Tuesday, December 22, 2009


It appears that not only are the holidays nearly upon us, but also the apocalypse. Today Darth Vader, a cadre of Stormtroopers and the illogically-grouped R2-D2 descended upon the New York Stock Exchange to ring the opening bell. One can only assume that the shouting of traders on the floor was eclipsed only by the ominous snickering of George Lucas, sitting somewhere getting richer.

It's worth noting that this was not to commemorate anything in particular, but rather to simply "celebrate the lasting appeal of the Star Wars saga." This comes on the heels of yesterday's YouTube sensation - a fanboy evisceration of The Phantom Menace (and all its riveting Republic trade drama) told in 7 parts. Set aside 70 minutes and start here.

But really, can we please try to keep the Dark Side out of our already unstable stock market? I don't think it's really sending the right message to have the business day opened by one of pop culture's most gleaming incarnations of oppression and misery. Just sayin'.

Of course it wouldn't be the first time someone completely unqualified rang that damn bell. I'm looking directly at you, Carrie Bradshaw:

In closing - file this under "As if the economy couldn't get much worse" and then go invest in Lando's Cloud City mining colony. You'll thank me later!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Few things in this world make me happier than coming across new music. And thanks to one of my favorite bands, The Dandy Warhols, I recently discovered a handsome fellow named Logan Lynn. I don't think I've listened to an album on repeat for a while (previous records include Air's Talkie Walkie and Beck's Guero), and this one definitely fits the bill. Since it's difficult to place Lynn in any one musical genre, I'll give you my interpretation: It's ElectroFolk you can dance to.

Signed to the DW's Beat The World Records, fellow homogay Logan Lynn released his album From Pillar To Post digitally in September and officially in November. Lynn's third studio album evokes the sound and feeling of his native Portland, creating a moody-pop masterpiece that hits all the sweet spots. Effortlessly melodic vocals are supported and enhanced with keyboards, synthesizers, and haunting-yet-comforting ambient sounds. It's especially evident on the stellar tracks, "Feed Me To The Wolves" and "Bottom Your Way To The Top". Here's the video for the latter, for your viewing pleasure:

Ready for more? From Pillar To Post is now available on iTunes, as well as at Logan Lynn's website (where download packages also include 2 Remix EPs for a very reasonable price...hint, hint). You can also get friendly on Facebook, Twitter, and Dlist (hehe).

In a year of so much good music, I'm happy to go on record in saying that Lynn's first release for Beat The World is a transcendent, electronic dream - and one of the best albums of 2009.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Say what you will about President Obama's recent political decisions - it doesn't change the fact that his better half is still one sassy, stylin' First Lady. Now Jailbreak Toys is celebrating this American truth by bestowing her with their highest honor: The Michelle Obama Action Figure. Here's what Jailbreak had to say:
"Just like her namesake, the Michelle Obama Action Figure isn't simply a female counterpart to Barack. She's her own lady with her own attitude. The focus here is on style and grace, mixed with strength, smarts and a healthy dose of fashion. The figure is easily modified so we can keep up with her latest look."

This was one of the most ridiculous/exciting things to make its way into my work inbox today, I won't lie. THREE DIFFERENT OUTFITS, PEOPLE.

Election Night (top left), Democratic Nomination Acceptance (top center) or "Surviving the crazy bitches of The View" (top right). No matter which you choose, your life is gonna get a lot more glamorous with a plastic Michelle by your side. Get 'em at the links above...then go forth and create your own wacky, fist-bumping First Lady adventures!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Lessons Learned:
The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary
Screening @ The Cinerama Dome

1. The restoration/remastering on this print was clearly done by the Wizard himself. Absolutely STUNNING.

The Lollipop Guild is
still creepy, even after 70 years.

The Scarecrow is ready to defend Dorothy and friends...with a handgun?!? How did I never notice this?

"Click Your Heels" is actually a misnomer. Glinda tells Dorothy to "tap" her heels together three times.

I want to open a bar and name it 'The Wash & Brush-Up Company'.

You could really get away with degrading little people back in the day. Did you know that Toto got paid more per week than any of the Munchkins?

Technicolor is still a gift from Movie Heaven.

Amazingly, the Cowardly Lion is actually gayer
before he gets that darling red bow in his hair.

Glinda must hot-box her pink bubble, 'cause she spends the entire film high as a kite...completely unconcerned with all the potentially dangerous goings-on around her.

There's no place like home...and home is where you make it.

Friday, November 27, 2009


2009 has been quite a year. A lot of excitement, a lot of unexpected surprises, and a lot of good times. Now I've got another milestone to add to the list - hosting my first official Thanksgiving! I've been wanting to for a while, but usually I'm one of the only people I know who stays local for the occasion...until this year! And thus began the brainstorming for my first 'Family Thanksgiving'.

Our crack team of chefs was quite the fearless foursome: Myself, Rob, Josh and Caleb. We were all really excited to make this happen, but to say that we planned and organized it down to the letter would be...a slight exaggeration. In typical "us" fashion, however - we all pulled together and handled our business with great success. Winners always win.

I purchased our 12.74lb bird on Thanksgiving Eve, and I was frankly appalled at how friendly/respectful everyone was at the market. I was expecting something out of Cutthroat Island. Which is to say that it would be god awful. Anyhoo, Josh found a great recipe for brining the turkey overnight in red wine, and he was kind enough to walk me through the process via AIM while I was putting my hands inside a turkey for the first time.

No Thanksgiving of mine would be complete without a viewing of 'Pangs', the turkey day episode of Buffy from season four.

On the big day, I was definitely a little nervous. After a couple trips to Pavilions for last minute necessities, it was time to oven up or shut up. Josh was the first to arrive, accompanied by his famous mini pumpkin pie bites. Rob got back from The OC and began peeling potatoes for his herbs 'n' spices-enhanced garlic mash. Caleb joined us a short time later, after slaving over his incredible Texas Thanksgiving recipes.

And you really can't go wrong with Clue, either.

And when it all came together? WOW. It was truly a feast to behold. The turkey was moist, tender and tasted slightly of the CabSav it had been swimming in overnight. Words cannot describe. I'm also convinced that Caleb's homemade stuffing contains some sort of secret addictive chemical compound which brings it to an almost god-like level of tastiness.

Our turkey was as drunk as we soon were!

Fixin's or Trimmings? You decide.

James, Robert, Jared, Shaun and Robert's cousin Julie joined the party later in the evening, from their respective family visits. Lots of food, lots of wine, lots of fun. I'm really proud (of all of us) for how things turned out yesterday. And I'm also so very thankful for everyone that was there to celebrate with me. I said it during a toast last night, but it bears repeating - they say you can't pick your family...but I will have to respectfully disagree. Can't wait to do this all again next year!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


It's been grey and rainy here in Los Angeles for the past couple days - and admittedly, I couldn't be happier about it. If I can't make it back to New England to see the seasons change from Summer to Fall, I'm glad Mother Nature is at least throwing me a bone in the form of rain. And there's nothing like going to sleep with the sound of rain and waking up the next morning to the same.

To celebrate, I thought I'd share with y'all a fantastic FREE mash-up single I stumbled across, which is entirely appropriate for the current weather system here in SoCal:

Rihanna vs. General Public
"Tender Umbrella"
Download Now
(Right-click to save file)

Mixed and mashed by Party Ben - easily one of the best in his biz - it takes most of the elements of one of my favorite 80s songs of all time ("Tenderness" by General Public) and combines it with Rihanna's staple "Umbrella". Sure, the latter is a bit dated now...but if you haven't had it blasted at you from all directions for at least a year, it can be nice to revisit it. This is especially true of this version, which takes both songs involved to a superfun, catchy new level.

I hope you find as much enjoyment in this track as I did. If so, check out all of Party Ben's other mash-ups, which are all free and pretty brilliant. And in the meantime...keep the rain coming!

Friday, October 9, 2009


"Dear Journal,

Feeling listless again today. It began at dawn, when I tried to make a smoothie out of beef bones - breaking my juicer - and then at Cheerios practice...disaster. It was unmistakable. It was like spotting the first spark on the Hindenburg. A quiver. That quiver will lose us nationals. And without a championship, I'll lose my endorsements. And without those endorsements...I won't be able to buy my hovercraft.


Every time I try to destroy that clutch of scab-eating mouth-breathers, it only comes back stronger - like some sexually ambiguous horror movie villain. Here I am, about to turn 30, and I've sacrificed everything - only to be shanghaied by the bi-curious machinations of a cabal of doughy, misshapen teens!

Am I missing something, Journal? Is it me? Of course it's not me. It's WILL SCHUESTER. What is it about him, Journal? Is it the arrogant smirk? Is it the store-bought home perm? You know, Journal, I noticed something yesterday. Of course...it's becoming clear to me now. If I can't destroy the club, I will have to destroy THE MAN!"

And there you have it. One of the most genius monologues I have seen on television in quite some time. Drag queens will be lip-syncing to this for years to come.

Not only does Ryan Murphy deserve to at least be nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series for this episode of Glee (entitled "Vitamin D"), but Jane Lynch deserves pretty much EVERYTHING for her portrayal of Sue Sylvester. All hail the queens!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Lessons Learned:
Gay Days @ Disneyland Edition

1. Apparently this event is actually a form of peaceful political protest. Yeah...I don't really get it, either.

2. You're always going to see people you know, people you *know*, and people you're still trying to remember (or forget) in the first place.

3. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is no place for children.

4. Elder 'bears' take great offense to the name of the land being changed to 'Critter Country'.

5. Before groping a costumed character, take a moment to consider that it might actually be a woman in there.

6. The longest line in the entire Disneyland Resort is to be seated at the Cove Bar at Disney's California Adventure.

7. There are other options for getting drunk aside from the Cove Bar.

8. Plan your seating arrangements ahead of time. You're going to get felt up on The Haunted Mansion, so make sure it's with someone you'd like to get felt up by.

9. You can't run away from trouble...ain't no place that far.

10. The Muppets' Gonzo and Camilla have been breaking boundaries for marriage equality for decades.

Monday, September 21, 2009


The Emmys were on last night, and they shared two very important distinctions with the most recent Oscar telecast: I actually watched, and I actually enjoyed it...for the most part. Now, it's not that I don't normally enjoy award shows. It's simply that I don't really care enough to watch them.

Well, I guess that used to be true. The Emmys nabbed Neil Patrick Harris for hosting duties and employed the gayest graphic designer ever to come up with their ads/promos. The show was shiny, energetic, classy and fun - just like Neil Patrick Harris. I mean, for realsies - can they just let him host everything? Not only is he easy on the eyes, but he also has the fortune of being smart and actually funny. I'm looking at you, Heidi Klum - unintentionally hilarious doesn't count. And plus:

"How big is it, NPH?"


Aside from that, there were some things I didn't quite understand. I'm not going to get into a big 'who should have won' rant, because that's lame...even though my opinions are right. I will, however, draw your attention to a few things throughout the course of the evening that completely defied logic. Here we go:

Hey look! The Emmys traveled through time into a future where Sex and the City returns to the small screen...and continues to win awards. How lovely to see Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Catrall and Cynthia Nixon still looking so fabulous 50 years later. Wait...huh? What the fuck is Little Dorritt?

For those viewers who need to know periodically what they'll be watching several minutes ahead of time, CBS was kind enough to interrupt boring people's speeches with a little onscreen taste of things to come. Complete with how long you'll have to wait. Were you were going to run to the store for more chips and dip? Sit your ass down, or you're gonna miss the Death Parade!

Which brings me to my final comment. The 2009 Emmy Death Parade was accompanied by the musical stylings of international folk superstar Sarah McLachlan. Yes, her. Just when you thought the 90s were over, CBS trotted out Sarah to sing the song that launched her into the celebrity stratosphere a mere 300 years ago. In case you had any doubts, she's still just as irritatingly melodramatic a performer as she was back when Lilith Fair was even more popular with lesbians than cunnilingus.

All in all I give the Emmy telecast 5 stars, but mostly because the stage was just so damn pretty. I want giant, autonomously-mobile LED screens in my apartment! Maybe even with my name and picture on them. Is that so wrong? No. I didn't think so.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Do Muppets have dreams? Of course they do. Are these dreams ever realized? Most of the time - no. The fact of the matter is that there's always some jewel thief, theater owner or fast-food-frog-leg franchisor looking to crush the aspirations of our lovable gang of furry misfits.

So when I came across these photos today, I was simply ecstatic. Miss Piggy's dream of becoming a "high-fashion model" - which began in 1981's The Great Muppet Caper - is now a reality! And although sadly Lady Holiday isn't involved in this venture, Piggy's still in good hands with the quirky and ab-tastic Marc Jacobs.

Everyone's favorite Muppet diva met with MJ at his SoHo design studio in NYC to discuss her couture options for Fashion Week. Naturally.

I absolutely love these photos, and I find no shame in that whatsoever. Anything that helps the Muppets get back in the spotlight (without acting alongside Ashanti) is a-okay in my book. And being a graduate of Fashion College, I'm very pleased to see that designers are starting to embrace...how you say? Oh yes...FUN. Thanks, Marc!

Of course it's also worth noting that Miss Piggy has already been making her way back onto the celebrity scene! Who could forget her appearance on
30 Rock? Certainly not me. She's the only one I could agree with besting Jenna Maroney on the red carpet. Muppets forever!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Ah, Summer. It's a lot of things to a lot of people. For me, the beginning of Summer is marked by two tiny-but-mighty (hyphenated) words: COMIC-CON. I realized more this year than in years past that even the concept of Comic-Con is completely abstract for me. A lot of my friends look at it as one of the most exciting weeks of their nerdy years. I look at it differently, given the fact that I've only been as an exhibitor and not an attendee. The fact of the matter is that working the show is a completely different animal. The animal is still really cute and fun...but don't turn your back on it, even for a moment!

But trials and tribulations? What a downer! Now that I have successfully defeated the show for possession of my soul, it really only seems necessary to talk about the good stuff. And even though I was way too out of my mind to mobile blog this year, there were a few really bright, shining moments during Comic-Con 2009. To start, the talent appearing at the booth this year built on our previous success with Dexter. People couldn't wait to see what we were going to do in 2009, and I'm extremely happy and very proud to say that we did not disappoint!

Thursday Celebrity Guests
Julie Benz - "Rita Bennett" from Dexter
Jennifer Carpenter - "Debra Morgan" from Dexter

Friday Celebrity Guest
Todd McFarlane - creator of Spawn and comic/action figure legend

Saturday Celebrity Guests
David Zayas - "Angel Batista" from Dexter
James Remar - "Harry Morgan" from Dexter
CS Lee - "Vincent Masuka" from Dexter

And after the show closed on Thursday and Friday night, I had the distinct honor of attending two incredible events...

Avatar: The Video Game VIP Reception

Based on James Cameron's upcoming film Avatar, the party was held on the rooftop of the Marriott Gaslamp Quarter. Joining Mr. Cameron in attendance was the one and only SIGOURNEY WEAVER. Maybe you've heard of her? Depending on how long you've been reading Zip and a Kick!, you may or may not know that I basically worship her.

Long story short (too late), I was lucky enough to be one of the few people in a little room getting a guided tour of the video game...with Sigourney Weaver. She's not a fan of violence, but she sure loves color commentary: "Now that one wasn't even attacking you, why did you have to shoot it?" and "I wish there was a game where people could just exist in this environment and make decisions." I mean, wow. Just when I thought I couldn't love her any more - I summoned the courage to speak to her. I managed to somehow not make a complete ass of myself, and she was gracious, charming and lovely. One of the greatest moments of my life.

"The Music of Battlestar Galactica"
Bear McCreary & The Battlestar Galactica Orchestra

As part of a special 3-night concert series during Comic-Con, Bear McCreary and the amazing Battlestar Galactica Orchestra performed at the House of Blues. Thanks to our partnership with NBC/Universal this year, I was able to attend on Friday (VIP, even!), and was treated to quite the evening. Hosted by Edward James Olmos and Grace Park, EJO came on stage beforehand with a couple of announcements. First, he let anyone who had attended the show the night before know that tonight was going to be "fuck tons better". His ability to command an audience is like nothing I have ever seen. I would say that he was almost preaching - but without any of the negative connotations of that word.

His second announcement was more serious. The night before, BSG producer Harvey Frand passed away very suddenly. He explained in no uncertain terms that these 18 musicians were responsible for every bit of music heard on the show, from the miniseries to the finale. You could feel the overwhelming sense of respect from EJO, as he began to talk about his family. Not his relatives, but his Battlestar Galactica family. And with that, he brought on stage his co-host Grace Park...and several others:

From left to right: James Callis (Gaius Baltar), Michelle Forbes (Admiral Cain), David Eick (Executive Producer), Michael Trucco (Sam Anders), Richard Hatch (Tom Zarek), Grace Park (Sharon/Athena/Boomer), Nicki Clyne (Cally Tyrol) and Edward James Olmos (William Adama)
Not Pictured: Michael Hogan (Colonel Tigh)

They all proceeded to pass the microphone across the stage, each taking a few moments to express - genuinely, mind you - the importance of the music, the impact it had for them in their experience working on the show, and memories of the man no longer with them. Absolutley frakking beautiful...and I mean that with the utmost respect.

As the show began, I was literally surrounded by the stars of Battlestar Galactica. They were drinking, hugging, laughing and catching up. It was like watching a heartfelt family reunion. Which is the main reason I didn't want to approach any of them (even Michelle Forbes and Michael Trucco...in his fitted powder blue hoodie, no shirt underneath, and skintight jeans...). Anyhoo, the concert was brilliant. The music means even more to me now, hearing it completely separated from the show. Just perfect.

Beyond ALL of that, it was a very successful Comic-Con. The sheer insanity of the show definitely took its toll on me - but I survived, and that's what matters! But just for fun, take a look at me with and without my soul:

Top: Getting Started
Bottom: Going CRAZY

Finally, no Comic-Con wrap-up would be complete without some shots of the best costumes I saw at the show. I noticed that there weren't as many people dressed up this year...but the ones that did really took the cake:

Merriweather, Flora and Fauna - the three good fairies from Disney's Sleeping Beauty. And now, Asian!

On the very last day, I bolted out of the booth with my BlackBerry in hand. Drag Queen Zatanna was a great way to end things on a high note.

And that - as they say - is that. Another San Diego Comic-Con International is a thing of the past. Never a dull moment, that's for sure. And it'll be back again before I know it...

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Let's face it - adversity happens. You can make lemonade out of life's lemons until Judgment Day, but every now and then you just need something...more. During these times, I turn to music rather than medication (sorta). Music is a powerful entity, and sometimes it can really work wonders. And yeah, it also beats a psychiatrist when it comes to cost. Lately there are three songs that have really been able to help me find some of my missing optimism. And now I'd like to share them with you, dear readers!

"Like a Spoke on a Wheel"
by The Little Ones
iTunes Preview
Amazon Preview

Music Supervisor Alexandra Patsavas definitely knows what she's doing (she's responsible for the music in Gossip Girl, Grey's Anatomy and The O.C.). During a GG-themed iTunes binge not too long ago, I came across this track and loved it immediately. The title and the chorus really say it all. Sometimes you're on top, sometimes you're not...but the wheel keeps turning, and you'll be back there again.

"Hot Air Balloon"
by Owl City
iTunes Preview
Amazon Preview

During another iTunes binge (this one had no theme...even more dangerous), this track was actually recommended to me by the Apple robots. I'd never heard of Owl City, but this song hooked me for sure. The lyrics are magical, and tell a sweet little story. "We wrote the prelude to our own fairy tale / and bought a parachute at a church rummage sale / and with a mean sewing machine and miles of thread / we paint the day above LA in navy and red"

"Say Hey (I Love You)"
by Michael Franti and Spearhead
iTunes Preview
Amazon Preview

Last but certainly not least, I heard this song during the Weeds season 5 premiere. Playing behind an incredible flashmob scene (see below), it summed up a lot that was happening in the show. But even without the dance sequence, it makes me infinitely happy. Because that's what the song is all about - unadulterated, undilluted Summer happiness!

I hope you're able to give these songs a listen, and maybe they'll even leave you in a better mood than when you started. I know it's always the case for me. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


When word got out that FOX was working on a American version of Absolutely Fabulous, the internet saw possibly one of the biggest, gayest uproars ever. I include myself in this, because to say I was 'skeptical' is putting it mildly. I started watching the original in Series 4, and fell in love. By now I've seen every episode, and I think it's pretty easy to see why Eddy and Patsy are two of the greatest TV characters ever created. But could they survive in a considerably more conservative land across the pond? It just so happens that I've seen the pilot (simply called AbFab), and your education begins now.

Let me get this out of the way right now - I loved it. They've done a fantastic job in translating it for American audiences, and I think a lot of that has to do with the involvement of Jennifer Saunders herself (she executive produced). The action is transplanted from London to Los Angeles, with Edina (Kathryn Hahn) and her long-suffering daughter Saffron (Zosia Mamet) now living in a high-rise penthouse. Saffy's now a high school student again, as all three core characters have been de-aged quite a bit. But how could anyone forget Patsy? Played perfectly by Kristen Johnston, the lightning-fast wit between her and Eddy practically channel their English counterparts.

The episode's main plot revolves around Eddy & Patsy attempting to throw a benefit for Darfur, after being admonished by Saffron for being hopeless and behind the times. I was impressed at just how many alcohol and drug references made it to the US - one of my favorites in particular is Edina's response after Saffy suggests that she calm down with some herbal tea instead of a cigarette: "
I already tried that honey, it doesn't stay lit."

The producers clearly took great care in recreating the methods and ideas that made the original so great. Priority one? These women are boozy, drug-addicted and out of control. There's also a flashback to the 80s, when E&P were technically still 'on top'. Flashbacks were always hilarious mini-back stories for these women in the original, and it works here too. And perhaps the best part is that our leading ladies will still do practically anything to get and stay famous. Including mace a cop in the face so they can get to their benefit on time.

In the pilot, Eddy and Patsy have only one real connection to reality, and that's Saffron. Crusading for causes and volunteering at preschools, she's never too busy to remind her mother - and sworn enemy Patsy - that "
No one wants to be noticed just for being fabulous anymore. It's vulgar." There are a couple of characters missing, but it's hard to tell if they were omitted on purpose or just hadn't been introduced yet. These would be Gran and Bubble. Eddy does hire a black assistant halfway through the episode as part of a 'diversity program' ("Pretty sexy move, huh?") but she only has one or two lines before disappearing.

In the end, E&P are arrested for the aforementioned cop macing, and the next day their bust is all over the internet. They deem the benefit a success for all the wrong reasons, and Saffron lets them have it before storming out of the penthouse. But you know Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone will always have the last laugh - they can't be criticized for drinking before noon if Eddy just adjusts the clock hands herself. A classic moment, that - like many in this 21 minute episode - could just have easily been filmed with the cast of the original. Turns out boozing is funny no matter where you live!

With so many zingers, one-liners and hilarious exchanges, it's hard to pick the rest of my favorites. But I did:

Obviously you don't take this seriously. Why do you even pretend to be interested?
Excuse me! I am pretending to be interested because I'm trying to reach out!

[Eddy passes out. Patsy attempts to revive her]
It's smelling salt, you huge regret!
It says Amyl Nitrate.
Yes, that is the name of the gentleman who invented it.

Africa should have a benefit for Calabasas!

Would you get a hold of yourself? My God, you're eating!

Overall, I think that
AbFab could have definitely found an audience here in the States. It's outrageous and completely over the top - but that's what made the original Absolutely Fabulous so iconic. These two women are out of touch fashion victims who think they're the hottest thing out there...only they're living in our 'real' world that looks at them as crazy people. Sadly, FOX did not opt to bring AbFab to series for their Fall schedule - but I'm still holding out hope that it could be picked up as a midseason replacement. Where else on network TV could you see constant drinking, coupled with blatant references to weed, coke, and poppers? It's a sad commentary on the state of the American sitcom...as this one would have taken the decadent cake.