Three Sisters and Other Pursuits

February 9th, 2010 No comments

I am currently hard at work on a workshop production of Three Sisters (I’m playing Solyony). Eve Best is directing and its fun and weird. We do a lot of improv-ing and physical work which culminated last week with the cast recreating the fire scene from the play by running up and down the stairs of the semi-demolished warehouse in which we are rehearsing yelling chestnuts like, “How can this be happening?!” and “Oh my God, quick, grab this bucket!” or, “Everyone get out right now! Its a fire!!” Shockingly, the Chinese day-laborers working on the surrounding floors were more than a little concerned at our impromptu decision to spend the afternoon sprinting and screaming. Someone convinced someone else not to call the Fire Department and then we all went to drink Crystal Light and talk about our feelings.

In the evenings I take meetings with people about projects. These meetings generally involve alcohol (because they are in the evenings) and thus are fun. Sometimes I even take notes.

But most importantly I had a festive and feisty weekend. Did you watch the superbowl? There were a few acts and this stage show in between some of ’em. The guy singing was old or not old, can’t remember, and I really enjoyed it I think. Alcohol may have been involved.

The night before I went to a wig party for my dear friend Nicole’s bday. Here’s what some of the shenanigans looked like:

See how that strand of hair is carefully draped across my big wrinkle line? That’s not on purpose!

I also went to an old haunt this weekend with Brian: Art Bar. I hadn’t been there in five years and the second we sat down our order was being taken by the very same waitress who used to serve us 17 times a week when we were young(er) and poor(er). She was still robotically chipper and so I ordered some quesadillas and a bunch of cocktails. Yum!

I went to some brunches too, including one at my friend Eli’s apartment where several people unknown to me commented on how much they just adored my house parties. Cue lines like, “Oh hi YOU! How are YOU sweetie? Fabulous to see YOU!” as I quickly reach for another drink. It reminded me of a time I sat down for a drink with some friends months ago when a stranger leaned over to me and recounted how I had changed his life with my advice during his “dark, dark period.” Huh? Apparently when I am wasted I acquire a sense of empathy (not to mention listening skills) totally foreign to me in my sober hours.

So, how did you spend your weekend?

xx

-B

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Aspen

January 28th, 2010 1 comment

So my dears, you may be wondering where I have been these couple of weeks. The answer? ASPEN! Yep, while you dedicated professionals were being dedicated to your professions, I was off skiing (badly) in ASPEN. That’s the place where celebrities slip and fall on icy streets and the snow is made of real, genuine, 100% gold plate. Its just like QVC, only better.

Lets chat about some things I did whilst there, shall we?

First, I did some skiing. Stop laughing, its true. I swished down the mountain with all the grace of a gazelle fleeing a hungry sabre-toothed tiger. I also lifted ceremonial glasses of alcohol to my cold, parched lips after each run …errr…day. That contributed to a bit of tom foolery in various locales such as Ajax Tavern, Revel, and room 66 at The Little Nell.

I made some new friends and didn’t alienate my old ones. So that was good. I also spent one million dollars. That was less good. My American Express card actually gasped, hiccuped, and then sizzled to its early quietus. A crowd of hushed onlookers gathered to experience its spectacular demise. It was a sight to behold, lemme tell ya!

Here are some pics of me in action:

Drinking at the Nell...in the hall

Drinking at the Nell...in the hall

With Zoe in the street

With Zoe in the street

Out on the town - Zoe looks HAWT!

Out on the town - Zoe looks HAWT!

At Ajax Tavern

At Ajax Tavern

As you can see, a good time was had by all. And due to a snow flurry that didn’t materialize, my flight home was cancelled forcing me to stay put until Sunday. Thanks Momma Nature!

xx

-B

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Grammar, Usage and Style

January 12th, 2010 3 comments

This is just a quick entry to suggest you take a look at Mr. Phillip Corbett’s “Loose Connections.” Today’s article is stuffed with some of the most common mistakes I encounter on a daily basis.

xx

-B

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Boyz and Brews

January 12th, 2010 No comments

On Sunday I saw the closing night performance of Alter Boyz. I had never seen it before – making me one of one person in the audience who was a newbie. Some patrons gleefully admitted to me that they had seen the show 40 plus times. Wowza.

The show was adorable but I can’t really remember anything that happened. The gay character was kind of sweet and the kids all worked their mics to the point that even in the second row of a theatre that seats maybe 200 people I wasn’t entirely convinced they weren’t lip syncing. The after party was, as always, the highlight of the evening. How could one not have fun with free pitchers of Bud Light and buffalo wings at Hooters? A former cast mate of mine who shall remain nameless showed up seemingly a wee bit less than sober and kicked in a banister. Whoops! Violence at Hooters! After polishing off my pitcher and starting on a 2nd it was time to depart. I cabbed my way to the ol’ Homestead and was asleep by 1.

Yesterday, I saw Stiffelio at the MET and spent the majority of the evening chatting about Verdi’s “Stiffy.” It was a’ight but the intermissions were endless and thus the program ran 25 minutes longer than anticipated. Luckily I made the last downtown F before it ceased to function at midnight (well actually it was an E train running over the V but who can nitpick?). The F runs so infrequently at night that I now find myself planning to get back to my neighborhood no later than midnight or risk being stranded and cab-less. This makes me feel like I live in London but not in a good way. If there are two things NYC has got on London they are transit and food. The first has deteriorated to the point where the MTA is now hiring consultants from London’s tube system to help prevent ours from perishing. But the second is still kickin’ it.

And with that easy, breezy, beautiful (Covergirl) segue let me remind you that NYC Restaurant Week is nearly upon us – it begins Jan 25th. Log onto your handy dandy OpenTable account now and see if you can’t snag one of those few remaining resos at Bond St, Nobu Next Door, LeCirque, or someplace you actually want to eat (like perhaps The Harrison). JKLOL you hoity-toity joints – I love y’all, each and every one of you. Don’t seat me next to the kitchen…please.

Happy dining my fellow foodies.

xx

-B

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Digital Strip Searches

December 30th, 2009 No comments

Have you read this article in the Times?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/30/us/30privacy.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

Its about these new-fangled scanning machines that will make us safe. Which is awesome! Except that there are some privacy concerns yadda yadda. These aren’t so real…until you consider my little anecdote.

A couple of years ago I was going through an airport I recall to be Heathrow in Moscow and encountered one of these full-body scanning machines. It whirled around me and I exited the other side feeling more than a little Star Trek Voyager. Behind me the next person to be scanned was a tall, swarthy type. Exceedingly handsome, in a beautiful hand-finished button down shirt and calf captoes. I went to collect my items from the conveyor belt and there, in front of me, was my handsome Heathrow-mate Sheremetyevo-mate. Buck naked. Not live and in person, of course. Rather, on a screen being ignored by a security guard intent on finishing his conversation with another employee. I, however, was not ignoring the screen. My mouth must have fallen agape – I could see literally everything in a manner that suggested a picture of a man wearing invisible clothes. Where his underwear made an impression on his unmentionables that impression was revealed on the monitor. But, of course, the underwear was not visible – only the privates it was meant to coddle.

So yea, these monitors are going to be in some distant room, and no one will be identified, and magically people’s faces will be blurred out. Except that doesn’t and won’t happen. What will is someone will get a iPhone picture of a screen filled with Megan Fox’s naked body on her way to an international flight and post it on Gawker and that’ll be the end of this multi-zillion dollar program.

Until then my suggestion is to muscle in front of someone really hot on line for security and spend a long time tying your shoes within eyeshot of that screen.

xx

-B

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Christmas

December 29th, 2009 No comments

Well it was a white Christmas here on the East Coast. Though it didn’t snow, we had plenty on the ground to ensure some chilly Christmas realness.

Sure, I went to midnight mass and sang my little lungs out and – certainly – I boozed it up at various functions hosted by family and friends. But let us not forget the true meaning of Christmas, the reason we celebrate this holiday season: gifts. What did you get? The new Nene Leakes biography? Some slightly used candles? Something naughty and unmentionable in polite society? I hope all three.

But enough about you, let’s talk about he who matters most: Jasper. It was the little man’s first Christmas and boy did he enjoy it. He got stuffed animals and chew toys and pictures of himself, beautifully framed. He visited with hundreds…no, thousands of admirers. And anyone who could hear the soft pitter pat of his silky soft paws as he marched near was warmed and gladdened. Although I think he did poop under someone’s piano at one point.

Boxing Day was Hangover Day, as usual, and filled with a long, languid luncheon with mom and sis. We exchanged the perfunctory gifts and I received a fierce hoodie. Also, the Earth flooded. The highways were awash with momma nature’s tears (she cries ’cause you drink) and as a result only people with 4 wheel drive survived. Thank goodness for my gas guzzling Bonfire of the Vanities 2009-esque whip!

Well, the holidays are now over (thank goodness) and we have only to survive Bacchus’ cruelest joke, New Years Eve, before we can make a collective return to normalcy. I suggest building a fort or underground shelter filled with frankincense and mirth and Baker’s bourbon and staying in there until everyone has returned to Bayonne. Trust me, you’ll be one happy camper to have missed the vomitorium that is NYC on NYE.

xx

-B

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To give and receive

December 21st, 2009 No comments

So its the holiday season. What did you get and give for the season of a thousand dangerously flickering candles and/or the birth of our savior Ol’ Saint Nick?

Personally, I took a less-is-more approach to the holidays this year. Nobody got anything. You get a big kiss and a sip of whatever I’m drinking. Tada. Nor did I expect to receive very much this year. The economy is in the toilette and no matter how much (or little) that has affected you, it seems in rather poor taste indeed to buy a diamond broach fashioned to resemble an extended middle finger. Such things are simply not done…this year. Shelve your toilette (secondary definition, natch) until next year.

Nor am I writing lengthy cards detailing how thrilled I am to know you. You get this blog, and isn’t that treat enough?

I have a fabulously decorated Christmas tree and a dog with a half dozen down and cashmere and fleece coats of all shapes and sizes, not one of which he will walk in once his paws hit the pavement. Sigh. So pretty much, that’s my vision of the Holidays. Something pretty that smells good and something handsome that smells good…after his bath. What more could a man want or need?

For those of you inclined to get into the spirit of the season, the last gasp of 2009 is a mere 5 days away. Why not write a big, fat, bedazzled, tax-deductible check to the Gay Center in the West Village with my YES SAT Prep and College Counseling program listed as the recipient in the memo line? I promise not to embezzle your contribution to fuel my lavish, $8 bottle of champagne kinda lifestyle.

No matter what you choose to do this holiday season, try not to murder any weaving tourists or misplaced ukulele players and you’ll come out on top.

Xx
-B

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Holiday Party Dos and Don’ts

December 19th, 2009 1 comment

Do: Compliment your hostess. “You look gorgeous, and the shoes! Work!” or “Well someone has been eschewing holiday treats – you look like a skeleton!” or “Jesus, you ALWAYS have the best drugs.” Contrary to what those naysayers may believe, flattery will get you absolutely everywhere.

Don’t: Point out your hostess’ missteps. “Well someone was a bit more than tipsy last night!” or “Oops, I can see your Spanx showing” or “You look like a Christmas ham!”

Do: bring a gift. Champers, a six pack, or an old bottle of baileys that you epoxied the seal back onto so that it looked unopened.

Don’t: Show up empty handed. Dashing for the bar with your coat still on will make you look NOCD (aka NOKD – depends on where you were raised). Unless, of course, the coat is shaved chinchilla dyed in a Christmas hue. In that case you can do whatever you want.

Do: Drink! Unless you are in AA. The more you drink the better everyone looks.

Don’t: Drink too much. Blacking out on the toilet or dry heaving into someone’s potted plants is not a cute exit strategy.

Do: Come slightly late and leave slightly early. It’s awkward to be the first to arrive and – I truly can’t stress this enough – totally unacceptable to hang out after everyone has gone. The people in my life who are welcome to stay after the party is over are not numerous. Hint: you aren’t one of them.

Don’t: Do a drive-by. If you can’t stay for 25 minutes or more don’t come at all. Its tacky.

Do: Look fabulous. We all eat and drink just a wee bit more during the holidays. Most of us also work a wee bit less. Use that found time to do what you do best – cardio.

Don’t: Wear unflattering outfits. Check yourself from all angles. That pudge hanging over the seam on your backless cocktail dress? Not flattering. Be sure you know what you look like from all angles, not just the front. Just remember: everyone is looking at your ass. Doesn’t that make you feel better?

Do: Forget all these rules and have a fabulous time. No guest is more welcome than the one who energizes a party with his or her positive spirit and joie de vivre. Be that person and you’ll always be invited again and again.

Xx
-B

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Its the Theatre darling…

December 17th, 2009 No comments

As some of you know I’ve been rather busy lately. I’ve always said people should really not work 12 – 14 hour days and after doing like 100 of them in a row my feelings on said topic hold fast. Working too hard totally blows. On the flip side, I’ve managed to squeeze in a bunch of theatre and done a little myself. So that’s cute.

I was in this reading of a new musical called Amazing Grace. It had lots of religious overtones and a potential investor at one of the presentations was seen doing that double hand raise thing that people do in the infomercials for Christian rock cds and megachurches. Crazy! I sang a bunch and some of it was loud.

I’ve been lucky enough to see several really fabulous things. So Help Me God, featuring my friend and former lover (on stage) Anna Chlumsky as well as Kristen Johnson was so hilarious and perfectly paced (actors, note: this performance demonstrates how you should be picking up your lines) that the relatively long performance time flew by. Anna is just a doll – you’ll want to leap onto the stage and sweep her to a better place – and Ms. Johnson (can’t call her Kristen ’cause, ya know, I don’t know her) delivers a master class in comedy and physicalization. Awesome.

I also saw Chunky Move’s Mortal Engine at BAM. Umm…hello? This is possibly the coolest performance I’ve ever seen. Have you ever been to a rave and taken a lot of MDMA and then danced in a pit? No? Well anyway it was like that. Except the pit was the BAM Opera House and the dancers were professional and gorgeous and the drugs were…in….my…mind. Whoa! Get high on life! At one point there was a topless woman doing the most amazing combination with this ripped guy and laser beams were flooding the entire house with waves while smoke billowed out from behind the stage. Really. I think they only had like 3 performances here but if Chunky Move is ever in town again (or comes to your town) you should go. I sat in the first row (I usually hate that) and it was super awesome. So I’d say its worth approximately one million dollars to go see them. Unless the tickets are more than that (like if the economy rebounds or whatever) you should go.

I saw a bunch of other things too but I don’t really like theatre blogs so I don’t particularly feel like writing one. That being said, my friend Orlan and I went to Ballet Hispanico’s closing performance of 2009 and it was pretty fly. Those peeps are zexy and can dance. We drank champagne with the dancers after the show (and some rich old white dudes who give mucho dinero) and I got a little buzzed and flirted with the ladies. Good times!

This all leads me to conclude that I need to see more dance. Opera? Over it. First of all that shit is too long. Right? I usually go to the MET with Alex and he won’t let me do what all civilized people do: second act it. Those of you in the know are feelin’ me. Second acting it is when you skip the first act in favor of dinner (or just a bunch of drinks) and then show up for the second act. The rationale behind this move is super smart. First, you were probably going to be five minutes late for the curtain anyway and since the MET has no late seating once the act has begun you might as well skip it all together. That’s called planning ahead people! Second, you get to eat and drink. If you choose drinks over food you’ll probably be a little tanked for the second act. That’s cool too though because sitting around watching people sing is way more fun when tipsy. Why do you think they serve champagne at the opera? Hello! Its so people don’t leave! Also, if you’re really tipsy you can nap a little and then skip the third act in favor of food (or more drinks at Marie’s).  It happens.

Dance, on the other hand, just flies by. Its so visceral and energized that you actually want it to go on for longer. Plus dancers are really hot. Tada! That’s my kind of show.

So, in conclusion, go to see more dance. You’ll be happy ya did.

xx

-B

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Embarrassment

December 10th, 2009 No comments

We’ve all had embarrassing party moments, right? Its inevitable. Let’s face it: if you are a social creature you are bound to have one or two choice moments per annum that don’t reflect your best face. We deal and move on. Nonetheless, lately I’ve been a participant in a couple of moments that bear some reflection. The first is simply unmentionable here because it involves readily identifiable others. Were this a blind item blog, that sort of thing would be acceptable. Alas (for you) it is not. Flip on Zalman King’s Showtime After Dark for your amusement.

The second, however, involves only my mortification. Therefore it is appropriate fodder for public ridicule. Lets get started, shall we? Tonight I had a couple of friends over for cocktails after my meeting at the LGBT Center. Rummaging the freezer for the vodka (a certain someone had mistakenly placed it in the fridge) I came upon a bag of pot that had seemingly liquefied. It looked as if someone had heated it over a stove and then stuck it to harden in the fridge. “Mon Dieu!” I cried out. “Look whats happened to this pot! I’ve never seen a little bag of marijuana harden so!”  The troops were similarly mystified until I found another baggie in the freezer, this one containing a small bit of twigs and leaves that looked much more identifiably like what those in previous generations would have referred to as a “dime bag of grass.” It was only then that I realized the prior bag I had been parading about my apartment in front of assorted guests was, in fact, Jasper’s two-week-old stool sample I had been saving for his next vet visit.

So whenever you, dear reader, think my life simply too glamorous for words, merely envision yours truly, exclaiming mock horror, whilst parading about his apartment in front of guests with a small bag of poo clenched betwixt two fingers.

We’re all prone to embarrassment from time to time, no?

xx

-B

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