Thursday, March 31, 2005

Praises for Straight & Nappy

Straight & Nappy presents Straight and Nappy goes into weekend two with a glowing review from Chicago Reader.

Cathcart & Olson and Straight & Nappy
If these two sketch-comedy duos were pitted against each other, Rebecca Jackson and Pip Lilly's Straight & Nappy would win hands down. They demonstrate vigorous wit in their 25-minute set whether they're eulogizing someone at a funeral, testifying to God, or taking a shot at rising coffee prices. Jackson's heartfelt detour in a bit about depression is too much of a PSA, but otherwise the pair's forceful personalities and physical presence make even the routine material soar. Melissa Cathcart and Jay Olson are a strong team, working well together and exhibiting great charisma in their 30 minutes of sketches, which deal among other things with the medical use of marijuana, the Atkins diet, and a singular boob job. But even their best scene-erderly widows get undressed to "get it on"-doesn't have the same energy as Jackson and Lilly's work.
- Jenn Goddu

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


The entertainment industry is fickle and weird. When I was younger, I thought it was gloriously fun to play showbiz. The older I get, the more I realize that it is just another professional cultural norm. I take it for what it is...nothing and everything rolled in the same package.

One minute, you can be golden like the sun. The next day, people may treat you as if you were invisible. These are indeed golden days for me. My show opened on Saturday and the buzz is pretty good. We were lucky enough to be featured in TimeOut Chicago magazine. Yesterday Rebecca and I taped a segment for CLTV's entertainment show, Metromix TV with it's host LeeAnn Trotter.

I have been getting good press and now my agents are calling again. I even scored a nice little part time job as a storyteller to 3-5 year olds. I love 3-5 year olds. They are so fun and they love a good story. So do I.

My ever changing story is filled with great heights and low depths. There are royals, aristocrats, regular folk, bohemians, christians, muslims, jews, buddhists, wiccans, peasants, and freaks. The story spans three decades, three continents, and forty-seven states. The folly of youth,the guidance of good and bad friends, and many years of self discovery have produced this page of the story. God, I'm being so utterly self-indulgent.

I need to go. I want to buy some tacos.

Idols Result Show

I can't believe that I left Anwar off last night's list. No wonder he ended up in the bottom two. His performance was pretty forgettable. Ironically, I still have my notes from Tuesday night's show. Yes, I take notes during the Idol.

Anwar. Couldn't have picked a worse song. I hate it. I hate when others sing it especially when they don't sing it so well. He is a great singer but he has turned into a big snore bore. He can't dance. He looks so uncomfortable physically.

Still, I am glad that Scott is able to come back again. Despite his religious moments, I still like this guy. Nadia might need to go if her vocals don't improve but I am not upset to see Jessica , whom I thought would be the second lowest vote getter, hit the road.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Tuesday is Idol Night - The 90s

First off, Paula was less annoying tonight. She was still annoying but less annoying none the less. The 90s represent my 20s. I loved the 90s and wish the world were a little more like those days. OMG, that was nostalgia, the first sign of old age.

On to the idols...
Bo - Always good for me. He has consistently been a fave of mine. Good performance and a good voice.

Jessica - I think she is still over-rated. I don't get it. She has talent but she does nothing for me as a performer. And here vocals were not so good.

Nadia - Delivered some mediocre vocals but turned in a good performance.

Constantine - Looked grunge but sounded Disney. His vocals were good, probably his best yet. He could have shaved or at least pulled his hair back for better visuals.

Nikko - "Can We Talk for a Minute?" I love this song. He did a great job with it. This guy can sing. And I love that he gave it everything.

Anthony - Best performance from him yet but he is so bland. I did love the shirt and shoes but his vocals are so boring.

Carrie - I just love her. She is my number one pick right now. I don't like country music but talent is talent. And Carrie has talent. She is vocally better than all the other contestants and arguebly one of the prettiest.

Scott - Not so good. Danger from the very beginning. No charisma and mediocre vocals. Danger! This may be his time to walk away.

Vonzell - Too beautiful. She delivered some good vocals on a tough song.

My Favorite Performance: Carrie
My pick to leave: Scott
Who I think America will pick: Scott
Second Lowest vote getter: Jessicca

Monday, March 28, 2005


Straight & Nappy presents Straight and Nappy opened this past Saturday. I was so nervous as opening night approached. I had so many doubts. Would the material be strong enough? Will I alienate my audience? Will I bore my audience? Will I have an audience?

Last week was stressful and arduous. I took a temp assignment at the big ad agency as a receptionist on the creative floor. Creative is where the copywriters, artists, producers, and creative management staff works. I love being on the creative floor. Their jobs are not that different than what I have just been doing with my show except I don't have to get a client's approval.

After work, I took a bus to my friend Roz' place in Lakeview. Roz and her professional stagehand husband are in Europe and I am housesitting. I have been so busy working on Straight & Nappy that I didn't think about my housesitting duties. I hadn't packed or downloaded files that I needed from my roomies' computer. Plus I had rehearsal every night at Piper's Alley in Old Town.

Chicago, like most large cities, is a series of smaller neighborhoods that make up this behemoth city. The city is set up on a grid so it is easy to figure out how to get to an address. It is also a city will several train lines and busses but it takes forever to travel on public transportation.

The show was my number priority this past week so I decided to stay in Rogers Park at night take the train downtown to temp. Take a bus to check the lakeview address' mail after work. I would bus it to Second City. After rehearsal I would take the train back to Rogers Park.

I did that Monday through Thursday. Thursday and Friday was all about getting myself physically prepared for the show. I had to get a trim, a new shirt, new shoes, earrings, and a manicure. Everything went smoothly except the haircut.

I have been letting my hair grow for months. I decided that I liked being nappy headed. I loved the freedom of conditioning my hair and hitting the streets. It was follicular rebellion. I went to my barber Francis. I love Francis, who is from Ghana. He is smooth and dark with defined muscles but not a real big guy. I wanted to him to trim the ends so that while my mane was wild, it looked purposefully so. Francis decided that he needed to cut my I couldn't believe it. That motherfucker cut my hair off. It didn't make me bald but my hair was significantly shorter. And all my curls were gone.

I was livid. I couldn't believe it. The hair cut was great. It looked fabulous but it was not what I wanted. I usually let my barber/stylist choose what style they think is best; this time I was very specific and he didn't listen to me. I went back to Francis the next day to voice my displeasure. He did what he always does. He smiled at me. Sat me down in his chair, pulled out his afro pick, and start raking my hair like it was fallowed ground. "Relax," he said in a deep and strong voice. Those strong African arms hypnotized me and placed me under his spell. He than began cutting more hair. I protested. "Relax," he said again. He explained that my hair was going to be fine. That this new haircut would be a better base for the look I wanted. Oh well, I looked good so I got over the hair loss. It's not like I could glue the hair shavings back on.

Friday night I started staying at Roz' place. Saturday was the big day. I slept in Saturday. I had stressed all week but not today. I still had to buy shoes, a shirt, get thank you cards, and print the progam information (bios and acknowledgements). I did it all in a couple of hours and got dressed for the night. I wanted to be funky so I bough some silver ear studs and wore my silver bracelet. Warm wishers called from Florida, Peoria, California,and Virginia.

Mom and Aunt Sharon arrived around 6pm to pick me up. We drove to Old Town and ate at Thai food.

Rebecca was nervous that night but I was so relaxed. I was ecstatically happy that we were actually going to have an audience for our show. All my worries and doubts were for nothing. There was a full house. The press came. My family and friends were there. I felt great. I looked great. There were a few glitches but the show was good, not great but not so bad either. We share a bill with a husband and wife comedy duo called Cathcart & Olson. Their show complimented ours. We are more "ethnic" than they are but their chemistry is a sight to behold.

I will write more about the show later. Their are some exciting events for Straight & Nappy including show reviews and a local television appearance. We are even featured in the current issue of Timeout Chicago Magazine. Look in the comedy section for the picture of me and Rebecca standing at a men's urinal with the caption "Pip to my loo..."

Friday, March 25, 2005

Tomorrow Night

straight&nappy, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

Straight & Nappy premiers.

Idol Results

To quote Hall and Oates, "Well, she's gone. Whoa I, whoa I..." Ding Dong the annoying ball of energy known as Mikalah has been sent packing. And not a moment too soon in my opinion. The show seemed to be running long so Ryan just cut through his suspense schtick and was like, "Mikalah, get the hell out! But before you go remind of us why we hate you again by singing that awful song in that awful way you do again"

I was not surprised by the bottom 3 except I thought that Vonzell would be there instead of Nadia but Nadia was not good on Tuesday. I am surprised that America seemed to be voting for the person that did the best vs. their favorite personality. I now have more respect for 13 year old girls.

Big Thumbs up for the "He Ain't Heavy" rendition. Cheesy song, sung cheesily by cheesy contestants...That's good television.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Two More Days

Straight & Nappy is coming

The God Racket

Earlier this week I ranted about those that are using the Schiavo case for political and moral purposes. On the same day, I went off about the dangers of religious fervor. And now Frank Rich's column's talks about both plus other issues regarding religion in our country.

I love the opening paragraph that talks about the original marketing plan for "The Ten Commandments." Cecil B. DeMille, who was Jewish and not Christian although he is probably most influential in creating the American Christian ideal, set up Ten Commandments slabs all over America to promote his movie. It is one of these promotional pieces that is causing a fuss down in Texas.

Thanks Easter Bunny, "bawk bawk"

I don't get the whole Easter Bunny - Christ Death and Resurrection combo but I do love candy.

And I love this Hip Hop Bunny.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Breaking Idol News

No one is being eliminated tonight because of a graphic error.

American Idol, Billboard #1s - March 22

As I type this entry on Wednesday AM Fantasia's "Still in Love with You" is playing on the radio.

OK, let's get down to business. First, Paula Abdul might want to lay off the ecstasy tabs before show tapings.

It seems that the idols love the songs of their childhood AKA the 80s. I remember the 80s but not because of childhood. Truth be told, I remember the 80s as the time that I finally got laid.

Enough about my youth, let's get down to the show.

Anthony - Waiting for Me (1987). I want to like this kid but I don't. However, at least he performed with some personality last night. His energy was good but his vocals were a little "theme park-ish." See you at Six Flags Anthony.

Carrie - Alone (1987). Flawless. Cute hair. Cute paint. She sang her ass off. One word of warning to Carrie though. Don't ever wear a sash around your waist again. It made you look a little hippy.

Scott - Against All Odds (1984). I didn't like this song 20 years ago and I don't like it now. It is so cheesy even for me (and I love the cheese). Judges gushed but I wasn't that impressed. I didn't think he took any risks except when he flung his glasses.

Bo - Time in a Bottle (1973). Finally, another decade. This number started out with dim lighting and Bo never looked better. As he stepped out into the light, our caveman rocker revealed a fugly shirt but still you can't beat him as a performer. He is some good shit. I love this guy.

Nikko - Incomplete (2000). 900+ songs to choose from and he chooses a Sisqo song? Ok...Nikko looked the part and his vocals were better than the original. Good job Nikko. BTW, when is Ozzie dropping by?

Vonzell - Best of my Love (1977). In case you haven't heard, I might be a little bit gay. I have danced to this song thousands of times. I pretty much know the lyrics by heart. Vonzell is so cute but I need more at this point in the competition. You got to bring it with the vocals baby. If this was a production of "Dreamgirls" she would definately be the Deena. I told you I was gay.

Constantine - I think I Love You (1970). Fake. Poser. I'm sorry but...NO. Still don't like him. I have seen "Rent" more than any other musical and I bet he was ok in it but I always feel like his performance are so affected on Idol. Last week I thought he was great. This week I think he had the coolest song and did nothing with it. All flash and no substance.

Nadia - Time After Time (1984). The best hair for sure (sorry Carrie but funky mohawk beats cute curls). Great costume. Not so great vocals. She was like Easter dinner. All ham.

Mikalah - Love Will Lead You Back (1990). Another song that was bad at the time and 15 years hasn't improved it one bit. Terrible vocals. She should have picked something like "Let's Hear If for the Boy." Oh well, I have a song to sing to you Mikalah, "Hit the road Jack, and don't you come back no more, no more, no more..."

Anwar - Ain't Nobody (1983). Again, I am a big ol' black gay, I love Chaka Kahn. Anwar has this great gift for odd song choices but somehow he makes them work. One of the main reasons is that he has such a great voice. BUT...he needs to get more comfortable with his physical self. He can't move at all. He dances like Courtney Cox in that Bruce Springsteen video. And another thing, the brother can sing but he looks like a woman with a moustache. "Give your Aunt Bunny a kiss"

Jessica - Total Eclipse of the Heart (1983). I don't get all the fuss over this girl. I think, in general, her performances are good but not great. Last night was like Karoake without the sake. She has a nice rack though.

So, there you have it. To recap: All number ones. Six songs from the 1980s, three songs from the 1970s, one 1990s tune and 2000 pulls one in. Paula may or may not have been on E(ctasy). Anwar looks very feminine. I love you Idol.

My favorite performance: Carrie
My pick to leave: Mikalah
My prediction of America's pick to leave: Mikalah
2nd lowest vote getter: Vonzell

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Everything Is Still Rosie

When Rosie O'Donnell's talk show was on the air, I watched it religiously. It was something that my best friend Patchy and I talked about -- daily. I have loved Rosie since Star Search. I knew she was going to win. She was so great. When "A League of Their Own" came out, I saw it opening day at a matinee. I thought she was so great that I took a friend of mine to see the movie that day. That's right I watched the movie back to back and paid for my friend Rob's ticket because I wanted him to see what great job Rosie had done in this movie. Isn't that silly? I don't care. I love her as a performer. I don't ever need to hear here sing but she can bring me the funny any day.

I just recently started reading her blog, formerlyROSIE. It is not so funny but it is honest. As a struggling comedy writer/actor, I can understand her notion to be serious when she is not onstage. I mean she has a real life. She has a wife. She has four kids. She runs her own businesses and still has a showbiz career. This blog may not be everyone's cup of tea but let's face it, neither is Rosie. I am going to read everyday still.

I See Your True Colors

I love World of Wonder especially for pointing me to this link. This confederate website makes Jeff Foxworthy seem urbane and metropolitan. Damn, I'm glad I live in a blue state.

I'm not Sure What to Say

Todd Haynes is directing a new film about the life of Bob Dylan. He is casting a black woman to play Dylan's "inner darkness." Names mentioned have included Beyonce and Venus Williams.

Back to Work Frenchie

Apperently the French government has decided to repeal the 35 hour workweek. Now you can burn the candle at both ends like us brilliant Americans. Of course, in all fairness, no one works as many hours as the Greeks and the Koreans. Source:OECD surveys.

Oprah Winfrey To Live Poverty-Stricken Lifestyle

Courtesy of PageSixSixSix. Oprah is going for broke. Come on Oprah, you are the most famous woman in Chicago so how will you really live like the poor? And with bodyguards? I know this is on the verge of being a rant but come on...come on...come on...

I have a suggestion for an Oprah show topic. How about billionaires that are way out of touch with reality.

It's Official

I'm too tired to rant today. My show opens on Saturday. I have been rehearsing, doing last minute marketing stuff, making special appearances here and there for promotion, blah blah blah. So today I will try to keep it light.

Lets start with this great story that lets us know that Hogzilla is real.

Monday, March 21, 2005


Project Runway to return. My favorite reality show, Project Runway ,is coming back. There were rumors after Miramax's break-up that it might not return but it is coming back. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

The Truth Shall Set You Free

I was raised very religiously and I bought into much of it until education and common sense set me free. I haven't totally abandoned my belief system. I am just not going to believe something because 1.)we have always believed this way (just lazy and stupid), 2.) The Bible says so (an excuse for bad behavior for centuries), or 3.) Some guy that was "ordained" by God says so (always a bad idea).

We are living in such a religious and conservative America right now. Our president openly talks about praying in the Oval Office before making decisions. We are getting bombarded from every side in favor of religious values over constitutional rights. There was a time in World History (and I don't mean 100s of years ago either) when the leader of a Western country used Christianity in his speeches to control and/or appease his people.

What Is the Matter with US

Congress Passes and Bush Signs Legislation on Schiavo Case. I like to think that I am a reasonable person. I am probably more liberal than most but much more conservative than people would expect. I can recognize a valid thought even when different than mine. The only thing I can't abide is hypocrisy.

Republicans are always talking about less government. "Lets get the government out of our lives and our businesses. We need less government interference." The Republican agenda is bullshit. They don't want less, they want the more. They want the ultimate. They want to tell you where you can live, who you can live with, and how you can live. Soon they will tell us who can have children and who can't (Wait a minute, this is already been done).

I'm sure there are genuine kind-hearted people that have seen the video clip broadcast regularly in the media of Mrs. Schiavo but those good Samaritan should ask themselves "how old is that tape?" or "what condition is she in TODAY?" This is obviously a question for family and state courts. The government has

NO right

to legislate the kind of lives we are supposed to live. They have no right to tell a man that he can't honor his wife's request to not live as a vegetable.

Earlier I blasted the Republicans but I know there are Dems that also support the government nosing around in family business. Don't let them get away with it. Civil rights are not taken in a big blast. No, civil rights are eroded away like the shore. The tide comes in and sweeps a bit away. Each time the tide comes, it takes away a little bit more until the shoreline has changed unnoticed.

Here is another article from NY Times addressing the "right to die."

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Still More Mario

Page SixSixSix is one of my favorite gossip sites. Read what Perez Hilton has to say about my favorite lost idol.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Last Dance

words, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

Tonight is the last performance of WORDS but not the end for Straight & Nappy. Our show "Straight & Nappy presents Straight and Nappy" opens in the same 9 pm slot next Saturday.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Sondheim Alert

Wall to Wall Sondheim. I love Stephen Sondheim. He is one of my favorite lyricists ever. Say what you will about his music but I love it too. When I saw BOUNCE at the Goodman in Chicago, I walked away not liking anything about the show except the music, Michelle Pawk, and Richard Kind. Incidentally, my best friend, Patchy (who's birthday is tomorrow 3/19), and I ran into Sondheim at intermission. XM Satellite Radio will be broadcasting 12 hours of Sondheim on Saturday.

It Only Takes a Moment

Drysdale's comic star rages upward. This article is about a Second City colleague that is doing very well for herself. I have watched her really hard over the last 4 years that I have known her and it is paying off -- big time. All the best Becky.

Tips For Desperate Parents

Mom Uses eBay To Sell Monster Under Child's Bed. This is actually a great idea. I think I'm gonna sell "my girlfriend that lives in Kentucky." Since I came out 15 years ago, I don't use her anymore.

Only in America - Prison: Two women want to marry Peterson. The sad part is you know those women are going to have to share Scott with a big brute named Jimmy Earl.

Lil' Kim, You Have Some 'Splainin' To Do

Racy Rapper Lil Kim Heading to Jail. I am still trying to adjust to my recent Latin-"ness." So, I thought I would start this post in the worse hispanic accent. Come to think of it, I eat Mexacin (food, you perv) at least twice a week. But this is not about me or my spicy blood. This is about the Brooklyn Broad with balls (metaphorically) as a big as any man's and tits (literally) big enough for curves but small enough for Diana Ross to play with.

Lil' Kim, nee Kim Jones, was convicted for trying to protect her friends for their involvement in a shooting outside a New York radio station. I give her credit for being there for her folks but come on Kim. When folks start shooting, they are on their own. Now, I don't know if she will really go to jail but this can't be good. And what are these friends doing for you Kim? OMG! I've turned into my mother (Who is also not latina).

A Latino? You Be The Judge.

Nappy Smirk
Originally uploaded by mylilpip.

Sebastion suggested that I post a picture to go with the race test posting. That's fair. So, here it is. Now I ask you again, is this the face of a latino? I suppose it could be but for the record, I am good ol' fashioned black, not even African-American, just black.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Apperently, I Am A Latino

I found a race test courtesy of Karsh. I am still pretty black but I seem to be very latino. I'm going to need some more therapy. I just got over not being white.

You scored as latino. you a latina or a latino









Are you a different race than you think you are?
created with

Straight & Nappy Heats Ups

I am very excited because I just got off the phone with one of the editors at TimeOut Chicago. TimeOut will be putting Straight & Nappy's picture with a brief blurb about us in their next issue. I'm not sure if this will be on-line and/or in the magazine but I'm happy either way. If you put in the work, something is going to happen. The trick is to do the work when you don't want to.

Well, I'm off now. I have to teach the high school students then I have a film audition. Today is looking pretty good despite the lack of sunshine.


Rabbi gave tots herpes. Ok, this is just too crazy. A mohel who tested positive for herpes uses his mouth on a baby during a circumcision...And the story doesn't end well.

Still More Mario News

Ex-'Idol' Hires Clay's Lawyer. If you read the whole page, you will find a mention of a friend of mine, Christian Borle, who is getting great reviews in the Monty Python's musical SPAMALOT. Congrats Christian.

More Mario Here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

SPOILER ALERT - And Then There Were 11

originally uploaded by mylilpip.
I did very well in my prediction last night. My choice to go and my prediction to go were the bottom two contestants. And well...Lindsey, I'm sorry I was right but America has spoken.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

American Idol, final 12

Well, we are off. I love when things get down to the nitty gritty. I love the new set. I love the new desk for the judges. And I loved the cute man sitting directly behind Paula.

1. Jessica - Ok. Lots of personality, decent enough vocals but I need more.

2. Anwar - Great clothes. Boring song choice (and I love Bachrach).

3. Mikalah - Get off my TV, forever

4. Constantine - I still am not a fan but that was a great performance. Awesome vocals.

5. Lindsey - I was bored before the bridge. And that deep weird sound scares me a bit. Again, I love this song but not this rendition.

6. Anthony - Before he sang, I wished he wouldn't. After he sang, I wished he hadn't. It isn't that he doesn't have talent. It is just well hidden behind a boring blond palette. I noticed that he always shows his trach scar, work those sympathy votes, white boy.

7. Nadia - Good song choice. She looked hot.

8. Bo - My favorite rocker. Pooped out a bit in the opening. Worked the crowd nicely. A good performance overall but not as great as other weeks.

9. Vonzell - I love this song (more Bachrach). The sisters are looking hot tonight. I love that dress because it makes her ass look like a big valentine. This song may be too big for her (emotionally and vocally) but a fair performance. The ending was well done.

10. Scott - I am one the few that actually like Scott. I don't care about his looks. If you ask me, his make-over is by far the most impressive from earlier episodes. His vocals kicked ass. No complaints here.

11. Carrie - Good a choice to pick a country rock. I love her look and her voice. I am not a country fan but good talent is fucking good talent. Carrie is good talent. A great performance. I totally disagree with Paul and Randy.

12. Nikko - The luckiest man in the world tonight. He replaced the man that I was for sure would win. OK performance, better than others but only because they didn't bring their A game. He was fun. His vocals were good until that one note at the end.

My fave of the night: NADIA
My pick to go home: MIKALAH
My prediction to go home: LINDSEY

Molto Mario

'Idol' Dropout Pokes Fun at Self on Letterman

What About Talent?

Is eBay a gauge of 'Idol' status? ( This article speculates that the popularity of American Idol contestants may be traced to the number of items for sale on Ebay. In other words, if people really like you than you will have more merchandise for sale. OK. But what about talent?

Monday, March 14, 2005

Too Hot in Arkansas

Nelly Performs in AK despite protests. I've said it before, I'll say it again. Do we really need the south? Hey Arkansas, forget the drugs, sex and violence, how about protesting bad music?

Another Mario Update

MSNBC gives 3 theories. Okay so I'm a little obsessed with the Vazquez shuffle. Normally, I would say these things are none of my business but I am so intrigued. I want the whole story. I don't know if it will bring me any peace but I would like to find out.

American Idol + Porn = One Hard Challenge


Vazquez Update

Ex-"Idol" Finalist Blames Intuition - E! Online News.

She Is Either Crazy or a Brilliant Motivator

'I believe God brought him to my door'. Nichols' hostage, Ashley Smith, tells of her experience with the wanted killer.

We Still Matter

ABC News: Court Rules California Cannot Ban Gay Marriages. This is on the positive. Finally a court with some sense. This is definitely a step in the right direction. I hope this continues to play out well.

We Still Matter

Phelps: America's tolerence of gays is sending it "to hell in a fornicator's hand basket." Just when I was started to miss Dan Rather. in comes Phelps with a cunning turn of a phrase. Might I retort, "Shut the fuck up you crazy bastard!"

We Still Matter, International Edition

IRA Turning to Attacks on Gays. If you can't change the government, just take it out on the gays, right?

Mario Walks Away From American Idol

Mario_by Kevin Winter
Originally uploaded by mylilpip.
I have yet to talk about the new season of American Idol. I was waiting for tomorrow night's first presentation by the final 12. Well, things are different now. Mario, the obvious front-runner, unexpectedly dropped out yesterday citing "personal issues." Personal issues is such a cop-out bullshit response that really means, "I don't want to tell you the truth." My friends don't call me the internet detective for nothing so I am tyring to find out what the real deal is. Here is what I have been able to turn up:

He didn't want to sign the "Idol Contract": Sounds plausible, article 2

He sang back-up for Wacko Jacko: Could be someone else

Already being courted by a label: Maybe

Mom says "maybe it's something Simon did": Bullshit

Saturday, March 12, 2005

If I Can't Marry Anderson Cooper, I'll Take Frank Rich

Frank Rich: The Greatest Dirty Joke Ever Told. Just like Mr Rich, I will continue to point out the puritanical nature of our current administration and society. I can't believe people aren't standing up and screaming "Stop telling me what I can watch and say." Some people think "oh,it's not so bad." Well, it is going to get worse before it gets better. I am a writer and comic actor. I want the liberty to speak my mind even if it contains "dirty talk". If we continue down this path, it won't be long before they start trying to remove, censor, or monetarily fine blogs that people find offensive. Just in case that day comes soon, I want to say goddamn shit motherfucker cocksucker. Thank you bitch.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

On The Serious

Many bloggers, predominately black and gay, are talking about Rashawn Brazell. If you don't know about his story. You should definitely check up on it. Rod has a great post about the media coverage (or lack of it) and Karsh gave up some critical thoughts on why no one cares when a black gay man is brutally, viciously, and bizarrely murdered.

Speaking of Chicken

What happens when chicken collides with Flock of Seagulls? Find out in this KFC ad.

A Story Straight From My Dreams

Chickens die in collision with doughnut truck. This story was passed on to me via Jude.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

What About Your Friends?

Monday couldn't have been more cliched. I had a temp job at the Big Ad Agency. I had to be there at 8:30 am. In order for me to be out of the apartment by 7:30 am (for the commute downtown), I need to get up at 6:30 am. The alarm went off and I was so tired. After my usual bargaining with myself about when I actually had to leave the bed, I got up. I stumbled to the bathroom to piss, shower, and shave. I stood over the toilet, one hand supporting my body on the wall and the other hand supporting my penis. I thought, "What am I doing up so early?" I gave my penis a shake and went to the sink to brush my teeth. I glanced at the clock on the wall. It was now 5:37 am. WHAT!?! That can't be right. It's 6:34 am. I went back to my bedroom. The alarm clock said 6:37 am but the VCR and bedroom wall clock read 5:37 am. I had set the alarm clock ahead by an hour and I didn't know it. I decided to keep it light and positive so I was glad that I got to go back to bed for a few more minutes.

When the real 6:30 am rolled in, I rolled out of bed and headed back to the bathroom. I finished my morning ritual and decided to check my email. I had received an email from my friend Paul S. Paul and I have been estranged for about 6 weeks. I will go into detail on a later post. Paul had now decided that he no longer wanted to be friends with me. He just ended it. That's it. My first pseudo-interaction with another person was through an impersonal email telling me that one of my closest friends does not want to be my friend any longer. Great, now I was in the perfect mood to go be a receptionist. Nothing I wanted to do more than smile at strangers and be "super polite." Thank goodness I'm an actor.

I haven't left the apartment yet and I am having a shitty day. I skip breakfast because I don't want to wake my roomie. I do decide to grab some tea to take to work. I decide on the Phoenix Dragon Pearl green tea. In my attempt to stay as quiet as possible, I end up spilling many of the pearls on all over. None the less, I clean them up and head for downtown.

Downtown, I stop at McDonalds for breakfast. I order an Egg McMuffin meal to go. I get to the office and sure enough, they forgot my hashbrown. It is too late for me to go back without being late. I sit down and the phone starts ringing.

The actual work day was not so bad. I was a little unfocused. I kept thinking about Paul S. He and I corresponded through the day via email. This was a bad idea. It just made me feel worse. Words are just words. They have no real meaning except what we apply to them. I am a hands on person. I need to hear a person's voice or see their face.

At lunch, I decided to visit my talent agent's office because it was close to the Big Ad Agency. When I popped in I saw a couple of black male actors that I know and a few I didn't. They were auditioning for a voice over spot. This made me feel worse because they hadn't asked me to audition (even when I was standing there in front of them).

I don't like to play the victim. I got out of that office and bought myself the one thing that would make me feel good at a time like that, a hot dog.

I got off of work at 4:30 pm. When I left the Wrigley Building, I noticed that the temperature had dropped significantly. It was sooooo cold. It was as if nature were taking its cue from my personal story.


Monday, March 07, 2005

Andersen Cooper, Why Do I Love You So?

Originally uploaded by mylilpip.
The always adorable Anderson Cooper is being "outed.". I don't believe in outing folks. It is wrong. From what I have been able to gather, Cooper is not really closeted. He just chooses not to put it in his bio at work. I hear that he is a open member of the NY gay society but he doesn't use his "gay factor" as a platform at CNN. I have to ask on this one, is sexuality an important factor?

I tell people to come out all the time. I think it is dishonest (to yourself, friends, and family) not to BUT there is a limit. Everyone doesn't want to be known as the "gay" fill in the blank. If he were a man of color I would say that he should definitely be out. It doesn't hurt to have high profile gays of color just to let people know that we actually exist but Cooper does not need to start his show with the tag: "Good Afternoon, welcome to 360, I'm Anderson Cooper and I am gay. Our top story..."

Coop...don't let them get you down. And call me.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

I Don't Know How I Missed This

Chicagoist: Second City's WORDS. I usually read the Chicagoist everyday. I'm not sure how I missed this mention. The article actually leads with a quote from my Straight & Nappy press release. And yes, I am "fabulously named."

What Happened Here?

Harvard gays jarred by Jada. is Mrs. Smith rude to family? I hope not.

Black Is Beautiful

I have been working on several different scripts that feature gay black men as central characters. One of my goals was to create the first black gay series. I was beaten out by Noah's Arc. I am not jealous. I am happy to see that this program was produced. Much love and luck to Patrik-Ian Polk, the show's creator, writer, and executive producer and to Tall Skinny Black Boy Productions .

In Other News

GOP Adviser Dies at Carrie Fisher's Home. Intrigue, Hollywood, and politics.

Feds Operate a Paxil Raid

F.D.A. Seizes Millions of Pills From Pharmaceutical Plants. This is a story in the NY Times about the feds busting a major pharmaceutical company for manufacturing poor quality pills. I saw more than one drug raid in Peoria when I was growing up. It always seemed that after the bust, the police always looked a bit "mellower" (if you catch my drift). I hope this raid was not conducted by depressed agents.

Apperently We Really Do Matter

Black Churches Struggle Over Their Role in Politics. There is a socio-political war still waging between the church and gays. The black church has stayed out of the same-sex marriage debate, tending to concentrate on social issues that actually affect their congregations (e.g., medicare, econmomy, jobs, drugs, etc.), but not anymore.

Here is a treat from Bishop Jackson of the Hope Christian Church in Maryland. He has made the opposition of same-sex marriage and abortion a top priority. Why you may ask?
"Historically when societies have gone off kilter, there has been rampant same-sex marriage," Mr. Jackson said in an interview. "What tends to happen is that people tend to devalue the institution of marriage as a whole. People start rearing kids without two parents, and the black community already has this incredibly alarming and, if I may say, this shameful number of babies being born without fathers."
. You are so right Bishop Jackson. There are a shameful numbers of babies (black and other colors too) being born without father but how is this because of same-sex marriage (or abortion)?

This whole black evangelicals mission just reeks of ego and politics. These black churches want power like the white christian right so they are pushing the same dumb agenda. The people that are going to get hurt are going the people they are supposedly protecting, the family. What are some of their poorer parishioners to do when they can't get a job? Or the funding to their kids' schools is cut off? Or they can't afford grandma's medicine? Well, at least the gays won't be able to marry. Prioritize my people.

Friday, March 04, 2005

No Martha Stories Here

In Spirit of Lindbergh, a Solo Pilot Circles the World in One Shot. Am I the only one that still marvels in the great feats of man? Are we all so taken in by the flash of celebrity that we no longer are amazed at great human endeavors? 67 hours non-stop solo flying around the world is pretty impressive.

What's your most impressive feat?

Thursday, March 03, 2005

It's 4:20 Somewhere

Originally uploaded by mylilpip.
Inspired by Karsh's entry about the snicker's actress. I felt compelled to look a guy I know from Second City that appears in many commercials. The actor's name is Ali Faranakian. Ali is a Second City alum and I have met him more than once. We first met when I was performing in a spoof musical entitled The Roof Is On Fiddler. David (another black SC alum) introduced us and the three of us got high on the firescape at the Improv Olympic.

I have run into Ali a few times since that first meeting. He is one outrageous cat. Iranian by birth, he had a hard time going to school in the 80s. Kids can be cruel especially to a brown kid they think may have something to do with kidnapping some Americans. The idea is absurd but I believe it shaped the course of his life. Ali is not an angry man. He is the exact opposite. I have never met someone so positive. When you speak to him you may think that he is reciting some Tony Robbins psycho babble but this brother believes every word. Second City is full of comics which brings with it cynicism. Comics can be some of the most negative people on the planet. Comedy is the tragedy of others. Most Second City people that know Ali regard him as an eccentric (and that means a lot come from these crazies). Many doubt his os-so-positive attitude. But critics have not stopped Ali. He believes that if you work hard and think big, you will be rewarded.

Ali is by no stretch a big star but he works all the time. Not a day goes by that I don't see him in a new commercial, or a tv guest spot, or a role in a major theatre production.

I bring this up because I am trying to grab onto the optimism ring. Most people would probably see me as a positive person. If they could have only met me when I was a teen and young adult. I really did buy into the notion that everything turns out well in the end. I didn't even associate with people that thought otherwise. It was around 29 that I realized that the sun doesn't always come out tomorrow. Well, it may come up but it may be overcast. It was at this age that I realized that I was capable of failing. Then fear entered my world. I was always close to fear but never a friend to it. My optimism kept me safe.

I have been trying to shake off my cynicism. The positive Pip seemed to get more done and be less stressed. I vowed two weeks ago to think positive and not to sweat the small stuff.

I have studied Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism. My favorite is Buddhism that teaches that we will constantly fluctuate between Heaven and Hell, sometimes several times a day. The last couple of days have been trying and glorious.

The other day I overslept. No biggie but I wanted to get a lot of things done and I started off behind. There was no time for breakfast just a cup of black tea with milk and sugar. I had to mail off some press releases so I made my way to the post office. I was just about to stick the bundle in the mailbox when I noticed that I forgot to put the return address labels on the envelopes. Damn! I pulled out my pen and began writing the address manually on all thirty envelopes. It was a hassle but not a big deal, a happy ending.

I left the post office and boarded a 22 bus and headed happily to FedExKinko's to have my Straight & Nappy posters duplicated.

The nice man at FedExKinko's told me that he couldn't find the file on the CD-Rom I brought in. Damn! I left FEK's and placed some Straight & Nappy postcards around a few Lakeview haunts. I was heading back to FEK's when I got a call about a job possibility. Hurray!

Then I ran into my friend Matt. We talked and off I went to Jamba Juice. Since the poster/CD-Rom incident things were going well. The woman messed up my "Razz-a-matazz" by making it too watery. Boo! She had to add some more ice and sherbert to fix it. Since this increased the volume I ended up with an extra large instead of the original size I ordered. Yeah!

I taught my improv/comedy writing class at the high school. Teaching inner-city teens is heaven and hell all day long. Some days are mostly hell. Some days are mostly heaven. Yesterday and today was the perfect blend (95% Heaven/5%Hell).

When I returned home from teaching there was a check waiting for me. It was from Heaven Sent. They manufacture detox formulas.

Back in December I was hired to work seasonally at a boxy retail store. I was told to come in to fill out paperwork (W-4s, Direct Deposit, proof of citizenship, etc). At the end of that meeting I was told that I had 24 hours to take a drug test. What?! I had been a habitual post smoker for years. I was not always baked but I did it...a lot.

What was I going to do. It was already mid-afternoon on a Friday. The place was out of the way for me by public transit so I needed to go later that day or early on Saturday. Saturday was out. It had to be that day.

I rushed up to a head shop on Belmont and bought some Xtreme detox drink. It cost $30 but it came with a %300 money back guarantee. I think you know how this story ends. I didn't pass the test. I couldn't sell boxes because I smoked weed.

I went to the company's website to find out more info about this guarantee. There was info on the bottle but the web information was more detailed. I did everything they asked including notarizing my letter. I figured most people wouldn't go through the hassle of asking for their money back but I did.

The irony is that I had promised myself in December that after my current pot stash was gone that I would not buy again for at least three months, maybe longer. I needed to let my head clear and I wanted to get more motivated.

I did stop (buying) when my weed ran out. I have smoked with some friends and a couple of times at home with my roomie but I still haven't made a purchase (for myself).

What a surprise when I got home to find that check. The check was in the amount of $90. Yeah! I could buy some weed with that. Just kidding.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Straight & Nappy Poster

S&N_poster_flip2-bw, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

I am nearly finished with my Straight & Nappy Poster design. This is a .jpg that I didn't clean up very well but you get the idea. The opening is getting closer and my excitement level is heightening. Rebecca and I find ourselves with more material than performance minutes right now. That is a great place to be. It means that our show is written. We have to decide what to cut now. We still have commit lines to memory for the pre-scripted scenes. We wrote it...How hard could the memorizing be? Famous last words, right?

Producing is new to me but when things go well, it feels pretty good. You are making something. Creating. Cooking up your own deal. Bringing forth something new. The feeling is heightened since I am on the creative side of this project too.

Tonight I considered the idea that we may have something that could combine two great loves of mine. Performing and traveling. The last time I did it I was performing other people's material (and some of my own) and working for other people. This time I was part of the whole process. And now I am a partner instead of an employee.