Sunday, December 31, 2006
I went to Bronson Canyon again yesterday for a nice hike. I walked half way up to the Hollywood sign and then back. On my way out of the park, I ran into my newest friend BB. He was just as vibrant as he was on Thursday. We walked and he gave me more information about my astrological make-up including some harsh words about my Scorpio nature when factored into my day of birth, three days after a full moon. I know, it all sounds a bit much to me but I believe there is wisdom to be found everywhere. He also introduced me to this director (whose first film is nominated for a Golden Globe), his girlfriend Eliza, and their two dogs (I told you I cruised the park for dogs)
I have been on the phone all day today. Wishing so many people a "Happy New Year." If I missed you then let me take the moment now to wish you all the love, joy, and peace you desire in 2007.
I also offer this sage warning to all: Mind your genitalia.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
I have been in LA for four weeks now. It is a relatively short period of time and I know that I am not finished transitioning yet. I kind of wish this period would be over so that I can move on with my life and feel some sense of normalcy again. Don't get me wrong. I love it here. This is where I am supposed to be right now and I am not leaving until I accomplish my purpose.
The last four weeks has brought out my spiritual side. This doesn't mean that I am attending church services or anything like that. I do spend a great deal of time meditating and and trying find deeper significance to the current, past, and future events of my life. My current favorite place to meditate is located in a park called Bronson Canyon. The canyon is probably most famously known as the film location of the Bat Cave on the television series Batman.
Bronson Canyon is a ten minute walk from my sublet. It is a great place to sit and contemplate. It is also a great people (and dog) watching location. In my "gay divorce", I had to leave behind two really sweet dogs and it is wonderful to get some loving from some random strange dog in the park. That last sentence sounds much more provocative than I intended.
This past Thursday, I sat on a rock at the edge of a steep hill. I listened to gospel music and thought about how far I've come since that summer in 1989 that I interned at a Hollywood personal management and public relations firm. I've also thought about money. My checking account was dramatically low.
All this was going on in my mind when suddenly I saw a blue baseball cap start to rise up from the steep cliff below me. Next I see a hand grabbing an exposed tree root. The hand strained as it pulled the man with the baseball cap a little bit closer to the top of the incline. Finally, the man pulled himself all the way up the cliff and stood before me.
"I made it," exclaimed the man, "Just barely but I made it." I smiled broadly and told him that just barely making it is better than not making it at all (hmm, words of wisdom for my own life perhaps). The man grinned and said, "You might be right." Without an invitation, he sat next to me and asked, "When is your birthday?" I only took a second to consider how weird and random his request was but I answered quickly. "November 8th?," the man said, "a Scorpio, that's hard to believe because most Scorpios wouldn't answer that question." He then went on to ask me about my ascending sign, and my moon sign, and all kinds of astrological mumbo jumbo. At the time, it didn't seem like mumbo jumbo. It seemed like a very normal conversation for a 60+ y.o. stranger covered with burrs from climbing up the side of a cliff to be having with a 30+ LA transplant with financial woes and a lonely heart to be having.
The man, whom I will call BB, and I talked for well over an hour. He actually took me to his house and gave me a free astrological reading. He even gave me one for Steve. It was amazing but his reading for Steve was spot on.
I hope to see and speak to BB some again soon. And I will tell you all about it. I'm going to stop writing for today because I am overdue for my trip to the canyon. I've said it once, I'll say it again. I love LA.
Celebrity spotting: On Thursday, the day that I met BB, I sat him and a friend at my restaurant.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
I started training yesterday at my new job. I hate corporate franchise training. It is all that brainwashing repetitive corporate culture stuff. I just want to yell, "I get it. It's called being a professional. Now will you demonstrate the actual skills that will be needed to do my job or do we need to continue this redundant discussion on keeping my uniform looking clean and crisp?" Apparently, we needed to do the latter.
The holidays are right on top of us and it is so strange to me. I am basically not celebrating Christmas this year. Mom bought me a jacket for Christmas when I visited her just before Thanksgiving but that is it. That was my Christmas. I am not buying anyone a gift (not even Mom). I don't have a tree. I don't want a tree. Steve and the dogs are in Chicago. So, I guess I just won't celebrate.
If I have to, I will hang out with my California brothers and sister. I have never celebrated Christmas with them before so I'm a little scared. I'm not scared of them but I don't really enjoy spending time with my stepmother. That is a whole other post for another day. Speaking of posts, this Christmas Eve marks the third anniversary of this blog. That reminds me. I also did not celebrate Christmas 2003.
I have never been a Christmas fanatic. My Mom loves the holiday but it has always disappointed me since I found out that Santa wasn't real.
The year was 1976. I had just turned eight years old and it was Christmas morning. My sister MIchelle and I would write our Christmas letters to Santa using the Sears catalog as a guide. It was always the Sears catalog, no other, I'm not sure why. I assumed Santa had some sort of credit plan with Sears. Every year I asked for Hugo, the doll of many faces, but Santa never brought it to me. He probably knew that I hadn't been that good because I got bad marks in math. This year, I felt, Santa would look past my math scores and reward me based on my good heart and spirit. No such luck. I tore through all the packages and there were some good gifts including my Lite Brite but no Hugo. Santa always seemed to get my sister nearly everything on her list and often more. I thought that sucked because she was in pre-school and didn't have to do any math.
There was one gift that Santa didn't bring my sister on this Christmas morning. Honestly, I don't remember what the actual gift was but it was something my sister really wanted and it required assembly. How do I know it required assembly? Because my stepfather pulled me aside and told me that he needed me to play along with him. He told me that he ran out of time and wasn't able to put together one of my sister's gifts. He told me that he was going to tell her that Santa left a note saying that he would come back later with the fully assembled gift and that I was supposed to back him up. That's when my stepfather looked me straight in the eye and said, "you know there's no Santa Claus, right?" I smiled. I said, "yeah, of course." And then moved to the corner with my Lite Brite. I made a clown face just like the one on the box.
Merry Christmas Bitches.
Monday, December 18, 2006
That's right Bitches...I finally saw the most anticipated movie of the year...deep breath...Dreamgirls. There has been so much hype over this film. I hate hype. Unless it is hype about me and even then, I don't want to hear it, I just want to reap the rewards of it. Most times when movies are over-hyped it usually is a major disappointment. How many times have you bought a ticket to the "must-see" film only to walk away going "it was alright." Dreamgirls is nothing like that. It lives up to all the hype. And I should mention that I am a MAJOR FAN of the stage production. Dreamgirls is hands down my favorite musical EVER. So, I had high expectations for this film adaptation. I am pleased to report that the film lives up to all the hype. That is not to say that the film is perfect (nothing really is except maybe fresh and hot Krispy Kreme doughnuts). I had a few issues with some omitted songs, one of the lead's performance, and some crazy camera work. These issues were minor compared to the glory of the film as a whole.
Since the movie won't be nationally released for another week (Merry Christmas America), I won't spoil any of it for you. Let me just say that Jennifer Hudson, as Effie White, was wonderful beyond belief and deserves all the accolades she has received. Actor Keith Robinson (CC White) was also a stand-out in my book. His performance is constantly overlooked in the reviews but I really thought he made a small role very memorable. Kudos to writer/director Bill Condon for a top rate adaptation. And lets not forget the great composer Henry Kreiger who wrote four new songs and re-arranged an old one for the film. My favorite new song is "Love You I Do" performed by Jennifer Hudson in the film.
The experience of going to the film was incredible. I saw it at the Arclight Theatre. My sister and I had prime seats in the best movie theatre venue ever. The screen was huge, the picture quality was unbelievably clear, and the sound was better than seeing a live Broadway show. The crowd was fairly mixed. There was young, old, black , white, yellow, brown, straight, gay, bi-curious, everybody was there. Although, I believe the gays were still the majority, which I loved. I will definitely see the movie again when it is released nationally. You should too.
Apparently, the episode of Check Please! that I appeared on was re-run this past weekend. I have received so many emails and cards about that appearance and I want to thank everyone that has sent me compliments and well wishes. Are you listening Hollywood? People want more Pip on TV. Lets make that happen.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Okay, my posts have been very infrequent but my life has been a constant state of change for over a month now. This morning, however, I found myself waking up in my own bed for the first time. Well, sort of my own bed. I took a one month sublet in Hollywood so at least I don't have to sleep on a sofa for a few weeks and I have unlimited access to a PC.
LA has been really positive for me so far. I found the sublet and a job here within my first seven days in town. I just moved into the sublet last night and the job starts next Tuesday. I also began working on my acting career yesterday. I contacted a casting director I met in Chicago. And I went to IO West to see some of my Chicago improviser friends. Wow! It was a bit overwhelming to see all those faces that I took for granted at Second City. Many of those faces now grace America's television and movie screens. I also ran into my wonderful friend and photographer Maia Rosenfeld. That was kind of a bonus treat.
There are many other wonderful things that have happened since I have been in LA. LL Cool P too me to see a play entitled In The Continuum. It was stunning. I also attended a seminar entitled "Becoming a Celebrity Personal Assistant." The seminar was informative but not life changing. However, it was held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on the same night as the LA Dreamgirls premiere (4 days until I see the movie) which meant a few celebrity spottings (more on celeb spottings in a second).
Life is a journey of self-discovery. In 2006, I experienced underemployment followed by a wonderful job opportunity that turned awful. I also went through "gay divorce" in the formal break up of my relationship with Steve. And then there was the move to Los Angeles. I miss Steve (and the dogs) terribly. I miss performing regularly. I know that I'm going to be all right but it is a bit overwhelming some days. I have taken comfort in musical theatre recordings (of all things). I have been drawn to shows with story lines and songs about journeying and self-discovery. Shows like The Wiz, Rent, and Into the Woods. So, as I journey into the woods, I am going to be a lion, because there is no future, there is no past, I will live this moment as my last.
Now my celebrity sighting for the week. Saw him hanging out in West Hollywood. Saw her shopping at H & M. He and she sat in front of me at the show I attended last night. I spoke with him at the Beverly Wilshire because we have the same agent in Chicago. She spoke to me (I don't know why) at the Beverly Wilshire as she was on her way to the Dreamgirls premiere. I also saw him and her at the Beverly Wilshire.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
I have safely arrived in LA. On my first day in town, my sister and I lunched at cute little place in West Hollywood while our brother watched some stupid football game at a sports bar across the street. After lunch, I got a quick manicure before my siblings dropped me off at my hosts' house in the Miracle Mile/La Brea neighborhood of Los Angeles.
After settling in for a couple of hours, I immediately became jet lagged and very very tired. Despite my fatigue, I went to a holiday party with O'Tay, LL Cool P, WhiteShaft, Deez, and ScottieDog. At this party, I saw a casting director that I had just met before I left Chicago. She was very surprised that on my first day in town I was hanging with such cool people but...I guess I just got it like that.
At the same party was a woman that I had been in contact with regarding subleasing her apartment. It turns out that this woman, we'll call her AussieLass is an outstanding human being. I'm taking her place for a month but I hope she and I are friends for life.
I have been teased (politely and no so politely)about my name my whole life. I recognize that it is unusual and I have heard every joke and every variation on my name. But AussieLass asked me if I knew that pip is another name for a seed. I knew that. AussieLass went on to say that my name can mean "new beginnings" like a seed, full of possibilities, full of potential life. Now that is a new one on me. I love it. I think LA is going to be okay.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
I have had many conversations about Michael Richards and they usually end with the statement, "we need to really let this one go." I'm tired of the "n-word" discussion. It's not even a discussion anymore. People are flat out telling me that I am not allowed to use the word nigger. Ever. Under any circumstances. And to that I say, "fuck them niggers." Yes, I know the historical context of the word. Yes, I know people died being called one. I have been hatefully called a nigger more times than I can count. Only once in the last ten years. The last time it happened I laughed at the man who said it to me. I thought, "We are in 21st century Chicago and you are calling me a nigger? This is the best insult you have for me? You must not be trying to hard." An actress friend of mine was on a Seinfeld episode and she thought Michael Richards was a bit of an a-hole. He put her down for doing Broadway theatre even though she had won a Tony for her incredible work. I think the racist in Michael Richards came out on stage. I think the a-hole in Mr. Richards appeared before the crowd. I think he got really angered at being heckled and just lashed out in the most asshole-ish way possible. And he did. He apologized. Lets move on. Or at least consider this argument by Frank Leon Roberts: Which Niggah Are We Talking About? Brief Notes Towards A Politics of Re-appropriation.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
South African Parliament Approves Same-Sex Marriages I read that headline yesterday while temping at the big giant advertising agency. The first thing that came to mind was , "we boycotted this country when I was in college because of serious human rights violations." Now, they have surpassed the United States in terms of equality for all.
The American hypocrisy is amazing. We think we are so much more advanced and enlightened than other countries yet we are so far behind. Here, we don't allow the same rights for all adult citizens. We don't even consider gays to be worthy of equal treatment. The far right cries out that we want special treatment. Is is so special to want the same legal benefits as our straight counterpoints?
The US Catholic bishops met recently to figure out what to do with the gays. They decided to handle it the old fashioned way, encourage us to be eunachs. You see, it is okay to be gay as long as you don't act on it. You could have sex if you are married but gays can't get married. It is harder to be a gay Catholic than a non-union actor.
The biggest joke, for me at least, is that I am so far from being proper marriage material. I don't have a boyfriend. I don't even have a job or property. I am moving in two weeks, so I'm in major transition. But dammit, let me at least have the opportunity.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
One Night ONLY!
Wednesday, November 15th -8PM
The Second City e.t.c.
1608 N. Wells 2nd Floor (Piper’s Alley)
Free to Second City Training Center students and staff
$5 General Admission
Come see the TEN FINALISTS of Chicago ’s freshest, hottest stand-up comedians from the NBC Universal Stand-Up Comedy Search.
Help us pick a lucky winner and decide who goes to LA.
Sketch comedy will be performed by BrownCo and Straight &Nappy.
For more info email email@example.com
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Tuesday, November 14 at 10:00a.m.
The Second City Theatre
1608 N. Wells (4th Floor) Piper's Alley
* The best comics from NBC's nationwide search will be brought back to Los Angeles to be showcased for key Hollywood players in December.
*Two Stand-Up for Diversity comics will be invited to showcase as the NACA (National Association of Campus Activities) during their National Convention Kickoff
* One or more comics from standup for diversity may be chosen to participate in the semifinals auditions for the next season of "Last Comic Standing."
* All finalists comics will be seen by talent executives from "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."
* One comic will be offered a one-year talent holding deal with NBC
Only the first 100 comics who arrive will be seen. Early atendance is strongly recommended.Comics will have two minutes at the initial audition. A handful will be invited back the next day(Wednesday, November 15th) for a three-minute callback and the top comics will be selected to performin the showcase that evening.
This open call is for diverse comics who are serious about being funny. You must have five minutes of polished material.
For more info, check out www.diversecityNBC.com
Wednesday, November 15 at 8PMCome laugh, cheer and see the 10 FINALISTS from the Chicago search!
Second City e.t.c. theatre1608 N. Wells (2nd Floor) Piper's Alley$5 General AdmissionFree to Industry professionals and Second City Training Center students
Email Dgriffinfirstname.lastname@example.org for additional info
Monday, November 06, 2006
Finally a video is available from our Straight & Nappy shows. This scene is called Mack Grandaddies. It is about two over-the-hill players trying to get "out of the game."
This video can be now be found on You Tube (of course), the Straight & Nappy website, and MySpace. I hope other videos will be up within the next week or two.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Friday, November 03, 2006
Freedom of speech apparently doesn't cover non-verbal signals. Sara Niegowski, a school bus driver was fired for an obscene gesture to President Bush. School bus officials say she wasn't fired for giving Bush an obscene gesture but for doing it in front of children. My favorite part of the story was after Ms. Niegowski's gesture when Bush turned to fellow Republican Dave Reichart and responded. "I don't think she's a fan."
Mom always told me that the truth outlives a lie. Thank God! And I really mean that, thank God that in his infinite wisdom he allowed Evangelist Ted Haggard's secret gay life to be exposed. Now maybe other hypocritical closeted "family men" will stop persocuting gays and lesbians with their hate speech, unjust laws, and prejudce. Right!
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Florence Klotz, Tony-Winning Costume Designer, Dead at 86. I was fortunate to play two roles in the revival of Showboat directed by Hal Prince. Ms. Klotz won her sixth Tony Award for the 585 costumes in the show. Altogether, I wore 10 costumes created by Ms. Klotz. It was a great honor. There will be no funeral but donations can be made in Ms. Klotz's name to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
The picture is from Halloween 1997. I was staying in a hotel in Ottawa, ON and visiting my French-Canadian boyfriend, Patric. I did his costume and mine. He was The Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz. I was Torn-up Orphan Annie.
I don't have a costume this year. So, I decided to "costume" my post instead. I will write my post in the style of another blogger. So, for Halloween 2006, I am Rosie O'Donnell.
uptempo is a very bad blogger.
inconsistent and elusive for several months.
uptempo may go offline soon.
im still not sure.
lots of fear
little amounts of cash
lots of moral support
im addicted to heroes
when did i become this geek
watching oprah right now
cause im unemployed
denzel is one great actor
but O's energy is odd as
america's greatest black female star
greets america's greatest black male star
Saturday, October 21, 2006
My best friend, Patchy, wants me to stop saying that I was fired from my television job. I wasn't really fired. Because I only free lanced there. The station refused to meet my terms and when i called them on it they decided to go forward with someone else. It still sucks to start a project and then be told that we don't think you are worth paying for which is the same thing as being fired in my book. I'll explain more about this later.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Grab a sack lunch kids 'cause this post is a longer one.
Miss American Pie is one of Steve's best friends. She is having a really tough year.
Her father passed away earlier this year. It is difficult to lose a parent. Well, imagine losing two in the same year. Miss American Pie's mother is in hospice right now. She has been traveling regularly to Milwaukee to help her mother die. Now, it is no secret that I am not a huge fan of Miss American Pie but I wish her no harm either. And we both extended a hand to help. When her father died, Steve and I volunteered to keep her dog Roxy for her. Roxy gets along with Steve's dogs very well. They have been play pals for years. We extended the same courtesy for her while she deals with her mother.
On Sunday, Miss American Pie brought Roxy over around 1 or 2 pm. I was busy doing some re-writes on the children's television show I've been working on for the last 6 weeks. Steve was doing some fall house chores. We both stopped our projects so that we could find out if she was doing okay and the status of her mother. Things were not good. In addition to her mother's health, her daughter just dropped out of college this semester for health reasons. And Miss American Pie told us that Roxy was not doing well either. Roxy wasn't eating and she had become very lethargic. It must be the stress we all said.
When I fed the dogs dinner Sunday night, Steve's dogs lapped up their dinner very quickly but Roxy ate 2 or 3 pieces of kibble and then she was finished. I also noticed that Roxy was breathing funny. Her breathing was very labored. Maybe this wasn't just stress. On expert advice, Steve and I decided to take Roxy to a vet the next morning to make sure.
Originally, Steve was going to take Roxy to the vet located in Lakeview but I had a pre-production meeting in Lincoln Park so it seemed easier for me to do. It was a very typical October in Chicago kind of day. Heavily overcast, slightly windy, with sprinkles of rain intermittently. Roxy immediately started to pull at her leash when she and I arrived at the animal hospital. She did not want to go inside. I pulled at her leash and talked real pretty to her and she went inside.
Our doctor was mild mannered and cute. Roxy responded well to him except when he wanted to examine her mouth and her abdomen. His initial examination was not enough. He asked if he could run some tests. I called Steve and Miss American Pie to let them know what was going on. We all decided to let the doctor do his thing. I left Roxy in cute and capable hands while I went off to my Lincoln Park meeting.
My meeting was to get some feedback from an award winning teacher on our show. My boss, who I call "the fountain" because she just bubble thoughts and ideas in every direction,wanted to know if third graders would find it entertaining. Needless to say, my mind was on Roxy (actually I was feeling really bad for Miss American Pie) and it was difficult to focus. We got through about half of the scenes and then my cell phone started to vibrate. It was the cutey vet and he didn't have good news. Roxy had cancer. It was very advanced and the prognosis was not good. The doctor asked me to come back so he could show me the x-rays and talk to me about our extremely limited options. I still had a least another hour in this meeting. I finished the meeting and headed back to the animal hospital.
I arrived at the animal hospital at 1 pm. It was closed until 1:30 pm. I went to pick some food up at Eatzi's rather than hang outside on one of the gloomiest days ever. The attendant unlocked the doors promptly at 1:30 but the doctor was out until 2 pm. I waited reading the New Yorker to pass the time. When I was called into the vet's office I hesitated the same way Roxy did when arrived. I knew it would not end well.
With Miss American Pie's permission, I signed the paper work to euthanize Roxy. It saddened me. It still does.
Of course, this is only half of the great tragedy of Monday the 16th. In a future post, I'll tell you how I was fired from my brand new television job later that evening.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
It is National Coming Out Day. My friends keep sending me messages that I should tell somebody about my sexuality. OK. Is there anyone left that doesn't know? Guess what world, Pip Lilly is a major faggot...signed Pip Lilly. Yes, I used the word faggot. I love it. I came out over 15 years ago now and that word doesn't hurt at all. I am a fag. I am a dance diva lovin', Project Runway watchin', man sex havin' fag. And I defy anyone to make me feel bad it about it. I love my life as an out gay male. And if you are gay, lesbian, or bi (like my gal LL Cool P) celebrate don't commiserate.
If you are really feeling gay, I suggest you listen to one of my favorite fag podcasts, Gay Pimpin' with Johnny McGovern (It's Fahhhhhhhhhhhhhbulous).
Friday, October 06, 2006
All of you Chicagoans (and some of you satellite babies) can catch me this weekend as a guest on the PBS station WTTW-11 where I will appear on Check Please!
The episode was fun to tape. Alpana Singh is even lovelier in person than she appears on the telly. She is not only beautiful but she is extremely knowledgable and a warm friendly person.
Check Please! can be seen on WTTW-Channel 11.
Friday at 8pm
Saturday at 11:30 pm
Sunday at 10:30 pm
Human beings, why are we so fucked up? And why are our politicians focused on congressman Mark Foley being gay more than the fact that he acted inappropriately as an adult and a leader? And it seems that his own party is really off base on the subject. Their brilliant spin control idea? Attack the gays. Ben Stein recently wrote an article for The American Spectator where he broadly (not nearly a strong enough word) paints a picture of democrats and gays. He says:
We have a Republican man in Congress who sent e-mails to teenage boys asking them what they were wearing, and an entire party, the Democrats, whose primary constituency, besides the teachers' unions, is homosexual men and lesbian women. I hope it won't come as a surprise to anyone that a big part of male homosexual behavior is interest in young boys. (Take a look at anyone renting Endless Summer next time you are at the video store.)I'll remember that Ben when I see straight men renting Lolita, Great Balls of Fire, and anything starring Lindsay Lohan or Hillary Duff. Conservative Linda Harvey also took time out to show her bigotry. And of course, our country's most openly bigoted son Pat Robertson along with Paul Weyrich let the world know that Foley's behavior is "typical of gay men." What is wrong with you fuckin' idiots? Stop trying to win some political edge over gays and democrats and deal with why a man in his position is doing what he is doing. Deal with the men (gay and straight) amongst your ranks that are abusing their positions of power to court sweet young ass instead of living the squeaky clean lives that they want to legislate that we live.
Of course, our country doesn't hold the patent on stupid political fights.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
In the "are you serious?" category comes the story of a gay school superintendent in Tinly Park, IL. It seems he tried to put together a humorous mockumentary video of his teachers and staff and now they want to use his joke to fire him. People, get a fucking sense of humor.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
I watch a lot of TV. It's about time they let me on it. If you live in Chicago you can catch me on the WTTW-11 show Check Please! My episode, recorded in June, is airing the first weekend of October.
I'll be on Check Please! :
Friday October6 at 8 pm
Saturday October 7 at 4:30 pm
Sunday October 8 at 10:30 pm
Thursday, September 21, 2006
I'm back from Deutschland and I am so full. Full of wonder at the beautiful German countryside; full of joy to be back home; and of course, full of schnitzel and wursts.
It was such a bittersweet trip. Steve 's mother became very ill in July. He had to move her into a nursing home. He had to take care of closing up his mother's apartment. I went along to help and support. One should never tell a ladies age but I will say that Steve's mother is an octogenarian. She suffered a stroke and is now confined to bed. Life can be a bitch. You live so long and then what? Illness, pain, suffering, and death.
I know all this sounds dark and dramatic but you should know that our trip was anything but dark. As a matter of fact, it was literally brighter there than Chicago. It was sunny and 80 degrees nearly everyday. It rained one day and was overcast another but the other seven days were brilliant.
Speaking of dark, this was my second trip to a German speaking country. I performed in Austria in 2004. Unlike my Austrian trip, no one called me a "Nigger" or "Scwhartze" while I was in Germany. Although, everyone in town knew that I was there. I teased Steve daily that he should try to blend in more with the locals like I was doing. Of course, there are plenty of dark skinned Germans like this cutie or this homophobic jerk. The US military has been based in Germany for over 60 years plus there are Africans and Turks. But not very many(honestly, I didn't see any) in Kelkheim, the small country town about 20 miles from Frankfort, where Steve and I stayed. It should be noted that my outrageously nappy hair ruled me out as military personnel.
I didn't see a lot of Brothas in Germany but I did see (and eat) a lot of food and beer. I quit drinking back in July, except for Champagne, but I suspended that choice in order to partake in some of the greatest libations on the planet. There is nothing like a good pilsner and a schnitzel. And of course, there are the many wursts, hams, and sausages. I also enjoyed many pommes frites, dumplings, and spaetzle. And the plus was that I only gained one pound while I was gone.
Being in the country didn't give us very many night life options. I watched a lot of German TV. Many of you are saying, "don't you watch a lot of TV now?" And the answer is yes, but this was German TV. Many of the programs were dubbed American shows but I loved seeing the German produced shows. Although, the German dubbed version of "High School Musical" was a revelation. I also watched a lot of German MTV which included the UK version of "Pimp My Ride." That was delightful. And I fell in love with German Hip-Hop. In particular, I discovered the great and soulful sounding Jan Delay and hip and street Kool Savas.
To be continued
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Friday, September 08, 2006
So, I have a lot of catching up to do before I go to Germany this weekend.
Let's start with the trip to Germany. Steve's (yes, the one I used to date) mother lives in Germany. She became very ill two months ago and Steve had to move her into a nursing home. He needs to return to Germany and close up her old apartment. He needs a friend to help so he asked me to accompany him. Despite our break up, Steve has been wonderful to me and if he ever needs me, I am available for him...Especially if a free plane ticket to Germany is involved. So, I will be out of the country. ALERT TO WOULD BE ROBBERS: We have a house-sitter, two tame but loud dogs, and nosy lesbian neighbors.
So, we leave for Germany on Sunday but Saturday is the "Wedding of the Year." Rebecca, my Straight & Nappy partner, is getting married tomorrow. I don't go to a lot of weddings. I don't like them. It bothers me that as a gay person I am excluded from the right to do it. I also think the whole spectacle wedding is antiquated and stupid. Marriage is not religious. It is a legal agreement between two people. There are certain rights and privileges that you receive once you get married. That's it. If there is a god, I find it hard to believe that he cares whether or not someone gets married or not. God, one would think, should be more worried about poverty, war, and disease than bridal registries. Rebecca's wedding IS NOT in a church. It IS going to be a big and expensive affair. Her bridal registries (there are four) are full of assorted items that I refuse to purchase for my friend. I have a rule. Once you reach 27, don't expect me to buy you silverware. Instead, Steve designed and crafted a beautiful and personalized cutting board and two rolling pins.
Ok. I'm done with wedding rant. I don't want my last entry to be about that.
So, let's talk about my upcoming move to LA. I am getting more and more excited about the very idea but it seems that certain forces are conspiring to keep me in the Windy City. Yesterday, I taped three test shows for a new local children's show. It went really well. And if the final money offer is good enough, I may stay.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
I had a fairly good Labor Day Weekend. I got to see my elusive friend Tchad. I got to hang with some of the Ya-Yas. Speaking of Ya-Yas, I have to send a special congats out to LL Cool P for the successful opening of her show this past Friday. She worked really hard and created something new. Congrats LL Cool P.
I spent part of the holiday weekend feeling crappy. It is the height of allergy season and I am losing the battle with weeds and pollen. I take a lot of Benedryl and I am groggy all the time. Drugs are supposed to be fun. Right?
Monday, September 04, 2006
Friday, August 25, 2006
Feeling ashamed of your sexuality? Want to fit in even if it makes you miserable? Then make your way to Vista Ridge Baptist Church in Carrollton, TX this weekend for an old fashioned Exodus event. And no, an Exodus event is not a festive and dramatic biblical re-enactment. It is a chance for former sausage suckers to claim that god has "restored" them and now they love boobies. Organizations, like Truth Wins Out, sponsor these events in order to "save" other gays. And lesbians. God hates them too...Or hates them more I can't remember.
I, woefully, will not be attending the event. As I will be having a lot gay sex. Someone send me a postcard with the inscription: Event Cancelled. Bigots go home to mind their own beeswax. Ex-gays are gay again and proud of who they are. Wish you were here.
A couple of months ago, I taped an upcoming episode of Check Please! People keep asking me when it is going to air. I have to be honest and say I have no idea. But one of the women that appears on the show with me gave me a suggestion for a great Persian restaurant in my neighborhood, Rogers Park. Last night, Steve and I went to Cafe Suron Restaurant. The B.Y.O. restaurant was everything and more than we expected.
The space, brightly colored and artfully decorated, is beautiful. And the food is stellar too.
We enjoyed two appetizers. First we tried the grilled quail which was tiny (it's a quail) but tasty. We also had the paneer, a delicious combo of Cherve goat cheese baked in a marinara sauce with fresh basil. Steve couldn't decide which entree to try. The warm and knowledgeable server brought Steve a sample of one dish before he decided to have the Eggplant Khoresh. I settled in with the pan-fried Hawaiian Tilapia, crusted with panko breadcrumbs, horseradish and basil. SO DELICIOUS!
Suron Cafe Restaurant gets my highest rating: 4 forks, a knife, and sopping biscuit.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Sunday, August 13, 2006
The weather in Chicago has been outstanding this past week. It is too bad that there are so many chores to do and little time to enjoy life in the CHI-city. I'm going to miss this place. I have spent the last twelve years getting used to calling a can of Coke a pop and eating tomatoes on my hot dogs.
I love this Chicago but my thoughts are of Los Angeles. I have always wanted to live in LA but for many reasons I never made the move. This will be my year.
I almost moved to New York two years ago but I knew it wasn't right for me just yet. First I have to go to Cali.
Please enjoy this awesome tribute to the awesome city I like to call NYC. While I may be stuck in the middle for now. And I am definitely California Dreamin'. Still, the couple in this video and the Big Apple both makes me smile.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Move over Kathy Griffin there is new D-lister heading your way. I have always thought of myself as the most famous un-famous person in the world. Hardly a week goes by that I don't see my picture somewhere. It could be in a newspaper, magazine, on-line, a video, an online video, a movie, a postcard, or a brochure. Yet no one knows who the hell I am. It is been like this for me for a long time. I can't help it that I'm so fancy. In an effort to be cutting edge and progressive I am appearing on one of the newest media sensations, a podcast.
Sunday I was a guest on We'll Be Right Back , a podcast hosted by the fabulous Ms. Ruby Streak. For nearly 30 years, Ruby has been a musical director at Second City. She has worked with everybody including Bonnie Hunt, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Mike Meyers, etc.
The thing that makes Ruby great is that her job requires that you don't notice her. She sits in the corner and makes the people on stage look good. She takes a laugh line and enhances it with texture and atmosphere. She is a true artist and I'm glad to know her. And If you will allow me to brag, I worked with her too.
It was a special honor to be on the show since I subscribe to the podcast and listen to it religiously. I also subscribe to Tim Gunn's Project Runway podcast, iO to Go Podcast, NPR's Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me podcast, Feast of Fools, and Gay Pimpin' with Johnny McGovern. But it is Ruby and her sideckick She and her sidekick Jarret that I love. Probably because I actually know them and they are good people in my book so I support them.
Listen to me on the podcast with Ruby. I am brutally honest and kind of funny. You can download it from the Second City website or on iTunes later today.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
I had the best time last night at Steppenwolf Theatre. As part of their Traffic series they had a program called Blues/Hip-Hop Intersection. As you would imagine, the two hour show featured Blues and Hip-Hop artists performing separately and together. It was off the MoFo chain ya'll.
The headliner was Billy Branch with his incredible band Sons of Blues (S.O.B.s). They rocked the house with classic blues numbers and Mr. Branch's infectious personality, voice, and harp (that's a harmonica for you not familiar with blues terminology). He and co-host Sylvia Ewing paid tribute to the Blues greats including John Lee Hooker, Junior Wells, and Johnny Cotton. Sidenote:I met Johnny Cotton when I was a child. He was Larry Allen's (my uncle by marriage) brother-in-law. Larry took my cousins and I to Johnny's house and I got to meet Matt "Guitar" Murphy. New school harp man Russ Green came along to show off his Blues chops too.
The Hip-Hop artists were no slouches. They included some old friends Kevin Coval and Ugochi; my new friend Avery R. Young; and some awesome artists that I don't personally know but want to know more about their music for sure. Acts like DJ Itch 13, DJ Butter, the BeatMonstas, Mae Koen, Idris Goodwin (brilliant). And I can't forget the great teen acts including FM Supreme and Sense.
The whole evening was a foot stompin', head bobbin', shoulders shimmyin' good time.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Make this and enjoy as a sipping beverage or a mid-afternoon treat. OMG! I really am a desperate housewife.
Monday, July 31, 2006
Saturday, July 29, 2006
I read so many blogs that is dificult for me to read them all on a daily basis. Yesterday, I had an office temp job (isn't being an actor glamorous?) so I thought I would catch up with my blog reading. I was so infuriated when I read a post by Keith Boykin entitled Jody Watley Barred From Talking About Gay Games During Chicago Radio Interview. This really makes my blood boil. I listen to V103 all the time but not anymore. I'm so over this kind of blatent homophobia and exclusionism displayed by the DJ and the station managers. If Jody had been performing at a major Urban (translate to Black or African American) event and a predominately white station barred her from mentioning it...well....you know.
I don't know if you listen to V103 (home of the Tom Joyner Morning Show in Chicago, one of my favorite radio personalities) but if you do, STOP. Call them, write them, and email them to tell them why. And if you don't listen, call them, write them, and email them so that they know that this is not acceptable behavior anymore.
I don't know if you listen to V103 (home of the Tom Joyner Morning Show in Chicago, one of my favorite radio personalities) but if you do, STOP. Call them, write them, and email them to tell them why. And if you don't listen, call them, write them, and email them so that they know that this is not acceptable behavior anymore.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I have been very unfaithful in posting lately. It is not that I don't have a lot to say or the time to say it. It is that I have something that is difficult for me to say. The best way to do it is just put it out there.
My partner Steve and I split up two weeks ago. If we were married, which we can't do (see below), the grounds would be "irreconcilable differences." There, that wasn't that bad. Although, it still hurts a little. Who am I kidding? It stings a lot. I refuse, however, to look at this situation as a crisis but rather as an opportunity.
I have been proclaiming my intentions to move to LA since 1986. For twenty years, I have talked about going into television comedy. The talk ends this year and the move begins in September. It is official. I am finally leaving the Midwest and I'm bound for California. Swimming pools, movie stars....
Steve and I will continue to live together for the next two months and then I'm making the second biggest move of my life.
What was the first move? Coming out of the closet.
It has been a while since I posted a WIWWUS. This one deserves a mention. The state Supreme Court of Washington upholds gay marriage ban. 45 out of 50 states have laws banning gay marriage or defining marriage as a union between a man and woman. Doesn't matter what kind of union, as long as they are male and female. One day, history will show our folly.
As if we don't have enough time wasters at our disposal, MyHeritage.com is offering you the chance to Find the Celebrity in You through face recognition. First you upload a photo, the site scans your face, then tells you what celebrities have faces like yours. I am glad to say that I have a face like Denzel Washington (yeah!), Lionel Hampton (cool), James Brown (uh oh!), and Madelinge Albright (?!?).
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
TCB Ya'll. I'm taking care of business. I'll be back with a real post soon. I promise.
I have a major...make that two major life changes to report but I have to do it in my own time and in my own way. Stay tuned because Uptempo Orpheus is changing. Which reminds me of Dreamgirls, of course. 156 more days until the movie opens.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Monday, July 17, 2006
Sunday, July 16, 2006
I love Staceyann Chin. Truth is hard to accept in any context. The LGBT community should listen to the voice of the prophetess before it is too late. We must take care of ourselves but remember that others that struggle are worthy of our help.
Yes, there is a time and a place for everything. The time for Truth, especially when it is delivered so artfully, is always.
Friday, July 14, 2006
Today is Bastille Day. Like most Americans, I don't care. In my mind today is like Cinco De Mayo with red wine instead of margaritas.
There is one thing that I do love about Bastille Day. My friends Miriam and Colleen present a very funny show every year called Bastille Magnolias. The show is full of humor and some great French songs (and some very un-French songs too).
If you are in Chicago for the Gay Games then maybe you might want to check them out at Davenport's tonight at 8 pm and tomorrow at 7 & 9 pm. Will you enjoy yourself? Mais Oui.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Yesterday was an overcast Monday. Today it is raining. What's going on? Can't a brother get some sunshine? Throw in the mix my wicked second degree burn on the back of my left calf that I got while getting off Steve's motorcycle. I'm taking the day off. I work everyday for the next five days so why not?
There is a Project Runway marathon (season 1, which was brilliant) on Bravo. Oe maybe I will watch one of those movies that I always planned on seeing but never did. Anyway, more posts on another day.
Wherever you are, I hope your day is sunny.
Monday, July 10, 2006
The weekend is over and while that means back to work for most for me it means back to no work. Well, not entirely true. There is a lot of writing to be done. There is still the matter of ordering my new headshots. And there is always a major house chore to be done. For example, I am expecting a delivery of 1500 live ladybugs today that need to be released into our garden in order to eat the aphids and spider mites. Oh, what an exciting life it is.
The weekend, however, was different. The weekend started for me on Thursday afternoon when Steve and I went to see Superman Returns at the IMAX in 3-D. I loved this movie. Watching it on a four story screen in 3-D just made it better. If you haven't caught this soon to be classic flick then you better hurry. It is worth seeing on the big screen for the special effects but the storytelling and acting are great too.
I taught on Friday. I mentioned in some earlier posts about the opening of the Strangers With Candy movie. I still haven't caught the movie yet but it opened on Friday. One of the featured actors and I co-taught a class on Friday before he went to his Chicago opening (the film opened in New York last week). The class that we teach is part of The Second City Outreach and Diversity program. We (as well as another great teacher named Jonathan) will be teaching a 5 week intensive improv training workshop designed to give a leg up to underrepresented actors in the improv community including actors of color, women, and LGBT actors. While teaching one of these intensive two years ago I met Rebecca, my comedy partner, and formed Straight & Nappy.
Saturday was a StoryBus day. We were at the DuSable Museum for the 32nd Annual Arts and Crafts Fair. This is a great event that I have attended for the last two years. This year I got to meet Chicagoan and former television star, Karyn Parsons. Ms. Parsons is better known as Hilary from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Sometimes when you meet actors from television it is a little disappointing to see that they are so regular. Ms. Parson, however, is one of the few actors that actually is more beautiful in person. Her skin, her aura, everything about her seems to radiate beauty. She recently produced a new series of educational DVD's aimed at teaching children about lesser known Black historical figures. The first is called The Journey of Henry Box Brown. This film is the historic true tale of slave Henry Box Brown, a man who mailed himself in a wooden box from a plantation in Richmond, Virginia to freedom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1848. The DVD features the award winning actress and this year's double Emmy nominee Alfre Woodard as narrator. Check it out.
Sunday was the final registration and orientation for working as a volunteer at the Gay Games VII here in the Windy City. I am scheduled to work the opening ceremonies and the closing ceremonies. I may volunteer for another shift at one of the sporting events...Maybe wrestling that sounds good. I don't care just give me something to do.
So, that was my weekend. Now if you'll excuse me, I have got to get back to not working.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Independence Day has come and gone. Steve and I smoked some meats (not a sex reference) and grilled some veggies. Even though they are one of my favorite foods, we didn't grill any hot dogs. I bought some from a great kosher sausage store in my hood. Their hot dogs are great. They have a great seasoning and a good old fashioned snap. When they give them to you, they are individually wrapped in cellophane. As frequent readers and friends know, I love my hot dogs. Not as much as this guy though.
The reason we didn't have hot dogs on the fourth is because of our activities on the 3rd with our friend Iron Chef Gary. Iron Chef Gary came over on Monday night and we proceeded to drink two bottles of champagne and many many vodka shots. When the 4th rolled around and the alcohol fumes dissipated Steve and I were not in a festive 4th of July mood. I did some writing (I have to write every day or I will never do it). And I mowed the lawn. Steve did some shop work.
When dinner time rolled around we pretty much ate the leftover smoked meats from the 3rd. I cooked up some red carrots in a wine reduction and made some boiled potatoes with garlic and olive oil. I know, not your typical 4th of July fare but it was delicious and we'll have hot dogs tonight. Maybe I will check out these organic hot dogs that everyone is talking about these days.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
As we celebrate the 230th birthday of America, it is important for all of us to remember the liberty and freedom that America represents. Yes, I am aware of the current administration's challenge to those freedoms as they "fight terrorism." And yes, I am aware of conservative and religious leaders trying to force all of us to worship the way that they do and follow the laws and rules that their god demands even if it violates our human rights and dignities. In spite of all of those things, we still live in a country that is based on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. How can you not love that?
I always have had bittersweet feelings about the 4th of July holiday. Think about it. This is a country that brags about freedom and liberty yet was founded by slave owners. Frederick Douglass wrote some 170 years ago about his feelings surrounding the day. It is hard for an oppressed people to celebrate freedom in a place where they are not free.
As a gay black American in the 21st century I am still not free. I can not marry. And I am publicly shamed by some for having the audacity to even proclaim my affections for my partner Steve, whom I love dearly. Even amongst straight allies I am often seen as "less than" because of what I do in the bedroom. And now that I ask for the same civil rights as my heterosexual counterparts, I am attacked, maligned, and used as a political pawn to divide the nation.
A group, calling themselves the Illinois Family Institute, recently tried to take away my liberties. They put together a petition to get an anti-gay marriage referendum on the Illinois ballot this November. I am happy to say that they failed. They got the required amount of signatures but many were bogus or duplicates. A charge that IFI denies but I can sure you it is all true. Take a look at an email that I received just today from Equality Illinois.
This news release will be made public on Wednesday July 5th, 2006.
The Illinois State Board of Elections has informed us of the result of the
random sample verification of signatures on the antigay marriage petition proposed for the November ballot.
After careful examination of the random sample of signatures, the board has concluded that there are not enough valid signatures and the petition is "presumed invalid"!
The antigay proponents of the petition will file an appeal to this ruling.
We checked every signature. We know there are not enough valid signatures. And, we know where every invalid signature is!
When we began this project it seemed almost impossible to verify the validity of 350,000 signatures in the short time that we had before the challenge deadline.
But, we were able to check every signature because of the hard work of so many volunteers and because so many community organizations came together for this common effort. This task could not have been accomplished without the hard work of countless volunteers around the state. It is inspiring to see so many individuals and organizations stand up together for fairness and equality.
So this year I celebrate America and the defeat of real evil which is those that oppose the last line of our pledge of allegiance that says "liberty and justice for all."
Friday, June 30, 2006
Thursday, June 29, 2006
My best friend, Patchy, lives in Brooklyn and has for the last 5 years. He is a good guy that has stood by me through thick and thin. His number one job is talk to me on the telephone whenever I call. And he has lived up to his responsibility faithfully. We used to talk 3 or 4 nights out of a week but now we only speak once every two or three weeks. Earlier this week, he did the unusual, he called me.
Patchy rarely calls except when he is very excited about something. He was very excited. He was nearly busting at the seams. Why? He called me to tell me that he could not wait another 6 months for the release of the Dreamgirls film.
Patchy is a Dreamgirls fanatic. Not only has he watched any video labeled Dreamgirls on YouTube.Com but he took two trips to see the Philly live stage version back in February. He has Dreamgirls fever and it is spreading. He listens to the concert version everyday. The man has Dreamgirls fever and it is spreading. So, today I want us to go back to the day. Beyonce was just being born and no one had ever heard of this Jamie Foxx. Lets go back to when legendary stage director and choreographer Michael Bennett was still with us. When Jennifer Holliday was still fat. And Loretta Devine and Sheryl Lee Ralph (rumored to soon replace the fired Star Jones on The View) were relatively unknown.
The year was 1982. The first week in June. The same week that I graduated from the 8th grade and attended my Uncle Daryl's funeral, my eyes were opened when I watched Tony Awards that year and got my first glimpse of Dreamgirls.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
It is official, Star Jones-Reynolds to leave 'The View'. Can't say that I am going to miss her on the program. As a mater of fact, it was her mind numbing ramblings about her nuptials that made me so sick that I couldn't watch the show in the first place. I recently started tuning again so I could say goodbye to Meredith Vieira and prep myself for the new reign of Rosie O'Donnell. What a relief to see Jones-Reynolds take her piety and self-rightousness elsewhere. I hear a rumor that Star's seat has been offered to original Broaddway Dreamgirl, Sheryl Lee Ralph.
I am grateful to be teaching that night (and not just because I will be working with Greg) since work has gone from feast to famine very quickly. Steve and I returned from our fab vacation over 4 weeks ago and I worked and worked and worked. I finished my run of The Rock, taught a class, was featured as a comic actor in a dance recital, and appeared in a music video for Manheim Steamroller. Yeah, that's right Bitches, THE Manheim Steamroller, don't be jealous.
Things were looking good. I like to be busy. Even though I bitch about it daily when I am busy, I still like it. The more I have to do, the more I seem to get done. A tight schedule also clarifies my priorities. When I am busy, I am don't have time for bullshit or things that I really don't want to be bothered with so it easy for me to say no. When I am not busy, I say yes to just about anything because I don't have as many options.
These days when I get up my options are stay in bed and masterbate or get up and masturbate. Today, I chose get up...wait a minute...this discussion is getting way off center here. The point is that I need work. It is because of work that I feel justified to play. I can't enjoy my play if I don't feel like I earned it. Quit thinking about masturbation, I'm sorry I brought it up.
So, I am seeking temp work and writing. I have at least three projects that need to be written ASAP. I am also shooting a short film tomorrow. That's work plus there is always some chore around the house to do. So...Let me stop blabbing to you guys and get to work. See, my priorities are clarifying already.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
I actually listened to the whole damn thing...I recommend that you don't. The Stars Are Blind but Paris Hilton's singing makes me wish I were deaf. The vocals sound like Gwen Stefani performing with the stomach flu. And the track...is just not very good.
With much hair comes much responsibility. I just got new headshots last summer but my hair is significantly different and so is my look. This pic is from a photoshoot done in Mid-April. It has taken me over a month to narrow down which photos to use. This is one of the finalists. I like it because it looks like me. It also projects a quality that I feel is inherently Pip. This is a"raw" and untouched photo so please excuse the shmuz and eye wrinkles. Through the magic of retouching all of that will disappear.
Gay Old Time
Last Night, Steve and I went out with our friend Tim to @mosphere to see the incredibly talented Amy Armstrong and Freddy Allen. They were so great. If you have never caught their act then I am sorry for you because you really have missed something special. Whenever I see them I think about Bette Midler and Barry Manilow performing in New York bathhouses in the early 70s. This is probably the closest comparison I can think of to describe the lively and (I dare say) gay fun their show creates. Freddy seems to be able to play anything and Amy is damn funny. And Amy's voice is incredible. But don't take my word for it. You can ask another one of her fans, Michael Feinstein. Mr. Feinstein once saw her perform and now he flies to Chicago to see her. Yep, she's that good.
If you can't come to Chicago to see the fabulous Amy and Freddy then try to catch them when they perform on the RSVP gay cruises. You won't regret it.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Sorry that I was gone so long but I was ever so busy. I was involved in a huge dance concert and I appeared in a music video. In addition to those two projects, I am also working on the script to my one man show and a screenplay for Straight & Nappy. Plus, I have the StoryBus.
Speaking of the StoryBus, I have a great story. The actual bus of the StoryBus is a 37 foot Winnebago that we drive to different sites. When we get there, we perform our story for the children and then take them aboard the Winnebago that houses the setting of the story they just heard. Here are pics so you can see just how cute this whole experience really is.
Last Wednesday, I had to drive the StoryBus to a north side location. It was a good visit with the salsa-rific children ever. As I was driving the cute vehicle back to its storage location I was cut off by a bad driver (Chicago is full of them). I almost hit him. I screeched on the brake trying to stop the 37 foot vehicle. I honked my horn as a warning. The guy who cut me off cursed at me and gave me an obscene gesture. Clutch the Pearls Honey. Can you imagine cursing at someone driving a vehicle with the Gingerbread Man on the side? For shame.
I got the RV back to its parking space in one piece but just barely. I was cut off by two more people and I passed a guy drinking a beer while driving. Jesus!
As I drove my own car (translate that to Steve's car) home I approached a four way stop. As I traveled northbound, I noticed a pudgy late middle-aged man on a bicycle going westbound. At the four way stop I noticed the pudgy cyclist speeding up. He was trying to speed through the intersection before me. He didn't make it. I had the right of way and I took it. The pudgy late middle-aged cyclist didn't like it. "Bitch Whore," the man yelled out to me. Unreal, I have just been called a Bitch Whore. I have been called both Bitch and whore before but never at the same time by the same person. I thought about stopping the car and playing the role of angry black man. I could lower my voice a couple of octaves and yell out "What did you call me Motherfucker?" but the upcoming light was green and I didn't want to miss it. The old dude was not worth it.
Moving on...Lliterally...I continued traveling north. About three blocks from the bicycle incident, I found myself behind a white convertible being driven by a serious multi-tasker. She was putting on make-up, talking on the phone, and looking in the glove compartment. Good Lord! At the point when she was looking in the glove box, she was only traveling ten miles per hours on a twenty-five mph street. Traffic in the opposing lane prevented me from passing her so I gave her a little toot of the horn. And she gave me the middle finger. What in the hell is wrong with the world? People can be so rude and selfish.
I took in all the traffic events of the day. The guys who cut me off, the cyclist, and now the "bird" lady made me think that I was a terrible person but only for a minute. I thought about how much power we give to people when we allow them to fuck up our day. Honestly, I was too tired to let it happen to me. I also thought about centurions (not from Battlestar Galatica but people that live to be 100 years old or older). Not that I want to live to be 100 years old but they have a lot of wisdom to share about life. When asked about their longevity most 100+ seniors say that they still drink, dance, and smoke cigars. Yes, they probably have genetics on their side but the big difference between them and us (besides the 50-80 years age difference) is that they never let things bother them. They are just cool headed mellow individuals.
Two blocks past the finger incident, "Bird"lady pulled into a McDonalds. As she turned and I passed her I gave her another toot of my horn. She looked in her rearview mirror and saw me blowing kisses at her. I don't think she liked it but it made me feel great. I laughed my ass off the rest of the way home. I'm sure she thought I was fucking with her but I was very serious. This situation needed some positivity. So, I spread the love.
So I suggest to all my friends and readers that if you find yourself cut off by an asshole driver; cursed by a boorish cyclist; or behind a rude driver simply spread some love and blow them kisses.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Big ups (yes, I'm trying to bring it back) to my comedy partner Rebecca for sending me this clip from the Media That Matters Film Festival:6. A Girl Like Me examines Black adolescent girls struggling to find an identity. The wisdom of these young women is amazing. Even more amazing is that this film was directed by teen director Kiri Davis. Check it out.
I am so busy that I am just stealing shit from other people now. (My)Steve sent me this email that I thought was pretty good. I hate people who sue for no good reason. And you should too. I'm sorry I can't name the source but I'm printing it anyway. Don't sue me.
It's time once again to review the winners of the Annual "Stella Awards." The Stella Awards are named after 81 year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonald's (in NM). That case inspired the Stella Awards for the most ridiculous, but successful lawsuits in the United States
Here are this year's winners:
5th Place (tie):
Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas, was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving little toddler was Ms. Robertson's son.
5th Place (tie):
19-year-old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000 and medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Mr.Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of t he car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.
Terrence Dickson of Bristol, Pennsylvania, was leaving a house he had just finished robbing by way of the garage. He was not able to get the garage door to go up since the automatic door opener was malfunctioning. He couldn't re-enter the house because the door
connecting the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family was
>on vacation, and Mr. Dickson found himself locked in the garage for eight days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found, and a large bag of dry dog food. He sued the homeowner's insurance claiming the situation caused him undue mental anguish. The jury agreed, to the tune of $500,000.
4th Place: (tie)
Jerry Williams of Little Rock, Arkansas, was awarded $14,500 and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next door neighbor's beagle. ; The beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. The award was less than sought because the jury felt the dog might have been just a little provoked at the time by Mr. Williams who had climbed over the fence into the yard and was shooting it repeatedly with a pellet gun .
3rd Place :
A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, $113,500. after she slipped on a soft drink and broke her coccyx (tailbone). The beverage was on the floor because Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.
Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware, successfully sued the owner of a night club in a neighboring city when she fell from the bathroom window to the floor and knocked out her two front teeth. This occurred while Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the window in the ladies room to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000 and dental expenses.
1st Place :
This year's runaway winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mrs. Grazinski purchased a brand new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, (from an OU football game), having driven onto the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go into the back & make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the RV left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Mrs.Grazinski sued Winnebago for not advising her in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually do this. The jury awarded her $1,750,000. plus a new motor home. The company actually changed their manuals on the basis of this suit, just in case there were any other c omplete morons around.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
It is the day of the Anti-Christ. So, in celebration, I will be wearing all black all day...And eating babies . It shoud be noted that the central air isn't working in our house so it sort of feels like hell. To get me in the holiday mood, I am planning to worship at the Church of Satan, to dance like Satan's Cheerleaders, and protect my network with SATAN.
The jury is still out on whether to see The Omen flick. I loved the original when I was a child. And I even was into the the two sequels. I'm not sure why they felt the need to make remake it except for the brilliant marketing idea of opening today but whatever....A flick about the Devil's spawn is always good for a lark. Just as a side note: Whenever I see a particularly bad kid, I like to call them Damien.
And speaking of the devil, what is up with President Bush and gay marriage? Let it go W and fix the messes you already created before your start new ones. Or fix these guys' marriage. BTW, why is that conservatives are always screaming about state's rights until it comes to their agenda? That is when state's rights go out the window and the "moral agenda" comes in. Well, I say if you are opposed to gay marriage than don't have one. Otherwise, get a life.