Monday, October 30, 2006
My South Beach Journal - Day One & Two
The party began as soon as we hit South Beach. At the hotel I was given a gift bag filled with snacks,water, and Glenlevit nips from Brian and Bennett. Then, while I was trying to hang up my outfits, the phone was ringing...."Why aren't you at the Palace yet? Everyone is waiting!" You can check out Mrs. Astor's blog to see the royal welcome I received there!! Luis and Mark presented me with my very own bottle of Glenlevit. So you can see that my drinking needs were taken care of first thing! Thank you so much boys.
Ditmar, bartender extraordinaire, came over to kneel before me and kiss my ring...then took me over to introduce me to his mother Helga, father Leo, and beautiful cousin Sonia who are visiting from Austria. Mama Helga is having us over for lunch on Tuesday and cooking weiner schnitzel!! I can't wait!
I finally got to meet Chris, The Scarlet Pimpernel, in person and just caught up with so many people. I was surprised that so many people remembered me from my previous visit!!
After a delicious dinner at the Hosteria Romana and a quick power nap, we were off to Funkshun to Edison Farrow's new party. The drag queens gave a fantastic performance. Barbra Streisand and Wonder Woman performed. Tiffany, the Palace showgirl, wasn't performing but came over to our table to say hello and give hugs and kisses. Thomas Barker, the columnist from The Wire, also stopped by and said he would see us at the Halloween Ball on Saturday night. I would recommend to anyone in the area to check out this party on a Friday night. It is a blast! Then back to the Palace for a nightcap. And to think that we arrived here at about 4:30 pm and this is only the first night!!!!
Ian's birthday had come and gone in September but since we were all together now, we wanted to have a Birthday Party for him. Alexis and Chris organized everything. Twist opened up the Bungalow Bar for us and Chris cooked up grilled shrimp and lamb and made salads and hors d'oeurves. So many people came to the party to wish our beloved Ian a belated Happy Birthday. Matty came down from Ft. Lauderdale, Tall Paul was in from Bermuda.....it was a wonderful gathering. The Countess duBarry gave Ian a beautiful crown and (using my sceptor) dubbed him Princess Ilani....something!!! Now Ian outranks all of us!
At four o'clock when the party ended, it was back to the Palace to see Tiffany and Geraldine do their Saturday drag show. Both ladies are fantastic! Tiffany wearing vintage Versaci and Geraldine wearing...not much!! Now time to power nap and get ready for the Halloween Ball.
Tiffany dancing it up on the sidewalk.
Geraldine looking glam doing her show.
When we returned to the Palace to meet up with everyone, Boris, the Palace manager, was there. When he saw me come in, he was totally surprised since Alexis hadn't told him I was coming. It was so wonderful to see him again. We arranged to meet up the next evening and his beautiful Rachel is coming then to visit with me.
Off to the ball. What can I say? It was held at the Miami Children's Museum. I have never seen such spectacular costumes and our group was right up there with the best of them. The Countess duBarry had created a senorita costume, even making the dress herself. Brian and Bennett wore authentic priest and altar boy garb. Alexis and Ian were a perfect Baby Jane and Blanche Hudson. Terry showed up in mix and match with a feather boa....he put his outfit together at the last minute but looked fab!! Only pictures can do justice to this wonderful evening.
We ended the evening with a nightcap at Twist and then off to get our beauty sleep so that we can do this all over again the next day!!!
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Forget the Bling! The real gold was delivered by the N.J. Supreme Court today!
CNN.com Headline: New Jersey Court recognizes right to same sex-unions.
"New Jersey's highest court opened the door Wednesday to making the state the second in the nation to allow gay marriage, ruling that lawmakers must offer homosexuals either marriage or something like it, such as civil unions."
What will Bush and the Repugs use as a wedge issue now?
"You know what's interesting about this whole thing? According to polls, 51 percent of Americans do not approve of gay marriage, but 70 percent of Americans do not approve of President Bush. So gay marriage is actually more popular than he is." --Jay Leno
"A Senate committee on Thursday approved a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage, apparently forgetting that our forefathers wore wigs and satin Capri pants." --Tina Fey
"Some see the move as an attempt to preserve traditional values, while others see it as a cynical ploy to ensure that Vice President Dick Cheney will never have to pay for his gay daughter's wedding." --Jon Stewart, on banning gay marriage
The Bedelia Bling Bling
The Peacock Sapphire Ring was smuggled out of Hyderabad by one of my ancestors as he escaped from the harem of the Maharajah. He was the court favorite and all the ladies were jealous of him.
The sapphire brooch comes in handy to cover up food stains on your gown. Just move the pin to the offending spot and no one is the wiser! I gave this tip to the Countess duBarry who promptly went to Tiffany's and bought the largest brooch they had!
There is some concern about all the court intrigue that plagues the Southern Court but I am bringing my knights, Sir Brian and Sir Bennett, who have sworn to protect my person and my jewels against any subversive plots. My jeweled scepter, encrusted with the most exquisite amethyst, will be with me in case there are new recruits to my service to be knighted.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Albany, the Berkshires, and The Countess
This was my first trip to Albany. I guess I was surprised that it is a lot smaller than Boston. Most of the buildings and workforce are for the state government. I was there to attend the annual dinner for the Capital District Gay & Lesbian Community Council. The number of awards given out for community service was very impressive. But I have to say the highlight of the night was meeting one of the chefs after the party was over. His t-shirt says it all!!!
On Thursday we took a drive to Stockbridge to go to a play at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. "Via Dolorosa", starring Jon Epstein, was having its final performances and since we are big fans of Jon's acting, we wanted to see it. He was magnificent as always and will be performing this winter in Florida at the Orlando Shakespeare Festival as King Lear.
During the day we went over to the Norman Rockwell Museum. They have a new sculpture exhibit which is a juried competition. All the sculptures are based on Norman Rockwell's paintings.
Now I am home unpacking my suitcase so that I can pack it again in a couple of days when I head down to Miami with Brian and Bennett for the Halloween Happening on SoBe. There will be Balls, Birthday Parties, and Brunches. But Nothing Rustic, Mrs. Astor, Please!
Monday, October 16, 2006
My gal Cat, who is on the board of the Capital District Gay & Lesbian Community Council in Albany, will be giving a speech at the annual dinner. So the Countess will be in attendance as Chief Cheerleader!
You might remember my post on August 21 of this year when I told Cat's story. She took a long time to come out of the closet but she hasn't looked back since. Cat gives so much of her time and energy to promoting LGBT rights and working with the Community Council as well as the time involved in organizing the annual Pride Parade as co-chair. (And we are still hoping to get The Fab Five as Grand Marshalls.....you rock, Kyan!)
Not only do I have Bennett's demo cd to rock on down the road to, I also have the Scissor Sisters new CD, Ta - Dah, to keep me company. I'll be bopping to "I don't feel like dancing" as I drive down the I90. And if I get pulled over for speeding, I'll just drop Officer Brian's name and see where that gets me.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Another day, another anti-gay marriage rally
As reported in the Boston Sunday Globe, today Mitt Romney will join in a radio broadcast to make sure America knows that he is "family friendly".
The event, dubbed "Liberty Sunday" by its organizer, the Family Research Council, will be simulcast from the Tremont Temple Baptist Church , near Boston Common, to hundreds of churches. It will also be broadcast on several Christian television and radio networks as well as over the Internet.
"The governor recognizes that this event is an important milestone in the effort to preserve traditional marriage in Massachusetts," said Romney's spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom . ``The governor will talk about the importance of marriage, and the fact that the debate over gay marriage is not so much a debate about adult rights as it is about the rights of children to be raised in a home with a mother and a father."
When will these people look around and see the Real World? As a single mother who raised 4 children, I guess my children were denied their rights "to be raised in a home with a mother and a father". I guess the fact that they lived in a nice home provided by their mother, a home with love, laughter, comfort, and security, does not count because the father was absent. Bull Shit!
The "traditional family" is going the way of the Dodo Bird. Look around. It is perfectly legal for a single woman to go to a sperm bank and become impregnated, give birth, and raise that baby herself. Why is that legal and gay marriage not? What does one have to do with the other? Are all divorced people or single parents kicked out of their churches? Talk about hypocrisy.
The important word in Romney's quote above is "home". A child's right to live in a home with love, laughter, comfort, and security has nothing to do with the genders of the persons who are raising that child.
And it has nothing to do with gay marriage.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Peter Paige: From Emmett on Queer as Folk to stage and movie director
For those of you who are going to see "Me, My Guitar, and Don Henley", there is an interview with Peter Paige at AfterElton.com.
Peter directs the play which is playing at the 14th Street Y in New York City. In fact, you will probably find him watching the show from the stairs in the rear of the theater. Be sure to say "Hello" to him. He is the nicest person and very easy to talk to.
ETA: Another review just in from The New York Press. Peter Paige is generating a lot of buzz with this play and Tara is getting great reviews also!
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
A Message from the Empire State Pride Agenda
"Fall Dinner Speeches on YouTube –
Watch Spitzer, Feingold, Quinn & Van Capelle! Last Thursday night in New York City, almost 1200 people packed the ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel & Towers to help further the Pride Agenda’s fight to win equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender New Yorkers and our families.For the first time, you can watch on YouTube the speeches given that night from the podium by our friends holding elected office and by the Executive Director of the Pride Agenda. You will hear and see:
New York’s next governor, Eliot Spitzer, say about marriage for same-sex couples: “We will make it law in New York.”
Prospective nominee for President and U.S. Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin talk about his progressive vision for America and his staunch support for LGBT Americans and our issues.
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn give the most inspirational speech of the evening and say, “We will see the day when same-sex couples are truly treated as equals in the eyes of the law.”
Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan Van Capelle talk about how far we’ve come in our fight for equality and justice in New York and what we need to do to keep winning.
Click here to watch these speeches on YouTube."
Only 1,200 people could be there in person to hear these inspirational speakers. This is your chance to participate in the event and hear what some of the people who are fighting for LGBT rights have to say.
Monday, October 09, 2006
"Me, My Guitar, and Don Henley", a new play directed by Peter Paige
I did not realize that one of my favorite actresses from the Berkshire Theatre Festival, Tara Franklin, had the lead role in the production. When I sat down and opened the program, I gave a squeal of delight when I saw her name! Tara starred as Jill in Equus and Constanze in Amadeus.
Then I saw James Barry and Tom Story, the Venticellis from the BTF Amadeus production earlier this summer, walking up the aisle. Tom also starred in the BTF's production of The Heidi Chronicles with Scott Lowell (Ted from QAF). They were surprised to see Cat and I in NYC and especially at this play. It was like old home week with the Berkshire Kids!
Back to the play....it is a wonderful production about a very dysfunctional family. The father is dying and the women in his life gather. "Three mothers. Three daughters. One father. Add in a family crisis that brings them all together for the first time EVER."
Tara's character, Leah, is the peacemaker of the family and the one who holds the family together. The writing is witty, comical, and dramatic. The women in the cast bring so much talent to the stage. Please make an effort to see this little gem if you are in the city. It is only having a limited engagement until October 27th.
Cat and I stayed for the party after the performance and had a wonderful time talking with Tara, James, and Tom and reliving some of the fun times in the Berkshires, especially karaoke at Michael's. Peter Paige is as delightful as ever and should be extremely proud of his direction of this play. I also had a chance to talk with Aida Turturro (Janice Soprano on the HBO show, The Soprano's) who was suffering from a terrible cold but still came out to support her friends.
ETA 10/11/06: A good review by the New York Times today for the play. Congratulations to Krista Vernoff, Peter Paige, and all the cast and crew!
Monday, October 02, 2006
To Maine and back again...
Then we were off to Maine Street to dance for a couple of hours. On our walk back to the car we met up with the town whore who was taking a rest from her busy night.
Can you guess who is The Countess and who is The Town Whore? OK, no smartass remarks!