Thursday, December 29, 2005

'Time To Make The Doughnuts' Man Dies At 83 from diabetes (not a joke).

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Back To Life

I have seen a lot of movies lately, the most recent being Munich, which can only mean one thing. I am heading toward a period of underemployment. SRL! closes this Saturday. Love Indifferent is already over.

It's all good. As an actor, I have learned to accept this down periods. It comes with the territory. The best part of the down time is that you get to normalize for a bit. You finally clean out that closet. You get to read a whole book in a few days versus a few weeks. I can play with the dogs and not be a crank.

Today, Christmas comes down. There will be no more fake gifts, fake trees, and real Christmas cards fanned about the place. Kwanzaa has begun but lets face it, I'm the only brother in this house...It's not going to happen here. New years? No firm decisions on that yet but if it is just Steve and I, I'm good with that too. Yeah, underemployment is not so bad...Unless you like money. If not, you go to movies and you worship the Great TV. It might just save your life.

PS - Munich is a must see. It is very violent but extremely good storytelling.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas

1DSC_0057, originally uploaded by Leg0z.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

And Wear Clean Underwear

Make sure to keep things clean "back there" this Christmas. In this modern age, there is no reason why you shouldn't have a fresh, clean, and minty-smelling ass. For those of you whose ass smells like...Well, ass, might I suggest Sphincterine.

While you are back there, do something about that embarrassing backne (or in some cases, crackne) by using Rearacil.

Thank you for your time and Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

It's Like Rain on Your Wedding Day

L.A. Police Start Fire to Destroy Dynamite

It's a Free Ride When You Already Paid

Please enjoy this photos with the theme: Scared of Santa. And so that you don't have this happen to you, enjoy this service that will add your child to a Santa Photo

It's the Good Advice That You Just Didn't Take

Taking the Christmas Out of Christ

Think Good Thoughts

Allan Johnson, Chicago Tribune writer, is very ill. He wrote a great article about Straight & Nappy just last Friday. I got this email about his
Allan Johnson had emergency brain surgery
last night. As of this afternoon, he was
unconscious and it was too early to have a real handle on his status or
prognosis. They were planning to do an angioplasty later today to determine the
cause of his severe bleeding last night, namely if it was an aneuryism
or one of two other possibilities. There was some wiggling of toes and
fingers and a seeming response to a request to move a hand but, again,
too early to say much.

For now, cross your fingers and think good thoughts.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Monday, December 19, 2005

Pip Speak

It is that time of year again when we start to get the "best of..." lists. 2005 is almost done and everyone is an expert about what was good about it. I am no exception. I will be posting my best of 2005 lists ASAP. Until then be satisfied with these links of the day:

Worst Idea Ever
What the fuck is wassailing?
Reasons to be grateful for good health
Things to consider: quit smoking
Real Bad Santas
An Iowan makes sense
and finally, One More Richard Pryor Bit

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Blockbuster

Check out the E! show The Soup for what I think is going to be the hands down winner of the movie wars -- Brokeback Kong.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Being a Cowboy Is So Gay

So, I saw Brokeback Mountain yesterday and enjoyed it very much. I have some issues with the pacing of the movie and some character development but it was a well made, beautifully shot, and well acted (Gyllenhaal aside) piece of cinema.

As a gay man, I really wanted to like this movie. Everyone said such great things about Philadelphia and I hated it. I wanted Brokeback Mountain to be more than just a film that makes middle America cry because gays are so tragic. This movie delivers. It is all about repression and how we choose to give up our personal liberty or freedoms. For these characters it was their sexuality but it could have been anything. Anything that brings us great joy but we set aside because of what others may think.

This article,Cowboys, Just Like in the Movie - New York Times, does a great job of bringing the gay point of the story home.

C-List Spotting

There used to be a time when I would randomly run into celebrities every two or three months in Chicago. I don't know why. It was just one of those things that happened to me.

Yesterday, I saw Marty from Rockstar:INXS. I couldn't believe I recognized him but I did. I was leaving the stage door at the Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place when this super blond drove past me. I did a double take because I thought he gave off a cool era and his brunette friend was kinda cute. I went to my car parked on the 2B level of Water Tower Place when I see the super blond and the cutie brunette walking towards me. Well, I can officially confirm that it was indeed the talented runner-up and probably another member of The Lovehammers that I saw downtown yesterday.

Wow, I used to run into Oprah. Now, I run into reality show stars. I hope this is not a bad omen for my career.

Friday, December 16, 2005

And One More Thing

This article is about Rebecca and me:Chicago Tribune | Opposites attract duo Straight & Nappy

Final Bow

autopryor, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

Official Pryor Bio
and this

Thursday, December 15, 2005

richcomedy, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

RichPryor, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Which Way Is Up?

which way is up, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

"Somebody ate my chicken and I hope you choke on the bone."

Monday, December 12, 2005

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Originally uploaded by mylilpip.

You can send wishes directly to the family at this addy.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Fun Day Sunday

I have to do a show this morning but afterwords I plan to make my own South Park character.

A Super Sad Day

Comedian Richard Pryor Dies at 65 - New York Times. Richard is from Peoria, my hometown. Amongst Black people back home, Richard is a hero. He came from nothing to become a millionaire actor-comic.

He was one of the most influential comics in the last 50 years.

His presence on the planet will be missed, especially by me.

Happy Holidays

Carolers come in all shapes, sizes, and uniforms.

You've Got No Class, You Get No Prom

Having just finished a part-time stint at a Chicago Area High School, I can understand the exasperation of educators at young people and their behavior. So many seem to have a sense of entitlement that goes beyond reason. And as this article, Hold the Limo: The Prom's Canceled as Decadent - New York Times, explains that the "prom culture" has gone too far.

I didn't go to my prom. I don't regret it. I asked a girl one year and her mother grounded her before the event. The next year, I was asked by two different girls and I opted out deciding to work at my minimum wage job at Hardee's instead of drinking spiked punch at the Peoria Country Club. The fact that I chose to work over partying is very telling of not only whom I was at the time but the the person that I would become today, an old geezer. "Cancel all the proms and make them get real jobs, dammit."

Friday, December 09, 2005

In Case of Blizzard

In Case of Blizzard
Originally uploaded by mylilpip.

Winter Wonder

Snow Detail 128, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

I have been threatening to leave Chicago for LA for more than six years now. Last night is one of the reasons why.

The After School program that I have been teaching for the last ten weeks ended yesterday. I was excited for the final day because I will no longer have to drive down to the south side.

It was about 2:00 pm when the snow began. I left my house around 2:45 pm. It was full on snow storm when I left. My trip that would normally take 30-40 minutes took 1 hour and 15 minutes. I didn't need to stay for the whole time since the students were having a celebratory party. I just needed to turn in their hours and say my goodbyes. That took about ten minutes.

Knowing that the weather wasn't going to get better soon, I took off immediately. It was slow going the whole way home. I traveled towards Lake Shore Drive only to find that the snow coming off the lake was fierce and interminable. Due to the back-up of traffic, I found myself reaching downtown at 5:00 pm...Rush hour(LOL).

If you can believe it, there were people that were actually in a major hurry. People were trying to cut over to faster lanes, driving too fast for the weather, and not signaling (a major Orpheus pet peeve).

We seasoned midwesterners and Great Lakers know that when the storms come, the traffic slows. And there ain't nothing you can do about it.

I finally made it home after a 2 hour and 20 minute journey (remember it took me 1 hour 15 minutes to get down to the south side).

It continued to snow despite my cursing and wishing. Steve and I had to go out and shovel. This was followed by more cursing. It was around ten pm that my cursing stopped when I saw that a plane at Midway skid off the runway into traffic and hit a car causing the death of a six year old.

It just goes to show you, things could always be worse.

P.S. The above photo was taken this morning at 6:30 am when I finished shoveling...Again.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

We Love You Rod

I love Rod at Rod 2.0 for articles just like this one: Usher's Confession: "I Don't Get Down Like That". I also just received my first copy of Clikque magazine today. Clikque bills itself as America's #1 Black Gay Lifestyle, Entertainment, Fashion, and Travel Magazine. Rod is also a contributer for that publication as well.

Hey Pope Benedict, Don't Be So Gay

Just for the record, every catholic is not a homophobic asshole. To prove my point, Steve sent me a copy of this article from the National Catholic Repor. EDITORIAL: For what it's worth, our condolences

Monday, December 05, 2005

Blood Lust

My Grandpa Tom, who unfortunately left this world this year, was a hunter and farmer at heart. During my teen years, I had to clean and dress field rabbits for him periodically. When I was a small child, he bought some live chickens (how often he did this, I don't remember but I witnessed it at least once). I witnessed him grab by the fowl by the throat and break its neck. He would bring the many lifeless creatures up the back stairs to the kitchen. My Grandma Hilda was there with boiling water to aid in the de-feathering process.

I tell you this because I want you to know that while I am not a cold heartless carnivore, I am a well aware of how fried chicken gets to my plate.

In October, I wandered into Chicago Live Poultry to purchase a rabbit. I wasn't looking to destroy life or anger PETA activists. I really just wanted to have a unique experience. Little did I know that two months later, I would have visited the store twice more.

Chicago Live, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

Just last week, a rooster was sacrificed and fried for my pleasure. He was a tough little rooster so I ended up smothering him and gravy. The time spent braising made him juicy and delicious.
I wanted to buy a goose when Steve and I bought the rabbit. I guess it was the novelty of the experience or the overwhelming smell of chicken shit and blood that made me pass on the idea.

As we got knee deep into the holiday season, I knew that I really wanted a goose for Christmas Eve. The closest place to get a fresh goose would be Chicago Live Poultry.

Yesterday, I called Chicago Live Poultry looking for a goose (it is going to be very nappy Dickens' Christmas in this house this year). The host told me they had them but when I got there, they didn't. I didn't want to waste a trip so I picked out a chicken. They left him whole for me. A whole chicken included the feet. It was actually very comical. I hope people start doing rubber chicken bits again.

When I got home, I brined the cluckless bird, herbed her up (this is not a drug reference), and roasted her real good. I removed her from the oven when she reached 160 degrees Fahrenheit. I proceeded to make a gravy from the pan drippings and then I herbalized myself (this is a drug reference.

The chicken that had been alive just eight and a half hours ago was served with a roasted sweet potato and enjoyed while Steve and I watched Desperate Housewives.

I don't why I feel the need to tell you all this. I guess I just want to some validation for my actions. I feel bad that I personally chose a living creature to die for my gastronomic pleasure. However, I feel a respect towards food that I didn't have before. I realize that you have to cherish meat because an animal gave his life to give life to you.

Tonight, I am cooking a buttercup squash soup with broccoli pesto sauce and Greek yogurt. No animals will die in the making of this meal.

Colleen McHugh & Miriam Plotkin in

Hey Chicago - the holiday tradition continues at Daveport's!
It's the hottest ticket in town (ok, aside from Oprah's "Favorite Things" episode... but who can compete with that?!)

New songs, new laughs, and all the great classics you love. Plus, Colleen will be bringing loads of her new CD "Songs of Self-Delusion," so all your holiday shopping problems are solved. She'll even autograph them. Take that, Secret Santa!

These shows are sold out every year, so this year Davenport's is allowing advance sales. Call today, and you'll be all set. Gather the whole gang and get ready for a big night of laughs. We can't wait to see you!

Colleen McHugh & Miriam Plotkin in

Two Weekends Only:
December 9-10 & 16-17, 2005
Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 7 & 9pm

Davenport's Piano Bar Cabaret
1383 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Reservations: 773-278-1830

Chuck Larkin, Piano
Directed by Rob Lindley

See you at Davenport's!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

What Is Wrong With US?

When I was in college, South Africa still had Apartheid. Nelson Mandela, their future leader, was still in jail. Now, South Africa's High Court Rules in Favor of Gay Marriage - New York Times. Crazy world.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A Note from Becca Kaufman

A Note from Becca Kaufman, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

Hello friends,I know there's not a lot of notice (that Tukey got in the way) but if you can make it, I guarantee a fun night of music with some of my favorite mama's! Becca

The Vocal Gymnasium presents:

MAMA JAM (Mamas finally get the night out!)

When: Wednesday, November 30th 2005

doors open at 7:45pm

Show time 8:00pm

Cost: $8.00 (and lots of applause)

Where: The Beat Kitchen 2100 W. Belmont Ave. Chicago

Phone: 773-281-4444

The Mama Jam will features Chicago's finest mom singers and songwriters (Multi-tasking as usual).

The featured Mama vocalists will be: Jeannie Bonisinga, Nancy Davis Shaffer, Anne DeLangis, Caroline Sheaffer and Becca Kaufman.

The house band: Dennis Johnson - Bass, Rick Vitek - Drums, Mike Hanko - Keys, and John Lewis - Guitar

There will be a special pre-show viewing of Mamaphobia with Peggy Ward currently at The Apollo Theater.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

What Is Wrong With US?

It seems that there is a petition drive for a same sex marriage ban in Illinois. I live in a blue state, why is this happening? And why is the only news I can get about the subject is from Missouri news sources? Is this some sort of cruel downstate joke?

Meanwhile, in MA, where gay marriage is currently legal, a fierce battle escalates.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Breaking News from California

World's Ugliest Dog Dies at 14. I wonder whom inherits the title.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Opens Saturday Night

snposterfinal, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

Time is ticking away and I can't wait for the Straight & Nappy show to open. I am very proud of this show. It was a pleasure to write and the characters are fun to play.

It looks like Rebecca and I will be appearing on NBC 5's morning news broadcast this Friday to promote the show. We need to be in the studio at 5 am. That should tell you something about my conviction to this project. For as my Schoolhouse Rock Live! character says, "I am not a morning person."

Monday, November 21, 2005

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Removal of Comments

I have been getting a lot of bullshit spam comments lately so I may temporarily remove comments from my blog. We'll see.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

No More Pie

Relationships are not easy. At some point in time, a person's individual spirit will rebel and there will be conflict. Conflict isn't always unhealthy. It can be a learner tool. You realize how much you are willing to give and take.

My relationship with Steve is pretty good. There are few people on the planet that could put up with me when I am writing or opening a new show, such as the new Straight & Nappy show, Love Indifferent (hey, if you don't like cheap plugs than you've come to the wrong blog). When I am creating a show, it is hard for me to imagine that anything else on the planet is as important as my world. And I get really uptight and stressed. I just recently quit smoking so that doesn't help either. Through all of that, Steve keeps coming back for more. We have our differences but it's all good. Now, just because you get along well with your mate does not guarantee that you will like their friends.

Steve has a friend, we'll call her Miss American Pie. Miss American Pie (MAP) is a single mother of a teen son and a college-aged daughter. She is a professional in the medical field and I have to say one terrific cook and baker. MAP and Steve have been friends since her children were in elementary school. Their friendship not only predates our courtship but it even predates my arrival to Chicago. They have been friends for a long time. (A beat) Which is why it is difficult for me to admit: I can't stand Miss American Pie.

It was spring the first time I met MAP. Steve had gone through his list of friends that I would meet at some point in time. MAP was on the list. At the time, I lived around the corner from Steve. That day in April, I was coming over for a visit and MAP was borrowing Steve's lawn mower. The meeting was fairly unspectacular. We exchanged niceties. And she checked me out. I could tell she was checking me out. She was his friend and friends do that.

A friend makes sure that other friends pick up quality goods. A friend knows that he/she is going to have to listen to all the bullshit problems of this relationship. You want to make sure they choose someone that you want to talk about when you would rather be watching America's Next Top Model. I can usually tell in the first 5 minutes how often I will have to listen to these problems. Fortunately for me, my friends are pretty good at picking quality goods so that spares me of the drama.

I didn't see MAP again until our garden walk party in July. It was an unbearably warm day that Sunday. I had to work on the StoryBus that morning. I worked up until the time that the party was supposed to begin. I rushed home and changed clothes before any guest could possibly have missed me (although most of them were being introduced to me for the first time). Well, MAP was already there and she had baked a beautiful cherry creation. I couldn't believe that someone had made this beautiful flaky pastry at home...From scratch. Something went down between she and Steve regarding the beautiful cherry pastry. I really don't remember what but MAP was a Grade-A bitch from that moment on. She was snippy and short with me every time I saw her. I don't know where it came from but it was unsettling.

MAP didn't visit for a while after that but she did invite us over for dinner a couple of months later. She made a great meal and was very cordial but we could never find a solid ground. She told a lot of stories of her and Steve's shared past or talked about some shit I just didn't interest me much. The things I talked about had the same effect on her.

There were other encounters with MAP, including a reciprocal dinner. The last encounter was on my birthday and that was the day that I knew MAP was not for me.

Steve was preparing a delicious birthday meal just for me. He originally said were going out. I didn't care that we stayed in. It was nice to be at home. I didn't have much to eat that day because I had such a tight schedule. And despite the many acts of kindness shown towards me that day, I was tired from doing the work that needed to be done, birthday or none.

I was finishing up some work on the computer while Steve was in the kitchen. I was probably 20-30 minutes away from being able to join in him in the kitchen when he told me that MAP was coming over because she was having a computer virus issue. She needed to use our computer to book some tickets. Steve put the dinner prep on hold until after she left. She arrived just as I was finishing up my work. I knew that she and Steve would take a minute to set everything up so she could make her on-line purchase so I surfed the web for a bit.

Miss American Pie got her tickets and I thought would be on her way but when I entered the kitchen, She and Steve were having beers. I was asked if I wanted one (how nice). I declined on grounds that I might make me too sleepy. MAP and Steve talked about her parents, her kids, her jobs, and a bunch of other things that had nothing to do with Steve, myself, or the birthday celebration which was now on hold. I put on some dance music. I figured that would be a nice hint that for my birthday, I would not like to sit around and talk about her world. I wanted to have some fun with my boyfriend. Alas, Madonna did not persuade her to go.

"I'm sorry," said MAP, " you were celebrating your birthday." Maybe my plan had worked and she got it. "Well," I say modestly, "this just happens to be the day it falls on." I don't know what that meant but my subtext was "it's okay that you came over but you need to leave now." She didn't leave. MAP chimed in again, "well, I did interrupt your dinner. You must be hungry?" I told that I actually was hungry. It had been a long day, etc. I told her how I was looking forward to my birthday meal.

Now, I am no etiquette expert but I think that her next step should have been to excuse herself and get the hell out. And don't return unless you are bearing gifts, food, or booze.

MAP's response to my hunger plea was, "oh." And then she stayed for another 40 minutes. She had a beer and regaled us with more stories about her life as a single mother. Don't get me wrong. My mother was single and I get the plight. My mother also knows how to take an effin clue.

When she finally left, I was not in a party mood at all. I felt disappointed and drained. I was fairly quiet for the rest of the evening. Steve did make a great dinner and presented me with a lovely dessert. We watched the final episode of Transgeneration. And then we went to bed.

I tossed and turned a lot that night. I had a few bad dreams too. I awoke with a start around 5 am. Steve woke up too. I turned to him and I said, "Just so you know, I hate Miss American Pie."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Moving On

My 37th birthday was last week. I know I've mentioned this before but I got so much mileage out of it this year, it was worth saying once more. I usually don't celebrate the big day. I often choose to wallow in self-pity but this year I had a lot of fun. I celebrated the damn day for over a week. Birthday activities started with an e-card from Soybomb (who celebrated her birthday on Sunday). This was followed by an actual card from LL Cool P.

The actual birthday was phone calls, emails, and cards from around the world (literally). The morning of the big day, I awoke to a cut out red heart and an iPod from Steve. Later that night, he made me dinner which was interrupted by one of his friends that I now officially dislike (I'll write that story later). Just because November 8th ended didn't mean that the celebrating was over. The cast of Schoolhouse Rock Live and I went to Mi Tierra for margaritas on Friday. We later joined by some of my sketch comedy buddies. Saturday afternoon was a trip to Chinatown with college friends, Steph (the singer) and Leigh (the sensitive lesbian), along with Leigh's partner (the ultra-sensitive lesbian). Chinatown was a day of good food, more drinks, and a trip to tackyville where I bought Soybomb's b-day gift.

That night, Soybomb and I continued our tradition of the joint birthday celebration by having dinner with friends at a Lincoln Square Italian joint. It was there that I presented her with a giant ceramic piggy bank. It was hideous and lovely at the same time. She loved it. The dinner was attended by some of the usual suspects, our Ya-Yas (Sarah and Angie), kick-ass flan maker Luis, Steve, as well as new friends like Keith (really not a new friend anymore but still seems like one, I don't know), Jessica, AJ, and Jay. My friend Tim also dropped by.

The celebration continued with more drinks and more belated well wishes up until yesterday. I think that eight days (eight is my lucky number) was long enough to celebrate 37. It is only fitting that the city of Chicago proclaimed the closing day of my birthday 'Julie Andrews Day' in Chicago.

I can't wait until I turn 40.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

One More Thing for Johnny Gill to Consider

Is Homosexuality right for you?

You Think You're Crazy?

Around the corner from my house is a Dept of Streets and Sanitation building. I drive past it everyday. It never occurred to me to drive a car into the city building and set it on fire.

Methinks the Lady Doth Protest Too Much

rod 2.0:beta addresses the rumors of a love thang with Johnny Gill and Eddie Murphy. In a recent interview Gill tried to explain that he is "100% All Man". And I suppose those of us that have the guts to come out of the closet and face the scorn of the stupid are...what? Trust, Brother Gill, it takes more than a man to stand up to homophobes and the ignorant. Don't put us down in protection of your stupid little secret. I too am 100% all man.

Friday, November 11, 2005

First Peek

snposterfinal, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Happy Birthday to...

Clean in LA, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

Today is my 37th birthday. I'm glad to be here...On the planet, still alive. Birthdays are a strange thing because the truth is that you only have one birthday which is the day you were born. But we don't count that one. We start at the 1 year anniversary of that day. And what did you do to be celebrated? The same thing everyone did, you were born. Why don't we give gifts to the parents instead of the person? It's like here you go Mr or Mrs Parent, I sure do appreciate you making a cute boyfriend for me so here is an iPod. Or I sure do appreciate you carrying my drinking buddy in your belly for 9 months Mrs. Mom, so I sent you an e-card.

What am I saying?!? I love birthdays. Wait, I love MY birthday because I am egotistical and self-centered. And today is all about me. Since this is not a traditional benchmark birthday like 30, 35, 40, etc., I thought I would just let this date slide but my friends will not have it that way. Thanks friends.

Soybomb was the first to send me an electronic greeting, about a week ago. LL Cool P and her cutie husband sent me an actual card (I never get those anymore except from my sister). Mom dished out some gifts on Saturday when she came up to see Schoolhouse Rock Live! And the last 24 hours has been nothing but e-cards and gifts.

Trust, I am not complaining. It is 8:00 a.m. while I type this. I am naked except for my comfy robe and I have received a phone call (only Kava would dare call me at 7 am), an iPod (Steve, of course), and 5 e-cards (thanks to Ty, Ed and Carroll, Patchy (he sent two cards), and Jeremy. I'm sure that there will be other B-day surprises as the day rolls on but since I was up I wanted to get a headstart on my thank-yous. And I want to share one of my e-cards with you, this one.

And a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my twin, Sarah Chittaro.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Straight to the Heart

Ladies of the Canyon Present
An Evening of HEART

Tuesday, November 15, 2005
9:30 pm at Martyr's
3855 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
$10.00 cover charge

Led by sisters Anne and Nancy Wilson, HEART first rose to fame in the mid-70's with songs like "Magic Man" and "Crazy On You." Anne's powerful, crystal-clear voice, Nancy's electrifying guitar work, and their beautifully-written songs combine to make Heart an enduring and influential force in rock music with a career spanning four decades.

Featured Performers:
Kim Frost, Ingrid Graudins, Michelle Hallman, Becca Kaufman, Kate Milan, Wendy Morgan, Cathy Richardson, Nancy Davis Shaffer & Shana Spiegel

The Band:
Drums - Rich Stitzel
Bass - Chris Clemente
Guitar - Tom McCarthy
Guitar- Cathy Richardson
Piano - Paul Mutzabaugh
Strings & Mandolin - Anne Harris, Alison Chesley
Horns - Mike Chicowicz and the Paleolithic Horns
Background Vocals - Angie Wendt

Ladies of the canyon

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Scary Weekend, part deux

I humbly apologize for dragging this story out but I have been so busy writing and preparing for the new Straight & Nappy show that opens November 26 (more details later). I have to get back to last weekend.

So, when we left off, Steve and I had ventured into a live poultry store in order and purchased a live rabbit. "I'll take the black one," I said very matter of fact to the skinny Latino with bad 20-something facial hair. The fine butchers killed and dressed right in front of me.

I remember thinking "if this doesn't make me a vegetarian than nothing will" and you know what? I still like meat. I'm just not sure I need to watch the slaughtering.

We took our fresh meat home after a stop at one of the many Middle-Eastern stores along the Devon Avenue corridor. While shopping, Steve and I discussed the difference between buying food that processed at a farm or plant vs. Our recent purchase of the Easter Bunny. Steve definitely felt that not seeing the process made the experience of eating livestock less painful. I agreed but felt that at least I knew the origins of my meat. I also felt that watching this animal die actually made me more respectful of the process. We live in such an easy world compared to many. We don't have to worry about hunting and gathering. We just make our way to the local market and pick what we want without a care as to where it came from or the animal that gave it's life for our meal.

We took Easter Bunny home and I began to clean and chop him up. We both labored on the preparation of our rabbit stew. The problem was that this rabbit was huge, about 8 pounds. It was too large and old for stewing. It really needed to braised. We didn't know so we continued on. Several hours later, our rabbit was not yet tender and we decided to call it a night.

The next morning, Steve put the stew back on to simmer for a couple of more hours while I slept in knowing that I would have to get up and sing "Conjunction Junction" down at Drury Lane. I awoke to the distinct smell of something burning. "I think the stew is burning," I yelled out. "No, I don't think it is," said Steve, "I've been stirring the pot every 15 minutes and I have the fire on low." Well, as you have already guessed, the Easter Bunny was burning. Steve tried to salvage it but once that burnt taste gets into a soup or stew, there is no getting rid of it.

I couldn't believe it. We had gone to all the trouble of picking a creature to die (for our pleasure), discussing the ethics of the situation, resolving to respect the sacrity of the animal's death. Yet we had allowed it to die in vain. It did not provide substance's or pleasure. It just burned. Our 8 lbs., $2 a pound Easter Bunny was inedible.

I asked Steve to dispose of the remains of the Easter Bunny stew. I couldn't take it. I felt bad that had gone through all of this. And I hated that I had wasted $16 on a rabbit that I would never eat. Do you know how long it takes me to earn $16?

The irony is that we went to see the Wallace & Gromit movie, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit", the following night. We laughed and enjoyed a very good movie. I would highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys laughter, claymation, or cheese.

Jesus Take My Lunch

American Idol winner Carrie Underwood has a new single entitled "Jesus, Take the Wheel" All I can say is that I never...ever...want to be behind her in traffic.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

BOB KULHAN – 2 SHOWS ONLY! – Tues, Nov. 8, 2005 & Tues, Nov. 15 @ UCB

A menacing emcee and his French Cabaret Pianist will be your guides as you ride through a carnival of the mind meeting vaudevillian comedians, theatrical illusionists, and distortions of reality.
( Think Tim Burton &/or "ShockHeaded Peter" meets Sketch Comedy.)

SHECKY KULHAN: Theater of the Mind
After a successful 5 month run at I.O. in Chicago, Shecky is coming to LA for 2 shows only!


WHEN: Tuesday, November 8 th & Tuesday, November 15th

TIME: All shows @ 7:00PM!

WHERE: UCB Theater, 5919 Franklin Ave. , Hollywood

TICKETS: $5 (Cash Only!)

FOR TICKETS : 323.908.8702

"Gleaming, diabolical gifts – DON'T MISS!"

– Christopher Piatt, TIMEOUT CHICAGO

"The piece, which already is attracting something of a cult following…a broad new talent and a name to watch." – Chris Jones, CHICAGO TRIBUNE

– Jack Helbig, THE READER

Please make reservations to attend Shecky on Tuesday, November 8th @ 7:00PM & Tuesday, November 15 @ 7:00PM at the UCB Theater, 5919 Franklin Ave. , 323.908.8702

or to book tix

or for more info...

Monday, October 31, 2005

Scary Weekend

The weekend began like any other except that I am totally stressed that I can't sleep. I awoke at 3:30 a.m. I tossed and turned for several minutes before I decided to just get up and start the day. The Chicago White Sox had just won the World Series and that was the only news that was available in Chicago. I decided that this would be a good morning to do some writing. I wrote and edited some material for Straight & Nappy's next show, Love indifferent that opens November 26.

I was up all ready so I decided to make Steve breakfast. I warned him of the madness that would be occurring right outside his office because of the Sox and then I was off to perform Schoolhouse Rock Live! at Drury Lane.

After a very focused show, I had a publicity shoot for Straight & Nappy's new show, Love Indifferent.

The week was finally done. After a trip to Denver followed by shows, rehearsals, and teaching, I was off until Monday. I was so excited.

I wanted an adventure...An urban adventure. I knew just where to find it. The Live Poultry Market on Western Avenue.

My grandfather, who passed away earlier this year, was a hunter. His favorite game was rabbits. He would go on trips and bring back several field rabbits that I would have to clean and dress. I suppose he was trying to teach me to be a man but I just saw it as an inconvenience. Skinning and gutting a living creature is never fun but that was the task I was given. I did it.

The live poultry market always made me want to explore the place more. I did. I asked Steve if he wanted an urban adventure and he did. We went to the Live Poultry market to find an animal to cook. It sounds complicated and it is. I mean the system is easy. You go in and choose the animal that you want the butcher to prepare for you. Steve and I decided on a rabbit. Little did we know that the rabbits would look like the Easter Bunny. Steve immediately became a pussy but I wanted stew and I wasn't turning back because the livestock looked cute in a cage. You can call me barbaric but...Hey, where do you think meat comes from?

I picked the rabbit that I wanted and the butchers killed and dressed it. We got the rabbit home and began to make rabbit stew.

What To Do This Halloween

I have plans to make my way to Boystown for the Lakeview Halloween parade but if you happen to be anywhere near New York City, I'd say the place to be would be the Orchid Lounge for their Connie Chung Look-A-Like Contest.

I'm off to work now but there will be a longer post this afternoon about my very spooky weekend.

Time For a Change

I changed my template so don't be alarmed. You are in the right place.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

News Flash: Gay Professional Athlete

WNBA Star Sheryl Swoopes Opens Up About Being Gay - New York Times. It's sad that this is news. She is a great player and I'm not sure why anyone cares about who she loves, sleeps with, etc. Sheryl, you're my sister and I support you. I might even start watching the WNBA. Right.

Was That His...

Robbie Williams has taken overexposure to another level. See for yourself and get more Robbie

Monday, October 24, 2005

I'll Be Back

Halloween., originally uploaded by mylilpip.

The big day is next week. Of course, I'm talking about Halloween and Orpheus couldn't be more Uptempo about it. I went to a great celebration. It was the 10th annual Horror party. LL Cool P and her massively attractive husband (along with Ya-Ya perennial Angie) were the hosts. There was laughter, door prizes, great short films, pretty good horror movies, way too much candy (I had such a sugar hangover) and friends.

Mr. and Mrs. P. McKenna were there (that's always good). Other Ya-Yas included Sarah, Warrior Quaker and the great Soybomb.

I took Steve and Iron Chef along as guests. Iron Chef was slightly intoxicated when we arrived but judging from the empty Miller High Life cans, no one could tell. After Steve and I dropped off a bubbly Iron Chef, we headed to Howard Street for some quick Jamaican food. We ended up at Jamaica Jerk.

I have to go to Denver for a couple of days. Business...Money...Work...blah, blah, blah.

I'll be back Wednesday.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Good News, Bad News

The good news is that the Kansas Supreme Court rejected a law that allowed harsher punishments for gay sex. The bad news is that this is even an issue. And that you know that other states have similar laws and will fight tooth and nail to keep them.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

World Series? If You Say So

There is all kinds of excitement in Chicago because the Southsiders known as the White Sox have made it to the World Series for the first time in nearly 50 years. I could care less. This is one of the least important issues I could think of right now. It seems that millions of people disagree with me. Let me ask you this, since when is North America defined as the World?

I was raised in Peoria and most of what I know about professional baseball came through the WGN-TV broadcast of Cubs games. I remember listening and watching the late Harry Caray as he shouted "Holy Cow" at every game. I remember the first time I went to Wrigley Field and saw Caray lean from the window to sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh innning stretch. Peoria even had (or has, I don't know) a Cubs minor league team. So, now there is all this White Sox Fever and I just can't catch it.

My friend and collaborator, Dre, decided he would help me out so he sent me this email today:

Ok so by now u Cubbies have crawled out of ur caves(it is hibernation season 4 u guys right) and seen the light emmiting from the South Side by a band of 25 guys called The White Stockings....i mean SOX!!!(hey its been a long time since weve been n something called a WORLD SERIES!!!) As the only 2 Cub fans i know i offer u both this once and a lifetime offer(callers r standing by) 2 join the fun and become temporary SOX Fans. I say temporary because i know the blood in ur veins is blue and u have both been programmed by TRIBCO 2 only see Cub. But we at the Cell take all that in 2 account and give u 4 this time only(Maybe next year when we repeat) The White Sox Temp Pass. With this pass u can join the rest of the world watch BASEBALL.(honestly im not sure what they call that thing they play at that toilet on the north side) Watch a manager manage games, watch HEALTHY pitchers pitch a whole game(thats 9innings), watch guys who know how 2 bunt(and know what BUNT means) and u get the pleasure of not watching Corry Patterson. That should be reason number one 4 getting this pass. Now i know that all of this sounds foreign 2 u guys, Baseball in October. Trust me im stiil finding it hard myself. But its true. So grab the rest of the drunken frat boy society and cheer on The GO GO WHITESOX! Hurry these things r selling out faster than Dusty can chew a toothpick.



Sorry Dre, while I will always root for the hometown, I will NOT jump on the bandwagon. I didn't care about the White Sox before and today is no different.

Monday, October 17, 2005

We've Been Reviewed

SRL! pic featuring Pip, George, and Miriam
Originally uploaded by mylilpip.

It's a rave. And I am mentioned. I feel so special. One single tear flows down my right cheek and drops on my desk. I rest my chin upon my hand and purposefully place my elbow on the salt-water droplet. My eyebrows lift as my eyes widen when my arm gives out from under me. My elbow hydroplanes across the desk making me appear dowdering and foolish. I contemplate my "gayness" in that mere blink that it takes for this event to happen. In light of the "Gay_guy_and_Judy" picture, I feel compelled to tell you that I wear a blue shirt in the show and not the bright pink one you see above. The fact that the shirt is pink is not really an indictment on my sexuality. Many straight men have been sporting the pink shirts for the last several years. Usually when I see a pink shirt these days, I'm thinking, "he likes him some ladies." So that doesn't quite out me. The issue is that I am fascinated by how the hue brings out some warm skin tones yet doesn't make my eyes pop as much as the dark blue. I know you can't tell it from this sadly posed picture but trust me. And that makes me quite gay...or quite vain. Ah Vanity, thy name is Pip. Chicago Tribune: Three decades later, feet still tap for `Schoolhouse Rock'

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Happy Birthday Trentertainment

chowtime, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

Happy 37th to my buddy Trent who is currently in Korea. He is a A1 person and good guy. He let me stay in his apartment and use his car (free of charge) on my recent LA trip. Trent is a man of many talents. He has appeared on stage and in film. The photo above appeared in Hustler Magazine.

Friday, October 14, 2005

More from LA

Gay_guy_and_Judy, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

Here is a pic from the Sweet Home Illinois party I attended in LA. I didn't title this picture. The photographer, Robin Leach impersonator Tom Tully, did that. I love how he identifies me as Gay guy. At least I was in the picture. Hey, maybe that will be the title of a future Screenplay. I was able to get this photo courtesy of Joyce Sloane.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

It's Official: I'm a Desperate Housewife

It was about 11 months ago that I first met Steve. It was not love at first site. More like lust at first site. We met in the cyberworld at a gay sex site called Manhunt. You got to hand it to the gays. We know how to be direct and to the point. Anyway, we basically had a very casual relationship until this past spring when we put on some speed to become one of those people that move in together after a very brief courtship.

I have officially lived with Steve for about four months but in reality, I have been here more like six. So far...So good.

We make a pretty good team. He is crafty. I have "the flair." The dogs like me better but the neighbors like Steve better. He is young at heart and I am an old man waiting to bust out. He's in his 50s, I'm in my 30's. Again, so far...So good.

Lately though, I have been a little taken back by our domestic relationship. I'm not used to the role that I find myself in.

This past week has meant looking after the dogs by myself while juggling my "very busy career." I cleaned the refrigerator, water the plants, tended the garden, and did some minor fix-it work.

Yesterday, I spoke to our housekeeper, one Ms. "ess no prahbl-ehm" Josepha, about not touching my desk or doing laundry. And this very moment I am waiting for the carpet cleaner to come to clean some of the dog pee stains from before I even moved in here. I need to think about dinner and putting all the furniture back after the carpet cleaner leaves.

I really am a desperate housewife. Did I mention that later this week I'm making truffles? They're marijuana truffles but they are still truffles, for Christ sakes.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Willkommenes Heim Steve

Steve and Riley, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

Sorry to everyone that is not named Steve. My Steve has been in Germany for one week and I miss him...a lot. He's coming home today and I couldn't be happier. Well, I could always be happier. To the prove the point, I have an appointment at Bliss this afternoon for a facial. Facials make me happy. And massages.

I figure I should look great when Steve gets back so he won't go away again soon.

And Down At Fraggle Rock

Jerry Juhl, 67, Award-Winning Head Writer for Muppet Shows, Is Dead - New York Times

Saturday, October 08, 2005

More On Wilson

One of the best things about being in the entertainment business is the wonderful people that you get to meet along the way. Insightful directors, clever scenic artists, and brilliant writers are at the top of my list of people to meet. If you're one of the extraordinarily blessed, you may even get to work with them.

I was never fortunate enough to work with the great August Wilson (1945-2005). Although, I did appear as Sylvester, Ma's stuttering nephew and pet, in a Peoria production of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom back in 1991.

I met Mr. Wilson. Twice. The first time was in 1989. I'm guessing that date. It could be early 1990. I was in college and my professor gave a group of us tickets to see the opening of The Piano Lesson at the Goodman in Chicago. We all jumped in my car and sped the 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive from Peoria to Chicago. We arrived at the the Goodman's old space next to the Art Institute just before curtain. We also arrived just as Mr. Wilson arrived. He quietly walked towards the auditorium doors. I quickly landed on him like a piece of lint to an afro. I shook his hands more times than was socially acceptable but he smiled and looked me straight in the eyes. He listened to me ramble about what a great honor it was to meet him and a what an inspiration he was to me as a theatre artist and on. And on. And on. He thanked me for my kind words and entered the theatre because the show was about to begin. Even though my seat was pretty far back, I had come as near to Nirvana as I had ever been in the theatre.

The second meeting was in Seattle. I was touring in Showboat. We were scheduled to do six weeks at The Paramount. We lived across the street at Tower 801. This would have been August/September 1997. The movie Soul Food was opening and I wanted to take in a matinee at a small mall. I had developed a movie habit that it stills controls me. I still drank coffee then so after I purchased my ticket I went to buy coffee at a shop. I noticed a familiar face sitting at a table as I approached the shop. It was indeed Mr. Wilson having a beverage and reading a paper. He was living there. I was older and more economical in my dialogue this time around. I told him that I hoped to work with him someday but I realize that day will never come.

Godspeed Mr. Wilson.

Special note: I actually saw Mr. Wilson one other time. It was outside the new Goodman Theatre around 2000. King Hedley II was at the new Goodman Theatre and I had a "survival job" as a receptionist at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. I saw Mr. Wilson standing outside the theatre talking to the director. I didn't want to interrupt so I didn't say anything. At the time, I remember I wanted to ask him for his address so I could send him a copy of one of my plays. If I could turn back time, I would have never wasted that moment. I would have sent him that play.

So This Is Halloween

I love Halloween. I always have. It's not for the decorations. Those frighten me a bit. Especially giant plastic spiders full of fall leaves...Get a life people. Watch TV. Sorry, I lost focus. Halloween. I love the costumes. And I love the darkness. And I love candy. In that order. Here is a darkly lovely animated short for the season called The Little Girl Who Was Forgotten

Passive Aggressive Happiness

If you are feeling neglected, forgotten, or unheard than contact the good people at By Accident. They will arrange for something bad to happen to you so that other's will feel sorry for you. On it's website you can read testimonials that will inspire and uplift such as "how rape changed Wendy's life." Link courtesy of WOW

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I'm Blessed

I'm not trying to get all religious-y on y'all but I was talking to a friend from home last night that reminded me of how far I really have come. Once upon a time, I was stuck in Peoria, IL feeling like the only college educated black fag actor in the city. Wait a minute, I was the only college educated black fag actor in the city, so I got the hell out. I have been so lucky to work as an actor, a writer, and a teacher in my field of study. Still, I have had many a crap job...MANY. I have had to do menial temp work and menial acting work but I have always worked. Once I did an industrial where I had to pretend to be a worker on strike because my chair wasn't comfortable enough. Another time, I had to pretend to be an underaged drinker in a chain restaraunt training video. All of these jobs sucked but all of them paid. And none of them were like this. I'm blessed.

Run, don't walk

If you have not seen the show Transgeneration then set your VCR, DVR, viewing habits so that you can watch it. It is the most interesting thing that I have ever seen on television...Ever. It follows the life of four transgendered college students (2 MTF and 2 FTM). The show is provocative, revealing and intimate portrait of a very misunderstood group of people. We see them as students, sons, daughters, friends, and assholes. It is very real and everytime I watch I find myself saying, "I have never seen anything like this. I just didn't know."

What Is Wrong With US?

Thanks to Owengal for alerting me to this link. I am so mad right now. The state of Indiana is proposing that only married women should be allowed to reproductive therapy. They also want to make sure that if a woman has a baby, other than through sexual intercourse, that they be punished. Check it out for yourself at Booman Tribune. And watch out for the Reproduction Police.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Friday, September 30, 2005

rod 2.0:beta: The Morals Czar Speaks

Name Dropping

Here is a partial list of the stars (relatively speaking) that I saw, met, or talked to while in LA: Peter Fonda (actually saw him in his car), Tia Mowry (highly enjoyble twin actress that confirmed that an actress that I know that was a real bitch in college hasn't changed except for her bra cup size), TC Carson, Harry Lennix, George Wendt, Mary Gross, Richard Kind, Fred Willard, Judy Tenuta, Joe Mantegna, and Jim Belushi.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

More from LA

MPL203, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

I know I promised to actually talk about LA and I will but for now here is a picture from Forest Lawn Cemetary.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Back from LA LA Land

Clean in LA, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

I'm back from LA and I am soooooooooooo tired. I got home around 10:30 last night and had to be at Channel 7 studios (WLS-TV/Chicago) at 5:45 am for a promotional appearance for Schoolhouse Rock Live!

I loved being in Cali. I took some great pictures and had a great time with my friends; an eye-opening religious experience; and a blast at the Sweet Home Illinois party. I'll tell you all about it later.

Special note to LL Cool P: Vanessa from Linda Jack Talent said I was supposed to give you a great, big, tight squeeze

Saturday, September 24, 2005

LA Bound

LA Bound
LA Bound,
originally uploaded by mylilpip.
I'm heading West for a couple of days but I will return mid-week with a vengeance and a smile. I'm going to see the family and friends. I will attend the Sweet Home Illinois party and eat Chicago food in LA (I am so very blessed). Although, I'm thinking I might need a dog from Pink's.

The best part about going out of town is eating junk food because it reminds me of home where I hardly ever eat junk food...err...rarely eat it...Okay, I'm eating a Kit Kat bar right now.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Could I be the Black Martha Stewart?

MPL088, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

I won't lie. I love Martha Stewart. Hell, I'm the guy that just spent the last three days pickling and canning the last of my summertime vegetables (for more pics of my harvest click on the green tomato). I'm not a huge fan of Martha's daytime show because I think it is a mistake to put her in front of a live audience (who the fuck knows what could happen?) but I am watching it today nonethelesss. I just watched Martha do a crawfish boil with Liza Minnelli and Ben Vereen as they promoted their Broadway benefit for Hurricane Katrina victims. And there was the very gay caterer that made his original dessert. And, of course, there was the first contestant, excuse me, canidate eliminated from Martha Stewart: The Apprentice. Martha's Apprentice has been on for one episode and I am so in love. It is such a shame that it airs against America's Next Top Model. These are the only two shows with two openly gay men as regulars. Although the first gay man was thankfully let go last night on Martha's Apprentice (henceforth known as MAp). And from next week's teaser it looks like the other will jump ship voluntarily.

Why am I so fascinated with this woman? I'm really not sure. I hate "perfection." It is a state that one can strive to attain but almost never reach yet this woman does it for a living. She is as WASPy as they make them but I just dig her style.

If you didn't catch MAp, please watch next week. I love it. It is "goody-good-good."
Yes, Martha Fires Someone, but Pink Slip Is Scented - New York Times

LA, I'll see you in Two Days

I can't wait for the Sweet Home Illinois party (see ya there LL Cool P) and Los Angeles traffic.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Something Is Very Wrong in Our World

New Vatican Rule Said to Bar Gays as New Priests - New York Times


Pip Smile Headshot, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

This is the final version of my new headshot taken by photographer James Bansiak. I loved working with James and I am very pleased by my photos. This is one of about three pictures that I will use.

Check out Banasiak's website where you will see yours truly in his image gallery.

Monday, September 19, 2005

What is Wrong With US?

KKK, GSA...Same thing? I don't think so. It seems that some Red Staters have decided that a Gay-Straight Alliances are as divisive as the KKK. Here all this time I was thinking that ignorance, bigotry, exclusivism, and hatred...You know what? Forget it. Some people just don't get it.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Blues

I'm still reeling from Bryant's death on Saturday. While Chicago still is experiencing a draught, my tears keep flowing like a river. I feel like this today.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

We Have A Weiner!

ComedicTragic, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

After two weeks of looking at digital photos, I have chosen two looks to have reproduced. I present to you the lighter and darker side of Pip.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

New York, New York

New songs, new arrangements, new pianist. If you liked it in July, why... you'll just LOVE it in September! Colleen McHugh returns to the New York stage, tirelessly performing and shamelessly promoting her new album, all while continuing to refer to herself in the third-person.

Opening Tonight!

Colleen McHugh in
Tex Arnold, piano

TUESDAYS at 9:15pm
September 13 - October 11, 2005
$15 cover + $12 food/drink minimum

See you there!

Monday, September 12, 2005

A Tragic Day

It saddens me to announce that Bryant Lewellen died in a motorcycle accident Saturday night. Bryant was the boyfriend of Rebecca Jackson, my Straight & Nappy partner. Please send Rebecca your positive thoughts. I'm sure she would appreciate it.

Friday, September 09, 2005

What I have I Gotten Myself Into?

The trip to Arizona was pretty cool. The accomadations were top notch. I spent most of my time by, near, or in the pool. Late nights were spent smoking weed with more hanging by the pool. The Nintendo folks were great. They treated us like VIPs and even gave us some swag for our troubles. These weren't fancy gift bags like the folks will get at the Emmys next week but free shit is free shit. I most love my black "Chicken Little" ballcap. and now I am off to Peoria, IL, the land of my birth. I have to collect some of my belongings from Mom's attic and visit with my grandmother.

Only two weeks left before I open in Schoolhouse Rock Live! at the "new" Drury Lane Water Tower. This has been the strangest process for me. We rehearsed the show over two weeks ago and I have to maintain the music, choreography, line changes, and director notes for another two weeks before we open. I am a little nervous about this. Of course, I wouldn't be Pip if I wasn't. My acting teacher at NIU onced told me, "you just like to be scared," to which I replied, "No, I'm just good at it." I just have to keep reminding myself that I did it once, I can do it again.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Off To The Southwest

cactus, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

I have to leave out of town to perform in Scotsdale, AZ. Don't you love it? Hot! Hot! Desert! Old people!

I can't complain. I'm staying at a swank resort and performing for the good people of Nintendo. Anyway, I won't be posting again until Thursday or Friday.

Monday, September 05, 2005

This Is Still America

During the 2004 Democratic Convention, John Edwards spoke of two Americas. Last week's events down in New Orleans made this perfectly clear. Kanye West said that "Bush doesn't care about Black people," but it is more than that. The New York Times featured an article that shows how the media reacted to the aftermath of the storms. Photographers and editors took similar pictures of blacks and whites. The difference? Blacks are called looters while whites are seen as "searching for food." Interesting. Who's a Looter? In Storm's Aftermath, Pictures Kick Up a Different Kind of Tempest.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The 2005 Black Weblog Awards

I was checking out some of the winners of the 2005 Black Weblog Awards and found some great sites that I didn't know were out there including Crunk and Disorderly and of course, one of my favorite Chicagoans, Bernard. Congratulations to all the winners.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Ad of the Day

Knitting With Dog Hair : Better A Sweater From A Dog You Know and Love Than From A Sheep You'll Never Meet. A new fall project methinks.

Last Day to Vote

Today is the last day to view and cast your vote for your favorite Situation Comedy presentation. Who will it be Sperm Donor or Stephen's Life?

In the World of Technology

Anti-rape condom aims to stop attacks - Yahoo! News

Have a Good Weekend

Lucky for us Yanks that Monday is a holiday. Too bad they don't give them the day off across the pond. It seems like they may need it. Monday is favored day for British suicides - Yahoo! News

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Mind over Body

Feeling really shitty today. It happens about twice a year. May and September. Allergy attack. My head is so congested and I feel really goofy but I can't stop. I still have so much shit to do. I have to learn some lines for a corporate gig, I have write new Straight & Nappy material, I have an audition, I still have to pick out my headshot photo, and the list goes on. I finshed those other sketches but I don't like them. I have decided to drop out of the project all together. I am a little overextended as it is. I honestly can't afford to take on anymore work.

Sick or not, I have to go to a voice over audition today. I called my agent's office and told them the scoop but they were like "get your sick black ass out of the bed and go make us some money." To which I replied, "Ok." Stupid. That's the showbiz.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

And More TV

Today I was going to talk about movies. I saw Sin City last night. Loved it but I have more to say about TV.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I have been watching the reality series Situation Comedy on Bravo. My best friend Patchy and I think that Sperm Donor creators Mark Treitel and Shoe seem to be the nicest guys. I didn't vote for their show but still they seem pretty cool. Well, sure enough, Mark Treitel posted a comment on my blog. At first I thought, "cool, he really is nice." Then I did some research and found out that Mark did the same for this guy. Not that I need to feel special...I just need to know, special. Anyway, I went to Mark's site and it was pretty cool. I even found a link to a rejected script. I'm going to have some Labor Day reading, I think.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Today we Salute TV

First up is a salute to a television icon that meets a geek phenomenom in this short.
From TV past to TV present and TV future
Apperently I am the only person in America still watching Situation Comedy. The show must not be doing so hot because they moved them from Tuesday night at 8 pm central/9 pm eastern to Fridays at 6 pm/7 pm. That time slot change can't have made the producers feel so great.

I love the show. It should be shown to anyone aspiring to be in the television industry. Better to know now rather than later. Get ready for the negative, ass-kissing, hysterical, pissing contest that is Hollywood. On the positive tip, you do see nearly the whole development process of putting up a television pilot. You see "the pitch," the network meetings, the casting, the design process, the tweaking, the runthroughs, and all the bullshit. Again, I love it.

It would be lovely if every show was put on television based on the quality of the product but that is not what television is about. It is about getting stars on a program so that the networks can sell advertising time. Entertainment is all a crapshoot. I can easily entertain myself watching my dogs but Ford can't sell you a car while I do that. Instead, someone comes up with an idea where two families have a dog live with them and we get to see which home is best for the dog. While we wait for the drama to play out, Eukanuba sells you expensive dog food.

I will continue to watch the TV. I am insanely excited about the new fall season. And when I say insane, I mean like I should be medicated because I need some new TV. I need my Everybody Hates Chris, I want to see Martha's new show, I want more America's Next Top Model, Give me more Amazing Race, more Project Runway (thank you Bernard for turning me on to this), I could do this for hours.

Until the new shows come, I still have my Situation Comedy which ends this week. I watched the presentation of the two shows and voted. Which would you choose?

Monday, August 29, 2005

It's Monday...Morning...Eww! I don't have to leave the house for "work" today but I do have to write three sketches by Wednesday. There is going to be a lot of tea being brewed around here and a lot less Vicodin. The glorious days of wake and bake are being replaced by "bacon days," those are days that I have to "make the bacon" on my own time. I know I can do this. I do it all the time. If I can write two scenes a day, I can edit them on Wednesday and poof...It's that easy....Oh, my ass is in T-R-O-U-B-L-E!

Yesterday was Steve's B-day (plus LL Cool Ps and her other part White Shaft). To celebrate his significant number of years on the planet, we spent the day antiquing. I know antiquing is sooooooooooo gay but that is what he wanted to do, so we did. But not before having breakfast with friends at Breakfast Club. I love spending time with Steve.

We walked all over creation looking at doors, tables, fireplace mantels (although we dont' have a fireplace), carvings, dishes, jewelry, etc. We hardly bought anything but we looked at EVERYTHING. Steve was so sweet. About half-way through our day, Steve looked at me to see if I was into what we were doing. At the time, I kind of was...but mostly...wasn't and I told him so. I also told him that I wanted to spend the day with him and if antiquing was what he wanted to do then that is what I wanted to do. I wuv him. He's the best. He has supported me in all my artistic endeavors. I had to put in my time for the dude.

Steve wore me out dragging me from the Chicago Antique Market to a speciality store and then another.

For dinner we headed to Asado to consume massive quantities of meat. After that we chilled at the crib with my current Netflix pick, Chinatown (I gave it 4 stars). Following the movie we talked a bit and then...collapsed, or at least I did. I don't know how Steve has so much energy. He did forward me a link for gay fuel, maybe that will help me keep going, and going, and going.

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Friday, August 26, 2005

What's Better than Live Jazz? Free Live Jazz

Petterino's presents

August 30th, 31st & September 1st
Shows at 6pm & 8pm

No cover, no minimum,
with Petterino's great bar and dinner menu available
Musical Director Beckie Menzie, and Bassist Geoffrey Lowe
Guest vocalists Tom Michael, Beckie Menzie, Foiled Again and more!
Celebrating the release of Colleen's debut CD
"Songs of Self Delusion"

Petterino's Restaurant
150 N. Dearborn - 312.422.0150

Thursday, August 25, 2005

More Fun from My Shoot

_MG_1156, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

This shot is one I will not use but I love it because Iron Chef is in the background. This looks like I'm being interviewed by Vanity Fair.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Scariest and Most Honest Ad on the Web

Be A Witness

Headshot Choices

James Banasiak, Photographer, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

I had such a great time at my photoshoot the other day. The morning started out a little tense. Steve didn't sleep very well the night before due to my tossing and turning in preparation for facing the one-eyed monster (get your mind out of the gutter, I'm talking about the camera). Turns out there was nothing to fear.

When I got up on Monday, I had my usual cup of tea followed by a Vicodin. The Vicodin helped...A lot, after it got into my system, I took a long bath, gave myself a facial and pressed my clothes for the shoot.

My friend Stephanie came over for a quick lunch. Stephanie and I have come up with a great way to deal with the stress of being busy as a famous celebrity without actually being famous--you need an assistant. We have started our own assistant exchange program. She assisted me all day Monday for my photoshoot and I will be her personal assistant on some future date. It was a lot of fun (and the Vicodin helped).

We made our way to James', the photographer, studio. James turned out to be a really great person. He immediately made me feel comfortable, relaxed and at ease. He offered me water, juice, and liquor. Yeah! We love James. Stephanie REALLY loved James. I have to admit that James is a total hottie and Stephanie was drooling from the minute we walked into the door. Hilarious. The studio is located in the Rush/Division area of Chicago near where Stephanie performs at Jilly's tonight and every Wednesday night. "I sing right down there," She mentioned at least half a dozen time followed by a coy giggle. Again, I say Hilarious.

My make-up artist, Angela, was also a dream. She did a solid job and worked very quickly. She also put me at ease and was a lot of fun to be with for hours and hours.

I brought along a posse with me to the shoot. Originally it was going to just be Stephanie to keep me calm. You are supposed to be energetic but not nervous during photoshoots (like performing) but it does just not seem normal to have your picture taken all day long. So, Steve and Iron Chef dropped by the studio too.

I burned a two CDs for the shoot and we listened to them while we drank, laughed, and took pictures. My photoshoot went from 1 pm to 6 pm but it was totally worth it. I have so many great shots to choose from. I can't wait to show these to my agent.