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Monday, July 31, 2006

Not Cursing the Darkness

Sometimes good things just happen when least expected. Today this came to the POZ website about something special that is happening in a genre where the special character driven stories are few and far between:

As you know, there is a lack of HIV positive characters out in daytime or primetime tv (or in the movies), so the responsible portrayal of one is fantastic. As was mentioned in your magazine in January this year, Kimberly McCullough has returned to General Hospital to breathe life back into the soap. General Hospital has written a compelling and unique storyline for her HIV+ character Robin Scorpio, who is starting a relationship with a love interest, Patrick Drake (Jason Thompson). Just recently, Patrick was exposed via a cut in surgery to an end stage AIDS patient. The show highlights her [Robin's] drug regimen, the protection they take in their sex life, her insecurities in having the disease, his fears of commitment and loss, his and her health scares, and potentially down the road, a safe pregnancy for an HIV positive woman. I believe General Hospital is writing a responsible and educational storyline about HIV and AIDS. I think it deserves much more promotion then they are receiving. I think it would be wonderful if your magazine brought more visibility to this very important storyline, the actors and the writers are putting their hearts and souls into doing this right. In respect to who we are, we are a fast growing fanbase (5600+ members) to support these 2 actors, educate viewers on HIV/AIDS, fundraise ($2000 and growing so far for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation) and push for visibility of the storyline-all to help make a difference. What's even more special, these 2 actors are incredibly humble and genuine. You must watch the July 27th episode to understand, they're fantastic! Thank you for your consideration and we hope to see a inspirational magazine such as POZ light the torch on this story for everyone to see." [This came from SCRUBS, the Patrick & Robin Message Board.]

Well, as it turns out shortly after this email arrived three members of POZ's editorial staff were able to interview the two protagonists of this story, which may very well be Daytime Drama's most viable and "grown up" development. Many thanks to McCullough & Thompson: a candle lit instead of cursing the darkness.

Look for the results very soon on the POZ website.(www.poz.com)

First Things First

Sometimes it happens that blessings are right there when least expected even on an Upper West Side street in the early Summer and then twice on the same day. That's how easy it was to befriend Ilene Kristen. That's how easy it was to open a door to what would become something special.

When Ilene is friend to you, the very least to be expected is refreshing honesty and straightforward creative expression. One can only bless her for being there. And she is there when you need her.

So let those who can keep her before our eyes so that creative expression can be further shared and achieved.

Happy Birthday, Starshine!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The One Who Really Loves You: Song of the Week

Some other girls are fillin' your head with jive
So now you're acting like you don't know that I'm alive
Love, you better wake up, yeah, before we break up
And you lose me, little me
The one who really loves you

Susie only wants you until the day
That she'll again have her true love who's far, far away
So love, you better wake up, yeah, before we break up
And you lose me, little me
The one who really loves you
Ginny only wants you 'cause she thinks she has to have ev'ryone
Minnie only wants you 'cause she thinks that hurting me would be fun
Oh, oh, oh, silly Lilly, ya know she doesn't really want you with a love that's true

In fact there's no other girl in this whole wide world
who can love you like I do

They get tired of you and they're gonna put you down
Then they ain't gonna want you hangin' around
So love, you better wake up, yeah, before we break up
And you lose me, little me
The one who really loves you

(written by Smokey Robinson)

Motown started hitting its stride in the early 60s before the Supremes became their centerpiece. It was always about the music and it was always about those emotions that sprouted in an urban adolescence. Turns out the music is universal and seems to have the life span of classics. In 1962 all that was important was the sound and its ability to provoke spontaneous movement. Mary Wells with Smokey Robinson writing and producing for her had a great year. There was a dance that for all intents and purposes was a cha-cha in the Delaware Valley. It evolved into something called the "jive cha-cha" with the rhythm based on the Afro-Cuban kernel of pop R'n'B in the 60s. It was a liberating movement that can be felt in songs like "The One Who Really Loves You," and "You Beat Me to the Punch" -- two of Mary's big hits that year.

Rosalinde Block performs the song as part of the Party at Prohibition and is, therefore, once again the catalyst for musical beatitude here in the Column of Life. Thanks, Rozie Jane.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Saturday Beefcake

If there is a drawback to growing up with an Italian heritage, it would be hard to find. The language is beautiful and one of the oldest in the world. Italians are the original Latins; after all Roma and Latium is the cradle of the language that influenced Western Europe and eventually much of the New World.

Being identified with pasta is not too shabby of a stereotype. One would be hard pressed to come up with a better instant anti-depressant. It was with great pleasure to witness the pasta craze of the 80s and Elisa Celli's ensuing book with an exceptionally sane reducing diet, The Pasta Diet. Its concept is universal: a sensible and enjoyable diet is the trick to good living.

Elsewhere in this very useful and unfortunately out of print book, La Celli speaks of the nutritional virtues of pasta and, consequently, pasta salad and with pasta as the symbol of parental nutrition, it can only be good news. Pasta salad, nonetheless, is best in warm weather.

Celli tells us, as would any bona fide pasta aficionado, "that the best pasta contains the greatest amount of durum wheat (grano duro). This is the healthiest, lightest pasta you can eat, with firm texture and delicate flavour. The refined inner kernels of hard, durum wheat, ground into a semifine flour, produce the semolina which, mixed with water, becomes the dough that can be made into an incredible variety of dried pasta shapes ... "

The many varieties come from the five basic colours she speaks of in her book: "the regular cream; a light brown variety made with whole wheat flour; yellow ...; green made with spinach; and ... red, made with tomato." [or beets]

Not to be ignored is black pasta made with ink from squid and great with seafood. Both major exporters of quality pasta, Barilla and DeCecco have produced quality whole grain varieties which seem to be catching on somewhat and truly live up to the reputation of its manufacturers.

Celli refers to pasta salad an "all-in-one meal" and instructs, again as any pasta aficionado would, to cook the pasta al dente, which literally means to the tooth which means that the texutre of the pasta should be a bit chewy as opposed to soft. By the way, do not put oil in the water as many Americans do, to keep it from sticking; frequent stirring keeps it from sticking. Putting oil in the water only keeps the pasta from absorbing the "sauce" or flaovurs from the other ingredients. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and immediately rinse it with cold water and then transfer it to a large bowl where it can be tossed with olive oil.

She makes sure that we know what may seem obvious that pasta salad lends itself to every setting. They are perfect for brunches as any dyed in the wool San Francisco or Manhattan denizen may tell you.

From another source with some additions from CoL:

• Fruit: Try adding melons, grapes, apples [granny smith is the best] to add a tang, crunch and a touch of colour. [Dried fruit is great. As in Thursday's recipe, apricots, but also currants and sultanas. A great addition is dried cranberries.]
• Vegetables: You can add uncooked or steamed veggies. Try grilling your favourite vegetables first for added smoky flavour.
• Nuts: Almost any nut will taste great with pasta. Try caramelizing them first for a sweet addition. [Pine Nuts and Almonds are the best]

Well it seems that Mike Betts and Rick Wolfmier, those Olympians of 1980 Colt, are something of which one can't seem to get enough much like pasta, so, once again their images grace Saturday Beefcake with one of Elisa Celli's pasta salad recipes. Their strong yet graceful presence could only enhance a pasta experience which seems to be pretty much the same on another level.

Pasta Salad Athena

500 grams cut Ziti
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
200 grams sliced black olives
100 grams diced onions
200 grams diced tomatoes
200 grams Arugula, broken into small pieces
One Large diced red or yellow bell pepper (roasted, if you like)
Basil, parsley and fresh oregano, chopped together
Crumbled cheese feta, goat or ricotta salata

1. When draining the cooked pasta, rinse with cold water and then rinse again.
2. Toss the pasta with two tablespoons of the oil and then add all remaining ingredients, except the cheese and toss again.
3. Disperse the cheese on top when serving.

This is for four people or for two guys like Rick and Mike on a cool Summer evening. Of course, CoL always adjusts a recipe with subjective changes to enhance the experience and to make it our own.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Lauren Velez

There are more than a few good things about I Think I Do. The presence of Lauren Velez in the cast is definitely one of them. LOGO is currently broadcasting Brian Sloan's film and it's a great reminder that Lauren can stand out in an ensemble and never more so as part of the cast of OZ as Dr Gloria Nathan. There is a tendency to focus on the prisoners of OZ, who were by and large bigger than life characters. The main female characters were no slouches either given that they were played by the likes of two powerful hispanic actresses. Lauren also has every right to be proud of her role in I Like It Like That.

Many adjectives that would be used to describe her on a personal level would be mere understatements but warm, passionate and articulate will have to do. It is a unique pleasure to be in her company. She's been doing some episodic television and will be starring in Serial later on this year.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Lazy Summer Evenings

There was a time when cold pasta was anathema in Italian culture on either side of the Atlantic. In the Western Hemisphere there was macaroni salad that inhabited Delicatessen coolers but that was hardly what has now become part of creative cuisine here and there. Pasta salad soon not only entered the main stream, it became de rigueur in many summertime meals.

Attitudes change. People grow. Cultures evolve.

Hot Summer evenings in decades past were uneventful with stagnant air in and out of doors. Soon electric fans came along. Then air conditioning migrated from pharmacies and cinemas into homes where, often, naked men made love to each other. So many things that were not acceptable made their way into everyday life.

What follows is a pasta salad to satisfy the coolest of men following a highly evolved cool Summer's evening entertainment.

Pasta Colonna

500 grams fruit (seedless white grapes cut in halves and/or chopped dried apricots)
500 grams cooked pasta integrale (whole grain) penne or mini rigatoni
200 grams pitted ripe olives in halves (mild cerignole or calamata with more of a bite)
100 grams chopped green onions
200 grams crumpled gorgonzola piccante or ricotta salata (cheeses)
Salt and pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Parsley, minced
Gently toss ingredients. Cover. Refrigerate. Prepare two to three hours prior to serving.

This is the midweek appetizer road that leads to Saturday Beefcake.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Let's Hear It For the Good Guys

Okay, start with a great place like Prohibition owned by two of the friendliest guys on the Upper West Side, add a great staff with the young and fetching Tristan, the two beautiful Michelles plus a rocking band fronted by Rosalinde Block and Ilene Kristen who was celebrating her birthday early and you have the makings for a memorable SRO evening.

There were two events that could only enhance that experience. One was the relating of a kindness by Ilene Kristen to the dying friend of a friend that involved a trip across State lines and a visit to enliven the spirits of a long time fan. No surprise here. Ilene is simply one of the good guys. The other was the appearance of another good guy, Forbes March, who was there to express birthday wishes to his friend.

Those who know Forbes well will readily say that he has a big heart and is a genuine soul. Speaking to him about his family and his life experiences can only validate what is obviously true. On the external level there is a smile that will light up the darkest corner opening to the revelation of a winning personality.

As luck would have it, an editor from Soaps in Depth also in attendance, informed the talented Mr. March that he was to be the subject of the "Gold Star" feature in the magazine for his stand out performance as Nash on One Life to Live. There was much happy response to the performance on the stage in that evening but there was also silent applause for the acknowledgement of Forbes. It's always a great night when the good guys win. When the crowd sang, "Happy Birthday" to Ilene, it was Forbes who brought up her birthday treat with the lit candles bringing forth another luminous smile.

Oh and by the way Forbes does speak Italian as does his wife, Vanessa, who is from that homeland and expecting what promises to be their second beautful child. It's good news because it's what one ought to want for the good guys -- to make more good guys.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Rescue Me: Somehow Probie and Chris ...

... became a couple. Chris, it seems, at least accepts himself as gay and has ordered Mike out of the apartment. Coming attractions have Chris outing the Probie to his mates at the Firehouse. Is there no room in this world for a bi-sexual Probie? Yes, there has been much discussion about whether such creatures truly exist. Perhaps bi-sexual is really a euphemism for sexual confusion.

The confusion seems to come from Leary and Tolan trying to do too much all at once with their plots and moving them along too quickly. Chris & Probie would have a lot to deal with even if one of them weren't so confused. There seem to be some deleted scenes or Tolan/Leary have a lot of faith in their viewing audience to make the transition without accompanying scenes.

At least Paula, the one woman gay converter, wasn't around. You know, the girl last week who said she was capable of turning gay men. Someone responded by saying, "What does she think we are -- pancakes?" While Probie isn't a pancake, he described himself as someone who misses "pussy."

Both actors rose to the occasion during the break up scene with Lombardi especially looking forlorn as he walked away. Adams was appropriately angry over Probie not being a one guy guy. Mike reminded him that he went with a woman not another man.

Thank you, Tolan/Leary for the extremely attractive male couple. If only you knew how to write it. Aren't there any gay men in New York?

Monday, July 24, 2006

What's It All About, Burt?

What The World Needs Now Is Love, Sweet Love and a bit more Cher. Bacharach to the Future:

I want to salute Cher, who has all my respect and my love for not only what she has done, but the way she has done it. Her campaign for "Operation Helmet" - done quietly and putting the cause, not herself, out front - is great. She has chosen this issue of trying to eliminate any more of the head and brain injuries our military in Iraq sustains by explosive devices because their helmets aren't good enough to protect them. "Operation Helmet" is a non-profit public service organization that provides our troops with upgrade kits to make their helmets safer.

Go here to read more about what Burt has to say about Cher and the state of this weary world at HuffingtonPost.

Maybe she can't turn back time, but Cher can help turn back some of the unnecessary pain and suffering.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Song of the Week

Well, New York just wouldn’t be New York without Sister Ilene Kristen. It’s her birthday quite soon and she will be celebrating it on the Upper West Side at Prohibition. It can’t be said often enough: to know her is to love her and as our mini-tribute once again our song of the week is her “Flesh & Blood” which just may be considered her signature piece around here. It’s more than likely that much of the music on Monday at Prohibition will come from Rosalinde’s songbook, but Ilene’s participation will be noteworthy and exceptional as usual. Well, it’s her birthday, maybe Ilene will bless us with one of her creations.

Talk about heaven and angelic choirs!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The moose days of summer

Hi, it’s me again.

Early last evening I went looking for the other members of the blog and couldn’t find them anywhere. Bernice often escapes from her attendants so that wasn’t unusual, but for Giano and Brian both to be missing was really strange. Then I realized that if they weren’t around no one would have a blog entry for today. It was all going to be up to me.

You can’t fool this moose twice. I may not have been ready for the last time, but now I could prepare. So I spent last night gathering all my information, writing and rewriting, getting the wording just right. I searched the internet and found the greatest pictures. I didn’t get much sleep but when I was done it was perfect. A masterpiece if I do say so myself.

But this morning when I arrived to open the blog I found a note stuck to the front door.

Dear Pookie

You know we love you, but please don’t post your own work without letting one of us see it. We had complaints last time. You frightened both the children and the horses.

Look in the kitchen beside the cookie tin for today’s “Saturday Beefcake”. But don’t touch the cookies; they’re for tomorrow’s party.

B, G & B

Frightened! Let me tell you what’s frightening.

Bernice traipsing though the streets of New York wearing her yellow rubber gloves, constantly lifting her skirt over her head to keep herself cool.

Giano chasing after some flat-stomached, bubble-butted rent boy in the Village, serenading him with Dusty Springfield songs.

Brian . . . well, the poor old sod doesn’t have much of a life except for his pet bat, Vlad, so that speaks for itself.

Still, maybe I’m being too harsh. I am new; perhaps I don't understand the rules yet. And they did say they loved me. So I supp . . .

Hey! Wait a sec. What party?

Enjoy your Saturday Beefcake, people, because when I get my hands, erh, hooves on those jerks it’ll be time for Sunday Mincemeat.

Saturday Beefcake

Ah, the versatile eggplant, it can make friends with so many of its mates on the plates and in the oven or on top of the stove. It’s like a bad girl, it can go anywhere. But also something like a good girl in that it can take you to heaven, if not go there exactly. It can be manipulated and used in so many different ways in that it absorbs the flavours and textures of just about any spice that comes near.

Mediterranean culture is enamoured of the vegetable’s capability and just about every cuisine associated with the Sea has a standout recipe for it.

In some traditions it is sliced and peeled lengthwise into very thin pieces, salted liberally and then pressed for 20 minutes to a half hour to let it weep so that the bitterness is alleviated. That may good advice for some rapidly aging homosexuals as well, or it may be good advice for anyone who is experiencing the rapidly aging thing.

Anyway, once the eggplant is no longer bitter it should be wiped clean. The next step is to drench the slices in eggs beaten with a touch of milk and then dredged through either seasoned bread crumbs or seasoned flour – often with dried basil or parsley and some grated cheese and then sautéed in olive oil and garlic to delicate and ever so slightly crispy perfection.

It’s good right then and there, but may also be used in the heavenly eggplant parmigiana of which there are angelic choirs of versions. There are as many versions in the United States as there are descendants of and friends of Italian Americans.

The basic idea is to let the eggplant mingle with the above flavours as well as a marinara or a ragu along with cheese.

For the moment CoL will simply tantalize its dear readers with the idea of it, which is why there comes along a picture of the versatile and tantalizing Timothy Adams. Enjoy the heavenly thought of him as well as the thought of heavenly food. You can also, by the way, enjoy the heavenly new fansite we and ours have put together for him at www.timothyadams.net

Friday, July 21, 2006

Not all the Liars Are in Washington

Some are right here in New York, New York according to Yahoo News:

As many as 25,000 customers are without power in Queens and Mayor Michael Bloomberg estimated that translates to 100,000 people without power during some of the hottest days of the summer so far. On his weekly radio show, the mayor said he was "annoyed" by the inaccurate initial estimates from Con Edison because "we might have thrown more resources into the area."

"The sad thing is, this shouldn't have happened," Bloomberg said. "We don't know why, but the most important thing — make sure nobody dies or gets hurt and then help Con Ed to get it back up."

"And then we'll go and try to figure out why and point fingers and beat people over the head and all that sort of thing," added the mayor.
Con Edison said its revised number followed a block-by-block cable inspection in northwest Queens on Thursday night. It said previous estimates came from the number of customers who called to complain."

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

When the inmates are left in charge

With Bernice, our intrepid New York correspondent, stranded somewhere beyond the borders of Manhattan – let us hope that she isn't naked like another member of this blog because if she is, the power outage should be the least of New Yorkers' worries – it falls to me to lead the charge today. There are so many possibilities.

Should I add a recipe to the growing collection? Hmm, perhaps not since I doubt many people would be interested in my speciality - paté de Spam with pond growth garnish.

I know. An erudite discussion of some facet of gay culture. No, it's too hot for that and besides, that's what Brian *tries* to do.

How about a poem?

There once was a man from Nantucket
Who . . .

Now, how does that go? OK, guess not.

Why don't I tell you about my day at work. Then again, it's too early in the evening to put people to sleep.

I could always dip into the pool of naked men. No, wait, I don't think that came out the way I meant it.

However, since Bernice is so easily embarrassed by the mere thought of male nudity . . . No, that's not right. She said she was "easily aroused by". Anyway, it's probably not a good idea to risk arousing Bernice. Frankly it's not even a good idea to think about her being aroused. But then again, one can live dangerously on occasion

Well, I'll be damned. There really aren't that many possibilities after all. What's a gay moose to do? Why the hell didn't she give me a warning? I could have planned. I could have watched a movie – other than "Ass Pirates of the Caribbean" that is – and written a sparkling review. I could have come off as a winner. I could have been a champion. A Pulitzer. Top of the world, Ma.

Lord, its happened. I've crossed the line between sanity and the netherworld where Bernice's mind dwells. Nurse Betty, help me. I'm scared. Maybe the Duchess can pay for my treatments.

Wait. There is someone here with me. And I hear singing. A voice that's an odd mix of Marlene Dietrich and Kiri Te Kanawa. I didn't think that was possible, and yet that's what I hear. It's coming closer. I can't make out any of the words, other than "black."

OMIGOD. She's naked! She's naked!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Cool to be Square: Rizzo's Pizza

Anyone growing up in a bona fide Sicilian family on either side of the Atlantic can attest to the fact that what usually passes for Sicilian pizza has very little to do with what came out of their families’ ovens. The square pizza therein was delicate with a tomato sauce that tasted like love.

There are more than one commercially available credible Sicilian pizzas on the East Coast. Also Sicilians are not by any means the only purveyors of square pizza, but for now the nomenclature is theirs.

Astoria, Queens seems to be noted for its Greek American community more than the others there. It should be noted that the Italian American community there is in full force as evidenced by the recent jubilation over Italy’s World Cup victory, not to mention, it’s where Tony Bennett comes from.

It’s time to let the world in on a great place that is noteworthy for the righteous quality of its delicious, delicate square pizza: Rizzo’s Pizza. It’s not quite as spacious as Nick Scotti’s and Domenick Lombardozzi’s work space in Kiss Me, Guido but it is every bit as inviting. The tasty square has more cheese on it than one’s Sicilian grandmother might have put on it, still it reaches those heights. Go. Enjoy Rizzo's Pizza. On Steinway near 30th.

And, what the hell, here's a gratuitous photo
of Nick Scotti from 5 years ago.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Naked in New York

One of the beauties of Contemporary Gay Culture, or maybe post-modern homosexual culture is that there is an intellectual cum sensual approach to everyday life that allows a baby boomer to encapsulize the experience with photos from an Australian magazine along with a poem written during the Beat Era in San Francisco. There are worse things one could do than being naked in New York reading California poetry and looking at Australian photography (from Lewis Payton).

A Poem For the Old Man

God love you
Dana my lover
lost in the horde
on this Friday night
500 men are moving up
& down from the bath
room to the bar

Remove this desire
from the man I love.
Who has opened
the savagery
of the sea to me.
See to it that
his wants are filled
on California Street
Bestow on him
largesse that allows him
peace in his loins.
Leave him not
to the moths.

Make him out a lion
so that all who see him
hero worship his
thick chest as I did
moving my mouth
over his back bringing
our hearts to heights
I never hike over
Let blond hair
burn on the back of his
neck, let no ache
screw his face
up in pain, his soul
is so hooked.

Not heroin
Rather fix these
hundred men as his
lovers & lift him
with the enormous bale
of their desire.
Strip from him
hunger and the hungry
ones who eat in the night.
The needy & the new
found ones who would weigh him down.
Weight him w/pride and -
pushing the love I put
in his eyes.

Overflow the 500 with it
Strike them dumb,
on their knees, let them
bow down before it,
this dumb human
who has become
my beloved
who picked me up
at 18 & put love
so that my pockets
will never be empty,
cherished as they are
against the inside flesh
of his leg.

I occupy that space
as the boys around me
choke out desire and
drive us both back
home into the hands
of strangers.

(John Wieners 20 June 1958)

Thank you DNA for the photography.

Rescue Me

From TVGasm Recap:
"Probie makes the craziest suggestion of all, saying they should buy those new Halligans and saw that they were promised last year. You know something that would actually help their firefighting. He also wants some of the cash to redecorate the bunk room - nothing crazy just some new throw rugs and some sharp new linens - you know to really brighten up the place. He saw some great things on While You Were Out, the other night. "

Emphasizing once again that Siletti is the most redeemable of the bunch.

"The Probie is going to have to work late tonight to cover for the comatose Sean, so he calls his wife, the Lumberjack, to tell him he won't be home for dinner. The Lumberjack seems really pissed off that he's getting stood up and Probie, God bless him, innocently apologizes. You think it's just another, Lenny and Carl moment between the two of them and it's going to be funny like last week's "faggot fight." But you see, the Lumberjack isn't really upset, because there is another guy walking into the kitchen. Apparently, the strenuous confirmations of the Lumberjack's heterosexuality were all for naught as he embraces this other guy, who I immediately hate. Look, I don't care if the Probie is gay, straight, bi or asexual. The Lumberjack's betrayal is unacceptable. And you just know that Probie's heart is going to be broken, when he finds out. Damn you, Lumberjack! Damn you to hell!"

From Pookie:

"Despite the things you read about Mike Silletti being too stupid to be a fireman and that he is the bottom boy, figuratively, of the house, there is an overwhelming sense that you, the viewer or at least I, the viewer, want to protect him, want to see him happy. It may be because of those two factors, but it may also be that he has a child-like naiveté that surpasses those.

In Season 3, it appears it doesn’t take much to make him happy. Putting aside the blow jobs, the name-calling, the brawling, Chris makes him happy by simply letting him rest his head against his shoulder and by reciprocating by leaning his cheek against the top of his head. The small smile on Mike’s face says it all.

Sure, the relationship appears to have devolved into slapstick, but what remains to be seen is how Chris’s “betrayal” will play out. He can say that since Mike wasn’t interested in returning the blow job favour, “A man has needs.” But why then bother keeping up the façade, why continue in the not-so-fulfilling sexual relationship he has with Mike? Is there something more?

And that brings me back to Mike’s naiveté. Does he really think that Chris is content with the situation? Is he stupid or is he just accepting of what people tell him? Looking back at the past seasons, I think the latter is the answer, at least in this case. It makes me want to yell out a warning to him, much as they used to in silent movie theatres."

And related news:

'Rescue Me' Answers Bell for Fourth Season
FX orders 13 more episodes for 2007
July 12 2006

The cable network has picked up a fourth season of "Rescue Me," which has enjoyed improved ratings -- along with a healthy dose of controversy -- during its run this summer. The show will likely return in the spring of 2007.

"'Rescue Me' is a key part of one of FX's stated goals, which is to foster some of the best episodic series on television," FX President John Landgraf says. "[The cast and crew] have done an incredible job on season three and the audience and critics responded with continued loyalty and passion. We are enormously proud of this series and of Denis [Leary's] Emmy nomination for best actor."

'Rescue Me' Showcard
Through its first six airings this season, "Rescue Me" is drawing about 2.9 million viewers a week, a 10-percent improvement over its season two performance. Ratings among FX's target audience of adults 18-49 are up by 8 percent.

Leary and Peter Tolan, who co-created the series about New York firefighters, and Jim Serpico will remain as executive producers. The entire cast is set to return as well.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Live It Up: Song of the Week

“Give a butch roar or a girlish shriek, I don’t mind who does what, sort it out for yourselves!” – Dusty Springfield

Dusty was born an O'Brien into a Catholic family in 1939 London but there is a lot more to her than that. She was furnished with a lot of soul which came forth in many of her recordings. "Live It Up" was recorded in New York City in 1964 and written by Leon Huff, a stalwart of the music of Philly, who would eventually co-produce Dusty's second Atlantic album, A Brand New Me, as a precursor to the Philadelphia International Sound.

Dusty's 60s recordings, especially, were derivative of Classic RnB, but she had no intention of eclipsing it. Instead she celebrated it. Martha Reeves with whom she had a special relationship says as much in the BBC documentary Full Circle. In fact, "Live It Up" is reminiscent of the Vandellas' "Dancin' In the Street." Dusty's vocal is inspired and inspiring.

It's a song, much like "Dancin'," that can help take one away to a better state of mind in spite of the world and its woeful state. Give a listen. Be Happy for a bit.

Oh, and Speaking of the Mediterranean

"Having sex in Cyprus is the easiest thing to do,” says A, a 42-year-old man living in Nicosia. “If you’re so inclined, you could spend 24/7 just having sex with other men.”

Read the rest here

Rooting for Ryan Carnes: Eating Out

As Good As Gay

And, it is well known, Gay is Good. Genre magazine's recent cover story makes good on Ryan Carnes' recent forays into gay portrayal. It's good to root for Ryan. As any Aussie might tell you rooting and Ryan seem to go hand in hand. Thank you, YOuTube.

When Pookie was asked if this clip was too risque, he responded, "No, but you may want to put a warning with it. Although most visitors to your site are far from shockable"

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Saturday Beefcake

Rick Wolfmier returns in an image that is reminiscent of many a Greco-Roman god and brings to mind the Mediterranean Sea which can be spectacular this time of year. The Mediterranean, as every educated person knows, is the cradle of civilization from Asia Minor to Iberia to the shores of North Africa and Italy with the jewel of the Mediterranean, Sicily. The United States is neither the first, and for that matter, the only "melting pot" in the World. The Mediterranean isles have long been a cultural cocktail.

The beauty of New York in North America is that it is a monument to cultural diversity housing not only all those cultures that have originated in the Mediterranean but many others. Very close to CoL's favourite night spot is another bright spot with a friendly staff, tasteful decor and delicious Mediterranean cuisine by the name of Zeytin at 85th and Columbus. Check out their menu at www.zeytinny.com.

Anissa Helou wrote a book on Mediterranean Street Food and therein is a recipe for what she refers to as a "tourist attraction" in Turkey, Saj Borek. Zeytin has Borek on the brunch menu, a cheese version of what follows. Nowadays everything is in season just about always, but we want to include this Spinach version because it is Summer ('A Stagiunn' in Sicilian) and Mr. Wolfmier has certainly struck what may be considered a seasonal pose. While he has supplied more than enough heat for the Saturday feature, an apology is in order for supplying a summer recipe that requires standing in front of the stove. The thought of feeding a magnificent creature like the one above will help you to stand the heat, there's no doubt -- someone who could attract more than tourists.

"The traditional dough for Saj Borek is made with different flours, strong bread flour, all-purpose and whole wheat. Mixing the flours makes a superior dough, but using just unbleached all-purpose flour ... may not be perfect, but it is good all the same."

Sac Boregi
(Saj Borek with Spinach & Cheese)

All-purpose Unbleached Flour (about a cup for the dough per se) or equal parts of the aforementioned mixture
Salt (teaspoon)

Crumbled Feta Cheese (CoL's variation: crumbled goat cheese with chopped sun-dried tomatoes)
Flat Leaf Parsley (chopped, about 2 tablespoons)
Spinach (500 grams or so, finely shredded)

Unsalted butter for the finishing touch

1. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, add salt and about 1/3 cup of water. Knead for about 5 minutes until smooth and firm. Divide into four pieces, roll them into a ball, cover with a damp cloth and let rest for a half hour
2. Mix the cheese with the parsley for the filling.
3. Flour a work surface. Roll out a ball of dough to a very thin 12 inch diameter, flouring all the time.
4. Sprinkle 1/4 of the Spinach mixture over half the dough followed by 1/4 of the cheese mixture, fold the empty side of the dough over the filled side and make it into a half circle, much like an Italian agnolotto.
4. Heat a pan over medium heat lightly seasoned with olive oil. Place the half circle in the pan, cooking on each side until lightly crisp and golden all over.
5. Transfer to a plate and brush with the butter.

This is, of course, an appetizer. The main course is stuff of the gods.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Alec Musser

It's no secret that at least one of our correspondents made the acquaintance of this young man at an appropriate time on the streets of the Naked City. He belongs here and if, the powers that be use their powers for good, Alec, some day soon, should be on the road to his true goal. Thank you, Soap Opera Digest, for pointing him out one more time. Hanging out with his on screen nephew can't be a bad thing. Both of them are not only physical perfection but also no slouches in the acting department. Chances are their fans won't be let down.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Don't Worry, Baby

Last evening's beach boys are back. They seem to be quite popular and it's best not to laden them with too many words. Just enjoy.

Scott Cunningham in his Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs talks about tomatoes, although some argument can be made that tomatoes are not precisely herbs, the explanation of their powers seem particularly appropriate right now:

"When a tomato is placed on the windowsill ... it repels evil ... in the garden [the plants] are protecitve, since the yellow flowers and bright red fruits scare off evil. The tomato, when eaten, has the power of inspiring love." Any Italian knows That's Amore!

Our friends through the last two days seem to be the juiciest tomatoes of them all: capable of being protective as well as inspiring love.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

It's Only Wednesday ..

... But love goes where our rosemary goes, therefore, we're giving you a recipe and some male flesh anyway. It is the day dedicated to Hermes, Mercury, Woden and it's all about communication. The men here seem to know something about communication. They are true sons of Hermes. Rosemary is that herb powerful enough to protect against bad times and certainly against something so simple as retrograde Mercury which now courses through the astrological sky.

Among its magical uses, beyond powerful protection, the departed gay wiccan, Scott Cunningham tells us this about rosemary:

"... it has long been used in love and lust incenses and other mixtures ... the powdered leaves wrapped in linen cloth and bound to the right arm dispel depression and make the emotions light and merry."

Looks like the gentlemen are somewhat light and merry. They are Mike Betts and Rick Wolfmier from a 1980 pictorial.

Those who know good food also know this useful herb. Here follows a warm weather treat.

Rosemary Orange Salad

Oranges, 4 navel, peeled and sectioned
Red Onion, small, thin slices
Rosemary, one spoonful, minced
Rosemary sprigs for garnish
Olives, pitted and sliced (cerignole and kalamatas)
salt, pepper
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar and/or Lemon Lime juice

1.Toss the ingredients and drizzle with the olive oil with some spritzes of the juice or the vinegar
2. Refrigerate for a couple of hours
3. Serve at room temperature garnished with the magic of fresh rosemary.
4. This is for two people after a day communicating at the beach and is based on a recipe from Mark Bittman

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

And The Word Was Made Flesh

The full moon of July 10-11 was at its peak at 03:03 GMT which meant that Prohibition's Block Party started at the Full Moon's peak around 21:00 EDT. The highest of all the musical points were Ilene Kristen's rendition of the Holland-Dozier-Holland classic "Heat Wave." Vandellas, eat your hearts out. The rendition was straight from heavenly sensual music central. And the word dwelt among us.

By the time The Word is Love was given forth by Rosalind and friends, Prohibition reached that level of heavenward joy that makes it unique among West Side locales.

All were welcomed into the Church of Rock, Roll and Be Yourself. Walt Willey from All My Children and John Paul Lavoisier were among the parishioners.

Look for more information in the future about Rosalinde Block's CD and how to get one. Murray "Magic Fingers" Weinstock was on hand to lend his hands. Check him out at www.dogtunes.com

Monday, July 10, 2006

A war that should never be

How many deaths are too many.

I don't often speak of this, but frankly the reason Canada is in Afghanistan, that NATO will be in Afghanistan, for years to come is because George Bush and his delusional pack of fools decided to leave the job half-done. Iraq needed to be freed, so leave the bulk of the work in Afghanistan to others and start another war. This one based on useless intelligence (if it can even be classified as such) and half-truths. I'm sure the Iraqis are enjoying their freedom. No, wait, that's not what has happened, is it? And despite the propaganda from the US administration and their allies, it's a real possibility that it will never come.

How many more years? How many more deaths? You might have been able to ask Cpl. Boneca for his opinion, but instead you'll have to let what he told others speak for him. The disgrace is that no one, from our mealy-mouthed Prime Minister down, seems to listen.

From CBC

Reservist was disillusioned with military, family says

A Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan was disillusioned with the military and considered pretending he was suicidal to get out, family and friends said on the weekend.

Cpl. Anthony Boneca, a 21-year-old reservist from the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment based in Thunder Bay, Ont., was killed Sunday morning as international and Afghan soldiers moved into a region west of Kandahar City.

William Babe said his nephew was disillusioned with the military and that Boneca planned to leave and go back to school this fall.

Boneca was on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan and serving with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. Babe said he was due home at the end of this month.

In recent phone calls, Babe said, Boneca sounded depressed.

"He said, 'Uncle Bill, it's not like it was on TV' and 'I would never do this again,'" Babe said.

"I don't think he believed totally in what he was doing because I think he saw things he didn't expect to see and didn't want to see and probably did things he didn't want to do."

Babe said his nephew's death is a horrible waste, and added that he would like to see Canada pull its forces out of Afghanistan.

Girlfriend's father says soldier talked with priest

The father of Boneca's girlfriend said Boneca wanted out of the military so badly that he even considered pretending to be suicidal, and asked an army priest if talk of suicide would get him discharged.

Larry DeCorte, whose 19-year-old daughter Megan was set to be engaged to Boneca, said the young soldier hated being in Afghanistan, and felt he had been misled by the military.

"All that went on and the treatment they were getting by the Canadian army and by the people over there, wasn't what he bargained for," DeCorte said. "They'd go out on tours … they'd be out for 22 days [with] not enough rations, not enough water.

"The people of Canada have to realize this kind of stuff, that they've been treated like that."

DeCorte also called on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to pull Canadian troops out of Afghanistan.

Tuc Watkins: Lest We Forget

It's more than likely that one of One Life to Live's brighter interpreters will be on his way. Before he does here's a tip o' the old hat in his direction from Soap Opera Weekly a couple of years back. (Click on article twice to read up close.)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Rosalinde Block Party

Keep in mind tomorrow evening that there are special people performing at a special locale on a special evening, because Rosalinde's CD will be available. Prohibition on these Monday soirees has become that place where creativity rules. Two lovely singers. Great songs. Exceptional musicians. Go. Enjoy.

Monday, July 10th 9PM. No Cover.

Forza Azzurri!

A moment of cultural chauvinsm is permitted now and then. Today with Blue on Blue should be great fun. Should Italia win, residents of the boroughs will gird their loins for the ensuing celebrations. Here's hoping that the thighs have it!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Song of the Week: Una Furtiva Lagrima

Una Furtiva Lagrima
Gaetano Donizetti (Lyrics byFelice Romani)

Una furtiva lagrima
Negli occhi suoi spuntò.
Quelle festose giovani
Invidiar sembrò.
Che più cercando io vo?
Che più cercando io vo?

M'ama. Sì, m'ama.
Lo vedo,
Lo vedo.

Un solo istante i palpiti
del suo bel cor sentir!
I miei sospir confondere
per poco a' suoi sospir!
I palpiti, i palpiti sentir!
Confondere i miei co' suoi sospir!

Cielo! si può morir,
di più non chiedo, non chiedo.
Cielo! si può, si può morir,
di più non chiedo, non chiedo.
Si può morir, Si può morir d'amor

English translation:

A furtive tear appeared in her eyes.
It seemed to envy those cheerful youths.
What more should I be looking for?
What more should I be looking for?

She loves me; yes, she loves me; I see it!
I see it!

For just one moment to sense
the beatiing of her beautiful heart!
To mingle my sighs just a little with her sighs.
The throbbing, to feel the beats of her heart!
To mingle my sighs with hers!

Heavens, I could die,
I ask for no more, for no more.
Heavens, I could, I could die,
I ask for no more, for no more.
I could die, I could die
of love!

After waxing on about Nemorino in our cooking segment, our new cultural correspondent, The Duchess (Archduchess Patrika of Canukowa) suggested that the Donizetti's aria be song of the week. It was decided to play Juan Diego Florez' version, who has an album of the same title. Mention should also be made of versions by Richard Leech and Roberto Alagna who had a memorable intrepretation of Nemorino at the Met.

The Duchess also made mention of a current production in Princeton, NJ: McCarter's Berlind Theatre, Princeton

Saturday, July 8, 2006 8pm - Ticket Holders: Please join us for a free lecture starting at 6:45PM at McCarter Theatre.
Friday, July 14, 2006 8pm
Sunday, July 16, 2006 2pm
Thursday, July 20, 2006 7:30pm

Tickets ($49 and $42) are available through the McCarter Theatre Ticket Office.

Ticket Office: (609) 258-2787


It is being updated and set in Small town America, in the 1950’s, much like the Sydney Opera House's production of La Boheme. That Duchess is a gem.