Friday, April 30, 2010

Pot Calling the Racist Black

I was following a meme on Facebook regarding RuPaul's Drag Race when all of sudden one of the posters claimed that RuPaul was a racist. That the only way to win the show was to be black. I was taken back. Had I read that correctly? Was the writer actually accusing a gay show with one of television's few black Host/Executive Producers of racism?

RACISM?!? people making this far fetched accusation need to get an education on racism because they obviously don't understand what the word means. First of all, if the show was racist there probably would have been only people of color/or blacks as contestants. Whites would have been shut out entirely or at least to the barest minimum. So, I think the term these peeps are looking for is "racially biased" which is actually different from racism. And even if they used the term racially biased they would be full of crap.

These reverse racialists (like Tea Party members) quickly forget very recent history. They have forgotten that the first contestant booted from the multi-racial show was a black contestant, Shangela. If the show was truly racially biased then she (as well as Mystique and Sahara) would have been allowed to stay longer so that Ru and other producers could have picked the perfect black woman to win.

No one was a bigger Pandora Boxx and Jujubee fan than I but I don't think it was racism that took them out of the running for the crown.

BTW, Jujubee is not white, I know. I put that in there to remind people that not only those poor white queens lost.

A big part of the puzzle that the "reverse racialists" are missing is that there is 100s of hours of raw show footage. Things we didn't see. They filmed the whole show in probably 4 weeks. When Tyra won the producers and writers (yes, Reality TV has writers) figured out what is the best way to tell the story. It was all manipulated for TV by the producers (including RuPaul). That's how I knew Raven was not going to win. Her edit was clearly one of the fierce but mean girl. Classic storytelling lets us know that mean girls don't win.

We don't know all the thought that went into who was eliminated and who eventually won. so, let it go peeps. it is a Reality TV show, not a Gubernatorial race. And it is NOT RACIST.

Those of us that have experienced true racism are very offended by the idea.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Little Big Dollhouse

Is it just me or is there something inherently funny about toddlers and dogs in jail?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I'm So Jealous of Your Boogie

Last night, I spent two hours talking on the phone with my best friend about RuPaul's Drag Race. It was really serious for us. I'm having DTs since the sizzling finale and the hotter-than-hot reunion show aired. I actually watched both shows twice and will definitely watch the reunion show at least twice more before the week is out.

I'm not sure I can wait for a new season to air. I need Ru and my girls NOW. When does RuPaul's Drag U start? Not familiar...oh then check this out:

Looks fun right? I can't wait. I need me some drag queens!

Sandy B and Our Brown Bundle of Joy

As you can tell by the picture to the left, Sandy B and I have finally had a baby. Now maybe she and I can both find happiness. We can finally be fulfilled as parents since dating/marriage is not working out for either of us.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rod 2.0:Beta: WATCH: "Enraged" Man Accused of Killing Daughter's Girlfriend

There seems to be more stories about violence committed towards lesbian women lately. I don't know if this is just coincidence or a very disturbing trend.

Rod 2.0:Beta: WATCH: "Enraged" Man Accused of Killing Daughter's Girlfriend

Thursday, April 22, 2010

420 Meaning

I meant to post this from the Huffington Post on 4/20 but, you know, i was high.

The Origins of 4/20

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Marijuana and Titty Bars

I was in a strip bar in Portland, OR the first time I heard the term 420. It was April 2003. I was touring with The Second City National Touring Company. A couple of cast members suggested that we all go out and enjoy Portland's high class entertainment. Why not? I had never been to a real strip club before. The closest I ever came to a titty bar was on a movie set. I felt naughty, thrilled, and disgusted all at the same time.

I'm not going to lie. I hated it. And it wasn't because the dancers were women either. I'm not a big fan of male strippers either. I guess being a performer I know that they are just pretending. That they don't really care about my sexual excitement as much as they care about the $$ in my pocket. They don't want me. They just want my dollar (or preferably my $100). On top of all that, I kept thinking this place can't be that clean. What with all the body parts on display and...eww.

Not wanting to be a bad sport I stayed at the boob joint with my cast. We drank and laughed. After all that drinking I had to go the bathroom. I met a local who broke my cardinal bathroom sin, never talk to a stranger at the urinal next to you. The guy went on and on about the titties on the girl that was dancing on the pole. His favorite part was when she licked her own tits. I didn't answer. I stayed eyes forward, focused, dick in hand. "Whoo Hoo!," the native shouted, "They're having a 420 party here." I finally gave him eye contact. He saw the lost look on my face. "Don't chu know what a 420 party is?," He asked. I confessed that I didn't. And right there in the men's room this guy gave me a lesson in cannabis history. It was cute. He was cute (and straight). He offered to get me high. I accepted his offer. His weed was weak but tasty. Still, I appreciated his hospitality.

Here we are on 420 again. I actually have a medicinal marijuana card now. And can smoke legally. 420 doesn't quite have the festival status it once held in my life. The quality of marijuana I get is also better. 1000x better than the stuff the guy from the strip joint gave me. Still, every time April 20th rolls around, I think of that cute bathroom stranger from the titty bar. If I saw him today, I would so smoke him up.

Smoke responsibly peeps.

Friday, April 16, 2010

This Guy's In Love With You Pare by Parokya ni Edgar

I think this video is so cute

Something Old Is Young and Fresh Again

I went to the store last night and bought a bottle of champagne. When I got to the checker I stood behind some USC students buying beer. The diligent female cashier checked the ID of each student as they bought their beer. When I got to the register and my champagne bottle rolled across the scanner she didn't bat a lash. She just looked at me and told me there was a discount if I bought 5 more bottles. I have been carded my entire adult life. What happened? Oh yes, I got older. I am obviously over 21 at this point. She might not know my real age but she knows I ain't 20.

Here's an old song that Quincy Jones (an old dude) re-worked with Akon (young dude) and made it fresh again. I wonder if I could get the Q treament?

Strawberry Letter 23 - Quincy Jones ft. Akon Music Video VEVO

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Under The Weather

Feeling crappy today. Will definitely post tomorrow. Here's something I hope will make you smile: My Sassy Gay Friend

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

L.A. councilman calls for one-year moratorium on rent hikes | L.A. NOW | Los Angeles Times

Ain't gonna happen.
L.A. councilman calls for one-year moratorium on rent hikes | L.A. NOW | Los Angeles Times

Friendship: Just the Perfect Blendship

Early hip-hop group Whodini's best album was ESCAPE. It featured a hot dance track "called The Freaks Come Out at Night" and the cautionary tale about friendship entitled simply "Friends."

How many of us have them?
Ones we can depend on
How many of us have them?
Before we go any further let's be

I know a lot of people And I mean a lot. In December I de-friended about 250 people on Facebook but I still have over 1500 friends plus several friendship requests pending. I don't write this to be full of myself. Anybody with half of brain knows it is quality and not quantity when it comes to any type of relationship. That's why I want to talk about a real friend today.

First thing you should know is that I was raised by an extremely proud woman, my mother. Mom had me when she was 16 and learned early on in life that sometimes the only person you can truly count on is yourself. My mother might throw in "and the Lord" to the end of that last statement but I'm going to stick with me.

I saw my mother stand stoically in times of crisis. As a single mother of 3, she faced poverty and sexism and mostly did it on her own. I learned from my mother's example. My sister Michelle did too. We don't do welfare and we don't take charity.

Not long ago I found myself in a very dire situation. Due to a clerical error and red tape, I found myself without any financial means for several weeks. As this was happening, I was diagnosed with a serious illness. It was more than a "when it rains, it pours" situation. Try "when it rains, it floods."

For several days, I sat in my apartment with my dog Riley trying to figure out what to do. My roommate Sprout (not his real name) kept asking me what I was going to do. And I always replied "I don't know but it's going to be all right." Parker would reply, "how do you know?" My answer was always, "It has to be."

My checking account was overdrawn and my rent check bounced.

Sprout : What are you going to do?
Me : I don't know but it's going to be all right.
Sprout : How do you know?
Me : Because it has to be.

Creditors were calling.

Sprout : What are you going to do?
Me : I don't know but it's going to be all right.
Sprout : How do you know?
Me : Because it has to be.

I lost nearly 10 lbs. That doesn't seem like very much but on my small frame it was quite noticeable. Everyday someone would comment on my thin frame.

Sprout : What are you going to do?
Me : I don't know but it's going to be all right.
Sprout : How do you know?
Me : Because it has to be.

One day Sprout came home with a bag of groceries. He knows my pride and stubbornness so rather than just give me the groceries, he simply stated that he had bought too many things and that if I didn't help him eat the groceries they would go bad and that would be terrible, awful, and a waste. I backed down and ate some of the shared food.

Another day Sprout came into the living room where I sat stoned with Riley watching my thousandth hour of television.

Sprout : What are you going to do?
Me : I don't know but it's going to be all right.
Sprout : How do you know?
Me : Because it has to be.

Sprout looked at me and put a stack of cash on the coffee table. "Here's xxx.xx dollars to tied you over. Pay the rent." I was in shock. Dumbfounded by his generosity. It was TONS OF MONEY but I knew it was a sacrifice for him. I was touched that he did it for me.

Three other friends pitched in for me too. Special shout out to LL Cool P and her husband Whiteshaft. And thanks to my best friend Patchy for paying my cell phone bill for two months in a row.

Things are good again (cautious sigh of relief) but I will never forget the love shown to me by my true friends.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Canary or Goldenrod?

Long time readers are familiar with some of my past "real world" jobs including my stint at the Pizza Factory. That's the job that helped me realize that hungry people can be real a-holes.

Others may be familiar with my life as a casting fairy. I still do that from time to time. God knows America could use another sketch show (I hope my sarcasm font is working today).

And others may remember I sold furniture in the East Lakeview neighborhood in Chicago.

Those of you who have been following me for a really long time know that the job I come back to the most is office bitch. I have done nearly every administrative type job possible. And I continue to do so in lean times like now.

My first job in office bitchdom happened in high school. A girlfriend (in high school all my friends were girls) told me that if you become an office page you could get out of study hall. Study hall - the biggest waste of time ever. First, I could never study in such a forced artificial environment. Also, what teenager is not going to be distracted when you are surrounded by other teenagers? Study hall was a joke but being an office page was a dream.

Office pages roamed the halls freely to deliver messages from the school office to teachers and school staff members. Office pages traversed the inner recesses of the school. Did you know the janitorial staff had it's own office? Or that the mean Special Ed teacher was actually the School Board Liaison advocating for our school and the entire student body? How about this. Did you know the Art Teacher liked to get high on his lunch break in the back of his studio? Office pages were also privileged to confidential information. That's the part I liked the best. I have never really been a gossip but I have always been nosy.

Of course my daily hour in the office wasn't always full of hall passes and confidential info. The secretaries made me do actual work. There was a lot of stuffing envelopes, typing, copying, mailing, filing, and sorting.

Once I graduated from high school I never thought I would use my administrative skills again. I was sooooooooo wrong. In the 20+ years since high school ended I have mostly been employed as an administrative professional. Sure, I slung pizza, corralled actors, and sold sofas but it all keeps coming back to the desk.

For the last three weeks I have been doing reception part time at a financial services company on the West Side of LA. Every day from 1 - 5:30 p.m. I answer phones, tidy the lobby, greet guests, and sort mail for people that make more in 1 month than I have since I moved to LA over 3 years ago. I can't really complain. It's easy work. The hours are light. And I get paid. I only wish there was a spot where I could go and get high with the art teacher.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Betty White's golden touch keeps her red-hot -

I love Betty White. She has been entertaining me my whole life. And Golden Girls is still my favorite sitcom of all time.

Betty White's golden touch keeps her red-hot -

Jazz Composition: Old and New Friends

I met with two friends from Chicago yesterday. They pitched me a new stage show idea to see if I had interest in helping develop this project.

One of the friends, Dre, is a long time collaborator. Dre and I worked together on several projects including a successful children's show we wrote about Barak Obama. He also directed and produced most of the Straight and Nappy projects. The other friend, Barbara, is a woman he introduced to me via Facebook. Barbara is witty, philosophical, and sweet. Not the kind of sweet that makes you wince or your teeth hurt but the kind that makes you smile and you're not sure why.

The three of us met at Urth Cafe in West Hollywood. Dre visits LA often and Urth is one of his favorite spots. We almost me downtown but I'm so glad we didn't. Urth Cafe was packed at 1 pm with the late Sunday crowd. We snaked through the long line, ordered, then went in search of a table. As we scanned the patio for a seat I noticed a dark skinned brother reading at a table. He was with a beautiful woman who was reading my favorite book, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I'll come back to the woman later lets talk about the guy for a second. I couldn't stop staring at him. I knew him (and NOT in the nasty sense either). I approached the couple. The woman looked up from her novel and smiled. The man looked at me with some faint recognition. I extended my hand and said, "I know you. Are you from Peoria? Do you remember me I'm Pip." A light went off behind his eyes and a smile moved across his face like a zipper opening. One of his own tribesmen had found him.

The man, Bob, grew up with me in Peoria. He was a church keyboardist and was one of my musicians when I was music director of the Bradley University Gospel Choir (BUGC) back in college. We hadn't seen each other in almost 20 years. I knew he lived in LA. I knew he was still a musician and also a songwriter/music producer. He has done very well for himself. Very very well. He and his writing/producing partner (also a Peoria native) have won AMA awards, Grammys, Soul Train Awards. They have worked with the likes of Boyz II Men, TLC, and Monica. They even produced Sisqo's "Thong Song". Not bad, huh?

Accomplishments aside, it was great to see somebody from "back in the day." We all need people in our lives that knew us when. It helps each of us see how far we come and remember who we really are.

As Bob and I walked down memory lane, his wife and my friend Barbara forged a new path of friendship. It was strange to watch these two women babble on like childhood friends even though they had just met. At the end of their conversation, my friend's wife actually gave her copy of The Alchemist to Barbara.

I love when life works out like yesterday. Because I knew Dre, I met Barbara. Because I ran into Bob after 20 years I met his wife. Because I was with Dre and Barbara, his wife met them. Because of that Barbara and the wife are now friends. Harmony.

Friday, April 09, 2010

The name 'Ronald Reagan' just doesn't polarize like it used to

The state of California is honoring former Governor and President Ronald Reagan. I'm not sure this is good news. I didn't like him alive and I hope his memories die like he did. Wow. I will never forget how he turned a deaf ear to the poor but he didn't have the compassion or decency to deal with early AIDS victim in a humane way.

And now California is going to honor him with a special day. Can't say I'm really surprised but I still don't like it.

The name 'Ronald Reagan' just doesn't polarize like it used to

Sing Out Lin Yu

All I Really Want Is to Be Happy

It's Friday. It's sunny. My blood pressure is normal. And I'm happy.

Yesterday I spoke about the day my first nephew was born. Today I want to give a shout out to my youngest nephew BJ. I don't really have a great story about the day that BJ was born but I remember the day his dad was born very well. I shared that story at my brother's wedding which I officiated. It was awesome. You should have been there. BJ is brand new. He is only 5 months old. And I have never met him. I live in LA and his parents are in the Midwest. Since moving to LA I don't do cold anymore. Not on purpose at least. BJ and I can meet in the late spring/early summer. Of course, it doesn't really matter that I haven't met him yet. I love him anyway. And look at that face. Looks like happy runs in our family.

BTW, when I really need to feel happy this usually gets me there.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Three Tiers of Queers and Hurray My Nephew is Here!

Today is the 15th birthday of my oldest nephew Brandon. I love that kids so much. I love all my nieces and nephews but Brandon holds a special place in my heart because he was the first. I also had a chance to get to know him in a way that never happened with his siblings or cousins. This post is dedicated to a guy I love so dearly since the day he was born...before.

The day of my nephew's birth is bittersweet for me. I'll never forget that day. At least, I hope not.

My nephew was born on a Saturday. I lived in a 3rd floor walk-up in Chicago's Wrigleyville neighborhood. I received a phone call from Mom that Brandon had arrived and I quickly ran out bought a Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times from that day. I also decided to put together a memory package for Brandon's 18th birthday. I bought an 18th birthday card and I don't remember what else to put together for Brandon. I sat in my room and wrote a long note to my nephew. I shared a few memories of his parents. I shared personal information about myself. And I wrote a few humorous words of advice. I put the newspapers, card, etc inside a large envelope and wrote "not to be opened until April 8, 2013". Then I had a congratulatory bong hit with my roommates Bethany and Stephen.


At the time I was dating an older guy. I was in my 20s in he was 32 (sooooo old). I met him the week before Valentine's Day when my friend Micheal took me out drinking after a show we were performing. We went to a troll dive bar (still one of my favorite types of bars) with cheap beers and porn. Across from us stood a cute Italian guy with several ear piercings, a great haircut, and skinny jeans. The guy was named Danny.

Danny was funny. He was also a world class grouch. He lived on the 3rd floor of a run down building located right along Chicago's El Track just one block from the Belmont stop. His building was falling apart but his apartment was OUTSTANDING. He had great taste too. He was a self-taught punk from Detroit. I was instantly smitten. I thought he was a keeper. And Danny thought I was....cute.

He invited me around quite a bit and introduced me to his close friends including his neighbors that lived in his building on the first and second floor. It was at Danny's Easter dinner, which was attended by these friends and neighbors, that Danny invited me to the 1st Annual Three Tiers of Queers Party.

Each resident of this building represented a different subset of the Chicago gay community. Danny was alt-punk and had a thing for brown and black skinned pretty boys. His 2nd floor neighbor was a pot smoking radical fairy living with AIDS. His 1st floor neighbor ran with the twirling twink crowd. I was so excited because I had a little something in common with all of the groups. The Three Tiers of Queers Party (TTQP) was intended to be an epic Chicago gay blowout.

I arrived at TTQP full of energy still excited over my nephew's birth. I started my journey on the 3rd floor. That was Danny's place. I arrived about 1 1/2 hours into the party and it was hopping when I got there. Danny was really being a grouch. He was teasing me and putting me down in front of his friends. He was also spending a lot of time with this nasty cutting black queen. I was way too sober to deal with these fools.

I moved down to the 2nd floor. Danny's neighbor smoked me up and mellowed me out. He was a good dude. He suggested that I work out my frustration with Danny by shaking my ass with the twinks on the 1st floor. I took his suggestion. I had a blast shaking it up with the cute set.

After all that booty shaking and pot I was horny so I went back to Danny's place. The once bulging party had thinned down to Danny and a few drunk scragglers. Included in the scragglers was The Nasty Cutting Black Queen. And he was in rare form. Apparently he dated Danny before me and was not a fan of mine. The Nasty Cutting Black Queen took this occasion to read me like I was an emergency manual. Since I was high as gas prices my defenses were down. My best comeback was something like "Oh, yeah. Shut up, you drunk stank bitch." I turned to Danny to see if he would stand up for me. He did not. As a matter of fact, he egged The Nasty Cutting Black Queen on. I left the building pissed off (and still horny). Oh yes, I was bitter.

Technically, things went horribly wrong after midnight so I guess it wasn't my nephew's birthday anymore but TTQP still comes back to me when I think of one of the greatest days ever, the day my first nephew Brandon was born.

I love you and Happy Birthday Brandon.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Grind

I have never been afraid of work. I have had a job of some sort since I was 12 years old. Yard work, babysitting, camp counselor, tutor. You name it and I did it. I was a hard working kid. During one of the more entrepreneurial moments of my youth I wrote speeches for for my 9th grade classmates to help them complete the Illinois state speech requirement. I come from a long line of hard workers on my mother's side. That is an important distinction because my parents were total opposites. My mother fought and worked hard always. My father never met a scheme or government hand-out he didn't like. Mom instilled in me that you reap what you sow. You want to reap a lot than you have to sow a lot. Dad? Well...he could roll a joint like a motherfucker. Fast, fat, and clean. Seriously, it was impressive.

I have continued to work hard since my move to LA over three years ago. I took whatever job came my way no matter how demeaning or below my education and experience level. Now I find myself feeling very lazy or at least ambivalent regarding work. I haven't had a steady "real job" in over 8 months. I really don't want one. I just want to do art. I want to act, write, and play with my dog. I have had that before in my life. I had many great years when actor was my sole source of income. It was heaven. Unfortunately, in all those years of working I neglected to save up enough money so that I can lead that kind of lifestyle constantly. So, I continue to do things I don't want to do like work this part time office job. It's only 4 1/2 hours a day; the work is light; and the commute is short. So, why am I complaining? Cause I want to do what I want to do. And honey, this ain't it.

So, how do I get to the next step where I am living my dream of writing, acting, and playing with my dog? The answer can't simply be more hard work. Seems too easy and I don't want to work harder I want to work smarter. I am smart (sometimes).

I decided to put my smartness to work. I came up with a list of possible money making ideas (I'm becoming more like my father every day).

Below is a preliminary list of possible low effort jobs to tie me over until I again reach the day that my art becomes my primary gold mine. Each one of these jobs involves something I love to do so it's not really working. It's loving. Let me know if you have any other suggestions.

1. Sex Therapist
2. Sexy Therapist (there is a difference in #1 and #2 and if I have to explain it...never mind)
3. Food Tester
4. Professional Complainer aka Political Pundit
5. Nut Doctor
6. Facebook Wall Decorator
7. Twitter Stalker
8. Internet Detective
9. Dog Sitter
10. Ball Buster
11. Male Model Adjudicator
12. List Maker

I guess I could just marry well except as a gay man...that's another post. Until my dreams come true I am also accepting donations and in-kind gifts. Please feel free to donate to my paypal account at anytime.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

365 Days = One Year

My promise to restart my blog went unfulfilled until now.

I have a million and two excuses why I haven't written. Busy. Disinterested. Scattered brain. It's very easy to get caught up in our day to day struggles to get from point a to point b and point c and finally to home in one piece. Our lives become seemingly smaller and smaller as our bubble becomes more insular. We worry about all our responsibilities and how we will get them done. Living in LA doesn't help the situation any. I feel more busy. More disinterested. And more scattered brain.

My last post was exactly one year ago today. It was sunny and beautiful (like today). I was employed at HBO. I worked as an Executive Assistant in Business Affairs. I had a real job. And I was so not happy.

Today I am in good spirits and much has changed in the last 365 days. These will be some of the things I will blogging about.

First, I am no longer at HBO. That job ended last summer. I was initially hired at HBO as a long term temp. Without benefits and job security I had no problem packing up and leaving when a better opportunity came up. Unfortunately that better opportunity turned out to be a bust. So, I was unemployed...again. Unemployment has been a constant theme since my arrival in LA. As an actor, I have been unemployed most of my adult life but in the City of Angels I feel I should get business cards that reads:

Pip Lilly
Yeah, I'm available

What do you do when you are not working in LA? You live. Time passes and you try to stay busy.

I have spent the last 8 months writing and auditioning. I even got a new agent (that is going to be it's own future blog posting). I did two music videos, a play, several short films/videos, and two commercials. I am writing a one man show (another future posting) and I am co-writing a screenplay with my sardonic and Oxy popping writing partner Em (also worthy of a separate posting).

There have been other life events in the last year too. My brother had a baby. My mom had surgery. I bought a season pass to Disneyland. I got my medicinal marijuana card. And I slept with a lot of guys (A LOT).

These adventures and more will be explored here on Uptempo Orpheus. I'm back Bitches!