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Monday, April 30, 2007

The Tuesday De-Briefing: Aiden Turner


While he may not be a Celt in a Kilt. Mr Turner is nothing if not a head turner. His mighty fine looks which call to mind black Irish men at their utmost will suffice. While All My Children is keeping him relatively busy, it might be best if he was put to work in something that grown-ups can enjoy.

You Tube is helping the cause by posting this great video of the actor's days working with the lovely Ms Minshew. More, please, of Aiden Turner.


Beltane and A Young Man's Fancy




'Tis Spring and that time of year when a young man's fancy turns to: "Beltane is a cross-quarter day, marking the midpoint in the Sun's progress between the vernal equinox and summer solstice. Since the Celtic year was based on both lunar and solar cycles, it is possible that the holiday was celebrated on the full moon nearest the midpoint between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice. The astronomical date for this midpoint is closer to May 5 or May 7, but this can vary from year to year."
(Wikipedia)





In honour of the Celtic origins of May Day, which, if one follows the full moon observance, is actually this coming Wednesday, here are some kilt wearing young men. Although universally this observance is not necessarily about celts in kilts nor is it necessarily about young men -- but who's counting? It's a celebration of Spring and the fertile earth. Soon there will be pansies everywhere -- such sturdy little flowers.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Curtis Stigers: New York is Rockin'


Well baby come and let me take you out tonight
Where the music is a pumping and the lights are bright
When the whistle blows and the workdays' done
We gonna get the party started and have some fun
I'll meet you after midnight baby don't be late
Down around the corner at the Empire State

The kids are getting down up in the Bronx tonight
Times Square is lit up like it's broad daylight
They're kickin' out the jams down in ol' Bay Ridge
The joint is really jumpin' on the Brooklyn Bridge
All the hippies hangin' down on Avenue A
Put your red dress on yeah we're on our way

New York
New York is rockin'
New York
New York is rockin' tonight

Well Sinatra's singing 'bout those little town blues
Baryshnikov is putting on his blue suede shoes
Bird is boppin' down on Fifty-Second Street
The Ramones at CBGB's got 'em on their feet
Pavarotti's playing up at Carnegie Hall
Yeah everybody's swingin' and havin' a ball

They really got it shakin' in Jamaica Queens
Wall Street is dressing up in old blue jeans
They're jumpin' at the Garden for the New York Knicks
The Islanders and Rangers go their hockey sticks
The Bombers in the Bronx and the Mets at Shea
The Giants and Jets are up and ready to play

The Staten Island Ferry's rockin' all night long
From Soho to Harlem hear 'em singing along
The boys are steppin' out down on Christopher Street
In Bed-Stuy they're rockin' to a new jack beat
Well give our regards to ol' Broadway
'Cause New York is rockin' and it's here to stay

Written by C. Stigers and W. Nile


Well before he came back home to jazz back in 1994, Curtis Stigers recorded "New York is Rickin'." Apparently he knows Gotham well. He is singing the praises of the unsung while droppiong names.

Experiencing New York is all about those people who are the support and energy behind much of what goes on. For the moment two good people come to mind: Christina Gan and Rita Lisko, both of whom are part and parcel of the nerwork that has evolved around Daytime Television. They are two people that keep benefits and fundraisers on the front burner.



Mr. Stigers has a new collection of songs already released in the United Kingdom and soon to be released on this side of the Atlantic. Go to his site to get a taste of Curtis singing Dylan's "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight."

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Saturday Beefcake: Stuffing Tomatoes and such


How boring would the world be, especially the culinary world, without tomatoes. The juiciest aren't necessarily the best -- in fact, to utilize a tomato at its best one needs to get the excess out of there. Cut off the top and turn it upside down and squeeze it to do so. The meaty tomatoes are the best: firm and ripe, important qualities in so many aspects of life.




Here in honour of firm, ripe tomatoes are two recipes, one of which from a mighty fine tomato in his own right, Mr. Dave Lieberman.

The first is a Sicilian recipe and there's a lot to say about Sicilians and their firmness and ripeness.

Pomidoro alla Siciliana

Tomatoes, one kilo
Sea Salt
Virgin Olive Oil
Onions, finely chopped about a quarter cup
Garlic, finley chopped two cloves
Bread crumbs from two slices of Italian or French bread
Anchovy filets, four, rinsed, dried and finely chopped
Tuna Fish, in olive oil about 250 grams chopped
Basil, about three tablespoons, chopped
Capers, washed and dried, about two tablespoons
Olives, six finely chopped
Chopped parsley for garnish
Oven, preheated to 375F

1. Cut the tops (about a quarter inch) off of the meatiest tomatoes you can find and scoop them out leaving them hollow.
2. Salt the insides and turn them upside down over paper towels to drain them.
3. In large skillet heat the onions and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are translucent.
4. Stir in the bread crumbs, anchovy and tuna, stirring consistently for about two minutes.
5. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the basil, capers and olives. Make sure it isn't too dry. If necessary add a bit more olive oil.
6. Spoon the stuffing into the tomato shells.
7. Arrange the tomatoes in a shallow baking dish and bake them for about thirty minutes until they are tender and not limp.

May be served hot or cold.






Dave's tomato recipe is simpler and adaptable to more than one type of repast -- versatility is of the utmost importance in cooking and in life in general.

Oven Roasted Plum Tomatoes



Plum Tomatoes, 500 grams, ripe and firm
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Thyme, fresh sprigs
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea Salt
Oven, pre-heated 400F

1. Cut off the top and bottom tips of the tomatoes.
2. Cut them in half lenghtwise.
3. Toss the halves in a bowl with the oil and thyme sprigs with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Lay the tomatoes with the cut side up on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and pour any left over seasoned oil over them.
5. Roast for about 25 minutes and cool them to room temperature. Gently pinch off the shriveled skins.


And to remind everyone of the importance of ripeness and firmness the newsstand has once again been raided. This time Lean Magazine and the The Best of Men's Workout help to make the point.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Thomas Dekker: Me thinks they protest too much



If Thomas Dekker's management is all fired up about the public perceiving their client as gay -- the reason they had the writers change the sexual orientation of his character on Heroes according to Televisionista and AfterElton-- perhaps they should do something about suppressing these pictures on IMDB. The phrases "Gay As the Yellow Brick Road" and "As Gay As A Picnic Basket" come to mind. "Not that there's anything wrong with that."



Okay, stolen from the excellent Web Log, Televisionista:

Bryan Fuller, an openly gay writer on NBC's hit series Heroes has spoken about the show to popgurls.com and finally confirmed what we had suspected since the Thomas Dekker incident occurred last year in December - NBC was forced to convert the actor's character into a heterosexual by his management.

Dekker who is repped by TalentWorks and Untitled Entertainment was playing Zach, a gay character on the show, who was a friend of Claire, Hayden Panettiere's invincible cheerleader.

Fuller said to the website that after the series creator Tim Kring decided to come up with the so-called "Benetton-style" cast representing different people and cultures of the world, a decision was made to conceive a gay character as well.

Both men believed Zach was an excellent choice to introduce a gay character on the show and they had written for him since the beginning keeping that in mind. He was supposed to help Claire come out about her abilities and embrace herself the way she was; a clever metaphor.

As soon as the actor obtained the script for an episode in which Zach strongly implied to his best friend he was not interested in girls, the manager was quick to nix the coming out line. Fuller reveals:

"The actor's manager threatened to pull him from the show because he was up for the John Carter role in The Sarah Connor Chronicles and she didn't want him playing a gay character because it might affect FOX's interest in hiring him. It got really ugly."

"I was very upset by it – I was not happy about it at all. There were times I had to avoid talking about it because we didn't want to have a negative reflection on the show. The show's been such a positive experience for so many people, we didn't want to get hung up on the fact that one actor's management felt that it was a career killer for him to play a homosexual which, as a gay man, I found incredibly insulting."

"We had episodes planned for him to be in, and she pulled him from the show altogether. So that's why he sort of disappeared."

Kring tried to downplay the controversy by releasing the following statement in December: ""We apologize for misleading the audience and wish that we could have handled things better on our end. But making a TV show is often a very imprecise business. As you stated, Heroes is a big sprawling drama, and there is no reason to believe that a gay character will not be represented on our show in the future. It is my hope that if we do, we do it with honesty and dignity."


What a concept! -- "honesty and dignity."


Wait, one more for the road:

Thursday, April 26, 2007

That's the Ticket: Gore/DeNiro



“People talk about Al Gore being a presidential candidate a lot more serious than they joke about me. This guy could be a presidential candidate. He certainly has experience. I’ve always been in favor of the public having more choice. I hope Al Gore enters the
race; I think it would be good for the country.”
-- Michael Bloomberg, Republican (allegedly) Mayor of New York

Anyway, here are the Gores and the DeNiros at the Tribeca Film Festival. It is hoped that Bobby makes him an offer he can't refuse, if Michael Bloomberg hasn't done so already.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Not Quite an Anniversary



Two years ago [almost] in the month of June, this Web Log, as an adjunct to the web site "Column of Life" (www.cloumn-of-life.com), was initiated, if nothing else, as a way to make sure that there was a daily message, i.e. that there was something new added every day without having to give grief to Pookie, our webmaster.

In reflection, without contemplating the so-called navel,so to speak, a lot has been posted -- the best foot has put forward. It is hoped that y'all have had a good time or two. This is what we said two years ago when we started this:




Me? I believe I’m a caterpillar buried deep down under the ground. The entire earth is above me, crushing me and I begin to bore through the soil, making a passage to the surface so that I can penetrate the crust and issue into the light. It’s hard work boring through the entire earth, but I am able to be patient because I have a strong premonition that as soon as I do issue into the light I shall become a butterfly.


-- Nikos Kazantzakis


Stick around, we'll try to do even better.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Tuesday De-Briefing: Mark Valley




He was quite keen as Eddie and his wonderfully dark turn on Pasadena was riveting. He brightened an angle or two on ER and Once and Again. All of the above came and went much too briefly. Boston Legal put him front and center often enough and Rupert Everett got to have him as a boyfriend in an otherwise uneventful movie with Madonna. Well, he's off on another television adventure and it is fervently hoped that it won't be a quick trip. Business Class is in pre-production with a producing team that has The O.C. and The Bourne Identity in its pedigree.

OK, you guys, the favourite men around here are preferred de-briefed. Bring it on. The world is ready for a de-briefed Mark Valley.



Besides anyone who is a fan of Jon Stewart's needs a lot of exposure.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Cooking with Jason Gedrick




Felicity Huffmann has all the luck on Desperate Housewives. She gets to have two grand leading men. First she gets to play Lynette Scavo to Doug Savant's Tom Scavo and then she gets to flirt with Jason Gedrick's Rick Colletti -- well, the viewers are being teased with the idea that there will be more between them. Well, perhaps it would be more interesting if Tom got to experience what Savant's gay character, Matt, on Melrose Place never got around to doing, i.e. enjoying a fine man. Why should Lynette have all the fun? Well, that's not likely to happen -- still, it's an interesting vision in the mind's eye.

There has been noticeable improvement in the last two episodes, perhaps because there is a less hurried aspect to the show in wrapping up the plots and subplots. Jason's is a welcomed character -- the man sure can cook, although at least one of the dishes he mentioned last night -- Pasta alla Carbonara -- is not one that can be brought in from home and served like that. La Carbonara is best as a piatto expresso. Anyway, here are two of the dishes he prepared.




Risotto Verde

Ingredients:

Garlic, 5 cloves chopped
Spinach, 250 grams chiffonade
Escarole, 250 grams chiffonade
Onion chopped
Virigin Olive Oil. two tablespoons
Arborio Rice two cups
Stock, four cups simmering
Basil, chiffonade about one quarter cup
Parsley, chopped one quarter cup
Thyme, chopped two tablespoons
Butter, unsalted one tablespoon
Pecorino Romano, one quarter cup

Method:
1. Spray a large skillet well with cooking spray and heat on medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté 3 minutes; add spinach and escarole and sauté until wilted; set aside.
2. In large saucepan, sauté onion in 2 tbsp olive oil until translucent but without color. Add rice and sauté for 3 minutes more, making sure rice does not brown. Add wine, stirring constantly until entirely absorbed. Add stock, 1/2 cup at a time until absorbed, before adding next addition. 3. After fourth addition of stock is added, begin tasting rice. Rice should be al dente when done. You need to keep tasting rice, because, depending on rice, you may or may not have to use all of the stock. When fourth addition of stock is absorbed, add the spinach and escarole to risotto.
4. When last addition of stock is added, add basil, parsley and thyme, and cook until stock is absorbed. When last addition of stock is absorbed, remove from heat; stir in butter and Romano. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Note: A pretty presentation would be to reserve some basil, parsley and thyme sprigs, and arrange them on the serving platter. Also you could arrange some spinach and escarole leaves on the bottom of the platter and place risotto on top and at the very top for some colour add chopped tomato and/or red bell pepper.

Pasta alla Carbonara

Dry White wine
Pancetta, thick slices diced into quarter inch cubes
Sea Salt
Spaghetti or Bucati, 500 grams
Egg Yolks, two
Eggs, two whole
Pecorino Romano, about a cup
Black Pepper, freshly ground to taste


1. While the pasta cooks in well salted water, put the pancetta in a large skillet and saute it in some white wine until the wine evaporates.
2. The egg yolks and the eggs should be well beaten with half the cheese.
3. When the pasta is almost cooked toss it in the same skillet as the bacon with the eggs and cheese until the heat from the pasta cooks the eggs.
4. Cook all of it over low heat for a minute until the pasta reaches al dente texture.
5. When it is served and it should be served immediately use the remaining cheese for extra topping and grind some fresh pepper over it.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Song of the Week: Flesh and Blood


Ilene Kristen's "Flesh and Blood"


The ways of the world we don't understand
Everywhere leads us to why
Hold on to the earth with your own two hands
And never say goodbye





Following Ilene's participation in POZ magazine's AIDS Walk fundraiser at Prohibition last May, a staff member remarked that she is a "force of nature." Coining a phrase from Brokeback Mountain's advertising campaign nothwithstanding, it is an accurate although hyberpolic description of a woman whose heart is unique and universal at one and the same time.

One gets the sense that she's an old soul that will go on forever holding on to the earth with her own two hands. Her performances -- last year at Prohibition and subsequent gigs at The Triad -- showed all who were there that she is indeed worthy of all that.

This week she brings her acting talent to the Upper West End speaking out on war:

Flashback is a theatrical event that gives a voice to six woman who survived a war that their husbands did not. In their own words, these remarkable figures reflect upon the loss of their loved ones and the multi-generational fallout of war

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Saturday Beefcake: From Young and Hungry Dave


Glazed Chicken

Chickens, two cut into pieces
Apricot Preserves, 12 ounce jar
White Vinegar, one tablespoon
Dried Plums, 12-15 pitted medium sized
Sea Salt, a few pinches
Ground Black Pepper, 20 grinds
Garlic, 10 peeled cloves
Sage, 20-30 leaves
Oven, 400F

1. Trim any fat from the chicken and place in large roasting pan.
2. Mix the preserves and the vinegar and spread all over the chicken.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss all of it until the chicken pieces are thoroughly covered.
4. Rearrange the chicken in the pan with the skin side up, pacing them evenly apart.
5. Roast until the tops of the chicken are browned. 35-40 minutes.



Once again it is appropriate to thank DNA magazine for the side dishes accompnaying the recipe, which is once again from Dave Lieberman's Young and Hungry. There is no need to take the logical progression from the title of Dave's book in order to acknowledge what it is that is done here on a weekly basis.



Dave's recipes tend to be rather straightforward utilizing techniques that befit a fine young man such as he and this feature is about fine young men if nothing else.



Some recipes are simply sex on a stick.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Aiden Turner and the Good Guys

It's been posted here before that New York's Prohibition at 84th & Columbus is the home of the good guys. Often it seems like a rather safe place to be when the world manifests its worst. There are a number of ways there to enhance the good experience. Besides and in addition to enjoying the company of the good people that work there, there are the Vegetarian Dumplings or the Goat Cheese Ravioli in Marsala Sauce or the exceptional Tuna Tacos. Comfort.

One of the good guys who go there is Mr. Aiden Turner it's been said and he is the latest addition to "Love Out Loud" POZ magazine's fundraiser and meet 'n' greet for AIDS Walk New York.

As if being well traveled, well educated and well versed in the culinary arts weren’t enough, Aiden Turner is also blessed with divine physical attributes. All My Children itself has been blessed with his character Aidan Devane for the last five years. The native of Hertfordshire, England has a well deserved loyal fan following and they’ve watched him with his lucky leading ladies Eva La Rue, Alicia Minshew, Connie Fletcher and Kelli Giddish – a recipe for fantasy in the afternoon. Those who know him say that his natural shyness soon evolves into charm and a unique sense of humour. POZ magazine’s fundraiser will be charmed to be sure by his presence.

For more info visit the site. Also visit Aiden's official site.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Scott



From his glory days in South Beach

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Tuesday De-Briefing: John Driscoll


He was quite memorable in his gay turn on The Book of Daniel playing opposite favourite and All My Children alumnus Christian Campbell. Guiding Light has picked up the slack and given John Driscoll some time over the air waves. His Anglican good looks were put to good use on both shows -- but there need be more, which was what the de-briefing feature in this Web Log is all about: encouraging the powers that be to let us see more.







It's lauded here that he had no compunction in guest starring in Daniel, a show which was much too brief and seemed to be earnest in its production values and in what it had to say. It was almost a Prime Time version of All My Children with three cast members having passed through its hallowed studios.














Do not let that digression distract the powers that be -- let's see much more of John Driscoll. Ya know what we mean.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Love in the Afternoon


"We believe that the Lover [in the archetypal sense] by whatever name is the primal energy pattern of what we could call vividness, aliveness, and passion. It lives through the great primal hungers of our species for sex, food, well-being, reproduction, creative adaptation to life's hardships, and ultimately a sense of meaning, without which human beings cannot go on with their lives. The Lover's drive is to satisfy those hungers."


Some may call him Zach.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Song of the Week: The Wisdom of Time



"The Wisdom Of Time"
(W. Robinson, P. Moffett, C. Burston)

Baby crawls before he walks
He coos and mumbles before he talks
As the world turns we live and learn with the wisdom of time
As the world turns we live and learn with the wisdom of time

Growing up through years of wonder
While some grow older and some go under
Life seems a strain
But it stands to gain with the wisdom of the time

Yesterday we've been separated
Today our thoughts should be integrated
Divided we'll fall or together stand tall with the wisdom of time
Yeah, Divided we'll fall or together stand tall with the wisdom of time

Time the healer of wounds
The sealer of fate
With the greatest power to educate
Through your wisdom teach us not into hate
Before it's not too late

Narrow minds keep us locked up tight, but
Broader minds are the key to what's right
So let's keep hopin'
For minds to get open with the wisdom of time

Baby crawls before he walks
He coos and mumbles before he talks

As the world turns we live and learn with the wisdom of time
As the world turns we live and learn with the wisdom of time

Once again these pages are graced with the Supremes' (Jean, Cindy and Mary) "The Wisdom of Time." It seems appropriate for many reasons. This time it is accompanied by wisdom articulated about three decades ago by someone named Peter Marin.

"... all men, not only the great, have in some measure the capacity to experience in themselves what is happening in the culture around them. I am talking here about what is really shared among the members of a particular culture is a condition, a kind of internal landscape, the psychic shape that a particular time and place assumes within a man as the extent and limit of his perceptions, dreams, and pleasure and pain.

... it means that adolescents are not in their untutored state cut off from culture nor outside it. It means instead that each adolescent is an arena in which the contradiction and currents sweeping through the culture must somehow be resolved, must be resolved by the person himself, and that those individual resolutions are, ideally, the means by which the culture advances itself."

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Saturday Beefcake: A Salmon Aphrodisiac

Salmon with Ginger Salsa

(Agapita Beninati)

Mangos, 2 diced
Tomato, 1 large diced
Scallions, 4 chopped
Cilantro, 2 teaspoons chopped
Ginger, fresh, two teaspoons finely minced
Lemon or Lime Juice, from one lemon or two limes
Salmon Steaks, four about six ounces each
Vegetable oil spray

1. Mix the first six ingredients to make a salsa
2. Heat up the grill and spray it with the vegetable spray
3. Sprinkle the salmon with the juice.
4. Grill the salmon on each side for 5/6 minutes
5. Remove and top with the salsa.


The aroma of ginger is often used in love spells and potions because of its power as an aphrodisiac. Using it in cooking with the right kind of motivation can bring about the same effects. Its taste and power to enhance a repast is also a good reason to use it.


















It's all about the spice of life. Sensuality and love is just that. With all of that in mind not only do you find here three young men who just might be the object of the affections of some folks, but a spicy recipe that is also good for you, low in sodium, high in omega 3 fatty acids and a good source of vitamin C. It comes from a retired health care worker. It's good for four people or two very aroused young men.