When a celebrity dies, especially those superstars who are recognized across the globe, the world stops for a moment. And when his or her death occurs under bizarre and mysterious circumstances, especially after years of public struggles and making questionable decisions, the world starts to analyze the crap out said famous person's life. Topics brought up by the media hounds are immediately discussed, tweeted, speculated, and debated in the days that follow. What could have been done to avoid this?...This was bound to happen...Let's remember her for her talent and not her troubles...Why do celebs think they live by a different set of rules and standards?...
This is NOT one of those nit-picking pieces.
Instead, what I'd like to focus on is a particular reaction fans (and anyone with an iTunes account) have as a result of a celebrity's (notably a popular singer's) demise.
When Michael Jackson passed away nearly three years ago, his stock in music went up, so to speak. His greatest hits collections sold out in stores. His name instantly soared to the top of the iTunes charts. Radio stations put him on heavy rotation. And clubs and bars blared his discography throughout the night (I had been in San Francisco at the time and couldn't escape "Thriller").
I am guilty of immediately hitting iTunes shortly after I heard the news about Whitney Houston (My where-were-you-when moment: I was at the gym attempting to burn off a pizza dinner and did a double take when I walked past a jogger's TV screen on his treadmill). I wanted to fill in any blanks I had in my music library. Shockingly, I didn't have her boffo single, "I Will Always Love You" (on sale for 69 cents) or "How Will I Know," taken from 1985 debut album.
When you get down to it, it's simply a matter of Don't Know What You Got Till It's Gone. When someone who has given us so much -- someone who has been associated with certain aspects of our childhoods or adolescences -- is suddenly ripped out of existence, we rush to collect all the things that remind us of who they were, what they meant to us. We resort to our younger selves, waxing nostalgic on times we now cherish in hindsight.
I'd like to think that I certainly knew what I had before it went away. Every once in a while I'd press play on "So Emotional" while huffing and puffing on the elliptical machine or add "I'm Your Baby Tonight" to a party playlist so that my friends could get their 1990 on. And thanks to the 13 Going 30 soundtrack, I had fallen in love with "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" in 2004 all over again. Whitney was always there, even up until the fall of 2009 when I was blaring "Million Dollar Bill" from her last album, I Look To you.
Now, listening to "Run To You," "I'm Every Woman," and "Queen of the Night" the morning after The News made me, like most of you, revisit snapshots from my pre-teen years. And with such reminiscing comes the realization of just how distant those memories have become and how damn old we've gotten. Inevitably, we're also briefly getting a glimpse of our own mortality - definitely a moment to stop and think.
And with that, I leave you this (a very telling moment comes in at the 2:10 mark):
It has come to our attention that the single ladies of Los Angeles (and most metropolitan areas) are frequenting gay bars and clubs more than ever (Exhibit A: The Abbey in WeHo on any given Saturday night), and HIH's Sarah Evans has a few words to share with her ever-growing sisterhood of the traveling boybarhoppers...
As a genuine ladyperson with gay friends and member of the interwebs community, I’d like to apologize for Gawker’s Zach Rosen and his mostly-insulting-not-very-helpful post on Jezebel a few months ago. I took issue with his rant for many reasons – not the least of which was his assertion that gay bars are a “safe space” being infiltrated by horrible, icky creatures with more boobs than manners.
On the other hand, I do agree that it’s important for The Ladies to recognize/realize that you are a tourist in a foreign country, and respect for the local customs is necessary. More than that, going out with your gay friends should be fun for you as well as for them, albeit for different reasons.
Given my frequent forays into both NYC’s Chelsea and LA’s West Hollywood with my local sets of gay pals (I mean, seriously, they don’t even card me at Factory anymore), I’d like to furnish you (especially those first-timers) with some helpful guidelines for enjoying what should be a totally rad night out for all involved.
1) Heels – don’t bother. Really, it’s not worth it. As a regular wearer of impractical footwear myself, you are not fooling me that you’re comfortable. And, frankly, the line between Drunk Walk and My Feet Are Killing Me becomes perilously thin after a while. And trust me when I tell you, no one there is impressed.
2) Don’t bring a purse. It’s unnecessary and impractical. Nothing makes me sadder than watching some girl try and dance while weighed down by a messenger bag the size of an Olsen twin. Here is the correct distribution for the only things you need: Keys – front right pocket. Phone – back right pocket. Cash & ID – back left pocket. Done and done.
3) Now is not the time for any drink involving more than two ingredients. As counterintuitive as it may seem, the cocktailing skills of the scantily-clad gentlemen tending bar are usually pretty poor (we’ve had many truly atrocious gimlets at Factory). Safest bet – any flavored vodka and Sprite. It’s fast, fool-proof and gets the job done.
4) Know your role. You are officially the winglady for the evening, so it’s important to know when to step aside and let your boys do what they (more than likely) came there to do. 10 feet – the minimum safe distance to stand while your best friend makes out with the go-go boy.
5) No, the hot guy by the window is not straight. Nope, not him either. I don’t care how much flannel he’s wearing or how manly he seems. There is nothing here for you.
6) Tips are appreciated. By all means, go give the smokin’ hot platform dancer a dollar, even if the odds are miniscule that he wants anything to do with your lady parts – he’ll pretend he does, which doesn’t suck. I always tip the foxy lady dancers, especially if they have killer moves – they’re working extra hard for less attention.
7) “How Many Licks” by Lil Kim will be played. I have yet to figure out why.
8) Do not stare at the drag queens in attendance. Odds are any lady over 6 feet and wearing sequins is not a lady (unless, you know, it’s me). A sincere “Girl, you look fierce” is an appropriate acknowledgement. Pointing from across the room while debating this person’s true gender is disrespectful.
9) “Get Me Bodied” by Beyonce will be played. You might want to go ahead and study up on the dance at home. This is the Electric Slide of gay clubs:
10) Dance! For the love of Kylie, get out there and shake it. I don’t care if you don’t know how, aren’t very good at it or have no idea what song that is. If there is a dance floor/area and something with synthesizers being played at high volume, it is your duty to get down on it. This is also where Tip #1 will come in handy.
Summer may be winding down, but the weather in L.A. is just (finally) getting warmed up. Blame global warming. Blame the tepid summer movie season (again). Blame the recent traffic jams caused by Obama's visit to town (because that seems to be the scapegoat du jour).
But as all Angelenos know, just because September is right around the corner, it doesn't mean we have to stop barbecuing, hang up the flip-flops, and take fruity daiquiris off the cocktail menus (we can, however, take Katy Perry's "California Gurls" off rotation). As much as the rest of the country hates to hear it, we still have plenty of sizzle time left. Anyone remember when it hit 90 in October last year? Maybe Los Angeles is becoming the Australia of the United States, reliably warm and mild during the winter months. God knows we got plenty of Aussies making the move to sunny Southern California every year (I'm friends with about a dozen of 'em on Facebook).
For those of you following my gay basher/broken nose story, I want to
give you a quick update. I'm talking to John Duran's office at the
city of West Hollywood trying to get them to pressure the West
Hollywood's Sheriffs department to treat sexual orientation hate crimes
with the same care and professionalism that they give to other victims
of hate crimes (gender, religion, ethnicity based). You may recall
that the Sheriffs Department refused to send a deputy to the ER to take my
statement. Later when I complained, I was told by the Sheriff's that
it is their policy not to send deputies to the ER to take statements,
but that it is my responsibility to go to the sheriff's station myself
and report it. This is, of course, in direct opposition to what both
the hospital and the city hall have told me.
(Other than that) my scar is healing well and it makes me look more butch. :-)
In fact, I have never gone and can't imagine a world in which I would. My OCD and bad back simply won't allow it. The last such event I attended was the Lolapalooza tour that featured Smashing Pumpkins and the Beastie Boys. I was younger then, and we had backstage passes, so I avoided a lot. But I suppose that if I could combine the bands I like from each day into one single day, I might be tempted. Based on this year's 3-day line-up, here is my dream 1-day concert:
PAUL MCCARTNEY (but only if he knows he's playing a "Garden Party" and doesn't try to be current), MORRISSEY (see McCartney), FRANZ FERDINAND, LEONARD COHEN (how do you say no?), CONOR OBERST (but mostly cuz I want to see if I can get him to blow me backstage), BLACK KEYS (mostly cuz I have their CD but haven't been able to really enjoy it. Maybe seeing them live would help),
THE HOLD STEADY,
PEANUT BUTTER WOLF
TV ON THE RADIO,
THIEVERY CORPORATION, HENRY ROLLINS (but mostly cuz I want to see if I can blow him backstage),
THE DRIVE BY TRUCKERS (cuz they pretty much stole my act),
HERCULES AND LOVE AFFAIR (cuz I'm a big homo)
THE BOB MOULD BAND (cuz I'm a big homo),
THE CURE (cuz I'm a big OLD homo),
PETER, BIJORN & JOHN
BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE,
and THE MEXICAN INSTITUTE OF SOUND.
So, that's my dream line-up. It's a pretty long list, so I'd need all acts to keep their sets short. My attention span doesn't really allow for much more than 30 minutes of live music at a time anyway. And I'd want a few stages, so that each band starts up just after the other has finished. And I'd need seats. And a roof. And my own private restroom. And I'd have to be able to walk to the venue. But other than that, I'm in!
Did you know that if you are a victim of a hate crime and wind up in
the hospital because of it, the hospital, by law, must contact the
local law enforcement?
But even though it's the law for a hate
crime to be reported to police, or sheriffs, it is not the law that
either branch of law enforcement must log the complaint and take a
statement. Apparantly THEY can determine over the phone whether or not
it is of interest to them.
I know all this because yours truly got "fag bashed" last Sunday
night right in West Hollywood. Some punk-ass bitch started harassing
my friends, Kid Friendly, Smooth Money, White Gold and myself as we
walked home from YOGURT STOP (this blog was supposed to be my review of
the latest frozen yogurt shop to unveil in WeHo, but it's not)
I got between the drunk fucker and Kid Friendly and wound up in the Cedars Sinai ER with a broken and cut open nose. But the sheriff's
department refused to send a deputy to take my statement. I was told
by the attending ER doctor that I could go to the sheriff's department
later and file a complaint instead.
Instead, I've written a letter that I sent out earlier this week to the mayor of West Hollywood and several of the council
members. I have also sent copies of this letter to several people at
And now I'm posting this blog, so you will all know about it too.
like this can't be tolerated. And anyone who knows me knows I don't
tolerate not being tolerated. I'll keep you updated on how this all
This past weekend's weather was amazing. 70s and 80s, clear blue skies. And I was stuck in bed with the flu. Ah, timing!
But before I took sick to my bed I managed to meet up with Hiko, the editor of this blog, for a light lunch at O! Burger on Santa Monica Blvd. in the heart of WeHo (between Gaybucks and the Boner, er, Body Factory, a smoothie/wellness store). O! Burger is an upscale burger joint that uses only organic ingredients. Hiko had a turkey burger and side salad. I had a date shake and a cookie. Because I'm healthy like that. All was good and tasty, and the service was very nice. I find O! Burger to be pricey, but honestly, the food and service were great, so I will likely return. O! Burger was also a food sponsor of the 2008 Hot In Hollywood benefit, so they deserve our business!
Later that night Smooth Money dragged me out of my apartment where I was experiencing chills and night sweats (time to wash my Snuggie...again) and we hoofed it up the Boulevard to The Foxtail Lounge (between the Troubador and Dan Tana's) where my friend Jamie Carson was celebrating her birthday. Smooth Money and I really wanted to see this bar, because we'd read a story about how they had fired a cocktail waitress for getting fat! After experiencing the Foxtail in person, I can see why they would've fired a waitress for getting "fat." That place is lame. But it was fun to see my friends there. I just wish I could've heard my friends too ;-) I'd say that I'm too old for the Foxtail, but that kind of club has never been my thing.
My good little dog, Dr. Bombay was really sweet on Sunday. Usually I walk him for 2 hours that day, but since I was sick, he got no exercise. But like a trooper, he stayed by my side and was very good about it. One of the reasons (I think) he was such a trooper, was that he gets worn out from all the exercise he gets during the week! I walk him for an hour every morning and then to top that, I have found the most wonderful dog behaviorist in town, her name is Jackie Cronin. Jackie (pictured above) has been working with my dog 4 days a week and it's paying off! Dr. Bombay came to me with some serious neurosis, and once he got a load of my neurosis too, he started to make some trouble. And Jackie has magically turned him around. And she's helped me handle him better! If you need a good canine coach, I cannot recommend Jackie enough! She is A--MAZING. And she's totally cute. Please visit her website at www.jackiecronin.com. You will be glad you did.
Back in July I blogged about my need for a new dentist. I got several recommendations and never followed up on any of them. I have not been to the dentist now in over a year. That's because I:
A. Am pretty meticulous when it comes to cleaning my teeth. B. Not fond of dentists. C. A huge procrastinator D. All of the above.
If you answered D, you are correct! If you answered C, you are still correct, because procrastination is really the culprit here. My new years resolutions this year are few, but procrastination plays into all of them. Here are my resolutions for 2009:
1. Stop my new occasional smoking habit. I know that it will grow back into a festering two pack-a day habit. And it's totally gross. 2. Stay cute 3. Start returning my friends phone calls WITH phone calls...and in a timely manner.
When it comes to talking on the phone, I am generally not a fan. I don't like it. Which is odd, because I used to looooove it. As a teenager and as a twentysomething, I would spend hours and hours and hours on the phone talking to friends. But when email came along, I took to it like a fish to water. And text messaging on my phone feels like an extension of my arm. To have it removed would be like amputation.
So to that end, I tend to be in communication more with my email and text friends, but I seem to lose touch with my phone call friends. 2009 is the year that I must change that. Or risk losing some of the best friends an anti-social hermit like myself could ever ask for!
And I'm too old to make new friends.
Something I've noticed about myself and our culture is that technology has continued to make us less social and poorer communicators. All under the guise of social networking sites and mobile communication devices.
Instead of sitting down, face to face, or even over the phone to have a conversation with someone, we now just type to each other. Some might say that this has brought on a new age of letter writing, but truthfully it hasn't. It's simply expanded the adolescent "art" of passing notes in class onto a global and ageless scale. Take blogs for instance. Most of you reading this know more about me and my life than some of my closest friends (those that don't read my blogs, or text me, or email me). We reveal more about ourselves, while communicating less with each other. Isn't that odd? It kind of snuck up on us, I think.
So in 2009 I vow to communicate more! That's my big goal. Well...that and staying cute and smoke-free.
Ah, New Years Eve. Am I the only one that finds this to be a very overblown "holiday"? The only parts of it that I am really on board with are getting a new wall calendar and having the day off. And let's "chat" for a minute about the televised coverage. Carson Daly, Ryan Seacrest and the reanimated corpse of Dick Clark are amongst the hideous hosts you can chime in the year with. These are NOT options, folks. Speaking of hosts, did I miss something? Did CNN's Anderson Cooper finally make a public announcement that he's gay? Because he's hosted a NYE show with Kathy Griffin, so if he didn't "come out" yet, he's about to. I like Cooper, he's a good journalist and from what I can tell, a decent man. And seriously, did I miss his coming out? Griffin is very funny, and you have to hand it to her for building an enormous career that goes from D list to A list:
As a kid in the '70s I attended the New Years Day Rose Parade every year. I've been there so many times that I can barely bring myself to watch more than 10 minutes of it on TV now. Seeing it televised brings back haunting memories of freezing cold weather, the OVERWHELMING smell of horse shit and the enormous crowds of humans. But this year's parade did offer me two reasons to watch it AND to celebrate it.
1. Stephanie Edwards FINALLY came back as the co-host with Eubanks. Why on earth was she ever pushed off? Eubanks and Edwards are the Astaire and Rogers of parade commentators.
2. Cloris Leachman was the grand marshall. Holy moly, how great is this? I'm really hoping she'll flash the crowd. Whatever she does will be brilliant, even if she just sits in the car and waves.
My hope for 2009, which I am calling "2000 and Fine" is that heterosexuals will stop kidnapping children, shooting family members while dressed as Santa, being arsonists, starting fist fights in shopping malls, shooting up schools, raping, holding people hostage in hotel rooms, yelling "faggot" at me from their cars while driving along Santa Monica Blvd. in WeHo, and shopping at Wal-Marts.
And for all in the GLBT community, I hope this year brings us a better reason to continue being productive citizens of the U.S.A. Oh, and party queens, stay off the meth. You're not helping.
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