Friday, November 28, 2008

Phoenix Rising

Greetings from Phoenix, and Happy Thanksgiving. I blog to you tonight from the home of Boy Wonder's mother (Mama Wonder) and sister (Sister Wonder), their three Boston Terriers (Spastic Wonders), and two cats (Wonder Pussies). I have pictures of all of the above but they'll have to wait as I forgot to pack my photo upload cable.

This is only my second time in Arizona and the first time I've ever been to Phoenix. (When I was six, my family made a trip to the Grand Canyon. I have horrible memories of being forced to hike to the bottom of the canyon in 110-degree August heat, bitching and complaining the entire way. I was not an outdoors-y type.)


It looked so much more fun when the Bradys did it.

I had no real concept of Phoenix prior to coming here, other than what I recall from the late-70's-early-80's sitcom, "Alice." I keep waiting for people to tell me to kiss their grits, but so far no one has. What I can tell you is that Phoenix is very dry and very flat. Except where it's not; across the street from Mama Wonder's home is a large mountain. It looks like that Devil's Tower mountain Richard Dreyfuss obsesses about in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." (Although a quick visit to imdb.com assures me that Devil's Tower is in fact located in Wyoming.)

There is very little vegetation in Phoenix save for cacti -- lots of them. I have learned quite a bit about cacti since arriving here Wednesday night. For instance, did you know that a cactus has to live for at least 70 years before it can grow a single arm? It's true!

(Technical note: I am using Boy Wonder's Mac to write this blog and, being a regular PC user, am finding it incredibly difficult to execute simple tasks like cutting and pasting photos. I just spent 10 minutes trying to paste a photo of a very old cactus with multiple arms -- to no avail. So you'll forgive the lack of illustration.)

We've had a very nice, relaxing holiday. Mama and Sister Wonder cooked a formidable feast including no less than five pies -- for a total of six people! We've been pigging out on leftovers ever since.

Speaking of leftovers, during the five-hour drive from San Diego, as I tried desperately to find a non-Spanish-language radio station we could tune in, we heard snippets of a cooking show in which the host offered creative suggestions for leftover dark-meat turkey. One of them was to chop it up, fry it up, and make turkey hash. Intrigued by this idea, I announced to the Family Wonder as we shopped the outlet malls in Anthem that I was going to make turkey sloppy joes for dinner. I saw them exchange worried looks, but I'm happy to tell you the result was quite delicious. I post the recipe here as a public service to all of you who may find themselves with scads of leftover dark-meat turkey on your hands this weekend:

Ingredients:
2 lbs leftover dark-meat turkey, with or without skin.
1 small can tomato paste.
1 tbspn salt
1 tbspn garlic salt
1 tbspn chili powder
2 tbspns cumin
1 tbspn sugar or Splenda
2 1/2 cups water
1 large white onion
1 garlic glove
6 sesame seed buns
8 oz of charp cheddar cheese
Cooking spray (canola, olive or vegetable oil)

Spray a large skillet or chicken fryer with cooking spray and set heat to medium. Chop turkey into tiny pieces with a large knife. Add to skillet and turn often as you would to brown ground beef for about 10 minutes. It may be necessary to add more cooking spray periodically to prevent burning.

Add all seasonings, tomato paste and water and increase heat to medium high. Mix thoroughly and add more seasonings to taste. When the mixture begins to pulse, cover with lid and lower heat to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Chop onion and garlic clove into small pieces. In a separate skillet, melt butter and spray with cooking spray on medium low heat. Add onions and garlic and cover. Let simmer for 10 minutes.

Grate cheese. Arrange buns on a baking sheet and place in oven on warm setting.

When the turkey mixture and onions are done, remove from heat. Remove buns from oven. Spoon a heaping spoonful of turkey mixture on a bottom bun, top with cheese and onion/garlic mixture and top bun, and devour.

Bon appetit.

###

BW and I went to an art-house theater in Scottsdale last night to see "Milk." In his review in The New York Times, Tony Scott calls it "the best live-action mainstream American movie that I have seen this year." Me, too. It's brilliant and beautiful and taught me so much more about the gay rights battles of the late 70's than I ever thought I knew. Oscars for everyone involved, please.

Gotta run. I know this has been a pretty crappy entry but I cannot abide by this fekakte Mac any longer. A better post from my PC after we return to San Diego.

Homo stuffed.




Monday, November 24, 2008

Bad Night Postponed!

This just in: The play in which I was cast, "Bad Night in a Men's Room Off Sunset Boulevard," which was set to open in January, has been postponed until June, due to scheduling conflicts.

More information and exact dates to come; I just didn't want anyone saving dates needlessly.

A full-length blog post coming soon, I promise!

In the meantime, Happy Early Thanksgiving to All!

Homo postponed.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Palin Rambles on As Turkey is Slaughtered Behind Her

Ok, this is maybe the funniest thing I've ever seen.

Some background:

As Tommy Christopher reports on AOL News in a blog titled "Sarah Palin in The Silence of The Turkeys:"

Today would be a good day to invest in a company that makes "Tofurkey."

Sarah Palin, the former GOP VP candidate and current Alaska Governor, was part of perhaps the most surreal photo-op ever yesterday. She was doing the standard "Pardon the Turkey" routine, when things went horribly wrong.

Here's the video. Make sure you don't miss MSNBC's hilarious chyrons under the "Breaking News" banner explaining what you're watching.



Homo laughing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Odds & Ends (And Justin)

Don't have time for a real post right now, but I wanted to just explain why I've been so bloggily delinquent lately.

First, there's the play, which I mentioned in the last post. Rehearsals have already begun and will steadily increase as we head closer to the Jan. 18 opening. I'm sort of freaking out. I think it's going to be a great show, but I'm facing an enormous challenge here: My character literally never leaves the stage. The number of lines I have to learn is staggering. I have to be completely naked in one scene (!). And I am surrounded by a cast of experienced, professional actors. So far everyone seems pleased with me, but I keep waiting for someone to go: "Um, what the hell are you doing here, comedian-boy?" Particularly striking to me is the fact that even though there are many funny lines in the play, none of them are mine. My character is deadly serious -- humorless even.


As I say, it's a challenge.


Second, I actually have a day job now as well. Before you get all congratulatory on my ass, it's not exactly a job for which my Master's Degree from Columbia Journalism school prepared me. It's more of a McJob. I work as a seasonal customer sales associate for an online gift site. For the purposes of this blog, we'll refer to the site as Blue Elephant.








Thank you for calling. My name is Adam. How may I assist you today?




It's not the worst low-paying job in the world. Basically I spend the day in a small cubicle helping customers solve their order problems. Sometimes I do this via IM chats (which is quite difficult given my still-splinted finger!). On the plus side, I get to wear a little telephone headset like Judy, your friendly Time/Life operator.





Anyway, the point is, four to five days a week of Blue Elephant plus play rehearsals makes Adam a suddenly-very-busy boy. I don't have a lot of down time these days, and what little I get is spent sleeping, eating or working out (as I prepare for that aforementioned nude scene).

One more thing I did want to mention before it drops out of my mind:


Did anyone catch Justin Timberlake's two cameos on SNL this past Saturday? If so, I ask you: Is there a more talented performer currently living on this earth?


In the first bit, a YouTube clip of which I cannot yet find, JT appears during Weekend Update.
He apologizes for not being able to host the show next week as originally planned. Then he says: "Here's exactly how it would have gone down," and proceeds to do an absolutely flawless four-minute speed-summary of an entire SNL episode, complete with the theme song, Don Pardo's opening announcements, impressions of nearly everyone in the cast, and abbreviated renditions of his own sketches and musical numbers. It's a virtuoso performance -- maybe the best I've ever seen on the show.


[UPDATE: I found the clip on NBC's site. Watch it here.]




Shiver me Timberlakes.


In the second skit, he plays one of Beyonce's leotarded male backup dancers. It's utter silliness, yet again -- try keeping your eyes off Justin. He steals focus from everyone, including Beyonce. I'm sure the clip will be taken down from YouTube soon, but in the meantime, here it is:







I sort of hate Justin Timberlake. It really doesn't seem fair that one person should be so young, so hot, so rich and so multi-talented. He can sing, he can dance, he can act (ever watch Alpha Dog?), he can be funny, he can do impressions.

And yet I'm taking customer service calls at Blue Elephant.

Homo sad.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This Just In

I have been cast as the lead in the Compass Theatre production of "Bad Night in a Men’s Room off Sunset Boulevard," by Ira Bateman-Gold.

It's even more scandalous than it sounds.

More to come...

Homo happy.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Adam & BW at the Movies

A bit of bookkeeping first:

I was recently featured in the premiere issue of a local mag called "San Diego Performer." A writer named Marc Emmelmann interviewed me at length about trying to make it as a stand-up (or not) in San Diego. Unfortunately, only the intro to the piece appears online. But the coolest thing is, my mug wound up on the cover:


Look! That's me, next to the Geisha! 

Speaking of press, I mentioned a while ago my popping up in a comedy article in "The Advocate." My dear friend Seth Gilmore has since been kind enough to scan the page for me. Not sure if it'll be readable this way, but here goes:


Sharing a page with Clay Aiken. Feh!

Finally, a shout-out to my sixth grade teacher and new Sanktastic reader, Miss Peck. She wrote me a very sweet email which read, in part, "Reading your site and blog makes me grin from ear to ear because you finally have the whole stage to yourself." 

Miss Peck always was the master of the backhanded compliment. A true iconoclast and all-around ball-buster, she has raised eight adopted kids by herself. It was a thrill to hear from her after all these years.

OK, on to the topic at hand: Movies. And the fact that BW and I have very different tastes in them.

Here is a partial list of the kinds of movies I enjoy:

Musicals
Chick Flicks and Other Weepies
Teenage Gross-Out Comedies
Small But Important Art House Films
Gay Porn

And here's a list of what BW enjoys:

Sci-Fi
High Fantasy
Horror and/or Gore
Science Documentaries
Anything That Cost Over $200 Million to Make
Gay Porn

As you can see, there's almost no overlap here. This creates a problem anytime we want to go to the movies, rent a movie, watch a movie, talk about a movie, etc. Trips to Blockbuster are a nightmare. Invariably, one of us ends up having to watch something we hate.

I recently forced BW to watch one of my all-time faves, the original "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof." It's hard to understand how anyone -- let alone a GAY MAN -- could not enjoy this movie. It has everything anyone could want: Glamour, sex, comedy, pathos, bitchiness, fabulous clothes and homoerotic subtext. A recipe for perfection, say I.  

BW said it was like sitting through a dental appointment.


Ironically, BW looks a lot like a young Paul Newman. Whereas I'm often told I look like a middle-aged Elizabeth Taylor.

Meanwhile, every time I walk into the living room with a plate of food, BW seems to be watching something in which someone is having his guts ripped out. Bon appetit, indeed.

So it was with much trepidation and doubt that BW agreed to accompany me last Saturday night to our local art-house cinema, Landmark Theatres in Hillcrest, to see "Rachel Getting Married," a film I had begged him to see with me.

Before I tell you how the evening turned out, here are just a few snippets from some reviews I had read prior to going to the film:

Rachel Getting Married is a masterpiece. Movie of the year. Tour de Force. [Anne] Hathaway is stunningly vivid...
--David Edelstein, New York Magazine

Rachel Getting Married is still a triumph — [Jonathan] Demme's finest work since The Silence of the Lambs, and a movie that tingles with life...
--Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

With three more months to go, Rachel Getting Married is already high on my 10-best list for 2008...
--Rex Reed, New York Observer

Brimming with stinging laughs and tears, and swirling, healing music (a Demme specialty), the film holds you spellbound... Hathaway will surely have Oscar calling...
--Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

My friends, I'm going to give it to you straight: 

"Rachel Getting Married" is a stinking piece of shit -- and just possibly the most excruciating movie through which I have ever sat. 

SPOILER ALERT: In "Rachel Getting Married," a self-absorbed drug addict named Kym (Hathaway) leaves rehab to attend the wedding of her sister, Rachel (Rosemarie Dewitt). And that's all that happens in this movie. It takes 114 minutes for it to happen, but that's it -- I promise you. That and an endless stream of the most irritating music you've ever heard, coupled with the perspective of an endlessly moving, hand-held camera that operates almost entirely in extreme-closeup. The effect is nothing short of nauseating. I mean that literally -- my stomach lurched throughout the entire film.

People scream and cry and talk endlessly, there's a dishwashing contest that goes on for about 25 minutes, and at one point Debra Winger punches Anne Hathaway in the face. This last moment was actually the only time I smiled in 114 minutes. I wanted to punch her in the face, too. I wanted to punch in the face of every single person connected with this movie. 


Rachel Getting Married. Adam Getting Pissed.

Because I could barely stand to keep my eyes on the horror unfolding on screen, I spent a lot of time watching BW. His face was a study in anguish and anger. I watched as he dug his hands into his legs, gnashed his teeth and sucked bitterly on his Diet Coke straw. All I kept thinking was, "He's never going to watch a movie with me again."

The film ends with the aforementioned wedding, in a scene that goes on -- I'm not exaggerating here -- for 35 minutes. There is no dialogue; just continuous shots of people dancing, singing, eating and so forth. It feels like actually being at a wedding, albeit one at which you hate everyone and wish you were on heavy drugs.

Finally, mercifully, the credits rolled. The lights came up. BW wouldn't look at me. We didn't speak for several minutes. Finally, I said, "Well, that was maybe the worst movie I've ever seen."

His face suddenly softened, and he took my hand. "I am so happy you said that," he said. "Because I've been thinking for the last two hours that if you liked this movie, I was going to have to break up with you."

Homo out at the movies.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Victory

President-Elect Barack Obama.


It's a new day in America.

Homo proud.

Casting My Vote: A Photo Essay

Nov. 4, 2008 7:15 a.m.
North Park Community Church, San Diego
















Homo represented.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Scream

BW and CW have a little game they love to play. It involves scaring the living shit out of each other. BW will hide under CW's bed and grab his leg as he walks by. CW will hide in the bushes late at night and pop out, screaming, when BW leaves the house to take the garbage out. And so on and so forth.

I hate this game. For one thing, I almost always end up being a co-victim in their little scream schemes. And for another, I've never enjoyed being frightened. I don't like roller coasters or haunted houses or scary movies. I much prefer soothing activities, like hot tubs. (Oh, what I would give for a hot tub right now.) My adrenaline runs high enough without the added shock of something terrifying coming at me.

Nevertheless, this past Thursday night, for our weekly Blockbuster rental night, I selected "The Strangers," starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman. I had heard it was an excellent film, and I figured with Halloween approaching I was due for a little fright.




Not to be confused with "Perfect Strangers," starring Bronson Pinchot and Mark Linn-Baker.


"The Strangers" is truly terrifying. If you haven't seen it, the plot is almost laughably simple: Three people wearing masks terrorize a couple at a remote cottage in the woods. The End. But for some reason, it's maybe the scariest movie I've ever seen. The three of us were thoroughly freaked.


As you can see from the poster, one of the strangers wears an Elephant-Man-like sac on his face throughout the film. He doesn't really do much for most of the film; he just stands there, motionless, with that sac on his face. Anyway, after we finished watching the video, I went up to my room to shower and change for a set at the Comedy Store. As I pulled my t-shirt off, an idea struck me. I didn't think it would be scary; I just thought it would be funny.


I left my shirt hanging over my face and slowly walked down the stairs. I couldn't actually see with the shirt covering my eyes, but I could hear movement from the kitchen, so I made my way in as quietly as possible. Then I just stopped and stood in the doorway, motionless.


First I heard BW gasp slightly. Then there was a moment of silence. Then CW let out the most blood-curdling scream ever heard. Literally. He was better than Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween. I have to say, even though I hadn't intended to scare him, that scream was one of the most hilarious, satisfying experiences of my life. It was the equivalent of telling a joke and getting an extended applause break at a sold-out club.


I had joined the game.


Fast forward to last night -- Sunday. CW had gone with most of our other friends to Palm Springs for the weekend for that city's annual Gay Pride/Halloween celebration. (Because nothing says pride like dressing up in a slutty nurse costume.) Having no funds with which to recreate, BW and I had opted to stay in San Diego all weekend and lie low. As we had the whole house to ourselves, we didn't even bother to close our bedroom door at bedtime.


BW had just changed the dressing on my finger splint, and I was in the bathroom, wearing nothing but my underwear, brushing my teeth. I finished and walked back into the bedroom. As I passed the doorway leading to the hall, I glanced out and saw this:




Photo reenactment of actual events.


My reaction, which lasted all of three seconds, was a fascinating study in the psychology of fear. First I gasped. Then my brain told me, "You can't be seeing what you think you're seeing. It must be something harmless that just appears frightening." Then I relaxed. Then my brain said, "No, you were right the first time. There really is a man with a sac on his head standing in the dark hallway." Then I began to scream bloody murder. But by the time the scream left my mouth, my brain was already telling me, "It's just CW. Stop screaming."


Meanwhile, BW, who couldn't see what I was seeing from his vantage point in the bed, was freaking out. He had no idea why I was screaming and was instinctively bracing himself for a fight. (That's my man -- always ready to protect me.)


Needless to say, CW better watch his ass now. Because I will stop at nothing to scare him. I'm pretty sure one of us is going to end up going into cardiac arrest before this game is over.


Speaking of thrills and chills, here are some photos from Nightmare on Normal Street, a local Halloween gathering BW and I went to Friday night.




With neither the time nor the inclination to put together a decent costume, me and BW went as Brokeback Mountain. (How timely.) I really wish you could all see how cute BW looks dressed as a cowboy.




I don't really get this duo. Sesame Street's Ernie and... viking woman?




Sarah and Bristol Palin. Good idea, bad execution.




No idea what this is, but it's fabulous.




101 Dalmatians. (There were really only about 10 of them.)




The Ambiguously Gay Duo. Pretty sure their packages were artificially enhanced.




A gay dog.


That's it! I'm out! DON'T FORGET TO VOTE!!!


Homo spooked.