Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saturday Morning... Up

Got back from Sex and The City movie just a few hours ago. Loved it.

Brought back lots of good memories of watching the show faithfully on Sunday nights. Also brought back memories of past loves and love affairs. My goodness, the 2000s have flown by, ya know?

Feeling kinda Dionne Warwick this morning. I'll Never Love This Way Again, due to me seeing Sex and The City... and remembering the early 2000s.

Off to Book Expo America this morning. There's also the Leimert Park Book Fair today... and that one is free.

Have a great one!

Friday, May 30, 2008

No Lammie For Freddie

But it's okay. It was a great great night. I practiced my winning and losing face well. But it didn't matter. We all supported each other.

More on the winners here at the Lambda Literary site. I'm having a busy day at the day job. But will give more details later.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Prepping For The Lammies

This weekend in L.A. will be a big one for the publishing industry and book lovers, as Book Expo America comes to town.

There will be plenty of parties, good panels, free books, and networking ops. Lucky me, my publishers sprung for me to have a pass to the conference. Most definitely will be there.

But before all that starts, the Lambda Literary Awards take place on Thursday evening. They're more commonly known as the Lammies.

My second novel, Right Side of the Wrong Bed, is nominated in the Male Romance category... and since I live in L.A., I can't NOT go. I'll be there.

Today, my friend Fiona Zedde, who's also nominated and attending the awards show, forwarded me the "producers notes" on what's expected of us during the awards show, which, by the way is being filmed for later viewing. I imagine one of the LGBT-focused cable networks?

But the producers notes... assigned aisle seats, no getting up or leaving during recording, red-yellow-green lights on podium if selected as a winner (so acceptance speech doesn't go long). But the FUN part... during our particular categories, all nominees will have a camera on them, so that your immediate reaction to a win or loss is recorded forever.

Needless to say, I've been practicing my "winner" and "loser" face all day. Been to the gym everyday this week. Googled all the nominees in my category, so I'm familiar with their work. Got my clothes (and labels) memorized. lol.

As for an acceptance speech... we're asked to prep something just in case... but I'm going to wing it if by chance I'm selected.

I'll post you all after the awards... or on Friday morning!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bring Ya To The Brink

Don't know how this one slipped by my 'dar.

Bring Ya To The Brink, new CD by Cyndi Lauper. All dance, house beats. Discovered by chance looking at the new releases on iTunes today.

Glad I did. I feel it'll be my new gym companion... on that darn stairmaster, working on my thickness :-)

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Body Perfect... Well

Superficial, yeah, but whatever.

I have a friend whose body could resemble that of the either guy on either book you see here. I'm happily jealous that he's got it going on like that, but that's cool. We all have talents. His is working out.

In fact, a bunch of us were out on the town and having a few drinks and dances at The Big Top, also known as Club Circus (which, by the way is NOT closing down as rumored last winter... in fact, HUGE 4th of July party planned!). It was very crowded, and yeah, a little hot.

So my friend starts to "complain" that it was hot on the dance floor, so he takes off his t-shirt to reveal a cute wife-beater type shirt. Got the tris and bis going on, so it's nice. After about five minutes, he was still hot he said. But he pulled me aside... asked if I thought he had a good enough body to take his shirt off completely, and if he should.

I'm always like, "We're not white, we're not a circuit party, but your body can pull it off." Because he can... and generally, black guys (I know) don't walk around shirtless (and sweaty) in clubs unless they're a paid dancer or at a circuit party setting, and neither applied.

So he's like, "But I feel so fat... I didn't work out today. Are you sure?" In that moaning, whiny kinda way.

I'm like, "You see guys running around shirtless with 36D's... you can go shirtless."

Yeah, I told you superficial, but whatever. The insecurity thing among gay guys is really tricky. You're cute, but think you're not. You're fit, but think you're fat. You turn 30, and you're told life is over.

Women get it worse in society... to put it all in perspective.

Anyway, I'm off to the gym. I'm feeling real fatty-pancakes after a weekend of lots of dining out, a few high-caloric drinks, and very little cardio (unless dancing counts?) Hope you had a nice weekend.

Oh, and if you wanna know about LL's and Mario's fitness tips, check out their books: LL Cool J's Platinum Workout or Mario Lopez's Knockout Fitness. Notice, they both share the same co-author, Jeff O'Connell.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Night Alone... But Not Really

So... that darn 21-year-old I told you about. He text(ed) me this afternoon to inform me that he has a new boyfriend... who's not me. lol. Now, little does he know that I TMZ'd him, and saw him this past weekend at Long Beach Pride... with a new man. Many of you warned me... I'm kinda laughing. a little.

The hot young janitor I told you about. Showed up at the office today. Lip bit all up to heck, and a nice little mark on the neck. Joked, said he'd tell me all about it. As if... I'm over him, but kinda not... ya know?

Now... if I was a depressive/desperate kinda person, it would be, as my friend Clay Cane likes to joke, "a night of straight vodka and Nina Simone."

But I'm not a depressive type. I just like depressive type songs while I get ready to move on to new territory... like writing... new boys... getting ready for summer break from the day job.

Some Friday night alone videos (but you know you're never REALLY alone, not if you believe in something/someone bigger than you!)

Alone by Heart (an all time favorite)

Living All Alone by Phyllis Hyman (great voice, great diva... and those shoulder pads)

All By Myself by Celine Dion. (awesome lyrics, especially when you get older than 25 and you realize how much time you let slip by in the name of... fun!)

And how about some Nina Simone to round out Friday night videos. A clip of her "I Put A Spell On You." Because you're mine!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

More on Morehouse

Great article in the L.A. Times about gay men at Morehouse College. The same school is in the news because for the first time, the all-male, historically black college will have its first white valedictorian.

Learn about Morehouse College on its official website. Another reason to love Atlanta!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Linking Around

My favorite podcast, Daytime Confidential, has some new goodies up today... including an interview with my fantasy man Marcus Patrick, and a podcast on the Top 5 Soap Moms.

Thinking about a writing career, but you're uncertain? J.A. Konrath has a great blog on Uncertainty in the writing industry.

Book Expo America is coming to Los Angeles next week. Imagine thousands of industry insiders -- agents, authors, publishers, editors -- in one locale. Join us for The Black Pack Party, where black/African American industry folks will gather for a fun evening. And then join all the gay-friendly industry folks at the Lambda Literary Awards next Thursday in West Hollywood.

That's all for now. What sites have you discovered lately?

When Friendships Move On

I'm talking about when you notice a particular friendship is no longer the same as it was back in the day.

Nothing specifically bad happens, no drama, no man stealing, no ethical issues... It's just that you notice things are different. You have different interests. The spark isn't there like it used to be. You meet new people who spark another side of life in you. Maybe things that used to be fun and cute start to be annoying.

It's a weird transition. But it's one that we don't tend to talk about as much as say... when a romantic relationship comes to an end.

Is there a manual for when a friendship ends... or is starting to end? Should the friends acknowledge it? Have some kind of process for it to end? Just let it linger until you're gradually no longer on each other's radar?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Donna Summer. Crayons.

Kick off your Pride Season with the colors of the rainbow... and Crayons!

Favorite diva o'the days Donna Summer is back with a new CD, Crayons, scheduled for a May 20, 2008 release. Our friend Clay Cane will be interviewing her, and invites you to submit interview questions.

Remix of a leaked single, I'm A Fire, from one of her YouTube fans. And the first single, Stamp Your Feet from another YouTube fan.

Love me some Donna Summer. I always think of childhood summers, ice cream trucks, backyard barbeques, and all the songs that made her hot in the 70s and 80s...

But my ultimate favorite of hers is from the 1990s. This Time I Know It's For Real. That song was my "secret crush" song on someone I dug back in the day, lol. It's sooooooo "please notice me and my love for you".

Ha... I cringe at that crush now. I've heard he's no longer the popular hottie he used to be, lol.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Marriage Moments

So California's Supreme Court gave the OK for gay marriage. Muy cool.

Will see how this plays out politically in the fall. One way it won't play out... it won't open the door to marriage with kids or animals, as some "thoughtful" conservatives often argue. That's just plain silly.

I know many LGBT groups will be celebrating this, as this was/is their major social justice issue... marriage. I got/get the emails daily about "now we can marry."

Now, I hope they will be just as concerned with racism/sexism within LGBT community, unequal access to health care and poverty in LGBT communities of color, faithfulness in the LGBT community so that the marriages will last, LGBT school drop out rates, etc...

Oh, I'm a cynic sometimes. lol. But always in a positive and constructive way.

To everyone who wants to marry, or for whom at least this one right was the end all be all, I share with you Miss Vesta's Congratulations. My buddy Clay just wrote about Vesta a few days ago.

Vesta, by the way, will be performing live next week at Ivan Daniels Club Metro in West Hollywood. If you wanna hear Congratulations live, go to the show. I often joke that the only time I want to hear from my exes is when they're singing Congratulations to me. But I'm friends with many of them, so no hard feelings or jealousies.

I'm a cynic. So cynically fun that sometimes my friends and I play the Elizabeth Taylor/Erica Kane "Marriage Game" with our names. Example... if I counted all the ones who counted (at least to me, lol), I'd be Fred Smith-Brock-Crafton-Claiborne-Sapp-Salinas-Waters-Torrez-Ingram, and that was as of a couple years ago. Not bad for early 30's, no?

By the way, Elizabeth Taylor's full married name is (and I learned this from a play I saw a few years ago) Elizabeth Taylor-Hilton-Wilding-Todd-Fisher-Burton-Burton-Warner-Fortensky.

Erica Kane's, in case you just HAD to know, is Erica Kane Martin Brent Cudahy Chandler Roy Roy Montgomery Montgomery Chandler Marick Marick Montgomery.

But everyone loves a good wedding and a successful marriage story-- and adding to your last name is just the tip of the iceberg!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pumas At The Campsite

So a few weeks ago, I wrote about my friends' and my adventures in dating younger guys than us... Does That Make Me A Puma?

I got some fun responses on and off the blog. And personally, the adventures in dating younger guys continue. Real fun. Real energetic.

Um. But anyway, the other day I was reading Tayari Jones' blog, and she referenced an awesome sex educator/advice columnist, Dan Savage, and a column he wrote on adventures in dating younger than you... The Campsite Rule.

Among some of the rules are: leave the younger in better shape than before you met them; no diseases; no unwanted babies; you're shaping/creating the bar for their dating experiences.

Fun topic. And with Long Beach Pride coming up this weekend in SoCali, I'm sure we'll all have adventures to share about Pumas at the Campsite. And for the record, when we're talking younger, we're talking early 20s... definitely nothing younger than that.

By the way, Tayari Jones also referenced my drink recipe/story on Dirty Water cocktails.

Your adventures dating significantly younger or older people than yourself?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Silly... I Would've Loved You Anyway

As you can see, it's 3am and I'm awake. Wide awake. Couldn't sleep.

Thinking about work and writing work. So I got up to work. Will probably get to the day office before the sun rises. That's just me and my work ethic. I don't count hours. You do what you have to do to get the job done. I wish more people were like that. Things would get done and you wouldn't have to check up or worry about people getting things done.

Of course when you're up at 3am, and it's quiet in the house and outdoors, your mind wanders. They say the early morning hours are best for working and creativity. Because your mind is at its most-free and pure. Clear of clutter. And obviously no one around to interrupt your flow and process.

So my mind flows to exes, exes with benefits, kinda dating situations, the one I like but shouldn't because he's an ex with benefits of someone I know... Such a drama queen, Brooke Logan, Erica Kane when it comes to matters of the heart sometimes.

Gave a student my copy of He's Just Not That Into You, as he shared a story that's similar to other 19-year-old dramas we've experienced... the "not calling back" storyline. Told him to enjoy it for the memory, but not to wallow in it... as there will be more human drama and boys to come. (Have you met anyone who's met "the one" at 19 anyway? Maybe in 1949...)

Got on my "Heartache" playlist on my iTunes right now. Not that my heart is aching, I'm a happy and inspired person. I actually find "heartache" songs so rich in lyric and story. Those songs inspire me in my writing. "Silly" by Deniece Williams is on right now. Such a perfect song for when you like someone who may not reciprocate your feelings.

But there's always the one you always think about. At those times, I listen to or watch I Would've Loved You Anyway by Trisha Yearwood. Like now.

It's about working hard, loving hard, playing hard, creating memories for later when you can't do things so hard. No regrets. Just taking each day as it comes and making it your best that day.

It's going to be a long day, I can tell...

Saturday, May 10, 2008


I know a lot of you may be looking for that something special for a special motherly figure in your life.

Flowerbomb by Viktor and Rolf.

My sister is a huge fan and it's the only fragrance she'll wear. So it's sister tested, brother approved.

Even if you don't check out the fragrance, check out the Viktor and Rolf website. It's one of the best web feelings I've ever had looking at it.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Three Nancys and an Anita

Friday night video time... because Friday nights tend to bring out the relationship drama in all our friends :-)

When he hasn't called you in five days... after he said he'd call you back in five minutes. Face It Girl, It's Over by Nancy Wilson... a personal fave.

A nice, classy way to tell him you know he's been messing around... Guess Who I Saw Today?... another Nancy Wilson classic.

And if he's played around and you're ready for him to come back home... Don't Go To Strangers.

The night wouldn't be complete without some bring it on home. Fairy Tales by Anita Baker... great lyrics.

What are your Friday night relationship drama songs?

Remember be safe, don't drive if you drink, and definitely don't call/text/message him if you drank too much.

A Little Brush of Fame

So I had to do this reading last night at A Different Light in West Hollywood. It was for Lambda Literary Award nominated authors.

I'd gotten the itinerary a few weeks earlier, but didn't really pay attention to all the details. Just the time and place.

So I'm getting up to the panel and I recognize the actor who originally played Phillip Chancellor the III on Young and the Restless sitting on stage. His real name is Thom Bierdz. I'm saying to myself, "OMG, that's Phillip Chancellor who I used to crush on as a kid." But I play it cool. Ask to see his book. Then I go, "I remember you. I used to watch the show." And he smiled. We did small talk. I asked about his art now. Exchanged cards. All is cool.

Then I see these cameras roll in out of nowhere. And I'm like, "Books don't make Entertainment Tonight." Now, I knew someone named James St. James was on the panel, too, but I didn't put the number together that is was Party Monster James St. James. So then I got nervous. But then okay.

Every once in a while I meet public people or people who are (im)famous in some way. I get nervous. Often feel like I don't belong. But then I think... they're regular people too. So don't get nervous. And then I get over myself and them and "fame." I still get nervous around public people who are friends. Don't ask me why.

The reading went well. I made them laugh. I am happy the night was a success.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Be. Do. Have.

Went to a great positive thinking/life coaching workshop today by Panney Wei.

It was great. Almost felt like I was hypnotized during the visualization portion of the workshop... afterwards, I felt so much energy and alive! Even during my late evening gym session, when I'm usually worn out, I was full of energy.

One of the things I got out of the workshop is switching the framework through which we look at our lives.

We grow up with a Do. Have. Be. mentality, meaning we "do" a job in order to "have" things we want, so that late in life we can "be" who we really are (i.e our authentic selves, talents, etc...

We need to move toward a Be. Do. Have. mentality, meaning we "be" who we really are, "do" what comes out of that authenticity, and then the "have" will come.

I like it. I feel it. I feel like I'm "being" it. Of course, we're all striving for a better sense of "being."

But anyway, check out Panney Wei, and if you're in the L.A. area you can have her come to your workplace or schedule a personal life coaching session.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Last Weekend Mystery

Um, so why was I rocking Mary Jane Girls' CandyMan at the gym tonight? But that's not what this blog is about... though I've got a thing for candy lately...

So you've met someone, but you don't remember meeting them (or giving them your number. Is there a tactful, tasteful, yet direct way to get the clues you need to remember?

I mean, I tried the whole "Do you keep a blog? A MySpace? Have a web presence?" line of questions, just to try and get ahold of some images to trigger my memory. He doesn't have any of that. I tried the whole, "Had you seen me before?" line of questions. He hadn't.

How do you piece the mystery together from the previous weekend's fun and festivities? Or is it just a big hot messy shame not to remember meeting and giving your number to someone?

Long Beach Pride

Less than two weeks. Pride Season kicks off in Southern California with Long Beach Pride. May 17 and 18.

Should be good times for all.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

I'll Take A Quick Moment...

... to do some self-promoting. lol. Anyway, wouldn't it be cool if people got as excited as the pic about books?

In celebration of the 2008 Lambda Literary Awards, join us for a reading featuring some of this year's nominated finalists from various categories. It's free... and it would be nice to see some folks there I know!

Thursday, MAY 8 at 7:30 pm,
A Different Light Bookstore
8853 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 854-6601
Hosted by author Christopher Rice

Niagara Falls, Victor Bumbalo (Broadway Play Publishing)
Art That Dares, Kittredge Cherry(AndroGyne Press)
Dahlia Season, Myriam Gurba (Manic D Press)
The Tourists, Jeff Hobbs (Simon & Schuster)
Right Side of the Wrong Bed, Frederick Smith (Kensington)
Freak Show, James St. James (Dutton Children's/Penguin)

The 2008 Lambda Literary Awards take place in West Hollywood on Thursday, May 29. My novel, Right Side of the Wrong Bed, is nominated in the Men's Romance category.

Can One Do It All?

I often wonder how my parents did it.

How did they manage to work, raise kids (and go to parent-teacher conferences faithfully), keep a well-maintained yard, grow vegetables in the backyard, cook real food daily, have friends, and keep a clean house. And they did it on a pretty working-middle class income.

This morning I looked at my kitchen. It was a disaster.

And I wonder how is it that I, with a lot more resources than they had (minus the partner currently), can't manage the basics of running a household -- cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc... The work part, I seem to manage just fine.

We all have 24-hours in a day, and that hasn't changed since the 80s.

I've been debating whether or not to hire someone to come in once a week, or every other week, to help with some of those tasks that come with running a household. My dilemma is this -- I do a lot of social justice work, and I kinda feel guilty about the possibility of having someone come in to do housekeeping. I don't want to feel or be labelled (excuse the spelling) bousghie, booshie, however you spell it. Let's just call it puff-puff.

But I realize I am just one person, and I can't do it all. Can any of you weigh in on your thoughts?

A great novel that looks at the dynamics of pre-Civil Rights and post-Civil Rights black family dynamics is Jump at the Sun by Kim McLarin. I think this personal dilemma I'm thinking about resonates with the dilemmas of the characters in that novel.

OK. Weigh in.

Saturday Night... In

Maybe it's the higher power's way of telling me something.

My alarm clock, which I thought I'd set, didn't go off at 8:30 pm as planned. My power nap turned into a power hibernation. Woke up at 11:30 pm. Way past birthday party time, a party I was looking forward to. In that groggy mood, where you could jump in shower, find a no-iron shirt, and get somewhere a little after midnight. But...

Nah. Got a little writing momentum going. Caught up on this week's Bold and the Beautiful (very tear-jerking story this week...) Listening to the quiet of my neighborhood at night. Amazing that all you hear is breeze, a few birds in trees, and an occasional car drive by.

I realize that as weird as it is to be in on Saturday, for many people it's weird to do something on a Saturday night.

Saturday night in. Not my usual cup of tea. But it's not so bad.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Face It Girl, It's Over

Well it may be, or it may not be. But the weekend is here... dancing, drinking, dialing, texting after hours... Stay strong.

Maybe some classic Nancy Wilson can get some sense in your/my/our heads: Face It Girl, It's Over (YouTube clip). Listen to the words.

And then stay diva, fab, strong. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Slap Upside The Head

It's kinda like when you text him, "So you ready for me to pick you up... for our date?" And then twenty minutes later he texts you, "Can you get me on the guest list for the club tonight?"

A total disconnect. Clueless. And he gets an "in my mind" slap upside the head.

But in all seriousness, I found the coolest blog site lately. Slap Upside The Head. The blogger says the blog is combatting bigotry the gayest way they know how. I think it's quite the cool site... and with cool political cartoons. Check it out.

And for that boy/man giving you grief... you can give him a short, sweet good old-fashioned Dynasty move when he tries to mind play you.

Scammers and Players

Sounds like it could be the title of one of Jackie Collins' fabulous novels. But it isn't.

Scammers and players are hitting up bookstores, pretending to be an author with an upcoming appearance at the bookstore... and pretending to be in a cash crunch. Stranded at airport, robbed on way to store, car broke down.

I was not a believer until I read the story in the L.A. Times, and realized someone has been hitting up SoCali bookstores. (Hoaxes Hit Bookstores, L.A. Times)

Such a shame, when people want something for nothing... when people want something for which they haven't worked. But in a bad economy, desperate people are willing to do anything.

Even worse to do it to writers and bookstores.