Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ricky Martin's Coming Out

We gays can certainly be quite bitchy in our glass houses of superiority, especially when it comes to stars and celebrities coming out. Some star who has made the courageous act of coming out of the closet, no small feat for any of us, at the possible detriment to their own livelihood is met with the usual derision and bitterness we usually reserve for Repubicans or beauty pageant Christians who wish to tsk tsk our gay away. Is it any wonder why stars are reluctant to come out? I mean, didn't we all receive fanfare and adulation when we came out? No?!? But I bet you wish you did. I bet you wish those gays who were already out had been there to welcome you and comfort you from the slings and arrows of the religious right and those raised to believe we Gays are simply confused/making poor life choices/sick/child molesters/deviant. It takes just a second to make a choice to be gracious and kind to someone. It only takes a little longer to give a snarky remark that reduces you as a human being and reveals you for the ass you are. In this long line of entertainers who have come out recently (T.R., Lance, Sulu, Doogie...) some have done it to manage press, some to boost sales, and some because they just wanted to. Whatever the case, as long as it was them stepping out into the light and not in some foot tapping, wide-stance moment, shouldn't we be a better, safer place for the news to land than "Meh." or "Who cares." or "Bitch please." (Responses typed or tweeted immediately after the news broke.) or are we so easily able to forget how difficult it is to take that first step?

Maybe I'm making too much of it all. Maybe it isn't the biggest story of the day. Still, as a story, it is compelling in that the step he took as a Gay man, a Gay father, a human being was certainly more interesting than the ongoing and ongoing and ongoing talk of health care reform or teabaggers. His words say it best...

Many people told me: "Ricky it's not important", "it's not worth it", "all the years you've worked and everything you've built will collapse", "many people in the world are not ready to accept your truth, your reality, your nature". Because all this advice came from people who I love dearly, I decided to move on with my life not sharing with the world my entire truth. Allowing myself to be seduced by fear and insecurity became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sabotage. Today I take full responsibility for my decisions and my actions.

If someone asked me today, "Ricky, what are you afraid of?" I would answer "the blood that runs through the streets of countries at war...child slavery, terrorism...the cynicism of some people in positions of power, the misinterpretation of faith." But fear of my truth? Not at all! On the contrary, It fills me with strength and courage. This is just what I need especially now that I am the father of two beautiful boys that are so full of light and who with their outlook teach me new things every day. To keep living as I did up until today would be to indirectly diminish the glow that my kids where born with. Enough is enough. This has to change. This was not supposed to happen 5 or 10 years ago, it is supposed to happen now. Today is my day, this is my time, and this is my moment.

These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn't even know existed.

What will happen from now on? It doesn't matter. I can only focus on what's happening to me in this moment. The word "happiness" takes on a new meaning for me as of today. It has been a very intense process. Every word that I write in this letter is born out of love, acceptance, detachment and real contentment. Writing this is a solid step towards my inner peace and vital part of my evolution.

I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.

With that I say, "Welcome. The world may not be different to the rest of us, but I hope you feel freer in it."

New Christina!!!!!!

R&B Night on Idol

Usher as a mentor (on the dawn of his CD release) pushes the Idols to bring the soul. Here's how it went down:

Siobhan Magnus - Through the Fire Aside from the odd tongue thing she has going on, she did the song mad justice. The outfit was a mess!

Casey James- Hold On, I'm Comin'

Damn! He is the TRUTH! I don't care what anyone will hear from him after Idol. It was AMAZING!

Michael Lynche - Ready for Love
Oh my goodness...beautiful. This was just magical. His voice was buttah and he lived the song for you.

Didi Benami - What Becomes of The Brokenhearted
Wow...surprising not a fan of the performance. It was off. Almost lacking emotion.

Tim Urban - Sweet Love
Odd choice for him. Awkward performance, but like Clay Aiken singing Luther Vandross. Tough.

Andrew Garcia - Forever
This is the first night I've actually seen why the judges voted for him. It was really good. He gave it a fresh spin and didn't kill the feeling of the song.

Katie Stevens - Chain of Fools
Not bad, but the song was bigger than her. She can sing her butt off, but she didn't kill it. And she AIN'T Christina.

Lee Dewyze - Treat Her Like a Lady
Not bad at all. He is very natural.

Crystal Bowersox - Midnight Train to Georgia
I. Love. Her. She is really very good and it seemed very natural.

Aaron Kelly - Ain't No Sunshine
Shoulda listened to Usher. Sung well, but it coulda been better.

Top 2: Casey and Michael

Bottom 2: Didi and Tim

Probably gone: Didi, but it should be Tim for killing Anita's song.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Telephone Video


iAmerican Idol/i Down to a Surprising Top 12

iAmerican Idol/i Down to a Surprising Top 12

Really?!? Two major shockers tonight, but ya gotta vote.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

American Idol Live Week 3: Guys' Night

This is actually the first week I've seen the guys perform. For one reason or another, I missed the guys perform, so luckily I had no preconceived ideas about them like I did the girls. Let's talk performances:

Lee Dewyze - Fireflies
Liked him and his rendition. No major faults, so good for him.

Alex Lambert - Trouble
Good job with the song. Like his voice and it was the perfect song.
It wasn't horribly original, but it sounded really good. I want him to get a pair, though. You can sing, stop being scared.

Tim Urban - Hallelujah
Wow...really done well. You can be pretty AND sing. Now, stop with the mouth thing.

Andrew Garcia - Genie in a Bottle
Kinda daring. Was it strong enough? Not really.

Casey James - Think of Me
So natural. Wow. I'm loving him. It really was in his "pocket" and he just seemed comfortable on the stage and with the song.

Aaron Kelly - I'm Already There
Good, but the lower notes were shaky as hell.
(Wow...a Simon/Kara smackdown, or basically Simon telling Kara to shut the hell up.)

Todrick Hall - Somebody to Love
Jack: He missang it. Too many runs. Runs all over the place.
Me: He undersang it. He coulda blown the doors off that song, but he didn't commit to the gospel influence he added to it. Good job, but that coulda been a moment.

Michael Lynche - This Woman's Work
Set it OFFFFFF! That was a performance, not a competition. know you did a good job when you make a woman cry.

Top 2: Michael a mile ahead of Casey
Bottom 2: Andrew and Aaron

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Shows I Like

Archer is like "Get Smart" and "Austin Powers" with a hint of "South Park."
Watch and love.

Courtney Cox must've made a deal with the devil to land on two hit comedies in one career. This show is good, the writing is sharp, and the supporting cast is hilarious.

Kinda fun. Good cast (not as funny or strong as Cougartown, but some highlights).
And you either like Joel McHale or you don't. Plus, this episode gives you a naked (and buff) Joel McHale.

Iron Man 2 Trailer 2

Oh yeah...

Official Tron Legacy Trailer

Ohhhhh.. I can't wait!

Idol Girls Nite 3/9

Girls Night started out with mild promise , then put me to sleep, then improved toward the end, but if this was the best of the best, then this year was full of suck.

Katie Stevens - Breakaway
Really paled to Kelly, but she's got a great voice.

Siobhan Magnus - House of the Rising Sun
She's really a surprise every week. I liked it. (She does sound like Debbie Gibson, tho.)

Lacey Brown - The Story
If this wasn't a country song, it should be. I like her voice because it is interesting.

Katelyn Epperly - I Feel The Earth Move
Like a good lounge/wedding singer. Nothing really special. Sad.

Didi Benami - Rihanna
I like her vibe. She is always an interesting singer and I really liked what she did with the song.

Paige Miles - Smile
Why does she sound terrified?!? She is so much better than that!!!

Crystal Bowersox - Gimme One Reason
Incredible! I loved it and she truly made the song LIVE again!

Lilly Scott - I Fall To Pieces
Unique voice, bad song choice. Did not really enjoy her version.

In a week of snoozy performances, this is the verdict:

Top 2
Crystal and Siobhan
(but Didi did rock)

Bottom 2
Paige, who I SO think deserved it for that pitiful performance, made worse because of her promise.
and it's kinda a toss-up betwen Katie and Katelyn.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 3 - Cozumel

Nothing like a gorgeous man to wake up to in the morning, now is there?
After a early start that led to a later start, we hit the breakfast buffet and planned our snorkeling day in Cozumel. Let me back up a bit and talk about our eating pattern on a cruise. We will certainly do the formal dinner. 4-5 courses of well-prepared food and good dinner conversation is always a winner. Formal breakfast, not so much. I'm sorry, but I'm on VACATION! On vacation, I don't get up out of bed before 9-10am for nobody, unless the house is on fire (and I better not be able to reach a fire extinguisher from the bed or THAT might not happen). Formal breakfast starts at like 6:30 and ends at 8:30am. Hell. To. The. No. So, that's why there is no dining room tales from breakfast. We hit the buffet hard and fast, blink at each other lovingly while the coffee and eggs work their magic, then begin our day of leisure at a reasonable hour.
We got to Cozumel a little after 11am, but snorkeling from a catamaran in the ocean wasn't until 1pm, so we set off to find our tour group and sunscreen to kill time until then. Tours line up at the end of the pier, conveniently located next to the gift pavilion of Mexican froo fa fa. It's a land of colorful bags and dresses and authentic handcrafted sombreros and panchos made in China. But to get to that you have to pass the group of barely legal partygoers at the liquorstore buying case after case of "cheap" tequila or the gaggle of folks at the farmaceria buying the Levitra and Oxycontin they were prescribed from el doctor Ramon Garcia next door. Jack likes the pharmacy because it's one of the few places he can find cinnamon Tic Tacs (we don't know why, but it seems like there is some secret pact to rid the world of the cinnamony goodness of the Tic Tac).

We got our suntan lotion and applied liberally. Now that we both smelled like fruity drinks, we looked for our tour group only to discover that because of the high winds, ALL water sports (minds out of the gutter...) were cancelled. No snorkelling for us. Whomp whomp! They offered an even exchange on a Beach Party excursion we'd originally looked at, so we were off to a day of sunbathing, Mexican barbeque, and free drinks at the bar. Score!!!

The beach turned out to be pretty nice. Great view, beautiful water, great surroundings (meaning we were the youngest and thinnest and, let's face it, prettiest couple on the beach)...then they arrived. A small group of 20somethings, led by the Miami versions of Snooki and The Situation arrived with their 7% body fat and perfect skin and tiny waists...I hated them on spec. See?


So, I went to the bar for some fruit-inspired beverages to calm my seething hatred, and a couple hours later I didn't want the tsunami to sweep them out to sea. See? Growth.

Jack is a sun baby and for the entire time we were there, short of the half hour we played in the surf, this was his view:

We woke up to grab some food and shop a little before heading back to the ship when we saw them packing up ALL the food. Dammit! Okay, now I'm starving and sunbaked...annnnnnnd a little drunkies (a daiquiri and a VERY strong piƱa colada...and maybe a margarita...). We head into the shopping area where Jack served me up to a salesperson while he made his escape (note to self: no direct eye contact with the salespeople). I escape a really sucky sales pitch
Him: "You like ba-nilla? I sell to you for $30."

Me :in my mind:: "You must be on the good shit, because you are Whitney crazy if you think imma buy this $6 bottle of vanilla for $30...crackhead."

Me, out loud: "No thank you."

We hit the bus for the boat and head back into town to shower, change, and eat before heading back to the shopping center at the pier to do some bargain shopping for vanilla. Momma needs vanilla for cookies, cakes and pies over the holidays, so I needs to get a good deal.

Next: Near-naked Airmen and the effects of too much sun and being overserved.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Idol - Top 10 Girls

Crystal Bowersox -
She is effortlessly natural. I may not always love her song, but I love the voice.

Haeley Vaughn - The Climb
She automatically loses points for the Miley Cyrus song. She loses more points for the wobbly sound issues. Cute, but a mess.

Lacey Brown - Kiss Me
Sounds much better than last week's "Landslide" debacle. Not original, but nice.

Katie Stevens - Put Your Records On
Despite the lack of originality, she really good. If you are gonna sing it karaoke, sing it really well.

Didi Benami - Lean on Me
I love her voice and often her vocal choices, but it was so wrong a direction for her.

Michelle Delamor - Arms Wide Open
Not bad. Enough changes to make it interesting.

Lilly Scott - A Change is Gonna Come
I wanted to like it. I did. Just not as crazy about it as the judges.

Katelyn Epperly - The Scientist
Easily my favorite performance of the night. Wow.

Paige Miles - Walk Away
Really good. Fun. Her voice is kinda sick! She is one to watch.

Siobhan Magnus - Think
Well...damn. White girl took on Areefa and almost won!

Top 2: Paige and Katelyn/Siobhan (tie) a copout, I know, but the two were amazing in their own way.

Bottom 2: Haeley and Didi

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Key West Part 2 v.5.2

BlogPress is about to work my last nerve, but I will carry on. So, after the pool, we head out to meet our dinner companions. Our table of 6 consisted of ourselves, Elaine and Chuck, and Dale and Kelvin. Elaine and Chuck celebrating their 2 yr anniversary on the cruise. They met as teens on her parents farm in Montana, met other people, married, divorced, and found each other years later at a relative's wedding. What they must've thought of their dinner companions, I wonder.
Jack and I are a couple who are not, shall we say, shy or quiet. Actually, Jack is a pro at handling social situations and I riff well of of him. So, they got to meet a loud, pushy, interracial gay couple on day 1 of the cruise. Then there was Kelvin and Dale. Kelvin was a senior manager for one of the airlines. In his (50s???), mature, and kinda reserved until you got him talking. Dale, at first glance, looked like his college-bound son. Young, sporting an emo-for-work haircut, we discovered he was in fact a 25 y/o bank loan officer. He was Kelvin's polar opposite, gregarious, chatty, with a laugh that covered the entire dining room that seemed rise up from his soul.
Over the course of our cruise we would wonder what the exact nature of their relationship was. As gays, even in situations where we should feel comfortable, sometimes we don't feel safe enough to be completely honest. And that is okay. I just wish we were able to speak more freely to one another, but it's hard to deal with the judgment of strangers. The official story was that Dale had lived with Kelvin since he was 18 and has since housesat for him when Kelvin had to travel for business. I'll explain later on that sometimes comments or behaviors made us think there was more afoot.
Dinner was delicious ( rib!) and we decided to hit the show "A Toast to Broadway" by the ship's singers and dancers.

The show started with selections from "The Producers," which was done really well. They moved on to "Cabaret" "Cirque du Soleil," a couple of other numbers, and then finished up with "The Lion King." Now, again, the performers did a good to AMAZING job with their material. That said...DID NOBODY SUGGEST IT MIGHT BE AWKWARD TO SING SONGS FROM THE LION KING WITH AN ALL-WHITE (even Scandinavian White) CAST?!? Complete with the Debbie Allen tribal dances from "Fame?"
Well, it was priceless to watch.
Here is some eyecandy:

The show was really good. Better than I expected, even. No doubt whatsoever that there were a whole bunch of 'mos dancing onstage.

We headed out for some casina action (Hey Nessa and Derek...lost some money in your honor). Lost all my cash on poker, Jack, on the other hand, left with $50. Lucky.

The end of a fun day, but worth it.

Tomorrow: Cozumel
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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cruise Day 2 - Key West

We got up earlyish (9am is earlyish for vacation) and had breakfast. The buffets onboard were pretty standard (omelette station, cereals, homestyle, waffles, fruit and heart healthy), but underwhelming. We ate and then hit the boardwalk to tour Key West. A trolley tour zigzagged us around the island and gave us a great history of the architechture and people of the island. Too cold on the beaches for too much people watching, but there was some nice eye candy. Our tour dropped us off back at the pier shopping center, so our limited time left was spent with conch fritters and real key lime pie. Mmmmmm!

We decide to actually have a lunch, so we ate then found a couple of deck chairs by the pool area. It was cool and the temperature was at that place that showed a marked delineation of the races and the ages onboard: White or young - bikinis and Speedos, old or Black - jackets and hoodies and blankets.

Not that it was a problem. There was some unfortunate nakedness from some of the passengers onboard (No sir! 50 is not fabulous in a Speedo under a muffintop and leathery tan.), but the rest was kinda gorgeous. Made the average person (read: me) decide to wait until the beach to get full sun. I mean, if it's you right next to this on the beach, how comfortable are you naked?

So, Jack and I opted to pull up some deck chairs, listen to some music (or podcasts...Big Fatty made it on another cruise, y'all!), and have adult beverages. All this while the hottie Airmen and friends took up residence in what I liked to call the Hottie Stew, or the raised hot tub by the pool.
The view:

The beverage:

Next up...dinner and the aftershow!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cruise vacation

Hurry, hurry, hurry! Rush, rush, rush! We really like to make our vacations hectic in the beginning. I had to work late the day before my vacation, so in an effort to make my life less stressed, I opted to pack my luggage that morning. Okay, packing done! You have to understand how impressive this is because normally I have a hard time deciding what to pack and if I should pack for 1 or 2 extra days. Then Jack left me a list of errands he needed me to run so he could be less stressed as he got ready to leave. Errands: done! Puppies fed, cats fed, food procured...time for work. I needed them to understand that as I was on vacation the following day, I was at work in body only. About an hour after arriving at work and hubby texts me that a job he'd considered applying for had just been posted. Uh oh...he had to start responding to the post that day. Aughhh!
Still, I was "on vacation" mode and was focusing on leaving the store as early as possible. Despite my best efforts, we still didn't get off until 10:00pm. Still had some additional errands to run based on phone calls to hubby. Make it home from grocery store at 11:30 to find hubby working on the job application. Podcasts downloaded, food, and last minute packing finally finished. I climb into bed at 3:00a. Wakeup for 7:30a flight: 5:30a.

Day 1
Energy drinks are a Godsend. I managed to get a nap, get showered and dressed, and we raced to the airport. Dallas was cold, Miami was about the same. Miami is beautiful, but for those of you who are suffering the Snowpocolypse, Miami folks are wimps. The comment from our ship's shuttle assistant was "It's freezing! It's too cold!" She said this to a couple in a light jacket from Boston who kinda sneered. It was maaaaayyyybe 60 degrees and sunny.
We made it to our ship pretty quickly and had express passes to the ship, so zero wait for our cabin. Woo hoo! The ship is beautifully designed. Updated in 2006, it is one of the most luxurious ships on the ocean. Apparently, our ship was host to a wedding party and a Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Reunion. 40-50 sorors in pink and green tracksuits with their husbands and boyfriends.
As we hopped aboard, we breathed a sigh of relief that the ship was in fact, loaded with 80% 50+ people in various states of fitness. 10% were kids and young people who gave up fitness long ago. The last 10% were the naturally gorgeous, the crew and dancers, and the military guys who are redamndickulously fit. Oh, we also even had some of the cast of the Jersey Shore inboard. Our version of Snooki and the Situation were aboard. Woo hoo.

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Our Day 1 brush with fame!

Dancers from SYTYCD last season apparently were either dancers on the cruise or guests. Kinda cool!

We toured the ship and had lunch. We changed for dinner and met our dinner companions, Chuck and Elaine from FL, and Drew and Kelvin from Salt Lake City. Dinner started out awkwardly because we were all seated at this table for 12, and we are apparently not being joined by any other couples. Jack moved us around for easier conversation and dinner improved. Both couples were lovely and Jack is a master of getting people to talk.
The after dinner show was a preview of the weekend's entertainment. The performances were really very good. I'll try to get some photos of the talent. The dancers are really very good, but some are more "committed" to the performance than others. First day complete! Total "beverages": 1 Lavatini and 1 Filthy Martini.