Thursday, March 19, 2009

Goodbye Girl

So Alexis got the boot last night. I thought that was a poor choice, as there are a couple of guys who're much weaker than the remaining girls. But I guess being a female on Idol this year sort of has to feel the same as if you were a new actor in 1967, getting your big first break on a hot, sci-fi TV series starring William Shatner. You're thrilled and think you're in for some steady paychecks and then they issue you a red shirt as your uniform.

I won't be around for several weeks to see how the Adam-Danny duel is developing onscreen, or to witness a potential sausage-party to shame even the Vegas March Madness crowds. But I'll be back in a month or so, and hopefully it'll all still be delightfully entertaining.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Flame Went Higher!

Oh. My. God. Legendary show tonight. Legendary. Adam Lambert and that flaming-glam-creepy-trippy and totally outfuckingrageous by Idol standards version of Ring of Fire is going to be hard to top for the rest of the season. I think Seacrest summed it up best when he said they'd come a long way from Taylor Hicks. In some ways, yes, in some ways, no. It's the same love-it or hate-it divide that Adam creates with his drama and rehearsed presence and that crazy range. But while Hicks was harmless (to everyone but Simon) Adam has to make certain segments of the audience just squirm in discomfort. Extra bonus -- Randy's idiot comment that it was like Nine Inch Nails made me finally pick my jaw up off the floor and laugh out loud. That was some good shit all around, yo. It all made me realize I'm not just rooting for Adam because he's probably the best shot to put the "Go" in Gokey, too.

Speaking of him, I'll be out with it. He's The One this year. The One I can't stand. Back to Taylor Hicks -- how does Simon tolerate this guy Gokey considering how much he loathed Hicks? I mean, Gokey really is a re-run of Taylor, but, to me, lacking the epileptic charm. Instead he just wears a different pair of lesbian fashion-glasses every week, which does at least give him some amount of goofy interest in a Mr. Potato Head way.

That bit aside, my verdict on him is still douchey.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Big SisterWives Love

This season of Big Love has been fantastic. I got a little exasperated with it last season when it got heavily invested in outside tension, because I always preferred it when it focused on Barb, Nicki, and Margene, the sister-wives. You really can't get any more adorable than Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny, and Ginnifer Goodwin rotating in each other's orbit.

I still fail to understand what attracts these three women to their husband, Bill, the grounding body they all circle about, but, whatever. This season drove the show back on track with multiple difficulties for each wife -- deeply personal issues that they had to struggle with alone and in tandem. The taking of a fourth wife, community ostracizion, the loss of a parent, excommunication from the church, illness, and potential affairs. As usual, it's Chloe Sevigny's Nicki who has to stretch the limits the furthest, breaching the trust of her chosen family (and committing multiple felonies) to serve her ever-unappreciative parental family. Nicki is a tough character, laced with plenty of hardness and treachery, and in less capable hands she could easily be a hateful shrew. But the writers have been careful to keep her motivations, if not completely sympathetic, at least understandable, and to also make her devoted and loyal in her own twisted way. When Chloe puts that sideways tilt in her jaw you don't know who it's going to be trouble for, but you do know it's going to be fireworks, and it's going to be riveting.

This year, Ginnifer's Margene has had to stretch way beyond the charm of her perky-cute oversized ears and shown herself to be both surprisingly competent in business while grieving and showing serious cracks in her foundation. Meanwhile, Jeanne's Barb has had to move beyond her occasionally faltering "rock-solid" status to potentially allow a complete breakdown of everything she's believed in.

It's still not enough to make me want to enter plural marriage, but it is plenty enough to make HBO's previous reigning sisterhood show, SATC pale in age when it comes to depth, if not laughs.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Molesting the King of Pop

For as easy as MJ makes it to be appalled by him, I actually thought Idol made it a little easier to appreciate his songs this week. There wasn't any crotch grabbing or moonwalking, but there was "Dirty Diana" and -- what the fuck -- "Rockin' Robin?"

Since I haven't yet commented, I will say that the new fourth judge with the identity crisis does serve one important function -- she makes me appreciate Randy a lot more. He used the be the most worthless opinion, but now it's like he's throwing out pearls of wisdom while the new chick waves her head around and over-articulates and blows more hot air than a Conair Infiniti, all without the drunken charm of Pauler.

As for the favorites this year, I suppose it's in terrible taste to make some sort of joke about the state of pity in the voting in regards to a blind guy. Disabilities are not fodder for jokes. But I do suspect that only Marlee Matlin can really believe that Scott is the best singer. Dead spouses aren't funny, either. It'd be in bad taste to joke about that. But it's also in poor taste to exploit the dead spouse.

I didn't care one bit that Jasmine and Jorge went home. Fuck 'em. I also don't care about the big twist judges' save new rule. If it was a weekly thing, it'd be kind of bullshitty. But if it gives them a chance to save Adam Lambert's neck if he's in trouble, I don't mind it. Of course I like him. He's like a skinny, screechy, Broadway MeatLoaf. He was the Queen of Camp singing the King of Pop, and that's good entertainment.

I'm not sure who else I like yet. Nor am I certain of who I love to hate. I see glimmers of curious potential in some of them, so we'll see what develops. I will miss several weeks, though, so I'm not sure how into the show I'll get this year. (Gasp!)

Naturally, I am rooting for Steve-O on DWTS. I'd be honestly surprised if he doesn't end up doing fairly well. I know he's a jackass, that's why I love him. But if you've ever watched him in action, you'll know just how athletic he is with his circus clown background. And since he's rehabbing it, I presume he won't be whipping it out and taking a leak on the dance floor. But hey, there's still hope for that happening if he ever has Bam Margera in the audience to cheer him on!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Read an E-book Week -- Free Copy of 24/7

It's national "read an e-book week." In celebration, one of my publishers, Zumaya Publications, is celebrating by offering a selection of their titles for free download this week. You can even download a free version of e-reader right there to make it easy. One of the titles being offered is my book, 24/7.

I'm really excited about this. So if you've ever been curious about my filthy books, here's a good chance to check one out for free. Here's the link for the free download, and the pitch:
24/7 -- Vegas, Booze, Gambling, Gangsters, Sex.

And, of course, if my book isn't up your alley, do check out the rest of Zumaya's free offerings to celebrate the week.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Better Off Red

Bruce Springsteen sings about them -- and sometimes marries them. Some of the most famous ones --Lucille Ball and Rita Hayworth -- were fake ones. We often connote fiery passion with the color, but also sometimes wackiness or ill-temper. But on these ladies, in these roles, red was simply hot.

Red Bull
Susan Sarandon is what I consider a true dame, and her resume boasts a couple of memorable, juicy roles. She's the Louise portion of Thelma &, and the redheaded Witch in Eastwick. But I will always love her most as the sexy, Whitman quoting, baseball loving, muse-minx Annie Savoy in Bull Durham.

This movie is so wonderful that I don't even have to bother trying to sum it up. Same with Susan's Annie. Just mention the role, and that's enough. But I couldn't imagine Annie as a blonde or even a brunette. She's got that fierce intelligence with a lovely loony streak and enough passion to fill a stadium. She's so unique and different that you almost expect she'd be scoffed or mocked in her little southern town, but she's so outrageously vibrant that instead, she's a star. Also, Sarandon has a lovely first name.

Rose Red -- Damsel in Distress
Kate Winslet has now finally won her Oscar. YAY for her! She is a great actress who's tackled many a complex role. She had already done Shakespeare and Austen by the time 1997's Titanic came around. This is one of those movies that people either love, or they love to hate. I admit it, I'm an idiot who loves it. It's not at all the highbrow thing that some people try to pretend it is. But it is an excellent costume drama, sweet romance, and Cameron action picture, all in one.

Kate plays young Rose, chafing against her mother's expectations and her rotten fiance's overbearing 'tude. With her dangerous red tresses, we know she's not going to play it safe and succumb to her fate easily -- either by sinking her life by marrying a cad or by just sinking with the ship. She's a randy broad, posing nude for Leo and later steaming up the backseat of a car with him before they start running for their life through the doomed vessel.

Scarlet Woman -- Hooker with a Heart of Gold
Julia Roberts had already notched a couple of notable roles on her belt, but she rode her coltish charm and wild locks to superstardom in 1990's indefatigable Pretty Woman. When Richard Gere finally saw her without the blonde wig and she sheepishly pointed to her hair and admitted, "Red," he simply answered, "Better." No shit.

Cinderella-Pygmalion project Vivian Ward is the hooker, but it's also her innocence that helps redeem corporate raider Richard Gere in Gary Marshall's blockbuster comedy. Though it's from 1990, this movie captures the very essence of the '80s and had enough vivacious charm to keep audiences coming back to Julia for nearly two decades.

Ruby in the Rough?
And in the "one to grow on" department, she's not a superstar yet, but I sure did adore wild & comic redhead Isla Fisher in Wedding Crashers. She's even gotten her first leading role since that flick, and she seems to have plenty of promise as an engaging actress. So hopefully, for her, the best is yet to come.

Hotel Erotica Party

Donna George Storey is hosting an ongoing hotel erotica party, and she invited me to stop by today with Vegas hotel recs (I'm such a spoiled brat) and a piece of a story, and she even cued up a delicious menu. So do check it out!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Unruly Interview

I just completed an unruly e-mail interview with Critical Mick. Mick does cool and unusual book reviews and hosts monthly interviews with some really striking writers, so I'm very fortunate that he spent some time with me. It's even more fortunate that he's a self-described bloke and not a fancy-pants type. And, most fortunate, he's funny and asks off-the-wall questions, and he asked me a couple that I suspect some people have wanted to ask me but always shied away.

So do check out the interview right here, along with his review of my book, American Cool. To be honest, I'm delighted with the review, and even slightly shocked. Mick has some observations which are wildly spot-on regarding my patterns and themes, and it's both gratifying and a bit startling to have someone be so insightful. And, it's nice that he likes it, too!