Friday, June 30, 2006


How dare FOX run So You Think You Can Dance overtime! I missed seeing which guy got kicked off when my TiVo switched over to The (Crazy-Ass) Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency!

Yes, it’s come to that.

Incidentally, in case you were wondering, I, personally, do not think I can dance. I think I could dance, a good number of years and pounds ago (after all, I learned from some very fabulous club queens). Now, however? I think I can sit on the couch and critique.

Sorry, Mia.

Update: Newsflash! I just read that Janice Dickinson’s best friend is Jon Lovitz, whom she calls “shocking” and “sexy.” Wow. Well, I guess that fits... if you're on Planet Dickinson.

Take A Powder

It’s a hot day. Knowing the subway platforms will be like unto steam rooms, you decide to apply a little post-shower baby powder before your commute. However, when you get to work and go to the bathroom, you realize that you overdid it a little when you pull down your underpants and a small mountain of powder collapses and avalanches the fuck all over the back of your black pants.*

Think fast! Staying in the stall, calmly remove your trousers and use the powder-stained ass side to wipe the commuter sweat from your forehead, face and neck. This not only rubs off the glaring white mess, but refreshes you and leaves you smelling like a freshly cleaned baby’s bottom.

Now you can temper your embarrassment with a mild sense of cleverness and accomplishment. Go get ‘em tiger!

*Not that this happened to me, this very damn morning.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Blather Of The Day

Link Of The Day

I just had another review put up in six line reviews, this time of the Rufus concert. If my one here was too windy for you, check it out.

This also gave me the opportunity to post my new self-portrait in my review bio, like so:

@#$%! Of The Day

Since joining the gym several months ago, I have been both eating sensibly and doing more targeted heart-rate cardio per week than I have in years, and yet I am steadily gaining weight. In fact, this morning I officially weighed in at my heaviest ever. What gives?

Geeky Revelation Of The Day

I am totally addicted to So You Think You Can Dance, y’all. Like, I re-watched several of the routines last night more than once. Especially the tango.

It’s just so refreshing to see so many young contestants have such great attitudes and work ethics. They’re miles ahead of many of the American Idol contestants, probably because everybody wants to be a famous singer, but there is more serious hard work and less opportunities and rewards involved in becoming a dancer.

And also? I have a wee crush on Mia Michaels. I love the way she talks and she’s got a very dykey vibe, IMHO (not that I’m trying to spread any rumours, heavens forfend).

Finally, what could be gayer than a show in which the grand prize includes performing in Céline Dion’s Vegas show? And the answer is: none. None more gay.

Whaa…? Of The Day

According to this article, production is afoot for both a Fraggle Rock movie and – get this – a sequel to The Dark Crystal!

Now, if only they bring back a Mystic and cast Steve Perry in the role, my dreams will be fulfilled.

Separated at birth?

Please forgive me, Steve, I love you. Will you perform at my wedding?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I'm a little disturbed that it includes vinyl in the ingredients, but you've gotta try this new Spiking Glue from CVS. I know, CVS, but I have practically gone through a 12-step program to get over my ridiculously expensive hair product addiction, and at under $5.00 this stuff works like a charm. I dab a little on my dry hair and get the Big Queer Boy look or fauxhawk in no time flat - and it holds! Check it out, bitches.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Eight Ways to Delicious

I ate octopus last night, and it wasn’t the first time. Some people might grimace at the idea of eating a boneless creature sporting suckered tentacles (which are actually classified as arms), but I’ve generally been pretty gustatorially adventurous. Whereas I’ve drawn lines at brains and eyeballs, snacking on your generic pulpo-in-a-sardine-can or tapas didn’t much phase me. It didn’t much thrill me, either, but as I tucked into the savory grilled octopus appetizer at Greek Kitchen, my thoughts meandered from exquisite memory to lingering guilt.

Flashback to the rainforest of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. It was the last location of three in our first trip to that varied and gorgeous country, chosen for it’s national park, beaches and gay resorts (no kidding). The Mrs. and I had just spent most of the day trekking through the rainforest and dipping in the ocean. True to the rainy season, it had been hot and humid, and the spoiled whinging of two adolescents on our guided tour had temporarily irked us into a funk. Spirits lifted by witnessing some much-maligned white-faced monkeys freely urinating on the annoying children, and genuinely grateful towards our eagle-eyed expert guide, who could spot a bat, sloth or iguana perched in a tree at a football field’s distance, we broke off for a hike on our own, and ended up walking long enough to edge into low-blood-sugar exhaustion. Reaching the edge of the park, we were delighted to find 1.) a local man with a pile of green coconuts, who would chop one open with a machete and hand it to you with a staw for one dollar, and 2.) the official park entrance with a small restaurant and parking area. Here, after sucking down some refreshing coconut juice, we could sit, snack, shelter from the storm that was just blowing in and grab a bus or taxi to take us back to our homo hacienda.

We couldn’t find a phone, but we sat in the open-porch-style restaurant and perused the menu. My Spanish was rudimentary, and the waitstaff at this particular café didn’t seem to understand much English, which was unusual for the area. Still, I was able to get by, albeit with some questionable conjugation and friendly pantomime. It was here that, finding myself craving both barbecue and fish, I found grilled pulpo on the menu and, despite Mrs. Nator’s skepticism, decided to try it.

It was nothing short of ambrosial. Slightly sweet and tender, with a smoky char on the outside, it was imbued with the flavours of its lemon, garlic, oil and chili sauce. Accompanied by a cold refresco, salad and beans with rice, it both soothed my savage appetite and piqued my taste buds. As a terrific thunderstorm opened up the skies on the beach before us, we sat snugly under the awning, pleasantly tired from our trek, filled with scrumptious food and delighted by the entire adventure. Despite being accosted by a clueless, young American couple who couldn’t find the bus stop or induce anyone to help them call a taxi (note to travelers: it helps if you are polite and learn at least please and thank you in the native tongue; screaming at the locals in English as though they are your personal servants will not get you anywhere, especially when you have not even bought so much as a stick of gum), we finished our leisurely meal and were helped with kind solicitude by the hostess, who called a cab to our hotel herself (rather than directing us to a payphone, as she had done with the other tourists, despite them protesting that they had no Costa Rican change, another dumb move).

So, it was with this fond memory that I savoured the Greek version of this delicacy. Of course, it couldn’t quite match that particular dining experience, but it was more than adequate. More’s the pity that I found myself feeling twinges of remorse. I felt this, you see, because I am rather fond of the octopus, as a creature. Sure, I am an animal freak, in general, and there are some dishes, like veal, I just can't conscience, but I am generally able to get through a hamburger or chicken wing with little more than a brief genuflection.

The thing is, octopi are just so darned cool. They are mobile masses of muscles and neurons, with parrot beaks, who live at the bottom of the sea. They pine for mates, escape from tanks, squish into improbable crevices, find their way through mazes and are thought to be at least as intelligent and personable as the average housecat. What’s more they can change their colours, mimic other creatures, and shoot away on jets of water leaving only clouds of ink behind them. Heck, some of them even walk on two legs, while disguised as inanimate objects! I mean, take a look at this video from the PBS program Nova and tell me it isn’t amazing.

My point being, they are much maligned and misunderstood, fascinating creatures of the unknowable sea, and it seems a shame to eat them. Too bad they’re so darn yummy!

Chilli Lemon Octopus

  • 2 kg baby octopus
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon rind, grated
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons hot chili sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Remove and discard heads and beaks from octopus, cut octopus in half.

    1. Combine octopus, rind, juice, oil, sauce and garlic in large bowl, cover, refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

    2. Drain octopus from marinade and discard marinade.

    3. Add octopus to heated skillet or grill, cook over high heat until just tender.

    4. Plate with salad and enjoy!

    Tuesday, June 20, 2006

    That's Just Not Natural

    Except, of course, that it is. Homosexual sex is what I'm referring to, the subject of a new article in SEED Magazine. It turns out that Joan Roughgarden, a professor of biology at Stanford University, has published an article contending that Darwin was somewhat biased in formulating his theory of sexual selection.

    Darwin hypothesized, you see, that normal sexual practice involves males competing for female partners in order to spread their genetics through breeding as much as possible. This theory would mean that all non-reproductive sex was aberrant and wasteful, much as the Bible would have it.

    However, Roughgarden postulates that Darwin was incorrect in basing his theory on some very narrow observations and that, in truth, sexual behaviour among higher vertebrates is as much for social bonding - which leads to more successful survival rates of the species - as it is for straight-up fertilization (pun fully intended). Her evidence? Over 450 different vertebrate species engage in homosexual sex. That's right: 450+ species that we know of (so far) are actively homo or bisexual, sometimes on a regular basis. Kind of makes you think, huhn?

    Hey, baby.

    Some might dismiss Roughgarden's proposition merely because she, herself, is a transexual. But accusing her of bias begs the obvious question of just how biased Darwin, as a straight white male in the Victoria era, might be regarding sexual matters, himself. Either way, it's a fascinating article, and I suggest you go read it right now.

    Alternately, you could read this article on the same topic, which is much funnier.

    [Tip of the hat to Joe.My.God.]

    Thursday, June 15, 2006

    Rufus, Rufus, Rufus

    Before I give my thoughts on the concert, allow me to recommend Bombay Eats on W 52nd Street. I found it via, and we tried it for our pre-show dinner. We were a little skeptical when it turned out we were the only in-house customers, but they seem to have a thriving delivery business, and once we got past the Bollywood-meets-Bayonne diner atmosphere and the mysterious way that everything cost a dollar more than listed on the menu, we were delighted to sample some of the best Indian food we’ve ever had. I generally have no cause to be in that neighbourhood, but I might make excuses sometimes to get back to their coconut naan and barbecued eggplant.

    Now, on with the show…

    First things first: Rufus Wainwright is no Judy Garland. We all know that. Even if you are a big fan of his, like Mrs. Nator is, you would have to agree that comparing his voice and performance style to hers is an apple-oranges exercise. He doesn’t have her power, precision or projection (acoustically or emotionally speaking), but neither is he as overwhelming as she could be. He does have a sweet tenor that evokes weary longing and, it must be said, big balls for taking on this project. Despite his frequent forays into egotistical hyperbole in interviews, however, he has the grace to know he’s stepping into some big shoes. He even acknowledged this at one point in performance, noting “I can’t believe this is happening… okay, get it together, own it,” to the laughter and applause of the audience.

    The audience did a lot of laughing and applauding. In fact, it would be fair to say that the mostly gay crowd, with a fair number of older straight folks and younger women who seized the opportunity to dress up (including Mrs. Nator) were exceptionally giddy even before Wainwright took the stage. After all, just the chance to hear amazing standards performed by a 36-piece orchestra in Carnegie Hall is a recipe for fun, almost regardless of who the singer is. Add to that Wainwright’s worshipful following and the gay, camp, homage-to-Judy factor and, despite high expectations, it would be hard for him to go wrong. But Rufus went beyond that: he proved himself an excellent entertainer, sometimes powerful, sometimes funny, but able to pull off an old-school performance with impressive aplomb.

    Mind you, there were some rough spots. Moments when he forgot the words were a bit unexpected, considering the preparation it was rumoured had gone into the show, but his amusing ad-libbed covers could be considered evocations of Judy, herself, provided you imagined him slopping a cocktail around in one hand as he delivered them. Not so forgivable were the bungled attempt to sing one song in the original key, as his overtaxed falsetto meandered off-tune, or his forgetting most of the names of the band mid-introduction, which came off as plain tacky, and made one wonder if he was having a Tina moment of memory loss. But, despite having a thinner voice than Garland’s, he clearly had been working on it, and was able to bring to many songs a sustained power and evocative delivery that made even the skeptics whoop.

    In Judy’s tradition, Rufus included family in the program, welcoming his folk-star mother, Kate McGarrigle, to the stage to accompany him twice (leading to perhaps one of the best exchanges of the evening, when he, sitting coyly at the edge of the stage, asked his lamé-covered progenitor what she had to say for herself, and she replied “I feel line Céline Dion,” provoking him to moan “oh, mother”). He also brought on Judy’s daughter Lorna Luft for a duet (Liza was not in the building), which was great fun (although her voice made one muse on how Judy’s might have sounded had she lived longer, and showed how much hers, at twice his age, overpowered his), and his sister, Martha Wainwright, to do a solo rendition of Stormy Weather. Martha was an excellent surprise for me, as, although I’d not been impressed with clips I’d heard of her album and the sometimes too-histrionic poses she struck while singing, she growled out an affecting, woman-on-the-verge version of the song, pretty much blowing the roof off the joint. Mrs. Nator was not as beguiled as I, although upon further conversation it seemed that this was due to her belief that, as a woman, Martha couldn’t do camp so much as go through it to poor impression – not to mention Mrs. N really wanted to hear Rufus do the tune. I however, thought this argument specious, and, while acknowledging that the timbre of her voice was not prime jazz singer material, had to give kudos to Martha for knowing her instrument and controlling it superbly.

    All this aside, most of Rufus’ renditions were well-done and well-received, with the excellent band whizzing through the knockout, original 1961 arrangements. Show-stopping numbers included the favourites most associated with Judy, such as The Trolley Song and the breast-beating The Man That Got Away. His quieter moments with mere piano accompaniment, however, were sometimes even more moving.

    So, my final verdict? The show was definitely a success, although I think I might be happier to see a more traditional singer doing the standards with the band, and to go to a concert where Rufus sings his own songs. It was well worth the trip (especially to see the delight in Mrs. Nator’s eyes), and I had an excellent time, despite frequent mini-panic attacks inspired by the vertiginous rake of the stairs in Ye Gods section of the Hall (note to self: do not watch ladies in high heels tottering down those too-steep stairs again, unless you want a sudden white streak in your hair). Wainwright may not have been the best choice to commemorate Judy vocally, but he had the guts to do it, the talent to do it fairly well, and the gayitude to make it fun. You can’t go wrong with that.

    P.S.: Norah Jones is so over that she was in Ye Gods, too, and Sarah Jessica Parker wears around 6 inches of pancake makeup. Pass it on! </bitter queen voice>

    Tuesday, June 13, 2006

    Atlanta Visit Breakdown

    Dogs petted: 2
    Cats petted: 2
    Baby bird rescues conducted: 3
    Duck attacks thwarted: 1
    Herons harassed: 1
    Dips in pool during excessive heat: 1
    Extremely unhealthy meals eaten: I lost count.
    Hair dye jobs observed and rated: 1
    Teenagers induced into actually communicating: 2
    Girlfriends comforted: 1
    Smiles or giggles brought to the face of ailing 93-year-old grandmother-in-law: at least a dozen.

    Hello, New York! Welcome me home. I am due for a rest.

    Sunday, June 04, 2006

    Delayed Outrage

    Alright, when the whole brou-ha-ha happened over Brokeback Mountain being "robbed" of an Oscar, I thought it was just the queer community getting all defensive and paranoid. I mean, I enjoyed the movie, I even thought it was a great film, in some ways, but it wasn't one of my favourites, ever. I just figured that the winner, Crash, which I hadn't seen, must have been an excellent film. Of course I heard it got mixed reviews, but what movie doesn't?

    Well, I'm here now to say: the queers had it right. The Academy is full of self-congratulatory, homophobic idiots. In other words, I finally saw Crash last night.

    Who on Earth would think this was a good movie? It had a some good cinematography, to be sure, and a lot of excellent actors showing flashes of brilliance, despite the horrible script, but what the hell? It was heavy-handed, clunky, derivative, deus-ex-machina, self-referential bullshit. And then it hit me: Hollywood would think it was a good movie. Because those in the movie industry would think that somehow they were looking at the world - which to them is wealthy Los Angeles, to be exact - and somehow confronting some harsh, hidden truths - which anyone who was not a rich, privileged resident of LA-LA-land would - hello? - already know.

    I can't even begin to go into all the things about this movie that made me roll my eyes and/or get angry. I don't think I can even give a semi-coherent, detailed analysis because it makes me so incredulously apoplectic just thinking about it. Suffice it to say, two things: I actually reflexively smacked myself in the forehead several times while viewing the movie, and I still feel strangely dirty from watching it. Now that's some bad shit, right there.

    So, once and for all: my homo brethren, you were right! Hollywood is homophobic. It may actually be that Hollywood is so engaged in masturbatory navel-gazing that it is not so much homophobic, per se, as... retarded, really, but yes, the common gay life experience is completely foreign to them as any common life experience is. And, for the record, I don't think Brokeback Mountain is the best movie ever, even if it has poignant, hot, same-sex cowboy love in it. But in this case? We was robbed. And I'm sorry for not believing, before. Je regrette! Please forgive.

    Friday, June 02, 2006

    Decisions, Decisions

    Help. As those of you who read regularly may know, I have tickets to see Kathy Griffin on the 5th and Rufus Wainwright on the 14th. However, I have also recently learned that the ever-awesome Jollyship the Whizbang is putting on the latest installment of their puppet pirate rock opera on the 7th and 14th only, and none other than Joan Jett, lesbian rock goddess icon, is performing at Southpaw on the 6th.

    I know, fabulous, right? Except, as those of you who read regularly may also know, I am too old and tired to pull off going out two, much less than three nights in a row. And no, I haven't done coke since the eighties.

    Oh, and did I mention I'm-a want to go to WYSIWYG this time, travelling to the Dirty South next weekend, the midwest on the 23rd and to Ptown the second week of July?

    This is one downside to summer in NYC. Too many awesome things to do to fit in (much less afford)! What's a wizened old sofa spud to do?

    Thursday, June 01, 2006

    Whacky Hack

    Pop Quiz:

    Which is the most unnerving?

    1. Your cabbie talks on his cell phone for the whole ride.

    2. Your cabbie talks to himself for the whole ride.

    3. Your cabbie whispers to himself for the whole ride.