Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Royal National Park

What's the best thing to do when a blizzard's not bearing down? Summer! Had a most magnificent weekend away with friends that first included a trip through the Royal National Park just south of Sydney. Inside is a beach, Watamola (I can only remember this Aboriginal word because it sounds like Guatemala with no G), that's on the ocean but has a lagoon on one side with cliff-jumping rocks!

 A little picnic so perfect...
 Even a kookaburra came by.
Lagoon swim with Sophia.
Rock jumping was filmed multiple times, but this slo-mo suicide is the only time Simon's finger wasn't covering the lens.. 
video

Next stop - outreach surf lifesaving patrol down on a little beach called Coalcliff... life is good.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Fresh Fruits!

Arrrghhh, been a struggle to get into the new year. I might have overdone it at the totally amazing Tropical Fruits Festival up in rural Lismore, NSW, where Mardi Gras meets the State Fair! There were so many of our group camping together on the showgrounds it was almost a compound - with various glamping frills including luxurious blow up pools. 
It was a high concept party theme this year: Art Deco Dance. Jazz Age, but without the prohibition! Lots of Gatsby, flappers and after an agonising few months of deliberation, it was decided that we would go as an army of slutty Charlie Chaplins. Hats off to Denton for coming up with the costume. The worst part about it was having to be silent.
Me and Simon -
Okay, that didn't really happen.
Thanks for the selfie stick, Bam!
The Tramps!
All-night dancing, fireworks, costumes galore, queer cabaret, and ART...
A vintage lifesaver!

It's always a camp check-in with Steve and Jack.
Choreography! Presented by the radical faeries...
Innovative Art Deco statues...

Henry and Josh rented this amazing retro caravan, Lucille.
This thing showed up in our pool, thrashing, and nobody any paid attention!
DJ Kitty Glitter at the decks.
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

#JeSuisCharlie #Liberte #Solidarite

To be clear: If your god needs to be "avenged", your god is nothing but a pathetic baby and you its suckling slave. The assassination of 12 thinkers at the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, in Paris today is yet another outrageous attempt of radical Islam to dim the bulb of civilization. The only way to ensure there can be push back against barbarism is the unfettered freedom to question, criticize and, yes, lampoon your paranoid unscientific delusions. When are we going to be done saying religion is off limits? Nothing is sacred across all divides. Nothing, unfortunately, because we could all choose to sanctify, practice and worship love and kindness.
translation: "Love is stronger than hate." We shall see.
As to those suckling slaves, Salman Rushdie says it best. And he should know:

"Religion, a medieval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry, becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today. I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity. “Respect for religion” has become a code phrase meaning “fear of religion.” Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire and, yes, our fearless disrespect."


Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Xmas!

Happy Christmas! It's always an unconventional holiday down under... I spent it on Bondi Beach with my fellow surf lifesavers on patrol. 
Hope nobody is drowning in the background.
We got there at 6:30 am to set up decorations and breakfast.Welcome to patrol 13, Bam Bam!
The day started cloudy but it all lifted into a perfect summer day, with Bondi calm as a bathtub.


Which made for easy work.... ended up swimming the bay with a few of our crew. Absolutely stunning. And speaking of gorgeous, look at my godson Yonah!! This is from last weekend...



Young to old were in fine form this silly season. We recently hit up my local Legion Club for their holiday party which included entertainment, dinner and UNLIMITED booze, all for just $25. There was a full house of oldies, full band and full-on dancing... and these characters, let me tell you, they are unforgettable.

One old lady came in on a walker assisted by two nurse aides. The aides told me that "Sandy" was in her 90s and had come directly from the hospital. She had recently suffered a stroke, but she was not missing this party! Sandy may have come in a walker but we never saw it again. She was too busy waving her hands in the air on the dance floor.
Sandy, in purple, at left.
The nurses told me that I should refer to her as "sexy Sandy", so I went and chatted with sexy Sandy and discovered she had two horrible husbands, now deceased. When I said I hoped she had a terrific third husband, she replied, "I'm still waiting for him."

And then when the band took a break... who sat down at the piano and started riffing? Sandy.
Sandy at the keys, nurse aides standing by.
Show off!!
When the hour got late, too late for even the nurses who had by that time left the building? Sandy.

Who do I want to be when I grow up? SANDY.



 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hey, That's Swell!

Check out all these swimmers coming out of the water at the end of the annual Bondi to Bronte ocean swim. I chickened out on doing this one because I'd just done a triple ocean swim up in Curl Curl the day before. So instead I went down to the beach to watch the finishers navigate exiting from Bronte's notoriously gnarly surf.

Reminds me of the end of the Last Unicorn, when all those unicorns are released by evil King Harrod and they come spilling out of the sea.

But the unicorns caught a good wave, didn't they? The swimmers kept getting yanked back by the swell, or slammed into the surf, or sometimes both. Imagine swimming way out into the ocean a couple of kms and then, exhausted, contending with this.
video

Some of those water safety crew had to literally haul people back onto earth. Now I wish I had swum it. I never like to miss a chance to be graceless!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Humanity Held Hostage

Of all places in the world, peaceful and safe Sydney was the site of a saddening, maddening siege this week that left two innocent hostages dead. The people of Sydney have shown their true colors in the aftermath, making #illridewithyou go viral - to show  solidarity with Muslim Australians who feel shunned or bullied wearing their hijabs and burkas.


In addition to sorrow for Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson and their families, I am sorry for this peaceful, civilized people having to grapple with the fact that some immigrants will never assimilate to their peaceful and open-minded way of life. Liberal, welcoming Sweden is facing tough choices between their values and continuing to import those who will never share their values – for if they don't compromise now they might lose their whole society later. It is an unfortunate conversation, but it is a conversation that absolutely has to happen. 

At the same time, I feel for peace-loving Muslim asylum seekers being held in indefinite off-shore detention by the Australian government. This hostage-taking ISIS wannabe has surely put the last nail in the coffin of their hopes at resettlement in Australia.

 I long for the day that religious fanatacism will be treated for the mental illness that it is. Truly, it is the enemy of our species.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Paul Richmond Takes Two

Artist Paul Richmond is always up to something imaginative. I was honored to be featured in his male take on female pinups in his Cheesecake Boys series here, and I recently posed again for his War Paint series (take a look at the others on his website). He's already done the base coat of mine and shared these pics of the work in progress. So great. Later I'll be sure to post the originals I sent, and more about his series.... 



Monday, November 24, 2014

Gay Tanks!

Check out these super cute, super soft, fun and frisky GAY TANKS. I'm loving the Hush Poppers print (they're vitamins!) print, Tyrannosaurus Sex, the green camo... I want the whole collection! The new e-commerce clothing brand was begun just this summer by my friend Nikhail, who was a huge help on one of my films years ago, and I'm super excited for his latest venture.


Gay Tanks has already featured in pop up Pride boutiques, stocks at House of LaRue in P-Town and is of course available at the link above. The perfect holiday gift for that cheeky mister... or sister!











Thursday, November 20, 2014

At The Movies With Angelina!

I came third row close to that superstar, idol, inspiration and special envoy to the UNHCR, Angelina Jolie, at the world premiere of her directorial debut Unbroken. I could practically read the tattooed coordinates of her kids' birthplaces!
Here she is taking all kinds of selfies with fans outside for the better part of an hour. And she had a pen for autographs too, just in case anyone wanted to get old fashioned.
Brad Pitt came later and did the same thing. They were incredibly gracious and generous with their time, and it made you realize that you would never want to be that famous.  

Unbroken is the unbelievable true story of Olympic runner and WW2 vet Louis Zamperini. He became very close with Angelina during filming, she even said he was like a father (take that Jon Voight) and only died earlier this year, at the ripe old age of 97.

The film begins with his plane crashing into the ocean where he's stranded for 47 days and only goes downhill from there. He's found by the Japanese navy who toss him into a POW camp where he is savagely beaten, taunted and tortured. Unbroken is, in another word, bleak! Louis ultimately became a champion for forgiveness, but the film doesn't spend show how exactly he got there (was that God on the liferaft?) and certainly not enough of this redemption to lift audiences from the dark horror of humankind.
Jack O'Connell (left) stars as Louis Zamperini. He was pretty well bombed on the red carpet -- and considering what he went through in the film, perfectly understandable!

Have you seen the new Hunger Games - Mockingjay Part 1? The first two in this franchise were great. Who doesn't want to see teens killing each other? But in this one, the third, absolutely nothing happens! The only thing I learned is that Julianne Moore's wig looks like she borrowed it from a corpse in the catacombs and also either they shot films two and three together - or they really took their time in post with this expository trailer for number four because Phillip Seymour Hoffman's been dead for ages!

Then we have that lofty Nightcrawlers -- Jake Gyllenhaal plays an opportunistic ambulance chaser in LA in a suspenseful, well-crafted portrayal of... creepy crawly people. It's nice to see Rene Russo is still around; she comes out of her crypt here looking like a dead ringer for Gena Rowlands and playing a TV producer remarkably as hideous as our lead.

His sexual ambitions and her ambivalent consent combine to make them the most bizarre pairing since she was dating Dustin Hoffman back in the 1995 stinker, Outbreak. Nightcrawlers is not neo noir, it's neo-blech. You're all just sociopaths! And I need to take a bath.


You can restore your faith in humanity with the indie, Pride. Set in Thatcher's UK it's based on the true tale of a group of maligned gays who assist the maligned coal miners on strike in Wales. They were both misunderstood and despised and treated unfairly by the authorities, so they have a lot in common but the rural small-town miners want no help from the gays and eventually even vote to refuse any further funds raised by them, but change happens in the small community and when the strike is all over, guess who comes down the next year to lead the London pride parade to support the gays at the height of AIDS?


Monday, November 10, 2014

Sculptures By The Sea

For a few weeks at the start of the season, that world famous coastal walk between Bondi and Bronte Beach is even busier than the beach. 
It's like a Walmart opening up on that path.
Sculpture By The Sea is an annual outdoor art exhibit; a little bit tourist attraction, a little bit Burning Man.
I had to wait ages for the tourists to clear.
Not a bad perch.
My lifesaving pal, Sophia.
It's hard to compete with the natural beauty of this coastline, but every year a few of the installations feel like they should be permanent. And others just work so well with their environment, such as the giant frying pan below at Tamarama. But it's all over now. You missed it. Come back next year!
Somewhere to sizzle at Tamarama Beach.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Net Assets

 When I got the Facebook invitation from my friend Phil, the description of the Net Assets Cup was vague, if highly alluring. It read, in part:
Insensitive sexist parody of gay men’s mothers not to be taken seriously. Inexcusable racism. Cultural appropriation of some sort. Unabashed privilege. Immature snottiness. The Vaucluse Ladies Tennis Club is a perfumed, tittering gabfest! This annual Tournament is a day of intense doubles, lobsters and Aperol spritzers. We invite you to the court for some 'casual sets'...

I naturally had no idea what was happening, except that I was meant to bleach my visor and prepare for a day of tennis in the fancy harborside suburb of Vaucluse. I thought we were gathering on some public tennis court, but when I arrived at the address it was a ritzy estate of my friend's folks, right on the water with its own grand piano, tennis courts and THIS:


For the first time ever, I'm the most conservatively dressed in a picture. I told Phil I had no idea it was a costume party. He said, "You didn't see the guest list?" Clearly I am losing my touch. It turned out to be an amazing day, which actually turned into two amazing days, and after all the drinking it quickly devolved... at one point into a round of strip tennis. I've never had a single tennis lesson, but when playing for my clothes I suddenly became Stefi Graff.

My friend John's ass, though, scored a whole lot of Love!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Kiss Me, Kill Me

Agatha Christie meets Hitchcock for clues in Los Angeles for Kiss Me, Kill Me -- a new screwball slasher (yes, it's a genre. I just made it up!) currently in pre-production. I've read David Michael Barrett's script and it's witty, pretty and bright... also dark and delicious! Of course my favorite people are involved: Casper Andreas directs, Allison Lane and Matthew Ludwinski reunite, plus Gale Harold from Queer As Folk returns to the big screen. Kickstart it at the link above!


Friday, October 17, 2014

He's Golden!

Aussie Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham let me try on his gold medals. Cheeky!

So let me just say that the Beijing gold (he won the 10m platform with the highest scored dive in Olympic history) weighed just a little bit more than the Commonwealth Games gold (he won in the 10m synchro this year). It also made it more difficult to conceal in my pocket!

The Beijing medal also had a ring of white jade on the backside, as that is actually more valuable than gold in China. Look at the Chinese personalizing their prizes. Matthew gave me a great interview in the upcoming DNA Magazine issue #178, and he's also the ambassador for next month's Feast Festival in Adelaide - where he will perform the cabaret based on his memoir, Twists and Turns. Gold medals, memoirs, cabarets and a hero to many - and the guy's only 26.

Matthew said he's not young, in fact 26 is ancient in pro diving circles, that there are only a few  competitors in the world who are older than him. In fact, his brittle aged bones were recovering from an elbow injury, one that recently required a platelet rich plasma (PRP) infusion, which assists with healing of sports injuries.
Me: "PRP -- isn't that used for facial rejuvenation? In dermatology clinics to activate collagen for plumper, more youthful skin?"
Him: "I don't know."
Me: "See, you're still young!"