Friday, May 30, 2008

My Weekend Crush

I’ve already confessed on these very pages that I don’t watch “Grey’s Anatomy.” I simply can’t take the doctorly navel gazing. But that doesn’t mean I don’t watch Sara Ramirez. Quite the contrary. I’ve watched her closely. Very, very closely. Sara is, what I believe the kids today are calling, The Sex. She is incredibly, ridiculously, outrageously sexy. All that and the woman can flat-out sing. Jesus, if someone tells me she can cook too I might actually die this very minute.

The thing is she is also what the kids today would call thick. Now, I have to agree with other wise women of the web who come down against calling women thick. It makes us sound dense and/or like a Porterhouse. Neither of which are particularly flattering and/or appropriate. What I will say is that Sara is a woman who looks like a woman, and there ain’t much sexier than that.

There also ain’t much sexier than the kiss Sara and Brooke Smith had in the Grey’s finale. Lord. Have. Mercy. (Seriously, you’re gonna want to click those.) You know what I like? I like it when women hold each other’s faces while kissing. Like they have to. Like if they don’t, they may not be able to keep standing or breathing or living. You know, sort of like this.

The Callie and Erica storyline may, may, just draw me into the Grey zone. But then, maybe I’ll just rely on all those faithful YouTubers who make clips and videos and whatnots to their (and my) hearts’ content. See, maybe today’s youth are OK after all. I mean, they did give us this which is pretty much the best argument for the invention of the “replay” button ever. Happy weekend, all.

p.s. How could I forget, she is also a friend of The Gays. And in Spanish to boot.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Breakin’ up is hard to do

Sigh. I was hoping to ignore the ubiquitous “Jodie and the Homewrecker” stories out there this past week, but the dozen or so emails on the subject sitting patiently in my inbox cannot be ignored. (Seriously, I’m not ignoring all you – I’m just terribly behind on my emails.) So, here is the thing. I know this photo of Jodie Foster and her supposed new girlfriend Cynthia Mort has popped up online. I know the backstory. (Cynthia was a screenwriter on “The Brave One” and they met on the set.) I know it’s supposedly shocking to Hollywood insiders. I know.

Is it true? Sigh. I have no idea. Is it more than a little sad? Yes, very much yes. Breakups are almost always sad. Breakups with kids involved are always, always sad. And public breakups are a sad spectacle I don’t wish on anyone. May Jodie and Cydney have the time and privacy to sort it all out together.

What I do find interesting about this “story” is how it has been covered around the globe. And when I say globe, I mean globe. A quick Google News search found an item on a news site in Azerbaijan. No, really. But, leave it to the Brits to give us the most gossipy take of all. The adjective usage in the Daily Mail piece alone makes it an (unintentionally) hilarious read. Also, anytime someone writes about the “Pink Mafia” I giggle. Really, I think it’s the only appropriate response.

The only real “news” I could glean from this whole sad spectacle is that Cynthia Mort’s ex is ex-“thirtysomething”-star Melanie Mayron. OK, this dates me a bit, but I used to love “thirtysomething.” Granted, I was a teenager at the time and enamored with the thought of grown-up problems. But it was by the same folks who made “My So-Called Life,” so it was actually pretty good, yuppie angst and all. I had no idea Melanie was gay. (Though I have since learned she was in “The Itty Bitty Titty Committee,” which I have yet to see). She always intrigued me with her funky clothes and funkier glasses. And her cute red hair was kinda short. But I always thought her penchant for blazers with the sleeves rolled up was because it was the 80s. Guess my teenage gaydar wasn’t as finely honed at it is now. Live and learn.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Kiss this

I am, and will always be, in favor of girls kissing. But like everything else it’s all about the context. Are these two drunk girls surrounded by cheering frat boys? Yeah, no thanks. Or are these two women who are genuinely interested in each other. Thank you, ma’am may I have another. With that I give you two songs about girls kissing. And not just two songs about girls kissing, but two songs about girls kissing called “I Kissed a Girl.” Seriously, are there no other ways to title songs about this subject?

The first you will recognize as Jill Sobule’s 1995 hit:

The second you might recognize as Katy Perry’s new single:

Now, I find it interesting that while both songs are called “I Kissed a Girl” there is no actual kissing of girls in either video. I can understand why Jill excluded the smoochage. It was 13 years ago, after all, and still two years before Ellen’s “Yep” heard around the world. Also Jill has since embraced her lesbian fanbase and, having met her in real life, is simply adorable.

But the Katy exclusion. That’s just…weird. I mean isn’t the drunken straight girl hook-up (with optional hot tub clause) now standard operating procedure on MTV these days? As undeniably infectious as her song is (seriously, I’ve been humming the damn thing all weekend), it’s stuff like this that helped make that idiotic Girls Gone Wild dude a bajillionaire. (For a thorough examination of exactly what’s wrong with this song, check out Malinda’s treatise on B.L.W.E.)

If only she had stopped at the chorus. I kissed a girl, and I liked it. Yeah, now that’s a song worth singing.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Political meet personal

By now, you’ve probably seen both of these clips. The first is Ellen’s joyous announcement that she and Portia are getting married now that the California Supreme Court had overturned the ban on gay marriage. The second is Republican presidential nominee John McCain explaining why gays and lesbians should not be allowed to legally marry. I’ve put them together because they are the perfect illustration of the clash of the personal and the political. Take a look (if you haven’t already) and we’ll dish.

So, how can you call yourself a human being and not be happy for Ellen and Portia after seeing that announcement? Look at Portia’s face. The only thing that would have made that moment more perfect is if Portia had come on stage with Ellen and they had, well, anything – kissed, hugged, held hands. But, hey, that’s Ellen’s style and I respect that.

Then there is McCain. If that’s not the very definition of uncomfortable, I don’t know what is. The guy looks like he’d rather be making out with Dick Cheney than explaining his position to Ellen’s face. And really, how could he? He is essentially saying, I don’t think you or your love is equal. I don’t think you deserve the same recognition or rights. That’s not just a difference of opinion, sir, that’s a difference in basic human decency. And speaking of basic human decency, what kind of person deliberately goes onto a program for publicity, and then tells the host she is not and should not be equal under the law? I want the free airtime, I’m just not that wild about you, lady. Hypocrite. P.S. Way to not let the old coot off the hook, Ellen. Tim Russert could learn a thing or two from that grilling. I know this post veers off from the poppy culture I usually obsess focus on, but things like this are just a reminder that as disappointed as I am that Hillary (more than likely) will not win the nomination, this man CANNOT be our next president. [Hat tip, Rowdy, for the clips!]

Monday, May 26, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

My Weekend Crush

Jane Lynch is awesome. This is just a fact like gravity and global warming and that if you drop your toast it will always, always, always land butter-side down. She is so funny that no matter where you put her, she will get you a laugh -- be it “The L Word” or “Two and a Half Men” or “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” or all those Christopher Guest movies. She is so good that it’s easy to forget that what she does is actually really hard. It’s hard to swoop in and steal every scene. But she does it and she does it with a wink and a smile and you just know she loves it. In fact, she is so great that you wonder if the casts of the shows she guest stars in ever get nervous. Better be on your toes, folks, Jane is bringing her A-Game.

While she’s known for her deadpan-meets-smarmy genius, I’m licking my chops to see Jane stretch her chops in the new film “Julie & Julia” with Meryl Streep. Meryl will play culinary legend Julia Child and Jane will play her sister. Jane + Meryl + Food = I’ve had dreams that weren’t this good. Also, every time I look at Jane and see that twinkle in her eyes and grin on her face, I just know that if you were ever to get – shall we say – extra special private time with her, damn, that woman would absolutely curl your toes. Like I said, awesome. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Back home again in Indiana

Growing up in Indiana, I was predisposed to love Indiana Jones. Of course, even without the home state shout-out, the series still would be among my all-time favorite action films. You can’t beat its combination of a classic serialized adventure story coupled with big action, bigger laughs and possibly the biggest action hero of all time. Fine – I admit it – I might have had just a little grade-school crush on Harrison Ford. And – to be fair – he totally had the hat, bullwhip and leather working for him. But I’ve also always enjoyed Indy’s leading ladies, particularly Marion Ravenwood. She was not just feisty, she was ballsy. She could out drink, out deck and out smart any guy – even Professor Jones. And that voice, heavens. It turned grown men like Newsweek writer David A. Kaplan into gushing fanboys. Seriously, in this week’s issue he wrote what boils down to an extraordinarily well-written piece of fan mail. So now, 27 years later, Karen Allen is back as Marion and looking as fantastic as ever. And when I say fantastic, I mean fantastic.As much as I’m happy to see Indy dust off his fedora, this time around I’m more excited to see Karen and new villainess Cate Blanchett donning a Ruskie uniform and “moose and squirrel” accent. (I kid, I kid – I’m sure her accent won’t be all Rocky & Bullwinkle. She has an Oscar, dammit.) Baddie Cate is so delicious I want to eat it with a very small spoon to make it last longer.So, it’s with a childlike enthusiasm that I’ll go to the theater this weekend. Heck, it’ll be all I can do to not hum the whole time. Duh-duh-duh-duh, dun-dun-dun! Duh-duh-duh-duh, dun-dun-dundundun!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Must-Not-See TV

I believe I may be one of only 16 people not watching American Idol tonight. I know it’s hard to believe, but I’m not always watching TV. Sure, I have what some might call and unhealthy obsession with some TV – cough, Tina Fey , cough, food shows, cough – but really I’ve cut down dramatically over the years. Now that I’ve Monday morning quarterbacked all of the season finales to my regularly scheduled programming, I’m left to listen to my co-workers talk about the finales to their shows. And it makes me realize how much TV I don’t watch. Like these five shows.

American Idol

I watched part of the last few weeks of the first season. But since then, not so much. If I want to hear karaoke, I’ll go to a bar. At least they serve drinks and someone might fall off the stage in a drunken stupor. Also, I don’t want the child to win.

Desperate Housewives

I’m not really into soaps, either daytime or nighttime ones. Also any series where the cast is more famous for its off-stage drama than its on-stage drama makes me cranky.

Grey’s Anatomy

My sister loves this show. America loves this show. I love Sandra Oh and Sara Ramirez. I do not love this show. However, I may tune in Thursday to see if Callie and Erica get it on like Donkey Kong. What? I’m shallow.


God, are they still on that island? Plus, didn’t “Gilligan’s Island” kind of do it first? I’m just saying.


If I want to see terrorists and a crazed cowboy running around chasing supposed evildoers, I’ll tune into CNN. The addition of Cherry Jones and Janeane Garofalo gives me pause. But that dude just gets way too much done in one day. He makes me feel lazy. And who needs that?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tank Top Tuesday

This past weekend was crazy hot. So hot, I took all of my dead-of-summer clothes out of the drawers they were hibernating in, wrinkled and confused. Which, of course, got me thinking about tank tops. My upper arms aren’t ready for tank tops yet. They’re still pasty and doughy from a long winter of hiding underneath long sleeves and longer jackets. Which, of course, got me thinking about working out. Which then, of course, got me thinking about fitness inspirations. Which, as luck would have it, brought me back to the tank top. Life has a wonderful way of circling back on itself. My picks and why.
Jackie Warner, duh. Jillian Michaels, duh for brunettesJennifer Garner, girl-next-door duhEvangeline Lilly, island duhAli Larter, double duhJada Pinkett-Smith, those arms duh
[And, yes, that really is Jada with her band Wicked Wisdom.]

Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday Morning Music

I’m tired of all of my music. It happens sometimes. It’s not that I don’t like my music – in fact some of my albums are like old, dear friends. But, every now and then, when I want some sound to accompany my working/blogging/driving/what have youing I look at my collection and I think, blah. Part of this is probably because I bought a new laptop last month and haven’t had time to copy my iTunes catalog over yet. Shuffle takes the hard work out of “What should I listen to?” Part is because I don’t think I’ve bought a new CD since February (yes, that includes downloads). So, my pretties, this is where you come in. What sounds good to you right now? Who should I be listening to? Help a gal out.

For inspiration, here are four songs – some newish, some oldish and some very, very old – that I’ll never get tired of listening to.

Great Northern, “Low Is a Height”

I saw them live last year and met singer Rachel Stolte after the show. Her voice is the kind of haunting you wish for. Plus, she wore these amazing knee-high boots. p.s. If the song sounds oddly familiar, it’s being used in the NBA Playoffs “There Can Only Be One” campaign.

Feist, “I Feel It All”

How much do I love the vest and tie Feist wore for Colbert? I don’t think science has developed a way to count that high.

K’s Choice, “Believe”

I bought this CD 10 years ago from a remainder rack. I’ve never stopped playing it. I play this song almost every time I fly. I don’t know why, exactly. Maybe because it’s hopeful and yearning and feels like flight. p.s. Sarah Bettens dinged my gaydar so hard from the “Cocoon Crash”album art all those years ago, I remember spending a good day searching “lesbian” and “Sarah Bettens” online. But this was before she was out, so I had only my suspicions and, of course, that voice as clues. Of course now you look at her and you’re kind of like, duh.

Ani DiFranco, “Little Plastic Castles”

I love Ani and will always love Ani. I have all her CDs, have seen her about half a dozen times and even got to talk with her once. She laughed a lot. It was lovely.

UPDATE I: Wow. No, really, wow. Y’all delivered like Domino’s with the suggestions. Thank you, thank you 51-times and counting thank you. I plan to check them all out.

UPDATE II: Oh, if you emailed your suggestion, thank you too. I am terribly behind on my replies, so if you’ve sent me mail in the last week, thank you and please don’t fret. I am getting to you. Just, um, slowly.

Recap’s on

[Hug Click Padma for a nice, warm recap.]

Friday, May 16, 2008

My Weekend Crush

I love California. Sure, you can’t get a decent pastrami on rye to save your life, but in everything else (fine, except the housing prices and traffic) about this state is a microcosm of what makes America truly great. From its geography (from the mountains, to the valleys, to the ocean, white with foam…) to its climate (sun, sun, sun, here it comes…), the state is a beauty. But it’s not just a looker. California has substance. And, as the state Supreme Court demonstrated yesterday, California has character.

I’m not normally a geography-based loyalist. I don’t think I’ve never chanted “U-S-A!” in my life. But I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of my state than I was yesterday when our Supreme Court ruled to end the ban on gay marriage. The ruling makes California, the most populous state in the union, only the second state (behind Massachusetts) to allow gay marriage.

In a historic, 172-page decision, the court was unequivocal in its insistence that same-sex relationships are equal to opposite-sex relationships. Quite simply, they said gays and lesbians deserve the basic right to marry.
“... under this state’s Constitution ... [core substantive] rights include, most fundamentally, the opportunity of an individual to establish — with the person with whom the individual has chosen to share his or her life — an officially recognized and protected family possessing mutual rights and responsibilities and entitled to the same respect and dignity accorded a union traditionally designated as marriage…

Furthermore in contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual’s capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual’s sexual orientation, and, more generally, that an individual’s sexual orientation — like a person’s race or gender — does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights.

We therefore conclude that in view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship, the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples.”

That’s right, a “fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship.” Excuse me — I have something in my eye. No. I’m not crying. Just give me a minute…

People make fun of California all the time. Those crazy hippies. Those nutty Hollywood types. Those Birkenstock-wearing tofu eaters. But what California really is is this country’s conscience working ahead of the rest of its body. We blaze trails and get called kooky and are told to go hug a tree. But, when seen through the lens of history, which would you rather be? The ones they say, “Man, I can’t believe it took them that long” about or the ones they say, “They were one of the first to do what was right” about? It’s a no brainer. Love is love. Equal is equal. Right is right. Thank you, California. My state rocks. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Say it ain’t so

I am going to hedge this post with a simple warning: consider the source. The National Enquirer, that pillar of journalistic ethics, is reporting that Jodie Foster and her long-time partner Cydney Bernard have split. Their exact headline elegantly reads: JODIE DUMPS GIRLFRIEND. Of course, this being age of the endless links, this story spread like wildfire among the blogs and tabloids. Three people emailed it to me yesterday and I’ve found it countless times myself with a simple spin around The Internets.

If this is true, it makes me very sad. But that is a big if. This is a publication where 99 percent of the headlines include the words “EXPOSED,” “RAMPAGE,” “CHEATING” or “LOVE CHILD.” So, you know, grab that salt shaker.

Still, what makes me a little more worried about the likelihood of this particular if is that the same rumor surfaced about two months ago around the time of the “Nim’s Island” premiere. Jodie and her sons, Charles and Kit, went on vacation in Australia and were spotted frolicking on the beach without Cydney. Where is she! They’ve broken up! Call the lawyers! Silly? Of course. I paid it no mind.

Then people started to notice the ring. Jodie was showing up to events without the Tiffany eternity band she wears on her ring finger. I thought this was also a sham, so I went into some photo archives to look. But, sure enough, the ring wasn’t there at several events. Or, if it was there, it was on the wrong hand. And sometimes it was a different ring altogether. Huh? In August 2007 Jodie told More magazine:

“I’ve always worn a ring. Even taking photos. Even on magazine covers. I don’t take it off.”

Um, ruh-roh? So I went back further in the archives and found that she has worn the same ring or ring pairing at public events on her ring finger consistently since at least 1998. Besides feeling none-too proud of myself for insanely stalking Jodie’s ring finger, I got worried. Could the rumor mill be true? And why wasn’t Cydney spotted anywhere in the background at any of the Nim’s press events?

And then my compatriot in Jodie love, cappuccinogirl, sent me this shot of Cydney with the kids at the Nim’s premiere. Rumors squelched. All was right with the world. I could now delete the embarrassing number of high-res photos I found of Jodie and the ring from my hard drive. More importantly, I could go finally wash the stalker right out of my hair.

So, now, this. Could it actually be true? Heck, I don’t know any more than the next nut with wi-fi and the ability to Google “Jodie Foster breakup.” I really hope it isn’t. These women have 14 years together. They have two sons together. That’s a family and a life and a lot of heartache for all involved.

What would make this potential split even more sad is that it comes just five months after the “My beautiful Cydney” heard around the world. Never before has Jodie been more public, even if in a sly way, about her love for another woman. And now potentially this. If anything, this might prove that gay relationships are just like straight relationships. They succeed and they fail and they get messy and that is just life. But, let’s just hope it isn’t true anyway. I prefer the fairy tale.

p.s. Of course – having said that – a tiny, totally evil part of me also thinks, DAMN, Jodie is single? I’d better go wash my hair.

[Click to enlarge any of the images for closer ring inspection. Ahem.]

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

City folk

I can’t be the only one who is ridiculously excited about the new “Sex and the City” movie, right? I loved the show, threw parties for its season premieres and mourned its ending with more than a couple cocktails. It’s interesting because the show is so divorced from my real life. I’m no fashionista. One of my greatest fears is attending events where I need to wear heels. And, clearly, I’m not looking for my Mr. Big. But it’s the friendships and humor that had me coming back each week. While the women may have been archetypes, I never thought they were stereotypes.And now that Miranda, err, Cynthia Nixon is family, come on. Isn’t it required viewing? While I’ve tried to stay away from spoilers and the like, I have enjoyed the various trailers and TV spots the film has trotted out leading up to its May 30 debut.

My favorite thing about that spot? Carrie and Miranda’s costume conversation.

Miranda: The only two choices for women: witch and sexy kitten.
Carrie: Oh, you just said a mouthful there, sister.

Snort! Funny, truthful and with just enough sisterhood is powerful to make me not feel guilty.

Though, I have to say my anticipation for the film has gone from “I can’t wait!” to “I want it now!” thanks to the new series of TV spots.

I’ve decided, very belatedly, that Goldfrapp makes everything better. For serious. Just listen. How can you not dance to that? How, I ask you, how?

God, how much do I wish this song was on the soundtrack instead of Fergie’s horrific “Labels of Love”? (You’re going to have to click the link, because I refuse to let that song pollute this space.) All songs with more than two product placements should be banned from the face of the planet. Forever. It may even ruin the SATC theme song for me if it becomes a hit. Make. It. Stop.

As a palate cleaner, how about that dress Cynthia was rocking at the SAT London premiere? Why hello, ladies. How are you today?p.s. Yes, I realize Sarah Jessica Parker’s hat is madness. I’m just going to pretend a fan gave her flowers and she couldn’t think of another place to put them.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tank Top Tuesday

Oh, Audrey. The charming Ms. Tautou is one of my favorite French actresses. I fell in love with her in “Amelie” and never looked back. How could you not? I don’t even think it’s humanly possible. But she is not just the adorable gamine with the saucer eyes we all fell head over heels for. In “Dirty Pretty Things” and “A Very Long Engagement” and “Priceless” Audrey have proven that she isn’t just a one-hit wonder. Heck, I even sat through all 300 hours of Tom Hank’s bad hair in “The Da Vinci Code” to see her. (What, it wasn’t really that long? Seemed that way.) So, imagine my delight to find out that Audrey is a connoisseur of the tank top. C’est magnifique!Actually, this is just a clever (not clever, you decide) way to slip Audrey in a suit into Tank Top Tuesday. Audrey in a tank versus Audrey in a suit? God, Sophie’s choice was easy by comparison.Though, since we’re being perfectly honest, this next photo is the raison d'être of this post. Here is the first image of Audrey as Coco Chanel in the new biopic on the fashion maven, “Coco avant Chanel.” I must now go research whether Fandango will let me buy tickets to movies in France.
[Click to embiggen, ahem.]