Sunday, January 30, 2005

Dedicated to Bernard

Project Runway fans listen up. This isn't the first time that I have heard this rumor. Austin's No Spring Chicken.

We Still Matter

College Republicans Plan 'Straight Pride Week'. Notice the quote, "I'm proud, and I'm straight and I guess white..."

Perfectly Planned to Open Black History Month,

It was 140 years ago today that the House passed a bill for the Abolition Of Slavery

A Wee Bit of Fun

Let's lighten things up a bit. No Religion. No gay talk. Just cheap celebrity baiting.Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston Sing Usher's "My Boo"! Courtesy of LiquidGeneration

Super March for Jesus

I finally saw the movie Ray last night. While the acting was great, the film was your standard musician's biopic. Great genius comes up from nothing to become a huge success while being a womanizer and drug addict.

There was a small scene in the movie that stood out to me. I believe it was meant to be a brief flash of the kind of person Ray Charles was behind the scenes. The scene takes place in a small room in New York City. Ray is listening to gospel music and reading the bible when Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic records offers him a recording contract. Upon Mr. Ertegun's arrival, Ray loses his temper because he is "at church." I loved that moment. Here is this guy all alone in his tiny apartment having church, feeding his own spiritual needs in a way that seems appropriate to him.

Now on the other end of the spectrum is the Super March for Jesus held yesterday in Jacksonville in honor of the upcoming Super Bowl. Here we have a complete spectacle devoid of any real spiritual significance but loaded with political muscle and outright tasteless showiness. Ronald McDonald would be a more suitable center for this parade than the christ. Ask yourself Jacksonville, FL: Would Jesus really march in this parade?

A Society of Winners

The New Social Etiquette: Friends Don't Let Friends Dial Drunk. When I'm drunk, the last thing I want to do is talk on the phone.

Good News of the Day

U.S. Is Close to Eliminating AIDS in Infants, Officials Say

The We Matter Award of the Day

APT pulled 'Buster' show before PBS You have to give it to Alablama (although PBS punked out too). Alabama is committed. Comitted to closed minds and cold hearts. You go Alabama. No Civil Rights for anyone.

Boston PBS will air the Buster "Lesbian episode" but no word yet here in Chicago.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

We Still Matter

Another reason for coming out, especially black men and women. We can't stay in the closet while our own people are looking to marginalize us and shut us up for good. I can't believe with all the social and economic problems in America's black community that gay rights would even be on their radar. Thank goodness for Jesse Jackson. Black Baptists forge agenda

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Other White Meat

Mock customers to monitor French Quarter. I'm glad to see that the New Orleans Human Relations Commision is trying to be proactive. However, if the racist business practicioner know that there will be mock customers coming, will it be an effective long term solution to the problem or will the bars just be cautious until this whole story blows over? The whole thing seems like a knee jerk reaction.

Of course, something has to be done because there are some serious racist out there trying to poison another generation.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

All My Rowdy Caffeinated Friends Are Coming Over Tonight

Anheuser -Busch Launches Souped - Up Beer

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

You Better Ask Somebody

One of my never miss daily blog reads is Sex and the Second City. For the last couple of days, Bernard has posted a really interesting and controversial topic regarding GWMs that chase Black men. His latest entryDon't Count My Teeth is well thought out and worth a read.

While I am talking about daily blog reads, I want to acknowledge some new links added in the last month to my site. I feel fortunate to have all kinds of friends and I have never had a shortage of "gal pals." Two of them are linked here Lotti and Sarah.

I have been black all my life (was that redundant?) and openly gay for about 15 years but I don't have nearly enough gay black friends except on-line so please welcome Karsh, Bernard, The Love Hater, and Smiling on the DL. Yes, my friends have heard me rant and rant about how much I hate the Down Low, which is just UrbanSpeak for closeted. I have spent so much time and energy trying to make myself visible as a gay man of color, it hurts me that others want to hide. But this brother is ready to cross over soon, I can feel it. Plus it is always good to listen to the other side and "meet people where they are."

And last but not least, a straight black brother that makes me laugh, The Brutha Code.

There will be more changes yet on Uptempo Orpheus. So stay tuned MoFos.

Mmmm Salary Gap...Doh!

Homer Simpson
Homer Simpson,
originally uploaded by mylilpip.
When I got my first job in the 1980s, I think minimum wage was $3.35 an hour. Now the federal minimum wage is $5.15 per hour ($6.50 in Illinois but $2.65 in Kansas).

Krispy Kreme to pay new CEO $760 per hour

Now It Has 2001 Uses

It seems those crafty Brits have found a new use for WD-40. I don't have tons of experience with the cocaine but might I suggest to the cokeheads (how 1980s) that they use the back of their hand, which may or may not be cleaner than a bar toliet (eww!), for their snort.

Straight and Nappy Loo

Straight and Nappy Loo
Originally uploaded by mylilpip.

This is the first publicity photo from my new show "Straight and Nappy presents Straight and Nappy." The show opens March 26th and runs Saturdays at 9 pm in Donny's Skybox, 4th floor Piper's Alley, Chicago.

Straight and Nappy is Rebecca Jackson and Pip Lilly.

I Got You

originally uploaded by mylilpip.
I got up extra early this morning to watch the Academy Award Nominations being announced live from Hollywood. Why the excitement? I knew that Jamie Foxx would be nominated for two Oscars this year. And sure enough, he was.

As a celebrity, I would rather have nothing to do with him but as a talent...Jamie Foxx is a great talent. He can act; he can do stand-up; he can sing; and he can play the piano.

Jim Carrey, eat your heart out. Congratulations Jamie Foxx!

Monday, January 24, 2005

Make 'Em Laugh

Comics love to talk together about what is funny. Johnny Carson said, "If it makes you laugh, it's funny." This is a base truth but there are still rules to comedy.

Everyone thinks they have a great sense of humor but in fact most of us don't. I am in comedy and people tell me that they love to laugh, they do it all the time, they have an "off-beat" sense of humor, blah, blah, blah.

Here are a few things you may or may not know about humor and laughter:

1. Most people don't realize that most laughter is mostly involuntary. That's right. It is an emotional response that scientists are still trying to figure out. So far they know other people's laughter is a trigger for personal laughter. Ever wonder why you don't always laugh alone but you double over in a crowded movie theater or comedy club? This is why they add laugh tracks to sitcoms.

2. Laughter is not a uniquely human experience. Other primates laugh too. We are not smarter creatures because we laugh.

3. We are not born with good senses of humor. A sense of humor has to be developed much like a sophisticated palette or an ear for music.

4. Comedy is local. Which is to say that if the joke or situation has no meaning to you, than it won't be funny. That is why some jokes don't cross cultural boundaries. I am in the comedy field and it drives me crazy when my white colleagues tell me a joke (about black culture) is not funny when I know that it would kill with a black audience. Ironically, white (over-generalization alert) comics get more mileage from their jokes because we live in a predominately white society/culture in America. In other words, other races know white culture better than the reverse.

There are some jokes that are universal. They are usually the basest form: fart jokes, falling down, getting beat up, sex, etc. These things translate in every culture.

So, how do you know if you really have a good sense of humor? Here are the traits that I think define a person with a good sense of humor.

1. An ability to laugh at one's self. Notice I did not say at one's own joke but at one's self. If you can't find humor when you are the "butt of the joke," then you probably don't have a good sense of humor. You are too sensitive and self-involved, and possibly delusional. When you are the "butt of the joke," whether accidental or through teasing, most people don't take it that seriously. It means nothing to the jokester, don't give it power as the jokee (for lack of a better or real word).

2. An ability to see humor that is not part of your own traditional culture. If you are a black man and you only find black comics funny then you probably have a terrible sense of humor. If you are gay and only "gay comedy" tickles your funny bone, then you probably have an awful sense of humor. This applies to whatever cultural "niche" to which you belong. So, if you are a white supremacist, try listening to Dave Chappelle sometime and lighten up.

3. An ability to laugh when alone. This one is tough because laughter is very social. Some people may think that if you laugh when you are alone, you may be psychotic. This may be true and if so, I need to see a doctor because I do it all the time.

Good Advice From a Jerk
There is a saying that "Beauty is where you find it." The same can be said for wisdom. William Safire is a stone cold jerk but this article, Op-Ed Columnist: How to Read a Column, in the NYT is wonderful.

It is important to remind ourselves that talent and opinion are two different things. I have to respect his talent as a writer even though I hate his opinions. Just for good measure, here are some other Safire Rules for Writers.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Farewell Johnny

originally uploaded by mylilpip.
Johnny Carson, America's Late-Night Host for Decades, Dies. He was the best in the business. How ironic, that last night I saw Rich Little do his famous Carson impersonation. After Mr. Little's set, we all talked about the greatness that of Mr. Carson. I am floored that today he is gone. There are very few celebrity entertainers that move me to tears at their death (unless I personally know them). The last celeberity death to move me to tears was Madeline Kahn but I weep at the loss of Johnny Carson.
PTL: The Next Generation
The Punk-Christian Son of a Preacher Man. This is actually a very interesting article. I love the dichotomy of his life. The teenage alcoholic, Gap employee, punk band, good tipper, son of a gay icon.
Walking in the Sun
I just returned this morning from West Palm Beach, Florida. Last night, I performed at the Trump International Golf Club in honor of a very wealthy man's 65th birthday. I was performing with Second City Communications (aka BizCo). We were on the same bill as legendary impressionists and stand-up Rich Little. I did not attend the famous wedding. As a matter of fact, I was no where near it. Mr. Little had the best line of the evening when he quipped that he wasn't invited to Trump's wedding but he would "catch the next one." Even though Trump had all the celebs at his wedding, this party was not lacking in millionaires and fancy-pants. Even former President Bill Clinton was in attendance. If you don't know it, I loooooooove Bill Clinton. Just being in the same vicinity as him gives me goose-pimples. I voted for him twice and, if allowed, would have voted for him again despite "the lie" and The Defense of Marriage Act (why did you do it Bill?).

I didn't think we were going to make it to West Palm. The weather in Chicago has been less than ideal. The snow started Friday and continued on and off even until this morning. When I left my apartment at 5:30 am yesterday there was at least a foot of snow. "There is no way we are going to get to Florida this morning," I thought. My hired driver forced his way through unplowed Rogers Park streets and then slid and skidded down Lake Shore Drive to The Second City where we met up as a cast. Fortunately, I was wrong about making it to FL. We took a Southwest flight direct from Chicago to Ft. Lauderdale. At FLL, a stretch limo drove the seven of us to West Palm.

When I left Chicago, it was windy and snowy. The weather in West Palm was a perfect 77 degrees Fahrenheit/25 Celsius and sunny. I wish I could have enjoyed more of it but I had to go immediately to a tech rehearsal (sound check, entrances and exits, light cues and such).

After our rehearsal, I had about 3 hours of down time. I took a nice long stroll; took a nice short nap; and had a nice hot shower. I got dressed for the show and met the rest of the group in the hotel lobby. We had didn't ride a stretch to the party but in a sleek black "church van." The chauffeur was a tall and gorgeous black man with a Caribbean accent. We arrived back at the golf club and exited the van onto the red carpet. It was pretty cool and kind of glamorous (except the van part).

We spoke to Rich Little for a bit after his set and then it was back to the hotel. I phoned my best friend Dan G in Brooklyn to check in on him because of the Nor'Easter happening in the New England area. I was on the phone with him forever. After what was around 90 minutes on the phone, I finally got off. I watched a half hour of SNL and went to bed.

Our call time was 4:20 am in the hotel lobby. We departed in another van for the West Palm airport. We boarded a Delta flight to ATL. After we arrived in Atlanta, we connected to a flight to ORD. A limo then took us back to Second City.

After a brief stop at the Mexican market, I made my way home. I am tired and I am going to take a hot bath while listening to Whitney Houston's The Preacher's Wife soundtrack (did you guys forget that I was a tiny black fag?) followed by a nice mid-afternoon nap.

Friday, January 21, 2005

I'm supposed to leave in the morning for West Palm Beach, FL to perform at a swank club for the birthday of the owner of a NHL hockey team. It is kind of hard to believe that we will be able to leave Chicago. It is snowing...A lot. And it is not supposed to stop. I really want to get down to Florida. I am not a big fan of the state of Florida but I really could use some great weather and this weekend happens to be the wedding of Donald Trump. I could care less about meeting or even seeing Trump. I once spotted him in NYC and...whatever. However, his wedding guest list is the who's who of international celebs. I can't wait to see who I see when I see whomever I see if I get to see anyone because IT WON'T STOP SNOWING.
Lackawanna Blues coming soon
I am so excited about this new project coming to HBO in February.
Keep Your Pudding Pop to Yourself
Police probe Cosby 'touching' allegation. Cos says the allegations are "utterly preposterous." I thinks the Cos doth protest too much. While I do not know firsthand, he has a reputation, in comedy and showbiz circles, of being a bit of a womanizer. Let's see how this plays out.
We Still Matter
After reading Conservatives Pick Soft Target: A Cartoon Sponge in the New York Times, I thought about changing this category to "Why Do We Matter?" Note to right wingers, leave the gays alone. Aren't you guys supposed to be busy hating Muslims or something? Get your priorities straight. Remember, you heard it hear first kids: Racism is the way to go, not homophobia. You can check out more about this story in The Chicago Tribune
We Still Matter, Pt 2
Editorial: The Price of Homophobia Perhaps the Penatagon should see The Second City's new show Red Scare. Actor/writer Brian Gallivan (a tall and talented hottie) has written a funny monologue about gays in the military. It is entitled "Don't Leave, Don't Leave."

Thursday, January 20, 2005

When in Doubt, Clean the Closet Out

Originally uploaded by mylilpip.

I was so lost and so sad in the fall of 1998.

First, there was the day I returned from London to Chicago - October 12, 1998. It was also the day that Matthew Shepard died. I remember because there were so many memorials and I had no clue what was happening. Once my friends explained to me what had happened it saddened me deeply.

Less than two weeks later, Hurricane Mitch caused devastating floods in Central America.

Less than two weeks after that I turned 30 years old. Although I planned to move to New York to continue my career in theatre, I decided to stay in Chicago. I moved into a studio apartment. I was unemployed, lost, and depressed. Special Note: My actual 30th birthday was a really good night. I went to the opening of the musical Ragtime at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago. I was also a special guest at one of the largest and swankiest opening night theatre parties that I had ever attended with great food and an open bar.

I had to get over my depression. I couldn't bring back Matt Shepard. I couldn't turn back the hand of time although I briefly considered lying about my age. What I could do was try to help the flooding victims of Hurricane Mitch. So, I gathered up 2 bags of clothes and a full box of shoes to give the Red Cross. The clothing was a great idea. It did make me feel better for a short while.

I am still waiting to see some sort of follow-up on the national news about Hondurans after the flood. I expect to see some Central American teen wearing some fabulous 90's vintage YMLA shirt (yes, in my early days of fagdom, no shirt was tight enough or shiny enough for me). I have to say that I still miss my shoes. Of all the sacrifices that I have ever made, giving up my Ferragamos, Keds, and Converse All-Stars has to be one of the greatest.

Please continue to donate to victims of the Christmas Tsunami and don't forget those in Somalia.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Suicide Pt 1
I found out two days ago that, Cory, a former co-worker of mine took his own life last week (01/11/05). Suicide is always such a strange topic and I actually have some odd thoughts on the subject. The super liberal part of me wants to say that everyone has a right to live their life (or end their life) as long as they don't intentionally hurt anyone else. But that's just it, you can't end your life without hurting someone else. I should say that Cory was someone that I didn't like at all. As a matter of fact, I couldn't stand the man. He was walking poison. He was deceitful. He was manipulative. He was awful. My friend Paul S. always stood up for this guy. He knew that he was in a lot of pain. I knew he was in a lot of pain too but I realized that only he could take the steps to heal that pain. He never took those steps. He chose the coward way out (this is the conservative part of me talking now). But at least his pain is over.

I have to say that even in death, Cory annoys me. Angers me is probably more accurate. The news of his death upset my friend Paul S. deeply and I don't like people to hurt my friends. This may be awful to say but in life this guy was a self-centered, manipulative prick. And his death mirrors his life.
Suicide Pt. 2
Film captures suicides on Golden Gate Bridge

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Monday, January 17, 2005

No Commentary Necessary
Chicago Tribune: Wartime gala cause for conflict
Run, Pip, Run
Everyone always says that "busy is good." I suppose there is a lot of truth to the statement. When I am busy, I don't have the time to get into much trouble. You know, idle hands...Devil's workshop, blah, blah, blah. Last week was my first full week "back to work" in 2005. There were a lot of meetings; three corporate performances for Second City Communications a.k.a. BizCO; rehearsal, producing stuff, and writing sessions for Straight and Nappy, my comedy duo; and rehearsals for WORDS , another project that I'm involved with at The Second City.

This week is no exception. There are more meetings, six to be exact. There are production photos for STRAIGHT AND NAPPY. There are recruiting expos for an after-school program in which I teach. There is a consulting job that I am doing for a friend. There are more writing and rehearsal sessions for STRAIGHT AND NAPPY. There is a rehearsal for a BizCo that takes me to West Palm Beach this weekend to perform. Plus my roommate and his two little dogs return tomorrow. Breathe...Breathe...Breathe.

At least it beats unemployment...sometimes.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

See This Movie

Originally uploaded by mylilpip.

My Mom is visiting this weekend from Peoria. Yesterday, we ate at The Bagel at Old Orchard Shopping Center. We watched Amelie on DVD. I fixed dinner: Chicken Mole, Spanish rice, black beans, and Mexican corn bread.

Today, Mom went with me while I rehearsed for my new show entitled Straight and Nappy.

After my rehearsal, we made our way to Evanston to see Hotel Rwanda starring Don Cheadle. This is one of the most important movies that I have seen in years. First, this is a story that was not told well or often enough in America. I remember hearing a news blurb about genocide and civil war in Rwanda but I knew nothing about what was going on there. Over a period of 100 days, almost one million Rwandans were murdered. As I sat in the movie theatre, I couldn't help but wonder how did this information slip by me? I tell you how. The western world didn't care because it was happening in Africa.

Please, please, please see this movie. A portion of the proceeds for this film will go to help Rwandan refugees that are still displaced from this awful human tragedy.

That would be Star Jones REYNOLDS
To Stop Star Jones Petition
The Pot vs. Kettle
Madonna says American Idol is "bad.". How funny is that after hearing her woofing out Lennon's "Imagine" on the Tsunami Relief Concert last night. I used to love Madonna but now she is a humorless, conservative, know-it-all, judgemental heifer. I still love Ray of Light but hate me some Madonna. Shut up Bitch.

I Thought It Was Supposed to Shrink

Originally uploaded by mylilpip.
I am not a size queen, a person that is obsessed with the size of a man's penis. However, I am a fan of Owen Wilson. I think he is funny and a good writer as well. Still, I had to pause at this photo. Wow, two dick jokes in one day.

Photo courtesy of Defamer


originally uploaded by mylilpip.
I made a conscious decision to lay off the weed in 2005 and so far so good. It was nature that caused me to develop the flu and as a by-product, I stopped smoking nicotine cigarettes.

There are fairly immediate advantages to smoking cessation such as an improved sense of smell and more energy.

But the one I like best is the return of my morning hard-on. To be honest, I hadn't really noticed that it was gone until it returned. Thank goodness for small favors. Well, it's not that small really...Okay, it's small but it's hard.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

From Their Tiny Cold Dead Hands
Janitor brought loaded gun to school, cops say


words, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

I have been involved with Chicago's famed Improv/Sketch Comedy Troupe The Second City for four years now. I have been a member of the National Touring Company. I have understudied and performed on the ETC and Mainstage show. I have taught through the training center both on and off-site.

Now I will be performing with the Outreach and Diversity arm of The Second City and I couldn't be more excited. The name of the show is WORDS. And my comedy duo, Straight and Nappy, is one of the featured guests.

I had a rehearsal for it last night and there are really talented brothers and sisters participating this year (as in past years).

The show will be at 9 pm Saturdays in February.

And as an added bonus, the man in the picture is me.

Friday, January 14, 2005

So Your Guy didn' t Win
In the Quest for the Presidency Build Your Own Candidate
The Price of Freedom
The price of freedom is letting the other side have their say. Even if I think they are completely off their MoFo rockers and living in another reality.

Two Weeks and Counting

originally uploaded by mylilpip.
Today marks 14 straight days that I have been marijuana-free. This may not be important to anyone else but it is a significant milestone for me. The last time I went this long without weed was...was...was...a loooooooooooong time ago. I'm feeling groovy anyhow.
Once Again, We Matter
Pentagon reveals rejected chemical weapons . And you won't believe what this bomb does.
Game Time
Guess the Character! - See if the computer can guess which film/TV character you are!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

How Does It Feel?
I only heard last night about D'Angelo's DUI arrest. Please brother, get off the shit and get back to the studio. Please.
At Least I'm Not a Jackson
Janet Jackson reportedly wears a penis around her neck

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Rent a Negro
I wish I had thought of this: rent-a-negro.

It is a very clever commentary on our society. I have found myself cast as the "token negro" for over 20 years now. I never thought about making money off of it.
My 2005 calendar
Anyone that has known me for 10 years or more knows that I have never bought a calendar before the new year begins. Mostly because they are always 50% off after the first of the year.

**Once in 1994 I bought a 1995 giant office wall calendar from Crate and Barrel but only because I got an employee discount. That calendar was also more for decorative purposes**

The risk you run when you buy your calendar after the first is that you have to take whatever is left in the store. This doesn't bother me. The only thing I can't abide in calendar art is the standard hunky guy or models in skivvies type of calendar. I'm in my mid-30s, not college and I don't work in a garage. On top of that, I am an actor. I see good looking hunky guys all the time and I am not impressed. I will however buy a calendar that is..."out there."

Last year, I bought a 2004 Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy calendar. I loved it and it came with stickers. A big bonus.

This year I wondered into Borders and bought what may be the best calendar ever manufactured. It is guaranteed to make me chuckle and make my family and friends scratch their heads in wonderment. It is the Long Tom Grange Goes to Town 2005 calendar. Proceeds benefit education in Junction City, OR. A place that I have been if you can believe it.

I know. I know. Don't be jealous.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

In the Gays Keep Ruining Everything/I Matter Category for Today
Alabama House considers bill prohibiting gay art


Originally uploaded by mylilpip.
This photo appeared in today's Chicago Tribune with the caption "Bent but not broken." It is by Chicago Tribune Photographer David Klobucar.

I love this photo because it is one of those great moments where art, nature, and human experience meet. Who hasn't felt bent over? Weighted down? Frozen in place? Yet we remain intact knowing that when the thaw comes we have a chance to rise up and be majestic again.
Always the Last Negro to Know
There is this phenomenon happening on many blogs called 101 Things To Do in 1001 Days. I am so intrigued by the idea of this project. I may come up with my own list soon. Stay tuned.
7 More Days
until my favorite talent competition

But only 5 Days
Until the cooking begins

Monday, January 10, 2005

That Thong, Thong, Thong
See Kozo
One Work Day Down
Well...I made it. I performed to the best of my abilities and it didn't kill me.

Tonight I performed with Second City Communications at The Ritz-Carlton (Chicago). I had never been there. The lobby was only so-so, the staff was not as friendly as some of the other 4-star hotels but the Northern view was great.

The cast was top-notch. It featured four current Second City resident company members, one resident company alum, and two TourCo alums (including myself).

Despite the way I felt when I woke up this morning, I found myself becoming more and more energetic as the evening progressed. When we performed around 8:30 pm, I was ready to go. The show was not the best in my opinion but I felt like I gave it all I had when I was onstage and that is all I can be responsible for. Basically, I got my laughs and that made it worth my time. Plus I got paid.

I'm hoping that this means that I am on the mends. I better be because I have a very busy schedule this week. I have a meeting tomorrow. I have to do a lot of writing. I have three meetings on Wednesday. And I have two more corporate theatre shows this week, one Thursday and one Friday. AND THEN, my Mom is tentatively coming for the weekend.
Gays Still Making a Difference
Supreme Court Lets Florida Gay Adoption Ban Stand. Sorry Rosie.
Still Under the Weather
I have been feeling ill for about 8 days now so hopefully this stuff will be done soon. I don't have the chest congestion and coughing anymore. It is all head congestion and sinus aches now. Everything is still "flowing" and there doesn't seem to be any infection, so that is all good.

I am pretty proud of myself for buckling down and taking care of myself this weekend. Sometimes you have to stop fighting the flow and just ride it. That is what I did. I stopped pretending I wasn't sick. I identified what was wrong and started dealing with it. I have done the humidifier, the bed rest, the clear liquids, the abstinence (liquor, drugs, and men), and the vitamin boost. Now, I just want some results. I have a lot of work to do this week.

A big thank you to my friend Roz for getting my ass out of bed this morning. I would still be sleeping and I would not be hydrating if not for her. I have a show this evening at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago so I really need to get myself together. My call this afternoon is around 3 pm and I am not backing out of this job. This is my first paid acting gig of 2005 and I need the money. I have two other shows booked this week plus a variety of meetings (I hate meetings) and a rehearsal for my own show. I'm going to repeat my mantra: I am strong, I can do this. I am strong, I can do this...

Sunday, January 09, 2005

We'll Have a Gay Ol' Time
The Gay & Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands I don't even want to go. I just want the gay passport.
I am going to buy this brother's books immediately. Finally, someone has been able to put my experiences and thoughts into actual words. He must be a good writer. The only way I could express these feelings has been through comedy. Speaking of comedy, I have a deadline. I should be writing scenes and not my blog. Bye, Bye.
Feeling Sick Stinks
But this blog entry lets me know that it could always be worse.

Helix Nebula

Helix Nebula, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

I set this as the new wallpaper on the computer. It is stunning and amazing. It is just a bunch of gases but it looks like an eye. Oh the wonders of outer space.

Cry Me a Fuckin' River
Dad made me junkie. Play that tune on this(scroll down to pic).

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Jerry! Jerry!
For my best friend's birthday last year, I bought him the complete CD recording of Jerry Springer - The Opera along with a souvernir program. Now, despite what you may think of the subject matter, it is actually a very well written and performed show. The music is better than anything currently playing on Broadway with maybe the exception of Hairspray (sorry, I really loved that one) and that means a lot coming from me. Despite my years of professional experience in the musical theatre, I don't like it that much. That is why I am now in comedy. I can appreciate the art form because I understand how much work is required to do it well and please the skeptics such as myself.

It is hilarious to me that London is having such problems because of last night's airing of the Springer musical on BBC2. BBC braced for Springer criticism Christians: when will they learn that they can't control what everyone else wants to see.
Cover that Pussy
Home Depot Offers Pet Insurance
A Bit of Fun

In the year 2005 I resolve to:

Stop making silly resolutions.

Get your resolution here

I found this link via
A Reality Show that I'm Sure to Miss
Travel the Road
Well...At least the gays can't marry
In my continuing effort to bash President Bush, I present this golden nugget: For Unemployed, Wait for New Work Grows Longer
Still Ill
The phlegm continues but at least it is moving. It is the coughing that is driving me mad. That and the crazy dizziness whenever I move my head too fast. I guess there won't be any get down partying tonight. I just got off the phone with my best friend and I hope to still see him tomorrow but it is not looking too good. Mucus remains mostly clear but is turning yellowish. I continue to drink my white tea and watch bad movies.
A sell-out confirms his price
TV Host Says U.S. Paid Him to Back Policy
Now this seems interesting
Was Lincoln Gay?
Please don't
Rod Stewart: Sir Elton John, Rod Stewart and Robbie Williams In Tsunami Recording.

Is this our answer to everything? A tragedy happens, gotta get in the studio. People don't know how to help unless we make an album for them to buy? If people don't know how to help without buying an album then those people are idiots. And isn't the point of charity to give without the forethought of receiving something in return? People should give without wanting some thrown together cover song for their efforts. It is not economical either. Think of the production costs of making the recording. Fuck that. Give that money to people in need.

Friday, January 07, 2005

11 More Days
America's favorite talent show is coming back.
OK Body, You win.
I hate being sick and I have so many things to do right now. When I am ill, I become this helpless emotional wreck. Most men do it seems. The bigger the man, the bigger the baby.

I woke up New Years Day feeling kinda low. I figured it was from too much vodka and my recent decision to take a weed hiatus. But on the 7th day...I just had to admit it. I am sick. I have been getting around OK all week and I got some spice left in me now but not much. I feel crappy. Mostly just a head and chest cold. Up until today, everything was clear but this afternoon I coughed up something that looked like an aborted alien fetus. Not good. My sinus passages are killing me (especially the right side) and I would push my grandmother down a flight of stairs to stop this hacking cough. I have been doing the clear liquids thing and drinking some Pai Mu Tan that I purchased at The Urban Tea Lounge in Uptown.

This has got to clear up. I got stuff to do. I have a show to write. There is a big birthday bash on the south side tomorrow for my comedy duo partner Rebecca and our friend Maya. Can't miss that. And my best friend is zooming in and out of Chi from NY this weekend. I hope to see him on Sunday. But for tonight, the body wins. It gets total rest, and more liquids. I guess I picked a good time to lay off the weed.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Another One BITES the dust
I usually stay away from reporting about my romantic/personal life but I am going to take a stab it tonight. I seem to be in some crazed serial dating pattern. I have been out as a gay man since I was 21 that is a good 15 years worth of men. In that entire time I have never sustained a relationship with a man for more than 10 months. There...My secret is out. I received a lot of shit from some of my friends: Why can't you commit?; When are you going to settle down?; What the fuck is wrong with you? The answer to all the questions is "I have no clue."

One of my problems is that I never knew what I wanted in a relationship until I was in my 30s. When I was in my 20s, I just wanted someone cute on my arms and someone feisty in my bed. Around 30 - 31 years old, I was tired of playing the field and I just wanted to settle down. Period. I wanted to find my "soulmate." I dated a guy named Alan. Alan and I were not soulmates but we did enjoy smoking weed and making out. It worked for me but not for Alan. He broke up with me in coffee shop in Peoria because he thought a public place would keep me from getting emotional. He was so wrong.

Since Alan, I have dated many, many, many men. I took a break from dating for over two years actually while I toured with the Second City National Touring Co. TourCo didn't give me much time or money for a romantic life. And in the world of comedy, out gay men are a rarity.

I never really had a type. I mean there are certain characteristics that I find appealing. I like tall. I like good skin. I like a great smile. I love great eyes. I appreciate a shapely behind. Race has not been that big of a deal until recently. Recently, I have decided that I need to settle down with a man of color. I figured that part of my bad track record had to do with all of the white guys that I had dated. I had to blame it on something and I wasn't ready to blame it on myself.

I'm rambling...I know...I'm getting to the meat (no pun intended). About two weeks ago, I met a really nice, sweet, southern, light-skinned Black guy that hit on me in a department store on Michigan Ave. I'll call him Timothy. Timothy and I went out a couple of times and he was playing the seduction game HARD. He told me when I first met him that he was "involved" but it wasn't going anywhere and he wanted to see other people. I was game. He gave me more seduction. AND THEN, I was told, by Timothy, that the person he was "involved" with was really a boyfriend that he lived with. I told him that I really couldn't take a relationship any further with him until he was out of the present one. He laid on some stuff about not getting what he needed and not feeling loved in his relationship and how needed more. I was ready to give him more but then he got really weird on me. His boyfriend had been out of town for the holidays and when he returned, Timothy was like a different person. As a matter of fact, we will now call him Tony. Timothy GOOD. Tony BAD. Timothy was loving and seductive. Tony is defensive and demanding.

I saw Timothy/Tony tonight. He gave me an ultimatum. That's right, the guy cheating on his boyfriend gave me an ultimatum. "Do you want to be just friends or not?" I chose not. And another bites the dust.
Here we go again...
Another example of a traditionally Black-owned business marketed to Black people and owned by white people. Time Warner Unit to Buy Publisher of Two Magazines
3:15 Am
I can't sleep. I am wide awake and the only thing on my mind is this: George W. Bush is an intolerable jackass and the idea that he will be sworn in for 4 more years scares the shit of me. That's it. No links. No Gimmicks. I have never said that before. I have always stood on the outside and looked at the last 4 years the way a historian views the present but now as an American, I have to say, I am very frightened.

His religious piety frightens me. His economic policies frighten me. His international policies frighten me. And I will never forgive him for using gay marriage and hate-mongering as a way to get back in office. Although it seems appropriate since he used the lie of weapons of mass destruction to start the war in Iraq. Smoke and mirrors folks. We are going to be paying for his "legacy" for years and years to come.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

WOW is right
WOW Report: Sitings
Yeah! I make a difference
Gays caused tsunami, Saudi professor says - Queer Day
Here's News
CNN Lets 'Crossfire' Host Carlson Go
The Race
Last night, I attended a performance at The Second City. The show is entitled Red Scare. It is impossible for me to be unbiased since I know everyone involved in this show on a personal level. I will say this much, I was completely sober (I am a little under the weather right now) and I still laughed a lot despite the fact that I had seen so many of the pieces in previews.

Because I was at the theatre, I missed my fave current network show The Amazing Race. I taped it of course and I just finished it this afternoon. This has to be the worst season ever. Gus and Hera were the last team that I actually really liked and they bit the dust. To be honest, I do like Kris and Jon but when they did that water polo game and had on swim caps, I couldn't tell them apart from Hayden and Aaron or Freddy and Kendra. The teams this year are not likeable or indistinguishable. The tasks are difficult but they have had one too many gross out tasks. I don't want to watch people drink pig's blood or vomit (get a clue CBS, Fear Factor is on NBC).

There are 6 teams left. Let's do a rundown.
1. Lori/Bolo - Can't stand them anymore. She is a loud-mouthed boor and that is the first time I have ever said that about a woman. Both of them have been rude to locals which bothers me as an American that travels a lot. It is disgusting to see the "American Tourist" on display. He is a bit of a pussy. He let's her do most of the tough work but he is good at evening out her temper. They are still in the race because of luck and a Fast Forward. To their credit, at least they are not plastic. I hope they come in 3rd.

2. Kris/Jon - I love the way they play. They are very good at this game and really deserve to win. Their relationship is wonderful to watch (not like Chip and Kim wonderful but still enjoyable). My only beef with them is beyond their control. Whoever cast this show did a terrible job by putting them on with Hayden/Aaron and Freddy/Kendra. The three teams seem almost interchangeable like Ken and Barbie dolls. Kris and Jon are at least blond so I can tell them apart that way. Again, they are the strongest team left in my opinion and definitely the nicest. I hope they come in 1st.

3. Jonathon/Victoria - They say everyone loves the villain. And the villain this year is definitely Jonathon. Well, you know what, I don't love him or her. She needs to get into Alateen or something like it immediately. It seems she has some co-dependency issues. He needs to be taken out back, anal-raped with a burning hot pitch fork and then crucified Mel Gibson style. He is disgusting and vile. He will do anything it seems to win this race. I want to admire his commitment but his lack of sportsmanship is gross. He is awful to his partner, other teams, and again to the locals. Nasty. I don't like that. She is no better because she stays with him and she makes excuses for him. I hope they come in 6th.

4. Hayden/Aaron - Boring. Well, he is boring. She is annoying. If she were my partner, I would have pushed her over a cliff. I take that back because she would have bitched the whole way down. I would have pushed in her in front of a train. That is quicker. I hope they come in 4th.

5. Adam/Rebecca - I have a feeling that they will be the next team eliminated. It is too bad because as much as he is an annoying spoiled weenie, she is a super great fun gal. I love Rebecca. I can't believe she ever dated Adam. It is funny that people think he is gay. That is such a terrible indictment on gay men everywhere. He is shallow, whiny, and a big fat baby (remember the sunglasses incident?) She is cool to me. I hope they come in 2nd.

6. Freddy/Kendra - How do you spell boring: Freddy and Kendra. They have been playing well up to this last leg but they had some bad luck this time out. I will also never forget what a disgusting American Kendra was in Africa. Get a clue people, there is abject poverty in Africa. If you don't like it, don't bitch about it, send those motherfuckers a check and shut the fuck up. I just don't like them. To their credit, they play well. I hope they come in 5th.

At least there are only 13 days left until the big show.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

What the....there you go
I have never liked the Freak show
For the legally inclined
New Illinois laws for 2005
Coming Clean

I have seen this site before but it has been updated I think since the last time I was there. It is so cool. I got this link from one of the blogs I read. So thanks to The Corky.
New Blog I read
I have been blogging for over 4 years now. I started to write a blog that what was mainly about being an actor in Chicago. The typical ups and downs, auditions, celebrity sightings, blah blah blah. I switched over to this blog about a year ago and started blogging for me with the idea that no one will ever read this stuff. Well, now I am obsessed with the whole blogging culture. I have read many blogs, mostly following links from other blogs that I read. Recently I found a new blog that I love called Sex and the Second City. I love it for many reasons including the fact that a black gay man that lives in Chicago writes it (and no, it is not me using a pseudonym). I love the writer's honesty and forthrightness about his sex life, sex partners, and life in general. I say check out if you get a chance.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Thank Goodness for Cheap Hotel Cable
I have never been a fan of the television 1-hour drama format. Sure, I have had my shows that I have watched for a season or a few epsiodes here and there but I have never been able to follow a 1-hour drama series for long until Law & Order. The show has been on the air for a trillion years but I only discovered it in the last two. I began watching L & O while on the road traveling. Every now and then, I would end up in some terrible hotel with bad cable and the only good thing on guessed it, Law & Order. It is also the only show currently on the air that my Mom and I agree to be a good show. There is one more show that my Mom and I both agree on but it will not be on for 15 days yet...
Cooking in 2005
Things I have cooked in the last three days:
Cranberry and Orange Scones
Lamb Meatballs with a cream sauce
Baked Potatoes
Pasta Puttanesca with Chicken

That's right people, I can cook too.
Back 2 Work
2005 marks 21 years since I got my first paycheck for acting. Wow. One thing that you begin to understand about this business is that unemployment is just part of the package.

After I quit my job touring for The Second City in March, I basically hustled my ass to get whatever gig I could. I did some temp work. I did some teaching. I did some corporate theatre work. And I even played Barney at a Bar Mitzvah (one of the lowest career points of the year). All my hustling came to a screeching halt around Dec 23rd...not too bad but that means that I haven't worked in almost two weeks. There were the holidays to keep me busy but I also spent a lot of money, something you try not to do when no money is coming in. I have bookings in February and the current show that I am writing opens in March but I was getting frustrated trying to figure out what to do now. I needed work.

I woke up this morning feeling awful because the temp agency had not called to send me on an assignment this week. While I was on the phone with my friend Roz I got a call. I booked some work. YEAH! I booked three gigs today as a matter of fact. It is not a hell of a lot of money but enough to cover my expenses through January and get me through to my gigs in February. Whew! That feels better.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

16 more days
Slight but Significant Change
For return visitors, you will notice that the name has changed slightly. I have gone from Orpheus Uptempo (which I think scans better) to Uptempo Orpheus. Why, you may say? None of your fucking business, isn't it enough that I post my thougts and desires to the entire public? Go worry about something important like when Britney Spears will get pregnant or something?

There will be more changes in the future to the blog. Entries will be slightly longer with less "Blog This!" entries and more about my real life. Don't fret, there will be some funny postings and links still. I am going to pepper them with more in-depth postings of my weird little world.

I will also post my Amazon Wish List here. I got the idea from Sarah. If Sarah is getting goods, then I want some goods to dammit.

Other changes include, guest writers, a return to photo entries, and maybe some sort of contest.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

What the Hell?
It's a New Year
Last night was a fun time. I put on a great outfit including a new shirt that I bought Thursday when I was shopping with a new guy I met a couple of weeks ago (the guy will be discussed later but the shirt is thee star of this story). After I put on my ultimate party shirt (long sleeved, button up, 100% cotton, red and white floral print from Club Monaco) I wore some lightweight navy blue pants with my Navy Blue/light blue/black Bacco Bucci leather shoes. I wore Calvin Klein Obsession for Men. Finally I roughly styled nappy hair and put on my party attitude. I was ready.

Dawn arrived with Luis at 7:40ish pm. I gathered a party game and the ingredients for the cocktails I would mix at the party. After a brief stop at Jewel we arrived at Bob and Kat's place in Evanston.

When we arrived the children were still up. Bob and Kat have some pretty darn cute kids. Each one could be a child model. You know when you buy a new wallet or picture frame and there is some adorable kid that you don't know who is in the frame? These kids could be one of those kids. In addition, Alex, the red-headed cutie belonging to Angie was up.

The party was small and informal. The 9 of us (Dawn, Luis, Sarah, Angie, Keith, Kate, Kat, Bob, and myself) lounged around the kitchen drinking and noshing before we headed to the living room for a party game and then to the Den for another game. The noshing was great. We had ham, Vosges chocolates, and toquitos. Sarah brought her people kibble . Luis made the best flan I have ever eaten. And I made the red gold martinis. The red gold was created by my best buddy, Dan Gold.

We laughed. We hugged. We kissed. We laughed more. And we laughed some more.

When we left, Kat gave me some much candy including the Vosges. What a happy new year start.

When I got home, my friend Tim called. He was going home from partying on the Boystown strip. I don't know why anyone would be in a gay bar on New Year's Eve in Chicago. It must have been so packed in there. He said that he was waiting in line for a drink when midnight struck. I am not surprised. Since Tim was out already he came over and we did pepper vodka shots and ate chocolates. We talked some more and finally, we crashed.

This morning, Tim got up and came to my room. I was out cold. I didn't want to move. He wanted to go out for breakfast and I declined. I planned to spend the first day of 2005 mostly immobile. I set a new standard for lazy. It was brilliant. I did cook. I baked scones. I made meatballs. And I killed a bunch of ants that were in my kitchen. I also spoke to a few folks that called today. Mom called. Danny called. Paul called. Tye called. Roz called. I spoke with my grandparents too.