Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Super Hits Fitty-Deuce

It was Superdaddy's birthday at the Dugout on Sunday and Aaron's cupcakes brought all the boys to the yard. Normally I wouldn't post a picture with Mark in such an unusually fey pose and myself making that Colleen face, but we both look thin. Mark's pointing at my Bears Did Terrible Things To Me t-shirt. Get your own here, from the Van Gogh-Goghs.

Citizen Chris

Chris Crain, former editor of the Washington Blade, has started a blog. Some of you might not-so-fondly recall Crain's hiring of Republican White House shill "reporter" Jeff Gannon/Guckert, a move that was widely criticized. Last year, Crain was accused of having spiked a story outing head Republican strategist Ken Mehlman, which Crain has denied. Crain has an issue with what he calls "boundry-free" outing of gay Republicans, calling AmericaBlog's John Aravosis a "self-appointed hypocrisy cop." Perhaps Crain is still feeling the sting of his own "semi-closeted Republican past."

Homoquotable - Charlie Crist

"Marriage is a sacred relationship. Like I had, before I got divorced." - Closeted Republican scumbag candidate for Florida governor, Charlie Crist, expressing his opposition to gay marriage during a debate with other gubernatorial candidates. During the debate, Crist also said that he opposes gay people raising children. Crist has repeatedly sidestepped questions from the press regarding his own homosexuality, which has been considered an open secret in Tallahassee, where Crist is currently Florida Attorney General.

Florida just keeps cranking 'em out. If only literally.

Mimi Le Duck

Last night my theatre buddy David and I attended a preview of Mimi Le Duck, an off-Broadway musical starring Annie Golden (left) with a supporting appearance by the absolutely legendary Eartha Kitt. Mimi Le Duck, which got its start at the 2004 Fringe Festival, tells the story of a disaffected Idaho housewife who abandons her Mormon family and her job painting duck scenes for the QVC Channel to travel to Paris in search of her artistic muse, accompanied by the ghost of Ernest Hemmingway. In Paris she rents a room from fading "Paris Bird" torch singer Eartha Kitt, while befriending a transvestite oyster shucker. Got all that?

It was obvious that despite her smallish role, the audience was there to see Eartha Kitt. Kitt, who turns 80 in January, earned applause merely for appearing from behind a curtain in her first scene, during which the producers allow her to deliver her trademark throaty growl. David and I were concerned that Kitt might not be entirely ambulatory, as for her first two appearnces she was literally rolled onto the stage on a moving platform, but soon enough she was strutting, squating, hip-thrusting and showing her octegenarian gams in a gown slit thigh-high. Kitt was in amazing shape and lovely voice, there's none in the world like her. Despite not being the lead, Kitt was allowed the final bow. Her three numbers were my favorites in the show.

Annie Golden, whose voice reminds me very much of Debra Jo Rupp (the mom on That 70's Show) is a favorite of David's and we both agreed that she pretty much carried the show. The rest of the cast was solid enough, but we found some of the show a bit tedious, especially during the first act, during which I think I could actually hear David rolling his eyes. Still, I can recommend Mimi Le Duck, if for no other reason that it's worth sitting there for 2 hours just to hear three songs by uber-diva Eartha Kitt. Mimi Le Duck opens tonight at the New World Stages.

UPDATE: Proceed At Your Own Risk's Richard Rothstein's much less kind review is here.

Morning View - Turtle Bay

Looking south from the upper-deck Manhattan-bound lane of the Queensborough Bridge, you see Turtle Bay, the neighborhood that starts just north of the United Nations.

Solo Slot

You have to wonder exactly how much business Netflix is doing when the post office at Grand Central has to devote one of its three drop-off slots to Netflix returns only. Impressive. My own Netflix viewing has nose-dived in the last few months. I think I had Transamerica for two months before I finally got around to returning it.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Manic Monday

The 6 train, 1:30pm

Everybody eyes the 4-piece mariachi band warily when they board the train carrying their instruments at 14th Street. The riders are expecting to hear yet another doleful Mexican country ballad about a lovelorn farmer, one of those Mexican standards that manages to work in the five or six words that seem to comprise every Mexican pop song. Siempre. Corazón. Amor. Fuego.

The youngest band member, a handsome lad in his late teens, whips his cowboy hat off and begins to sing, as the three others accompany him on their guitars. I've got my iPod blasting so I can't hear anything except Giorgio Moroder's From Here To Eternity. But I do notice that some of the passengers are smiling and nodding. Odd. Usually the riders endure these unwanted performances with a sort of grim resignation, happy to leap to the doors and escape when they reach their stop.

I notice that the girl across from me has removed her earbuds and is also smiling and nodding. I'm hesitant to remove my own headphones but curiousity wins out and I pause my iPod so I can listen without looking like I am. And...it's hilarious. The band is playing Destiny's Child's Independent Woman.

The cute boy singer waves at a group of women at the end of the car.

"All you women who are independent, throw your hands up at me!"

And they do. The women wave their hands in the air, they wave them totally as if they do not care. The singer reverses his stance to sing to the women on the other side of the car.

"All you honeys who are makin' money, throw your hands up at me!"

And they do. They also wave without care!

He points at the two black girls standing in the door.

"All you mamas who profit dollas, throw your hands up at me!"

AND THEY DO. In fact, all the women are dancing in their seats or jiggling from their handrails. Girls, I didn't know you could get down like that. Totally worth the two bucks I toss in the kid's hat. New. York. City.

Japanese Efficiency


Why waste time sitting at your desk when you can learn important English expressions AND work your delts at the same time? Definitely the freakiest YouTube of the week.

(ht- So I Like Superman)

GLAAD Comes Out Against NY Post

Today, GLAAD is calling for complaints to the editors of the New York Post regarding their homophobic cartoonist Sean Delonas, who routinely delivers hate-filled crap like the panel seen here. Selonas has been pissing me off for years. Go here and tell the New York Post how you feel. Do it now.

Dmitri Bartenev

At a banquet in Portland on Friday night, I had the pleasure of being seated next Dmitri Bartenev, of Moscow Gay Pride, which bravely attempted to stage its first-ever Pride march earlier this year, despite the parade having been banned by Moscow's mayor. The marchers proceeded anyway, attempting to lay a wreath of flowers at Russia's Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier. Russia's religious leaders had called for violence against the marchers, who were attacked along the route by skinheads, resulting in many injuries. Police arrested 50-100 of the marchers for violating the mayor's edict banning gay people from gathering in public.

At a meeting before our banquet, when Bartenev introduced himself to a room of 200 gay activists, the entire group lept to their feet with a sustained and tearful ovation. Bartenev is a lawyer and works in Russia to advance the causes of people with mental disabilities, including gay people who have been charged with being mentally unfit due to their homosexuality. He recently won a landmark case in St.Petersburg, defending a soldier who'd been discharged as mentally ill because he was gay.

As you can see by the picture, Bartenev was a little apprehensive to try the "giant bug" on his plate, but I was glad to give him instructions on how to eat his first lobster, and proud just to sit next him. Dmitri Bartenev, gay hero.

Morning View - Citigroup Building

In a neighborhood that mostly comprises 2-3 story buildings, the 50-story Citigroup Building looms over Long Island City, Queens. It's the tallest building in NYC outside of Manhattan and the tallest on Long Island. The Citigroup's completion in 1990 spurred a frenzy of high-rise apartment buildings a mile away on the East River waterfront. While its size does look impressive, most find it terribly out of scale with the rest of Queens. I just find it to be one more boring glass box. The Citigroup has its own subway station in the basement, which I suppose means the employees can come to work without actually seeing its bland awfulness.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Travel Advisory

If you are ever in an airport restaurant and decide to turn on your laptop during your meal to catch up on emails, don't turn back to your newspaper and get totally engrossed in some story. Because if you happened to have left a DVD in your laptop, that DVD might start playing without your notice, which could be very embarrassing if, for example, the DVD happened to be hardcore gay porn. And oh, how red your face will be when you finally realize that for the last ten minutes you've been treating everybody in the JetBlue lounge at JFK to a 10-man gang bang.

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Star Spotting

Last night I ran into pop star Andy Bell of Erasure, at Blackstones, a Portland gay bar. In the past 20 years I've run into Bell at the Warsaw Ballroom in South Beach, the Armory in Atlanta, the Hole In The Wall in San Francisco, the Cellblock in Chicago, and the DC Eagle. I don't think I've run into any of my actual real life friends as often in so many far-flung places. As usual, Andy was charming, enduring my gushing fandom with warmth and a generous hug. Erasure's latest release, Union Street, named after the Brooklyn street where it was recorded, is an unplugged-style accoustic take on some of their lesser-known tracks.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Diner Life

Portland, 730am

I'm sitting alone at a window table in a diner near the wharf. Through the windows I can see the top of a row of fishing boats, rocking slightly in their berths. Every bit of signage I can see has a lobster or a moose or a lighthouse on it. I can hear the wind whistling slightly around the cracks in the front door, except for the times when the cook makes noise with his pots. Commericial Street, with its cluster of galleries, souvenir shops, and brew pubs, is hours away from opening for the day.

Pedestrian traffic outside is light and I'm one of only five customers in the restaurant. We're all men. We are all eating alone. The vinyl in my booth is cracked and peeling and I am happy as this feels like an authentic New England experience, at least if what all those years of television have taught me are true. I imagine that at any moment Dolores Claiborne might schlump past the windows, carrying a load of laundry.

My server is an old young woman. I say that because while her face is unlined by years, her carriage seems burdened by worry. She is pleasant enough, if distant. Twice, I see her pause while clearing a table to stare motionless out the window for a moment. She picks up a departing customer's newspaper and shuffles through it for an advertising supplement, folding it and tucking it into her apron. The man whom I presume to be the manager seats another solitary man next to me and calls my waitress to join him behind the partition, out of my view. She looks at him and frowns, tosses the rag she was using to wipe the tables onto a chair, then moves slowly around the partition.

"What did I do now?"

"I need you to work tonight. Carol just called in sick."

"No way. I worked 11 hours on Tuesday and I only made $40 fucking dollars. And I had to give $20 to the babysitter for keeping Alice after school."

"No way? That's your answer? I thought you wanted more hours."

"I do, Jeff, but I need weekend hours, when it's busy, not these bullshit weekday breakfast shifts. $40 for 11 hours on Tuesday. Tell me you'd want that."

The manager pauses for a long moment, then says, "Alright. If you can't, you can't. I'm just trying to cover all the shifts here and give the team players the schedules they deserve."

My waitress comes back out and removes my empty plate without a word. She moves it over to the side station and again I see her pause and stare into the distance. I leave her a nice tip and take my check to the register. The manager is handing me my change when the waitress walks up. I turn to put on my coat and put my hand on the door. As I push out into the wind, I hear her.

"Jeff, I'll work tonight."

Foley Email Blogger Identified

The anonymous blogger behind StopSexPredators, which first leaked the Foley emails, is a former Democratic Senate staffer named Lane Hudson, who used to work for both South Carolina Senator Fritz Hollings and South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges. Lane, 29, lives in Michigan, where he was the HRC's only paid staffer, making it easy for Radar to find him once the HRC revealed his home state.

Lane, I'd like to buy you a drink.

Morning View - TWA Terminal

On Wednesday, I got to JFK early enough to walk over to Terminal 5 and grab this shot. Built in 1962 for TWA Airlines, Eero Saarinen designed the building to "evoke the idea of flight" and not to actually look like a bird, but like most people, I see a raptor, claws extended. It's glorious, even ghostly and deserted. The building was completed a year after Saarinen's death and has been closed since TWA folded in 2001. I tried to get a picture of the very cool interior, but a septuagenarian rent-a-cop came running over and chased me away, screaming "No pictures!". I guess they're worried about somebody breaking in and starting an airline. I've heard that JetBlue has plans on expanding over from Terminal 6, beginning in 2008.

Hillary Sees Pink Writing On The Wall

Saying that her position on gay marriage has "evolved", Sen. Hillary Clinton on Wednesday told a group of gay activists that she's changed her mind since she told voters during her 2000 senatorial campaign that she opposed gay marriage. "Obviously my friends and people who spoke to me-we've had many long conversations and I think-and which I believe-that the way that I have spoken and I have advocated has certainly evolved and I am happy to be educated and to learn as much as I can," she said. Clinton does not plan to oppose the plan of shoo-in gubernatorial candidate Eliot Spitzer to enact a same-sex marriage law, saying she supports "full equality of benefits, nothing left out", but ""If you go the next step and say, 'But I want what is called marriage,' you're going to have a problem." (via Gay City News, 365gay.com.)

Isn't it interesting that the revelation of this change of mind happened on the day of the NJ Supreme Court decision ruling in favor of civil unions for same-sex couples? Anybody else feeling a wind of change blowin' across the Hudson?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hotel In-Room Entertainment

- Do My Slutty Wife
- Black Maled
- Sexy Grannies: Aged To Perfection
- 18 & Innocent
- Barely Legal: Ripe For Plucking
- Real Racks: Totally Natural Boobs
- My Husband Loves Cock Too!
- Bi Bi American Pie

Let no erotic niche go unexploited! I love capitalism.

Now back to the World Series.

Anthology Review

The anthology got a nice write up in this week's Time Out New York, including a quote from an interview with me. Congrats to our worthy editors for getting the notice!

Open Thread Thursday

Sort your browswer history by "most visited". Aside from your own sites (your blog, your MySpace, etc.) what are your three most-visited sites?

Mine: Technorati, SFGate, New York Times.

(Thanks to Chris at Boy's Briefs for this week's Open Thread idea.)
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Morning View - Portland, Maine

The view from my hotel room, looking west. At 9pm last night, I had to walk ten NYC-blocks just to find a single place open and selling any kind of food. Ten blocks! Manhattan can sure spoil you.

Portland, Day 2

Still no sign of lobster, rock or otherwise.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

HRC Outs Outer

“The email exchanges in question between former Congressman Mark Foley and a House page have been in the possession of bloggers and media outlets for some time now. Yesterday, it came to our attention that an HRC employee, hired just last month to work for us in Michigan, was responsible for initially posting these emails on his blog. We investigated the matter, determined that HRC resources had been inappropriately used, and let him go. No one at the Human Rights Campaign, other than this individual, had any knowledge of his activities,” said Brad Luna, Spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign.

via - Stop October Surprises

If we buy the press release, I suppose this could neatly end the story, at least as far as HRC's involvement. Do we buy it? I'm sure that the gay neocon conspiricists won't.

UPDATE: Today's NY Times weighs in on yesterday's HRC press release.

NJ Homos Improve Bus Seating, Slightly

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled today that gay couples are entitled to civil unions under the state's equal protections guarantees. Activists on both sides are disappointed. Bloggers on both sides are disappointed. And the rest of New Jersey goes back to burying their enemies in the backyard.

Big Lug Review

Big Lug's opening was a roaring success, judging by the huge line of hairy men waiting on Avenue A when I light-weighted out of there at 1130PM. A regular JMG blogroll who's-who was on hand: Mark (The Mark Of Kane), Eric (We Like Sheep), Jeff (Cynically Optimistic), Paul (Habitat 67), Bryce (Plastic Music), Neil (Diary Of A Dandy) Foxy (Fox In The City), DJ Paul Ferrer (I Am Your DJ), Rod (Manhattan Offender), and probably a few more that I'm missing. The rest of the crowd spanned their late 20's - early 50's, mostly bears and cubs, with a few dykes and fag hags thrown in. Standing outside the bar, but never spotted inside, was this semi-famous actor, yakking on his cell and looking properly East Village-scruffy in his tattered hoody. (I'm also told that this pop star arrived shortly after I left. I'd have hung around longer if I'd known, Rich!)

The bar, a rectangular basement space under Tigerland, about the size and dimensions of Nowhere Bar, was comfortably packed inside, even with the big line outside, so my kudos go to the doorman for not overcrowding the joint beyond endurance (a more typical NYC opening night experience). Music volume was pretty reasonable too, also a nice change. I didn't catch the DJ's name, but he threw out an oddly compelling hodgepodge of oldies: Plastic Bertrand's Ça Plane Pour Moi, Nick Gilder's Hot Child In The City, Iggy Pop's Wild One, Bronski Beat's Why?, and Billy Idol's Eyes Without A Face, which inspired some '80s-video reenactments nearby me.

Memorable lines of the evening:

From an adorable baby dyke: "Yeah, see, the thing about FTMs is they were socialized as girls and hardly any of them are bottoms, and that really appeals to me."

From a fuzzy local: "I don't even know why I'm here. I can't have sex with this huge tear in my dick."

From a young Spaniard: "I've been growing this itchy beard for two whole weeks just for tonight. Why must we suffer for our beauty?"

Summary: I give Big Lug high marks overall and expect that it will do rather well in its unique East Village niche. It's too small a joint to seriously damage the business at the sprawling Eagle, but look for Big Lug's Saturday nights to be definite success. Tonight: DJs Paul & Damien inaugurate their Where's The Beef? electro party.

Charlene Hilton

She suffers for her art.

UPDATE: Video from the Washington Post of last night's Dupont Circle High Heel Drag Race.

Scent Of A Golden Girl

Fox News' morning show today reported the critical news that scientists have discovered that among scents that heighten sexual arousal for men, the strongest reaction is from a combination of lavender and pumpkin pie. Mention that to Grandma, next time you see her.

Morning View - Bamm Automat

This morning, your view is the Bamm Automat, NYC's new and only automat, since the last one closed on 42nd Street in 1991. I finally got a look at Bamm in the East Village last night and while I understand the retro-kitsch of the joint (and the place is very neat looking in a pink-Hello Kitty-7/11 kind of way), the practice of having to put a pile of quarters into a little door to get to your teriyaki burger while there's a clerk standing right there who could reach into the little window and hand it to you, well, it just seems like a lot of bother. "Hey! I opened the little door and got my OWN damn burger!" Shrug.

It's 2525 And We've Got The Most Wigs Alive!


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Big Lug Opens Tonight

Big Lug opens in the East Village tonight, kicking off what looks like a pretty interesting schedule of theme nights. Big Lug is in the basement under Tigerland, across from Sidewalk on A between 5th & 6th. From uptown take the 6 to Astor Place, walk east. From the West Village/Chelsea, take the L to 1st Ave. Map.

Another October Surprise

When the Foley page scandal broke in late September, it was due to the anonymous blogsite Stop Sex Predators, who posted copies of emails that Foley had sent to a 16 year old page. The authorship of Stop Sex Predators has been a source of widespread speculation, with accusations aimed at both the Democrat and Republican parties.

Since last week, I've been watching another anonymous blog called Stop October Surprises, who seems to have found proof of the authorship of Stop Sex Predators, by putting a ReadNotify request on emails sent to the blog. The owner of the IP at which the emails were read may surprise you.

The Human Rights Campaign.

I am stunned, to be honest. Somebody at HRC actually looked into their pants and found their balls. There's no way to tell at this point if this was a renegade staffer at HRC working on his own or part of an orchestrated top-down plan to hurt the Republicans in November. The person behind Stop October Surprises claims to know the exact person behind Stop Sex Predators. I attemped an email interview with him, but his responses were slightly obtuse and I suspect that English is not his first language. (UPDATE: English is his first language, he tells me he was merely rushing through a large volume of emails.)

Joe.My.God.: Has the HRC previously disavowed any knowledge of the Foley IM leak?
Stop October Surprises: to my knowledge, the HRC hasn't been implicated until now

JMG: Isn't it possible that the IMs were leaked internally at HRC without the knowledge of top management?
SOS: no comment.

JMG: And since the IMs were proven to be factual, ultimately how does it make a difference where they came from, as it's no secret that the HRC would like the Republican candidates to fail at election time?
SOS: not IMs, emails, stopsexpredators did not leak IM's. and to be precise, no one has proven anything to be factual, frankly, think about it... just because something is out there in the MSM doesn't make it a fact. fact is not equal to mass

JMG: How does Mike Rogers figure into this? Do you think that someone at HRC is feeding him the leaks? Does it matter where he gets his information, as long as it continues to be proven true?
SOS: read my initial blog entry to learn more of how i think. if politics is all about this bullshit, how will anything real get done? i guess we are talking human nature, what must wait for a crisis...

(Stop October Surprises rightfully corrected me that the initial leaks on Stop Sex Predators were emails, not IMs.)

Mike Rogers of BlogActive responded to the above, via email: Those seeking to locate the origins of the emails and instant message chats need look no further than Representative Alexander, Simkus and Reynolds. THEY are the ones that had them first and instead of taking responsibility for ignoring the needs of a 16 year old and placing priority on politics and now seek to confuse the electorate by pointing fingers. It won't work. The origins of the emails are, I believe, irrelevant. My greatest concern is that despite at least three Republican Hose members knowing about the emails, it still took a long time for law enforcement to be contacted. This isn't about October surprises. This is about a cover up... I commend all people responsible for putting this information out there.

With the current legal climate around these matters, I am unable to expand my remarks on the emails, other than to say, I had them before they were published and I was aware of the Instant Message chats before Mr. Foley's office offered to negotiate to keep them hidden from the public. Additionally, when I received the emails, my first move was to verify that they had already been turned over to law enforcement, which I confirmed they were.


So. What do we think about this? Death to the Republican agenda by any means, including anonymous leaks on blogs? Or embarassing dirty trick that may ultimately rob the gay movement of precious integrity? The fact that the Foley leaks did take down a shit-for-brains legislator cannot be discounted, but what will this mean for the HRC in the future? And what, if anything, will the HRC do to address the seemingly damning evidence unearthed by Stop October Surprises?

I will say this: If this all originated from the HRC, I'm impressed that they did something this bold and I'm disappointed that they did it in such an inept fashion.

-end-

Craigs Clams Up

If you were a powerful Republican senator who'd been falsely accused of cheating on your wife with men you'd met in train station restrooms, wouldn't you come out swinging against your accuser? Press conferences, lawyers, lawsuits, chat shows? Well, maybe you wouldn't, if you thought that the story would scarcely be touched by the MSM.

That's been largely the case so far, and today Mike Rogers at BlogActive is offering a $500 reward to anyone getting video of Senator Craig actually responding to the question: "Senator, you have had sex with one or more men in the last ten years?" Other than last week's one-sentence denial issued by Craig's office, the senator has not commented on his outing.

Subway Stats

A new sign in the subway today admonishes riders not to run for the train: "75% of passenger injuries are the result of slips and falls!" Injury stats were rounded out by a this graffito: "Stabbings: 1%. Stank: 24%."

Is Your Betty Ready?

You may recall me blogging about the Philips Bodygroom, the self-proclaimed first-ever trimmer for "down there" that promised men that reducing their amount of pubic hair would give them an "extra optical inch". Now comes Betty, the first-ever dye specifically for "the hair down there." Betty comes in five colors, including hot pink. You can also buy a "My Betty Is Ready" t-shirt, available in men's sizes L, XL. Sorry, but I'm not ready to see a XL pink Betty. Just totally not.

Morning View - Crystal Cathedral

Every block in midtown has at least one little tchotchke shop with dozens of crystal statues of NYC landmarks in their window. This one is on the 42nd Street side of Grand Central, where I'm told the World Trade Center items outsell all others 10-1. In the days immediately after 9/11, every souvenir in town depicting the WTC sold out, as people went rushing for postcards, framed skyline prints,keychains - anything with the Towers on it. I suppose they figured that retailers would cease using the WTC image, "in honor of the victims" or some psychobabble crap like that. Of course, as always, what retailers honor is tourists' money, so today you can buy WTC bottle openers and light switches. And tiny $89 crystal statues.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Two Week Notice

The mid-term elections are two weeks away. Looking over the statewide New York State ballot, it appears that I will be voting a straight-Democratic ticket: Spitzer, Patterson, Hevisi, Cuomo, Clinton. No surprises there. Sen. Hillary Clinton has an 88% approval rating from the HRC, although they probably held their nose while doing so, considering she still will not come out for gay marriage. My Congressperson, Carolyn Maloney, has a 100% rating. I have some issues with the HRC, as so many of us do, but tracking these votes is one thing they do very well. Learn your representative's rating.

The Human Rights Campaign derives these ratings from a short list of issues they deem critical to the gay community and how the representatives voted on each one. Sen. Clinton lost points for not yet co-sponsoring the Permanent Partners Immigration Act, which would allow same-sex partners to have the same immigration rights as legally wed Americans. Thus far, only 12 Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors. The Permanent Partners Act was recently renamed the "Uniting American Families Act", in an attempt to de-gay the legislation of that shimmeringly pink word, "partners". Ugh.

Here's hoping that in 15 days we'll wake up to a brighter, better America. I'm trying not to obsess too much, but I'll admit that the excitement of what could come has had me plotzing. Plotzing, I tells ya!

Zero Hour Poised With 3 Ovation Noms

My buddy Steve Schalchlin and his partner Jim Brochu have landed three Ovation nominations for Zero Hour, their new one man play about Broadway legend and multiple Tony winner Zero Mostel. Brochu, pictured, plays Mostel in a performance that has won raves from Variety, the Los Angeles Times and many other publications. Listen to an NPR story about the show here. If the names Schalchlin and Brochu seem familiar to you, it's because they won last year's Best Musical Ovation, for their show The Big Voice: God Or Merman?, which opens off-Broadway on November 30th at The Actor's Temple. Here's hoping Steve and Jim win another round of Ovations and get Zero Hour to Broadway, where it belongs! Good luck, Steve and Jim!

HomoQuotable - Reichen Lehmkuhl

"I was raped." - Reality show celebrittle Reichen Lehmkuhl telling Good Morning America that he was sexually assaulted by two fellow cadets while attending the U.S. Air Force Academy. "A bag was put over my head," he said. "I was stripped of my clothes. I was forced to do things sexually with two other male cadets." (Via 365gay.com.)

Not to diminish the gravity of what he says (and I'm sure many of your are already composing your snarky "I wish that could happen to ME" comments), Lehmkuhl's revelation does arrive with the release of his new book, Here's What We'll Say: Growing Up, Coming Out, and the U.S. Air Force Academy. The cynic in me would wager that book sales will be helped by those hoping for a titilating recounting of his assault. Lehmkuhl says he is hoping that his story will help lead to the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".

PSB Continue Blitz of New Releases

The last few months have been a true bonanza for the hardcore fanboys, as the Pet Shop Boys have delivered four full CDs and a handful of b-side chocked singles. First, in June they dropped the Fundamental double-set, which returned the Boys to standard glorious form, after 2003's interesting, but ultimately unsatisfying experiment, Release. And yesterday I got my grubby little mitts on an advance copy of Concrete, a live double-CD recorded with the full BBC Concert Orchestra, which I blogged about back in June when the concert was streaming live online. And wow oh wow, this thing is fantastic! With guest vocalists Rufus Wainwright (Casanova In Hell) and Robbie Williams (Jealousy), and with Trevor Horn at the helm, Concrete is an absolute must-have for dedicated fans.

And in heavy rotation on my iPod all weekend was the second of two import CD-singles for Numb, which in addition to the video for Numb, debuts b-side Bright Young Things, originally recorded in 2003 for the movie of the same name, but never used on the soundtrack. In a matter of 48 hours, Bright Young Things has vaulted to very near the top of my all-time favorite PSB tracks, no mean feat. Bright Young Things is classic Tennant songwriting, layers upon layers of meaning. Gorgeous. Tragic. Tear-jerking. A stone PSB classic.

Pose for Steven's camera
Then dance with me
Forget what the future brings
Surrounded by bright young things
Sometimes the party's a port in a storm
No one is weary or lost and forlorn

Listen

The nightingale sings
In Berkeley Square
The bright young things
Are flying on chemical wings
Intent on their one last fling
Tonight


UPDATE: I neglected to mention my one continuous beef with the PSB. For Concrete, as with most of their releases, the type on the booklet is minuscule, virtually unreadable. And as is their very relentless custom, it's dark text on dark paper. ARRGH! So maddening. Dear PSB: Yes, we all love the gorgeously simple art of Mark Farrow, and have for decades. But please, some of us would actually like to read the essential information on your introspective liner notes. This is very bad behaviour. Whew, I needed that release.

Superdaddy And His Furryboy Harem

This photo from yesterday is pretty representative of our Sunday evenings. Superdaddy stands near the jukebox and rest of us are mere hairy manplanets in his powerful orbit. You can see how he hates it. And who would have thought that Lil Jon's Get Low would set an entire room of bears to wildly shakin' their groove thing?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Justice

Review of Hot House porn video Justice, after the jump. Contains some relatively tame but possibly NSFW photos.



From Hot House, a San Francisco-based outfit that is successfully working the lightly-tread line between the pretty boys of Bel Ami and the hairy daddies of Titan Media, comes Justice, a 16-man round-bobbin' of fucking, fisting and lots of enormous dildo action. Starring uber-bottom Shane Rollins, Justice works the familiar gay porn prison milieu, working on themes of interrogation, rape, body cavity searches and joyous cellblock showtune singalongs. OK, maybe that last scene doesn't exist, but wouldn't it be great if it did?












Rollins' (above left) buttrape victim theatrics ("No! No! Stop! No, you can't I don't...well, OK.") are only outdone by sexycruel Robert Van Damme's (above right) probing (groan) interrogation technique. And I do love that precise moment at which the struggling turns into hunger.













Standouts among the large cast are hard to pick, but I particularly dug lone-furryman Ty Hudson (above left) and crew-cutted hottie Jordan Vaughn (above right). Rounding out the cast are: Brad Star, Carlos Morales, Duke Michaels, Kent North, Marc Williams, Marco Paris, Mike Roberts, Nick Horn, Nick Piston, Parker Williams, Tony Mecelli, and Trevor Knight.

For those tracking their pet fetish, Hot House materials list the following for Justice: Anal, Buttplay, Daddies, Dildos, Fisting, Foreskin, Group Sex, Hairy, Interracial, Oral, Rimming, Roleplay, Tattoos, Group Musical Theatre Singalong*, Uniforms.

*Again, not really. Dammit.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Morning View - 50 Feet From CBGB's


Friday, October 20, 2006

*M*

According to Lady Miss Blogger, this is my 1000th post. It's unreal that I've spewed that much nonsense in only 27 months, especially considering that for the first year I scarcely posted once a week. It reminds me of the woman who accused me of being with the CIA when she saw me taking pictures at the Iraq war protest.

"Hey! CIA! CIA! Look at him! Why is he taking pictures of us! He's CIA!"

"Chill, honey. I'm only taking pictures for my blog."

"For your what?"

"My blog. I'm a blogger. Do you know what a blogger is?"

:::pause:::

"Oh yeah, right. You're of those guys who go BLAH BLAH BLAH on the internet."

Pretty much sums it up.

In other meta-news, I'd like to direct you to a new email address for JMG-related messages. I can longer manage the volume of blog-related emails mixed in with all the dirty pictures and gossip that my IRL friends send me. I've seriously neglected my blog correspondence and oftentimes it's the most profound, smart, beautiful letters that get lost, because I think, "Oh, this one deserves quite a bit more than a dashed off 'thanks for writing'", and I put it aside until I can give it the response it deserves....and then within a few hours it's aged off my main mail page, never to be properly handled. Please direct JMG-related email to me at JoeMyGod@gmail.com. All my meatspace pals should continue using the old address.

And in other, other meta-news, I should mention that this blog has finally paid off in a way that is valuable to me. Over the past year in particular, publicists and agencies have sent me Broadway tickets, nightclub passes, books, CDs, t-shirts, product launch invites, etc. Sometimes I mention those items here, but only if I have something positive to say. (And usually, I don't. But keep that swag comin'!) Anyway, I finally got something I really like: FREE PORN. I'll be reviewing said FREE PORN here tomorrow, Saturday, for your NSFW pleasure. I'll put the (relatively tame, anyway) images behind a cut before Monday (once I figure out how to do that correctly. ) I haven't burdened y'all with advertising, "tip jars", or wish lists, so please embiggen your souls and allow me to post my FREE PORN review without cries of "Sell out!". And if anybody out there wants to send me more FREE PORN, see the email address above.

An Important Letter From A Reader

Sharing my concern over the cavalier attitude that so many young gay men seem to have regarding HIV, on Monday a reader sent me the chilling letter reprinted below. Please read this guy's story and reconsider what you think you know about HIV being a "manageable disease." For some people, it may be. But for many others, including this reader, it is a daily hell. I thank the reader for his letter and for his kind permission to print it here.

Hi, Joe --

I am sixteen years into being positive. Ten of those years I have been on a triple combination of Crixivan, Epivir and AZT. The first few years, once I got over the constant stomach cramps and nausea, were okay. My blood numbers improved and I eventually reached undetectable levels of HIV.

But I only had about six months between the end of the stomach cramps and the beginning of intermittent diarrhea. It's gotten so bad that I'm afraid to fart, because a couple of times I thought that was what I was doing and I ended up shitting myself instead. You can imagine what sort of stomach cramps I get sometimes after lunch. I now keep Depends (Depends! -- I'm not old enough for diapers!) at my desk at work.

I've had three bouts of pneumonia in the last two years.

My skin has gone from pretty trouble free to being covered with eczema patches, and I've developed a whole slew of allergies to things that are just part of life, like tap water -- try buying enough distilled water every day to shower and shave (I don't, but I'm allergic to something in the tap water -- we're trying to figure out what it is).

And I went from 135 pounds to 118 -- my former lover thought I was skinny at 135.

My liver and kidneys are beginning to show their damage. I don't make a lot of money. The medications I currently take would be beyond unaffordable if it weren't for a fairly decent health insurance program at my work; if I begin to suffer from serious organ deficiency or, god forbid, failure, there would be nothing between me and the Pearlies if I hadn't been able to get work with companies that insure their employees. That's something for the youngsters to chew on -- how many retail stores, especially the trendy, single-door types, insure their employees? How many bars, cafes, messenger services? How many companies in general, for that matter, insure their employees? Being young and carefree often means not paying attention to things like health and dental benefits, but how are they going to feel if they get infected and can't get coverage?

My social life is gone. I'm always afraid of an accident with the diarrhea, and I can't drink any more at all -- not wine, not beer, certainly not liquor -- although I never did drink much. Now, alcohol just makes me sick. The AZT has made my fingernails fall out once already, and they look and feel like they're getting ready to do it again. I also have "chemo hair" -- not much, with no body, and no life. My doctor and I agree that we don't want to change the medications -- I can't face having to go through a whole new set of physical miseries, and there's nothing like a guarantee that a new combination would keep the HIV in check.

All that is the negative. Of course, there is positive. I am grateful to be alive, and to be able to do some good in the world in a small way. I still enjoy little things even if I can't do the big stuff anymore. When my stomach's okay, I still like to cook and to eat. And once in a while, I can actually get over the physical pain and get some satisfaction in a decent jerk-off. So it's not all bad. But anyone who says the HIV has become a manageable disease like diabetes or high blood pressure is just plain not speaking from experience. Take it from the cranky old fella. It ain't no bed of roses.

A JMG Reader.....


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Evening View - 9:08 PM


My Lookout

Almost six years sitting here and I've never looked up and noticed that my building has a dozen creepy Conquistador-ish friezes adorning the floor above mine. Not to mention the hundreds of baby heads or Virgin Marys or whatever those things under the roofline are. Embiggen for a better look. That's the thing about New York architecture, so many times the neatest shit is so damn high up, you have to be in the opposing 40th floor office to even see it. You can see how dangerously far I leaned out to get this shot. Livin' la vida loca! (Sorry.) Anyway, I think I'm gonna consider this guy my lookout. With his neck stuck out like that, he does appear to be in a state of cat-like readiness.

It Is What It Was

Orlando, Xmas, 1998

My mother picked me up at Orlando International late in the evening. I'd had two connections on my all-day flight from Oakland (stupid Southwest) and I was exhausted. I was looking forward to getting to her house and crashing, as she usually took me around the local malls on the days before Xmas and I'd need all my energy to endure that. As she drove me to her house, as is her habit, she pointed out various changes to the scenery since my last Orlando visit.

"That's the new Marriott Courtyard."

"Oh."

"And can you believe that apartment complex? They have TEN pools!"

"Ten. Wow." I leaned my head against my window and half-closed my eyes.

"Oh, and this new tall building on the right? Carol's daughter just bought a place in there."

"Nice." Who's Carol?

Two blocks from the entrance to my mother's 50-year old subdivision, my eyes widened. Across the parking lot from a rather ordinary strip mall (grocery store, drugstore, bank), was a heavily-wooded free-standing building with a logo that was rather familiar to me from my Ft. Lauderdale days.

The Club Baths. (NSFW!)

Here? In Orlando? ACROSS FROM MY MOTHER'S HOUSE??

My mother saw me turn in my seat as we passed. "Oh, that place? Some fancy gym. Brand new. Very popular. Cars there, day and night! They have a big outdoor swimming pool, but you can't see it with that huge fence."

She couldn't possibly know what the place was. I just nodded. "Oh." Unbelievable. A hour later I stood in my mother's moonlit backyard while she complained about the city coming to take down her orange trees. Some kind of tree-disease control program. And then, drifting across the hedges, the backyards, and a dozen swimming pools, I heard a faint, almost indiscernible voice, tinny and metallic.

"Room 227, your time is up, honey. Please see the front desk about checking out or renewing."

I shot a frozen look at Mom, but she didn't seem to have heard anything.

The next morning as we pulled out of her neighborhood, we sat at the traffic light, directly facing the "fancy gym" on the other side of the street. A muscular young man drove up in a jeep, jauntily hopped out, grabbed a backpack from the back seat and strode towards the front door. Mom took a careful turn onto Michigan Avenue.

About a block later, she laid this on me: "You know I used to belong to that place."

"What place?" Joe asked with great apprehension.

"That gym. I worked out there for years until it got too expensive."

"Um. You did?"

"Oh, yeah. It used to be Spa Lady."

Gentle readers, do you know how much it pained me not to make the joke? My brain still hurts from holding it back.

Morning View - Astor Place Building

Billing itself as a "sculpture for living" with "museum quality architectural loft residences" (whatever that means), the Astor Place opened last year to a chorus of boos in the East Village. Situated on a Flatiron-esque oddly shaped lot, the site was previously a parking lot. Still, locals had hoped for a building that reflected the neighborhood, namely something mid-rise and traditional, but were horrified by the glass-curtain tower that arose. In May of last year, the New Yorker architecture critic called Astor Place “an elf prancing among men with a garishly reflective façade channeling not Mies but Trump." Yee-owtch. Sales of the multi-zillion dollar apartments (which are neither coop nor condo, but some new hybrid called "condop") were so poor that New York Magazine wrote an article called "What Went Wrong At Astor Place?" Still, I noticed that it was Astor Place that all the tourists were photographing last weekend, largely ignoring the rest of the square.

Open Thread Thursday

The magazine publishing world in midtown is busily putting together their year-end issues and a couple of friends of mine are working on their magazine's Best Singles Of 2006 articles. Rather than asking you what your favorite singles of 2006 were, and getting a lot of possibly-not-entirely-true answers, in the cause of maintaining your cool-cred, let's do things another, easier, probably-more-true way.

1. Open your iTunes.
2. Sort by "Play Count"
3. List your three most played tracks that came out in 2006.

I understand that your list may be embarassing. I'll go first with mine, so's you don't feel so alone in your shame.

JMG Top 3 Most Played Singles From 2006

1. Life With A View - Blowoff
2. Minimal (Toca Discos Sunday At Space Mix) - PSB
3. I Am Adolfo - Drowsy Chaperone, Original Broadway Cast

Surely nothing you have in your Top 3 beats my #3 for sheer fagulousity. Or does it?

UPDATE: If we were going by videos, this one might be my number one. I think I've watched it 200 times, included 3 more times just making this update.
.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Fighting Fraggots

Frag: verb {Mil.Slang} - a term from the Vietnam War (derived from "fragmentation grenade") most commonly meaning: to assassinate an unpopular leader or member of one's own fighting unit who is placing the entire squad in jeopardy through cowardice or lack of leadership. Fragging, while extreme, can be considered a form of self-preservation for those put in danger by bad leadership.

I think "fragging" is a apt analogy for what is being done to closeted anti-gay politicians. And I am one fraggot who cheers every pin that is pulled.

FIRE IN THE HOLE! (So to speak.) Now go read what Sen.Craig's office proudly posted to his official site about his successful contribution to sinking ENDA back in 1997, and tell me if an ironic smile doesn't pass across your face as he rails against "promiscous homosexual males." As my granny used to say, "The guilty dogs bark the loudest!"

Case Studies: When Is Outing OK?

Senator Jones (R-Your State) is married with children. Senator Jones is a strident anti-gay activist who consistently authors, backs, and votes for legislation denying gay people to right to marry and the right to equal protection from discrimination in the workplace. He votes against adding sexual orientation to hate crimes legislation. Senator Jones secretly meets men in public places for anonymous sex.

Do we out Senator Jones?

Senator Smith (R-Your State) is unmarried. Although he rarely speaks out against gays, Senator Smith votes however he feels his constituents will approve, which typically is against gay interests. He votes against gay marriage. He votes against adding sexual orientation to job discrimination protections. Senator Smith and his boyfriend are well known on the gay DC social scene.

Do we out Senator Smith?

Senator Brown (D-Your State) is married with children. He is a tireless advocate for gay causes. He consistently votes in the favor of gay interests. He has a high rating from the Human Rights Campaign and is loathed by the Christian Coalition. He and his wife socialize with prominent gay activists. Senator Brown enjoys meeting men through the internet and using gay phone-sex lines.

Do we out Senator Brown?

John Doe is a highly placed staffer in a prominent Republican senator's office. Doe's boss is virulently anti-gay publicly, even though he graciously hosts Doe and his boyfriend at dinner parties in his home. Doe is dedicated and skilled and with the help of his expert advice, Doe's boss successfully thwarts numerous gay-friendly bills and positions himself as a "pro-family" advocate.

Do we out John Doe?

Barfly

I think I may be going out too much. I just tried to tip the newsstand guy who sold me a can of soda.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

And The Loser Is.....Larry Craig

On national talk radio's Ed Shultz Show, to the tune of Diana Ross' I'm Coming Out, gay activist and blogger Mike Rogers today outed Senator Larry Craig (R-ID), claiming to have multiple independent sources from different parts of the country, all of whom say they have had homosexual sex with Senator Craig. Rogers' sources include one man who claims to have had sex with Craig in the men's room of Washington DC's Union Station, a Capitol Hill area train station. Rogers said, "The Senator has same-sex encounters with men and then actively works against the rights of gay people."

Rogers stated that he has concrete evidence that will protect him from potential libel litigation from Senator Craig, although he refused to give radio host Ed Shultz any specific substantiation, which was very disappointing. "My sources are individual men who have had sexual encounters with the Senator. I am willing to spend the rest of my life in prison to protect their identity."

Now in his fourth term, Senator Craig, 61, married Suzanne Thompson in 1987 and has adopted her three children from a previous marriage. Craig sits on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee and is the chairman of the Veteran Affairs Committee. He also sits on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association and is active in hunter's rights causes.

Craig has a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign and 100% rating from the Christian Coalition. On June 7th, 2006, Craig voted for a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would have banned gay marriage nationwide, had it passed. He also voted no on adding sexual orientation to the definition of hate crimes. Voted no on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. Voted no on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. If you'd like to call our boy Larry and welcome him into the bright gay light, his DC office number is 202-224-2752.

UPDATE: Reactions on Andrew Sullivan, Daily Kos, Wonkette, Pam's House Blend.

UPDATE II: Download the MP3 of Mike Roger's radio appearance.

UPDATE III: Craig's office denies allegations.

Sandy Attackers Charged With Murder

Today the NYPD upgraded the charges to include murder, in the case of Brooklyn gay-bashing/robbery victim Michael Sandy, who died on Friday after being taken off life-support. Four young straight men laid in waiting for Sandy, after luring him for sex using a gay internet hook-up site (rumored to be Manhunt.net). Sandy broke away from from his attackers and ran onto the Belt Parkway, where he was struck by a hit-and-run driver. Two of the young men in custody (who were ID'd using IP addresses found on Sandy's computer) are now charged with second degree murder, second degree manslaughter, assault and robbery - all with hate crimes embellishments.

Sandy had agreed to meet one of his attackers on a street corner in Sheepshead Bay. His "date" and he then drove to Plum Beach where the other three young men were lying in wait. Police are calling this the "first case" of a gay man lured into an attack with the use of a gay "chat room", but I have heard of two other situations like this, in both cases the gay man escaped serious injury but was robbed. Guys, please take care in your internet hook-ups, the reason that these crimes come in waves is that the bad guys TALK TO EACH OTHER. Once the word gets out that gay men are seemingly easy marks using this chat room tactic, these crimes will only escalate. If you have been the victim of one of these scenarios, please do your gay brothers a favor and GO TO THE POLICE.

Who Will It Be?

The progressive blogosphere is on pins and needles today as BlogActive's Mike Rogers is about to finally come through on his threat to out an anti-gay Republican Senator for having public restroom sex with men. The revelation (and I have no idea how Rogers is going to substantiate his claim) will come live on national talk radio on the Ed Shultz Show, today at 5:30PM EST. You can listen live online here, or on Sirius Channel 146. Of course, you can return here to JMG at the end of the day and I will have the (hopefully) sordid details.

UPDATE: It appears to be an Idaho Senator. That means:

Senator Mike Crapo ------- OR -------- Senator Larry Craig.













UPDATE II: An amusing comment on BlogActive: "Just imagine: Somewhere a wife is getting the 'I Am A Gay American' speech, right before her husband signs a juicy book deal."

Monday, October 16, 2006

T-Dance At Radio City

Actually, it's intermission during the Pet Shop Boys. Most of the audience stayed in their seats, but several hundred of us decided not to waste a 20-minute mingle opportunity in one of the grandest rooms in NYC. Can you spot the woman? There was one there. We met her. Her name was Irene. Hi Irene!

UPDATE: Vasco made a short video of our night at the concert. It came out a little dark, but it's a cute little vid.

CNN: 36% Of Americans Complete Idiots

The latest CNN poll shows Bush receiving his all-time worst overall disapproval rating, 61%. And 64% of those polled say they disapprove of Bush's handling of the war in Iraq. More and more of the nation is turning against Bush, but there's no joy to be derived from his continued fall, just a continued sense of foreboding. And just who are these 36% who still approve? Mindboggling. Visit Polling Report for a comprehensive grid of Bush's recent numbers in various polls.

HomoQuotable - Andrew Sullivan

"Those of us who supported this war cannot wash our hands of the blood of tens of thousands of innocents it has now claimed." - Andrew Sullivan.

Actually, the respected British medical journal Lancet, using well-established estimation techniques, puts the number of Iraqi deaths at somewhere around 665,000, a little bit more than "tens of thousands." Still, I respect Sullivan's continued self-flagellation for his misguided past.

Mystery Date

Eagle roofdeck, Sunday, 9pm

Guy 1: So he calls me and says, "Bitch, you gave me the clap!" And I was all, "When? We haven't fucked around since like, Pride." And he goes, "Wait, that wasn't you at El Mirage?"

Guy 2: Ha, ha, ha. Drug addicts are funny.

Big Lug Opens October 24

Alfredo Troche's crazy-fun and long-running East Village bar night, Big Lug, is leaving its once-a-week gig at Nowhere Bar and morphing into a full-time bear bar in its own space on Avenue A. I've been known to drop in at Nowhere for the weekly event and I'm looking forward to seeing what my DJ pals Paul & Damien have up their sleeve for their 80's/electro Where's The Beef? night, on Wednesday's at the new space. Resident Eagle DJ Paul Ferrer, one of my first NYC friends, will take the helm at Big Lug on Thursdays for a deep house night called Trucker. Can NYC support another full-time bear bar? I see Big Lug drawing the younger, cubbier, East Village fur boys, so the Dugout, Ty's and Eagle should be only slightly affected by the new place.

Cab Wars On The UES

Yesterday afternoon I got in the middle of a fight between two cabbies arguing over who had the right to pick me up. I'd stuck my hand up on 2nd Avenue and both cabs jerked over to get me, one of them from the middle lane, one from the curb lane. The middle-lane guy accelerated to pass the curb-lane guy, reaching me first. I got in. The cut-off cabbie was not having it. He whipped around us and blocked my driver from pulling out, as they screamed at each other in Khazakstani. I sat there for a moment, debating, but when my driver got out to pummel the other driver's windows with his fists, I bailed for cabbie #3, who was watching the scene with great amusement. As we pulled away, my previous driver was vigorously kicking the door of his opponent. New York City, baby.

The Mark Of Kane

Over on The Mark Of Kane, my dear friend Mark has turned in another heartripping episode of his NYC life during the plague years. If you are under 30 (and even if you aren't) do yourself a favor and read his elegial story, My Best Friend. If the last line doesn't rip your heart out, it's entirely possible you never had one.

Morning View - The Puck

Soho's Puck Building went up in 1885 to house Puck Magazine, which went under in 1916. You might recognize it as the home of Grace Adler Designs, as it was used for the exterior shots on Will & Grace. Today the Puck contains office space as well as massive grand ballrooms used for corporate events. This photo I took Saturday morning doesn't give the proper sense of the building's size, it covers the entire block.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Rock Rink

Leaving Radio City last night, Aaron and I strolled through Rockefeller Center where we were rather surprised to find the skating rink packed already, in mid-October. What happened to fall?

"And We Are *Still* The Pet Shop Boys!"

Above, Neil Tennant's final words to tonight's sold-out crowd of almost 100% middle-aged gay men at Radio City Music Hall. And indeed they are. An amazing show that took us far back into their catalog, tossing out old, unexpected gems that we've never heard in concert before. My oldie highlight: Domino Dancing. From the latest album, Fundamental, we heard: Psychological, Numb, I'm With Stupid, The Sodom & Gomorrah Show, Minimal. For my little group of hardcore PSB fanboys, we were over the moon to hear so much of the early material, including several cuts from 1987's Actually. The only downside was our realization that the balconies at Radio City are light years away from the stage, but we enjoyed nonetheless, as best one can from a kilometer away. As I mentioned, the Boys gave us a fat set, 25+ songs, but they did not perform my all-time favorite, the elegial Being Boring, which is OK, as it always makes me cry.

UPDATE: According to the NYTimes, "Judging from Saturday’s show, the Pet Shop Boys attract an appreciative crowd in which women are a distinct minority." Shocking!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Gerry Studds, 69

Gerry Studds, America's first openly gay Congressman, has died in Boston at age 69, due to a blood clot in his lung. Studds had been in the news recently, even though he retired from Congress in 1997, as he too had been involved in a page scandal, back in 1983. Studds leaves his husband, Dean Dara, whom he married shortly after gay marriage was made legal in Massachusetts.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Stuck

During Open House New York, our "tour" of the Chrysler Building turned out to be a rather boring lobby lecture on the history of skyscrapers. We were told when we got there that contrary to expectations, we would get no further than the inside of the elevator parked on the ground floor. Oh, but we were welcome to take pictures INSIDE the non-moving elevator. Big woo. And big boo. But the lobby is grand.

Saturday Night













I hate having to make the call between Blowoff and Pet Shop Boys, but since the Boys only come around every three years or so, I'll be at Radio City Music Hall. Those that can get to DC, should definitely not miss Blowoff at the 9:30 Club.