Saturday, June 29, 2002

So I've been wanting to blog about this for a while, because it's a pretty big deal, but it's been pushed aside by, you know, the politics of patriotism and the Quest for Ultimate Blogwhoredom and stuff.

But Monday night, I will be appearing at the historic Herbst Theater in San Francisco as part of a concert called "It's a Grand Night for Rodgers." Public Radio listeners in other parts of the country may know the Herbst Theater as the venue for the "City Arts & Lectures" series hosted by Linda Hunt. Here's a nice sketch of the Herbst from their website:



Yesterday would have been the 100th birthday of Richard Rodgers (if he were still alive). He was the composer of "Oklahoma," "Sound of Music," "South Pacific," "The King and I," and a bunch of other less well known musicals. Countrywide, performers and performing arts organizations are making an effort to particularly celebrate his music this year.

The concert on Monday is one of the biggest San Francisco Rodgers events that will occur this year. Aside from me and a couple of other local performers, Silver Screen legend Celeste Holm will be appearing to sing a song or two and tell some stories. She was in the original 1943 cast of "Oklahoma" (as Ado Annie).

Some other out-of-town cabaret and stage celebrities will also be joining us, including Patricia Morison (the original Kate in Cole Porter's "Kiss Me Kate" in 1948) and Andrea Marcovicci (cabaret diva and - for my fellow sci-fi geeks out there - the actress who played the sexy android Chalmers who gets melted in the early scenes of the fabulously bad 1983 3-D movie, "Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone").

I was going to recommend that local folks try to come see me perform . . . except that I found out yesterday that we are 100% sold out.

I guess it was a good idea to schedule an event targeted to musical theater disciples in San Francisco the day after Pride Weekend. (Or maybe it was just fate that the Stonewall Riots happened one day before Mr. Rodgers' birthday.)

Preparing for this one-night show has been a lot of work. We local folks have about three times as much material to perform as each of the out of town guests. And just this afternoon, I got a whole new song assigned to me, and there are three new harmony arrangements that I need to learn. For a concert on MONDAY!! Gotta love show business.

So I will be spending this weekend submerged completely in Richard Rodgers music: "Younger Than Springtime;" "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria;" "With a Song in My Heart;" "Do I Hear A Waltz."

It's not the archetypical Parade-and-Orgy Pride celebration that many San Franciscans will be indulging in this weekend.

But you have to admit . . . it's still pretty gay.

Friday, June 28, 2002

34 PARAGRAPHS ABOUT 182 BLOGGERS


A vignette from the fag files:

I was just living a dull, synthetic life until the night that electrolicious bentkid walked into my world. He was a troubled diva, a total fantabulosa jockohomo, full of bald sarcasm and vicious thinks. He and his jadedju friends - so very posh! - snacked on absinthe and peppermints, corn and death, while the rest of us ultramundane bozos just sipped aqua hydro and listened to the Terrapin Gardens Restaurant jukebox playing That Crazy Casbah Jive.

I'd heard he was a serial deviant, and that he was ultrasparky in the sack . . . but a whole lotta nothing on the inside. Still, I really wanted a piece of his delirious cool. He was on my mind in a big way. I had the f e v e r.

But I was just a troubled little neurotic jew, a space cheese, a total work in progress. I was an introverted navel gazer, ignored by millions. Simply put, I was far too prosaic for him. I was a woodge.

Still, my wandering thoughts strayed to dandelion wishes. Sweet August dreams danced around in my head, and I saw myself near him, making him mine.

His poodle circus of an entourage spouted all kinds of miscellaneous BS: grim amusements; shallow gossip; pseudo-philosophical blahblahblog. They talked all about george, and how familiar jillmatrix was suddenly becoming with Rebecca's pocket. They laughed at some barbaloot who had tried to figure out how to learn swedish from the toddski diaries. People speculated about whether or not the secret kings could possibly achieve victory at sea. And everyone seemed to agree that art is for losers.

Then there were idle musings about the contrasts between the disconnected zeitgeist we were all experiencing and the idea that maybe organized anarchy could result in a worthwhile peace dividend. Some people wanted to revive the old east coast / west coast debate, while others extolled the virtues of the newest anti-depressants: "Little. Yellow. Different." And a gaggle of luscious webgrrlies wondered aloud why all the really good ones (like TrickFred) were either gay, dead, or Canadian.

"Listen missy," said one little bitchquick drag queen named Cayenne (aka frank green), apropos of nothing. "That nastybastard Drewcifer is such a Bad Samaritan . . . Davezilla should just defy him and get it over with. Color me pink, but I think that hokey mokey froot just wants to be Frank Gumola anyway. And just so you know, Jonno totally agrees with me on that."

Talk about therapy theater!

Unfortunately, all the friends I had walked in with turned out to be easily amused paperfish, sudden victims of an apparent brainsluice. They just sat and listened and let their heads bobupndown like the proverbial plastic cat, leaking brain fluid. They had no incriminating words of their own. They had gone all idiote on me. I was definitely with the boring crowd. He would never notice me.

But all of a sudden, a fire inside spoke to me and told me "I must . . ." Terrified, I mumbled a silent prayer to RuPaul, and found myself walking over to HIM - my cyberqueersuperstar. I opened my mouth to speak of . . . what? Stuff and stuff? Thoughts interrupted? Technoerotica?

All I could manage was a soft whisper: "Sometimes I . . ."

But then the little minx of a waitress came out of nowhere and dumped a turkey dinner all over the object of my obsession.

"Whatever!" said a nearby snarky wench, throwing the waitress shade.

"Sorry for the inconvenience," the waitress said meekly, as the resident photojunkie snapped pictures of the whole mess. Some hormonal bitch who seemed to be in a perpetual snit turned to her snazzykat goluboy and started snarling about a possible lawsuit.

The undisturbed object-of-my-desires just stripped off his gravy-covered shirt, right there in front of everyone. And boy, was it an edifying spectacle! I hadn't seen anything that spectacular since I was within licking distance of Andy's chest. He was everything I had imagined Jhames would be, and more. Seeing him half-naked was as thrilling as reading a new post at WilWheaton.net.

But now I was backing away, ready to slink off like the everlasting blogstalker I was. Because he was too beautiful. To him, I was surely nothing more than an anathema boy. He could never want me.

But before I could sneak off, he dropped a sardonic bomb.

"What's new pussycat?" he said, looking deep into my eyes. "You're a strange little boy. Umm . . . will you go to bed with me? Time is the enemy."

I thought, "You must be trippin'!" But I kept my mouth shut and went with the flow.

He took me to room sixteen in a nearby swish cottage - he had obviously been planning to hook up with someone tonight. We did everything, but . . . well, we won't go there.

But I will say that we were mad orange fools, patricking in the fractured light like there was no tomorrow. I was his dirty little nerdslut and he was my freakho. Like Adam Curry used to do in his DJ days, this guy "spun me 'round like a record." Chromewaves of passion wracked my body. Flutter . . . glub . . . meow! I must have sounded like a total barking moose!

If we were a magazine just then, we would have been Martha Stewart's Feral Living.

Overcome by hell and bliss, I was all out of focus. I was a pink pixie floating in orange clouds. I felt all discombloggulated. I thought I was dreaming in reality . . . it was like he had 8 legs, all of them wrapped around me at the same time. All of my elementary particles seemed to become just tiny little pixels in time.

I feared I would pass out from all the hoopty-loops, and lose the memory of this glittering enchantment forever. But I managed somehow to keep hanging on to one lone brain cell, and I avoided the trap of beautiful amnesia.

In the end, I discovered living proof of what a total mermaniac I truly am.

I opened my eyes hours later, still not fully awake, and found that it was no ordinary morning.

Of course, he was gone like Blogadoon, like a somnolent illusion, a wockerjabby of the mind. The only things he left behind were tears and shadows, and a piece of paper with some queer scribbles on it . . . 8 letters, to be exact, spelling out the word:

NOALOGUE.

Some hopeless romantics would say that it was only a small victory to have bagged such a schismatic spitfire. But thanks to him, my cluttered life underwent a complete catharsis. I entered some otherstream, some day without rain, some Reese's World, where I was an object of pure desire. No longer lost in the desolate Bradlands, I now lived a life uncommon.

Yes, I - the mighty geek - had finally escaped my neurotic fishbowl. I was the King of Championville. The world was my oyster. I had become a man.

It was a Sunshine Day, and I felt great.

Thursday, June 27, 2002

AUUUUUUGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!

I swear to God people are such FUCKING IDIOTS!!!

Nothing has outraged me more in recent history than the shallow, idiotic press coverage and “public outcry” around the court decision yesterday that the “Pledge of Allegiance” is unconstitutional.

I understand strong reactions. I really do. And I sympathize with both sides of the debate.

But PEOPLE PLEASE!!!! History! History! History! Before you get your butt-floss in a wad and start making hot-headed public statements, take five minutes to learn a few things on the internet. Especially if you are a reporter, editor, or elected official.
Sen. Kit Bond, R-Missouri, was one of many lawmakers who immediately reacted in anger and shock to the ruling. "Our Founding Fathers must be spinning in their graves. This is the worst kind of political correctness run amok," Bond said. "What's next? Will the courts now strip 'so help me God' from the pledge taken by new presidents?" – CNN.com
OK, Senator Bond, I respect your opinion, but regarding your choice of rhetorical hyperbole, I’m forced to say, in all humility:

SIT DOWN, BITCH!

The founding fathers had nothing to do with the Pledge of Allegiance. It didn’t exist when this country was founded. It was written in 1892, more than 100 years into our country’s history. It was written by private business men who were magazine publishers and flag retailers. It was a marketing jingle.

The National Education Association was lining up all of America’s public schools to have a big ol’ celebration for the 400th anniversary of “Columbus discovering America.” (Because that guy was like, such a great humanitarian. NOT!) The aforementioned magazine-publishing flag-pimps positioned themselves as the “Official Corporate Sponsors” of that nation-wide event.

The “official program” for the celebration was published in their magazine. This included the “Pledge” (written by one of their PR guys), and instructions to recite it before one of their high-quality flags. Get the scam? Buy our magazine . . . buy our flag . . . be a good American.

Now I’m not saying these were bad men. Their motives were complex, and sincere. But it should be clear that the Pledge is not the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, or the Bill of Rights. It is not something born out of blood, brave actions, wise counsel, or public debate. It is more like that cotton commercial that tries to convince us that cotton is “The fabric of our (American) lives.” Even if the product being pimped is a good one, pimpage is pimpage, and is ultimately motivated by commercial concerns, not civic ones.

Oh, and by the way, the business owners who set the whole campaign up? And the guy who wrote the Pledge itself? They were socialists. And totally against state’s rights. They believed the federal government should ultimately take over all businesses, and that Jesus was a Socialist. They even believed in the use of birth control. I shit you not. The Pledge was written with the intent of furthering these beliefs.

And while that’s all cool with me, you hard-core Republicans and Right-Wingers might want to double-check who you are climbing into bed with before you open your mouths and spew more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than is absolutely necessary.

Oh, and did I mention that for the first fifty years of its use, the Pledge was recited with the right arm extended straight up and slightly forward, palm facing out? Sound familiar? Yeah, it got changed in the 40’s, when we realized that Hitler was also fond of that particular gesture.

Finally, of course, the particular phrase which is causing the controversy - “under God” - was not part of the pledge until 1954. It was installed then by Eisenhower in a effort to aid Senator McCarthy and his thugs in rooting out the godless communists, anarchists, and queers among us. And, damn – I am PROUD that this particular phrase has finally been bitch-slapped, right here in good ol’ San Francisco: the Land of the Freak, and the Home of the Perv.

Not because I don’t believe in God. ‘Cause I do. I just don’t think God is tacky enough to want to be included in the Pledge of Allegiance under such circumstances.

(I know for a fact that God forsook Senator McCarthy the moment Lucille Ball was called before a public committee and accused of Un-American Activities. For shame! WE LOVE LUCY. God does, too.)

So, Republican Senator Bond, don’t dredge up the founding fathers to support a commercial advertising slogan that was intended at various times to further both anti-capitalist agendas and McCarthy’s witch hunts. It just makes you look stupid and uninformed.

And I think it’s immensely disrespectful to the founding fathers.

Monday, June 24, 2002

A small slice of William Ted's life . . .

A couple weekends ago, I was at a toy store to buy cheap plastic kazoos for my church choir. (Don't ask.) At the checkout stand, I grabbed a bag of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. These are the little treats straight out of the Harry Potter books. They're made by Jelly Belly, with their usual assortment of candy flavors (Banana, Lemon Drop, Toasted Marshmallow). But, per the books, some new flavors have been added, like Horseradish and Booger. (The company has promised to continue adding gross flavors. Soon, you will be able to eat jelly beans specially flavored to taste like Dirt and Vomit.)

So a few moments ago, I finally got around to opening the bag. I challenged myself to just eat whichever flavors I randomly pulled out, no picking and choosing, no backing down.

The first one was Black Forest Cake. Not bad, but never one of my favorites.

The second was Black Pepper. I ate it and my eyes began to water.

The third was Sardine. Fairly tasteless at first, but as I began to swallow, the aftertaste - salty, greasy, fishy, and mixed with lingering hints of Black Pepper - made my gag reflex kick in.

The fourth one I picked was Booger.

I couldn't take it. I backed down. I put it back in the bag.

It has taken me several minutes to write this, and I still feel like I'm going to yack.

Inspired by Christine's recent post, I just had to dredge up a few more great Weekend Update quotes on terrorism for her . . . and anyone else who finds it funny. You have to admire the talent and determination of the SNL cast and crew. Like all other New Yorkers, they must have been severely shocked and depressed after 9/11, and on top of that they had anthrax in their studio building. But they decided to come out swinging, and helped us smile again while still showing deep respect for the terrible consequences of that day.

November 2001 - Tina Fey says:
On Monday, attorney general John Ashcroft issued a terrorism warning, advising all Americans to be on high alert this week. On Friday, he announces that the period of high alert may be extended indefinitely.

I think I speak for all Americans when I say:

Bitch, I can't be more alert than I ALREADY AM! I'm opening my mail with salad tongs, I take my passport in the shower with me, I'm watching so much CNN that I'm having sex dreams about Wolf Blitzer!

How about this? You stay on high alert, and I'll go freeze my head like Walt Disney and you can wake me up when all of this is over, alright?
In December 2001 - Tina again:
They found more anthrax in Washington, in a place they had already "de-thraxed." Guess they're not as good as cleaning out the "thrax" as they thought they were! Good thing we never found any anthrax in this building!

Oh wait, we TOTALLY DID!!!!
Later in that same episode, they had Rudy Guiliani on, and Tina dressed up as the Statue of Liberty and together with Jimmy Fallon they sang "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" in honor of his last few days in office. It was so touching and weird, it can't be described. You just have to see it sometime. But here's a small snapshot:



Thursday, June 20, 2002

Gentle readers: Commenting has been enabled at Ultimate Blogwhore. Check it out and say your piece. Now YOU can be a part of the action!!

So I got my poetry crawl up and running. Let me know if you experience any problems with it. Do you like it, or is it giving you headaches and epileptic fits?

I'll be working on ways to vary the content.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

So if all has gone well, my blog is now slightly prettier.

Jhames is totally psychic. In his comment the other day, he vocalized exactly what I have been thinking myself . . . I'm not happy only posting every couple of days. MUST. BLOG. MORE.

And in looking at why I haven't been blogging more, I discovered one major evil obstacle, the bane of my Blogging existence:

NETSCAPE.

Not to get into the technical minutiae, but despite the fact that I use Blogger, I have still been doing a lot of hand-coding every time I make a post. This has to do with the complex interrelationships among Blogger, the host for my main pages, the host for my archives, and their respective capabilities (or lack thereof). Oh, yeah, and it also has to do with my complete ignorance of html and web design when I started this blog.

Using Movable Type for Ultimate Blogwhore really drove home how much "workaround" I was doing, and I started re-examining my whole process. In the end, I worked out a much simpler way of Blogging. This new process will make better use of the resources available to me, and will pretty much allow me to post new stuff with the touch of a button rather than a half-hour of hand coding. This means . . . MORE BLOGGING! Yay! It also allows for my main page and my archives to be prettier.

The sacrifice . . . my blog looks drab and ugly on Netscape. Many of the decisions I made in setting up my convoluted workaround process in the first place were attempts to make my blog Netscape compliant. I've finally decided: Netscape be Damned. It's not worth the hassle. So if you are one of my few Netscape readers, I'm sorry. But your browser sucks. And you can look at my now-ugly blog and comfort yourself with the fact that although you are getting less Pretty, you will be getting more content.

I have some other new ideas for features to add to this page, so keep your eyes open over the next few weeks and see what exciting things pop up!

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Hot DAMN!!! I've been meaning to mention this . . . I'm on a CD that was just released, the San Francisco Cast recording of the obscure Cole Porter musical "Leave It to Me." Mostly I'm singing in the chorus, but I'm featured in two songs on the album.

Now, you have to understand, for people into show music, Footlight Records in New York is Mecca. Footlight is the bomb, the shit, the bling-bling. Footlight is everything.

My CD is currently the #2 seller at Footlight. It is currently outselling the "Thoroughly Modern Millie" Broadway Cast Album. "Millie" just won six Tony Awards, including "Best Musical." AND WE ARE FUCKING OUTSELLING "MILLIE!"

Yeah, I'm pretty stoked.

For all you show music aficionados and stalkers: I can also be heard on another obscure Cole Porter Cast Album, "Something For the Boys," available at Amazon.com. My husband sings on that one too, and also did most of the arrangements (something which, unfortunately, did not get credited in the liner notes).

Thursday, June 06, 2002

So, for those of you who don’t know yet, I’m part of Shel’s Survivor-style Ultimate Blogwhore competition. I was eligible for the competition due to my Blogwhore 9 victory, and I seized the opportunity like a huge power tool . . . with both hands.

Round one is over. Eleven contestants are left in the game. Tribal Councils happen every Wednesday and Saturday, and someone gets voted off the blog. Check it out. In five and a half weeks, there will only be ONE Blogwhore left standing.

As is my habit, I view this competition as more than just a game. I see it as a kind of existentially definitive event. The competitors make up a good cross-section of the blogging community - sort of a twelve person “jury of our peers.” The issue at trial is, “What are the community standards for a great blog? What constitutes the ideal blogger?”

Each of us thinks we are the best, so on that issue, we are never going to agree. But week by week, we reach a majority consensus on who is the worst - who we don’t want writing in the blog any more. The one person that remains will have been judged “best” by default.

This week Geno got kicked out. Now, I don’t think being voted out says anything about him personally or about his blog (which I like). But as far as his participation in Blogwhore goes, 8 out of 11 people felt he was expendable. When you take into account that two of the other competitors are “real life” friends of his and not likely to vote for him for offline personal reasons, the decision was pretty much unanimous.

Who can say exactly why everyone agreed to kick him out? My personal take is that his posts were too short – limited to one sentence or paragraph – and contained very little original content. He was mostly reacting or responding to other folks, and didn’t bring much to the table of his own. This left the impression that he “wasn’t posting,” when in fact he made more posts than some players. They just weren’t memorable. Posting every day didn’t save him. His sexy picture didn’t save him. His personal connections didn’t save him.

I guess bloggers are more into verbose originality these days.

Or whatever. There have been other contests of this kind (Bloggies, Anti-Bloggies, Ernie’s original Survivor blogs), and each has had its own outcome, its own answer. Some more experienced bloggers even think that the question of “good blogging” has been answered for good, and that the game’s winner is therefore a foregone conclusion.

But all things change, and the answers of last season may not be the answers of today. I think the winner of Ultimate Blogwhore will tell us something about the blogging community right now. And for about fifteen minutes, we will all be able to enjoy that revelation.