Monday, April 29, 2019

I Should Be Laughing: Harry Talks To John

Calmly and methodically, without looking where he was headed, for there was no need, Harry walked on. He instinctively knew where to go, which trees to walk around, which hedges were in flower. He knew the graves he wanted to see, the ones that would have fresh flowers, and he knew the names of those he passed along the way: Agnes Nolan, someone’s grandmother; Faye and Ben Holiday, a married couple; Erin and Joey Wilson, a mother and son; Charlie Groves, James Sanford, someone’s friend or son. Harry felt as though he was on a first name basis with these people because he had walked among them so often.

After a leisurely stroll, he stopped, and knelt down to brush away the newly cut grass from one marker in particular; his hand came away damp and covered with lawn clippings. Wiping it on his pants leg, he then proceeded to pull a few of the longer blades of grass that were growing onto, and crowding, the flattened stone. He plucked off the damp leaves and cleared away the rubbish from the chiseled name of his friend.

“My mother passed away this week, John.” Harry said, still crouched down, his elbows on his knees, his hands clasped together for warmth. “And I keep thinking that I should have told her about you…about us. I wonder how different life would have been if my mother had known the wonderful things you did for her son when I felt so lonely. I wonder if it might have been better for us, too, if we all hadn’t been such liars.”

Harry raised his eyes to the sky, toward the silver dollar sun hiding behind a bank of clouds. He enjoyed visiting John, even with everything that had happened between them. The beatings Harry endured. The times he’d let John move back into the house even though the locks were changed, even though he swore he wouldn’t do it. Harry believed he owed John something.

“I never thanked you,” he said softly, “for what you did for me. God,” he laughed a little. “I was so afraid when I first came to the city and you made everything okay…for a while.” Pausing, Harry remembered the good times, of which there were many to recall, enough to make him smile in spite of the chill and sadness. Dancing with John at The Stud; John, on the bar, threatening to pull his pants down, and then doing so. The parties they had on the rooftop of their apartment building, watching fireworks explode over the bay on the Fourth of July. The times they rented bikes to ride through Golden Gate Park to the beach; laughing over a comic strip in the Sunday Chronicle. Staying in bed all day on a rainy Saturday, watching “Sunset Boulevard” or “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.”

“Why did we lie so much, John? Neither of us would admit it, but we were ashamed of being gay. No matter how we pretended otherwise…acting as if we were so fabulous when we…. I mean, we told cab drivers and store clerks, bartenders and newspaper boys that we were gay, but we never ever told our own families. I realize now that’s why you hit me, because you didn’t like yourself very much. I know that’s why I let it happen. We didn’t think we deserved to be in love and happy…”

Reaching into his pocket, Harry retrieved a snapshot he’d come across inside the cardboard box. He looked at it again. “I brought this for you…something to remember me by, the good times.” He laid the picture on the marker, careful to slide it close to the edge where it would stay until the winds picked up, or when the big mower came by. Harry brought his fingers to his lips and then touched John’s name.

“I’m going now, John. I just came by to tell you about my mother. To tell you I miss you…and Wyatt misses you, too. He sends his love.” Rising, his knees cackling from being crouched for so long, Harry wiped his eyes and then started down the hill, knowing which way to turn without thinking, which headstones to touch. He said goodbye to the others as he passed by.

Up the hill, on John’s marker, the photograph began to stir in the breeze. And yet that snapshot stayed in place on the stone; it remained there through the weekend rains and the passage of the lawn mowers. It was a photograph taken on the beach at LaHaina in happier times: Harry, on the right, his forehead blistered and burned, Wyatt on the left in sunglasses and a straw hat. John stood in the middle, smiling, sipping a Mai Tai.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

I Ain't One To Gossip But ...

I’d say this is shocking but … why lie.

Apparently, Nicholas cage’s wife of four days, Erika Koike, is going after his coins. After 96 hours of marriage, Koike has become accustomed to a certain lifestyle and now needs his money to maintain it. And even though Cage has filed for an annulment she is seeking spousal support.

Cage has been married three times before—Alice Kim, Lisa Marie Presley, Patricia Arquette—and had been dating Erika for one year when he decided the fourth time would be The One until, four days in, he decided it wasn’t and asked for an annulment. But Erika wasn’t going to let all her hard work of dating Cage for a year and being his wife for four days go to waste, so she speed-dialed her lawyer to sue for coins.

And then it gets more cluttered … Cage says in his annulment documents that he “reacted on impulse and without the ability to recognize or understand the full impact of his actions” –even though it was his fourth time at the altar—and claimed that Erika was shady and the marriage was based on “fraud”. Erika then countered Cage’s claims saying he reached out to her 12 days after he filed for an annulment because he wanted to start again “in the right way” and thus their relationship could not be a fraud, except … now Erika wants out, as long as she gets coins.

Look, the only thing I know about this is that Cage is a moron, and Koike is clearly a gold-digger! They sound perfect for each other.
Oh Oprah, go make a sandwich.

Once again Winfrey is trying to pass herself off as ‘one of the people’—even though she is a multi-billionaire—by complaining about the price of avocados. But, unlike ‘one of us’ who would simply stop making guacamole, bloated Oprah opted to buy an avocado orchard instead.

Yes, avocadoes are expensive so I’m buying an orchard. She thinks that’s the solution to overpriced produce.

Seriously. Perhaps she should eat some fish, or drink some coffee, or have blueberries, or turmeric, or broccoli, or pumpkin seeds, all considered brain food before she goes off the rails about buying an avocado orchard.

One of the people her fat ass.
Guard your umbrellas, Crazy Britney Spears may be back.

Now, here’s the tea …in January, Brit Brit announced that she was dropping her latest Las Vegas residency Domination before it even started because her father, and conservator, Jamie suffered a ruptured colon and she wanted to care for him. Then … ALLEGEDLY … Jamie Spears’ condition worsened, and the stress was so bad that Brit voluntarily checked herself into a 30-day mental health program. 

BUT, now some folks say that Britney is being held against her will in that mental institution and that Jamie put her there in January after she stopped taking her meds. Jamie, at first, threatened to pull Domination and use his sickness as the excuse, and then, when Brit continued skipping her dosages, he cancelled the show. A few days later, the paparazzi snapped her driving—something she is not allowed to do—so Jamie had her committed.

Naturally, as happened when celebrities go off the rails, there are conflicting stories. While Britney is in a mental health facility she is not being held against her will. Apparently everything ALLEGEDLY went south because Brit got a new team of lawyers and doctors to help her and her meds situation was a mess; add to that, people are saying Jamie began giving Brit more and more freedom and they were worried she “could’ve died” so Daddy Spears decided to put her in treatment, and use his illness as an excuse.

No one knows when Brit will get out, but, while she is not being held against her will, Britney did not really want to go to rehab … 

... and now Amy Winehouse is playing in my head.
A few months back, “actress” Tara Reid sued the producers of Sharknado because they used her likeness in other promotional ventures. She was asking $100 million in damages for profiting off her image. But now, quietly Reid has dropped the suit.

Reid claimed the producers behind Sharknado, Asylum Entertainment and SYFY Media Productions used her likeness for different ventures, including a Sharknado slot machine, and that $100 million would be the sum she needed to recover from the trauma. But then last week, without warning, Reid filed court papers saying she’s dropping all claims and will dismiss her entire lawsuit.

I guess she was a’scurred that a judge would look her in the face and laugh out loud at the notion that she thought her likeness was worth $100 million.

More like a roll of pennies.
Best parents ever, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, pleaded not guilty to using $500,000 to ALLEGEDLY bribe their moderately intelligent daughters’ way into USC but now may change their pleas so that prosecutors won’t come after their totally innocent girls.

Totally innocent. Lori and Mossimo will do anything they can to keep their daughters safe from, ahem, “malicious prosecution” even though we now know that Lori and Mossimo’s plan was to paint their younger daughter as a crew coxswain for the L.A. Marina Club team, and that they provided an “action shot” of the girl on the ‘erg’—or rowing machine.

Trouble is, the daughter posed on the machine and we’re to believe that she had no idea why her parents took her to the yacht club, put her in a uniform, and asked her to pose on a piece of equipment?

Not today Satan. This all means that dim-bulb Olivia Jade either fully knew about this plan, or she took a picture for her parents on a random rowing machine one day because … Instagram?

Friday, April 26, 2019

PR 17 Ep 7: Category Is ... Eleganza!

There was much ado about being the Top Ten, but we all know what only matters is getting to The Tents. Still, it’s getting hot up in here, and with not a lot of awful designers—though Hester skirts that category—it’ll get harder to send someone packing.

The designtestants are invited to a champagne and caviar reception with Karlie and Brandon, though any savvy PR watcher knows that’s just a set-up to the challenge. When they arrive, Karlie is being photographed by Brandon and then the designtestants are asked to join them in a photo. Afterwards, it booze and fish eggs and BAM!

Karlie tells them that this week’s challenge, also a Flash Sale challenge where the winning looks will be sold after the show, is to create a look that embraces elegance. They will each—via the Lucite Button Bag—choose another Lucite bag with an object inside and create a design that compliments that object.

Sonia picks first and goes for the Purple Rhinestone Headphones; Lela picks a small Bust of a Woman; Sebastian chooses the Pink Orchid; Bishme, a Teal Hand … handbag; Venny gets a bottle of Rosé; Jamal, a Pink Perfume Bottle; Renee goes for Lemons and Limes … is she making a margarita cuz count me in; Hester picks Peacock Feathers.

That leaves Tessa and Garo, and Tessa is not happy. Not at her handbag choices because, when the designers chose a bag, they also picked a model, and the last two models are the, ahem, ‘curvy’ girls. Tessa doesn’t do ‘curvy,’ but then Brandon jumps her shiz and reminds her:
"In life and in your businesses, when any woman comes to you, your job as a designer is to make her feel good."
Neither he nor Karlie are pleased with Tessa’s disdain, but she picks the Cash Handbag and Garo, who says he’s got no problem with a curvy girl, chooses the Silver Mirror and Brush bag.

Okay, let’s rip …
SEBASTIAN I think he captured the orchid in both color and feel, though maybe he should have stepped up the coins to make it more luxe.
TESSA She put her curvy girl in a basic black outfit underneath a giant kimono; she opted for a “reveal” to show off the model’s body, but when the clothes beneath are boring, the reveal is wasted.
GARO He knew how to dress a curvy girl, to make her fell beautiful, and sexy and covered and, as he said was most important, supported. She looked, and felt, beautiful.
RENEE This is the definition of Safe; a black suit, with a splash of color. It didn’t scream eleganza as much as it screamed ‘Where’s my phone?’
Once again, after last week’s disastrous suit mess, Jamall wants to make a suit, He whips out the muslin and begins cutting tit and fitting it to the mannequin until Christian comes along. Christian is not having it; he pushes Jamall to dump the stale, boring suit, and to just drape the fabric over the mannequin and see what happens.

Lightbulbs go off. And later, when Christian sees Jamall’s new look, he calls it stunning.

This is the most complete look I’ve made yet.

It looks like an odd fit around the waist, but I love the style, the flip-flopping of the plaid, and the fact that we didn’t get another suit!

Brandon toys with Jamall, drawing out his critique until he finally says, “I’m so in love with this.” He calls it “so right,” and is happy Jamall found his way. Elaine said that after weeks of competition this outfit is the most Jamall, and that it references his gender fluid mentality toward fashion. Nina loved that Jamall took a man’s fabric, the plaid, and made a very feminine look. Karlie also agreed that it’s a total Jamall look and noted that up close it looks even better.

This is his week to struggle. While he’s very good at streetwear, I think the elegant idea flummoxed him a bit. He also bought several fabrics at Mood, mostly to have a choice, but sometimes too many choices stop the creativity. He’s chosen to make a printed blouse and a high-low skirt, but then ….

Christian spots his look and wonders why there are so many fabrics; he warns Bishme to edit his look. Christian is also worried that the skirt is not refined or elegant. Bishme changes direction again.

I do not have something that fully represents my version of elegance.

The printed blouse makes it hard to see the detail, and the plain skirt makes every detail jump out … high-low, culotte, skort, flaps … what is it?

Brandon said it wasn’t streamlined enough, with the high waist, the asymmetry, the ruffles; he said it seemed clear Bishme didn’t know what to make. Elaine thought the blouse was well-made but got lost in the Skirt of Many Ideas. Nina also loved the draping of the blouse but thought a different print might have shown it off better; she didn’t think this was a real Bishme. Karlie asked, “Am I crazy? Because I think the skirt is good.” Brandon replied, “Yes, you’re crazy.”

Finally, a visit to the Critique Runway for Lela. She’s been safe, or non-existent for most of the season, so this might be good.

With her Bust in a Handbag, she opts for a tea0lnght structured dress with corseting, and some organza to bring in a Greek revivalist tone. It’s very simple compared to others in the room.

I really went for it this week. Minimal, chic.

I rarely put the phrase ‘went for it’ with ‘minimal’ but I like the look and the shape and the simplicity. It is elegant.

Nina likes the corsetry and the accentuated hips, and the graphic design, but hated the , um, toilet paper top. Brandon, though, like the toilet paper … “very expensive toilet paper.” Elaine loved the graphic structure of the look and called it regal. Up close Karlie hated the fabric and thought it now looked cheap, and Nina agreed that up close the fabrics seemed tortured.

She has immunity and so she’s going balls to the wall, or, as Sebastian noted, “titties on the runway.”

Her idea of elegant, and this is where she loses it instantly, is a gown … with pasties to cover the model’s nipples because nothing says ‘elegant’ that shopping where a stripper goes for her uniform. Especially when you glue the pasties onto the model. But Christian seemed to like the idea—though perhaps in theory it would have worked, in execution it was  mess—but wondered if it was ‘cool’.

It’s so bonkers bananas.

Waist down? Eleganza, though the fabric wasn’t a favorite. Up top? The little Chinese hats covering the nipples were simply stupid.

Elaine said she took a big risk with a brilliant idea that suffered through bad execution and puckering. Nina also noted the poorly executed messiness. While Brandon was not amused at all, calling it disrespectful to her own creativity and to the work. He was not having the “two taffeta fortune cookies”. Karlie rightfully noted that Hester was lucky to have immunity.

Like Lela, Sonia has been rather safe this season, so now she also wants to step up and out. With the Headphones Handbag as inspiration, she’ll make a mod, young DJ in a tailored dress and kimono.

Christian isn’t quite seeing mod and young, but hopes the kimono, or the one-sided kimono, will save the look.

SPOILER ALERT: it does not. Sonia ends up running out of time making a tailored dress and so the kimono is left by the wayside, only to be retrieved, cut up again, and worn as some kind of Raggedy Ann scarf by the model.

I wish I had the kimono, but I think the dress is really beautiful.

It’s a gorgeous cocktail dress for an Upper east Side matron, but not at all for a hip young DJ. It’s a well-made miss.

Brandon said it was beautiful, though it wasn’t really an idea; he also noted that it was well constructed. Elaine wanted the kimono because, without it, it was nothing. It wasn’t DJ, it was boring. Nina said it wasn’t modern or elegant, but that it was just safe, and cliché. Karlie hated the Last Minute Wizard Cape and wondered why Sonia, who makes gorgeous dresses, gave them this.

He is also on Redemption Tour, though he’s also going by way of Restraint. He wants to make a fun cocktail dress to play off the Rosé Handbag but will keep it clean and simple.

Then he almost destroys himself because he wants to make the straps bigger and longer and I’m thinking he’s going off the rails again, but he stops short and keeps them simple.

Which may have been a good thing, because at the last-minute fitting, he breaks the top off the zipper and the model cannot take the dress off. He has to hand sew the straps on in the hallway right before the runway; luckily Jamall offers to help.

I hope the judges see a complete 180 from me, and that I can show restraint.

It doesn’t hurt that his model is stunning, but it also doesn’t hurt that this is a gorgeous dress in a gorgeous color and is simply elegant.

Karlie loved it, saying she could “Rosé all day.” She loved that it was simple and loved the color. Brandon hated the straps hanging down the back but loved the way it framed the model’s shoulders’ all in all, he said it was a good comeback. Elaine loved that he pulled back on the design and said this was a look that many women would want. Nina loved the rosé color, mixed in with the hints of red, and was also glad that Venny found his voice again.
Hester went home for nipples!

Sadly, no, because immunity was in play; she was lucky. So, it comes down to Bishme and Sonia, and in the end, Bishme’s ‘designed’ blouse won out over Sonia’s simple, safe dress.

On the top side, Lela was safe, and it comes down to the Redemption Twins. Venny’s straps may have done him in, or Jamall’s use to the fabric may have sent him over the edge, because Jamall gets a well-deserved win.

I don’t like Tessa. After being called out by Brandon over her ‘curvy girl’ remarks, she doesn’t see the error of her ways, she’s only worried that her disdain for big girls will make her a target. I also didn’t like how she dogged Garo’s look on his ‘curvy girl, because he made his model look and feel sexy and gorgeous and elegant while her model looked like she might try to steal a microwave from Walmart by hiding it under her coat. A glimpse into next week shows some of other designers coming for Tessa and I’m there for that.

Jamall, after getting his groove back:
“I feel like a whole new bitch.”
Bishme, when he was changing his ideas non-stop:
“Maybe I’m Hester-ing?”
Lela is so prim. I was amazed watching her eat in the Designtestants Penthouse; so prim and proper. I wonder what she thinks of Hester.

Here’s what I think of Hester. This week she went back to ‘Look at me, I’m daring and bold and avantgarde and cutting edge.’ Except she was tasteless and  refusing to listen to the challenge. Pasties are not elegant. And her whole personal runway appearance, dressing like she was the Bad Girl, the Rebel. It’s too much about Hester and not enough about the clothes and the challenge.

With Jamall and Venny back in form, I’d like to see them at The Tents; with Sebastian because, of course. Lela will probably go next week if she plays it safe. Tessa will go down if she doesn’t get a ‘skinny girl’ while Hester may burn out over the crazy. Renee is good, but she’s been too safe; I need her to be the next to step up. And that goes for Bishme, too.

Listen to the sages of the PR: design what you know in the challenge. Don’t change yourself to fit the category.

Next week: Mimi-collections for a celebrity on vacation. Ooh, is Mayim Bialik going to Croatia?

What did YOU think?

I Didn't Say It ...

Charlize Theron, announcing that her oldest child, Jackson, assigned male at birth, is transgender.

“Yes, I thought she was a boy, too, until she looked at me when she was three years old and said, ‘I am not a boy!' So there you go! I have two beautiful daughters who, just like any parent, I want to protect and I want to see thrive. They were born who they are and exactly where in the world both of them get to find themselves as they grow up, and who they want to be, is not for me to decide. My job as a parent is to celebrate them and to love them and to make sure that they have everything they need in order to be what they want to be. And I will do everything in my power for my kids to have that right and to be protected within that.”

That’s parenting.
Pete Buttigieg, presidential hopeful, on Michael Elizabeth Pence response to the South Bend mayor’s criticism of the vice president’s use of religion to attack LGBTQ people:

“The Vice President is entitled to his religious beliefs. My problem is when those religious beliefs are used as an excuse to harm other people. That was a huge issue for us in Indiana when he advanced a discriminatory bill in 2015 under the guise of religious freedom, that said it was lawful to discriminate, provided you invoked religion as your excuse. I just believe that’s wrong. This isn’t about him as a human being. This is about policies that hurt people, policies that hurt children. To this day, he has not brought himself to say that it shouldn’t be legal to discriminate against people in this country because they’re LGBT. In most parts of this country you can still be fired, denied housing, denied service because of who you are. He seems to be okay with that. I would love to see him evolve on that issue. … My quarrel with the vice president is over that.”

And yet Michael Elizabeth and Mother keep spinning it as an attack on their faith.
Richard Grenell, the gay conservative U.S. Ambassador to Germany, comparing Pete Buttigieg to Jussie Smollett, and saying Mayor Pete’s statements about Mike Pence’s anti-gay actions as governor are false:

“Mayor Pete has been pushing this hate hoax, along the lines of Jussie Smollett, for a very long time now, several weeks. And I find it really ironic that Mayor Pete stayed silent about the so-called hate hoax on him and others during 2015, 2016, 2017 when Mike Pence was governor. There was total silence. It’s ironic that right about now when he’s starting his fundraising apparatus to run for president that he comes up with this idea and this attack One of the things that really bothers me about this attack is that Mike Pence is a friend of mine. Mike and Karen are great people, they’re godly people, they’re followers of Christ. They don’t have hate in their heart for anyone. They know my partner. They have accepted us. Now you ask me do we agree philosophically on every single issue? No ... I don’t agree with my partner on everything. The gay community used to be the community pushing tolerance and diversity. We were the ones that were saying everyone should be able to love and accept each other. Now suddenly there’s a whole community of people demanding that we all think alike. I think it’s outrageous. When Mayor Pete came out the vice president complimented him and said he holds him in high regard. The vice president or then governor has said nothing but positive things about Mayor Pete. I think this is a total hate hoax and I think it’s outrageous.”

The last thing we need is some gay man trying to spin Michael Elizabeth and Mother Pence as “great people” when everyone, everyone, knows that Pence has done damage, or tried to damage, the LGBTQ community, often using his  ALLEGED  faith as a reason.
Running for Congress in 2000, Pence was in favor of sending money allocated to care for people with HIV/AIDS to organizations that provide conversion therapy; Pence ran a think-tank that published virulently anti-gay articles; Pence refused to protect LGBT Hoosiers from discrimination; Pence legalized anti-LGBT discrimination in Indiana; Pence supported a ban on gay marriage, and condemned the ‘mainstreaming of homosexuality in the military’ after DADT was repealed.
So, Dick Grennell, I call you that because you are a dick, the Pence’s are not good people; they use their faith as a weapon and for you as a gay man to stand idly by and do and say nothing is disgusting,
Fuck off.
Pete Buttigieg, presidential hopeful, on CNNs Town Hall this week, responding to Grenell:

“I’m not a master fisherman, but I know bait when I see it and I’m not going to take it.”

Bam! Don’t suffer the fools, Pete!
John Oliver, on _____ and the Mueller Report:

F**ked. He said I’m f**ked. And while we obviously don’t know whether _____ will face any repercussions from this report, I’d just like to live a little longer in the moment of him saying, ‘This is the end of my presidency. I’m f**ked.’ I’d like to take some artistic license to fully paint that scene for you. _____, upon learning Robert Mueller was appointed, slumping back in his chair. Meanwhile, Ivanka is playing fetch with Don Jr., Eric’s tongue is stuck to a somehow frozen flagpole. Reince Priebus is walking around with his head inside a honeypot. Jared is standing motionless directly in front of a blank wall. Steve Bannon is stress-eating a bowl of used syringes. And Stephen Miller is gleefully pulling the legs off a spider. While _____ says those beautiful words as tears run down his cheeks, ‘this is the end of my presidency. I’m f**ked.’ And right at that very moment, a pigeon flies into the room and sh*ts in his mouth. It is a masterpiece.”

It’s like Oliver was there!
Rex Tillerson, former secretary of state, saying he frequently had to push back on requests from_____ because they violated the law:

“So often, the president would say here’s what I want to do and here’s how I want to do it and I would have to say to him: ‘Mr President, I understand what you want to do but you can’t do it that way. It violates the law,’ I’d say here’s what we can do. We can go back to Congress and get this law changed. And if that’s what you want to do, there’s nothing wrong with that. I told him I’m ready to go up there and fight the fight, if that’s what you want to do.”

Tillerson was removed from his position in March and replaced by Mike Pompeo who recently said God wants _____ to be president.
Will Rossi and Rob Masia gay couple photographed at Coachella last week with disgraced former Congressman Aaron Schock, distancing themselves from him:

“[We] wanted to take a photo with our friends at Coachella, to celebrate our last day there. Being polite, we allowed Aaron—who was basically a stranger to us and someone we just met—to include himself in our photo. We would not have allowed Aaron to join the photo, nor would we have associated with him if we had more knowledge of his beliefs and past actions. For our own political ignorance, we are deeply sorry. We hope Aaron does decide to come out publicly and live the gay life he so freely enjoyed at Coachella, the kind of life so many out and proud LGBTQ individuals have fought for and have made possible for younger gays like [us] to live today. And we hope if or when Aaron does decide to come out and own his actions, he apologizes and makes amends with the LGBTQ community, because he certainly owes us one.”

Hmmm, I’m kinda suspicious, because surely someone, anyone, within earshot of this couple would have said something about Aaron’s self-loathing actions against the LGBTQ community.
I think it’s all very, Oops we got caught with the homophobic closeted hot guy, let’s cover our tracks.
I’m a cynic like that.