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Showing posts from 2012

SAG Nominating Committee; Yea or Nay?

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I have never written about movie awards before but something magical happened to me this year that prompted me to change all that. For the first time in all the years I've been an active member of the Screen Actors Guild I was randomly chosen to be part of the elite SAG Nominating Committee for film. 
What this means is that I got to watch a shitload of this season's films and then voted for who, in my estimation, should be nominated for the SAG Award in the following categories: best lead male and lead female, best supporting male and supporting female, best performance by a cast, and best stunt ensemble (go figure).
It's an interesting film season, in that there isn't a decisive front runner in any category. Remember a few years back when Helen Mirren graced the silver screen in The Queen? She received endless accolades, sashayed down many a red carpet, and, according to IMDb, snatched up no less than 29 statuettes, plaques, ribbons and bangles portraying the stalwa…

Tinsel Isn't the Only Thing that's Glossy

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I had no idea this would happen.
Really. 
The whole thing started with an innocuous phone call.
LESBIAN FRIEND: How would you and Michael like to be interviewed for the magazine my wife works for? The article would be about gay parenting. Sort of like a real life Modern Family.
ME: Cool.
See. An interview. That was the extent of it. Emails were sent, phone calls were made, and before I knew it a photo shoot was scheduled to occur in my house. Now, one might imagine any photographer worth his or her aperture would provide his or her own equipment. But somehow the photographer that came to my house to shoot my family neglected to bring any lighting apparatus of any sort, and on a day that was fifty-two shades of battleship gray. Trust me, my bullshit meter was going crazy. 
The photographer busied himself moving my living room furniture around, trying to find a glimmer of natural light (knocking my standing lamp over in the process) as Michael and I were being interviewed by an appropr…

How Legitimate Must the Rape Be?

I know of a fourteen-year-old young man who was finally given permission. He convinced his parents to let him ride the train into the city to take a summer musical theater class. Every Tuesday and Thursday for six weeks he rode his gold Schwinn to the nearby suburban train station. After responsibly locking up the bike, the young man purchased a round trip ticket and boarded a San Francisco-bound train. Once in The City, he connected to a bus that would take him up Third Avenue and make a left onto Geary. This young man would then disembark at Union Square Park and walk two blocks west to the American Conservatory Theatre where the class took place.

One day, as he was taking the train from the hustle and bustle back home he entered into what he considered a grown-up conversation with a well turned out older man of twenty-five or twenty-six, who wore a light wool sports jacket of charcoal grey with brown pinstripes. The young man, now feeling confident with his life path, poured out hi…

Bad Mommy: Palin Parenting

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Scenario: You've traveled all day with your three and a half year old boy. When you get to your destination you see that your son's energy is at a all time high and the kid is bouncing off the linoleum. Do you...

A. Help him get rid of that excess energy by running him around or taking him swimming which he really, really, really wants to do. Or...
B. Turn on the cameras, tell him to settle down and desperately hope that he will.

Bristol Palin, reality show personality and failed abstinence poster child, chose B. Instead of tuckering out the little bugger, she chose to lounge on the sectional with younger sister Willow and unsuccessfully attempted to talk Tripp into a state of calm

Take a peek from Palin's what's-the-point reality show, Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp.




I have a fondness for the name Tripp. I myself am a Junior, and assumed at some point I'd have a boy who would be the third. I looked at all the nicknames: Trey, Tirch, Trace, Rerun, Ditto. But aft…

A Letter to Dan Cathy

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Dear Dan Cathy,

Boy, have you taken your hits in the news lately. And to be honest, I don't think the bad press over your statements shooting down gay marriage is entirely justified. On the Ken Coleman radio show you pronounced our generation has "the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about." I, however, believe you, as CEO of the overly-hyphenated Chik-fil-A, not only have every right to say whatever ding-dong thing you please, but you also have the right to donate your personal millions towards any conservative, bigoted, homophobic cause of your choosing. Unlike many, I don't consider your words to be full of hate (a word my mother taught me never to use), you simply were expressing your limited interpretation of the Bible, ignoring basic tenants like benevolence, tolerance and love. It might surprise you--me being a married gay man with two kids--that on this, Chik-fil-A Appreciation Day, I write to share my support.

I am not a marketing professiona…

In Search of Dumpster Babies

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At the insistence of my six-year-old daughter we took a much needed stroll around the neighborhood. And while engaged in a discussion about a magical, fuchsia and lavender-colored, flying horse named Princess Celestia (see earlier entry), I spotted this.

This made me wonder what would prompt someone to stencil this rather bothersome decree on their dumpster.

Might there be a grizzly history attached to this dumpster? Might it simply be a warning because of past grizzly events? Or might it simply be a random tagging by a conscientious Crip?

In 2001, about a year before Michael and I started the adoption process, "dumpster babies" were on the rise. Now, all fifty states have enacted their own version of the Safe Haven Law, which allows parents to relinquish a newborn baby to any hospital (sometimes a police station or fire station depending on the state), within 72 hours of the child's birth without any threat of being prosecuted.* 

One would think finding a baby in a dump…

Trifecta

Yesterday, I'm driving home from a fundraising meeting at Maxwell's school when I hear the following three news items on the radio back to back:

-A mountain lion was wandering around downtown Santa Monica.

-A single-engined plane crashed into suburban Glendale.

-A $50,000 reward was offered for anyone who has information about a double hit-and-run that fatally killed a 79 year old woman from Pacoima.

And that terrifying news trifecta made me stop texting my husband, grip the steering wheel with both hands, and take in my surroundings as if at any moment destruction could be hurled into my path.

Southern California with all of its earthquakes, mudslides, heat strokes and Kardashians feels as if it has gotten more deadly. It's lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my...literally. The lion of yesterday, few weeks ago a mama grizzly and two of her young were spotted curled up in a tree in a residential area of Altadena, and the tigers...well, off the top of my head I don't reca…

Homomony

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I'll be  honest, I was okay with his chess-playing ways. I trusted that his bald eagle emblazoned plate was pretty dog gone full. I mean, his to do list from the outset was enough to make most people curl up into a ball and take a nap for four years. I didn't need nor expect him to take the pro stance until well into his second term. But President Obama's announcement last week that he is now in support of gay marriage caught in my throat and brought tears to my eyes in a way I could not have anticipated.

A sitting president of the United States has finally supported not only homomony, but also my own personal lifestyle, my marriage, my children and...in a word...me. Boy howdy, I cried like Sherri Shepherd after she was kicked off of Dancing with the Stars.

When I examine it, however, my emotionality may not solely belong to this momentous event. Let's face it, this last week was one for the books when it comes to gay marriage and gay marriage adjacent news. Day after…

Happy Steel Anniversary

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Eleven years ago today I married my husband. It wasn't a legal marriage, in the sense that it was not recognized by the government. However, we did get married in a church, and I defy anyone to tell me our wedding wasn't recognized by a much higher power.
But this isn't about getting on my political high horse. This is about love, and a wonderful man, and a beautiful day eleven years ago...

What a day. I think of all the planning that went into it. Typical list: the church, the reception, the dinner, the invitations, the flowers (blue hydrangeas), the photographer (Tracey Landworthshe's brilliant, check out her link), the wardrobe, the band (Eddie Watkins Jr & The Go Big Daddy Band, also stupendous), the seating arrangements, the cake, the open bar, the 150 guests, and our biggest splurge, the white chocolate place cards.


Our families arrived before the ceremony to take pictures. This one is just brimming with racial harmony!


Here's my baby and I after we tied…

Arts-in-Education; a Love Letter

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Dear Jacqueline,

Firstly, let me apologize upfront for a few things: the public manner in which I'm sending this, for any unnecessary exposition which will allow my readers to follow more closely, and also for my tardiness, but if you read my previous entry, you'll understand that illness has made me its bitch and almost three weeks later I'm still reeling from side effects. (My ear is still ringing!)

To the thick of it then... Thank you so much for what you have given Sebastian, and in turn my family. Your talents at directing are immeasurable, and I don't use that word lightly. Working was an absolute hit, and to see all those children up on stage, not only giving it their all, but also showing various levels of stage proficiency was mind blowing performance after performance.

As you know, Sebastian bucked a bit at the thought of going to so many rehearsals. He'd get on the bus and come home rather than stay at school where you were weaving your magic. And when,…

Illness Sucks

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Without getting into specifics, I've been on my back for seven days...and not in the good way.

Why the fuck am I being quixotic? I'll tell you the specifics. What started as a cough continued into a flair of sinusitis and an ear infection. This led to flu like symptoms, you know, charming things like body aches, shakes, sweats, slight nausea, diarrhea. And add to that, what sent me skittering along the precipice...dehydration...again. I don't know why my body has never had a problem maintaining hydration until this year.

My most embarrassing moment happened after I suffered through a painful, loose bowel movement and then broke out into severe flop sweat. My entire shirt was soaked through and I simultaneously felt like puking and passing out. The only thing I thought would give me any sense of relief was the cool tile floor. With my pants still around my ankles and my rear still unwiped, I placed my cheek on the bathroom floor hoping that this was the illness's rock …

Bucking Trends

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Jessica Simpson's cover of Elle this month seems familiar, doesn't it? And I don't think any of us has to dig too deeply into our sleep-deprived, vodka-soaked brains to suss out the reference. Who could forget the Vanity Fair cover that Annie Liebovitz shot so startlingly of Demi Moore's pregnant voluptuousness back in 1991? From the exact same pose, to the ginormous bling on their left middle fingers, to the fact these two celebutants are both carrying girl children, the Simpson pic is a duplicate of what some found scandalous twenty-one years ago. (Although I prefer Demi's arrogant in-the-distance gaze to Jessica's in-your-face, Zoolander directness.) But this piece isn't about who did what first, nor artistic integrity, nor is it about nudity on magazine covers, which for the record I am wholeheartedly for.

No, this is about trends.

Recently, Ms. Simpson announced that her baby girl will be named...take a breath here...Maxwell. What! For those of you ju…

A Dog Named Travis

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I was exhausted. After a full day of work all I wanted to do was go home and fall into a vodka induced coma, something I had only heard about but never aspired towards. But as I was walking past the pet store I stopped. Something told me to step inside and take a peek at the puppies. And there was this one, the cutest baby husky you ever did see, that made me question whether an alcoholic stupor was all it was cracked up to be. I smiled. Not in an I-can't-live-without-him kind of way, but just enough to ask the man behind the counter how much he was.

Without answering my query, the pet store guy--a slightly greasy man who I'll name Serge--asked me to step into one of the back rooms telling me he would bring the husky to me. Then, when the blue-eyed bundle of fluff was in my arms, Serge whipped out an Instamatic and snapped our picture. After flapping it about for the allotted amount of time, Serge then handed the partially developed, somewhat-still-damp photo and declared, &q…

Don't Dog the Penis

Reading the newspaper today, my husband came across a Los Angeles Times article in which the Parents Television Council, a conservative watchdog group, has been counting the number of times penis and vagina have been used in network prime time television. The usage of these words, we are told, has escalated dramatically over the past ten years, which prompted PTC president, Tim Winter, to say, "It's a broader reflection of the progression of raunch."

The progression of raunch? The utterances of penis and vagina from our lips is raunch? Now, I don't know about other parents, but in our house we don't use the colloquial pee pee and va jay jay. We labels it as we sees it. It's big p and capital v all the way. Consequently, penis and vagina are said quite frequently, and as the children have gotten older these two choice anatomical sobriquets have only gained momentum, quite possibly making ours the house Tim Winter would say is the raunchiest in America.

Trust m…

Fruit Mind Salad

So many arbitrary ideas, from Ben Affleck's Oscar win (?) to honkeys once again wanting to use the N word (??!?), skittering around in my head like evasive, one-winged butterflies. And it seems if I can catch just one of these lopsided lepidopterans, I'd be off and running to write my next entry/script/book/opus.

RANDOMNESS... I forbid for it to be a curse, so, here goes...

A lot has transpired as of late. I handed in my piece to The G Man Magazine, the online magazine I've been writing for. It's about (surprise) my life as a gay parent, and contrary to political vitriol it's really quite unremarkable, and not scourgelike at all. In it, I rant--you know how much I love to rant--interspliced with anti gay marriage quotes from the Republican presidential hopefuls (those who've both fallen and are still standing). The G Man Magazine will be subscription based this go around, hopefully putting a shekel or two into my pocket. I'll provide more info to you as I g…

Ten Days in New York for Christmas with Two Children and a Working-Actor Husband: Part the Second

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Days 2 & 3: Rockefeller Center and NYFD
It seems my days leading up to Christmas were a delicate balance between enjoying the very adult New York I remembered while searching desperately for the kid-friendly New York that would keep my children from throwing themselves in front of subway trains. Now, I'm not saying there isn't anything for little ones to do in the Big Apple, but when I typed children's activities NYC (or some similar prompt) in the Google search box it seemed as if the same ten things kept popping up, most of which were seasonal, and I was in the wrong season. 
Sebastian and Maxwell may have bah humbugged the Christmas tree at the Metropolitan Museum (refer to last entry), but it was a new day, the sky had cleared and I was determined to impress my kids with the Christmas tree of all Christmas trees. That's right, the stunner at Rockefeller Center, which was a mere two city blocks from our hotel.

Then a disquieting thought descended. Shortly after …