Sunday, December 31, 2006
Ew! Who says that?
Um, me evidently. To my mom (pictured here, at Christmas). Yeah. Nice. (And I am very ashamed I said it, thank you very much.)
The conversation happened Christmas night because I caused some drama. Not with Steve's family, with my own. And it wasn't intentional, but it was my fault nonetheless.
I wrote something on my blog that offended some family members. I wrote it because I felt frustrated with a particular situation, thought it was funny, and since many readers know the saga of mine and Steve's families, I thought it worth sharing. What I said isn't important. I apologized to those people involved and removed the text from these pages, but it did motivate my mom to ask why anyone in the public would care about what goes on in our family.
That's when I said that line about having fans. Ew! Again, I'm cringing at my own response, so I'll distract everyone by using a cute photo of my niece, Hailee and myself.
I started writing family stories years ago. I had a column in Instinct magazine called "The Long Haul" that chronicled Steve's and my new relationship. From there a lot of magazines, books, and websites asked me to write these short, humorous observations on myself and my family. I've gotten lots of positive feedback (and work) from them, and this blog was started when my literary agent said it would help increase my fan base. And it has (thank you all for tuning in).
But about three weeks ago, I started to wonder if I "jumped the shark". (For the non-pop culture crowd, that's a term referencing an episode of Happy Days where a leather jacket wearing Fonzi jumps a shark while water skiing and fans say the series officially became tired.)
In the blog, I wrote a bit about breaking down in Steve's dad's car after taking Kurt to the airport. When I picked Steve's dad up on his return, he and the relatives in Michigan had read it. They check out the blog not as fans but to see what Steve and his family's are doing in California.
It wasn't bad. Kurt and I laughed about it and had some really great conversations about he and his family-- the kind of conversations you can have with someone who is only kind of related because there's less attachment. And I'd also had Steve and his brother read the blog first, and if they were offended I would have changed it. They both thought it was fine because I was mocking the situation, not their father. But I have written about Steve's mom before with a more biting tone, so when Kurt and I were alone in the car, stuck on a freeway headed home, I wondered if I'd gone too far.
Was I now making everyone fair game, and if so, what are the repercussions?
At Christmas, I found out. And it's made me think about the responsibility writers face when they chronicle events in their lives.
More on this later in the week. Let's end on a cute image of my niece Savannah...
Friday, December 22, 2006
Sorry it's taken me a couple days to blog. Here's the updates.
--Wednesday we got a panicked e-mail from our friends Matt and Rick. Their baby, Daisy, was in need of a home over the Christmas holidays. The boys were visiting Rick's family in Miami, and their regular babysitter had an emergency. So Steve and I offered to help. Now we have Daisy with us at Christmas. She's quite possibly the cutest dog ever.
I feel like a proud parent. Yesterday I took her on a hike with Megsbian and her dog, Harry, through Elysian Park. Beautiful. And that night Daisy was so tired she curled up on the couch next to Steve and me as we watched Cars. It was the picture of gay domestic bliss.
--In other news... Steve has strep throat, so he's home sick while I'm in the back office working. The drugs have kicked in and he'll be good to go by tomorrow. Thank God. And yes, I'm hopped up on immunity boosters in an attempt to stay healthy.
--WORK. Part of the reason I haven't blogged as much is that I've spent the last month trying to write a bunch of spec material (Manuscripts or movie scripts written without pay, on the "speculation" that they will sell in the future.) This includes a full fiction manuscript, because while I may have one book out it's not fiction, and the only way to sell this piece is to prove that I can write it. My goal is to be finished next week, so I've devoted nearly all of my time to writing.
Like with most processes, it's been good days and bad but yesterday I felt like I hit an amazing stride. I'm on the last 1/3 and I'm at 250 pages. Let's hope we can make this happen.
And now, another picture of Daisy; this one where she's shaking my hand.
--FAMILY. As most of you know, Christmas provides ample fodder for my sections on "Relative Insanity," which chronicle how my family drives me insane. Normally, I even have a Christmas story for the blog. Alas, I don't this year, but you can read my most popular Christmas story over at the online zine, Fresh Yarn.
You can also read some fantastic holiday stories that I didn't write at Fresh Yarn's main site.
--THE SCHEDULE: Christmas Eve is always spent with Steve's father in Valencia. Jeff and John, (Steve's brother and partner) are visiting John's family so it's just us with Kurt (who made it back safely from Michigan and with no stall on the freeway, I'm happy to report). We're all going to church that night and then having dinner. Good times.
--Christmas Day we'll be headed to San Diego to be with my family. I expect I'll have some great stories when Steve and I return from San Diego. This will be a new development because normally it's my mom's wacky behavior that sets off the writing.
This all said, I hope you all have a wonderful, warm, and blessed holiday. We have to remember the soldiers far from home and their families who are going through their own battles trying to keep the holidays alive without all of their loved ones. But most importantly, we need to take pause and remember where we've all been, where we're going in life, and be truly mindful and thankful for all we have.
(Oh my God I can't believe I actually wrote that in a blog.)
Monday, December 18, 2006
But the tree is beautiful and we had a great time. Love, love, love.
(Notice on the left photo above is the Tinkerbell ornament featuring Steve's artwork from Target.)
On Saturday, our friends Brian, Danielle, and Alicia-- all of whom I've mentioned many times on the blog-- had their big Christmas party that brought together lots of our old friends (old as in history, not age!)
This is Alicia, BD and Danielle-- toward the end of the evening, just so we're clear. The party was held in Alicia and Brian's house in Beachwood Canyon, which is just below the Hollywood sign.
And here is Jeff, Steve's brother. He was celebrating because he won cash money for singing Cher and some rap song at his company's work party. It will pay for their Christmas. Sweet!
And here is John, Jeff's partner, with our friend Adam from Long Beach. John is a student teacher and Adam is an elementary school teacher, so they were talking about the business (but unlike everyone else at the party, they weren't dropping names.)
And speaking of dropping names...
Here are a bunch of drunk people dancing to the Dreamgirls remixes, because some of the people at this party work for Paramount and are hip deep in movie promotion.
You know those moments in movies when everyone busts out into organized choreography. Yeah, that happened. And we didn't rehearse. Just imagine what will happen when we do in 2007!
So as the dancing is happening-- including this moment between Rodney Alexander Griffis and my old roommate Mark Markline-- the police show up.
Yeah. No kidding. It was so high school.
We all froze. We looked at the men in uniform. We smiled... and went back to dancing. They just asked us to keep the noise down and left.
Seriously, what are two cops in LA going to do with a bunch of fags doing choreography to Dreamgirls?
Then we joked that it was lucky none of us had crazy gay eyes-- you know the look. Kind of desperate, kind of cracked out. We demonstrated for the camera.
So it was a fun final party for the Christmas season. I have more pics of cute people who were there, but none of them are naked so I know you don't really care.
Now it's all about family for the next week or so and then New Years. We all discussed clean living in 2007...
Yeah, we'll see how long that lasts.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Wow, I thought. I'm famous!
Yesterday morning I offered to drive Steve's dad, Kurt, to LAX for a 6am flight to visit the relatives in Michigan. Steve was taking the day off from work, so I said he should sleep in for once and I'd be back within a half hour or so. This did mean waking up at 4:30am, but if you're going to drive to the LA airport via the freeways I have to admit that this is a good hour. It's quiet. The roads are clear. Not much traffic.
Kurt showed up at 4:30 in a loaner car he was using while his BMW got repaired. The car is a Pontiac, rebuilt from a salvage or something. I don't remember details well at that hour of the morning. But I did offer to take the driver's seat because the first time we took Kurt to LAX-- for his trip to Germany a couple weeks ago, which again required a 4:30am wakeup-- he was all over the road at the downtown interchanges and we nearly died.
Dramatic sounding? Yes. True? Yes as well.
Oh! Did I mention that on that first trip to Germany, after Steve and I dropped Kurt off, we got back to the house and he called us to come back? Yeah. Seems he forgot to check his passport because he didn't know they expired. Yeah...
So anyway, yesterday I drive Kurt to LAX. We talk about family and Christmas. He jokes about pretending to be Muslim and praying right outside the plane terminal so he can get arrested and sue. All heartwarming and good-- except that Kurt decided we should all buy his ex-wife, Lauretta, a new computer because her old one doesn't work well and he thinks we can get one for cheap.
I'm not annoyed because Lauretta's current computer works fine and she just gets so overwhelmed by the lights and buttons that she prays to Jesus for help in figuring it out but even he can't. (And thus she thinks it's broken). Or that by "cheap" I think Kurt means "stolen". I'm annoyed because Steve, Jeff, John, and I paid for Lauretta's flight to LA for Thanksgiving as her Christmas gift. Now we're being volunteered to spend more money on her. And according to Kurt, Jeff already agreed to this new idea.
Needless to say, I agreed to nothing. I'm unemployed and John is a student teacher who isn't making any money, so this will require some discussion.
Okay, back on topic. So Kurt and I get to LAX and just as I'm dropping him off he says this:
"There must be something wrong with that gas gauge. I put $10 in yesterday and it's already on empty... You should be fine, but here's $20 in case you get nervous."
So I drop him off, get in the car and take off.
Now, the freeway back to our house is right next to LAX, and since there's no warning light on the gas gauge I get back on the road and head home. Then, just as I hit the 110/10 interchange, the car shuts down. OUT OF GAS!
It takes an hour before anyone shows up from my AAA call-- I told them I was on the 110 freeway, not realizing that when I pulled to the right shoulder I technically merged onto the 10 interchange to the 110 and they were sending people to the wrong on ramp.
But I did wake Steve up with this call, "If I have to be stuck on the f-ing freeway you ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SLEEP IN!"
p.s. Yes, I know I have used a version of this headline before, but it seemed to work in this case.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Impressive, I know.
But what's even cooler is that The Disney Store publishes this magazine for store employees so that they can better understand the merchandise that they sell, and in the latest issue there's an article featuring Steve!
That's him in the picture drawing at his desk and his artwork of The Little Mermaid snowglobe; he also set up how all of these photos were shot for the magazine. Super cool!
Unfortunately, it's kind of hard to read the article on blogger. So if you want to actually learn how snowglobes are made (kind of) then visit my blog on MySpace.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
But Friday night we hit Flaunt Magazine's Christmas party and toy drive, and it was crazy!
Held at The Edison downtown, which Steve and I see as our new favorite spot because of the pre-opening parties we've attended, we brought along our brothers Jeff & John. Jeff, as you may recall, is a designer and we raved about this industrial space so we knew he'd love it. But the boys just moved here from San Diego, so these sort of big LA events are new to them, and there's nothing more fun than experiencing something like this with people who really appreciate it.
For example, as we walked up the red carpet we passed Eva Mendes...
Keep in mind, none of the photos used in this blog are from the actual event. Our camera is still broken and even still it may have been odd snapping pics without an official license or whatever it is you need.
Anyway, we passed behind the sultry starlet and entered the main entrance. To the left is the smoking area, which features a bar, some industrial machinery (remember, this location used to be an electric plant) and is divided by intricate iron work and an enormous glass wall that looks down on the three-story staircase leading to the main club.
Who was there? Sam Harris! Many of you may know him as the gay husband on the CBS sitcom, The Class, but Sam is one of those performers who has been around forever. He made a huge name for himself when he won on Star Search, has numerous albums, and is very talented.
Steve and I saw him perform a couple years ago here in Los Angeles and he was just stunning. Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to speak with him because we were too interested in getting Jeff and John down into the club.
So we descended the grand concrete staircase which passes by an enormous custom-built chandelier that's made of enormous vintage-style light bulbs-- the kind where the filament glows a gorgeous amber color for a subtle illumination.
At the bottom we ordered a drink, and who came gliding down the stairs behind us? Well, none other than nightclub legend James St. James.
Many of you will know James as being a guest on America's Next Top Model but he's also the writer/inspiration/bio behind the movie Party Monster.
James whipped past us and, as usual, Rick and Steve were too shy to actually go over and say anything. But it did inspire me to look him up online and now I'm trying to get him to be my friend on MySpace.
And then we saw Alexis Arquette. She looked fantastic. Jeff wanted to meet her, but like Steve and I (and John-- it's guilt by association when the four of us are together) we got too shy and ordered some more drinks instead.
So then we went back upstairs to meet Sam Harris-- and Jeff wanted a smoke and see the sights-- and while we stood by the bar we ran into The O.C.'s Adam Brody.
Adam arrived with two buddies, presumably out on the town to have some fun after his recent breakup with Rachel Bilson.
(Okay, so what I just wrote there is a prime example of how tabloid reporters created a B.S. story. We saw the dude, he was with his friends, and of course he was looking to have some fun; one doesn't go out to have a crappy time. But by tossing in the comment about his ex it makes it look like he was on the prowl for shank. We have nothing to back that up. He was friendly, said hi, but he wasn't doing the mack-daddy with anyone in the VIP room. WORD!)
Yes, indeed, a highlight of the night was seeing Sara Ramirez. In case you only know her from the show, this woman is hugely talented, has performed on Broadway and won many awards.
She looked absolutely stunning in a black dress that held her curves, was open in the back, and cut at the knees so that you could get a shot of her sassy knee-high black boots.
This girl was fantastic and if there was ever a moment that Steve and I regret not talking to someone, it was then. We were so happy that she's become a regular cast member on the show that seeing her in real life felt like running into a friend. We're sure she would have a good time drinking wine at our casa in Echo Park.
So the evening went on, Jeff and John checked out the bathrooms while Steve and I waited, and then Matthew Perry walked up to us.
Well, okay, he was on his way to the bathroom. But there was that split second thing where I saw him and thought, "Oh, we know that guy..." and then realized we didn't.
Then there was another split second where I thought, "Oh, that guy writes for that show and I'm out of work so maybe I should..." and then I realized he didn't write for a show, either. He's just on the NBC show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
But we kept running into Matthew throughout the night. We weren't stalking. We all just happened to be in the same area. A lot.
Then we saw people with gift bags, and since Jeff and John have never gotten gift bags we thought it important to get up there and get some.
So we did. And if I had a camera I would take a picture of all the fun stuff we got. Nothing we can use-- although the energy drink and the Kangol cap aren't bad-- but mostly stuff for women.
But as we stood by the door, Ashley Simpson and her new nose walked into the club.
She looked much better than she did when Steve and I saw her at the E! party over a year ago.
Needless to say, the party was a blast. Steve and stayed in and did Christmas stuff the whole weekend. More on that later this week.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Favorite parts? When Gloria nearly laughs at hearing that Lance is dead.
Or when we see the bullet proof vest and then footage of the fashion show where there's clearly no vest in effect.
Everything Tania did was inspired (I love Mini to death!), but her final fashion shoot was pretty genius because it was funny at first and then became kind of sad. Wow, it's like I wrote something of depth in the 11th hour of this camp show. (Thanks to Robert Bruce, our exec on the show who came up with that photo shoot. He hails from The Golden Girls, among other shows and was a life saver.)
But the one moment, which Steve and I want to put on our ring tone, is when a drunk Nikki says to Michelle, "Nikki Clark, agent." And Michelle looks confused and says, "Asian?" GOD that is so something Steve and I would say, and I wrote that line at like 3am, which explains the silliness. I think I even woke Steve up to tell him about it when I wrote it.
It's sad to see it go, but now I can at least catch up on all the other TV we've been missing. Speaking of which...
Victor Garber is cute. Steve and I love him. But on Monday we were at a dinner and found out his Fox show Justice is canceled. Last day of shooting is today, Friday, and there's a sad wrap party on Saturday. I'm told Victor will be there. We, however, will not.
My friend Mike in San Diego sent me this fun link, which answers a very important question facing most of us in life: which Transformer are you?I'm Sunstreaker. I don't even remember this dude, but as it says, I don't care either.
Tonight, Steve and I are taking brothers Jeff and John to the Flaunt Magazine party at The Edison. That's the swank club I wrote about awhile back, and since Jeff is a designer we knew he would flip over it. Can't wait to see his reaction. Hopefully they'll have a camera to bring along, because if it's a Flaunt party there could be a celeb or two.
Saturday we're buying our Christmas tree and decorating it with all the Disney and comic book ornaments we own. Depending on how bad my spy camera is, I may even get some good snapshots to show. This year is even more exciting because we get to have ornaments Steve made and that got sold in The Disney Stores. Woo hoo!
Okay, kids, have a good weekend. And don't light those trees on fire.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Thanks for watching. It's been fun. More stuff later this week.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Seriously. Perez Hilton is the celebrity in a contest! Girl what you doin' on this ad?
Making money would be the answer, but that's beside the point.
Did you all know that Perez was on a VH-1 weight loss show called From Flab to Fab? Yeah. Interesting story. You've heard me quote my friend Rodney Alexander Griffis in the past on this blog, and he calls me one day and says, "You know a guy named Mario?" Well, Perez's real name is Mario and I did know him. He was editing for Instinct Magazine at the time and had just gotten on this show with our friend Rodney.
The episode is not on YouTube (or I can't find it there), Rodney won' t let a copy out of his grasp, and I doubt Perez talks about it too much, but I did find this link on the VH-1 website!
The boys really did lose a lot of weight on this show. That's what happens when you have trainers and cooks like Madonna.
(In case you're confused, Perez is on the left and Rodney is on the right.)
Ahhh, the joys of being on a reality TV show, no matter how obscure. It always comes back in the end, huh?
I could be bitchy and say, "Now that The Reichen's book is finished being promoted he got rid of Lance," but I won't because I'm full of love on the outside.
The thing is, when The Reichen first won on The Amazing Race, I got more calls and e-mails from gays in Toronto, New York, LA and beyond, all asking if I knew The Reichen because they (or their friend) had just met him, had a whirlwind romance, and the duo were now in love. Seriously, I can give you names of at least 10 dudes who did this. Mind you, when details of this courtship were produced it usually included a big party and possible ecstasy usage, but whatever. I wasn't there so I don't know if any of that is true.
But the thing about gossip (and stereotypes) is that if you hear it enough from enough first-hand sources, you have to consider that there's some truth. (Like the penis-size stories about certain gay reality show people, which I won't get into because, again, I'm full of love on the outside.)
So I'm not surprised about the breakup. I am saddened. Not because they broke up-- kids, if you start bragging about how "in love" you are in the media then you're just asking to put a curse on your marriage (ask Ellen and Anne about that one). I'm sad because I like Lance. He's a doll. I've only ever heard of lovely, wonderful things about the guy. And I just hate that over this year he genuinely fell for someone, had to go through the whole public outing thing, and now this.
I hope he finds a nice boy who likes him for him, not his money or his fame.
And I hope he finds someone with a big tool. That would also be nice for him.