Friday, December 19, 2014

Alexander the Great QUEEN!

Why, oh, why does this film not have the gay film masterpiece credit that it is sadly overdue? Last night I had multiple texts going with two friends as we all echoed the same things: "Design by Liberace!" "Oh, the daisies!" "The new queen!"

Unfortunately there aren't any clips that highlight some of more jaw-dropping parts, but nearly every scene demands pausing, intercutting with "BOOM!" and MST3K-style participation. It's overwrought with bad wigs, flowery costumes, body makeup, beefcake wrestling, and ... Burton. Burton! No fool he, playing Alexander as the flamboyant, mother-loving, fashion plate conqueror of camp, chewing up and spitting out dialogue as if it tasted like Eddie Fisher.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Phil Stern

I lost one of my best friends - my teacher, my mentor, my photoshop tutor, my jokester, my favorite noodle eating partner, author of terrible, nasty, foul-mouthed letters and diatribes ... and my inspiration. We spent nearly every day together for a year. He'd refer to me as his "mistress" or "common law wife" to his friends. I was so incredibly fortunate  to spend many days with Phil. He was a big part of my life and most importantly, he was someone who LIVED life to the fullest and never quit. A few months ago, he told me to stop visiting him at the VA and I knew it was because he didn't want me to see him die. I left Los Angeles with a heavy heart. I will miss you forever, Phil. I can never thank you enough for all that you have taught and shared with me.

Saturday, December 13, 2014


Happy Birthday, Christopher Plummer. Can I just live in this clip?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Monday, December 08, 2014

Dog Star

Insomnia is a nasty thing. People can be driven crazy by it – The Manchurian Candidate comes to mind. It has come and gone in my life for over two decades, an unwelcome guest without invitation or manners. When it leaves I forget that it's ever been here and sleep like I’m dead. When it returns, the nights are like cheap black velvet with lint on it; you want so badly for it to be pretty and soft but there’s something not quite right - it feels old and cheap but still hangs there because you don’t know how not to feel it. You try everything: melatonin, yoga, hot milk, meditation, medication. Some work well and suddenly stop. You google more things then realize you shouldn’t be on your computer. You try not to think about what it is that’s keeping you from sleeping and making your days sink underwater. You watch Burt Lancaster movies endlessly, hoping that his voice will help you. Some nights it does. My father walked downstairs a few weeks ago to find me asleep in the middle of Atlantic City at three o’clock in the morning and wisely left the TV on.

It was one year ago Friday that I brought my companion of thirteen years, Chester, to the vet to die. That agonizing last night and all of the emotions that engulfed it: helplessness, fear, apprehension – had numbed me to the point where I easily lifted his ninety-five pound body into my car. It took two vet techs to get him out, and the resulting hip injury still hasn’t healed. At the time, I felt nothing. I had promised him when I rescued him – after being found on a wintry Boston street in January 2002 – that he would never suffer again as he had been through enough. Still, I struggled with guilt: had I “put him down” too soon, when maybe he was just having a rough night?  When I remembered, months later, that he had night terrors for the last year of his life, and a full-nights rest had eluded us both, I knew that he hung on even longer than he intended. After, I drove around aimlessly, ending up at Ikea, a store I hate, wandering through its maze until I came to and realized where I was.

When our journey of thirteen years ended, I was shattered. Not that I hadn’t had loss before – we all have – three, four suicides, unexpected deaths of ex-boyfriends – but nothing prepared me for that gigantic emptiness. When I had to pick up his ashes, I fell apart again, crumbling on a friend’s kitchen floor in blackness, unable to look at the box in my hand.  I adopted another dog shortly after – I swore I wouldn’t but could not refuse– and along with a friend, nursed Daisy through the last eight months of her long and previously difficult life, which she exited peaceful and happy. The following morning I left the desert alone, unsure of where to go in life. I started retraining my brain: every plan for the past thirteen years revolved around a dog. Now I was alone.

Within a month I had packed three suitcases, sold my car, and headed to the airport. In the next ninety days, I covered over five thousand miles, with a few dog companions on the way (at one airport, a stranger asked me to train her dogs. I was puzzled by this, because I didn’t have a dog, nor was it a city I knew but part of me thought, “Why not stay?”)   Traveling great distances was something I hadn’t done since my pre-dog days: in 2000, I flew twenty-one times, railing, sailing, and traipsing my way from New York to the United Kingdom to Belgium to Paris to Greece and back, finally ending as I watched the second plane hit the World Trade Center from a New York street corner.
Last week I opened a suitcase to find my cowboy boots - boots I had worn in the desert with my dogs for over a decade, climbing rocks and wandering for miles. I sat on the floor as tears dripped all over them, before I finally shoved them back in the suitcase, trying not to feel ridiculous for crying over boots. I had given away the giant old fur coat I always wore with them; I had draped myself, Chester, and Daisy in it at various times, and I couldn’t touch it anymore.

On Friday, I’ll be going back to the shelter in Massachusetts that saved Chester's life and I'll be bringing what’s left of his ashes – most were scattered in the desert, but we saved some to blast off in shotgun shells, because that’s something he would have loved. He belongs in the sky, not the earth.
gift from Gianni Rage.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tough Luck: Toughie Brasuhn

Read more about Toughie here and also here.

Photos via.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sunset travels

Marty San, where were you? Jet Blue was not the same without Max Von Mayerling.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Lethal Travels

 Return to Dino's, a regular spot since 1990.
Shabazz Chicken, Savannah.
my favorite neon sign ever, Savannah.

Monday, November 10, 2014


for you, Marty San.

Get Down!

I try and learn a new dance every week.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Beauty, beauty

... look at you.
Facial at Helena Rubinstein's, Fifth Avenue, 1961.
Number 9, Number 9

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Sometimes, you just need a little ...

Sir John Gielgud.

But I can never have just a little Sir John without ...