Monthly Archives: October 2010

Intermission

Hello faithful readers and/or people who are only here because they are google-image searching one of the great things I’ve covered.

 

Insert Lady Gaga pic here:

 

 

First of all, Happy Halloween! Secondly, I’m currently in NYC (going to watch the Halloween parade tonight! I’ll post some pics later on.) Having just gotten hitched to my lovely wifer (that’s a combo word of wife and partner that I’ve invented for gay people and straight allies to use), we are off to honeymoon in Ecuador! Why Ecuador? Well, in a very self-righteous fashion, we want to spend our honeymoon dollars in a country that has gay marriage and, if you can believe it, they do! So, we’re off to the jungle and the capitol city of Quito, and do some horseback riding.  We’ll try get out of there before the police try to stage another coup.
Anyway, the reason I’m saying this is because I’ll be post-less for a couple of weeks.  I’ll miss you guys but I’ll be back with new and exciting South American things to talk about.
See you guys in mid November!!!

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Bestoween 2010!!!

Halloween is my second favorite holiday.  It sits in an elite position right behind the almighty mega- post Black Friday event that is Christmas (to be fair–nothing comes close…Santa doesn’t play fair).  But, I truly look forward to Halloween every year and I’m excited to blog about some of the best Halloween-related things I’ve seen recently.  So, for today’s entry, it’s a sort of All Hallow’s Eve spoooooky potpourri….

153.  Best-o-Ween 2010

First up, costumes!

In the Best Costume for a Pet category, the best I’ve seen this year is:

Pug dressed as Teen Wolf!  Yes, giving the pug the award for the year is a bit like giving the British period piece The Oscar, easy and predictable, but look at that picture of that mildly embarrassed pet dog and tell me that’s not genius.  Also, you can tell that this dog lives in a house that loves Halloween.

For more dogs in costumes, here’s a slide show from this year’s Tompkins Square Park Dog Parade.  I’m loving the Tron dog.

Tompkins Square Park

We have a highly impressive winner in the Custom-Made Costume Category this year.  It’s an amazing home-made Iron Man costume.  Man, I WISH I had the ability to put something like this together.  I’m sort of piecing my own Green Lantern costume together this year.  But my novice coupling of black leggings and a superhero tee-shirt looks like a clogged toilet by comparison.  You’re going to have to click here to see it.  But, the snaps are beee-yoootiful:  mydisguises.com (Iron Man Pics

In fact, the mydisguises blog is chockablock with amazing costumes/ideas.  If you love a creative costume idea, click and go to town! (Find the Darth Vader in a wheelchair pic…so cool!)  mydisguises.com

Now, onto:

Best Appearance By an American Icon in a Halloween-Related Political Sketch Which Also Advertises a B-Movie Program

Well, this was a tough category this year…so many to choose from…but it has to go Elvira and her fun little jabs at The Worst Witch, Christine O’Donnell.  Enjoy!

Big round of applause for Elvira, everybody.  Still looking good.  I think next year, there needs to be an all-Elvira post on this blog…

Best Lists from Other Websites

Though some of them sound a little less than tasty or tempting, I’m intrigued by this list of Halloween shots.  They certainly LOOK good and you’re guaranteed to be barfing up some pretty colors the next day: The Intoxicologist

HuffingtonPost brought us the Creepiest Vintage Costume list this year, if you haven’t had a peek…there is indeed some macabre looking stuff…made even worse because some aren’t supposed to be scary:  HuffPost

Best Pumpkin Categories

Best pumpkin inspiration/model…this LolCat…Come on everybody, you STILL have to love a good LolCat.

Best funk-pumpkin.  I’m loving this Bootsy Collins look

Best Scary Pumpkin…hands down has to be this disgusting Predator carving.  Amazing details…but yeah…all those feminist theory classes were right.  That mouth does resemble a vajayjay.  Not mine…but…um…someone else’s crazy vagina dentata.  Use protection, kids!

Best Thing I Wish I Could Go To This Year:

New York’s Steampunk Haunted House.  Talk about putting your back into it!  This looks like quite an affair and something well worth the ticket price.  Plus, steampunk is so hot right now.  Damn that steampunk!  It’s so hot right now!  (Name that film!)  Here is footage from last year’s house followed by a weblink:

Steampunkhauntedhouse

 

Well, that’s all for now. I’m off to try and find the perfect mask to compliment my stirrup pants and store-bought mask.  Trick or treat, y’all!  May your bags be full of rich neighborhood candy…

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Eva Mendes is Only One of the Reasons…

My movie commentaries are rarely timely in this blog.  I’d love to be able to talk about today’s great thing and tell you all to run out and see it.  Unfortunately, it’s probably already left the theatres in The States (where I believe it was released in the late summer) and it’s already been out here in the UK for a couple of weeks.

Well, screw it, I’m still going to tell you to run out and see it.  After all, it’s not every day that you get to see Marky Mark in a comedy role.  If it’s still playing, go go go!  If it’s on DVD by now get some people around and pop some popcorn.

151.  The Other Guys

Here are some reasons to go and see this blockbuster, if you haven’t already:

1.  Adam McKay rarely disappoints.    Some facts for you comedy fans out there:  He’s one of the founders of The Upright Citizens Brigrade (the famous improv troupe/school that has spawned many successful comic performers–putting it on the same level as The Groundlings and Second City.)  Speaking of Second City, McKay studied with Del Close.  If improv was a religion, and to some it is, Del Close would at least be an important prophet if not the messiah.  Studying improv with Del Close is like studying handsomeness with Brad Pitt.  They’re both experts at their craft.  McKay is also the co-creator of Funny or Die.  You’ve seen “The Landlord” sketch on funnyordie.com haven’t you?  It features his adorable daughter Pearl and comedy partner Ferrell.  Here’s a funnyordie.com clip promoting The Other Guys.  Ferrell plays his character Allen Gamble in a faux NYPD recruitment video:

McKay is six-foot five.  That’s tall!  Let’s rank Adam McKay movies, shall we?  In order of preference, I’d go with:  1.  Stepbrothers, 2. The Other Guys, 3. Anchorman, 4. Talladega Nights

2.  Mark Wahlberg is an unexpected delight.  But, that’s not entirely surprising, I suppose, for a McKay/Ferrell project.  They’ve successfully turned other actors (who are known more for dramatic roles) into hot comedy commodities.  Look at John C. Reilly.  Prior to Talladega Nights I only ever saw him in the blue-collar/heart of gold/rough of face type of role.  Now, I think he’s hilarious!  McKay and Ferrell perform similar wizardry with Wahlberg.  I actually LIKE him as an actor now.  Before, I thought he was sort of an entitled little wannabe who kept getting lucky with good reviews for his film work.  Now, he’s cool in my book.  Thanks The Other Guys!  Hating one less person in the world is actually quite a relief.

Here’s a quote from an interview featured at collider.com (collider) which highlights a reason this most recent comedy pairing works so well:

Ferrell:  You know, I think we had a big read through for Sony and Mark, like, killed it. I thought I was really bad and I was just like “Oh my god, Mark is so funny.” There was just something about writing stuff in his voice that made us laugh so hard just how serious he was and we were like “Look at you. Why do you do that?”  and we were just like “Oh. We can’t take it “. It was probably in those first couple of read throughs and then my kind of earnestness and like “I disagree with you” you know? I made a point and I kept telling Adam and Chris that we have to make sure that “Mark’s a tough guy. Will’s the nerdy guy. Like, I have to have a toughness also. Even though I’m an eccentric weirdo, I have to have to be confident enough to push him back.”  Once we started putting that in the script, it was great. By rehearsal it was just like “I cannot wait to shoot this scene”.  There were just times where he is just looking at me and I can’t look at him.  Whether it’s the slow burn or when he gets pissed, it just made us laugh.

Here’s a perfect clip to illustrate what Ferrell is blathering on about here:

 

3.  Eva Mendes is hot.  It’s really easy, it seems, to completely ignore the female supporting roles in male-dominated comedies…but McKay usually does a pretty good job of giving them SOMETHING to work with.  They’re never just completely JUST the ‘straight romantic counterpart’.  For instance, I think Christina Applegate holds her own with the fraternity of awesome buffoons in Anchorman. In Stepbrothers, both Mary Steenburgen and Kathryn Hahn are memorable.  Talladega Nights has Jane Lynch.  Jane Lynch!

This actually isn't much of a stretch...I see hot girls with dopey looking boyfriends all the time.

4.  The supporting cast.   Steve Coogan, legendary British comedy icon, unfortunately, is not used to great effect.  However, Michael Keaton is a highlight.  There’s a running gag about TLC songs that gets better each time it calls back.  Likewise, Dwaye Johnson (the Rock), and Samuel Jackson pop in to make with the funny.

My only caveat is this…please watch this film with a large group of people.  Unless you’re reading a book, things are always funnier in groups.  When it comes to comedy audiences, size DOES matter.  Laughter is infectious and the more people laughing around you, the better…

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Sage Savage

And now, for a very special episode of ilovethingsthataregreat.com

There has been a saddening trend of gay suicide recently.  Gay youth has always been a very high risk group for self-harm and suicide.  It’s easy to see why.  Though the LGBTQ community is adept at finding the rainbow in every storm and modern life is indeed trending toward tolerance for us queers, you’ll still often see sudden but widespread periods of violence against gays.  Some pockets of America are slower to change than others and the two steps forward one step back nature of the fight for civil rights often calls untoward attention to gay people who might otherwise just be minding their own business thinking optimistically that we’re all just marching merrily towards equality.   Noticing this recent spate, the articulate, pithy, and wise Dan Savage has come up with a beautiful idea and today’s great thing.

150.  The “It Gets Better Project”.

 

A Real American Hero

 

If you haven’t been reading Dan Savage’s “Savage Love” sex-advice column, you are missing out on a highly amusing, informative, and culturally relevant (google ‘Santorum’ and you’ll see what I mean), way to spend fifteen minutes of time at your work desk every week.  Savage is also the author of several (mostly autobiographical) books.  You can always find the “Savage Love” column at The Onion’s AV Club.  Here’s a recent edition where Savage takes some time to talk about the “It Gets Better Project”.

It Gets Better

And, if that’s not enough, here’s a link to an interview with Savage about it on ABC News: ABC

Though Dan Savage started this campaign directly in response to the recent gay suicides that have been covered in the media, this is an important message for anyone who is bullied anywhere ever.  You don’t have to be gay to appreciate the near-univeral message of ‘yes, highschool is tough, other kids can be huge jerks, but hang in there because life after school gets better.’  Kids get picked on for any number of reasons: too fat, too skinny, no boobs, has boobs, glasses, haircut, ethnicity, first name, last name, likes, dislikes, family situation, eats boogers, doesn’t eat boogers, whatever.

But, perhaps the one thing that sets gays apart is that, unlike other targets of bullying, it’s institutionally approved to harass homosexuals.  Like race, it’s an attribute that can’t be changed.  Yes, some people are bi and some people have more ‘fluid’ sexuality, but what I mean is that ‘ex gay camps’ are complete bullcrap.  You can try to smother away your queer leanings, but like an X-Man trying to ignore their mutant ability, you’ll just wind up burning down a shopping mall with your pyrokinesis.  Can you imagine if institutions like religion, the military, and public schools all denied rights to another minority group?    People would be outraged.  Well, good people would be outraged.  There will always be a-holes who think that bullying is actually OK or even righteous when it’s directed at LGBTQ folk.  Polite society makes it  OK to dislike gays if your religion says that being gay is a sin.

The thing is, these things don’t happen in a vacuum.  The violence is always provoked…Just not by the gays who are receiving the beatings or bullying.  Sarah Silverman’s short video for the project puts this point across very well.

The “It Gets Better” YouTube channel is brimming with user videos just waiting to give kids who are at the end of their tethers pause…and show them the light at the end of the tunnel.  Here’s the original, which obviously sets the bench-mark:

Here’s one with two cute lezz (‘lezz’, I’ve decided, is now going to be the pluralized short form ‘of  lesbians’) from everyoneisgay.com.  Their video entry features a staple of YouTube videos…lip-synching to a pop track whilst posing to the camera.

If I were going to make one of these (I haven’t yet), I think I’d talk about what it’s REALLY like to come out.  There are stages that kids need to be aware of.  Knowledge of these stages is important if you want to be an educated and self-aware, meta-gay. Here are the stages:

1.  First of all, it takes a lot of your time, obsession, and energy to come out–especially if you were brought up with religion or in a less-progressive community.  I was raised Catholic.  So, you can imagine.  I had a few, quite literally sleepless nights, and then, when I finally built up the nerve to come out, it was to a priest in a confessional.  For real.  Then I chose my best gay friend to tell, then my sister, then my Mom, then my Dad, then my best friend from highschool, then pretty much everyone else all at once.   So, non-stop stress and soul-sweating crises were  followed by rushes of great relief.

2. Once that is done, it’ll be all you want to talk about. Sorry straight friends.  We won’t have a conversation about anything BUT either the homosexual experience or how the world is unfair to us for at least the next two years.   What’s that?  You’re just back from Machu Picchu?  That’s nice.  Another girl looked at me in a bar the other day, what do you think that means?  Did you see that Portia De Rossi is gay?  Wow!  I’m marching in the dyke march on Saturday.  Want to come?  Hey, where are you going?  This stage will also be the point in your life where all the minutiae in life becomes super important drama.  You will think your life is a soap opera over the next couple of years.  You’ll also probably act like a bit of an idiot.  A lot.  Especially when you’re drinking.  Be careful.

3.  Then, you’ll relax about it a bit and start calling the younger generation of gays that are at the bars, with all their frenetic just out of the closet energy, ‘baby dykes’.  They soon become slightly annoying.  Why can’t they all be cool and collected and confident like the rest of us?

4.  Finally, you’ll stop feeling ‘different’ from other people.  Yes, you’re unique…but not just because of your sexuality.  That’s just a part of you, not the whole of you.  Hopefully, you’ll still remain active in the fight for civil rights, but you’ll face the challenge as a human being instead of as an ‘other’.

At least that’s what it’s all felt like for me.  So, buck up kids!  Your float in the pride parade awaits you…

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