February 28, 2011

Even my iPad is gay gay gay...

While sitting at the airport Friday night, waiting for my delayed flight home, I was bored bored bored with the book I was reading and twitter, and was all caught up on email, so decided to check out new apps for my beloved iPad.

I scanned the most popular app list, and am not much of a gamer, so instead went to the search function and typed in a randomly chosen word... "GAY".

Holy crap, there is a whole world out there I know nothing about! There are 103 iPad specific apps that came up, plus about another 400 iPhone apps. Yes Virginia, the homos are online!

Here's the first ten I found:

1- Grindr: gay, bi, and curious finder of the same sex; I have heard of this one, is it a gay facebook or a really big hookup site? Claims over a million members in 180 countries. Including I am guessing some politician with fake names. Just sayin...

2- Gay Speed Date: the name says it all. Don't know if is real dates or virtual dates. Or for that matter, inflatable dates.

3- Jack'd: Gay Men's social network - classy name, guys!

4- Scruff: Gay bear finder for guys: post picture, browse profiles, rate guys, woof at other SCRUFFers, exchange messages. "Woof" at other guys? Do bears woof?

5- OUT Radio: LGBT lifestyle issue internet radio show, seems to be an umbrella for various gay news sources. I am gonna check this one out.

6- Gay Times: UK gay news.

7- u4Bear: gay bear finder, special feature is increase size of text box for big fingers; you can send woofs, and has an "improved bear guide"; I really am curious about the improved bear guide... what the heck is that?

8- Sex Positions HD: yes, in high definition, inspired by the kama sutra. what else can I say? This was pretty tame up until now, I expected more porn-ish stuff, even with the Apple police out there.

9- Dating DNA: Another dating site, I saw no difference from the others.

10- Gay Kamasutra: ah, we knew this one was coming....

So what have we learned? Apple Gays like dating and news and dating bears and sex and dating. Not a real surprise there, except I would have expected more disco music.

Also spotted on the gay app list: Adult Sex Games, FlirtMaps, Night Worker, Gay Pride Finder, Lesbian Social Network, The xxx Book, a gay disc jockey, Pornorame, the funniest collection of erotic movie titles, a gay history project, The Ultimate Sex Dice, a gay advent calendar, and Tight Ends, a gay football anthology.

Okay I gotta admit, I am curious about the ulitmate sex dice....

February 26, 2011

Oscars: Who Should Win?

This weekend's Academy Awards are about many many things... the amazing fashions and especially the craptacular fashions, whether hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco will pull it off, how boring the musical numbers will be, and who will mess up and say or do something outrageous. Oh, and they are also giving out a bunch of big-time awards.

I am behind on my movie-viewing, so have not seen all of the nominees. So this is not an objective overview of the top awards. Not that it would be anyway...

Best Picture
Nominated: Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King's Speech, 127 Hours, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, Winter's Bone
What I have seen: Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The Social Network, Toy Story 3
Who will win: The King's Speech
Who should win: The Social Network

Best Actor

Nominated: Javier Bardem, Jeff Bridges, Jesse Eisenberg, Colin Firth, James Franco
What I have seen: Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network
Who will win: Colin Firth
Who should win: Ryan Gosling in Blue Valentine. Oh yeah, he wasn't nominated. That may hurt his chances. Bastards.

Best Actress
Nominated: Annette Bening, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, Natalie Portman, Black Swan, Michelle Williams
What I have seen: Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right, Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine
Who will win: Natalie Portman
Who should win: Michelle Williams

Best Supporting Actor
Nominated: Christian Bale, John Hawkes, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Geoffrey Rush
What I have seen: Mark Ruffalo in The Kids Are All Right
Who will win: Christian Bale
Who should win: anyone except Christian Bale, who comes across as an asshole, and judging by his hammy performance in the commercials, is the reason I have not seen The Fighter

Best Supporting Actress

Nominated: Amy Adams, Helena Bonham Carter, Melissa Leo, Hailee Steinfeld, Jackie Weaver
What I have seen: None of them. Oops.
Who will win: Anyone's guess, this seems like the most up-for-grabs category
Who should win: Adams and Carter are both amazing actresses who have been Oscar calibre for years. Give it to one of them.

Did you see Oscar's big ten films? What were your faves this year?

February 24, 2011

Hot for Equality in Cleveland...

Hot in Cleveland revolves around three fabulous best friends from LA --- novelist Melanie Moretti (Valerie Bertinelli), eye-brow archer to the stars Joy Scroggs (Jane Leeves) and former soap star Victoria Chase (Wendie Malick) --- who find their lives changed forever when their plane, headed for Paris, makes an unexpected landing in Cleveland.

When the friends discover that their personal currency has risen and that they are actually "hot" in Cleveland, they decide to stay. Starting over, they rent a house that happens to come with a very feisty caretaker, Elka Ostrovsky (Betty White). Yes, that Betty White.

The show is a slightly younger Golden Girls. It works. And the leading ladies recently stood up for equality by posing for the NOH8 campaign.

The NOH8 Campaign is a photographic silent protest created by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska and partner Jeff Parshley in direct response to the passage of Proposition 8. Photos feature subjects with duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing their voices being silenced by Prop 8 and similar legislation around the world, with "NOH8" painted on one cheek.

On November 4, 2008 Proposition 8 passed in California, amending the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. The defeat provoked a groundswell of initiative within the GLBT community at a grassroots level, with many new political and protest organizations being formed in response. Read more at www.noh8campaign.com.

Let's hear it for the dames of Hot in Cleveland!

February 22, 2011

The Big Bang Theory & how I wasted my day off...

Yesterday was Family Day here in Alberta, so an extra day off for most of us. K is away on a business trip, so was just the dogs and me...

I of course efficiently used my time to cross things off the to-do list: go to the gym, clean house, prepare for business trip, call friends I haven't talked to, pay bills, read...

Okay, I didn't do any of that. I took my bonus day and, uh, what the hell did I do again? Oh yeah...

1- Wrote blog post on awesome Melissa Etheridge concert.

2- Watched entire season 1 of The Big Bang Theory on dvd, and yes, that is 17 episodes.

3- Napped with Alfie in the basement.

4- After careful deliberation, decided my favourite Big Bang episode is the one with Leonard's PMS team vs Sheldon's AA team in the physics bowl.

5- Ate Costco bruschetta on crackers. Meh.

6- Revisited earlier decision, decided new favourite Big Bang episode is the one when teen Asian genius Dennis Kim overshadows Sheldon who graciously sets out to destroy him.

7- Napped with Alfie and Quinn in the basement.

8- Worried that spending the day in the basement means I may be like the social outcasts of Big Bang without the whole genius thing.

9- Realized today was the expiry date on package of lox so ate it.

10- Arbitrarily decided the The Big Bang Theory may be the best sitcom ever.

11- Used call display to screen out calls from Utah and North Dakota. Damn marketers.

12- During a Big Bang break, saw Celine Dion on Oprah.

13- Drank four cans of diet Coke. Okay, five.

14- Read a Huffington Post article about a guy who was shot for eating popcorn too loudly in a movie theatre and thought hey he may have deserved it.

15- Decided this is the best season one Big Bang line: "Eat this cheese without farting and you can sleep with my sister."

February 21, 2011

Melissa Etheridge Rules The World...

Last night we saw Melissa Etheridge in concert. Woo hoo! I have been a fan since Bring Me Some Water from her first album in 1988, with that rock beat, passion-filled lyrics, and Janis Joplin meets Kim Carnes meets meets Bruce Springsteen voice.

Since that debut, Etheridge continued to rock and dazzle with terrific songs like I Run for Life, Come To My Window, I'm Not The Only One, Similar Features and I Want to Come Over.

She came out of the closet in 1993, which was headline news. And she battled breast cancer. And took up environmental and equality causes. Busy woman.

Also ensuring tabloid frenzy, Etheridge had a partner, had some kids, had a public split, had another partner, had some more kids, had another public split, and now has another partner. Okay her real life is kinda messy, but hey that probably gives inspiration for her songwriting.

Opening act was Canada's own Serena Ryder, who was impressive and joined Etheridge later for a duet.

Then Etheridge took the stage for more than two hours of rock excellence. There was nothing flashy about the staging or lighting, just Etheridge, two guitarists and a drummer going through her hits and new stuff like Fearless Love.

Etheridge had fun interacting with the audience playfully, accepting iconic red Olympic mittens from one fan, and added some funky groove guitar into hits like Chrome-Plated Heart.

The crowd was filled with stage-rushing Etheridge die-hards, they loved the show and so did I. Fun fact: More so than anywhere I have ever been, there was lots of flannel, and there was no crowd whatsoever in the men's room during intermission... (translation: lesbians, there were lots of lesbians).

Awesome live performer. Catch her if you have the chance.

February 20, 2011

Breaking china & other stupid crap I did last week...

I like to think of myself as an intelligent person. I choose to believe others think of me as an intelligent person. Last week, not so much...

1- We are slowly collecting the stoneware from our wedding registry (yep, that's it in the pic above), and there was a sale this weekend so we splurged. When we came home and unwrapped the pieces, K and I were unpacking the tissue, pulling off stickers, and putting them on the counter, then, wham! Colliding bowls, one down for the count. Lesson learned: pay attention to what you are doing.

2- My new job involves driving to different sites, which means parking in various parking lots. I have no sense of direction, so this does not bode well, and yes it happened already. I walked out the wrong exit, was on the wrong side of the building and wandered around the parking lot looking for my car, cursing the jerkwad who designed the damn parking lot, in arctic cold minus 33 weather. Lesson learned: write stuff down.

3- I went to get cash from the bank machine, and was absentmindedly tapping away while daydreaming, wondering why the hell this asshole bank machine wasn't working, and then remembered that duh it is not a touchscreen, there are actual buttons to push. Uh, self, this is a bank ATM, not an iPad. Lesson learned: read instructions.

4- While writing this post, it went all caps, then all X's, then random letters and symbols, including what I think may be the dirtiest word ever. I maybe should have considered that holding the world's cutest canine on my lap while holding laptop computer in lap will result in dog paws on keyboard. Lesson learned: dogs don't type.

5-Again while writing this post, I was going for a snack, so went to hit the 'save" button and instead the 'publish post' button, which resulted in a semi-coherent Esperanto-sounding half-post briefly being published until I yanked it down. Oops. Sorry about that. Lesson learned: read the buttons before pushing the buttons.

I will be smarter this week.......

February 18, 2011

Oscar host James Franco on gay marriage...

Busy dude James Franco is a nominee for Best Actor at next week's Oscars, and is also co-hosting the big show with Anne Hathaway.

Besides a bunch of movies this year, Franco published a book of stories, took university classes, had his first art exhibit, continued his stint as a Gucci fragrance spokesperson, and had a recurring role on General Hospital as a serial killer named Franco. Whew. Long list.

While promoting his film Howl at the Sundance Film Festival last year, Franco, who co-starred in 2008's Milk, voiced his support for gay marriage:

"Like I said before when Milk was coming out, I hope we'll get to a time soon where we'll look back and say, I can't believe that we were discriminating against this whole group of people and saying, 'You don't have the same rights as everybody else.' I hope that the time comes very, very soon, when we can all look back and say that was ridiculous."

Well said, Mr Franco!

February 15, 2011

Top Ten Guilty Pleasures...

Guilty pleasures are a good thing. We all work hard, we all worry about getting everything done, we all stress out. Sometimes we need to indulge. And by "sometimes", I mean as often as possible.

A guilty pleasure is something one enjoys and considers pleasurable despite feeling guilt for enjoying it. The "guilt" involved is sometimes simply fear of others discovering one's lowbrow or otherwise embarrassing tastes .

Some indulgences aren't guilty; I indulge in popcorn, I over-indulge in diet Coke, but those aren't guilty pleasures, they are basic food groups.

These are guilty pleasures, the foods I eat more than my weight in, or the TV shows I sit and watch for hours on end. And I would rather not be judged on, thank you very much...

1- Cash Cab marathons: disco lights in a moving taxi and surprised geeky contestants. How could a game show be better?

2- Licorice Allsorts, should be Bassett's, best if in the holiday pound-size bag. Size matters.

3- House Hunters: lovely homes and the morons who buy them.

4- NCIS all-day marathons: while the Los Angeles spin-off sucks, the original is consistently entertaining, and we watch it a season at at time on dvd every fall. Bring on Abbie!

5- Jelly Belly jelly beans: the wackier the flavours the better, and yes I have that jelly bean gumball machine in the picture.

6- The Austin Powers movies: yes they are intentionally silly, and I think they are totally brilliant. I love them so much I could watch them back-to-back on a loop. When they come on tv, I sit and watch to the end no matter where I am supposed to be going. So yes I get there really late.

7- 70s cheesy pop music: I Honestly Love You, the Captain and Tennille, Kung Fu Fighting, Disco Duck, Billy Don't Be A Hero, all things Andy Gibb...

8- 80s cheesy pop music: Sister Christian, Amanda, Break My Stride, Irene Cara's solo career, Careless Whisper, Wind Beneath My Wings, Take My Breath Away...

9- Movie musicals, good and bad: from Grease to The Pirate Movie, Moulin Rouge to Burlesque, I love 'em all, and will watch them over and over. Even the crappy ones. Especially the crappy ones.

10- Golden Girls: Okay, okay, it is too great a show to be a guilty pleasure, it's really just a pleasure. But if you only knew how often I watch it, and now it's next generation, Hot in Cleveland...

February 14, 2011

4 for Valentine's...

Okay, it's Rachel Maddow, and yet I am confused... exactly how much do lesbians love the constitution?

Mickey and Minnie, awww, sweet, made me smile.

Yep, we've all had those years...

Ah, poetry, always elegant and classy....


February 13, 2011

It's Valentine's Day... so what?

Happy hearts and cupids day!

Last year at this time, K and I were engaged, and we went all out for Valentine's Day with gifts, a nice dinner out, etc. This year we are married, and we are opting for a quiet dinner at home. I guess the honeymoon really is over...

I have never been a huge fan of Valentine's Day, as it feels exclusionary towards singles, and pressure-filled for those coupled off.

Now, in a new swing towards the positive, I embrace the celebration of it. Yep, let's go with that. But first, some of my fave cards from someecards.com:


As part of the ongoing evolution of alfred lives here, this site now has the cool disqus comment system, which will enable more of a conversation, and make it easier to track replies to your own comments... and it's about time, right Jayne?

As with many technology upgrades, this one had a few glitches, and somehow all previous comments were sucked into the murky ether of the internet. Our apologies for that, and we think are good to go now, so comment away...

February 10, 2011

Beyond Star Trek: Let's Make TV Gayer...

Brannon Braga, producer of more than a dozen feature films and 700 episodes in the Star Trek franchise, recently said that he regrets not featuring openly gay characters.

In an interview with AfterElton.com, the producer talks about general avoidance of the subject and reluctance on the part of decision makers. "It was a shame," Braga said to AfterElton.com. "I'm talking about the Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and there was a constant back and forth about well how do we portray the spectrum of sexuality... At the time, the decision was made not to do that and I think those same people would make a different decision now."

George Takei, who played Sulu on the original Star Trek series and in many films, came out in 2005 and married his partner Brad Altman in 2008.

So while we wait for Braga to launch a new gay-friendly Trek, and Glee is only on once a week, here's five suggestions for the big networks on how to gay up their prime time line-up's:

1- American Idol:
With all the turnover in judges, you think they'd try a gay guy for a seat at the table. We love pop culture, we can be bitchy and opinionated, we love to judge people! Of the qualified out homo's, Ricky Martin is probably too nice for the gig, and John Barrowman is not well known enough in the USA, so how about Boy George? He'd bring back the wackiness a la Paula Abdul.

2- Two and a Half Men:
With Charlie Sheen likely needing some time off soon, lets introduce teh guys' long-lost gay brother! Picture Holland Taylor and that kid bouncing snarky lines off an uptight Armani-wearing urban homo. I am thinking Niles from Frasier, only gayer. And no I have no idea how he could be gayer, let the network brains figure that one out.

3- Hawaii Five-0:
Sun, skin, surf, mystery, that awesome theme song, and no gays? With a cast so ethnically diverse, they need to bring in the gays or we are all gonna watch the wittier Castle. Steve McGarrett needs a Bruce McFaggot on his team. And don't use that name.

4-The Big Bang Theory
The best sitcom currently on tv, and with a name like that there has to be some gay there! This group of super nerds needs a gay nerd to move into the building. Let the nerds' discomfort with girls be even more unsettled with their science genius challenged by a super smart gay guy or girl. Like Rachel Maddow.

5- Hot in Cleveland
Four very funny comedy veterans in a newfangled Golden Girls, produced by Sean Hayes. How could we not be in? The ladies need a gruff gay housekeeper to keep them all in line and cook them low-carb Sunday brunches. I am thinking Harvey Fierstein.

Oh, and I also think that pretty boy Cary Agos on The Good Wife should come out of the damn closet.

What shows would you gay up?

February 8, 2011

Q & A with your token gay....

For something a little different on alfred lives here, rather than write snarky comments or bring you the latest and greatest Lohan-free pop culture trivia, I am going to answer some questions. Think of it as an icebreaker game, or a police interrogation.

1. What do you add to your coffee?
Nothing - basic black.

2. What are you reading now?
I have two on the go now -- Love is a Mix Tape, a really cool smart funny piece of fiction that is jam packed with 70s and 80s musical reference, and the new bestselling historical biography Cleopatra.

3. Do you own a gun?
Nope. Liberal Canadian pacifist here.

4. Are you registered to vote?
Yes, and I take it seriously.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?
No, I went through so much with allergy poking and prodding when I was a kid that it's all run of the mill now.

6. What do you think of hot dogs?
I don't wanna think of what is in them, cuz I still eat them. And I know it cannot be good.

7. Favorite Christmas Song?
Raised Jewish, so no real attachment to Christmas music. I like a lot of it, though having worked retail for all these years means it is on an endless loop, so I tend to get sick of it long before the season is over. I do love the Annie Lennox Christmas CD from last year.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Juice. Water. Coffee. I consume a lot of water, all day.

9. Can you do push ups?
Yes. Not many.

10. What's your favourite TV show?
Of current shows, The Good Wife. Judging by hours I spend watching, The Golden Girls; it is on several times a day here, and I watch whenever I stumble across it, even though I own them all and have seen them all multiple times.

11. What’s your favorite piece of jewelery?
Wedding band.

12. Favorite hobby?
For the past year, I would have to say blogging, both writing this one and reading many others our there.

13. Do you work with people who idolize you?
Hell no.

14. Do you have ADD?
I would say no, I just get bored easily, though my husband might disagree. And he calls my dog ADD Alfred pretty damn often.

15. What’s one trait that you hate about yourself?
Impatient. An am an emotional eater, is that a trait?

16. What’s your middle name?
Daniel. I don't mind it, however as someone who stutters, especially as a kid who stuttered, having the names Brahm and Daniel was not fortunate.

17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment.
I need some water. It's late, I should go to bed. And Alfie snores louder than a very large horse.

18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday.
Book on kindle, teriyaki chicken wrap for lunch, diet coke.

19. Name 4 beverages you regularly drink.
Diet Coke, Water, Coke Zero, Coffee.

20. Current worry right now?
Can't think of anything. Oh crap. Which is weird, I usually have a list of worries. Okay, Tyler Perry putting out more movies worries me.

21. What side do you dress to?
I am so not going to answer that. Getting a little personal here, aren't we? Why didn't I edit these damn questions?

22. Favorite place to be?
Home, curled up with my husband and our dogs beside the fireplace.

23. How did you bring in the New Year?
Home, just getting into bed, after basically staring at the clock, begging for it to be midnight already.

24.Where would you like to go?
To Italy, Greece and Spain. And on a long cruise.

25. Name three people you wish would go away.
Charlie Sheen, Halle Berry, the entire cast of Jersey Shore.

The idea for this blog, and the questions, are from the always entertaining blog
http://jason-thejasonshow.blogspot.com/. Thanks Jason!

February 6, 2011

New Week, New Job...

I quit my job two weeks ago, after a decade with the same company. I start a new job Monday. It is exciting and unnerving, a great opportunity and a huge change.

As this decision and huge transition has been the focus of my life for the past several weeks, I have wanted to blog about it, and didn't know what to write. So I googled "New Job"... and I found: job listings, career change advice, consultants looking for money, books for sale, and some really questionable offshore jobs.

And I found these two signs, which made me laugh, and isn't laughter the best way to deal with change?

February 4, 2011

Who would you do? Joel McHale, Alec Baldwin, & My Freebie 5

What's that old comic line about staring at someone attractive, "I'm married, not dead"? Well I am very happily married now, and I get it. We all react to beauty, we are all hit by sexy, and what hits us is very different for each person.

Last February I posted about my admiration for Clive Owen and my Freebie Five. The freebie five is a list of five celebrities so overwhelmingly attractive to you that your significant other must let you sleep with them, consequence-free, should that unbelievable incredibly rare opportunity ever arise. Also on my list: Eric Bana, John Barrowman, Greg Louganis and Rahm Emanuel.

The freebie five was popularized in an episode of "Friends" when each character listed their five, Ross named Isabella Rossellini, and then literally bumped into her and fumbled it.

My husband often jokes -- uh, I assume he's joking -- that he wants a list of ten. And yes honey your secret boyfriend Ricky Martin is totally in play if you ever have the chance.

So I figured, hey, it's a year later let's circle back and update the list.

My 2011 Freebie Five...

1- Johnny Knoxville: the Jackass star is funny and crude with a killer smile, and yes sometimes even sweet. And seems to run around shirtless a lot, for no apparent reason. All good.

2- Seth Meyers of Saturday Night Live: funny, smart, killer cute smile.

3- Alec Baldwin: funny, sexy, smart, outspoken, liberal. Pretty close to perfect.

4- Although last fall's Hart to Hart wannabe Undercovers sucked and is already gone from the airwaves, its star Borid Kodjoe is stylish and cool and hot. Bring him back to TV!

5- Out Brit actor singer writer John Barrowman, star of the amazing Torchwood series and a bizarre stint on Desperate Housewives, is a super-talented and super sexy activist.

6- Saving the best for last... Community star and The Soup host, super tall super sarcastic Joel McHale. Sometimes snarky is sexy.

And yes I realise there are six names here. What can I say? My blog, my rules...

February 2, 2011

Patti Labelle hearts the gays...

I saw Patti Labelle at an outdoor waterfront concert when I lived in Toronto about 20 years ago. I went with some guy I was dating. I don't remember him at all, I totally remember Patti. She was amazing in vocal power and stage presence.

At one point, she called a guy up on stage, asked if the pretty lady beside him was his girlfriend, he blushed and said no, he was with the guy sitting on his other side, to which Patti clapped and squealed, "I love you guys!"

Patti LaBelle has always been an outspoken LGBT ally, and was at the forefront of HIV/AIDS activism when many in the black community were silent on the issue, especially the black church. Now it shouldn't be a surprise that Ms. LaBelle is lending her support to marriage equality.

"I was asked earlier if I was gay", LaBelle said during her speech at 2009's Miami Beach Pride. "And I said well I can answer this way. I'm very gay and happy. I'm very happy to be here for my gay friends. I've never been with a woman so I guess I'm straight. But I'm straight enough to know the difference between right and wrong. I am straight enough to know that if you want to marry whoever you want to marry, you should be able to marry."