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Friday, June 30, 2006

Timothy Adams - Boxers or Briefs

As Pookie says, "The man has no shame. Thank the Lord!"

Go here to see it

As luck would have it

With Bernice, your New York correspondent, out somewhere on the streets searching for a man . . . erh, story, it falls to me to keep the home fires burning. Why do I feel like Cinderella? Mind you, the dear old lady gave broad hints about (read "told me") what she wanted, so my task was an easy one. Unlike her search for a ma . . . erh, story.

His not-so-Lucky day on 'GH'

New York Daily News

Greg Vaughan, as Lucky, is cast as a hero for a while.

Lucky is hailed as a hero for killing Manny next week on "General Hospital," but it's actually Jason who does the deed.

"It's amazing what drugs can do to your brain," says Greg Vaughan, who plays addicted cop Lucky Spencer. "Lucky screws up and here comes Jason. So, Lucky is trying to prove he has what it takes to be a man."

In other words, Lucky's in the right place at the right time, but he fails. He comes out onto the hospital roof and finds Manny and Jason struggling, then shoots at Manny, but Jason pushes the criminal off the roof to his death.

"Lucky feels he could have hit him because there is a brief separation between Manny and Jason when Lucky fires," explains Vaughan. "In his mind, he believes he did shoot him - not knowing there could have been an extra push from Jason that makes Manny fall."

Lucky takes credit for killing Manny, unaware that a surveillance camera captured the gun battle. "He's trying to get validation from his wife," says Vaughan. "He feels like this is his moment. All his hard work getting back on the force has come full circle. Manny - this killer, this troublemaker - helps revamp and save his career. He makes him the hero."

Not for long. Elizabeth knows Jason offed the madman, and by the end of the week, District Attorney Alexis Davis will know it, too. "Eventually, he's going to have to come out and say he didn't do it," says Vaughan. "But for now, he's playing pretend."

He's also playing with fire, kissing the police commissioner's teenage daughter, Maxie, after a press conference congratulating him. "It's exciting to play him as something other than the clean-cut guy next-door," says Vaughan.

More like a drug-addicted credit-grabber. Says Vaughan in defense of his character: "Hey, Lucky's just a guy carrying a badge who always ends up in the hospital."

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Roz & Ilene: The Hits Just Keep On Comin'

Prohibition (84th & Columbus) -- July 10th & July 24th 9PM -- no cover. Go. Enjoy.

The Rosalinde Block Party is a kick-ass band, fronted by singer/ songwriter Rosalinde Block and TV personality Ilene Kristen (Roxy from One Life to Live, Delia from Ryan’s Hope). The music is a celebration —a blend of r&b/pop/gospel— it's Rosalinde's music peppered with some great rare R'n'B covers. Amazing guest artists join us regularly—you never know who’s going to visit them on stage.

The band features some of the heaviest hitters from Classic R'n'B school. These guys have played with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, B.B. King, Ben E. King, Chuck Jackson, Ray Charles, Manhattan Transfer, Richie Havens, The Allman Bros. and Lou Rawls.

Now is this a party? You bet it is!

(Seated from left: Reggie Barnes/drums, Hui Cox/guitar, Standing from left: Keith Lambeth/bass, Ilene Kristen, Rosalinde Block, Murray Weinstock/add'l keys)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Myles of Mark Aaron James


Just a heads up, my "Undercover" show is still on hiatus until the World Cup is finished.

Such are the perils of performing at an Irish pub.

That said, I have an important show coming up. Rockwood Music Hall has given me a set on a Friday night, July 7th, prime real estate if you will. It's the earliest set however at 7 PM ...
please come greet the weekend with some MAJ Music on Friday the 7th at 7.

Rockwood in on Allan St (First Ave), between Houston and
Stanton. It's right next door to the construction site.

Guitar virtuoso Myles Aubry will be joining me again. Hope you can make it.


Monday, June 26, 2006

A Half Century of Chris Isaak

Today is the fiftieth birthday of a stalwart of Column of Life's galleries, and a uniquely talented denizen of Stockton, California. Chris Issak's music while being derivative became a fresh and vibrant expression. His vocals are athletic and his delivery full of emotion that is expressive of the kind of sexual icon he is: strong yet sensitive.

Perhaps it is because of this milestone, that his recording company released a greatest hits collection on both DVD and CD last month.

Isaak is one of a kind. He's been on the music scene for well over twenty years now. He has created memorable music with influences that include Sanford Clark (who had a top ten hit the year Christopher was born), Chet Baker (Chris has a fleeting cameo in Let's Get Lost) , Roy Orbison (whom Chris considers a friend as well as a major influence), Dean Martin (whose songs Chris likes to cover, most memorably in an acoustic duet of "Sway" with Michael Buble) and the Burnetts (whose marriage of Rock and Country can be heard in almost all of Chris' uptempo songs). He has entered almost every performing arena gracing it with his incomparable look and sound. The inevitable comparison is with the much loved and admired Elvis. The closest paragon is the Elvis of the 1968 television come back special, yet Elvis was not at as prolific a writer or as energetic an entertainer as Chris Isaak, who does an infinitely better job of taking care of himself.

Happy Birthday, Chris! A half century: makes a man stop and think. Rock on.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I Can: Song of the Week

The inspired Rosalinde Block has given us another song -- this time performed by the inspiring Darin Riggi. It speaks -- or sings -- for itself.


So many careers to choose from
With no arrears to lose from
He-man—she-man—if they can do it, I CAN
I’m brilliant, witty, I’m wise—and
I can even put one out like Streisand

I’m at the top of the male persuasion
All my body parts are working fine
Got the props for every occasion
Missing something? Come and borrow mine
Cazh or corporate—I’ll leave you fawnin’
My satin B-ball shorts—the talk of the team
Got the perfect towels to bring a’saunin’
Can keep a mud mask from melting in the steam

I can do three sets of 50 crunchies
I can tread the mill at the highest speed
I can drink Heineken and get the munchies
Sports Illustrated—what a read!

Hmmmm, let’s see—what else can I do?
Cuz you know I CAN!!

I can be a fireman on Fire Island
I can be a plumber—got the pipes and tools
I can be the cop I was last Halloween
I can be a governor who breaks the rules
I can be an actor like John Wayne
With a temper like Russell Crowe

I can do a stay in the military
I grew up playing with a GI Joe

Yeah, I can make the most of those red, white and blues
I can run for office in that oval room
I can be the host of the evening news
As it is, I’m the leading fruit for Fruit of the Loom

Oh Judy—Judy—Judy! In the name of Dorothy, I don’t think there’s anything I CAN’T do!

I can be a carpenter and nail some wood
I can be a ranger in the Rockies
I can be a CEO down low in the hood
I can be a model and work these jockeys

Yes I’m all male—I’ve got the goods to prove it
So my tail wags more than it should when I move it
I’d rather groove on who I really am
You ask—I’ll tell, Uncle Sam!
I’d rather carry on like I have all along
I was born in this body—and God’s never wro


This is old news, but it is a response that is worthy of attention. It says a lot about Drew's brother, Nick Lachey, who is a different kind of gay icon than Judy and he may not even know it.

“I was asked if I’d ever consider playing for the other team, which was a ‘Ooh, I’m not expecting that one.’ “I answered it, ‘While I respect the other team and recognize that there is another team and they too play ball, I am not interested in playing for the other team.’” Pop star Nick Lachey’s reaction to a gay fan who suggested he go gay following his divorce from Jessica Simpson (World Entertainment News Network, June 13, 2006

"Well, thank you, Nick" Nice to be respected. Does he play rugby?

Stonewall Anniversary

From a friend, Dennis D, with one perspective:

Well, it's Pride again and time for my annual Pride message. (Okay, so
maybe I haven't always done an annual Pride message, but let's pretend I
have...you know...like The Queen on Christmas Day.)

In the years since Stonewall there have been many heady victories for
the gay community...repeal of sodomy laws; civil unions in Vermont; gay
marriage in Massachusetts, the Netherlands, Denmark, Canada, et al;
scads of openly gay elected officials; gay-themed TV shows and movies.
And this year there was Brokeback Mountain and we got to watch two
humpy cowboys get it on bigger than life on the silver screen.

But still the state of our world these days leaves me sad. Evil, vile
forces of bigotry entrenched in our White House, Congress and Supreme
Court. A war fought and thousand of lives sacrificed in order for the
wealthy and powerful to gain even more wealth and power. Rightwing
religious fanatics trying to chip away at our hard earned rights by
writing bigotry into our constitution.

But then it also occurs to me, that in addition to being the 37th
anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, it's also the 37th anniversary of
the death of perhaps the greatest talent of the 20th century. And like
many gay men, I wonder "What would Judy do?" And I know the
answer....she'd wipe the tears away, get out her ruby-encrusted tap
shoes and sing a happy song.

So this weekend, in the words of the character Roger Elizabeth De Bris
from Broadway's "The Producers" (yes, boys and girls, there is indeed a
showtune reference for every situation in life): "Keep it gay. Keep it
gay. Keep it GAY!!!"

"Forget your troubles, come on get happy,
Come on and chase all your cares away."

"Cause when you're smilin', keep on smilin'
The whole world smiles with you."

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Saturday Beefcake: Stuff It

There is usually much activity in the CoL offices on Saturday, most of it has to do with the image that is to be stolen from the internet. Today the discussion around that was minimal because a stock image from the late photographer, Bill Costa's files was used.

It was the choice of a recipe that caused most problems. Ms. Bernice kept going on about pulled pork and we weren't sure if she was speaking about a recipe. Anyway, Bernice would not sit still because she's getting ready to go a Gay Pride barbecue in Manhattan thinking that Charles Busch & Jason Priestly were going to be there. Well, first of all that was Monday and it wasn't Jason Priestly, but Pookie didn't have time to set her straight. He kept going on about tossed salads and eggbeaters; and he is much too busy taking care of Timothy Adams and Michael Lombardi, well not exactly them, but their new sites. Nurse Betty's calming influence was nowhere to be found. She couldn't be convinced that other than Maple Syrup & that so called bacon Canadian cuisine didn't have much to offer.

Outside cooking and get-togethers are the order of the day, and it does seem the subject of Mr. Costa's photograph is waiting for something or someone to arrive. A side dish perhaps? As Bernice whizzed out the door in her usual flurry, she was heard to exclaim: "Stuff it, Bozo."

Inspiration from none other than our Manhattan correspondent. Here is a recipe for stuffed Summer Squash. It is based on Nadia Battini's of Liguria which came via cookbook author, Anissa Helou.

Zucchine Ripiene

8 small summer squash
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
One medium onion, chopped finely
One small fennel, chopped finely
One small carrot, chopped finely
Fresh Basil and Fresh Parsley
Egg, one beaten
Grated Parmigiano or Romano
Minced ham, or Canadian Bacon (ok, Nurse Betty? Still it's optional) You can also use grilled sweet bell peppper in its place
Small Potato, cooked and mashed
salt and pepper

1. The onion, fennel and carrot are to be cooked in a covered pan in the olive oil for about 8 minutes and then add a bit of both the parsley and basil for about two more.
2. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, add the rest of the ingredients except the breadcrumbs. Salt & Pepper.
3. The squash is cut lengthwise and steamed.
4. Scoop out the centers.
5. The innards of the squash are to be mixed with the stuffing in the mixing bowl and placed in the shells of the squash.
6. These are to be baked in a preheated oven @ 350F in a well oiled baking dish for about 20 minutes which should bring them to a golden and crispy disposition.
7. Prepare well in advance because they are to be served at room temperature.

This is a great side dish for backyard parties and barbecues. Well, if you are either going to eat a side dish or even be one, there's nothing wrong at all with stuffing it. Just ask Bernice.

Rescue Me, Indeed

Gay Rugby Team dissed by New York Firefighters

Here is the OutSports report. POZalso dicussed this from the AIDS/HIV perspective.

Probie Not Being Gay

TV Gasm (very appropriately entitled in this case) has excellent recaps and screen caps.

Go Here.

Friday, June 23, 2006

This Also Must Be Said

The week's most sickening scene -- Maureen Ryan Chicago Tribune

Rescue Me” has crossed a troubling line.

Denis2 Sure, Tommy Gavin, the bad-boy firefighter at the heart of the FX drama, has done awful things in the past. But when he raped his estranged wife, Gavin (who's played by "Rescue Me" co-creator Denis Leary) hit a sickening new low.

On the June 20 episode of “Rescue Me,” Gavin had a conversation with his estranged wife about how to split up their possessions. The conversation grew heated, and he became violent with her, shoved her on the couch and forced her to have sex with him.

It apparently wasn’t enough that the show depicted Gavin raping a woman, but it had to show that Janet Gavin appeared to enjoy it, or at least go along with it, by the end of the act.

The worst part? Gavin exited the house with a giant smirk on his face.

The smirk seemed to say, “Women love me, no matter what I do to them.” After all, Gavin had just gotten a string of phone calls (on “crazy chick call-in day,” as he dubbed it) from four of the women in his life, all of whom are needy or shrewish or sexually obsessed with him -- if not all three.

It’s one thing to create a show about a troubled alcoholic with rage issues, a guy who never shows much self-knowledge or any real interest in personal growth. It’s tiresome that Gavin only thinks of women as either sexual partners, nags or crazy sluts. But it’s another thing entirely to make the lead character of the show a scary sociopath who assaults women.

If FX wants to expand its viewer base beyond its largely male demographic, allowing the lead character on one of its flagship shows to be not just a sexist jerk but a rapist as well is not a good way to do it.

The irony is, “Rescue Me” has some meaty roles for women at the moment; Susan Sarandon is having a good run as the older lover of one of Gavin’s fellow firefighters (and her character calls Gavin on a lot of his b.s. in an excellent scene in Tuesday’s episode). Marisa Tomei, who begins a guest stint on the show on Tuesday, is highly watchable and her story line as Johnny Gavin’s uptown, upmarket ex has potential as well. (On the other hand, Tatum O’Neal is flat-out terrible as Gavin’s sister, Maggie, who is, what a surprise, a crazy slut).

“Rescue Me” has often glorified Tommy’s immature behavior and shown a lack of depth in other story lines (remember Probie with a gun?). It has been relatively easy to overlook those flaws, though, thanks to the overall excellence of the cast (especially John Scurti, Daniel Sunjata and Jack McGee), the good stories “Rescue Me” does tell and the cutting, bitter wit at the heart of the show.

Still, the scene between Tommy and Janet was not just gut-churning, but implausible as well. Wouldn’t the Janet Gavin we know get up from that couch full of rage? But she just sat there, and moments later was leafing through a magazine. Janet and Tommy chatted amiably on the phone in the next episode. And by the way, did Tommy have to trot out the “I’m a firefighter, I go into burning buildings when other people are running out of them” rationale yet again, just before he assaulted Janet? The entire scene was full of not just gratuitous violence but bad storytelling choices on the part of the show’s creators.

John Landgraf, the head of FX, recently told Variety that one of his goals for the network was to cultivate shows “that weren’t only for men.” A laudable goal, and the steps the network has taken in that direction (the casting of Sarandon and Tomei on “Rescue Me,” Glenn Close’s sensational run on “The Shield”) have often turned out well.


As a woman who’s enjoyed many of FX’s programs, I’ve understood that much of the networks’s edgy, male-oriented fare was bound to push the buttons of its female viewers. But with the rape of Janet Gavin, “Rescue Me” came close to having me push the Off button on my remote.

And I’d bet a lot of male fans felt the same way.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Pookie Says

"I love the tentativeness on both Chris's and Mike's part when it came to the simple shared tenderness. It's almost like they are still getting to know one another and not sure of the boundaries. The change in Chris's expression as he realises that Mike has placed his head on his shoulder and Mike's smile when Chris reciprocates. Top points to Adams and Lombardi for making it so touching"

The video, by the by, is available for viewing on their respective sites.

Pookie also says:
No matter where Rescue Me takes the characters and despite the somewhat homophobic remarks made by executive producer Peter Tolan in explaining how "Probie" turned out to have a gay side, this scene is, for lack of a better word, endearing.

Oh, and you can now see stills from the vid on those self same sites.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Rescue Me On the Down Low

The ongoing story of Probie and his roomie Chris and its Mack Sennett meets Ang Lee approach can maintain interest and it may very well lead to something more Ang Lee than Keystone Cops.

It addresses a question of and for the ages: if two men engage in sexual activity with each other even if it is not reciprocal how are those men identified as well as their activity? (In this case, oral gratification.) Chris and Mike came to blows over this. It referred to Brokeback Mountain in that sense, because Ennis and Jack did not consider themselves homosexual and often came to blows instead of confronting their feelings head on.

One problem with the Rescue Me plot is that the way last week's scene was shot led one to believe that there was something a bit more going between Mike & Chris because of the tender way they sat on that sofa. The follow up episode took it somewhere else, but definitely left nothing to the imagination of what goes on between them.

It holds the interest in these parts and Pookie's new sites are tribute to how much interest it holds.

Timothy Adams site and Michael Lombardi's site.

Although there's a bit of "discomfit" here, to coin Producer Tolan's word, in that it's somewhat from the perspective of a locker room snicker, it deserves that attention. Probie, if anything, is less flawed than his co-workers.

The show's real issues are Leary's self indulgence and the way women are treated. Tommy raped his ex-wife and it was touted as a hot sex scene by the actress involved: a scene obviously done for its effect on the viewer. Chris and Probie's fisticuffs were very tame in comparison. One gets the sense that rape could not happen between them.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Here Comes the Sun King

This is a magical time of year. This is the time of year to manifest divine gracious gifts, most of which are the great people in our lives. It is magical because it is that time to shed the light on who we are. It is when we enthrone the Sun God, the symbol and the manifestation of self, in Latin, ego which also means "I".

The longest hours of daylight accentuate the virtue of loving one's self. Here comes the Sun King.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Die, Mommie, Die

If you want to do some serious fundraising in New York City it seems that more often than not, Christopher Meloni is right there. Tonight as proof of that the Actor's Fund of America will present a reading of Charles Busch's play and movie with the participation of the ever philanthropic Meloni.

The Actors' Fund of America is a nonprofit, national human services organization that helps entertainment and performing arts professionals in theater, film, music, opera, television and dance through a broad spectrum of social, health, employment, and housing programs that address their essential and critical needs.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

A Joyful Noise: Song of the Week

The Rosalinde Block Party is very much like a religious experience. She and Ilene Kristen will be re-creating while others recreate once again at Prohibition the 'movement' that happened last week. Monday evening 9PM, three glorious sets 84th & Columbus with another extraordinary special guest, Bobby Harden. Difficult to believe that there can be that much talent in one room! Here's another of her creations:

Higher Eye

In the Gospel of Matthew
There's words for every emotion
There's lessons on the Golden Rule
Sends our souls to school to learn a thing or two
But the part that shoots to my heart
Is knowing in silence I'm being heard

You see me even though I can't see You
You're with me even though I can't touch You
You see me, and I will never say goodbye
Forever You're my higher eye
Out in the desert, alone in the darkness
I can feel Your golden light in the dead of night
And I'm all right
And now I know as I pray
You're right by my side- You're with me all the way


I never thought I gave enough
Never thought I had the right stuff
But You see the little things I do
And You know my aim is true
‘Cause You see me - You're with me
And I will never say goodbye
Forever you're my higher eye
People may shun me for what I believe in
They look at me and see the glow
And deep down they know what's doin' on
And I keep rolling along
Your power is silent but growing strong
Words and Music: Rosalinde Block

Go.Enjoy. Call: 212.579.3100

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Saturday Beefcake

CoL continues with the fine men from the New York Firefighters Calendar. The current gentleman started off 2006 in January and his name is Ed McNulty. His presence at the stroke of midnight would make any new year happy, well it would make an old year rather enjoyable, too.

Speaking of happy, CoL has been presented with a lovely recipe from a lovely person nicknamed "Luv" from Thorsten Kaye's lovely message board. Tiramisu has become a mainstay of the Italian dessert repertoire and this recipe is worthy of the nomenclature. Tiramisu translates into PickMeUp and, indeed, it does -- as, surely, Mr. McNulty is capable of doing.



4 eggs
4 tablespoons sugar
1 container 475 ml Marscapone Cheese
8 cups of Espresso coffee (demitasse espresso style cups)
½ glass brandy --- Amaretto or Frangelico -- [CoL recommends Cointreau]
1- 500 gram bag of Savoiardi (Lady Fingers)
semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.I make the coffee way ahead of time and let it cool down so it's nice and cold, I add the booze into it before I start to put it together.
2.Beat the egg yolks and sugar---then add the Marscapone cheese and whisk it till it’s nice and creamy.
3.In another bowl beat the egg whites to nice hard peaks
4.Add the whites to the cheese mixture and with a spatula mix till blended, should be creamy and fluffy.
5.You will need a Corning Ware baking dish 8 x 11. [or one close to it] Now you can sit at the table and put this all together.
6.Dip one side of the lady fingers into the coffee—place into dish coffee side up dry side down---so coffee will absorb downwards---line up in same direction till one layer is done.
Place some cream mixture on top and spread evenly till all the cookies are covered ( thin layer).
Next layer we will lay cookies down in the opposite way— ( like a lasagna ) You might have to cut off a bit of the cookie to fit into the dish when you are laying them sideways. Then place more cream and spread. You might get 3 or 4 layers.—We make it 4 layers
7. Now for the top layer—put lots of cream on top and spread evenly covering all the cookies---sprinkle cinnamon all around. I melt some chocolate chips and drizzle it in swirls—you can make whatever design you want on it—lol.
8. Take 4 to 6 toothpicks so the saran wrap does not rest on the top of your masterpiece and place them around the edges of dish—cover your dish in saran wrap and place it into the fridge for a day —actually the longer it stays the tastier it becomes---if it lasts that long.

This is for a small group of friends or for two people waiting for Mr. McNulty to show up at the beginning of the year, or at the end or in the middle or just thinking about him picking you up.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Well, Go On With Your Bad Self, Probie ...

The back room here at CoL is a flurry of activity. No, it has nothing to do with Bernice's electrical appliances, but our very own Pookie has something in the works regarding Rescue Me's Probie, Michael Lombardi. He works tirelessly on so many things, still he found time to peruse TV Guide on line to send this memo around the office:

Question: Based on last night's Rescue Me, I guess Probie is the big
gay surprise you've been hinting at. - Craig

Ausiello: Yes, he is. But exec producer Peter Tolan cautioned me against slapping a label on him. "Probie is a character who has been searching for love - and in many cases, in the wrong places," says Tolan. "What he finds is not love but companionship and sexual release. But he's a confused guy, and I don't think he's gay. The funniest conversations those characters have is about how they're involved in a sexual relationship but they're not There's been an unhealthy fixation on our show with homosexuality, and I don't know where it comes from, frankly. When you have a show about men, there's always going to be a homoerotic current that somebody's going to pick up on, whether it's there or not. Honestly, the story line came out of a childish delight at discomfiting Michael Lombardi [who plays Probie]. Once we committed to it, we thought, well, now we've got to protect our character and do right by him and let's really make this plausible." But back to discomfiting Michael Lombardi - wait until you see next week's episode. All I'll say is Probie and his roommate decide to reenact Vincent Gallo and Chloe Sevigny's "legendary" scene from The Brown Bunny."

Well, maybe we should buy Probie that t-shirt that says "I'm not gay, but my boyfriend is."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Gotta Love Prohibition ...

Mark Aaron James says:

Just a quick reminder. Due to the World Cup, the "Undercover" show has been pre-empted tonight and for the next couple of weeks. In place of that show, I will be back at Prohibition this Sunday the 18th at 9 PM. (www.prohibiton.net). I will be featuring some of the best covers that have come from the "Undercover" shows, along with a healthy dose of originals and other songs I dig. The show is free and they have great food there as well. I hope you can make it out. It's on Columbus, between 84th and 85th Street. Come Uptown with me. A good time will be had by all.

Finally, I will be doing an all original set at Rockwood Music Hall Tuesday night, June 2Oth at 7:00 PM. If you haven't been to Rockwood, you've missed the best new acoustic venue in the city, great sound, a terrific wine list (along with other cocktails) and a cool vibe. Check it out. If you can't make it on Tuesday, I
will be back there on Friday, July 7th.

Thanks for the continued support.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Got It Goin' On: Rescue Me

Matthew Gilbert, critic from The Boston Globe, had this to say two weeks ago when reviewing Denis Leary's Rescue Me:

This season, not one of the characters seems to be sleeping with the right person. I won't reveal any surprises , except to say that all the pairings in the first three episodes are oddly, humorously, and, at the end of episode 3, touchingly daring. The changing-partners theme is a little farcical -- but darkly so, with heart-wrenching consequences. ``Rescue Me" isn't for everyone, particularly those who find Leary's fuming a little too convincing. But it's certainly a TV gem, rough but gleaming.

Mike Lombardi's "Probie" is probably the most likable of all the members of this very flawed group of men, therefore, the "touchingly daring" scene was a happy event when he rested his head on the shoulder of none other than Timothy Adams, who is one of the favourites in these parts, if you follow this BLOG or peruse the website's galleries.

When he was hired by One Life to Live there were fond hopes that he might be up front more often than not, but those hopes remained just that. The beauty of Rescue Me's gain from OLTL's dearth is that it is extremely satisfying to be able to experience a favourite interpreting something that is lifted from personal fantasies and cause for some rejoicing. It matters not what the actual life of the actor is all about.

The brief scene itself was, as Gilbert noted, touching. Leary's show sometimes has too much going on at once, but it seems to fall into place no matter how all over the place it may seem and certainly Susan Sarandon's participation is very welcomed.

Still it's Mike Siletti and his roommate that have it goin' on. A show that was once watched regularly now has undivided attention.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Best of Times

Block Party, Indeed!

Rosalinde Block and cohorts: Ilene Kristen, Angel Rissoff, Reggie Barnes, Hui Cox, Keith Lambeth and Murray Weinstock rock the Upper West Side last evening at Prohibition. Impossible to sit still through all that gifted talent. "I Want A Love I Can See" tore it all up along with "The Word Is Love" and "Man's World." It is an experience!

Thorsten Kaye of All My Children and Robert S. Woods of One Life to Live were obviously and understandably enjoying themselves. The Party returns next Monday. Go. Enjoy.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Making Love, Not War

O, Canada!

From Our Canadian Correspondent, Pookie:

Canadian Forces members are supplied with free condoms, paid for by the government and handed out through military dispensaries. A practice that dates back to the First World War, free condoms help defray medical costs by preventing soldiers from getting sexually transmitted diseases, the military says.

In 1999, soldiers used 295,200 military condoms. But in 2002, the number dipped to 25,355 condoms. Military officials had no explanation for the extreme drop in demand.

While demand for condoms is back on the rise, the cost per prophylactic has dropped. In 1999, Ottawa spent $100,000 on condoms, at a cost of 30 cents each. In the past two years, the cost per condom has dropped to 13 cents.

While sex between the 2,300 soldiers is forbidden on the Kandahar air base in Afghanistan, the military does supply condoms there. Officials wouldn't speculate what the condoms were being used for, said the report.

There are roughly 62,000 Canadian Forces members, including administrative and support personnel. In addition, there are about 22,000 reservists.

(Bernice was wondering if Alexander the Great had made it as far as Afghanistan.)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Song of the Week

The Word Is Love

In this world we've got the choice to live together
Hand in hand we can weather the storm
But instead we go to war
And after wars are lost and won
After all is said and done
When push comes to shove

The Word Is Love

We can fight for our rights - wear our colors
Doesn’t matter - we're just crying to be free
But the way we go about it
Is the opposite of how we're supposed to work it out
Let's take off the gloves

The Word Is Love

Love is the key to the Kingdom
Silently spoken through our eyes- through our minds
Let us leave the past behind
And make a new start
And speak with our hearts
There's no other answer ‘cause love is the answer to life

City streets
The cities beat to something frightening
It's a lightening that's cracked through the town
It's striking people down
But we can turn this one around
By showing what we've found
From Heaven above

The Word Is Love

Words and Music: Rosalinde Block


May was the best of times and the worst of times for more than a few reasons, and, of course, memorable as mentioned in the previous post. One of the people that are worthy of being memorable is the richly talented Rosalinde Block who will bring her "Block Party" to Prohibition on Monday evening in concert with the equally richly talented Ilene Kristen. Two musical angels creating an evening of straightforward and honest music. Go. Enjoy.

Saturday Beefcake

The month of May was a month of memorable times and people: it was a month of life and death issues for more than one reason. Pictured above is the Firefighter Calendar's Man for the merry month, Anthony Crociata. Another fine man with an Italian surname the translation of which is Crusade. In honour of that a recipe based on Anna Muffoletto's Zucchine in Agrodolce along with a recipe for vegetarian lasagne from Almost Vegetarian, a guaranteed hit whenever it is served. Well, try not to serve it in the middle of the night, because 'hit' might then take on a different meaning. In spite of the title of this weekly feature, it often includes non beef recipes, because the beef isn't always on the dinner table. At any rate today's post is now honoured with light and tasty fare as well as one studly firefighter. Comfort Food.

Zucchine in Agrodolce

Olive Oil
Garlic, 3 cloves crushed
Zucchine, 4 medium thinly sliced (can be substituted with any variety of Summer squash)
Pine Nuts
Dried Currants or Golden Sultan Raisins, softened in water and drained
Wine Vinegar or Balsamic
salt, pepper, water or vegetabel broth

1. Saute the crushed garlic in the olive oil.
2. Add the squash and saute on both sides until golden.
3. Sprinkle with pine nuts (about three large spoonfuls) and dried currants (two large spoonfuls), salt and pepper and let simmer for 2 or 3 minutes.
4. Mix a large spoonful of the vinegar in a 1/4 cup of water/broth and pour into skillet.
5. Cover and simmer over very low heat for about ten minutes.
6. Discard garlic and serve at room temperature.
(4 servings)

Lasagne al Forno (Frutta e Verdura)

based on Diana Shaw's recipe in Almost Vegetarian

Dried apricots (250 grams)
Fresh Spinach (500 grams)
Carrots (8 peeled in thin slices)
Fresh Orange Juice (1/2 cup)
Bay Leaf
Ricotta Cheese (500 grams)
Grated Imported Cheese (750 grams)
Pinch Grated Nutmeg
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Onion, small white minced
Large Egg
Lasagne (250 grams)

Lemon Sauce

(basically, a bechamel sauce with lemon zest)

Unsalted butter
All-purpose Flour
Milk, 1/2 litre
Lemon Zest
Grated Nutmeg

1. Put the apricots in a saucepan, cover them with water, simmer and then cover. Simmer for about 40 minutes.
2. Chop the spinach and cook it in a large saucepan until it's bright green (4 minutes or so)
3. Combine the carrots with the orange juice and bay leaf. Cook over high heat bring to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer until the carrots are very soft. Drain the liquid, discard the bay leaf and puree in a blender or food processor.
4. Mix 1/2 of the ricotta, half the grated cheese with the carrot puree with a pinch of nutmeg.
5. Drain the apricots and puree them. Stir them into carrot mixture and set aside.
6. Saute the onion in the olive oil until soft and translucent (7 minutes or so).
7. Transfer the onion to another mixing bowl, add spincah, egg and the remaining cheeses (ricotta & grated)
8. Oven should be heated to 400F. If the lasagne need to be cooked, do so. If they are fresh no need to cook them. It is best to used either freshly made or cooked. The boxed kind that need no cooking don't seem to be right for this recipe.
9. Use a square pan (8x8) and place a layer of lasagne on the bottom. Spread the carrot mixture on top and then another layer of lasagne. Spread the spinach mixture over that. Top with another layer of lasagne.
10. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
11. In the meantime, make the lemon sauce. Melt the unsalted butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir in the flour and continue to stir until they are blended and turn golden (about 3 minutes). Stirring, steadily pour in the milk and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat a little and stir until thickened (about ten minutes). Add lemon zest and blend well.
12. After the lasagne has set outside the oven for about ten minutes. Serve with generous helping of hot Lemon Sauce.
13. There are six servings or for three people needing some comfort.

Friday, June 09, 2006

What's Not to Love

Allons! Allons!

Hello Friends.

We're on our way to Paris! This is a last minute reminder that we'll be performing on Sunday, June 11th in the afternoon at the Paris Jazz Festival, Parc Floral de Paris. For information, please call: +33 (0)1 46 21 08 37.

Many more concerts coming up this summer, so please check my website for all the latest news!

See you on the road...

The inspired Curtis Stigers

Two of Hearts

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Super People

Like it or not, naysayers, Soap Operas are a genre, an art form. The once derogatory term has been acceptable for quite some time now, but it actually refers to a continuing story. Soap operas are at their best when they focus on relationships, be they couples, families, friendships, antagonisms or work. Although the genre has hit dire straits it remains a staple of the love in the afternoon crowd and is still allegedly remaining character driven, although there are strong arguments against that. What drives a good Soap is the network involving the above relationships.

A pivotal classic relationship in this network is what has been deemed the
"Super Couple" -- no matter what is cooked up in the backrooms, a Super Couple cannot be manufactured or forced, it simply happens. True Super Couples are few and far between. Erica Kane on All My Children has had memorable couplings but has not really been part of one. The character itself is too Super. Greg and Jenny early on were a prototype from that very show, which was before the Superest Couple of all, Luke & Laura -- the one that reinvented the genre and brought it to the forefront of public awareness.

A good Super Couple is something that happens almost without fanfare. There have been recent obvious failed attempts: Tad & Krystal (AMC), John & Natalie (OLTL); missed opportunities: Sam & Lily (AMC), Max & Roxanne (OLTL); flubbed stories: Al & Marcie (OLTL) but there is one that seems to be blossoming because the actors involved have risen to the occasion and above the writing: Kendall and Zach on All My Children. There are other great actors on the show, still the couple that gets the juices going is the one portrayed by Thorsten Kaye & Alicia Minshew. Here's hoping that the powers that be don't drop the ball on this one.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Taking aim

The civil union of two male officers from Canada’s iconic mounted police force has caused embarrassment for the ruling Conservative Party, which has promised to re-examine a law enacted last year that legalised same-sex partnerships. Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister, has apparently barred Conservative MPs from speaking out about the Mounties’ civil partnership for fear that rightwingers will “say something stupid” that could cost votes.

Mr Tree, 27, says that he and Mr Connors, 28, have received a flood of “unequivocally positive” e-mails, letters and phone calls from the public, and that their colleagues and bosses have been “completely supportive”. He said: “We have always been treated exactly like any other couple, which is all we’ve ever wanted. We are definitely proud to live in Canada, where respect and tolerance for others is the norm.”

The Liberal Party has rejoiced in the Prime Minister’s discomfort. “I don’t know why Mr Harper is so concerned about whether RCMP officers are straight or not,” said Scott Brison, an openly gay contender for the Liberal leadership. “It doesn’t matter as long as they can shoot straight.”

Times Online

What the Times misses is that this is not a civil partnership or civil union. It's a marriage. Being a UK paper they are interpreting it in line with the UK experience. Odd, I would have expected them to do a better job.

Anyway, Brison's comment is on target :-)

Stay Home

Why Should the Faithful Believe Bush Now?
E.J. Dunne, Jr. Tuesday, June 6, 2006; Page A15 (Washington Post)

"This month's offensive by President Bush and his allies in Congress against gay marriage and flag burning proves one thing: The Republican Party thinks its base of social conservatives is a nest of dummies who have no memories and respond like bulls whenever red flags are waved in their faces."

The article in today's Washington Post (go here You may have to register.)
Says in no uncertain terms that Bush, Rove et al. are not only in the business of pandering to but also exploiting socially reactionary voters. CoL's advice: If you are so attached to the traditional values that are nurtured in home and hearth, stay home in droves on election day and do so.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Good People ...

The Beast Rears Its Ugly Head Again ...

Thanks to good friend, Lisa Conklin, for the great photos. Thanks to Prohibition for memorable times.

Same Place, Different Night, More Beauty

More Beauty, No Beast

Another unique sight at Prohibition

Beauty & the Beast

An image from Prohibition June 3, 2006