Archive for December, 2008

I’ll Give You Donuts, Rick Warren.

December 23, 2008


Obama%20and%20Rick%20Warren.jpgIf you thought I was crabby last week, holy god, you’re in for a treat.  I’m flaming about this Rick Warren thing.  I was trying to ignore it.  I’ve declined to comment.  I was hoping to just get over it.  No luck.  It’s really killing what little Christmas buzz I was able to muster up.

I understand that our next president is a Christian.  Totally cool by me.  I accept that he would want a Christian minister to lead the invocation at his inauguration.  It’s a good idea, really.  He’s going to need all the help he can get, whether it comes from human beings or his god in heaven, I don’t think it matters.  I’m not in love with Mr. Obama’s stance on gay marriage, but I feel like he’s more supportive of gay Americans than most elected officials (especially those across the aisle).  I’ll take it…for now.  So, someone needs to explain this choice to me.

My biggest complaint about Rick Warren isn’t really his politics.  I actually appreciate his stance on environmental issues and applaud him for using his very large reach to talk about them.  He isn’t the worst religious figure we’ve encountered in modern times, but he not the best either.  It isn’t a big surprise how he feels about gay marriage.  Of course he’s against it, it is practically a requirement of his job.  What I take issue with is the defense of his position.  Time and time again, Warren has been quoted comparing gay marriage to pedophilia, incest and polygamy.  He considers homosexuality a depraved sinful and illegitimate lifestyle.   He denies the existence and spiritual integrity of thousands of gay and lesbians of faith.  Let us not even speak of the gay atheist population.  That would be two strikes!  Yes, yes, I heard about his love for all of god’s children.  That he offers coffee and donuts to gay protesters.  Donuts are tempting, but thanks anyway.  You can keep them.

Surely there was a better choice?  The individual chosen to lead the invocation is selected as the spiritual representative of our nation.  They are meant to ask god to guide and watch over the new administration and our country.  Those three minutes should be full of hope, promote unification, and generate thoughtfulness.  You know what I’m going to be thinking about during those three minutes?

How disappointed I am.




Why Isn’t America In Love With…Catherine Tate

December 20, 2008

Hey Jamie,

I was watching one of my BBC America shows this week, and realizing my tastes are not the mainstream always. Big surprise!  And you know how much we love a list, so in the spirit of Rob and Sarah’s How Much Do We Love, here’s part one of the things I love this year that the bulk of America just doesn’t get. This week:

The Catherine Tate Show — Very very funny skit comedy show based around actress Catherine Tate (Dr Who). Every skit completely brilliant.  If only SNL could be this well done. 

Our John, is a Gaaay Mon: 

A World that hates Gingers (red-heads):

Yes, its even better than Little Britain. Why is this not a bigger deal???

New Hollywood Classics

December 19, 2008


Your last post was so interesting.  I never quite thought about it that way.  I am NOT secretly a Golden Girl, so I had no idea who Van Johnson was.  I read his obit and it made me wish I had been more familiar.  I think your list is pretty inclusive (I would omit Will Smith because I think Seven Pounds looks like the most irritating movie ever and I’m sort of pissy about it), but here’s who I would add:

Cate Blanchett – So beautiful, so talented.

So Pretty!

So Pretty!

Kate Winslet – She’s a real broad and I love it.  It kills me that she’s about my age.  Two kids, hot as hell, talented.  Argh!

Edward Norton – I don’t know.  I’m on the fence.  He’s very smart.  He makes interesting movies. Painted Veil was so great and 25th Hour is one of my all time favorites.

Leonardo DiCaprio – I’ll admit, he’s a little smug, but I think he makes really smart choices and has turned into a fine actor.  He will be entertaining us for a very long time.

I don’t think we’ll ever really have a “Golden Age” again. There is no mystery.  Actors aren’t really about acting anymore, most of the time through no fault of their own, they’re about celebrity.  I just don’t think we’ll ever see Hollywood as aspirational ever again.



Classic Hollywood Query

December 16, 2008

Hi Jamie,

This isn’t so much of a post or a rant as a start of a discussion about one of the most important topics in our generation: Movie stars and fame. ; )

This weekend I attended a semi annual brunch hosted by my dad’s old friends, a lovely bunch of queens and a few kings, mostly in their 70’s and 80’s. After they all get the questions out of they way: Who’s that guy? (answer, my BF you’ve met 10 times!), how’s your handsome brother? and don’t you love veal?, you have to come up with some topics at the tables. This year, classic hollywood.

Somehow I know who Van Johnson is/was because I’m secretly a Golden Girl. I mentioned that he passed away this week and that he’s one of the last of classic hollywood stars. We discussed it was down to a few we consider classics: Liz Taylor, Olivia De Havilland, Peter O’Toole, Doris Day, Robert Redford (pushing it!) and Julie Christy. Julie Christie, gorgeous! But I thought that might even be pushing it as they were all big post-war. Are the Hollywood legends of our childhood all gone? In my lifetime I’ve seen them all go. John Wayne, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Rock Hudson, and Katherine Hepburn just to name a few. 

Is it the end of an era, and if so, will kids not yet born look back in 50 years and say the same? If so, who will be classic Hollywood in the future? Here are my thoughts, but I want yours (and our readers) too! 

  • George Clooney (natch! so classic)
  • Julia Roberts (I’m bias, family, ha!)
  • Brad and Angelina — say what you want about the homewrecker, she and BP are making a difference and picking plum rolls. Oh, and they’re hot. 
  • Meryl Streep — our generation’s Bette Davis for sure. 
  • Tom Cruise — I can’t stand that brain-washing, closeted alien, but he does bring the box office
  • Will Smith — I’m on the fence on this. Will he be remembered? I know he’s huge now, but Abbott and Costello were huge in there time, and entire generations have forgotten them.
  • Phillip Seymour Hoffman — annoys me, but damn he’s a versitile actore. 
  • Julianne Moore — long-shot, but if she picks her rolls better in the future, she’ll do bigger and better things. 






What do you think? Who of the new kids in Hollywood has a chance?  Are we in a golden era or is it just something forever stunted at 1950? 



Tis’ The Season To Be…Crabby

December 9, 2008



Crabby Jamie Christmas

I think I should be in a better mood than I am.  The holidays are coming!  I get to go home and see my family, who I adore.  I am going to get to spend some quality time with you, Brad and my other friends.  I can’t wait to see all my nieces and nephews and how much they’ve grown since the summer.  Plus, I get presents!  Who doesn’t like presents?  Yet, I’m still sort of living up to my family’s affectionate (or not) nickname for me: Crabby Jamie.  C.J.  Really cute, I know.

I thought maybe the mall could help lift the funk.  Last weekend I was looking for something to wear and I needed to do that somewhere that wasn’t my closet.  So I headed out to the mall. Even though malls are insane this time of year and most people wouldn’t be caught dead, the craziness can’t deter my love of shopping.  As a matter of fact, it almost amplifies the thrill of the hunt. At holiday time it’s pretty much turned into a big deal safari.

(In the whispery, Austrailian Discovery Channel Narrator Voice)

“Look there, beyond the Martha Stewart Dutch Ovens.”

“Is that?–No, it couldn’t be.–It is!”

“It’s the rare Egyptian Cotton 1000-thread count sheet sets at a price one has never seen before, $69.99!”

“Surely there won’t be any usable colors left in the pack.  Let us get a closer look.”

(Army crawl behind the bath sheet display)

“Now that we’re crouched in a remote corner of Macy’s perhaps we can make out the different members of the pack.”

“Look there!  Is that a usable color?”

“Is that a white set surrounded by all the teal and burnt orange breeds?  Are they feasting on it’s apparent weakness and stain potential?”

“We must capture it!”

(Lunge for the pack of wild sheet sets.  Knock over display.)

Even with all that excitement, I didn’t end up getting the sheet set.  It turned out it was of the Papua New Guinea pygmy variety:  twin size.

No sheets.  Nothing new to wear.  Still grumpy.  What gives?  I think my body might be anticipating the cold already.  It’s the only thing I can think of.  I hated it when I lived there, but now I’ve actually acclimated to a warm climate, cold makes me even more miserable.  Sure, snow is really beautiful to look at on Christmas.  IF it’s the new white fluffy untrampled variety, but when do we get that in Chicago?  We’re usually cursed with the brownish gray wet, wet, wet slushy kind.  If that was all, I think I could live with it.  But, no.  It will be 900 degrees below zero.  Wet feet suck, but they don’t suck as bad as freezing cheeks, ears and hands.  They NEVER get warm while I’m there.  I feel like Leonardo DiCaprio in the final scenes of Titanic every time I walk out the door, except without the huge blue diamond to live for.  So yes, it seems I’m grumpy about the weather in a place I no longer live that I only have to visit in the winter once a year and my trip is still two weeks away.

Bah Humbug.

You know the only thing that will make it better?  When I get there and I get to see my family, who I adore.  Spending quality time with you and Brad.  Seeing my nieces and nephews.  Oh…and the presents.



Tradition! Tradition!

December 9, 2008

Hi Jamie,

Sorry I’ve been such a lousy blog partner lately. Have not felt much like writing, and when I did, I was no where near my PC .


So, last night we did the annual tree decorating. And, as you know, for about 12 years now I’ve been having a few friends over to help. Now granted, we have a 1 bedroom, so it was really just a couple pals, but a festive time was had nonetheless. 

Jenna and Elliott, Jake and Justin, Aurora, Adam K, and Shaine all helped us by consuming vast amounts of mulled wine and handling fragile glass around 2 puppies.  

As you may remember, I have a few precious traditions I adhere too. I’m not too big on repetition, but this one day a year, I’m Christmas balls to the wall on it! 

1. Watching Pee Wee’s Xmas Special on DVD. I mean, c’mon does it get any better than guests like Liquid Diet Oprah, Dinah Shore, pre-fame kd lang, Little Richard, Charo, Cher and of course the amazing Grace Jones in what appears to be a space age fender? 

2. Watching The Ref. (go to this chick’s YouTube page to watch the whole movie) If you’ve not seen it, it was directed by Ted Demme who passed away in 2002, and stars Dennis Leary, Judy Davis, Kevin Spacey, Christine Baranski, and Glynis Johns and is a brilliant comedy about dysfunctionality and grand theft. Check it out. 

3. Mulled Wine. I said I wasn’t going to do it again this year since last time I spent like $50 making it and no one wanted any. This year I made it with Shiraz, Brandy, Triple Sec, Disarano, star anise, cinnamon stick, cinnamon, brown sugar, honey, and a sliced orange. And it was a success. I ended up making 2 huge pots with only about a cup left over. And everyone was good and loopy. Just the way I like them.

4. Personal ornanents. My favorite part. the boys and their balls Everyone who does the tree, I ask to customize one ball ornament with their name and year so when we go back we have great memories of holiday’s past. Remember Vince K. and Paul W.?  Now we can remember them once a year. That’s good enough. 🙂

Wish you and Andy were here, but we’ll see you on Xmas day for another of our traditions! Marc and Jamie together at Xmas.

Is Like Whipped Cream

December 2, 2008


You Make Everything Better!

You Make Everything Better!

Do you know who I love?  Oliver Platt.  I don’t know what it is about him (maybe the bow ties?) but I think he’s to die for.  Not in a Crush-of-the-Moment way, but in a I-Think-You’re-Such-a-Genius-I-Bow-To-You way. A few years ago, I was trying to describe my Oliver love to someone and they weren’t getting it.  I tried talking about The Ice Harvest.  I mentioned his awesome role on Nip/Tuck. West Wing? Nothing.  Huff?  Nothing.  I even tried bringing up the all time classic, Lake Placid.  Still nothing. Being as passionate as I am about such things, I came up with my own Oliver Platt analogy.  I said, “Oliver Platt is like whipped cream, he makes everything better.”  Bingo!  He’s like ecstasy (the drug, not the feeling), everything is enhanced when Oliver is involved.  I suppose I could have just used ecstasy in the analogy, but that’s not really me, is it?  As I’m sure you’re aware, in my world, whipped cream is pretty much the highest honor you can get.  Bacon is an ever higher accolade, but I reserve the right to use that description in only very special circumstances.  Like the person who ends world poverty or better yet, the guy who figures out how to keep my socks from disappearing from the laundry.

What I didn’t realize that day is that the Whipped Cream analogy would really come in handy.  How do you describe something/someone who isn’t neccessary, per se, but enhances whatever situation they’re in?  Whipped Cream!

“God Marc, that scarf you’re wearing is so cute.  It’s like whipped cream, it makes everything better.”

“I love hanging out with Marc.  He’s like whipped cream, he makes everything better.”

Incidentally, you can’t really say, “Bacon is so good, it’s like whipped cream.  It makes everything better.”  That creates the kind of circular problem that excel is always yelling at you about.  Food and food, doesn’t work.  Even though cheese, bacon and sour cream do, indeed, make everything better.



Wish is really the best Cure album. I’m just saying

December 1, 2008

Hi Jamie,


Sometimes we just need someone to confirm our beliefs and after years of Disintegration and Pornography pandering, finally, someone agrees with me. I was talking to my friend Adam tonight about 90’s alt stuff, and asked him what his favorite Cure CD is, an lo and behold, Wish. No one has ever agreed with me on that one. Even you, who, while you know its brilliant, still love Disintegration more. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. It’s in my top 5 Cure CDs for sure (Wish, Kiss, and Head are still over it), but I’m just sayin’, I now have evidence that I’m not the only Wish guy. Not going to delve to deep into this as this is not a music blog, I just had to vent. 

Next up, I’m going to admit that the best Smiths album is Queen is Dead (Kelly you were always right), Violator is the best Depeche CD, and Prince stopped being brilliant after Sign O The Times.