
I slightly bowed my head and apologized.
"Mr. Modine, if you are not comfortable with any question, you're welcome to pass on it."
That little gesture broke the walls down.
A few moments later, Mathew was at ease and opening up with his innermost thoughts.
That was probably my best (favorite) interview at AFI during the whole ten-day event!
Now, Mathew will be appearing on stage at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood.
What's the tag line for the original stage production?
The publicity department at Geffen put it this way:
"It's been decades since Modine's eighties heartthrob days."
How can he weasel his way back into the glare of the "me me me" spotlight?
"He needs... a Cause."
To quote the Emperor in Amadeus:
"There it is, then"
Matthew Modine stars as Matthew Modine in the rollicking parody of celebrity activism:
Save the Albacas
"With the help of super-publicist - Whimberly North - Matthew channels his talents toward the common good and heads off to a small South American village to meet the Chimborazzi tribe and save their alpacas."
Mathew Modine (the Geffen Playhouse and cast) graciously invite theatre-lovers to a world premiere romp through the ridiculous, the hilarious and the utterly offensive.
Save the Alpacas was written by Blair Singer and directed by John Rando.
September 8 - October 18
Discounts Tickets: 310.208.5454
Exclusively by telephone only
Use Code MME20
Performances through September 27, 2009 (20% off)
Initially, as I lazily made my way up the 3rd Street promenade on the weekend, I dithered about whether to catch Meryl Streep's latest flick, "Julie & Julia".
It was a woman's bonbon movie, wasn't it?
As I approached the Theatre, though, I spied a line of excited film fans that snaked down the street which consisted of ticket-holders of all sexual persuasion (young and old alike).
That cinched it for me, 'cause the word of mouth was obviously good.
Shortly after the opening credits crawled to a close, and the feature sprang to life on the wide-screen, I found myself guffawing out loud.
In fact, I don't recall having such side-splitting fun at a screening in months.
The plot consists of two stories, really, that intertwine.
Half of the scenes zero in on celebrated author Julia Child in her lettuce-and-salad days in France, where she painstakingly toiled away (with collaborators) on the manuscript for a cookbook, which eventually landed on the best-seller list (at last count publishers were boasting 49 editions).
On the other side of the ocean, a few decades later, the entertaining comedy also tracks a spirited young married woman in search for her calling in life.
If you're a daily blogger, then get ye to the cinema, straight-a-way!
After all, the film is partly about the ubiquitous blogosphere that shadows our daily lives, and the ups-and-downs of blogging.
Insider-humor about the Internet phenomenon is downright hilarious (and bang on).
In a nutshell, our ballsy heroine launches a blog on the topic of cooking, with Julia Child's "Bible" on cooking in hand, with the ultimate goal of getting her bearings in life once and for all.
Meryl Streep is an utter delight!
Although much-touted for her dramatic acting skills, in this well-crafted feature it's quite evident that the award-winning actress has an awesome natural flair for comedy that may end up landing her a much-deserved nod from the Academy for the campy portrayal (a tough row to hoe, I know).
Amy Adams, all sweetness and light, is suitably cast here.
Die-hard fans (and then some) are flocking to catch her latest performance, according to my spies.
For reasons you'll understand later, the review tidily finishes up here.
However, I am inclined to mention a curious scenario that unfolded this week, that was quite intriguing in view of the recent release of "Julie & Julia" in the Los Angeles area.
In a post yesterday, I noted that I stumbled across two cartons of unwanted books left at the curb, in West Hollywood.
Ironically, when I rifled through the boxes (the day after I took the Streep comedy), I found a two-page type-written letter tucked inside a hardcover book written on elegant stationary from a San Francisco organization known as:
"The American Institute of Wine & Food"
Julia Child & Robert Modavi were listed on the letterhead as Honorary Chairmen!
In the body of the letter, Vincent Price actually refers to Julia Child in passing, to a member.
"We continue to watch as an ever increasingly remarkable group of people become Founders and join us in an array of events and programs."
"The national Founders group means that whether founders convene for festive weekends in Santa Barbara with Julia Child or special meals in New York City hosted by Anne Rosenzweig of "21", we are assured of doing so with talented and interesting friends from all over the country."
The synchronicity here is simply astounding, isn't it?
On that note, eat well, and be healthy!
Underrated actress has starred opposite Leonardo DiCaprio
Ellen's Thursday show (tomorrow) looks like a blast!
In the spirit of games, Ellen DeGeneres will ask audience members to play Norwegian Nosedive, which requires participants to touch their body parts to the floor.
As usual, viewers at home - who tweet - have the opportunity to win a daily prize if they can correctly answer a question which focuses on a part of the broadcast (a guest's response, a discussion about a particular subject, a bit of trivia Ellen mentions casually, etc.).
On Friday, Ellen chats with world’s fastest Sport Stacker, a precocious kid named by the name of Steven Purugganan.
On that show, the funny-lady will try her velvety-smooth hands at cup stacking.
Don't tell Ellen I blabbed, but balancing skills have nothing to do with it!
It's all done with Elmer's glue.
Needless to say, it's all a fun way to - "Beat the Heat" - according to the perky talk-show hostess-with-the-mostest!
Miley Cyrus...paper tigress or manipulative temptress extraordinaire? Pornification not a word, folks...
A dude can't even log off for a second or two, slip into a Thai eatery in Westwood for a feast on a serving of mouth-watering Kung Pow Chicken on a mound of white rice, or stroll under a dreamy romantic night-sky without missing a watershed event.
Miley Cyrus suggestively straddled a pole on a Fox Network Stage (not unlike a bitch on the prowl in heat) and in the throes of the scandalous coming-of-age sexual tease - shocked a scorned four million viewers- including a prudish Perez Hilton who screamed at the boob tube "slut".
But, a handful of Hannah Montana fans gave the nubile young Cyrus star the benefit of the doubt.
Oh, she was hanging onto that pole to maintain her balance, of course!
To some, she was simply a classless bump 'n grinder, a stripper with all the wrong moves.
A provocative tease, quipped an amused by-stander.
Fox TV executives - hyper-sensitive to the potential fall-out - anxiously instructed camera-operators to capture the blossoming sexpot above the shoulders to avoid a brewing controversy.
Ah, shades of Elvis.
Church Leaders warned that the "pelvis" would corrupt the youth of American, in one fell swoop.
A paper tigress or temptress extraordinaire?
Or, just an imagined scenario concocted by puritans, to put a lid on freedom of - um - expression?
No such word in the English language.
For starters, hysterical folks wagging their fingers non-stop around the water-cooler during coffee break, shouldn't be tossing the blame solely on the bimbo babe.
Brooke Shields didn't escape scorn (or the glare of the searing critical spotlight either) when she left little to the imagination in "Pretty Baby" with pretty much nothing on.
Gwen Billings, editor of Cynopsis Kids (a trade publication that covers the beat for children in the entertainment industry) probably said it best when she assessed the tawdry amateurish sexual strut this way.
It is quite possible the routine started out as a squeaky-clean tribute to Shirley Temple - and her awesome hit "The Good Ship Lollipop" - in wholesome Disney-style.
The producers exercised a bit of harmless artistic license, that's all.
Pavilions...managers with bad attitude & intimidating Afro-American security guards scare away customers...
The Grand Opening" for the newly-renovated Pavilions in West Hollywood was a festive event for neighborhood shoppers who were treated to coupons offering up free merchandise, scrumptious food samples lovingly prepared by a handful of celebrated Chefs, and even on site wine-signing events featuring Napa Valley wine producers of note.
Regular readers will recall a couple of features I penned and posted - when the doors of the aesthetically-pleasing grocery - swung wide-open once again and droves of excited customers swarmed in to take a look-see and snap up the inviting offerings.
Unfortunately, just a scant two weeks later, customers are grumbling about employee attitude.
The way a couple of the managers have been haughtily striding about the store, sizing customers up-and-down, you'd think they were blessed with a ten-inch dick swinging between their legs.
For loyal Pavilions fans like myself shopping at that location for over twenty years (and other long-time residents in the neighborhood) the snotty attitude is off-putting to say the least.
But, it is undoubtedly a handful of tall Afro-American security guards all-decked-out in black-tailored suits (who stand stone faced at the entrances and exits of the store), that are causing shoppers to whisper disapproval inside-and-out the grocery.
Tight shoes, or a bout of diarrhea (bad sushi?), may account for the unpleasant scowls are their emotionless mugs.
I doubt that scenario, somehow.
In gentile WeHo, the Pavilions henchmen are a blight on the landscape, without doubt.
Pavilions, you're hardly out of the starter's gate, and you're scaring away customers.
Wake up and smell the Starbucks java, that no one is buying.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
You know what they say?
Early bird gets the worm!
At the crack of dawn this morning, I was strolling up a side street in picturesque WeHo, when I spied a couple of cardboard boxes brimming with cast-off books that a resident tossed out at the curb for pick-up on trash day.
When an intriguing object or two caught my eye, I was in there like Flynn.
Until I resided in New York City, such a trashy adventure would not have been thinkable!
You see, when I first became a transplant of the big apple way back in the seventies, I was hindered by the fact that I was a naive innocent from the suburbs of conservative Canada with a tendency to faint dead-away if a stranger were even to up-and-utter boo.
Indeed, liberated New Yorkers - and their ballsy approach to life - stirred up an emotion or two.
For example, one day I was simply aghast when I observed a very well-heeled gentleman stoop over and sift through a pile of trash at the curb, like he was feasting down on a hearty meal.
In the months that followed, it became abundantly clear that a multitude of New Yorkers were a practical lot, simply motivated by laziness or budget-constraints.
Why hire a truck to haul off unwanted furniture when every Sainted tenant in Manhattan was wise to an old-familiar truism?
"One man's trash is another man's treasure"
One day, I was strolling down a bustling busy street in ultra-trendy East Village, when a curio in the trash caught my eagle eye.
As my hand reached for the object, I suddenly realized in horror:
I'd become a bona fide New Yorker!
And, there's been no looking back since, you betcha.
Today, for instance, I was sifting through a handful of the finely-bound books in the cheap carton, when - lo & behold - an envelope slipped out from in-between the dog-eared pages of a pristine copy of a Dominique Dunne best-seller - Justice - and landed ceremoniously in my lap.
Upon close scrutiny, the slip of paper turned out to be a two-page type-written piece of correspondence (which originated from up the coast in San Francisco) signed with a flourish by the master of the macabre himself, Vincent Price!
Then, I happened across a second scrap of paper tucked away in a pamphlet, out-of-sight at first glance.
The aged cutting turned out to be a news clip of a society page penned by George Cristy for one of the Hollywood trade papers.
Curiously, I recall perusing that particular article published in 1986!
My memory didn't fail me on this occasion for a very special reason.
One of the publicity stills featured Elizabeth Taylor (my fave star), Carol Bayer Sager, and crooner Barry Manilow.
A hand-written note from George - to an unknown correspondent - actually bore his signature.
But, it was an eye-catching brochure dating back to the late-fifties or early sixties (judging by the style and presentation) that sheltered a few sheets of pristine writing paper and an envelope (embossed in gold with the name of The Palace Hotel in Beijing on its face) that caused me to jump with joy.
Gosh, what a collector's find.
Inside, there was a quaint inscription which read:
The Legend of Wangfujing
"On this site at Wangfujing a thousand years ago a spring bubbled forth its waters so sacred so tranquil that the Emperor guarded it as he guarded his most sacred treasures."
"When tired from the pressures of office, he and his chosen Mandarin came here to rest for it seemed the flowers were more sweetly scented and the birds sang more joyfully at the well of Wangfujing."
"At the Palace Hotel, we like to believe that we are continuing the tradition of the legend of Wangfujing."
In addition to these surprise treasures, there were a few quality guide books touting exotic locales such as Morocco and Singapore.
Ironic, since I just noted in a post last week that my blog stats indicated a soar in overseas hits, including far-off locations such Singapore!
An omen, perchance?
A few texts on fluency in foreign languages hinted that the owner had been expanding their skills in the romantic languages on a whim or - in the alternative - prepping for a little jaunt overseas to Italy, and France, and parts unknown.
From other books in the lot, I determined a few other interesting facts.
Three beautifully-crafted catalogues for prestigious auction houses in Europe suggested that the well-read individual (with a flair for languages) was a collector of objects of fine art, antiques, and items of historical interest or value.
By the way, there wasn't one sleazy dime-store-novel in the whole batch of books.
I laughed out loud when I stumbled on Blackwell's autobiography:
"From Rags to Bitches"
Shortly after his death last year - and on the heels of a post on Fashion Tips for men - a reader was inclined to refer to me as the new Mr. Blackwell at his blog site.
So, in homage to Blackwell, I tossed together a Worst-dressed list at the end of last year.
Expensive gardening books studded with high-quality color plates indicated that the owner was fond of house plants, lush outdoor garden settings, and exotic flowers.
Books on Edward III (the Pleasure Prince) and a celebrated Russian actress (who lived around the turn-of-the century) signaled a romantic day-dreaming side fascinated by fantasy, celebrity, and the high-life.
In sum, a box of trash with a heap-load of personality, n'est-ce pas?
Brokeback Mountain...Cowboy shirts on display @ Gene Autry Museum! Cherished wardrobe "Ruby Red Slippers" of this generation...
Recently, the Gene Autry Heritage Museum invited me to attend a much-anticipated press party (August 11th) for the unveiling of a display featuring two of the Cowboys shirts that were worn by the lead characters (Jack & Ennis) in the award-winning film - "Brokeback Mountain" - directed by Ang Lee.
Unfortunately, the day for the event to put the spotlight on the iconic shirts has come, and I am unable to attend due to a back load of five or six posts that need polishing and subsequent publishing on the Internet.
I am there in spirit, though.
According to the public relations department at the Museum, the exhibit represents the LBGT community's struggle for safety and inclusion in the rural western communities from where many originate yet often feel forced to abandon.
The shirts are on loan from openly gay collector, producer, and sociopolitical commentator - Tom Gregory - who teasingly referred to the shirts worn by stars in the film as the"ruby red slippers" of this generation.
In my generation - "The Front Runner" - was the book that impacted young men struggling with their sexual identity and a prevailing attitude that yearnings for a homosexual relationship signaled a mental illness that was curable with appropriate treatment.
One Doctor (back in the fifties) argued that men flirted with "homosexuality" (the term gay had not been coined yet) - not because they were attracted to members of the same sex - but rather - because they were seeking their manhood (yet undeveloped in themselves due to an overbearing mother or the lack of a father figure in the home environment) in another male.
He theorized that once the individual was secure in his own masculinity, the unhealthy sexual phase would pass, and that the "once-confused" young male would move on to heterosexual relationships with women, start a family, whatever.
Meanwhile, between the covers of the "Front Runner", author - Patricia Nell Warren - put forth the notion that it was not only okay to be "gay" - but entirely appropriate - to shout it out.
The shocking climax in her subculture classic underscored, however, that there may be dire consequences in following one's heart.
I read the book years ago when I attended West Hill Collegiate in a Toronto suburb.
Because I was a long-distance runner on the track & field team, I was immediately drawn to Warren's book, for obvious reasons.
In fact, I day-dreamed about playing the lead character, the young runner.
The plot focuses on a gay coach (pre "out-&-proud" days) who transfers to a small University so that he may remain closeted about his homosexuality and free of temptation.
A young runner saunters onto campus, strikes up an intimate relationship with the reluctant lover, and with his mentor's expert coaching skills goes on to compete in the Olympics as the 1st openly-gay athlete.
Controversial stuff in those days!
Years later - during my stint as a Literary Agent representing screenwriters - it occurred to me that "The Front Runner" was ripe for adaptation for the big screen.
If two identifiable bankable stars signed on for the lead roles, it would surely be a box-office hit, in my estimation.
One one occasion, when I met Patricia Nell Warren at a Book Fair, I blurted out my once all-consuming-passion to play the lead when I was a young actor.
I stuttered for a moment, then made a confession to the startled writer.
"I'm too old to play Billy now. The Coach, maybe. But, I'm not right for that part."
She stared at me like I was mad!
Unfortunately, whenever it was announced there was a production in the works featuring a popular actor like Jan Michael Vincent (star material at the time his name was bandied about - who likewise - met the sexy hunk requirements) or Paul Newman (and yes - even straight-as-lace - Robert Redford) the gay community got revved up once again over the possibilities.
But, on each auspicious occasion, the projects fizzled out.
Today, the "Front Runner" has little relevance, except in respect to the fact it was one of the first gay-themed books on athletes "coming out" about their sexuality.
So, when it was announced that a short story about two studly cowboys entwined in a love trys, was being adapted for the silver screen, I was skeptical.
In fact, when I slipped into the theatre opening day, I did so with a lot of trepidation.
But, a short few minutes into the well-crafted beautifully-thought-out-feature, my fears were alleviated.
For instance, when the two lead characters in Brokeback (played by Jake Gyllenhaal & Heath Ledger) first encounter each other at a job site, the awkward love ritual that plays out thereafter onscreen - not only resonates with remarkable truth - but also speaks volumes about the love that once dare not utter its name.
The wardrobe pieces featured in the film weren't particularly fancy.
But, the shirts on display at the Gene Autry Museum, have been intertwined without shame to represent a "visual symbol of love", according to a Museum spokesperson.
Why the Gene Autry Museum?
Jeffrey Richardson, assistant curator for film and popular culture at the Museum, was instrumental in accelerating the idea for the project, once it was pointed out to him by a patron that the Autry Museum has always been celebrated and respected for exploring all people of the American West.
Now, Jack & Ennis - two love-struck cowboys portrayed on celluloid in Brokeback Mountain (and the symbol of their love) - are a part of that glorious Western folk lore.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger take leap of faith with Ang Lee
Monday, August 10, 2009
It was a smack that was heard around the world - only second in magnitude - to Paris Hilton's primal scream for her "Mom" in the throes of being handcuffed and hauled off to the county jail.
For Perez, a nasty fist against flesh elicited the jarring sound, which was a wake-up-call.
A line from the stage musical "Chicago" said it best:
"He had it coming."
Fired-up over a tiff with singer will.i.am (Black Eyed Peas) - the impulsive (sometimes bitchy) Queen of the blogs - uttered up a homosexual slur (faggot) which didn't sit well with the road manager (or a posse of politically-correct critics on the sidelines of the controvesy) .
So, when the hot-headed loyal handler crossed paths with Perez unexpectedly (in my hometown Toronto, of all places), the run-in turned ugly.
As one observed quipped gleefully:
"That day the fourth wall came crashing down for Perez."
Since then, Perez has managed to about-face (in a two-faced way, some tongues wag) and make bloody amends.
For starters, he apologized to the "gay community".
It was difficult to gaze into the eyes of gay members at the Health Club without feeling a tinge of guilt, he confessed in a recent interview with a reporter at the Los Angeles Times.
But, I expect there was an ulterior motive, too.
The celebrated gossip-monger has been slimming-down with an eye to hooking-up (and getting laid) with a stud muffin or two.
Why should he care what those superficial gym bunnies think, eh?
Meanwhile, Perez waits for a lawsuit he filed for monetary damages against the stage manager (Liborio Molino) to worm its way through the courts.
In the event of a financial settlement, Molino's punching-bag originally intended to donate the funds to the high-profile Mathew Shepard Foundation.
If you recall, Mathew Shepard was a gay youth - who became a cause celebre - when he was brutally murdered because of his sexual preference a few years back.
But, the word back from the Judy Shepard camp, must hurt.
Shepard has noted for the record that she'll refuse the overture because of Perez's use of anti-gay slurs.
On occasion, Shepard has demonstrated - to moi, at least - that she's is a bit full of herself.
Indeed, Shepard appears to be under the mistaken impression, that she has a corner on the gay-bashing market.
Judy, you're not the only parent with a gay child, who suffered violence at the hands of homo-hating hoodlums!
Meanwhile, Perez leads his fans on a merry chase!
And, the twenty-something socially-active babes who comprise a lion's share of his readership base, are content to cruise along and and titter over the juicy celebrity tidits he offers up at his sizzling-hot top hit-getter web site.
However, a published interview with the Advocate, still stings.
Perez has wailed to anyone within earshot that the journalist (!) Benoit Denizet-Lewis was dismissive in respect to his intellect in the disparaging profile published in the National gay rag.
"He's not a deep or nuanced thinker and seems generally unwilling...to look critically at himself...He doesn't strike me as all that intellectually honest," opined the sniper to Perez's dismay.
In fact, the whirling dirvish was furious!
Just betcha, a sizzling expose on Denizet-Lewis, is about to be hatched!
However, one loyal supporter wholeheartedly disagreed with the harsh assessment.
"Perez is brilliant. It's a classic success story for the post-publishing environment, in which you've got a very low overhead, and a really dynamic relationship with readers, and advertisers get htat and go for that."
Indeed, in the topsy-turvy blogosphere - where failed bloggers are more the norm than the exception - Perez has remained on - um - top.
To his credit, Hilton hasn't been content to idly sit on his laurels, or simply rake in the cash.
Personally, I've noticed that his web site is a lot "meatier" these days.
In addition, his posts are more fully-developed and smack of an emerging literary style that may lead to published works in the mainstream, I expect.
Truman Capote must be turning over in his grave.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
I was sipping on a hot cup of java bright and early this morning in Starbucks when a young father strode in with his tot in tow.
Suddenly, the little one (obviously, with the terrible two's) let loose with a wild tantrum which caused all heads in the coffee shop to turn around.
Embarrassed, the exasperated dad dashed outside in a bold-faced effort to quiet the little darling (errr!) without disturbing the sleepy-eyed patrons still grinding into gear.
"Short of putting a muzzle on the kid, what can you do in a situation like that," I chuckled to the mid-forties WeHo dude (gay) across the table.
"Not have them," he quipped without skipping-a-beat.