Friday, August 30, 2019

My Weekend Crush

I know I already wrote a little about MTV’s VMAs this week, and I am admittedly way too old to be writing so much about MTV’s VMAs this much. But while I tend to be a pop/alternative/Americana type of lady when it comes to music, do love me a little hip hop, and to be more specific, I love me little ladies of hip hop. Actually, I love me a lot of ladies of hip hop. And I really love Missy Elliott. Someone tweeted (and apologies for not being able to find the exact tweet and give full credit) that despite most of Missy’s hits being more than two decades old, they still sound like they’re coming from 20 years in the future. And that’s the damn truth.

More than a little Missy made the dance playlist for our wedding last fall. It’s her joy and her verve that I can’t get enough of. And, you know, them sick beats. But watching her perform a medley of some of her best bops was very, very fun. And, the lady can still put on a hell of a show. I mean, someone got abducted by aliens in the middle of her set, yo.

Also, you may recognize the badass female dancer in the yellow track suit as none other than *that* little girl from Missy’s 2003 “Work It” video. So some 17 years later Alyson Stoner is back to rip it up on stage.

It should also be noted that Alyson came out last year in Teen Vogue as having been in a same-sex relationship, fallen in love with a woman and being attracted to “attracted to men, women, and people who identify in other ways.” Work it, ladies. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Teenage Fantasy Fulfillment

I did not watch “Beverley Hills 90210” when I was younger. While I was in the right age bracket for the show, I was always a “My So-Called Life” kind of gal instead of a “90210” kind of gal while growing up. So I don’t particularly feel any nostalgia about the new, very meta “BH90210” reboot. It’s the old 90210 actors playing themselves while working on a project to reboot “90210” and play their old characters again. Like, uh, what? But then I heard they made Gabrielle Carteris/Andrea Zuckerman kiss a lady and I thought, what a blatant ratings stunt…I am totally going to watch that. It helps that they cast Ali Liebert as her kissee.

I will say, the few episodes of “90210” I did watch, I always related to Andrea Zuckerman the most. I mean, she worked on her high school newspaper and I worked on my high school newspaper. She wore glasses and blazers and those awesome 90s vests. And I wore glasses and aspired to wear blazers and those awesome 90s vests.

So you really can’t blame Ali for taking her shot and hitting on Gabrielle/Andrea.

I would do the exact same thing were I ever to ever be working as a bartender and serve Claire Danes.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

For Love of Lizzo

I’ve said this since Nov. 8, 2016, but joy is an act of resistance. And right now nothing is more joyful than Lizzo. Since it came out late last month I’ve watched her NPR Tiny Desk concert no fewer than four times – just as a little pick-me-up for the soul. Plus, a good booty shake certainly never hurt anyone.

But more than just being joyful, which her music unmistakably is, Lizzo is radical in her love. Love of herself. Love of her audience. Love of what love can really do. And she speaks these radical ideas out loud, to a beat that no one can deny.

When Lizzo says, “It’s so hard trying to love yourself in a world that doesn’t love you back,” you feel it. And when she says, “You deserve to feel good as hell,” you believe it. She frequently says, “If you can love me, you can love yourself.” And, if you really think about that, it’s a wildly radical flipping of the self-worth script.

You often hear, “You can’t love someone until you love yourself.” While probably a well-intentioned way to think about our love and worth, it lays the onus of being worthy or unworthy of love all on our shoulders. So if we’re unworthy of love, i.e. don’t love ourselves, it’s basically our fault. Again, not necessarily the intent, but too often the outcome of this kind of thinking.

But what Lizzo says is, if you can love me (or, really, anyone else) then you already have all the tools you need to love yourself. And that’s a pretty profound way to think about your self worth. It’s not that you are unworthy, because you can love, it’s that you haven’t deemed yourself worthy. But, guess what, you are. I know it, Lizzo knows it, and deep down I truly hope you know it too. Because you deserve to feel good as hell. We all do.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The Dark Rey Side

So I’m what I think the kids today call an OG Star Wars Stan. Like, I just brought home a box of my childhood vintage Star Wars figures from my visit back home. And I still have all their accessories – like Han Solo’s gun and Leia’s bounty hunter helmet and all the Ewok’s headpieces. So, yeah, I stan.

I’ve greatly enjoyed the new “Star Wars” films, and have an even greater appreciation of them putting women and minorities front and center in a galaxy that before left them largely on the margins. So I am looking forward to the final part this new trilogy, “Rise of Skywalker.” And the teaser from D23 only made me look forward to it more – with one important caveat.

I swear if they make this end with a Dark Rey/Evil Daenerys slain by Savior Jon Snow/Kylo Ren situation I will go double-bladed lightsaber on ALL THE MEN IN HOLLYWOOD. Seriously, I cannot take another build-up of a female heroine only to have her unceremoniously go nuts and get killed. Can. Not.

Granted, I don’t actually think that’s where they’re taking the Star Wars universe. First I don’t think they’d casually drop that massive of a spoiler in a first-look teaser trailer. This is probably a vision or, at most, a brief temptation.

But also I have to believe that at least one person at Disney would be like, hey, maybe let’s not destroy all of the goodwill we built up through two new films by doing a full reversal of character with Rey. Right?

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think Dark Rey looks badass and you gotta love that double-switchblade lightsaber. But anything more than just a brief fashion adventure on the Dark Side is totally unacceptable. That is unless she starts carrying a full Swiss Army Knife lightsaber, then at least she’ll have all the gay ladies on her side.

Monday, August 26, 2019

The Holy Trinity

There still is no spoon. But soon, there will be more of “The Matrix.” The return to the green-tinted, black leather world of falling code and angry computers will reunite original franchise co-creator and director Lana Wachowski and stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their roles as Neo and Trinity.

To quote The One in pretty much every movie, “Whoa.”

I will freely and proudly admit to harboring the most intense crush on Carrie-Anne Moss’s Trinity. I mean, how could you not? She had an alternative lifestyle haircut and wore skin-tight leather/PVC pants and tank tops and could kick you backwards in the head like a freaking scorpion. Also, Carrie-Anne Moss is very good in the face and body and all those other superficial places. I also freely admit to having dozens of truly ancient probably 12-24kb photos of Trinity saved somewhere on some backup hard drive from the late 90s, early 2000s era. So there’s that.

Granted, I have absolutely no idea how they plan to resurrect her since she died in the third film “The Matrix Revolutions.” (Also, that movie is 16 years old so I don’t want to hear any whining about “spoilers” here.)

But I can say I am truly excited to see what happens next and how Lana and Keanu and Carrie-Anne return us to The Matrix in already endlessly online times. The films (the first, definitely, the rest to diminishing degrees) still feel so contemporary in their technological dystopia. And, let’s just admit it, they were so fucking cool. The story was cool. The actors looked cool. The technology was cool. I mean, I still kind of want one of those auto-slide open phones.

With trans filmmaker Lana at the helm I feel assured we will get a bold and queer-inclusive return to a universe we all couldn’t get enough of two decades ago. While The Wachowskis post-Matrix work has been a tad uneven, you have to admire the sisters’ singular vision and willingness to take enormous swings into the unknown. Plus, they gave us “Bound” which remains an iconic staple of lesbian cinema. And their truly terrible “Jupiter Ascending” is perhaps my favorite truly terrible movie of all time. I’ve unashamedly watched it like half a dozen times.

So bring on the skin-tight PVC and let’s all take another Red Pill (but not in the horrible Men’s Rights/Al-Right way) together. Time to reboot all those latent Trinity fantasies.

Friday, August 23, 2019

My Weekend Crush

Holy shit, kittens, maybe it’s just me or maybe it’s the Lizzo, but this trailer looks…good. Like really freaking good. Perhaps it’s just my Pavlovian response to seeing these characters – who I have loved against my better judgment so long – again. But dammit if I don’t feel exited. Like really freaking excited.

I know, I know – don’t get your hopes up. I’ve tried many times unsuccessfully to do full “The L Word” rewatches in the past, and I find myself fast-forwarding through basically all of the insanity/worst Jenny bullshit and just watching the most relatable lesbian content. (Like the phone tree scene or the gay pot brownies scene or the “Close to Fine” sing-along scene or anything and everything to do with Dana Fairbanks.)

But goodness if Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey and Kate Moennig don’t look ah-mah-zing in this trailer. Like really freaking amazing. Like do these women even age? Like *low whistle forever*

I also want full credit for manifesting Bette Porter’s political aspirations. I mean, I’ve been talking up Straight Bette Porter for so long now, it feels like Lesbian Bette Porter was feeling a little left out. Also Bette running for office makes Election Day an official lesbian holiday. Look it up, it’s in the Constitution.

Yes, of course, it’s not perfect. Tibetters are pouring a little out of their sippy cups no doubt because Tina/Laurel Holloman is nowhere in sight. (For what it’s worth Laurel has said she is retired from acting to focus on her painting instead – so I guess we’ll all wait to see how they explain Tina’s absence. As long as it doesn’t involve cancer or a tractor we should be fine.)

Also, while I certainly welcome the new diversity in the cast, it appears butch and more masculine ladies are still not allowed in West Hollywood. Pity.

Still, I wasn’t expecting how good it would feel to see these characters back at their gay lady shenanigans – and a new generation ready to flip off the patriarchy.

So, anyone else feeling the same tingle? And I guess now until Dec. 8 I’ll be setting up my politician consultant business for fictional lesbians.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Book Smart

Look, we all know Carol Aird is The Smoulder Stare Queen of the Lesbians. But goodness if Elizabeth Debicki’s Virginia Woold and Gemma Arterton’s Vita Sackville-West aren’t giving it the old destined to be taught in college literature classes try. This exclusive clip from their upcoming film “Vita & Virginia,” which opens Friday, certainly makes me want to be a fly on that wall. Or, you know, Virginia’s cigarette.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Under the Sea Monsters

Do I like disaster monster movies? Yes. Does this movie look like it might be a bad disaster monster movie? Yes. Does it have a super dykey Kristen Stewart with her super dykey hair being threatened by unseen sea monsters? Yes. Am I going to see it at some point? Yes, definitely. No more questions.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

I Want My Unicorn T V

Well now isn’t this amazing news to come back to? Emily Andras of “Lost Girl” and “Wynonna Earp” fame and adoration has inked a new deal for a new show with Syfy. And it’s not just any show. It’s a super-duper mega about, and I quote form The Hollywood Reporter:

“Axeholes follows a mismatched bunch of comic convention attendees who inadvertently get transported into the real-life world of their favorite fantasy TV series, Blue Bar’Bara. In the worst role-playing game ever, the unequipped party must learn to navigate a dangerous land of profanity-spewing battle axes, sociopathic fairies, disturbingly sensual dragons and a chainmail-bikini-wearing shield maiden as they struggle to find a way back home.”
All of this is amazing and I want to watch this immediately if not sooner. Emily said the series is a “an adoring, tongue-in-cheek love letter to fandom in general, and fierce barbarian princesses in particular.” She also said she was thrilled to be working with Syfy for being “endlessly supportive of the hilarious, moving, action-packed feminist genre shows.”

As if that wasn’t enough, Andras has already lured “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star and bisexual shero Stephanie Beatriz onto the project to play a, and again I quote, “barbarian shield maiden.”

So buckle up lil unicorns and unicorn lovers, we’ve got some watching to do.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Vacation Vixen: Rachel Weisz

I don’t know what it is about the look down, look up that is so ridiculously effective. But, fuck, does it work. Now that’s how you end a vacation.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Vacation Vixen: Tina Fey

You made it through another week. Here is My Fake TV/Film/Executive Producing Wife Tina Fey in a suit delivering you some balloons. Did I say you? Just kidding, they’re definitely for me. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Vacation Vixen: Hannah Hart

Ah, Hannah Hart, we knew you when you were just a drunk gay gal making a mess in her kitchen. Now you’re a drunk gay gal making a mess in her kitchen while wearing an immaculate tuxedo. Or, at least, that’s the video I see playing in my head.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Vacation Vixen: Lucy Liu

Lucy Liu volunteers to punch this week in the face for you. She’s generous like that.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Vacation Vixen: Tank Top & Thighs Tuesday

I feel like in honor of Kelley O’Hara and Rose Lavelle’s display, I should rename it Tank Top & Thighs Tuesday. You know, just a thought.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Vacation Vixen: The Forever First Family

Guess what, I’m on vacation! Again! I’m off to a quick last-minute family reunion back in “Real ’Merica.” Kidding, it’s just Indiana – which is, you know, totally fine except that it gave the world Mike Pence. So, yeah, our bad.

Anyway, as always, in my absence I leave you with some Vacation Vixens to help you pass the time. While I am not doing anything even remotely as glamorous as Michelle, Sasha and Malia (though, damn, if seeing them now doesn’t make me ache for the days when an extraordinarily good, true and decent First Family was in the White House), they remain eternal vacation goals. Though, perhaps without the jet skiing police escort.

Friday, August 09, 2019

My Weekend Crush

Fine, you know I’m gonna watch. And, fine, you know I feel a nostalgic twinge seeing Bette, Alice and Shane together again. But, other than cursory notice of the various casting announcements, it’s premiere date Dec. 8, and obviously the name, I haven’t really been paying that much attention to news about “The L Word: Generation Q.” Perhaps it’s that now, with more options for LGBTQ stories and storytellers, I don’t feel the need to consume every single morsel of news about this reboot. Back in the day? I mean, I got excited when they sent me TLW cookies, so I was obviously ravenous for any kind of news. Or, perhaps, I want to go in without expectations – high, low or dear god what batshit is coming next. Either way, I hope these old friends find themselves well. At least Jenny’s still dead, right? Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Gender Fuck 80s

It’s been a long week and I’m exhausted. Please allow Bea Arthur and Angela Lansbury in what can only be described as 80s formal faux dickey chic – which is quite something considering dickeys are in and of themselves fake – to give you the strength to finish the week out strong. In my mind’s eye, Bea and Angela are secretly eviscerating some mediocre man who is standing nearby and totally deserves it. Wow, I feel a little less tired already.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

We Do Language

“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” - Toni Morrison

Thank you, Toni Morrison, for sharing your immeasurable talent with us all this time. Rest in power knowing the countless lives you gave permission to love themselves unvarnished. And thank you for never compromising yourself, your worth and the worths of those who come before and after. Most of all, thank you for the words – as eloquent as they are sharp, which will ring through space and time.

Goodness, I could listen to those words and their eternal truth forever. Everyone should.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Only Themselves To Thanks

Whenever the world goes particularly crazy – in particular America and its gun-obsessed angry white men – I turn to the soothing rants of the one and only Julia Sugarbaker. Those “Designing Women,” big shoulder-pads and all, had these dudes dead to rights. History continues to show that in general that it has been the cis-het white men who have done the raping and the robbing and the killing and the war mongering for the last 2019 years. It has been the cis-het white men who have done the pillaging and the beheading the subjecting of whole races into slavery. It has been the cis-get white men who have done the law making and the money making and most of the mischief making. So if the world isn’t quite what they had in mind, they still have only themselves to thank. And, for fuck’s sake, don’t let them buy a gun. Entitled racist and misogynistic white men will be the fucking death of us all, if we let them.

Monday, August 05, 2019

The Blooper Place

Oh, look, you can swear in “The Good Place.” Also “The Bad Place.” But, as always, its best in bloopers. So, enjoy. I can’t think of a better way to start your week than reveling in simple human failure. Also, there’s Kristen Bell kissing Not A Robot, which is always a plus.

Friday, August 02, 2019

My Weekend Crush

Admittedly, I have not kept up with “Orange Is the New Black.” I started to lose enthusiasm after the show killed off Poussey (call it the Dana Fairbanks Effect, if you will). And I skipped all of last season. But I will always appreciate the show for being one of the first to successfully Trojan Horse the white audience into caring about the stories of black and brown women. I am thankful for its telling of the stories of lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer women, particularly WOC and poor women. I welcome its exposure of our criminally unjust justice system. And generally it deserves recognition for being one of the first official shows of the Binge Generation. (Yes, yes - I know we had “marathons” back in the day, but binging is different and we all know it.) And I deeply respect its founding of the Poussey Washington Fund, a criminal justice reform fund that will support nonprofits. So thank you, OITNB, for being there. For telling human stories, for connecting us to people we might otherwise ignore. And, yes, I promise one day I will go back and finish. I will watch it all. Because, in the end, the show deserves it. Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Heaven Sent

Yes, OK, fine – apparently it’s Music Week here at Surrenders. But I could not let you miss Brandi Carlile and Dolly Parton singing together. Can you think of a more heaven sent (or whatever kind of non-denominational afterlife or non-life or analogies for the great unknown you prefer) duet? I mean how can you not always love this? Also, love the duds, ladies.

p.s. As if that was not sublime enough, here is Brandi’s supergroup – The Highwomen (that being Brandi, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris, and Amanda Shires) – singing in the dressing room with Dolly. Wait, did I say singing? I mean harmonizing straight from whatever represents heaven to you.