Sunday, September 18, 2005

Wine and Cheese with Frank Stallone

Living in a cabin in the woods, does not allow for many brushes with greatness. The celebs just aren't lining the streets of Harrison, Arkansas. But last night... Ohhh!!!

Summoned to Branson, MO. by my boss, I was sent to a wine and cheese reception with Frank Stallone to kick off his tour. Now "Old Brown Eyes" is actually a very good singer. If you have Tony Bennett endorsing your album, that's a really good start. Frank is now singing the standards, and looking damn good while he sings them. The reception was kind of dull compared to those that are on television, but then, I don't get to go to those.

The first thing that happened was that Frank (I just call him by his first name, now that we are buds)came over and introduced himself. I was looking for my boss, and so I kind of blew him off. About 30 seconds later, I realized what I had done and felt like a total ass. A few minutes later he came back up to me and tried to start another conversation. Being a little more centered, this one went much better.

He is a totally charming man, with excellent manners and social skills, a great smile, and a very nice everything else. Who would have thought I would ever be having lewd thoughts about Frank Stallone? (Okay, Joshua would, but he knows my sorted past. Brian would just be surprised if I hadn't!)

We were given a press pack. I will be selling tour packages with his show as part of the trip. It had a few press items and a compact disc.

My cousin, Shannon, and I then went and watched the Magnificent Seven show featuring Amanda. The theater was about half full and the entertainment was good. Some of the performers were a little more well seasoned than the others, but isn't that always the case? I think a couple of the boys had been hired strictly for cuteness. They do have promise though and I hope they all achieve it. It was obvious that they were all trying very hard to entertain. They weren't just going through the motions.

There was a singer from Iowa. His voice was awesome. Strong and melodic, he was also hot and had a good command of the stage. I would recommend a little work on the butt. His jeans were a little flat there. They really seemed quite okay from the front. (Mind you, all of them were fine enough looking...I am just talking from a performance point of view.) This one brunette cutie, did a great job when in his lower register, but had a little problem with going flat. He was so hot, nobody would care. he had a beautiful face and good stage presence. Then there was a little blonde Presley boy. He can't sing country, but did okay with the other styles. Presley also did a lot of comedic stuff during the show. He needs a little seasoning but, once again, too cute to care. I wonder if he is part of the Presley family that helped start Branson. They have their own show. He seemed to lack the butch gene, so maybe he isn't Presley material. Or maybe he just has the same last name. (The last guy was a talented dancer...needed to lose a few pounds... but I kept waiting for the drag queen he should have been backing up.)

The girls were good too. Amanda is only 18, so she is doing quite well. There was one that did the main dancing. A little chuncky, but a ton of personality. I actually thought she was as good or better than Amanda. She did give it the energy. The new girl from Springfield was very cute, but she is just lacking that sparkle. But, then again, she is new. She may end up being quite good. There was also a brunette who did a very good job. Nice vocals but little flash.

The band was quite good. There was a lot of musical talent behind the instruments.

In ohter words, I had a good, but not great, time. I do thank the people who gave me the evening. It is something that I will remember fondly. The time with my cousin was special. Then, of course, my wonderful bosses and their great families. They are such nice people. However, with all the effort that had been expended for my evening, was it really wrong of me that the best part for me were the chocolates from Harry & David's? My diabetic headache is disagreeing at the moment.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Burt Reynold's Hair

I found out about this blog thing from a friend of mine who is living in Germany. In fact, I had never read a blog, know nothing about blogs, or had any intention of having a blog. This appears to be something that will be changing.

My friend and I lived in Kansas City in a cute little brownstone off of the Country Club Plaza. That was probably the most urbane I have ever been or ever will be. I was actually raised in the backwoods of Arkansas. There I was living in the city with an opera singer and helping to manage a successful restaurant. We will leave out the part where I was self destructing. That part was a Lifetime movie, at best. This, of course, would never have been on Lifetime as there were no battered women in the story to have been played by Valerie Bertinelli or Judith Light. Also, since John Candy is dead, there is nobody to play me.

What does that have to do with Burt Reynold's Hair? There is a connection between everything above and old Burt.

While I was setting up my blog profile, there was a personality question that came up dealing with my hair. Thus, I started thinking about my hair this morning. Not that I am one to obsess, mind you. There was a singer in Kansas City, or rather a music major that really couldn't sing all that well. His name was Steve. Not fat, gay, opera Steve...(any fag that lived in K.C. in the late 1990's will know of whom I write), but tall, geeky, Jesus Christ Superstar Steve. One day while wearing his bellbottom jeans, bowling shirt, platform shoes, and Hilary Swank "Boys Don't Cry" haircut, Steve decided that I had Burt Reynold's Hair.

Steve was about 19 or 20. He was a rather fun young man, and if as cool as he thought he was, he would have been fab! Just picture a cross between Marilyn Manson and Pee Wee Herman and you are there.

When I had been in Steve's age bracket, it was the new wave 80's. We had all agreed to eliminate anything that looked like it could have even touched the 1970's from our wardrobes. Plus, of course, hair was everything. And I had serious 80's hair. Bleached hair, black hair, blue hair, pink hair, spiked hair, asymmetrical hair, cut in a pattern hair, overly manicured hair, and most of all, the kind of hair your mother hates hair.

Now, all the clothes that I hated had returned, and with remarkable staying power, I might add. At this point, I had settled for the Dockers and J. Crew style. I was looking in the vintage stores and seeing things like that which I had burned selling for hundreds of dollars. Steve and his group would spend an hour doing their hair and walk out of the bathroom looking like Alfalfa from "Little Rascals". Since I still committed the unpardonable sin of using a blow dryer (and yes...even mousse) and was a whole decade older than them, they tagged me with Burt Reynold's hair.

As I am prone to do, I dismissed them all with the amused wave of the aged queen, knowing in my heart that they were just ignorant youths who were being led down the path of bad taste by the other sly aged queens running the fashion plate from New York. Ha!

Then it is time for Pride Day! It is going to be outside and Everybody who is Anybody is going to be there. Steve shows up in his bowling shirt and the jeans with the BIG BELLS. Opera Steve is poured into a bright neon orange t-shirt and a pair of Daisy Dukes that would have made Jessica Simpson question the length...not to mention that they were small enough they would have probably fit her. The stench of "CURVE" came off of him like a heat wave. Lizasita, our little chubby (this was his pre-meth body)Hispanic Liza Minelli wannbe (nobody can remember his real name) was running around with me. (I always tried to explain to him that in no plane of reality can a 21 year old chubby Mexican boy become an old Jewish/Italian Broadway star.)

I had on chinos and a Dockers shirt. I thought this would be casual enough. My hair was not even high enough to have its own zip code. It was in its usual bleached state (Now it is just half grey). I get to the Pride Festival. It was like I was wearing a tuxedo. Of course, there is a sea of bowling shirts, muscle shirts, leather straps where shirts normally go, and shorts in every form of deconstruction that you can imagine. The boys were lovely, the hair looked uniformly like shit from person to person, and I realized somewhere between 1985 and 1995 I had been kicked off the bus and no longer belonged with the people I had marched for, demonstrated for, and been tormented at our college pride festivals for.

I in my 30's and I was OLD. I went home, ALONE, on Pride night (something that had never happened before) and indulged in some combustible refreshment. It was then that I had to admit the torch had been passed and it was time to accept the harsh age limits of the gay world, or become the old trolling wretch that I had long avoided. The Steves were the new gay and I was the old model. Before I went to bed, I went into the old fashioned white tile bathroom of our brownstone and washed all of the Paul Mitchell right out of my former crown. Looking to the sky with a tear of despair, I reached up with a hand full of pomade and vowed that with God as my witness, I would never have Burt Reynold's hair again.

Now, I am looking at the face of 41 (42 in a week and a half...egads!)in my cold and cuel mirror, and realizing how much worse things have become. I read somewhere that 40 is the new 30, so maybe I can turn it all around. There is still time isn't there? (If there isn't, then just allow me my hope and illusions) But I can't think about that now. Yes! I will think about that tomorrow. Because after all. Tomorrow is another day. Where the HELL is that cheesecake?

What has happened to people?

Is it just something that I am missing? Did I not get the memo? When did people become so rude? It is not that I have some sort of Mayberry complex or any thing like that; however, I seem to remember at least trying to make a good impression when I met somebody. At one time people answered the phone like they might be somewhat happy to be getting a call from me. Of course, that was before caller i.d. Maybe it was because they just thought that it might be someone other than who they now are able to identify.

Now, it seems nobody can be bothered.

I have an awesome idea. Why don't we all act like we care a little for other people. And even better, do it for no particular reason. You know, you can offer a helping had to somebody without a tidal wave, hurricane, or terroist act wiping thousands off the face of the earth. You can try something as simple as being nice to a server at a restaurant. Maybe take a day to show someone that you care for that you do not take them for granted. Give a buck to an animal shelter. Donate some of the crap you have stored... you really aren't going to use it anyway... to a charity. You know, you might even be nice to yourself.

Let me help you get it started. Take this hug from me and pass it on to somebody. Even if it is only in your mind.