July 31, 2011

All hail Miley Cyrus...

Okay that's blog post title I never thought I would write, All hail Miley Cyrus, though I have posted about her once before, because this kid surprises me, in good ways...

I don't care about Miley Cyrus's TV show, her hair, her boyfriends, her creepy father, her teenybopper fans, or her red carpet looks. Which make sense, cuz I am clearly not her target demographic. Okay and maybe I do care a little bit about the red carpet stuff...

While I am happy that she seems to have come through a famous childhood relatively unscathed, what I am impressed with is that she has a voice, and by that I mean not only her singing voice, but a voice for civil rights. Who saw that one coming?

Miley has some new ink, and it's making more than a fashion statement. On Friday night, the former Hannah Montana star tweeted a photo of a new tattoo, a small equal sign on the side of her ring finger. With the photo, Cyrus wrote, "All LOVE is equal."

In response to a fan's tweet disagreeing, she wrote, "where does it say in the bible to judge others? Oh right. It doesn't. GOD is the only judge honey. 'GOD is love.'"

Cyrus has been outspoken in her support for gay rights; in 2009, after Carrie Prejean told Perez Hilton during the Miss USA contest that she did not believe in gay marriage, Cyrus tweeted, "Jesus loves you and your partner and wants you to know how much he cares! That's like a daddy not loving his lil boy cuz he's gay and that is wrong and very sad! Like I said everyone deserves to be happy. I am a Christian and I love you — gay or not. Because you are no different that anyone else! We are all God's children!"

Miley had previously deleted her twitter account when redneck fans savagely attacked the then 17-year-old's marriage equality stance, though she came back this year (ah, that twitter, it's like crack without the shakes or the needed cash)...

All hail Miley Cyrus!

July 28, 2011

Ten Signs of Stupidity...

I like stupid people, they entertain me. Okay, not in real life, where they annoy the crap out of me, but in pictures and stories.

Here are ten signs that made me laugh, and yes I am guessing there are morons behind them. My favourite is the last one, because vulgar is funny...

photos from damncoolpictures.com

July 26, 2011

Archie's gay gay gay friend...

Archie's new friend, Kevin, aka Riverdale’s resident high school homo, proved so popular, he’s getting his own full-fledged series...

Kevin Keller was introduced last year in Veronica Issue #202 as the new hot guy in town. Veronica set her Cougar-in-training sights on him, and was soon rejected due to Kevin’s affinity for dudes. The character was supposed to appear only in a four-issue miniseries, but the demand was so great, he’s getting his own Archie Comics spinoff monthly series, much like Jughead or Betty (or that bitch Veronica).

A (surprisingly?) popular character with the brand’s teen demographic, the blond hunk gets his own series in February 2012. Jon Goldwater, co-chief executive of Archie Comics, explains to The New York Times, “He’s proven to be incredibly popular… We’re just so proud of the success of Kevin and the fact that he adds a new dynamic to Riverdale.” A series of young-adult novels featuring Kevin is also under discussion.

Here’s a cool factoid --- only seven people canceled their subscriptions since Kevin was introduced, according to Goldwater.

In case you were wondering what Kevin will be up to now that’s he’s anchoring his own series, here’s a hint: "Even the most popular kids are not popular with everybody,” writer-artist Dan Parent, who created Kevin, told the Times. “There’s some adversity he’ll have to deal with.”

I am actual planning to subscribe to Kevin Keller. Not that I am a teenage girl (okay, bring on smartass comments...), but because I am fascinated to see where the story goes. And I know that financial success (sales) matters in a big big way to bold pop culture changes. I look forward to the comic running for years, and Kevin getting a handsome Jewish husband a cute little furry dog....

July 24, 2011

One For The Money...

I am a pop culture vulture, and a big reader, so you think I would know what to read... but what the hell do I know? I came to the Stephanie Plum party 17 years after it started. That is beyond fashionably late, even for a gay dude.

Recommended by a blog reader in response to post about audio books, I gave One for the Money, the first of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum's novels -- there are seventeen and counting -- a try, and loved it.

Stephanie Plum is a smart tough gal from New Jersey, an unemployed discount lingerie buyer. She's broke, she's lonely, she's raunchy, she's gutsy, she's smart, she's horny, she's desperate for a job, and she's got the fashion sense of Cher on a bad day (which Stephanie decides is pretty good after all).

With no job prospects and her Miata repossessed --- yes, Miata, it's 1994, I got here late, remember --- Stephanie drinks her last bottle of beer for breakfast and then blackmails her cousin Vinnie into giving her a bail-bond recovery job worth $10,000 even though she doesn't own a gun and has never apprehended a person in her life. And then she discovers the guy she has to get is Joe Morelli, the same creep who charmed away her teenage virginity behind the pastry case in a Trenton bakery (she later ran over him with her car).

Stephanie's unsuccessful attempts at catching Joe make a hilarious tale of murder and mystery. This is funny and sharp writing with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing whodunit.

I started this one on audio in the car, and got halfway thru that way, and then once home I wouldn't wait for my next road trip to finish it, so got the book from the library and read the second half in one sitting curled up on the sofa. Now that is a compulsively readable book!

When I was a kid, my grandfather introduced me to his beloved Agatha Christie books and I devoured them all. He also loved Mary Higgins Clark, Lawrence Sanders, and other mysteries and lighthearted suspense series; they are fun light comfort food reading, and whether you figured it all out or were surprised, you wind up with a resolution. This book made me think of him. He would love Stephanie Plum. Of course he would think she was potty-mouthed and should get married already, but hey he was a grandfather.

I am looking forward to next week's road trip because I am going to be listening to the second Plum novel, Two For The Dough.

If you haven't read or listened to One For The Money, catch either soon, before the upcoming Katherine Heigl film adaptation ruins it for all of us...

July 21, 2011

Stephen Colbert: It Gets Better

Fake journalist and funny man Stephen Colbert gets serious --- and touching --- as part of the It Gets Better campaign of outreach to gay and bullied youth started last year by Dan Savage.

This caught me by surprise in how touching it is. I loved it...

July 19, 2011

Blogging, Marriage, Queens and Klout...

The cool website http://www.klout.com/ seeks to measure your overall online brand or personal influence, by looking at your activity and impact on sites like facebook, twitter, and linkedin.

Their algorithm looks at more than 30 weighted variables, looking at your network size, network quality, and considering if and how you make people act. Their formulas are secret, though I suspect there is a Magic 8 Ball and an arthritic hamster involved.

My score moves around, it is 46 as I write this. I am clearly not a mover and shaker, as I am guessing that's higher than the guy who delivers our mail, maybe, and lower than Nancy Grace. That's okay... Alfie still loves me.

A fun element of Klout.com is that with its secret sauce formula, it lists topics in which you have influence on other people.

According to Klout, I am a "Networker", and here are my top areas of influence, ranked in order:

1- Marriage: yep, 13 months solid expertise here, people, ask me anything!

2- Blogging: While far from an expert, I blog, therefore I am a blogger...

3- Queens: the expensive royal family, movie queens like Elisabeth Taylor, some guy I used to date... yep, I know all about queens!

4- Cars: I know nothing, other than I want a damn sunroof; no effing idea how this ended up on here.

5- Food: I actually don't write about food much, though noteworthy here is the fact that I believe Licorice Allsorts and Popcorn are two basic food groups.

6- Money: Apparently one silly Dave Barry money post worked its magic and I now know money. Call me Suze Orman. Or don't.

7- Video: I was young, I needed the money, I didn't think anyone would ever find out...

8- Music: All hail Stevie Nicks and Pat Benatar! All 70s and 80s, all the time!

9- Chocolate: Really? Jelly Beans, sure, but chocolate?

10- Libraries: Uh, sure, why not...

What's missing from this list? Well, "gay" and "dogs" don't appear on the list. So apparently this blog isn't gay enough, and doesn't have enough about my dog. Maybe a post about gay dogs eating jelly beans? Hmmm....

Check out your influence at http://www.klout.com/

July 17, 2011

Six Years Of Gay Marriage...

It was six years ago this week that same-sex marriage became legal across Canada (it was legal in eight provinces earlier)...

... and hey, look, President Obama, Mitt Romney, and almost every Republican out there... the world hasn't exploded, imploded, or spun off its axis, and no one has since assumed they can marry a hamster or a tree.

As the marriage equality civil rights movement heats up in the USA, here are some of the best signs from those marches and protests:

(photos from http://www.happyplace.com/)

July 14, 2011

Did the Emmy's get it right?

Much as I whine and blog (okay, also whining) about the crappy crap on TV, truth is I still watch, and have opinions on the stuff. Lots of opinions.

This morning the nominations for the Emmy awards came out, honouring the best in the past season of prime-time TV. Awards will be given out in September. Here's the highlights, Alfie style...

Repeat nominees I was happy to see:
Julianna Marguiles and Christine Baranski of The Good Wife, the show The Good Wife, Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory, the show Big Bang Theory, Chris Colfer of Glee.

First time nominees I was happy to see:
Johnny Galecki of Big Bang, Melissa McCarthy of Mike and Molly (love her even though show is mediocre), Cat Deeley of So You Think You Can Dance, Laura Linney of The Big C, Matt Leblanc of Episodes.

Super shows and people skipped over:
Katy Sagal in Sons of Anarchy (love her if not the show), the cast of Cougar Town.

Repeat offenders who were nominated for doing the same damn thing yet again this year:
Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order SVU, Jane Lynch of Glee.

Crap that was nominated and makes me wonder why the hell:
HBO's uber-boring Boardwalk Empire, Jon Cryer of Two and A Half Men, Ryan Seacrest, The Kennedys.

And uh Mildred Pierce the most honoured at 21 nominations? I watched the first three hours, okay two and a half until I feel asleep on the sofa. That was the best thing this year?

You can see the full list at http://www.emmys.com/.

What are your faves? And more importantly, what total crap was nominated and made you shake your head as you whispered "what the hell are these people thinking?"

July 12, 2011

Justin Timberlake Vs. Gay Stereotypes...

I was a latecomer to the popularity of Justin Timberlake, but you gotta admire the guy's range --- singer, dancer, actor, fashion designer, totally fun SNL host.

Timberlake impressed me with his terrific performance in last year's The Social Network, and now while out promoting Friends With Benefits, he is impressive again.

This new film apparently defies those Hollywood stereotypes of the gossipy bitchy martini-swilling gay best friend, and presents us with a gay character who is the exact opposite of what we would expect from a mainstream release.

Tommy, the gay character is a macho gay sportswriter played by Woody Harrelson, and is constructed to go against the stereotype. Yes he ogles male models in jockstraps, but Tommy is presented as a radically non-stereotypical, straight-shooting "man's-man" who enjoys playing pick-up basketball games and talking trash with his heterosexual friends.

"That character was not originally in the script," said Timberlake in an interview this week. "And I'm really glad you brought it up, because it's something that was very important to [director] Will [Gluck] and myself. And Mila. … When we had the Woody character, we wanted to use that opportunity to break ridiculous stereotypes about sexual preference."

"Will and I had a lot of discussions about it, because I have a lot of guy friends that are straight and gay," says Timberlake. "And you know, I get along with them the same way, and I wanted that to come from an honest place from my own friendships with men who have a different sexual preference than I do. We both saw it as a great opportunity to... break a stereotype of what people have – [which] to me, has kind of become insulting – about what a gay man might be.

"So we wanted to show a relationship between a straight guy and a gay guy [who] were just friends…[who] happened to have different sexual preferences. And that they could both be self-effacing to each other about it. Because at the end of the day, that's what friends do. That's what true friends do... and I love Woody's character and my character's relationship in the movie because we have equal banter as two males that happen to have different sexual preferences and I just… it was really important to me that that break the stereotypes."

So the movie looks cute and sexy and funny (and yes predictable), and I am admiring this guy more and more... looks like I have a flick to catch this weekend!

(with info from www.afterelton.com)

July 10, 2011

Welcome to the Gaybourhood...

Hello all... This was the featured post over at www.studiothirtyplus.com on Friday. Studio 30 Plus is where many cool creative bloggers hang out (aka damn homeless squatters), and you have to be 30 or over to join (whew, I just made it). Head over there and check it out. Okay, read this first, then head over there...

While taking the dogs out for a bedtime walk by the calm lake behind our house, it occurred to me that something was missing from this summer evening. Lots of things actually --- cars, sirens, the pizza smell from the 24-hour Thai Pizza Donair joint, hookers… you know, all that downtown big city stuff.

Yes, Virginia, the urban gay married dudes have moved to the suburbs.

No more smells of other people’s cooking, other people’s garbage, other people. No more blasting of Beyonce’s “Single Girls” from the condo next door.

Two months ago we did what a surprising number of otherwise intelligent, Denny’s-averse North Americans are doing. We relocated to the land of the cul de sac, the garden gnome, the minivan, and the 4,000-square-foot starter house. To say all the cool people are moving to the ’burbs would be an overstatement. But here we are!

While I spent my childhood in the burbs of Montreal, since then I have lived in downtown apartments and condos in three cities. I am used to being able to walk to work. I don’t get to know my neighbours. I have never mowed a lawn in my life. On the rare occasion I watched Little House on the Prairie, I sure as hell didn’t want to live there.

Granted, the distinction between city and suburb has blurred. Commuter communities which were once considered cultural Siberia are now filled with cafes, lesbians, and people who care what Arianna Huffington has to say. And downtown cores now have Curves, Wal-Mart and Crocs stores (the last of which should be outlawed everywhere, by the way).

We built this house. Well, okay, other people built it with our ideas and our money. And we could not have had this space or this house downtown. Any downtown. We gave up a central location for more house and more land and more green space and majestic old trees all around us. And we haven’t looked back.

So the question was... would we feel at home in the land of suburbia? We have no kids, we don’t lawn bowl, we are a gay married couple, we don’t wear socks with sandals, and we don’t own a lawnmower. Okay we do technically own a mower, but I don’t know how the hell to use it.

And how’s it going? So far so good. There are lots of dogs and lots of kids. We see the other pet parents by the lake every evening. Alfie is the cutest and loudest of the many dogs. The people are friendly. There’s homos up the street. We can blast ABBA as loud as we want. The wailing sirens have been replaced by honking Canada Geese. The beer cans on the street have been replaced by leaves and dog poop (hey you across the street, pick up after your pug!). We live within walking distance of 3 Boston Pizza’s and drive to every single one of them.

If you had asked me 5 years ago if I thought I'd live in the suburbs, I would've laughed in your face for even asking me such a question. I’m a city guy and proud of it. The suburbs, especially the new build clone-esque developments, kind of scared me – everyone seems to live the same life, like in Edward Scissorhands. I like the edginess of the city, the endless entertainment options, and the interesting and different people you encounter. And the suburb commute during rush hour is killer. But we wanted a house and green space and fell in love with this area which at first glance was so far north I expected a nosebleed.

Now that we have made the big change, our lives haven’t changed much – we work, we spend time together and with our dogs, we see friends, we go to movies and out for dinner, I go to the gym less often than I should, we nest at home. The change is just the nest itself – newer, bigger, further.

I read somewhere that City vs. Suburbia is a state of mind rather than a physical location. Uh, no it’s a real difference, with a highway attached. The air, the environment, the sense of space is different. Life is full of trade-off’s, and we are the same people leading the same lives, but in bigger newer nicer quieter space with a further drive.

So all is good, two months in. There's a lake, there's ducks, there's Canada Geese, there are wild rabbits... and then the other night there was a coyote. What the fuck? To him Alfie is a late-night snack. Holy crap, we overshot the burbs and are in the effing country....

July 7, 2011

Alfie likes to watch...

For someone who watches as much TV as I do, there are few shows I truly follow. I gave up on Brothers and Sisters about six months before the network did, and gave up on Desperate Housewives (again) when it jumped the shark (again).

So now that it's summer, season of mosquitoes and reruns, there is nothing really to catch up on.

During the season, I love The Big Bang Theory. Castle is fun. I love Torchwood but it's hardly ever on. The new Hawaii Five-O lost its charm after week three. CBC's The Debaters just came to TV and is very clever but still feels like a radio show (oy, radio, so old school).

Every fall, we watch the previous seasons of Bones and NCIS on DVD in weekend-long binges. Hey TV bigwigs, why aren't there more shows we want to do that with?

I don't like reality shows very much. Hell, some days I don't like reality all that much.

When you are watching HGTV and recognize the wallpaper in a house, its time to change channels. We have cable, time-shift cable, Canadian channels, American channels, movie channels, HD channels, blah, blah, blah. So many channels and yes often nothing to watch. What the hell?

So what do I watch, usually with computer and dog sprawled across my lap? The same old favorites -- Golden Girls (I've seen every episode multiple times), Mary Tyler Moore (some of which are still new to me), Murphy Brown (all time fave), Designing Women (shows its age, still charming), and sometimes Rhoda (meh). And home shows like Property Virgins and Love It Or List It.

What does it mean when I would rather watch The Golden Girls on a fake game show (GRAB THAT DOUGH!) for the 19th time than a new Law and Order: Peoria or skinny teen vampires or Mike and Molly? Hmmm...

Holy crap, even Jon Stewart is in repeats this week. WTF?

Now that it is summer repeat season, what do you like to watch?

July 5, 2011

Two at The Tony's...

Second only to the amazing opening number, here's a fantastic moment from the Tony Awards last month, where former host Hugh Jackman "checks up" on current host and fake rival Neil Patrick Harris...

Please Tony or Oscar people, can we have these two host something together already?

July 2, 2011

I sort of like Jennifer Aniston now...

While I was a fan of Friends --- every friggin episode, people, I'm not proud --- I am not a huge Jennifer Aniston fan. Or a hater for that matter. Let's call it ambivalence, which is not what celebs look for in their audience.

While some of her work is good, Aniston's Smart Water ads annoy me to no end, her fragrance deal reeks of a money grab, and I think she is in the tabloids way too often to sincerely be avoiding the Paris Hilton fame crap.

While I have skipped most of her movies (that's you, Management), and some of the ones I have seen just blew (that's you, Love Happens), I did enjoy the fun Just Go With It. And I am kind of looking forward to Horrible Bosses, her upcoming gender-switch rip-off of 9 to 5 where she plays the Dabney Coleman evil boss role.

Now Ms Aniston has gotten her first tattoo, and no it's not Screw-you-Angelina, or I'm-Not-Rachel... it is a simple "Norman" on her foot, for her Corgi-Terrier who recently passed away at age 15.

Awwwww... a tattoo for her pooch. Okay, Jenn, Rumor Has It is forgiven, we like you now...