Friday, October 30, 2009

My Weekend Crush

Sometimes, all we have is a dream. Though, often it is that hope against hope that defines our very humanity. The story of Terri White is all about dreams and humanity – the very best of both. Told in a simple yet astounding article in The New York Times this week, it is the kind of story we love to read complete with a hard-earned happy ending. It’s also a reminder that what makes life tough can also makes it worth living.

You see, Terri is a singer and a damn good one at that. For years she flirted with success, but more often than not ended up singing her heart out at piano bars around New York City. But then, times got harder. Last summer the 61-year-old couldn’t make the rent and ended up sleeping in the park. That’s the story we know too well – when talent goes untapped, when life throws its sharpest elbows. (To read a more personal account of Terri’s talent, check out my friend Scribegrrrl’s blog. In fact, just check it out in general. That gal can write.)

But from there, the story is the stuff of Hollywood dream factory. A police officer who recognized her from the piano bars saw her, broken and alone. He made some phone calls. A friend had a place for her to stay. Another friend knew of an opportunity in Florida and still another bought her ticket. Blanche DuBois couldn’t have asked for more kindness.

In Florida she met and fell in love with Donna Barnett, a “stately 62-year-old jewelry designer.” See, snuck the gay thing in on you, didn’t I? And then came the chance to audition for the pre-Broadway presentation of “Finian’s Rainbow,” which led to a role in the Broadway version. And that is where she is today, singing her heart out again but this time to the roar of a packed house. From the mean streets to the Great White Way. Come on, even Disney is jealous.

Life, for all its loud indignities and cruel disappointments, can turn out beautifully when we least expect it. To dream is never foolish; it is, in fact, a basic human necessity.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Must See (Lesbian) TV

Remember when we had that one show about lesbians on our televisions? Looks like, if the TV gods allow it, there could be two more coming…at the same time…and not involving Ilene Chaiken. Holy embarrassment of riches, Batman! (Or – more accurately – Batwoman, since she digs chicks.) Two sitcoms are in the works involving lesbian characters as leads. Yes, two. What are we, the new doctors and cops?

The first, is “You, Me and He” in development for CBS from out writer-comedian Carol Leifer (creator of the short-lived “The Ellen Show”) and follows a recently divorced woman who enters a gay relationship only to find out that she is pregnant with her ex-husband's baby. So they could have called it Carol, Susan and Ross if they wanted people to immediately get the concept. Also, pregnant lesbians – again? But, still, it’s lesbians.

The second from lesbian comic Liz Feldman (of “The Jay Leno Show” and “This Just Out” fame) and writer Darlene Hunt (who has written for “Will and Grace” and the upcoming “The C Word.”) is a female buddy comedy for NBC where one of the females is apparently a gay lady. You know, like “Laverne and Shirley” but without the annoyance of Lenny or Squiggy.

This is all amazing news. First it’s amazing because it would mean lesbians would be on TV during a month other than November (and sometimes May, depending how badly the network needs the sweeps ratings). Second, gay women are actually involved in the making of both shows. So they will know of what they speak, so to speak. And last, but in no way least, it would mean gay women would be the focus of the stories. This is no small point. Right now we’re largely relegated to large ensembles or permanent sidekick status. That is simply not enough.

Now both shows are in the early stages. No one has been cast. There have been no network pick-up commitments yet. But the first step is always the hardest.

So now, onto the fun stuff. Who do we want to see gaying it up in primetime? I vote Leisha Hailey for Liz’s buddy sitcom. She needs to be back on my TV making me laugh and laugh and laugh.

Other good options for either show: Erin Daniels (bring back Danish!), Michelle Krusiec (still harboring a crush since “Saving Face”), Emma Caulfield (effortlessly hilarious on “Buffy,” someone hire her!) and Kristin Chenoweth (remember when I was talking about things I’d give a kidney for, well, ditto!).

So, what do you think? Will these may it to see the light of the cathode ray tubes? (Sorry to go old school, but the xenon, neon, and helium gases in plasma TVs are just too damn hard to explain.) And let me be the first to dub these shows the new wave of lezcoms. Sitbians just didn’t sound right.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fat chance

Not to get all Chris Crocker here, but leave Jessica Simpson alone. No, really. I mean it. The thing is, the girl is relatively harmless. Occasionally clueless? Absolutely. Owes me 104 minutes of my life back for being forced (against my will) to watch the “Dukes of Hazzard” movie. Hell, yes. But more often than not, Jessica actually seems sort of sweet. (Yes, I watched “Newlyweds.” A lot.) No, I’m not a fan of her music. No, I’m not a fan of her taste in men. No, I’m not a fan of her home economics teacher (really, who else can we blame for the Chicken of the Sea confusion?) But what I do know is that people need to shut up about her weight. Seriously, fucking zip it. First, it’s ludicrous to call her in any way overweight (then, now, ever). And second, it’s not a crime to no longer be the size of a lawn ornament. The world is hard on attractive women who show themselves to be, in any way, human. Heck, the world is hard on women, period.

When people mock Jessica’s body (like that beyond-dumb Fox Sports/Burger King ad and assholes on Twitter telling her recently “I highly doubt God’s plan for you is bigger than your ass.”), it’s pointlessly cruel and incalculably damaging. We can rail all we want against the impossible standards projected by the fashion and beauty industries, but it ultimately comes down to us. Are we going to regurgitate that garbage or are we going to stand up and give it the finger? We only perpetuate those industries’ inherent hatred of real women when we scorn people like Jessica for the so-called crime of gaining a few pounds. Beauty is not one size fits all, nor are women.

Sure, Jessica is an easy target. Heavens knows there are plenty of other things you can legitimately poke fun of the poor dear for, but how big or small her ass looks is not one of them. This needs to stop, not just about Jessica but everyone who has the audacity to not fit through a keyhole. Like just yesterday when I pulled up a post about Kelly Clarkson accepting a shot from a fan and the first commenter said: “She should throw back shots of Slim Fast instead.” Stop making me want to stab things, Internet! Also, what is wrong with people who were mean about Jessica’s dog getting eaten by a coyote? Get it together, humanity.

p.s. Tony Romo sucks all on his own. So stop blaming Jessica for that, too.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Say Cheesus, what happened to your arms?

I love photography. I suck at it, but I love looking at other people’s work who don’t. I appreciate the skill that goes into a great shot. The composition, the lighting, the artistry. I can also appreciate that sometimes things can go awry – very, very awry. Like say, dear God, where the hell are her arms wrong. I mean, look what they did to poor Julianne Moore. Last time I checked she wasn’t appearing in a movie about a double amputee who walks around in hooker heels. Though, come to think of it, that movie has Oscar written all over it.

Liv TylerJesus, this missing arm thing is contagious.

Kate WinsletThey got Kate, too. No one is safe. Run! Run!

Natalie Portman
Don’t you just hate it when you get a piece of your delicious vegan, fair-trade, sustainably-farmed lunch caught way back in your molars?

Summer GlauSummer, on the other hand, looks like she is digging for a big, juicy piece of steak.

Marion Cotillard
Marion Cotillard
This is the classic, I have to pee but have no idea where the restrooms are pose.

Rachel Weisz
Rachel Weisz
Well, I guess that’s one way to solve the no restroom problem.

Marg HelgenbergerApproach with extreme caution, a feral animal is foaming at the mouth in the corner.

Keri RussellWhile she has all her limbs, nothing in her teeth and appears to have used the restroom before departure, this photo is still WRONG IN EVERY WAY.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A $140,000 kiss is just a kiss

So, here’s a good hypothetical: Is a kiss with Charlize Theron worth $140,000? Well, that depends. Tongue or no tongue? I kid, I kid. Tongue is an extra $100,000. Of course, we don’t actually have to guess whether the smooch was worth the smackeroos. Instead we can just ask the lady in the green tights who actually paid $140,000 to kiss Charlize (OK, there was also a trip to South Africa that included World Cup tickets, a safari and a meet-and-greet with Nelson Mandela included…but whatever everyone knows it was all about the kiss).

Charlize Theron's $140,000 Kiss

The kiss was part of a celebrity auction for ONEXONE, a charity that provides water, food, medicine, education and play to impoverished children around the world. The bidding was originally just for the trip and accoutrement but then Jeremy Piven got $280,000 for his auction item and Charlize raised the stakes. I mean, who wants to lose out to Jeremy Piven? So instead of just fetching $37,000, Charlize netted $140,000. Which is all fine and good and lovely. (No, really, I mean it. Yay, do goodery!) But, seriously, that kiss.

The fantastic things about it are many, but here are the Top Five.

  1. It wasn’t a gay event, yet Charlize was totally unfazed by a lady winning the bid.
  2. The lady in the green tights (anyone know her name, by the way?) totally went for a dip not once, but twice.
  3. The kiss was so long I think Charlize had to pause for air.
  4. The joint leg lifts.
  5. With any luck this will encourage more stars to auction off kisses to eager lesbians everywhere.

Actually, I think Charlize may have stumbled upon an untapped goldmine. How many lesbian and bisexual women (heck, straight girls, too) wouldn’t sell a kidney to kiss their celebrity crush? I mean, just think of the loot Olivia Wilde or Sara Ramirez or Jennifer Beals or Lena Headey or Tina Fey could raise for some worthy cause if they went to a GLBT event and auctioned off a lip-lock? But don’t even think of outbidding me on Tina. I’m already looking into the going rate for kidneys. What? I’ve got two. And it is, after all, for charity.

Hail Mary

Jesus, Snarker, took you long enough. Many thanks for entering the Mary Tyler Moore giveaway, one and all. If I had 104 copies, you’d all get one. Alas, I only have three. But, rest assured, whenever a publicist wants to ply me with something shiny and new, I will happily pass it along to you kind folks. (Hint, hint, publicists: I will hawk your wares if you let me run a contest.) Anyhew, the winners of the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” season 5 box sets are:

  • M.F.
  • Roya
  • Suazr
Thanks again to all for entering. And thanks, as always, for reading. Oh, and Betty White is the shit. Period.

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Weekend Crush

So Brandi Carlile made it official. When the she spoke with the LA Times earlier this month about her new album, “Give Up the Ghost,” Brandi also causally acknowledged what we all already knew – Yep, she is gay. But that’s not really what matters. Sure, it’s fantastic. One more open, out star means one more little girl in Kansas maybe feels a little less alone tonight. But what really matters here is that voice. Good God, that voice. Spend any time with that voice and it’s hard not to fall head over heels. Strong. Clear. Rootsy. Vulnerable. Seductive. Unmistakable. In a world of cookie-cutter hits and autotuned superstars, Brandi reminds us that true talent needs only a guitar and microphone to mesmerize. Brandi’s songs wrap around you like an old friend, at once familiar and intensely personal. It’s the kind of music you can grow old with. And, with a little luck and a lot of talent, we’ll be hearing from Brandi for years to come. Happy weekend, all.

“Dreams,” the first single off “Give Up the Ghost.”

And my favorite, “That Year.”

p.s. A little “Pride & Joy” for the gals at Again Today.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gender Fuck Thursday

Women in suits make me want to be bad. Really, really bad. Like sweaty, steamy, sticky bad. Like someone is going to lose a button, probably several, bad. Like, don’t worry, I’ll pay for the dry cleaning bad. You know, bad. Interestingly, Jane Lynch makes me feel exactly the same way, suit or no suit. Of course, the suit doesn’t hurt. Now, please excuse me. I have things to do – very bad things.

[Hat tip, @betternovembers for the Jane Lynch deliciousness]

BeyoncéDrew BarrymoreAmanda PalmerM.I.A.Maggie GyllenhaalKeira KnightleyCharlize TheronMichelle PfeifferFrankly my dear, I do give a damn. A hot damn.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ready for our close up, Mr. DeMille

Let’s face it, the box office can be boys town. The summer blockbuster season is always problematic, what with its things that go boom and bang and bust. But Oscar season isn’t always kind to the ladies either. Last year, only one of the Best Picture nominees – “The Reader” – centered around a female lead (and she was used largely in flashbacks/forwards). When the serious business of making serious films comes up, it’s usually films about serious men doing serious things that get all the attention. Hell, this year there is even a film called “A Serious Man.” No, I’m not kidding.

The thing is, Oscar-nominated films with virtually no women in them (think “No Country for Old Men,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “There Will Be Blood,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” “The Departed”) are so common that no one gives them a second thought. But think back to the films that featured almost no men that have been nominated. It’s really hard, isn’t it? Looking back 40 years I could only really find one: “The Hours.” Sure, it had men in it but they were relatively minor characters. Wow.

But this year, with any luck, some strong women will break through and remind us that even in the movies, a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle. A look at the female-fronted films coming up this season that, for the most part, seem to pass the Bechdel Rule. We are women, hear us chomp on popcorn.

Amelia (opens Friday)

Go find another Oscar dress, Hilary. You’re going to need it.

Precious (opens limited Nov. 6)

This film will probably break my heart, but with any luck by the time it’s over it will lift it up as well.

Women in Trouble (opens limited Nov. 13)

Ten women and one day. Works for me.

The Lovely Bones (opens Dec. 11)

This book was quietly riveting. If the movie is even half as good (and somehow improves on the unfortunate “Ghost” ending), I’ll be riveted again.

Nine (opens Dec. 25)

Fellini sure loved the ladies. And what lovely ladies they are. Let’s hope some of them get to actually talk to one another about something other than his fictional doppelganger.

It’s Complicated (opens Dec. 25)

This one may not end up passing Bechdel’s rule, but – come on – it’s Meryl Streep.

So, any of these catch your eye? Or any I missed? Oh, and see you at the multiplex.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Joss Dance

If you know anything about me, even a little, you will know that these next five words have made my day, week and (depending on how the next 11 days goes) month: Joss Whedon will direct “Glee.” Yesterday The Great Occasionally-Bearded One confirmed that, yes indeedy, he was going to direct an upcoming episode of The Great Un-“High School Musical” Musical. My thoughts on the matter can be best summed up in a series of high-pitched squealing sounds. For a slightly more articulate take on the collaboration, read Joss’ own thoughts on the subject here. In my head I’m already holding a virtual dance-off between the Gleeks and Scoobies.

Sure there are no vampires or space cowboys or mind-erasing chairs on “Glee” – that we know of…yet. But this pairing really does make perfect sense in the sense that Joss Whedon is great, “Glee” is great and how unbelievably great will it be to see Jane Lynch directed by Joss? Anyone who doubts the inspired nature of this pairing needs to go back and rewatch “Once More With Feeling.” And don’t just go through the motions, if you know what I mean. Also, I dare you to find a musical that creates a better visual metaphor for cunnilingus. Double dog, even.

Man, I am almost as happy about this news as I am about them getting the mustard out.

All that is left now is what to call this epic convergence of awesome: Gleedon? Whee? Gloss? I think I like Whee. It sounds exactly how I feel about this: WHEEEEEEEEE!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Naked Lady (Athletes) Monday

Nothing like a little gratuitous muscle definition to perk up your Monday morning. EPSN’s Body Issue came out earlier this month and it featured a bunch of buff athletes in the buff (and near buff). There are many ways to describe these pictures: inspiring, motivational, drool-worthy. What I respect most, however, is the hard work that goes into every ripple, every curve, every bulge. All of this takes commitment, determination and a whole lot of sweat. Which reminds me, damn, I should really get to the gym.

[Click to embiggen, also NSFWish...but tastefully so.]

Gina Carano, mixed martial arts fighterLolo Jones, hurdlerClaire Bevilacqua, surferNatasha Kai, soccer playerSarah Reinertsen, triathleteSusan Francia, rowerMichelle Carter, shot putterBib Golic, table tennis playerNatasha Watley, Cat Osterman, Jessica Mendoza, Lauren Lappin, softball playersSerena Williams, tennis player

Friday, October 16, 2009

My Weekend Crush

I like Beyoncé. Now, this isn’t a particularly revolutionary statement. It’s far from unique. Clearly, a lot of people like Beyoncé. She is only one of the biggest, hugest, super-duperest stars on the planet. She goes by the one name. She uses that accent over the é. Heck, she has even claimed the entire letter “B.” So what makes Beyoncé more than just another diva? Well, she just seems so nice. And grounded. And not on the verge of mental collapse. Unlike some of today’s other superstars, she has never – to my knowledge* – flashed her lady business around town. This is important. While I understand that sexy clothes are just part of the uniform, Human Anatomy 101 is not. (*OK, fine, but those seem like genuine accidents.)

Also, possibly most refreshing of all, she isn’t the size of a toothpick nor does she aspire to be small enough to fit through a keyhole. Is she fit and slim? Sure. But there’s a reason she can pull off those ridiculous moves – she has muscle. Heck, I even fondly remember her Destiny’s Child days. So whatever she is calling herself these days (Sasha/Ms. Fierce/Miss Knowles if you’re nasty), it seems that of all the things for girls to aspire to today, being strong, successful and sane seems like pretty good things to me. Also sometimes a girl just wants to dance. Happy weekend, all.

p.s. Not to get all Kanye, but that was one pretty damn good video.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gay magic

I will never apologize for my number of Tina Fey posts. Never ever, ever. Also Tina, girl, trust me – if you ever give anything away around me there is no force in this universe that would prevent me from snapping it up immediately. Oh and since the fourth season of “30 Rock” premieres at 9:30 p.m. tonight on NBC, you know where I’ll be if you’re in the giving mood.

p.s. Stop flirting with her, Dave. She’s mine! From what I hear you’ve got enough women, anyway.

p.p.s. If – for some unimaginable reason – you’re not a Tina fan, please scroll down.

Love is a battlefield

For those who protest all my Tina love, while I’ll never understand your objections I always strive to by sympathetic to variance in taste. So if smart, hilarious, talented and charming isn’t your thing, I give you an alternate option. In fact, I give you two. Do you think either Tricia Helfer or Grace Park were virgins until they were 24?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It’s such a Shane

kate moennig 1

The thing about Katherine Moennig is regardless her role or regardless her orientation, we’re always going to feel a little possessive. We can’t help it. She is and will always be The Artist Formerly Known as Shane. Not that she can’t grow past Shane. Not that she has to tell us she is gay. She just feels like ours so we’re gonna claim her. Dibs, world. Dibs.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Kate looks like one of ours whenever we see her. It’s physically impossible for her to look at her and not see that certain something. I don’t care if she is wearing scrubs, a lab coat or just a stethoscope, she is still our gal. I mean, she seemingly owns an entire wardrobe consisting of thin, white V-neck shirts. OK, fine, sometimes she wears a black one, too.

kate moennig 2

Seems Kate has her own separation anxiety from Shane these days. In a Q&A with the Los Angeles Times, she waxed (see what I did there, Wax?) eloquent on her former alter ego, her new role and that hair – sweet heavens, that hair.

Do you miss playing Shane?

At this moment, I miss a lot about her. The beauty of that character was her unabashed way of viewing life. She was so unapologetic. She was always deemed the bad girl, and that was always good to play. She was a bit dangerous but also extremely screwed up in the head. I was sad to see her go. I miss her soul. I loved the debauchery that she created in her life.

I loved the debauchery, too. Tasty, tasty debauchery. The Shenny stuff? Eh. Kate revealed that Rosanna Arquette and Sarah Shahi were two of her favorite on-screen paramours. And she noted that she “connected very well” with Sarah. If by “connected very well” she means “looks fantastic naked together,” then truer words have hardly been spoken.

And, just like the rest of the planet, she shared in the WTF about the Who Killed Jenny ending to “The L Word.”

“I think it was a surprising way to end the show, definitely. . . . There was a reason behind it -- I'm not too sure what that reason was, but I'm told there was one. If my favorite show ended that way I'd be like, "What?!"”

But what about Dr. Miranda Foster. Will we soon all be cooing, you’re looking very Miranda today? Will lesbians everywhere be signing organ donor cards in hypothetical hope of one day brushing up against the good doctor?

And then, kids, then there’s The Wig. As we all know, Kate likes it short and choppy and Dr. Foster is more of a shoulder-length kind of gal. So how do they solve a problem like butch hairstyles?

“There was a lot of talk between extensions and a wig; finally we decided to just get a really good wig. There are days when I can't stand it, but I also really like coming to work, putting it on, doing my job, taking it off, and then going home and being me.”

Love the wig or hate the wig (for me, it depends on the angle), at the end of the day we know she still looks like this. And this, my friends, looks very Shane. It’s gone beyond a character to just an adjective. And sometimes a verb. Or a proper noun, as originally intended. It’s all over the Kinsey Scale of words.

p.s. No one ever called her Alt.Gywn, despite what Wikipedia may say. This makes me feel considerably better about her friends. I don’t care if they are cousins, Alt.Gwyn is a ridiculous nickname.