Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Except I got really stressed out about the whole thing and wasn't sleeping at night. But I've moved on.
Over the weekend we spoke with Rosemary and a couple of her daughters. Turns out, Delia has skipped out on them as well. She stopped bringing by her little boy to be babysat so that she didn't have to come up our street and possibly see us; they haven't heard from her. As for the cops, well, they aren 't returning my calls and at this point Rosemary's babies think Delia has changed her cell phone.
Rosemary's girls had been friends with Delia growing up but over the years realized she and her kids weren't good influences around their own children, and any time they would bring up her kids' bad behavior, Delia would blame it on Rosemary's babies and their kids-- she'd never take responsibility for her own misplaced abortions; see a pattern here?
Over the weekend when friends Amy and Allen showed up they wanted to form a posse to beat the living crap out of Robert and his family. Or throw flaming poo bombs at their house. Or both. We talked them down and poured fruity blended cocktails instead. But it was a fun moment to think about.
Anyway, I'm glad it's over just by the very fact that it's time for us to move on.
One final note... When Steve and I spoke with the daughters I mentioned that I felt bad about Rosemary losing one of her customers. Both girls responded, "Oh no, it's better this way. We didn't like having Delia around." So if nothing else, at least our neighbors got something positive out of the whole experience.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
We ate crunchy tacos, drank a couple margaritas, and then went drunk shopping for groceries at Ghetto Ralphs in our neighborhood. Fortunately, we didn't impulse buy...
But then we got an invitation from friend and fellow author Jonathan Bass to have a drink at Akbar in Silver Lake. We dropped off our food at home, ran to the bar and the next thing you know we're dancing to "Xanadu" by Olivia Newton John (No joke, they played it). After the bar closed, everyone came back to our house for some more drinks...
Needless to say, we did not wake up the next morning to finish painting the house. Or put oil on our teak picnic table. So we went to TARGET!
They have fun things at Target that I never cared about when I rented an apartment, but now that we own a home it's a whole other story. We bought shorts, and gym clothes, and T-shirts, and a dustpan (notice how I look both excited and scared at the same time in this picture). Oh! And their entire Princess Party collection (plates, napkins, banners, invitations, etc.) in the children's birthday section featured Steve's artwork so we bought a bunch of that. Yeah, no idea why but we were caught up in the rapture.
Cleaned the yard, had our friends Amy and Allen over for rum drinks Saturday night, Sunday we did some painting, then our friends Jerry and Adam came up from Long Beach and we went out to Faultline for beer bust-- huge line, we made up for it in short order-- and then back to our place where we were all asleep by 10pm. Brunch on Monday at our place with the boxing class, but it was so beautiful we wanted to get out of the house... So we went back to Target.
Bought a Brita water filter. Also a new vacuum cleaner for Loyda. And we think we've found a sexy collapsible barbecue for our backyard. But more on that later.
Whew! Exhausted. Now back to work. These monologues are much more work than I anticipated-- it's easy to repeat oneself when writing them. But we'll manage.
Restaurant reviews this week, Gay Pride in two weeks (or as we like to call it, "Shirtless Holiday LA") dieting again today. It's a rough life.
Friday, May 26, 2006
The movie was good but not great-- it felt more like a pilot to a series called "Wolverine and his Amazing Friends" than a movie in itself-- and there were many interesting set ups that never quite paid off in a satisfying manner. So I'm actually happy we saw it for free. Movies are better when you see them on the big screen and they're free.
Drinks tonight at Marix Tex Mex in West Hollywood, finishing up work on house, and just some relaxing this weekend. Probably some writing as well. I'll try to remember to shoot the whole event. Of course, with alcohol involved, God only knows if that will happen.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Since the package was stolen I've been filled with anxiety. It's always on my mind because I feel this enormous obligation to do something about a situation that no one seems to give a damn about (except for some'a y'all). And when my lovely friends call to discuss the situation-- seriously, not being a smart ass here-- I start to feel anxious again because I don't feel like I'm doing enough to get this kid in trouble.
It's like it's my fight, mine alone, but I'm a bad person if I don't fully pursue this.
My friend Sarah, who doesn't read the blog and knew nothing of this, said something very sensible... "If it's costing you so much stress that you're not sleeping at night, then why are you putting yourself in this situation?"By the way, the situation has been keeping me awake. And when I've gone out on the town or tried to be romantic (wink wink) it's always distracting me. "It might be best to just let it go and move on and chalk this all up to experience," she concluded.
I then got this e-mail from my friend and boxing teacher, Lisa. She lives in a redeveloping part of LA and said this:
I think the joy of living in a non-upwardly mobile/non-middle class neighborhood is that you quickly discover how disfunctional the rest of the world is. Actually, not so much disfunctional, but childlike, and I don't mean "charming" and "full of wonder," either. I mean like not accepting responsibility or thinking someone else will take care of it, hence the crap thrown on the street or the parking illegally or whatever else it is.
It's led me to Lisa's Great Theory of Education, which is that an educated person is a procedural thinker, not so much a reactor, and has a grasp of the big picture. Your neighbors are not crazy (most likely) but just functional illiterates. And guess what their kids grow up to be?
One thing I guess to keep in mind is that the kid started this whole thing--not you. And believe me, letting the kid get away with it "just once" won't help either. Hopefully it was just a kid being stupid and not the beginning of a life of crime.
Ah, sometimes it is just good to hit things...Take care, honey. This, too, will pass.
So I don't quite know what to do. I'll place another call to the cops today and see if I can get a response and their thoughts, but unless I do much of the footwork and try to get more info on Delia, this looks to be dead.
And as I inferred earlier, I'd prefer the situation die before I do. Or Robert and Delia. They could die too. I'm all about retro-active abortions.
Then about 10 homos and hags popped out of the party van and cracked open bottles of vodka and food so that they could have some fun before the concert. We immediately stopped laughing.
"We should have tailgated," Jeff and John sadly stated.
"Only at Madonna concerts it's called 'teabagging'," Steve observed.
We took a pic of us about to enter the Forum but I didn't want to mess with having a camera inside and dealing with security, etc. Of course, we got up to the entrance and learned that there was no security to speak of but at the same time I wanted to enjoy the show and not obsess on getting pics of Madge riding a saddle around while singing, "Like A Virgin." So I got pics from Madonnalicious, which is one of the best fan sites ever if you love our girl.
Before the show, I finally met sexy performer Ari Gold whom many of you will remember as the voice of Ba Nee (or Bah-Nee or something), the Asian orphan from Jem and the Holograms. He was not dressed like this photo, he was wearing a sleeveless T-shirt-- there were a lot of Sleeveless in Seattle homos at this event-- and he was very cool. He didn't even freak out when I brought up the Jem reference, which is lovely.
There was also one MANdonna who dressed up like the current Confessions album, and a pregnant woman dressed up like she was from Suddenly Seeking Susan; John called her "Madonna and Child." We then took our seats and Steve spilled his $10 beer. Other than that, the night was a hit.
The Belle of Kabbalah performed many songs, including a version of "Music" with the song Disco Inferno running around in the background; alas, it was not the Varla Jean Merman version of "Disco Inferno" but lovely nevertheless.
One highlight was when Madge sang "I Love New York" in one of her many Xanadu tribute moments (okay, maybe she didn't think it was from the film, but we all did). She sang the lyric, "Los Angeles is for... people who sleep." And all the faggots screamed! Literally screamed with excitement.
It was as if they were saying, "Yeah! She said Los Angeles! Woo hoo! We're oblivious and vain!" It was probably led by the chorus of Too-Tan-Marys we saw sashaying around in tight jeans and tank tops they bought at Casual Corner next door to their jobs as perfume spritzers at Macy's. Madonna then tossed off, "But not you guys," just to keep from getting booed. I love that she's so popular she can rag on a town and get cheers because, essentially, she's right about the city. Sigh...
Being totally honest-- Because I'm all about lying? Whatever-- I nearly lost my shit a couple times because it was so much fun. A lot of dancing, and when Madge busted out Donna Summer's "I Feel Love"-- not simply hinting at it as she does on the album-- it was crazy. It was also a little disturbing to realize all the cha-cha queens who knew every bit of (spinning fists like I'm punching a speed-bag) choreography probably had no idea where the original version came from. Sadness.
A lot of out-of-town friends, including DJ Killbilly, wanted to know if the whole horse thing worked. Yeah, it does. People also wondered if the air conditioning was off as reported from the first LA concert. When we got there it was on but by the end we were real sweaty. I think she wanted to make the place feel like a club-- but without the tabs of X.
I really did have to marvel at the lady. As I watched her riding around on a tattooed muscle stud in this black bondage style outfit I leaned over to Steve and said, "Yeah, that's me at 47." We can only hope.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
I heard they didn't have air conditioning at her Sunday show. I hope that's not the case tonight. I hate hot, sweaty, smelly people who aren't hot.
I'd sneak my camera in but it seems like so much work, and I'm very apathetic right now. So I'll snag some fan pics off some other site and use those.
My job continues even though the episodes are written. I've been tasked to write over 300 segments that will run on the internet or on-air to promote the show. "Confessionals" from the characters reflecting on their feelings, fashion tips and lessons, and prequal material that will explore the characters further. It's a cool new experience. Not sure if I'll actually meet Bo Derek or the rest of the cast (besides the Abercrombie model who was in a couple times and bought the writers coffee) but I'm hoping Steve and I can be extras in one of the big episodes. We'll see.
Called the LAPD Detective about the robbery; haven't heard back. I'll call again tomorrow.
Monday, May 22, 2006
Steve and I traveled to San Diego and had dinner with my family last week at San Fillippo pizzeria. This is not our favorite pizzeria down there, but San Fillippo is in La Mesa and local to everyone else AND they give pizza dough to kids instead of those generic placemats and crayons. This allows my niece Haylee, on the left, to make a beard for herself, and also stops the girls from asking Steve to spend the whole meal drawing Disney Princess and Tinkerbell pictures for them.
Here is my other niece, Louise, sitting in my lap and looking very smart in her cute new party dress from Kohl's.
Below is mom looking thrilled with Savannah, Haylee's sister. Louise smiling and Haylee giving her father an evil look sort of rounds out the whole evening in a nutshell.
On the way home, Haylee asked my sister, Eileen, a very important question. She said, "Why don't Uncle Richard and Uncle Steve bring their wives when they come to visit?"
Eileen and John, her husband, tried to not laugh, but since she's five years old they also figured they didn't need to get into a lengthy discussion about our forbidden love. So she explained, "Not every man has a wife."
To which Haylee responded, in a very matter-of-fact manner, "Well, they should get some wives, because they're both nice."
Eileen and John then called me to say there was probably a sale at Kohl's if I was interested in picking up a couple ladies.
Friday, May 19, 2006
Here's an interesting little observation since I've spoken with four detectives at this point about the matter. The two male detectives were very basic-- come in and file a report; something will happen. The two female detectives were much more willing to discuss options-- we can call Delia and Robert and see if we can teach a lesson without getting a full-blown investigation started, etc.
Another thing I was told yesterday (not sure if the male detective was right or just trying to get me off the line): This is NOT a Federal Offense because the package was not in a mail box or lock box. It's a crime-- Robert stole it-- but it was just sitting out front so it's not federal. (I still question the truth behind this one.)
And another lesson: Though Delia has the candy and she's basically admitted doing nothing, she hasn't committed a crime, per se. She was wrong, yes, but she can basically say Robert told her they were given to her and there's nothing that can be done. The only crime is with Robert.
So the female detective in the Juvenile Division is checking into it now and will try to convince Delia to do the right thing, and if nothing happens then we can discuss options with the detective (she did say it was smart we didn't call Delia and give her our number because the woman is clearly odd).
But Steve and I realized that this could very well become a dead subject. Sure, we can do a full-on press, but in order to make this effective we're probably going to have to get the neighborhood kids' names and numbers, find out where Robert lives (of possible), what school he attends, etc. Basically these were M&Ms and the cops aren't going to necessarily follow up on it like it's a ring of car thieves so if we want justice we'll need to do the footwork to see any results.
Does anyone know witchcraft?
Thursday, May 18, 2006
I got home around 2pm-- worked from home-- so that there could be no excuse that she came by and we weren't there. Steve showed up at 5:45pm and she was supposed to arrive at 6pm. Being late wasn't an issue because there could be traffic and we were in watching the season finale of America's Next Top Model, the penultimate episodes of Alias and the pre-Lost season finale. But by the time we sat down to eat dinner and watch TV at 8pm, we knew she wasn't coming.
We didn't call her, and she had never gotten our number the other night. But she did have Rosemary (the babysitter) and her daughters' phone numbers so she could have called them to tell us if there was a problem. Perhaps she's just not a considerate person when it comes to these things (Ya think?). I could have called her but I suddenly got a nervous feeling about this woman possibly having my phone number and I can't explain why.
So now do I call the cops or not? On one hand I feel like I should call her from the office today and say, "Yo, bitch, what up?" (but in a loving sort of way) and hear her out. On the other hand, I wonder: When is enough, enough???
It's been a week since the candy was stolen. Delia knew about it on Thursday, technically, when her son came home with a bag of personalized candy. She was called by the neighbors on Friday. She told them to mind their own business. She spoke with me Monday and I graciously didn't ask her to pay and set up the meeting for last night. Do I just stop this game? Do I call the police and show her I mean business?
I'm going to boxing now and will think about it then. But any thoughts, as always, are appreciated.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
I'm not sure if that's considered good or bad company.
I wrote M&Ms this morning. Long letter, acknowledged our fault in having the package left out front but also suggested they reconsider using plain wrapping for their shipments-- or giving buyers the option of choosing it.
I was going to mention the porn analogy Brian left in the blog, but thought it wise to leave out.
Meeting Delia tonight. I wonder what would happen if I took her and Robert's picture for the blog...
Oh yeah, I spoke with the thief's mother.
Delia was not an easy woman to reach. When Steve came home and stopped by the babysitter's house to get her number, they said Delia would be by later and we could talk to her in person. I thought this was odd. We were supposed to get her number last week. Turns out, Delia told them not to give it to us. She wanted them to give her our number and she promised she would call us.
I found this out from the daughter of the babysitter. "I got so pissed at Delia that I called her on Friday and yelled at her," Daughterla said. "She told me it was none of my business and I told her she should be ashamed of herself." But as Daughterla spoke to us I saw Rosemary-- her mother/the babysitter-- peaking out the window, extremely nervous.
It dawned on me that Delia had basically bullied Rosemary into keeping quiet. Rosemary needs the money she gets from babysitting Robert's little brother, and she was worried she'd lose that business; Delia was also supposed to pay her the babysitting money that day and hadn't come out because of the candy issue. Rosemary's daughter, however, was on our side.
"When you see her, you'll understand," said Rosemary's daughter. "You'll see what type of person she is."
Rosemary's daughter (I'll resist the temptation to say "baby"), then called Delia, handed me the phone so I could speak with her, and I secretly snagged Delia's number in the process. Immediately the BS flowed; fortunately, I didn't lose it.
-"I'm so glad we could finally talk so these other people aren't involved." Wonderful.
-"Now what do you think happened?" I explained.
-"This is getting blown so out of proportion. You know, Robert wasn't the only one involved." Perhaps not, but he's the only person all the neighborhood kids named as the guilty party, and he's the only one his own little brother named.
-"But there's no proof..." Well, I don't know why everyone, including Rosemary, would lie. And we do have the box as evidence. I could give it to the police if you'd like them to fingerprint it. (Um, yeah, that was my telenovela dialogue speaking but I figured I could go with it.)
-"That won't do anything because I saw Rosemary touch it all over." Which means, I thought, you were here and saw the box and didn't come by or leave us a note. But instead, I said, I assume the police will know the difference between an adult woman's prints and a young boy's, and I seriously doubt they'll think the 50-year-old babysitter stole a box of M&Ms.
-"I'm not saying she stole it. But they're calling me and telling me I have to pay you $50."
Now it gets tricky. Rosemary's daughters did call and tell Delia that she had to pay us back, and that the gift cost $50; I did verify with Delia that I had the receipt if she'd like to see it. But I could also tell that this was the sticking factor, and she most likely didn't have an extra $50 lying around.
I explained that when everything went down last week this was one option we'd considered but after having spoken with the LAPD and thought about it at length, we had decided on a new course of action. Using Mary's advice from the last blog, I explained that paying the money wouldn't teach Robert a lesson; he had committed a Federal Offense after all and needs to learn that this isn't a joke.
"Oh, I told him. He knows." Yes, I'm sure you did.
I needed two letters-- in his own handwriting-- one addressed to Steve's mom and one to mine explaining what he did and apologizing. This involved much confusion over two letters, two mothers, two men living in one house... I explained Steve was my partner and I still don't think she understood. Anyway, I said Robert needs to give us those letters and apologize to us as well. We set up that this will happen on Wednesday.
On a side note, we had considered him doing chores in the neighborhood but I knew this woman wouldn't do it. She had been ready for a fight at every turn, incredibly defensive, and it was only through my keeping things on topic that the conversation didn't devolve into that.
Then Delia said, "So you'll stop talking about this with the neighbors?"
I neglected to mention the blog. But I did say that when we got those letters and a face to face apology from her son, then the issue would be closed. Until we got those letters, no, I would not be silent about anything.
"I don't know why it has to be like this," she said. Because I have no idea this will actually happen. And when we spoke to the police...
"Are you threatening me? I can get a lawyer if I have to." No, I'm not threatening you. I'm just telling you what will happen if you don't want to make your son be responsible for his actions.
I'm kind of surprised I was that firm but calm throughout the whole thing. But it does remind me of an old philosophy of mine...
Children shouldn't be spanked; it's their parents that need a good beating.
Monday, May 15, 2006
When I talked to the kids on the street they all ratted him out in a second.
Here is the box that the kids found for us. Tempting, I know.
The woman next door supposedly confronted the mother and she told her to mind her own business. If we had a problem, we could talk to her ourselves. We also heard that Robert gave some of the candies to his mother, which is only odd in that they were personalized with our names on them. You'd think that would raise a red flag with the parental unit.
Now, I'm not wigging out over this-- yet-- because all these stories came from a second hand source. We'll see how the attitude plays out later.
Called the police on Saturday to ask them their opinion on the situation. They suggested we try the parents first and if that doesn't work then we should call the LAPD again. So that's how we're playing it. We were out of town all weekend and didn't see the neighbors yesterday so I'll either keep an eye out for when Robert's mom shows up with the younger brother or I'll get her number tonight and call.
But the one thing I do suspect, at least at this point, is that the motivator had nothing to do with us and everything to do with that brightly printed box. I guess that's some relief.
Friday, May 12, 2006
It was cheaper than flowers, unique enough to make a splash, and something that could last a year after my mom put them in the refrigerator to save for a speical occassion that would never come.
But our M&Ms got stolen. I'm not kidding.
We've had lots of things delivered to the house and left on our front doorstep; before HGTV came out they sent tons of things for the yard. We live on a small private drive, neighbors watch out for one another, and there's little worry. But there are also lots of kids who play in front of our house, and not all of them actually live on this street.
So I signed the sheet telling UPS to leave them on our doorstep, but when we came home last night there was no package. This morning I asked our neighbors-- the nice ones who babysit the neighborhood kids, not the honky one-- if they saw anything. They said they had seen the box with a bright M&M logo on it but assumed we took it in. They also told us the neighborhood boys were playing in front of our house.
Having your stuff stolen sucks. And it's creepy. And it's something I thought I'd gotten away from after elementary school. All last night and this morning I felt uncomfortable and even a little upset because I keep wondering if they would have done it to any of the neighbors simply because it was a bright, inviting M&Ms box, or if they chose to hit the fags at the top of the hill specifically.
Just before I rushed into work today the babysitter next door knocked on my door. She'd found the empty shipping box and the M&Ms were gone. She thinks she knows who did it and she's livid.
"This not right," she said, very upset, and then told me a story about her husband drinking a lot; I'm not sure if it's English as a second language or what, but she has a tendency of telling me inappropriate things. "These boys need to learn respect," she said. So she's going to talk to their mother for us-- I think the main thief was the brother of a boy she babysits-- and she asked how much we paid. I told her, and we'll see what happens.
But even if we do find the culprit and even if we are paid back, it doesn't make the creepy feeling go away.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
First we covered what they could include, and the obvious choices are commentary blogs such as the ones on Entertainment Weekly, but I also suggested some of my favorites like Four Four, because that dude does a killer recap for reality shows like America's Next Top Model and Project Runway. He includes images as well as footage, super funny thoughts, and just really captures the fun of these shows. I think he's got a really great eye for what one can do with a blog.
I also thought Bravo should hire guys like this who have their own fan base, produce solid work, have worked to find their "online voice" over a period of time and could really hit the ground running. Who knows what will happen with that, but I want it known that I'm trying to help the revolution.
But what, they wondered, could I bring to the table?
Well, I can't tell you because if this telenovela things ends I'm going to need a job. However, I can say it's much more of an insider's look at the industry because-- let's face it-- I think I'm funny but other guys do better commentary. I can offer behind-the-scenes stuff they can't and present it with an edge, so that might be different from other things out there. If it happens-- or doesn't-- I'll let you know.
But it got me thinking about other blogs, and I have some I've been meaning to include in my listing to the right but I've been too busy to mess with until now.
Marco-Plato Mark G. is a funny dude I met after he read Mondo and his blog covers everything from his pottery books to his thoughts on TV, society, and pop culture.
Dainty Bastard - James Huctwith is an artist in Toronto who painted this picture of me when I was young and pretty. He paid the rent many times with varying versions of it. But what I love about James' blog is that it presents an insightful look at various topics in a sharp, witty, and "dainty" manner.
Black People Love Us - Okay, it's not a blog but it cracks me up! You need to check this out, yo! I really want these guys to start their own blog because it's hella funny! Check it out and if you agree, send them a note!
I have others, but that's all the time I have right now.
Off to San Diego this weekend for Mother's Day. I'm sure there will be a story in that...
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
I know it's a question many of you have been asking yourself. Or if not "many" of you, then at least the friends I go out drinking with on weekends. Actually, they talk about W.O.W. as though it were still publishing, by coming up with a word and saying, "Oh, you should use that one..." But the truth is that since publishing Geri-Jewell in March, there haven't been any new words.
Beyond this current TV gig and the HGTV stuff going on at our house, I came up with the idea to create a second Word of the Week blog, similar to how the kids at Franklin Avenue do their blog. They have their main space that publishes everything they're talking about and then they transfer a lot of the material to sub-topic blogs covering their restaurant reviews, info on the destruction of the Ambassador Hotel, etc.
But you know what? None of the names that seem to work are available. For example:
Word of the Week - (last used March 2004)
Weekly Word - (nothing posted; the guy quit before he began, but the text is very fancy)
Word Play - (last used November 2001; looks like she gave up too.)
Stupid Words - (last used February 2004)
Shouldn't Blogger do something to fix that? Like, if you haven't gone in a couple years and done anything valuable shouldn't they ask if you want to ditch it and let other people use the name?
Whatever. The point is that I need a name for this new blog. Any thoughts? WOW may be available-- it wasn't the last time I checked but this today it says it can't find the title so maybe it's available. I bet HANDIFAT it free, and that's one of the favorite Words of the Week so maybe that's a good name.
If you come up with something better, let me know, and I'm planning on getting these things going again either by the end of this week or next week.
Monday, May 08, 2006
Last year I had to interview a woman who owned a T-shirt company called Girlfiend and she made this Rrrosas? shirt. So I wore it on Saturday to The Abbey. You'd think Steve and I had never been out before for all the attention we got-- we're very popular with the lesbians, FYI. Or maybe it was just the shirt.
Whatever. Tons of people were talking about it, asking where I got it, and ¿Rosas? lady herself was amazed to see it. She gave me a kiss and our friend Doria Biddle took this shot of us.
By the way, the ¿Rosas? lady has a MySpace page. I'm not kidding. And you can kind of see her in action here.
There is now a huge urban legend surrounding the ¿Rosas? lady. People say she sells drugs and you can tell what kind she's selling by the flowers in her hand. So one night Steve and I ran into a drunk girl who told us this story.
(Rick and Steve are sitting in a cabanna and the ¿Rosas? lady walks past and offers us a rose. We decline by telling her we're not gay. We then wonder, aloud, how she can make her living selling roses and is the drug rumors are true. Immediately, a drunk girl comes crashing down into our cabana and says this...)
DRUNK GIRL: I wanted to get some blow so I went up to her and I was like, "I want a white rose." And she said and it to me and said, "$5." And I said, no, the white." (She winks to emphasize her point.) So the ¿Rosas? lady gave me another one and said, "$10." And I was like, "DAMMIT GIVE ME THE COKE!" But she didn't have any.
Drunk Girl then went off to hang out with the nearby porn stars.
So I don't believe that the ¿Rosas? lady has the drugs. Like gay men who have supposedly slept with Tom Cruise, it's never a direct connection it's always someone you somehow knew while peeing at the urinal at The Abbey. And seriously, can you really trust anyone in those circumstances?
Friday, May 05, 2006
When I first sold Mondo Homo to Alyson Books, I assumed that my literary career would skyrocket. I worked in film, I regularly published magazine articles, and now all those books I'd wanted to write would come bursting onto the book shelves every year or two.
"The plan" we writers create for ourselves even worked as I'd envisioned. On my book tour I hit New York I met with agents, found one that I adored because he not only read Mondo but understood it, and so I was positive I'd moved onto the path toward success.
While a lot of people have asked me when I'd be publishing Mondo Homo 2: Electric Boogaloo (This time they're fagging for themselves-- Opens Friday!), I found that the majority of people interested were other writers or artists who wanted to be involved with the book and the miscellaneous homo. But Alyson Books had a major editorial shift so all the people I worked with were gone and from what multiple friends told me, the current group isn't interested in working with any of the old regime's discoveries.
I don't know that for a fact but I completely understand it, and the truth is that I don't really want to do another Mondo right now. The first was a lot of work and I'm tired of writing about gays at the moment; excluding myself, of course.
My second book is a series of stories, some of which are based on previously published magazine pieces, about my first ten years living in LA juxtaposed by my crazy family. It's called Relative Insanity. So along with my agent I wrote the pitch, a detailed outline, a sample chapter (which is a longer version of the Christmas Story I put on this blog last year) and a bunch of other things. We submitted in January...
[cricket... cricket... cricket...]
Some rejections, mostly saying that they love my writing but that I don't have a big enough "platform".
"Clearly they haven't seen my ass," I told my agent. He then explained that a platform is publisher talk for public exposure. "Clearly they didn't know me in college, which is partially what this book is about," I said. My agent pressed on-- he's good like that-- and explained that I'm not doing commentary on NPR, featured in a regular column in a major magazine. Basically-- and this is my favorite rejection quote-- I'm not as publicly recognized as David Sedaris.
Now I love David's work, he's wonderful, but just because I like gay butt love and write humor pieces involving my family doesn't mean I want to be him. I'm not trying to. Our styles are very different. But as with TV shows and movies, people need to make immediate comparisons so that they can better fit something into a market. It's very frustrating.
What's frustrating is that you're told to do X-Y-Z and you'll be published, and I have, but nothing is really happening for my book. Hells bells, I'm writing/producing a TV series with Bo-frickin'-Derek and my "platform" is still too small. I wish my platform was as large and engorged with blood like David's. I have platform envy. It's sad.
So yesterday I got off the phone with my agent and we're still plugging away. A lot of publishers haven't read the proposal yet and we're resubmitting to some places and letting them know all the big shit I've been doing recently. I also need to blog more, get more fans. Sweet. So we're in the mix. And truthfully, I am working on a primetime TV show and paying my bills and working with an amazing cast, so I'm thankful. It's all about keeping things in perspective.
And as I drove home yesterday I thought about my proposal for Relative Insanity and one of my big messages in the book: Just because the dream isn't happening the way you thought it would, doesn't mean it's not happening.
Happy Cinco de Mayo. La Raza, baby!
Books I love Right Now
Beautiful story about two penguins in New York raising their baby. Touching, sweet, brilliantly simple.
Author An Na and I went to junior high and high school together. Her two books are fantastic and this is her latest, a brilliant story about a young girl coming into her own while working at her immigrant family's Laundromat in San Diego. Amazing!
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
This is the evite image. I'm dying with laughter every time I see it and wanted to share with y'all because I know how much you all love Xanadu. And if you don't love the classic movie musical starring Olivia Newton John who helps Gene Kelly and Michael Beck accomplish their dreams of opening a roller disco, remember this:
"In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man..."
And if Kubla Khan liked the place then you should as well. After all, it's the place where nobody dared to go. (Okay, I'll stop now.)
In case you're not familiar with the original movie poster, here you go.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
After HGTV came out with the Urban Outsiders crew to transform our backyard into an oasis of love, it became apparent that Steve and I were putting up with a very unnecessary color for our house. Yes, the pink cupcake house is lovely, but since Steve and I get enough pink in our daily lives (you can read into that however you'd like) we got the bright idea on Sunday to use the four extra gallons of paint left over from our backyard to repaint the house.
It's actually an exciting transformation. Though it's tough to see in these photos-- Why is it that our cream color looks so much like our former pink color?-- we're now painting the entire house Mediterranean Cream to match the backyard. In this pic with Steve you can see the line on the right side where the carport is half cream and half pink. (Which, again, if you have a dirty mind at 6:15am like me, is something you can read into if you'd like.) We'll need to buy three more gallons for this weekend but we should be finished by Sunday.
I have a blister on my hand but that's okay because I think we would have just lived with our pink house for quite a while, especially now that the back is finished and we can basically ignore it; you put up with a lot of things when you work all week and then want to relax on the weekend. But that can drag you down, I think, because you never quite feel your house is at the place you'd like it to be, so the fact that we got motivated because of this show to do something is a great thing.
As soon as we have more done, I'll post them.
Monday, May 01, 2006
None of us cared too much about the opera itself, which was more of a community theater presentation than anything else-- including the self-important lead who did a very grand curtain call that one would expect of someone like Maria Callas. But whatever. The real star was the theater itself.
Above is a bit of the neon sign, restored by the Museum of Neon Art here in Los Angeles, and below is the grand entrance with views of the crystal water fountain in the back.
If you're a fan of architecture, the Broadway theaters in LA are stunning, and the Los Angeles is very well preserved, though the more you look around the more you think about how much more beautiful it would be if they took care of it. These are many of the pics Steve took that night. Below shows the stage with the amazingly detailed curtain. It's a shame that the lighting inside is so yellow/red-- we'll be trying to color correct some in Photoshop soon--but I think the lights are set to hide the crumbling details and water damage.
Below is a picture of the ceiling. Hopefully the transfer to the blog will be a high enough resolution that you can see the gorgeous details.
Built in 1931, The Los Angeles Theatre is a National Register landmark located in the heart of the Los Angeles Broadway Historic Theatre District. The Theatre was the last and most elaborate of the movie palaces built on Broadway between 1911 and 1931. When it opened in January of 1931 it was advertised as "The Theatre Unusual" because of its many unique features.
One item, included a series of mirrors in the theater so that if a woman has to take a child to the children's changing room (located by the women's restroom downstairs), she could still watch the movie or show.
Ironically, now that I'm looking at these pictures I realize there are so many more elements that we didn't get great pictures of, and it makes me want to go back again. The main entrance is amazing to see when exiting the house, or the downstairs ballroom and restaurant, etched glass lights, stunning tapestries and more. Hopefully the LA Conservancy-- which Steve and I are a part of-- can get the Los Angeles to open its doors for more events. Until then, the Los Angeles Theatre website has some nice shots as well, taken without bystanders.
Here we are in front of the crystal fountain. When working, water trickles down the strands, reflecting light across the space.
Now the Los Angeles Theatre is rarely used for events like this, mostly it's rented for filming commercials, movies and music videos. Honestly, I think most of the audience was there to see the space like we were because the place was nearly empty by the end of the three-hour tour they called an opera. Though it wasn't the best production I've ever watched, being able to see this grand space come back to life for even one night made everything worth it.