As of midnight last night, it was exactly six years since my first post. It's been a tough thing to keep up with a dayjob and outside activities, and just when I think I might walk away, a valuable connection or interesting opportunity or a kind word comes my way. Thank you all for reading me.
With thanks the Real Househusband Gordon: Bethenny Frankel's Skinny Bitch Girl millions might be in jeopardy now that it's been alleged the product contains more than just agave nectar and tequila—it's supposedly got potentially toxic sodium benzoate.
A few thoughts: How does someone get $100 million for an "invention" that is nothing but agave nectar and tequila in the first place? How can Frankel dismiss this concern as a "non-event"? And is the reason I don't have $100 million that I don't drink?
Had a blast with my buddy Jason last night at the party for Michael Musto's new book Fork on the Left, Knife in the Back (Vantage Point). I guess as I get to know more people and they get to know me, I'm less of a fly on the wall than one of the happy maggots feasting on the fame, quasi-fame and frivolity.
With the man who helped inspire my move to NYC 19 years ago!
A Russian doll, an Italian-American princess and a Countess go into a bar...
Murray Hill at the precipice of Dirty Martini
Michael's a New York institution, like the Empire State Building or that weird smell you keep telling tourists you don't notice. He's also a fabulously funny writer, and his new book has fresh stuff in it, making it a must-buy. (No, really, I must buy it—it wasn't given away for free at his party unlike the Bacardi.)
I'd never been to the Copacabana on W. 47th, but I loved it. It felt like a throwback to the disco era—like 54, or maybe 47—and was oozing with cheesetastic outfits, semi-boldface names and genuine merriment. The love Musto engenders from certain circles is shocking considering his ability to cut a bitch with his words. He's embraced because he's unafraid to cut deserving bitches but is generous to those who haven't earned the scythe yet. He's authentic, and if his book is anywhere near as fun as this party was, you should check it out. (And not ...of the library.)
We arrived and ran into my friend Kenneth, who was waiting for artist and designer Scooter LaForge. They'd both turned on Madonna during (actually, before) HydrangeaGate but I have to stick with my gays even over my diva, so I was looking forward to chatting with them more later on. When I caught up with Scooter, he confessed that Madonna's response to HydrangeaGate had won him back. He met Madonna during the American Life era and said she'd been really nice, which is saying a lot since that was the era of, "I'm hot!"
Inside, the low lighting and kitschy decor helped to distract from the fact that most of us were dreaming we were 40 again, and the alcohol made quite a few of the attendees act like 20-year-olds. Mike Diamond, who doesn't need to have lighting on his side in order to make a splash, was interviewing as well as dancing with the kinda-stars.
The awkward moment when you both shriek, "I love your drag!"
Geri and I meshed well
My first celebrisighting was Geri Reischl, who dubs herself "Fake Jan"—she replaced Eve Plumb when Plumb refused to return for those godawful/gotta-love-'em Brady specials. She was decked out in the fishnets she'd worn at Chiller Theatre, when I first met her, and was traveling with her personal publicist/photographer. Nice chick! She'd apparently originally met Musto bar-hopping one night.
It was also a pleasure seeing Eddie Rabon, one of (one of???) Broadway's finest dancers. (And he dances well, too.) He was there with a friend, enjoying his last month or so as Mr. Gay U.S.A. I then spotted Paul Iacono from (the new) Fame and The Hard Times of R.J. Berger (on which he played a horse-hung nerd), but he was chowing down on the amazing food so I didn't want to give him indigestion by introducing myself over a meat course.
"This old thing???"
What were they thinking in this moment?
Then things got nuts when hostesses Countess LuAnn de Lesseps and Lisa Lampanelli arrived. The clusterfuck around these women and guest Jerry Springer was a nightmare! I mean, Downtown groupies with cameras were unselfconsciously elbowing me to get their shots. But it was unnecessary as all of the stars were beyond accessible and gracious, posing for like an hour, even when they got frighteningly cornered on the second floor.
Bravo exec and on-air personality (to say the least!) Andy Cohen will reportedly earn a low seven-figure advance for a memoir on his life, career and decision to be out in the media. See, kids? It's not always a minus to be honest.
This was my birth weight. More hot boys after the jump...
I almost didn't go to GLAAD's big bash in honor of New York's marriage-equality victory on Tuesday sponsored by ROKK Vodka, Delta and FV Events, but was drawn in at the last second and wound up having so much fun I almost put a ring on it.
Eighteen-year-old Kevin Michael Barba is a reality show waiting to happen. He was introduced to the culture via a deliciously catty Gawker item lampooning a letter written on his behalf seeking help in securing a publicist. His goal? To be an out gay role model to teens, a human It Gets Better—even if his privileged upbringing makes him one of those rare It Was Never That Bad To Begin Withs.
Like any good member of the proletariat, I figured he might be a male Paris Hilton and scoffed at his naked desire to be famous. But I was curious, and after some Facebooking, I met with him for lunch at Blue Fin in Times Square. And lo and behold, I found him way more likable than his assistant's letter betrayed—yes, in spite of the fact that he's less than half my age and has an assistant in the first place. In person, he comes across as downright earnest, hoping to do good and at the same time wondering aloud how so many Gawker squawkers could liken his haircut to Justin Bieber's. ("Old people only have one point of reference for 18-year-olds?" I offered.)
He's also self-aware enough to note that while he hopes to inspire others, he'd also like to earn a Mazel of the Week nod from Andy Cohen someday. His role models sound like ingredients in the image he hopes to convey—Cohen, Jackie O, Bethenny Frankel.
Lest you think I'm just cozying up to him on the off chance he could be persuaded to pay for my first tummy tuck, I paid for lunch over his strident objections. I wanted to preserve my journalistic integrity. So keep an open mind and have a look at how he responded to all my questions—if you watch to the end, you might even get a chic Countess LuAnn de Lesseps reference...
"Countess" Luann de Lesseps is disgusting and useless, so this song/video for "Chic C'est La Vie" are a good match. How grotesque is it that it reminds me of Madonna's "Celebration" (and makes that fun, forgettable track sound like Lennon/McCartney)?
This isn't even giggly camp, it's just cynically bad. If you like this, you're an idiot and be gone with you...!
I just returned, with my at-gunpoint cameraman José, from the 25th annual Night of a Thousand Gowns, a benefit thrown by the Imperial Court of New York to honor LGBT activist David Mixner and Princess Boy author Cheryl Kilodavis that raises cash for the Trevor Project and the Ali Forney Center.
As you know, I have done drag—I made a right camp Sam Fox. However, the Imperial Court is not bullshitting around when it comes to drag. They're a serious (and seriously regimented) org; camp was in short supply even if half the sequins on the East Coast were in the Marriott with me.
We arrived to find a larger-than-expected area for the press line. However, as guests began arriving—I'm not sure why some queens did the photo call and others didn't—it was apparent that NO print press showed up and very few online outlets, leaving me as the first person on the line. It was awkward, so we just began grabbing interviews where we could, either as attendees arrived or after they'd posed for the photographers. I was especially interested in (my new pal) Ally Sheedy, Honeymooners legend Joyce Randolph (who later received an award for which she was asked to kneel—not cool to ask of someone cruising toward 90, girls) and Carson Kressley...so of course not one of them did the carpet. Still, the people who did were quite diverse and easy to grab and I was able to chat with Joe of Joe.My.God. and more formally meet Mr. Broadway, Michael Cusumano.
Bill Cunningham (and Matthew Rettenmund) New York
I was most excited to meet and chat briefly with Bill Cunningham, the legendary octogenarian fashion shooter for The New York Times. A new documentary on him (Bill Cunningham New York) is getting lots of good press, something he seemed a bit shy about when I mentioned it. "I haven't seen it," he told me, "but I understand the filmmakers deserve a lot of praise." He remembered my name when thanking me. It was fascinating to watch him work the line; so many of the queens had no idea who he was and seemed bemused when he would hand them a pad to write down their names. (This old-school method is fail-safe, though, if you want to avoid being Miss Identified.)
Mike Ruiz of The A-List: New York and his partner Martin Berusch are supernice and supersexy each time I meet them. Ruiz noted that two more A-Listers are on the way for season two—and that the show was seeking supervillains. Super!
Don't ask—we won't tell
I grabbed Dan Choi—with a new friend, as in, a drag queen he met at the elevator, on his arm—and asked him a bit about marriage equality. He's a nice guy to talk to always. I feel like he has his regular personality—a little shy, nervously joking around—and then when he speaks about serious subjects he kicks into his activist persona. It's nice that he has a sense of humor; he needs one considering the schism in the community over whether he is our new Harvey Milk or is just milking every opportunity for attention. I don't think he's a messiah (and I don't think he thinks he is, either), and I occasionally disagree with him, but I like him and there's no denying he's had a major, grassroots impact on DADT and other gay issues. And he's hot in a suit.
As a bonus, I finally got to meet LGBT activist David Mixner, a gracious dude with a righteous sense of conviction about getting 'er done, rights-wise.
Amanda LePore walked right past me as I asked to take her picture. It felt like there was no way she didn't hear me, but she was as methodical as a glacier if a bit faster about it. It was...odd.
Ari Gold knows how to make an entrance...
...but his slaveboys know a thing or two about making an exit!
Ari Gold—who released his new single as "Sir Ari Gold" thanks to being knighted by this group last year—made an entrance that would have had Lady Gaga gagging with jealousy: He waltzed in clad in a gold Arabian number with two boyslaves on leashes. I hope he curbed them. I wish I'd seen the reaction of the gorgeous hospice dog that was in the house! (Dude brought his parents. He's one of the lucky ones who could do such a thing.)
He looked sexy in his version of drag, but it was soon back to the more traditional, can-I-pass-as-a-flamboyant-chick style of drag.