All posts by thunderboltfan

More Songs About Buildings, Food and Wine

BanditwineIt may be a bit late in the outdoor concert/picnic season to mention this, but I re-stumbled upon Bandit wine, sold in resealable Tetra Pak cartons, at Silver Lake Wine this week, although they’ve had it for at least a year. Most times I go in there, it’s for wine for a dinner party, either my own or for a friend’s, so I’ve always ruled it out.

So yesterday, after a trip to Rockaway Records on Glendale where I scored a CD of the 2nd Talking Heads album, “More Songs About Buildings and Food,” for $6,  I thought I would pop into SLW, in the same building, to celebrate my purchase with a bottle of wine. (Here’s to 1978!)

And there it was. A lime-green carton with a jumble of fonts, clunky rounded off corners, a price sticker that read $7.75.

I asked the wine guy, “How is it?” Continue reading More Songs About Buildings, Food and Wine

God started fires with flammable gay juices

With an About the Author bio that says, “If you don’t like what you just read here you can just get out of my country. Now how about that smart-alack. Follow me on twitters,” Christwire is such dry parody it almost passes for the real thing– a right-wing,  Bible-quoting site seeking to save America from The Gays and other “weirdos.”

And they are loving the fires here in California:

The lands were soaked with the combustible sins of perversions and marinated in the flammable juices of homosexuality! God is angry and his great power cannot be contained! …Fire falls upon California and great pillars of smoke shoots from his nostrils!

The holy pillars of smoke from his nostrils are filling up the lands of California! They are the harbingers of doom for the homosexual gay fornicators of Satan!

If you doubt this is satire (which is easy to do because Christwire has real ads for things like Ann Coulter books and a dating service called Christian Mingle,) a recent post called If You’re a Fantastic Pro-Family Republican, Does One or Two Same-Sex Encounters Really Make You Gay? asks, “If you have a great record fighting against the gays, doesn’t it cross out a few moments humping a younger man against the wall of some hotel room?”

Real lesbians of Los Angeles coming to Showtime

Showtime’s answer to Bravo’s Real Housewives series will be The Real L Word: Los Angeles, a reality show that will follow six real, live LA lesbians “as they go about their lives,” according to Variety. Or at least as they go about their lives with a camera crew trailing them. (And producers liquoring them up and pissing them off by telling them what their showmates are saying about them behind their backs. Ah, reality is always so much better when you plan it out.)

The show is from Ilene Chaikan, the creator of The L Word, Showtime’s scripted drama about LA lesbians that completed a six-season run this past spring.

Meryl Streep monologues performed by men

streep-teaseHow to honor Meryl Streep? No actor has been credited with as many career peaks. Each  time it happens, she surpasses herself before a few years go by, trailing awards in her wake.

Taking note of her accomplishment with a gender switch is Streep Tease, An Evening of Meryl Streep Monologues, performed by a cast of male actors (not in drag) at Bang Studio on Fairfax, this Saturday, September 5th.

Streep’s work will be presented from Sophie’s Choice, Silkwood, The Devil Wears Prada, Out of Africa, River Wild, Death Becomes Her, Postcards from the Edge and The Bridges of Madison County.

Alas, no one will be wailing, “The dingos got my baby!” (from A Cry in the Dark.) But maybe leaving out dozens of her other roles, like from The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Adaptation, Kramer vs. Kramer and Doubt, to name a few, means a Streep Tease 2 is in the cards.

Streep Tease, Saturday Sept. 5th at 8:00 PM; Bang Studio, 457 Fairfax (at Rosewood Ave.) Los Angeles 90048. Tickets $10 here or at the door.

My encounter with Meryl Streep after the jump. Continue reading Meryl Streep monologues performed by men

Top chef on marriage equality

Tom Colicchio
Tom Colicchio

“The idea that religious leaders are continuing to shape state law is just wrong.”

Remember last fall’s boycott of El Coyote restaurant in West Hollywood by supporters of same-sex marriage after it was learned an owner had donated money to the campaign to pass Prop 8?

El Coyote had a sizable gay clientele on Thursday nights, the unofficial “gay night” at the restaurant, which packed the place. That all changed in the aftermath of Prop 8’s passing when the owner’s name appeared on donor lists that were available online and publicized by some media outlets.

Demonstrators appeared in front of the restaurant, business fell off on Thursdays, the pilloried owner did herself no favors when she tried to explain herself, saying if she had a chance to do it all over again, she would do the same thing, citing her religious convictions.

Such a mess for such a mediocre restaurant.

Enter Tom Colicchio, Bravo TV’s Top Chef lead judge and owner of Craft, his first venture into the  Los Angeles restaurant world, located in Century City. Continue reading Top chef on marriage equality

Film buffs win

Jill Clayburgh and Matthew Barry in "Luna"

Film repertory fans in Los Angeles rallied after LACMA announced it was pulling the plug on its four-decade-old weekend film series. And they were apparently heard. This week, Time Warner Cable and The Hollywood Foreign Press (presenter of the Golden Globes) stepped up and donated $150K to fund the series  continuously through next June. After that who knows?

For now, film buffs have scored a victory for the art of cinema and brought new life and resolve to their legions. And as summer’s final weekends dwindle down, there seems to be a cache of diverse films playing at art galleries, cemeteries, museums and, of course, movie theaters. If you’ve got blockbuster fatigue or spend the summer like I do, avoiding them, consider these:

(PICK HIT) Friday: Luna (1979) – Opera, heroin and incest, anyone?  Bernardo Bertolucci’s controversial tale of a wildly successful American opera singer, played by Jill Clayburgh, and the sexual relationship that springs up between her and her 15-year-old son as she tries to help him kick his heroin habit. And it’s in English, so there are no subtitles to distract you from the histrionic melodrama. A bizarre hoot. Antebellum Gallery’s Fetish Film Fridays series; 7:30 PM; Antebellum Gallery, 1643 N. Las Palmas Ave. Los Angeles 90028; phone, 323-856-0667 for more info. Continue reading Film buffs win

[UPDATED] Yoga at the graveyard


[UPDATE Wed., Aug. 26: CBS 2 sent a camera and reporter to last night’s yoga class at Hollywood Forever. Watch the video  here.]

Do yoga, leave a beautiful corpse, I say. And now you can work on corpse pose at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, which, if you haven’t noticed, has rebranded itself as “not your grandfather’s graveyard.” (Who knew death could be so much fun?)

Toward that end, Antebellum Gallery is presenting Yoga Forever, a yoga class held at Hollywood Forever, on the lawn in front of the mausoleum (where they show the movies) every Tuesday at 7 PM.

This week, Yogi Camille Hines will lead the class with DJ Shawn Parker providing the soundtrack. Bring your own mat– and a blanket and warm clothing, they advise, to ward off the chill.

Bend, stretch, reach for the stars– the ones in the sky as well as those interred all around you.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90038. Yoga class is $20, includes parking.

Warning signs

Total CrisisPedestrians are not as plentiful in Los Angeles as cars, alas. So most likely if you saw this, it was on the intertubes and not at a crosswalk.

Total Crisis Panic Button has been installed (at crosswalks) all over Los Angeles by Jason Eppink, a New York-based mutimedia artist. He’s even included a Google map to assist in locating them.

And if you hate those huge video billboards as much as I do, his treatment in 2007 of the smaller street-level version might compel you to take similar action, thanks to this how-to video.

Eppink’s other projects can been seen at his site, Senseless Venn Diagrams.

Via Urban Prankster

Michael Jackson in my backyard

David & me:smOne of my stock events for visiting friends is to take them to the Glendale Forest Lawn cemetery, a short drive from where I live in Silver Lake. It’s a serene setting with towering shade trees, usually very empty, with views that look out over Glendale to the San Gabriel Mountains.

It has it’s restrained yet overwrought kitsch in the guise of a full-size replica of Michaelangelo’s statue of David (carved from Carrara marble from the same quarry as the original); a stained glass reproduction of Da Vinci’s Last Supper; and something called The World’s Largest Painting, a.k.a. The Crucifixion, that measures 195 by 45 feet and is housed in an enormous square building with a church facade. There’s also The World’s Second Largest Painting, The Resurrection, in the same building and they are both unveiled from behind a huge curtain in an auditorium  presentation with darkened lights and rumbling narration. Continue reading Michael Jackson in my backyard

Tomato blight and me

tomatoblightThe tomato crop has been crushed to a large extent this year nationwide, thanks to a fungus that started in nurseries in the US South where the plants were sprouted, before spreading via being shipped and sold at nurseries across the country. Maybe you’ve noticed the price increase of tomatoes at groceries this summer due to growers being forced to destroy so many plants. (And maybe you see a political allegory in my recounting.)

If my experience is any indication, the West seems to be less impacted due to drier growing conditions; but in the Northeast, where a soggy summer is playing out, it’s been disastrous.

Here in Los Angeles, I got two plants at an independent nursery in Hollywood and a third at the Home Depot on Figueroa.

Late blight, at first characterized by small brown spots on the leaves, spread and turned them yellow and then brown. But it didn’t seem to slow down the explosion of blossoms and tomatoes that formed on my plants.

Then, I woke up one morning Continue reading Tomato blight and me

CUPCAKE ALERT! Magnolia Bakery coming to Los Angeles

magnoliaMagnolia Bakery in Manhattan’s West Village is opening a shop in Los Angeles, and the Blackburn and Sweetzer blog is speculating their new digs will be on 3rd St. and Orlando.

Today, the NYC bakery’s PR confirms that Magnolia is in fact expanding to Los Angeles, however, is not at this time confirming the location. So, keep your eyes peeled on 3rd and Orlando for scrumptious clues. I know I will.

(Thanks to my cupcake-loving friend Cheryl for the tip. She said, “i can’t wait…to wait in line for a magnolia cupcake again!”)

CA Gay group will wait until 2012 for Prop 8 repeal effort

After much handwringing and consideration, Equality California, the gay rights organization, has decided to hold off until 2012 to push for a ballot initiative to repeal Prop 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state. An impassioned debate over whether to place an initiative on either the 2010 or 2012 ballot had been playing out over the past several months.

I initially wrote about it here last month, when three gay rights organizations successfully got the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in DC on board  to wait until 2012, which at the time I suspected was the writing on the big gay wall.

In a related matter, some gay leaders are at odds over a hastily planned march for marriage equality in Washington DC this fall, on October 11th.

FedEx Kinkos computers block gay sites

Julie Phineas of Lezgetreal recently came face-to-face with homophobia at the FedEx Kinkos (now renamed FedEx Office) on Hawthorne Blvd. in Torrance.

As she tried to access The Gay Ad Network site, a gay and lesbian advertising network, on the store’s self-serve computers, the computer prompted her for a password because it was considered an “adult” site.

Phineas met resistance when she asked an employee for assistance.

The clerk at the counter made degrading statements about what I was trying to view once I told her I was trying to print out a document from The Gay Ad Network.

She told me that I “would not be able to look at that stuff here”… She issued me a refund for the time I was connected to their self service computer, and while she did she felt it necessary to mention that “other customers would be offended” if I were allowed to view “site’s like that”.

I asked her who I could contact to change the filters. There was a sign on the wall with contact information and I asked her if I should contact the store directly or the number on the wall. She told me “Oh, they don’t have time for stuff like that” and waved off my question with her hand. Continue reading FedEx Kinkos computers block gay sites

Newlywed Game seeks gay couples

new“From Hollywood, the newlywed capital of the world; here come the newlyweds!” will never sound the same again to Prop 8 supporters. Pity.

The Newlywed Game, the game show that started in 1966 and is now hosted by Carnie Wilson and sponsored by the eHarmony personals site, is scouting for married same-sex couples via Craigslist. Contestants need to be legally married in one state. From Craigslist:


The Game Show Network is currently casting season 2 of

“The Newlywed Game”

Producers are seeking fun, outgoing couples to participate in the next season of this classic television game show!

Gay Couples: *Marriages must be legally recognized in 1 state

If this sounds like you or someone you know, please contact the Casting Team IMMEDIATELY at:

[email protected]

PLEASE INCLUDE: Names/Ages, City/State, Phone Number (with area code), Email Address, Wedding Date, and PHOTO.

All participants must be 18 years of age or older and married 2 years or less.

eHarmony recently got on the big gay bandwagon thanks to an anti-discrimination suit in New Jersey that forced them to climb on board. Before that, the site barred same-sex match-ups for their users. Times change.

‘Moon’ sets soon

moonLast night, I was invited by a fellow Metblogger to an ArcLight screening of Moon, the sci-fi indie starring Sam Rockwell and directed by Duncan Jones, son of David Bowie.

Jones was on hand afterward for a Q & A. I’ve been to my share of those over the years and enough have turned out to be snoozers that I found myself antsy at the prospect as the end credits started to roll.  But Jones’ big enthusiasm for his little (budget-wise; it cost $5 million) movie was contageous and the audience responded with a lot of pointed questions– everything from bizzy budget and shooting process questions to “what does your father think of it?” (He approves.)

Jones thanked the ArcLight for its support, having screened it since its release in mid-June– not bad for a low-budget, confidently distinctive sci-fi movie (also chilling and engrossing) that looks back to another era, paying homage to earlier genre classics as it finds an original way to tell a story. As influences he mentioned the films 2001 and Silent Running of course, but for me it also had a whiff of the brilliantly manic novels of the late sci-fi author Philip K. Dick in its intensely mundane presentation of the not-too-distant (and therefore not-too-unimaginable) future.

It looks like ArcLight Hollywood will be showing Moon for another week, according to Jones. This isn’t one to wait to watch on DVD. Go.

(And if you need nudging, consider that on Rotten Tomatoes, Moon has a rating of 91.)