Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
I OFTEN PONDER..
Why in the hell do dog owners feel that just because they own a canine, they are welcome to the party.
Leave your fucking dogs at home.
I hate them.
Look I'm a Cat Person. They're clean, they think for themselves, and generally speaking, will just go away if they want to. They won't hop in the car when they hear your car keys rattling. Cats don't travel well. When cats take a shit, THEY COVER IT UP!!! Dogs just eat it. You can leave a dish out for Pussy, filled to the brim, go away for a couple of days (whilst tweaking out with a trick), come back to The Silent Treatment, knowing exactly what they're thinking (NAFF OFF!!!), then just hopping on the bed and giving a purrr. And that's when THEY decide to. Dogs, like infants, need constant nurturing and attention.
I want neither.
I will admit. I had a love affair with one Abby, a black lab. I think it was because I was the only one around who gave more than a pat on the head, or violent tugs of the ears whilst riding her to the bathrooom. See, I was the governess of a THREE YEAR OLD. Right out of the psych ward. Still dazed and confused by the jolts of electricity bounding hither and thither through my brain. Oh, this was many years ago, dahling, long before I got "normal". Not to get off topic, but a lobotomy can give you the same UPLIFT as a nose job. Try it and see what you'll forget!!! If only I'd had one recently, I'd not remember the terror of those long days with Little Miss Courtney.
OK. Let's talk Courtney and move on. LMC. Oh, she's all grown up and in college, far and away from her lovely Wine Country home in Healdsburg, beautiful as a young woman can be (though too squat to be model material), whatever happened, happened. Somewhere along the line, betwixt bottles of milk and post puberty petulance, LMC blossomed into a swell gal, who I could go drinking with. Yikes. (I'm passing the 45 mark in mere weeks. I never lie about it because as the Sondheim Song Says: I'm still here. If there's nothing better about life, it's Sondheim because if you open a page, you'll find a lyric that suits JUST where you are in Life at any given moment. HOLD YOUR HATS AND HALLELUJAH, CRAIG IS GONNA SHOW IT TO YA...) I don't even want to think of it, but here goes: Try sitting around with a Three Year Old with slightly irritable habits, in the midday sun, as the grapes were-a-ripening. and yer teeth were-a edge because you just ran out of Valium. There's no booze in the house because Papa just checked out of The Betty Ford Center, and moiself, well. It was fairly neurotic sit-comish scenario. Courtney loved the tale of Peter Pan. So out on lounge chairs we'd sit, she with sippy cup in hand, me with Abby in my lap----all 80 pounds of her----she thought herself extremely Toy Poodlish---and off the top of my head, I'd wreck JM BARRIE's fab fable a few paragraphs in. Love Pete. Hate Neverland. I only really like the beginning and the end, simple because it takes place in London during a certain era, when grown-ups went out in tuxes and frocks, leaving their offspring in the hands of Katie Nana, A DOG??? And what happens? Some 50 year old cross-dresser turns up in the window, teaches the kids how to fly off, drop acid and share coke with each other.
WAY FUNNER THAN THE ORIGINAL.
Fortunately, before we got that far, LMC is having a fit because her Patent Leather Mary Janes are killing her. Abby would look at her, then sorrowfully up at me as if to say: What have I done to deserve this. My thoughts exactly. Then out would lap this pink tongue, dousing my chin with a schmear of schmutz. Even though I knew where that tongue had been (the cat box) I let her because hell, if you share the same bed, you better lick me someplace. Yes, in the middle of the night, Abby would creep into my room, heave herself onto the bed, and snore. If she were alive, she'd TOTALLY lie, and say "I DO NOT!!! I've NEVER SNORED!!!" just like you'd swear you were only 28.
Abby, Abby, Abby.
When I moved out into more treacherous terrain (the Russian River), I'd still drop over at Ma and Pa's place to do laundry and eat whatever I could find in the fridge. Abby would jump from back paws to front paws. Wish I could describe it better. It was catterpillarish. Ma would say: "She never does that with anyone else." Had I been MOTHER IN LAW BARGE IN MARGE, it would have been a completely different scenario. Yeah, wherever there's a kid involved, you can bet there's a gramma.
I guess I only bring this up because our (me and my real ma) largest party of the rest of my life is nigh. Fiesta Finale promises to be a whopper. But please, when you get the invite, don't be angry if it says NO DOGS ALLOWED.
This is THE CAT'S MEOW.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Back in the good old days before BLOGS were a glimmer on the horizon of publishing, Derek Washington and I published and distributed what was known as a 'ZINE. For those of you who don't remember such things, a 'zine was a mere 5-6 pieces of paper, Xeroxed and stapled together, then distributed, guerrilla style, on the streets. Our beat was West Hollywood, and the people we targeted were the stoopid faggots that crowded those oh so WHITE streets, grandly showing off Nautilus sculpted chests, and drinking Apple-tinis. How BUTCH!!! Anyway, I've written about it before, but yesterday I came across our first issue in a file, and had a wicked, nostalgic chortle. Here reporter Derek Washington recounts an encounter with famed Fag Porn Star, MATT GUNTHER. So let's rewind the clocks to 1997, shall we, a mere few months before the demise of Princess Diana!!!
Sympathy is such a precious commodity. One must be careful where compassion is dispensed. For example, lately I have observed a certain Matt Gunther (you know, sneering, sexless porn star) waiting for the very same bus I take past Check Point Charlie: La Brea. I have often commented to friends on how brave and nonchalant he seems in view of his situation. You see, Matt Gunther is now confined to a wheelchair for reasons I do not know, nor shall I venture a guess. Buster has even bandied his name about as a possible interview. No mas. ON this day, as we pulled to a stop, I noticed Gunther (or whatever his name was in Iowa) and once again admired his seemingly pleasant persona and artfully highlighted hair. After clearing passengers from the handicapped seats, the bus driver (a middle-aged black woman) tried to engage the wheelchair apparatus. Being an MTA bus (if you ride 'em, you'll understand), the lift jammed and the rear door wouldn't open. The driver went outside to explain the situation to Gunther who EXPLODED: "You get you fat black nigger ass back here! Get me on this bus!" That, dear reader, is verbatim. Poor Matt. Imagine how a couple of years in trade school would have changed everything.
Some things never change.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
- 230 g macaroni (uncooked)
- 3 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Melt butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.
Stir in flour and salt.
Add milk and macaroni to saucepan, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, and cover.
Simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.
Add cheese, and stir until cheese melts.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Elsa Maxwell, hostess with the mostest, wrote a fascinating autobiography RSVP: Elsa Maxwell's Own Story in 1953. Naturally, I had to special order this ancient volume from the library, but am I glad I did. This old gas bag recounts (coyly) her life and times. Now these were the most fascinating of times, as La Maxwell managed to be in Europe during those heady days of Cafe Society. This stunning tale recounts lavish parties, evenings with Cole Porter, her complete and utter disinterest in cash, jewelry, clothes, The Duchess of Windsor, booze. No, this Zaftig Zelig (who managed to be EVERYWHERE at just the right time!) never touched so much as a drop, preferring to sing for her supper by playing piano at smart dinner parties. Oh, there's a lot of name dropping to be had here, but it's completely delicious! You see, Europe before and between World Wars was the place to be...and it simply wasn't a place for just anybody, unless, of course you were Salvador Dali, Claire Booth, the lesbian author Janet Flanner (AKA Genet), or some second generation American Heiress looking for a title on the cheap. Oh, what SNOBS Americans are! Simply the WORST in the world!!! Of course she brushes shoulders with John Barrymore, is the FIRST to congratulate FDR on his big White House Win, gives insomniac Winston Churchill advice on his wayward son Randolph, and his fetching bride Pamela Digby, arguably the greatest courtesan of her generation. Oh, that yearly free wardrobe by designer Jean Desse! Olivier of the Paris Ritz, who taught her EVERYTHING she knew about fine food and wine (though she never touched the stuff...err...the wine that is). Of COURSE she knew the fate of Woolworth Heiress Barbara Hutton when she got involved with that horrid Prince Mdivani! She convinced Eisenhower to run for president, and predicted he would win handily, FIVE YEARS BEFORE HAND!!!
Run, walk, sleep with, murder someone if you must, but get your hands on this book!
You won't be able to put it down!!!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Let me tell you a couple things about Aunt Carolyn. More than a couple. She was the coolest, patchouli smelling, San Francisco dwelling Hippette a youngster could ever have met. Especially one who was just plain weird growing up. When I was really young, she told me that all the chaos in my immediate world was not my fault. She accidentally blabbed that I was adopted (some years later) by my father, which made life a hell of a lot clearer to me. She dated this black guy with an afro and his crazy Irish Setter named Kubla; they drove around in a VW Van, chasing the Grateful Dead hither and yon. She changed her name last name from Curtis to Marychild to honor her Mother, because her father had died before she was born. And she didn't change it, even after she married Uncle Rick. She was, after all, still A Child of Mary. Magdalene. Curtis. I swear.
When I was old enough to travel alone (say, oh, about 8), I'd stay with Aunt Carolyn in her flat on Dolores, near the Haight in San Francisco. I can still smell the musky scent of insensce, marijuana, sex. I remember the odd bits of mysterious Eastern bric-a-brac, the female erotica hanging on the wall, her really cool record collection. The bay windows that wouldn't open. The funky ass fridge with the funky ass shit she ate in it. She took me to the Palace of Fine Arts, the windmill at the edge of Golden Gate Park, The Palace of the Legion of Honor, which became my fave museum of all time.
She took me to see my first Bergman Film, FANNY AND ALEXANDER.
She was the first person to tell me that if I was gay, it was OK.
When I was like, oh, 14, she left me alone for the day, gave me some spending money, put me on a bus and sent me to The Castro. How cool is that? In five years I'd be living there.
She and Rick had been married for a while, I was all grown up, and I'd spend weekends with them in Vacaville, a suburb outside of Sacramento. Now, Uncle Rick was a really cool guy. He had this wicked sense of humour, and a naughty cackle to match. Plus he had the best stash box ever! They took me to a Grateful Dead Show. It was a really warm night, and we were completely stoned (like, who wasn't), though I didn't really dig the music, I got swept up in the atmosphere. Then, like magic, a tangerine moon rose above an open air stage.
Once, tripping HARD on a mix of X and coke in Guerneville, on the Russian River, I called Aunt Carolyn collect and told her I was FAAAAH-REEEEKING OUT! She stayed on the phone with me for what seemed like forever, reminding me that it's only a drug, it will pass through you. Well, it finally did, but all in front of the local Safeway Market, hanging on a pay phone.
Then I got HIV. Then it turned to AIDS. Then I moved to Southern California.
Then we lost contact.
She googled me, and up came this blog.
We emailed. She called me her dear tender-hearted nephew of mine. I told her what she had done to make my life what it is today.
Aunt Carolyn died on June 10th.
I love you Aunt Carolyn.
And don't tell me you can't hear me, because I KNOW you believed...
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
By Derek Washington. Recently, I made my way down to my fave shopping destination, The Forum Shops at Ceasars Palace. If you've never been, poor you. It is, hands down, the most luxurious shopping mall in The LV. From it's kitschy talking statues to its cobblestone paths that lead to the worlds premier luxury shops and its ever changing skyscape, The Forum Shops brings a whole new meaning to an afternoon at the mall. Yours truly was invited to the tres chic John Varvatos shop to personally preview the launch of the new Ernst Benz by John Varvatos Limited edition Chronoscope. That's a really cool way to say, majorly nice watch. I was welcomed into the hip, modern space by the killer staff. General Manager Charlotte Moazzami and Assistant Manager Rachel Fox showed me around the shop and introduced me to that aforementioned exquisite timepiece. I was then given the VIP tour by mega well dressed Yoni who pointed out some of the great accessories and the latest Spring Summer 2009 designs. Unlike a lot of high end stores, John Varvatos at The Forum Shops is a welcoming place staffed by friendly folks who delight in showing off their line. The clothes are casually luxurious, perfect for a well dressed guys day or night in The LV. You can go from a private jet straight to your VIP table with a bottle of Dom without missing a beat in John Varvatos. The John Varvatos line is, while stylish and ultra luxe, very comfortable and quite affordable considering the style and quality of work that goes into each piece. If you're a guy looking for a great place to stock up for Spring/Summer 2009, stop in and have the great folks at John Varvatos hook you up in style.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Want some cheesy flix from the 1950's? You do? Well, you can't go wrong with anything Lana Turner did. Glossy, Cinemascopey, Lush and Horrid, Turner was on the downturn at 35 when she made:
THE PRODIGAL. Oh. My. God. Turner stars in this $5,000,000 "Biblical" epic wearing almost nothing. Supposedly based on the fable of The Prodigal Son, Lana really, REALLY did not want to do this flick. But it was those waning years of her career at MGM, and she was contractually obligated. So she made EVERYONE miserable, particularly the wardrobe people, spending hours and hours in fittings of scanty-panty chiffon frocks. Lana is just a wreck, but she has that patented MGM walk as she climbs the stairs to the Pagan Altar. Micah (Edward Purdom) is the Prodigal Son, who wanders into Damascus and immediately pops a woody for Turner, Pagan High Priestess. She persuades him to forgo his Hebrew faith, squander his small fortune. This movie is SOOOO awful and cringe making, that by the end, when Turner flings herself into the Sacrificial Fire, you get the idea that she would rather have done it at the beginning of the flick.
Based on the best-selling, scandalous novel by Grace Metalious, PEYTON PLACE features Lana as a frigid widow with a secret. And she takes it all out on her daughter, played by some pert-nosed ingenue from the 50's. Hope Lange (proving herself to be quite the young actress) portrays a beat-about-the-place daughter who also has a secret. Also starring Terry (Mrs Howard Hughes) Moore, David Nelson (can't act, but eye candy), Russ Tamblyn (the son of a domineering mother) and ever present Lloyd Nolan as the kindly town doctor who gives one heck of a speech to a courtroom full of gossipy, prune faced spinsters. This film eventually became a hit, only after Turner's daughter ended up in juvie for killing Johnny Stompanato, and resurrected Lana's waning career. This movie makes Bellingham look like a nice place to live....only not in Technicolor. Or cool clothes.
The success of Peyton Place brought on Lana's next flick IMITATION OF LIFE. I've reviewed it before, and you probably have already seen it, so why bother repeating myself? Costarring Sandra Dee and Juanita Moore.
Next up: Turner plays MADAME X, the many times filmed glossy version of a woman forced out of town by her mother in law, Constance Talmadge. Talmadge steals the show as the arch Mommie Dearest, John Forsyte the mourning husband, and Kier Dullea as the handsome son who ends up defending his mother for murder. Schmaltzy stuff, but OK.
PORTRAIT IN BLACK features Turner as some vicious woman who murders Lloyd Nolan for his dough. Also starring Sandra Dee as her step daughter, and John Saxon as Dee's swarthy beau. This one is not so great, but not nearly as bad as The Prodigal.
Not starring Turner, but Susan Hayward, BACK STREET. This is another of those Ross Hunter productions that pairs aged Hayward with John Gavin. Gavin's married to drunken sot Vera Miles who gives vindictive a great name. When she buys fashion designer Hayward's wedding gown at a charitable function, then wants it packaged and sent to "MISS! RAE! SMITH!" (Hayward, Gavin's mistress) the hoity toity matron's are scandalized. This has a typical tear jerker ending. But quelle effectif!
THE RAPE OF EUROPA is a dazzling educational film of how the Nazis planned and plundered Europe's greatest art collections from museums and Jewish families alike. Ah, but then come the Allies, and they plunder the great works of German artists. Oh, this is good shit. Joan Allen narrates.
Monday, April 6, 2009
L.A. Cannabis Club provides relief for many in the HIV community.
|"Out of business. Bottom line. The long-range goal is for marijuana to be scheduled and made prescriptively available in pharmacies. Cannabis clubs will no longer be in business."|
Surprised? I was. But then, Scott Imler, president and director of the L.A. Cannabis Resource Center, is a rather surprising guy.
Having been a member of the L.A. Cannabis Buyers Club since June 1996, I have seen the club go through many changes. Starting out in Santa Monica, they've moved three times (all to sites in West Hollywood). I barely missed the cops during the WeHo bust of September 1996; wandered into a press conference at the Crescent Heights United Methodist Church; gleefully voted "yes" on Prop. 215 in November 1996; and I danced in the streets when it passed. Never has the Club been more important to me than now, having lost 20 pounds after starting combination therapy.
On a beautiful day between rains in early April, I was grateful to speak with Scott in his office at the club. Open since election night 1996, Suite 215 is an ever-
-- Craig Curtis
Scott Imler: We invented the doctors' letter. That was an invention of the Santa Cruz Cannabis Club. Peron never required documentation of any kind. Everybody thinks that Dennis Peron's was the first club, but it really wasn't. The first buyers club was started in Santa Cruz in spring of 1993. Peron didn't open his club until November 1993. I remember when we announced what we were doing in Santa Cruz, Dennis came down for the announcement. After the rally on the courthouse steps [Peron] came up and said, "Good gimmick; it'll never work..."
Craig Curtis: I wasn't sure how far to go on the differences between you and Dennis Peron.
S.I.: I'm not sure it's all that useful other than on a background level. It's been very painful. Dennis was my friend before we were involved in [the medical marijuana movement]. His antics really strained the friendship. It ruined our professional relationship in terms of the movement. We find ourselves at opposite ends of the political spectrum in terms of medical marijuana. [Peron] has a much larger agenda that he feels the need to ply at every juncture. We wrote Prop. 215 together. I wasn't a pot dealer. I grew my own. I came to this through my own use, and my association as a gay person with all my friends dying of AIDS. I guess in some ways I just went out of my way to make things different than how it was in [San Francisco]. Part of it was tactical. Part of it was my gut reaction to what I thought was dishonest...it did not serve the needs of the patients in the long term.
C.C.: Let's talk about your mission statement.
S.I.: Basically, provide information services to patients and the public. To provide legal defense for anybody who's a bona-fide patient registered with the organization...
C.C.: Is that service for patients who buy outside the club?
S.I.: If you're a member in good standing, you automatically have a lawyer should you get in any problems for medical marijuana. Nine of our members got in trouble last year. Eight of them qualified for the (Legal Defense) program. One, who was involved with the Marijuana Mansion in Bel-Air -- it was such a big thing there was nothing we could do for him. [Cancer patient Todd McCormick of Bel-Air was arrested in August 1997 for cultivating more than 4,000 marijuana plants.] But eight members got their charges dismissed because they all had their letters and our lawyer went in and said "Prop. 215." They got off.
C.C.: How have you been received by the West Hollywood City Council?
S.I.: They're wonderful. They've been very supportive... They knew that moved here. They had actually even rolled out the psychic red carpet for us. In mid-
C.C.: Have local doctors continued to be supportive in spite of the sabre rattling by Dan Lungren?
S.I.: (Laughs) That goes back and forth. Mostly doctors are concerned about the feds. Most of the AIDS agencies have been pretty good... The doctors know we enforce [protocol] because we won't serve their patients without a letter. We call every doctor every time to verify that they really did sign that letter. Even the doctors we know. We call them every single time. We've been so diligent -- they probably say to themselves: Damn, those guys call me on every single letter! Even Dan Lungren's office will tell you that LACBC is the best-run club in the state.
C.C.: Have the police been cooperative?
S.I.: Oh, yeah. Well, you know, the night of the election they came out and gave one last ticket. We call it "The Last Medical Marijuana Ticket." It was issued about 5:15 on Election Day.
C.C.: What about the media?
S.I.: We're to the point where we don't even want to have the media come here anymore. We always felt that we had no secrets; we didn't have anything to hide, so we've always been forthcoming with the media. Time and time and time again, we'll spend four to eight hours with a TV news crew who will come in, film everything -- they'll show our banner, our patients, and then they'll splice in footage of tie-dye hippies straight out of Haight-Ashbury smoking pot at Dennis' (club). Frankly, we're too through... There are only three or four journalists I've come in contact with that really get it. All the rest are interested in the Big P.
C.C.: "Big P," meaning...?
S.I.: The endless ideological debate about the drug war between Dan Lungren and Dennis Peron.
C.C.: Big P: Big Politics?
S.I.: Big Pot. Big Police. (Laughs)
C.C.: How about the recent court order naming cannabis clubs as non-primary care-givers, thereby restricting your ability to consume and exist?
S.I.: Our club itself is not a care-
C.C.: I've seen fliers for your Medical Marijuana for patients in recovery groups.
S.I.: The Medical Marijuana for Patients in Recovery Group meets at the Crescent Heights United Methodist Church (Fairfax and Fountain) at 6:15 on Friday nights. We believe that you should be able to use medicinal marijuana if your doctor says you have to, without sacrificing your sobriety or being kicked-
C.C.: You're a practicing Methodist?
S.I.: Yes. And lay preacher. I fill in when the pastor's not there.
C.C.: Let's address requirements for membership. Any limitations?
S.I.: Our only limitation is you've got to have a letter from your doctor. We have other rules -- 27 grams per week limit. You can't give it away, trade it, sell it. If we ever find that out -- you're out of here. Don't smoke in public, and if you get in trouble, show the police your card. Tell the truth. Be polite. And call us right away. Being polite is really important because the police know that (courtesy) is in our rules. So they know who are members of our club and who aren't. No one is turned away for lack of financial resources. Fully 25 percent of the marijuana consumed by our members last year was consumed gratis. I think that's important for your readers to know; the service is here for people that need it.