Wednesday, December 31, 2014

We've all had bad days ...

I've had a headache for the past two days. It's been really cold here in Los Angeles and I've had to turn the heater on. I had to say good-bye to my 15 year-old cat Squeaky last month. I had to say good-bye to my basset hound Bruce 2 years ago. My partner and I of 16 years broke up 3 years ago. My best friend died of cancer, my grandmother died and I got bullied so bad every day of my senior year of high school that I dropped out. 

These are all things that happen to every one of us, give or take. We deal with them. We don't like it but we deal. Can you imagine waking up every morning in a body that wasn't yours? Every day wondering what it would be like to be … to need to be somebody else? So uncomfortable in your own skin that not taking your life was a daily battle? I can't. 


Leelah took her own life on Sunday morning, stepping in front of a semi truck on Interstate 71. Leelah realized she was transgender when she was 14. Though she sought support from family, she received none. She posted a haunting suicide note to her Tumblr page, imploring parents not to react negatively if their child comes out as transgender, writing,

"Even if you are Christian or are against transgender people don’t ever say [to someone that they are wrong], especially your kid. That won’t do anything but make them hate them self. That’s exactly what it did to me." For Alcorn, the situation sadly felt hopeless:
Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. There’s no winning. There’s no way out. I’m sad enough already, I don’t need my life to get any worse. People say “it gets better” but that isn’t true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse. 

Alcorn ended her note with a call to action, imploring society to stop ignoring the struggles faced by trans youth:

The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren’t treated the way I was, they’re treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights. Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something. My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. I want someone to look at that number and say “that’s fucked up” and fix it. Fix society. Please.

I know first hand what it's like to live in pain. In constant fear of not being accepted. In constant fear of not being able to be myself. But I was (am) lucky. Lucky to have loving, caring family and friends. People who accepted me for who I am. People I could turn to for help. For advise. Or just somebody to talk to. My heart truly aches for Leelah. I hurt for her because she had no one to turn to. No one that would listen to her. No one to hear her cries for help.

My heart hurts for society as well. What have we lost? The poems and wisdom of another Maya Angelou? The acting talents of another Meryl Streep? A political powerhouse of another Hillary Clinton? The medical brain of Marie Curie?

Sadly we will never know.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

On the bookshelf …

Travels with Casey
Benoit Denizet - Lewis 
Simon and Schuster 
Dog book, my favorite kind. Benoit loads up the RV for a month (turns out longer) long adventure across America. His traveling companion? His 8 year old lab mix that he (Benoit, not the lab) feels have not really connected in the 8 years that he's had him. Along the way they meet police dogs, farm dogs, dock-diving dogs, show dogs and dogs with nothing to do but bathe in the loving glow of their masters.    

Aligning Strategy and Sales
Frank V. Cespedes
Harvard Business Review Press
What can I say? Its a book to make me a better sales person. Normally books like this remind me of whats-his-name? The guy with the big head and teeth … you know who I'm talking about. Anyway, this was a good, informative read. 

The Animals - Love Letters Between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy edited by Katherine Bucknell
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (US) 
Chatto & Windus (UK)
A love story of the oldest kind. Young man / Older Man. And this one lasted for more than 30 years despite a 30 year age gap. Love letters.  Hate letters. Jealousy letters. Tender letters. For anyone who has lost the love of their life. Or is still looking.  

Jennifer Saunders - Bonkers, My Life In Laughs
Jennifer Saunders
Penguin Group
What can I say about Jennifer? One word … my-side-hurts-from-laughing-so-hard. 

Future reads … 

A Sudden Light 
Garth Stein
Simon and Schuster 
Garth Stein wrote one of my favorite books … The Art of Dancing in the Rain published in 2008. I was so happy to find his new book on the shelves of my local Barnes & Noble. I'll keep you posted. Oh, one more thing … the man is hot !

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A new way of thinking? Or the right way?

I have adored Meryl Streep for as long as I can remember. I truly believe she if one of the top actresses of our time. She embodies what acting is. She is diverse, sensitive, strong, weak, fearless, confident, funny, expressive, all encompassing, fluid … you get the picture. I worship her as an actress. But now I also see her as a living, breathing, caring, flawed creature. 

I found a post on Facebook that I am assuming she wrote. I mean … its on Facebook so it HAS to be true. I'd like to think it is. 

"I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me."

"I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature.

"I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me."

"I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate."

"I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise.

"I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance."I do not adjust either to popular gossiping."

"I hate conflict and comparisons."

"I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities."

"In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement."

"Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals."

"And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.”

 - Meryl Streep
I have lived in and around Hollywood for many years. Both physically and metaphorically. I have been involved in the movie making process and its probably skewed my view on many things.  People think acting is a frivolous career. It's not the act of acting that is superficial its some of the people that have chosen the career. I personally have been "touched" by the bug. Nothing has transpired … yet. 

Meryl Streep's words have really touched me in a way that I haven't been touched in years (keep the snickering to yourselves). 
"I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me."
How many of us do this? We chase after the approval and love of people who don't deserve it. We think "Please love me". No more. 
"I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate.
And why should we? Life truly is to short to waste time on people that do not want to be honest, helpful, charitable and caring. 
"Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals."
This of course is the best. I have never trusted people that don't like animals. But better yet … I have never trusted people that animals don't like. 


Saturday, August 30, 2014

"This is what happens when you live in dreams he thought:you dream this and you dream that
 and you sleep right through your life"

- Beautiful Ruins 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Juice this !

I started a 3 day cleanse today. I ended a 3 day cleanse today. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The side effects of working out

I guess a date with the cute check out guy at Ralph's is out of the question as I witness the Tinactin rolling down the check out conveyer belt. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Brilliant words …

Sing, sing at the top at your voice,
Love without fear in your heart.
Yeah and feel, feel like you still have a choice
When we all light up we can scare away the dark

We wish our weekdays away
Spend our weekends in bed
Drink ourselves stupid
And work ourselves dead
Or just because that's what mom and dad said we should do

We should run though the forest
We should swim in the sea
We should laugh, we should cry,
we should love, we should dream
We should stare at the stars and not just at screens
You should hear what I'm saying and know what it means

To sing sing at the top at your voice,
Love without fear in your heart.
Yeah and feel, feel like you still have a choice
When we all light up we can scare away the dark

Yeah we wish we were happier, thinner and fitter,
We wish we weren't liars and losers and quitters
We want something other then just nasty and bitter
We want something real not just hashtags and twitter

It's the meaning of life and it's streamed live on YouTube
But I guess gangnam style will still get more views
We're scared of drowning, flying and shooters
But were all slowing dying in front of computers

So, sing at the top at your voice,
Love without fear in your heart.
Yeah and feel, feel like you still have a choice
When we all light up we can scare away the dark

 - Passenger 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mirror mirror on the wall ...

   In reality do we appear to others as we see ourselves in the mirror or as the camera lens see's us?

   Because I have to tell you … I can leave the house rockin' the mirror only to find Jabba the Hutt staring back at me from the tabloids the next morning.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Lazy Sunday

It's Sunday

Time for reflection

Time for family

Time to thank your higher power for all that you have

Have a great Sunday


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Happy birthday Carol

When I was a kid Saturday (and later Sunday) night was CBS night

The Carol Burnett Show
(Yes, I thought Ms. Burnett owned her own network)

My parents would let me stay up and watch her show. I remember having a hard time getting to sleep because I was so hyped up from laughing so hard. What I wouldn't have given to be in the audience asking her a question … "If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would you choose?"

When my family moved from Oklahoma to Los Angeles in 1978 I was beyond happy. Would I finally get to ask my idol my question? It wasn't to be. Carol (yes, I feel after all these years I can call her Carol) ended her long running TV show in 1978. I was crushed. 

Fast forward to 2005. A friend of mind had the pleasure of working with her in the production "Once upon a Mattress". They screened it at the Writers Guild in Beverly Hills and I was lucky enough to be invited. As my friend was about to introduce me in the lobby of the theater I was over come with such emotion I had to leave the building. I stood outside for what seemed like hours trying to compose myself. I never did. I could not get with in 20 feet of her without turning into a puddle of emotions. 

I  guess some idols will forever be admired from afar.

Friday, April 18, 2014

My Comforter

The world had all gone wrong that day
   And tired and in despair
Discouraged with the ways of life,
   I sank into my chair

A soft caress fell on my check
   My hands were thrust apart.
And two big sympathizing eyes
   Gazed down into my heart.

I had a friend; what cared I now
   For fifty worlds? I knew
One heart was anxious when I grieved -
   My dog's heart, loyal, true.

"God bless him," breathed I soft and low,
   And hugged him close and tight.
One lingering lick upon my ear
   And we were happy - quite.

- Anonymous 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Happy belated ….

Happy (belated) 90th birthday Ms. Day

As a kid I loved turning the TV on durning a snow day and seeing a Doris Day movie on … The Pajama Game, Pillow Talk, Please Don't Eat The Daisies, Send Me No Flowers … I could go on for hours. Not only is Ms. Day one of our most beloved actress but she is also a huge animal rights advocate . She has since retired to the small community of Carmel California with her memories, her
B & B  and her beloved animals. 

We still love you and look forward to the day when you are back in Hollywood in front of the camera. But until then … Que Sera Sera.

(I still love watching Doris Day movies. And it doesn't even have to be snowing) 

Friday, March 21, 2014

A kiss good-bye

I found this touching article on the internet

What better way to celebrate the end of the week than with some pure, unadulterated sob-fuel? Witness Mario--just Mario--a 54-year-old man who spent most of his life working at Holland's Diergaarde Blijdorp zoo in Rotterdamn. Dying of terminal cancer, Mario requested that his hospital bed be wheeled into the giraffe enclosure. What happened next is...well, just look at the pictures. 

Soon after Mario was brought into the enclosure, one giraffe approached to give him a kiss goodbye.

"These animals recognized him, and felt that [things aren't] going well with him," Kees Veldboer, founder of the Ambulance Wish Foundation told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad. Veldboer's charity, which grants dying wishes to the terminally ill, transported Mario to the zoo.

"[It was] a very special moment. You saw him beaming."

Daily Mail reported that after meeting with the giraffes, Mario, who is mentally disabled, requested a moment to say goodbye to his colleagues at the zoo where he worked for most of his adult life.

All right, fine. The cynics out there might be saying that the giraffe wasn't really giving him a kiss, that it was only looking for food, or performing some kind of giraffe greeting behavior. To which we say, pah! This giraffe was giving his beloved companion a goodbye kiss. If there's a world where a giraffe kiss is not a giraffe kiss, that's not a world we want to live in.

Monday, March 17, 2014

My gut vs. my heart

My gut tells me to fly to wherever this man is lying on deaths bed. 

My gut tells me to picket outside the hospice where he lies on the verge of his next journey. 

My gut tells me to picket outside his family's house and yell nasty obscenities about what an Un-God like people they really are.

My gut tells me to picket his funeral with a sign that says "God hates you Fred" or "Good luck at the Pearly Gates".

My guts tells me to gather all the families and friends that he and his family have harmed and raise a toast.

My gut tells me to dance in the street.

But my heart …
Tells me to pray for his soul.
Tells me to pray for him on his journey to the other side.
Tells me to pray for his family that they may learn from his evil.
Tells me to let my anger go with him to wherever he may be going.

My heart tells me to love.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Who is doing the REAL damage?

   I was on the internet today, something I do at least once a day to get my news. CNN, Yahoo, Huffpost Gay Voices  and yes FOX News. Naturally being the stylish gay man that I am I like to keep up with the gay news of the day. Ellen and Portia getting a divorce. Gay marriage approved in _____ (fill in the state). Gay marriage denied in _____ (fill in the state). My recent personal fav was … "Frozen will teach kids to be gay and is the work of the devil". I also love the stories where a group (normally a religious group) boycotts or pickets a store for giving gays equality. They must spend a lot of money for this form of bigotry, sorry … freedom of speech. It might be more "Christian" to donate to a local food bank, woman's shelter or animal rescue. I like the stories that in general upset the right wing and the power they seem to think we have over the world (i.e. The Velvet Mafia). 

   I really love the stories where a political figure takes the time to address his/her audience about the evils of the gay agenda. 

Side note … I never got the memo from the GAC (Gay Agenda Committee). I'm not really sure what I should be doing as a gay man in order to further our cause. So … if you received it, please forward to me. I would not want to get kicked out of the club. 

Anyway. It seems that "Gay" is big news. 

Today I came across this today ...

Man drowns own child

   Even without being a parent I can not comprehend this story. It's beyond my scope of reality. But from what I understand this happens more times than we want to believe. A few weeks ago a mother drove her minivan into the Atlantic Ocean with her 3 children on board screaming to passerby's "My mommy is trying to kill us". The internet is also full of stories of child abuse. Mothers chaining their kid(s) in the basement. Fathers kidnapping children and speeding away in their car to the freeway where the police are forced to pursue in a high speed chase. And these are just the stories that make the news. It goes on 24/7 365 days a year.

   Where are Michelle Backman, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and the many others who spend so much time and energy on the gay community? Why aren't they rallying the masses to try to inform the public on these mentally ill parents. Why aren't they supporting the many, many public institutions that could help these individuals BEFORE the tragedy happens?  Why aren't they spending their time working with The American Psychiatric Association filming PSA's (public service announcements). Why aren't they pushing for better health insurance for all? 

   Who is doing REAL damage here. The gay community? The officials that WE elected into office. The religious right? 

I think we know the answer.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Redneck City

Duck Dynasty
Swamp People 
The Legend Of Shelby, The Swampman
American Jungle
Bayou Millionaires
Redneck Island
Hillbilly Hardfishin'
Lady Hoggers
Rocket City Rednecks
My Big Redneck Wedding
Barkyard Oil

And the others - 
Jersey Shores
The Kardashians
The Real Housewives of BH,Miami,NY,NJ,Atlanta,OC,DC
Vanderpump Rules

I could go on for days with this list. Why are we so obsessed with the antics of these crazy people? They all spotlight the worst in humanity. But we continue to watch. 

Picture it … Los Angeles 2014

Its a gorgeous day in Los Angeles. The sun is out. The high is going to be in the mid 70's. I've got Sergio Mendes on the iPad. What more could you ask for?