Tuesday, December 30, 2008

And a happy holidays to you... they continue to rage on...

It's my highest and brightest hope that they were indeed happy, and you're not currently powerless (in the electrical sense), as many wind-stricken people are right now. Because that would suck. I go batshit nuts when the power goes out. Like, almost-resort-to-cannibalism-crazy. I treat every power outage like it's an apocalypse or something. Which might explain why my freezer is well stocked with salted venison, but that's a story for another day...

So, my friends, 2008 draws to a close - and thank fucking God, am I right? Am I? Ladies? Do you hear what I'm talking about? And if the end of the year is good for one thing, it's end-of-year-roundups-in-the-form-of-Top-10-lists... 

So I thought I might cap this one off with my ceremonial Top 10 Bitches that I Loved & Hated in [insert year]!!! 

Yepper skeppers, there they are. In all their glory/shame. Oooooh I just can't wait to find out how the cards fall - can you?!?!?! 

But yeah... here's my annual wrap-up of the various bitches who I've felt have defined the year passed, for better and/or for worse... 

Let the games begin...


A recurring motif in the lists of ladies that I choose to exalt is/are the sort of survivor-y journeywomen entertainers who've had a glimmer of limelight in the past but continue to truck on despite waning interest and then BAM - they're granted another moment in the sun. Such is the case with Miss Patti LuPone. Embarrassingly enough, until about 5 years ago, I had no fucking idea that Patti LuPone was a Broadway Star - most notably, for originating the role of Eva Peron in Evita, for which she won her first of two Tony Awards, almost 30 years ago. I knew her as Libby Thacher on the Sunday night family drama, Life Goes On. And the only reason I knew that was because Life Goes On was on right before America's Funniest Home Videos, which was a big fucking deal in my household. Aaanyballs - she was all but put out to pasture until a star turn in as 'Mama Rose' in the legendary musical Gypsy thrust her back into the limelight... squarely in the form of her fucking the absolute shit out of its act 1 closer, "Everything's Coming Up Roses" on this year's Tony telecast. If watching the 59-year-old LuPone belt that out note-for-note-perfect doesn't make you secrete something from somewhere... then I don't know what. Patti LuPone, everyone... BITCH HAS STILL GOT IT!


In what was arguably the most politically relevant year for the GLBT community in decades, we couldn't have asked for a better representative to enter political-pundit-dom than Rachel Maddow. If you haven't seen this lady in action A.) I pity you and wish you the best with your complete Season 2 DVD's of Life According To Jim (read: you're a dumbass) and B.) I would describe her thusly: picture Rosie O'Donnell during her super-politically-charged tenure on The View, only less hysterical and with copious educational credits (not that there's anything wrong with Rosie's approach... in fact, there's everything right with it, I'm just sayin'...) ... The first openly gay i.) Rhodes' Scholar and ii.) Primetime News Pundit, Maddow laid her brand of hyper-intelligent, lesbo-centric smackdown where it was just deserved at every turn, making your Pat Bunchanan's and Ann Coulter's tremble in their sensible conservative footwear. Rachel motherfucking Maddow - Truly, no one on the corner has the bulldagger swagger like hers... 


Elizabeth Moss first came to my attention in 1999's feelgood hit of the year, Girl Interrupted, playing the stunted-adolescent burn victim 'Polly "Torch" Clark' [upper left-hand inset]. Who knew that a scant 9 years later she'd be the face of 2008's premiere feminist tele-heroine 'Peggy Olson' on AMC's exquisite prime time serial Mad Men? If you haven't seen this show - DO! It's amazing. It's about a Madison Avenue advertising agency in 1960, and her character is this dowdy girl who unassumingly busts every ball up in dat detestable suit-wearing, whiskey-slugging, bottom-tapping, "Tootz"-calling boys club that is Sterling Cooper to rise to the top... played impeccably by Elizabeth Moss who makes it well worth watching. SO rooting for her at the SAG's... 


The most boldfaced inspiration to your Nana's self-actualization since The Golden Girls, 8motherfucking2-year-old Cloris Leachman danced her way right into the finals of this year's Dancing With The Stars... and with it, our hearts. Despite constant scathing criticism by the 'judges' for her wacky, two-left-footed, horny Grandma antics trumping more qualified dancers (because truly, if Dancing With The Stars is anything, it is a deadly serious ballroom competition... I'm talkin' to you, Carrie-Ann Inaba - you fucking glorified lap-dancer), Cloris has proven that 80 is the new 60... or... at least, 100 is the new 90. EITHER WAY - A WIN/WIN FOR NANA'S!!!


Bold statement alert::: how might one stay on top in the music business? Simple: create trends rather than follow them. That's precisely what these two ladies have done since their meagre inceptions ---(for realsies... I can remember paying astute attention to both of these bitches when they started out in the late 90's... Beyonce - then part of Destiny's Child - was rockin' a $4 weave and pleather pants, chanting things in 3's ("No, No, No"... "Bills, Bills, Bills"... "what's her problem?", I thought to m'self... and Pink had this slicked-back magenta hair and these hip-hop videos with her cupping her bare breasts... NUTS!)--- and a very cultivated autonomy rings truer than ever with their respective musical efforts this past year. MmmHmm... "I Am... Sasha Fierce" and "Funhouse" are two of the back-to-fucking-back, cover-to-fucking-cover best albums I've heard in a long time. It's been very evident for a long time that they set the queues, and dozen's of other pop-chanteuses-du-jour clamor to follow them... but you can absolutely mark my word - these two are the bitches that you'll be paying to see in stadiums 30 years from now.

Pallette Cleanser: BRITNEY SPEARS

Oh, Britney. Britney Britney Britney. You started the year off strapped to a gurney, prepped for a lobotomy. Things were looking grim. Even I felt for you. Then, there was a 720 degree turn - you severed communication from Adnan, re-welcomed your father into the managerial picture and most importantly, cut out those fucking Fraps. And now you're back on top. I can't stay that I'm necessarily happy about that - I've never much been a fan. But I can appreciate a good comeback. And this was quite a comeback. Well done. 


If Cloris Leachman was the Miley Cyrus to Nana's everwhere, Meryl Streep occupied that aspirational figure for everyone's Mom this year. The greatest film actress - living or dead... THAT'S RIGHT, I SAID IT... HAVE YOU SEEN 'SHE-DEVIL', MOTHAFUCKA?!?! - achieved the impossible dream in 2008... she became a bona fide, bankable movie star entering her 60's. I'm certainly not someone who was waiting to be persuaded by the power, glory, and bon homie of Streep, mind you - so this is hardly a revelation. (Sidebar: Although I could try, I'm not sure I could sound gayer than I did in that last sentence... moving on...) BUT I can simply take pleasure in seeing one of the greatest talents and most profound geniuses of our time FINALLY see her due...


THE LOCAL MENTION!!! Holy mother of pearl... Alana Johnston (who, incidentally, is of no [known... although if I dig through my father's type-written family tree, it's entirely possible] relation) blew my fucking mind this year. She's definitely one to watch. This slot is sort of my requisite "representational-of-every-Toronto-female-comic-PARTICULARLY-those-who-have-done-Bitch-Salad" slot, but her shit has absolutely blown my mind. Long live H'Alana.


It pains me to think that years from now, Hilary Clinton will be thought of as this sort of shrill Obama adversary - or, rather, Obamadversary. Because that simply isn't nor wasn't the truth. Hilary Clinton punched her fucking clock, man. She bided her time. She made a run for it, and it was fucking golden. She didn't win it, but she came super, suuuper fucking close. Hilary Clinton ought to and needs to go down in history as a true vanguard; someone who took the hit so that others could come through the gate, and above all else, someone who handled it with an Olympic level of grace. I don't know about you, but I'll always think "what if Hilary had gotten it..."


This is blatantly selfish... I can't tell you the level of joy I've gleamed this year from these two ladies - both coincidentally named "Elaine" (although, yes, Boosler's is spelled 'Elayne', I really liked the ring of "Elaine's Stritch & Boosler"... so fuck you, purists/Elayne Boosler... if you're actually reading this... in which case, I LOVE YOU!!!).

Stritch: Hard-living Broadway legend who's rocketed back into relevance as Alec Baldwin's character's mother on the greatest television show ever to exist, 30 Rock, who's one-woman show "Elaine Stritch, Live at Liberty" I purchased for a cool $50 this summer and became OBSESSED with. What's not to love about Elaine Stritch? NOTHING. She's wholly transfixing. There used to be a ton of clips from her one-woman show online, but they've all been taken off. That's a shame. Luckily, this video of her winning an Emmy for her one-woman show still exists. I urge you to watch it. Also - my Bitch Salad co-producer's and I have come to the conclusion that when/if - KNOCK ON WOOD, SALT OVER SHOULDER - Elaine passes on, we'll have a Toronto-based wake entitled "Stritch Salad". 

Boosler: The unsung heroine of comedy, she started out as a coat-check girl at The Improv when she befriended a young Andy Kaufman and started dating him. After one too many "I could do that" notions, she did, and became the preeminent ladycomic (all one word, yes) of the 70's and 80's. Deodorant spokeswomansporatic 80's sitcom mainstay, andrenowned vest enthusiast - Elayne fucking Boosler is the shit. Legend has it that she rebuffed Johnny Carson's advances, which put a ceiling on her career whilst the less-talented Judy Tenuta's and Paula Poundstone's rose to fame. Whatever. Elayne Boosler is the fucking shit. GET BAM-BOOSLER'D TODAY!!! 







The ways in which I love Elizabeth Samatina Fey are too numerous, elaborate and lurid to post here in print. 2008 was her year. Period. She ushered in the return of the female buddy comedy earlier this year with the number 1 movie Baby Mama... brought home triple-Emmy-gold for her ingenious 30 Rock, delivering the greatest Emmy acceptance speech since Elaine Stritch... and of course, became more of a household name than Kleenex with her impression of a certain folksy, MILF-y Vice-Presidential Candidate who shall remain nameless - shaping the political discourse in the process. Not bad for a unibrowed square peg from Upper Darby, Pennsylvania (in the event that you missed that one, I'd invite you to refer to her high school yearbook photo, inset)... Thank God for Tina Fey. My life is right as long as I have Tina Fey in it. Amen.

Now... the bad news...

Or good news if you enjoy scathing negativity, which, I have a lingering suspicion that you indeed do... 



Editrix-in-Chief of Elle Magazine/Dead fucking ringer for Sarah Jessica Parker's character in Hocus Pocus, Anne entered the reality-television-villain realm this year as the decider on what I can honestly say was the biggest cavalcade of wretched assaches I've ever seen - Stylista. I caught but one episode of that shit and have been throwing up in my mouth ever since. I might have liked it back in the early days of reality TV, when people weren't so conscious of formulating themselves into characters... Omarosa-syndrome, as it were... but these people were just deplorable and soooo pretentious - especially Slowey. From the second she arrived to grade the contestants on who got her preferred breakfast and slipped into some sort of Anna Wintour-light character, I was over it. OVER IT, I SAY! 


I've always been hyper-aware about when female cast members on SNL break. When their first big moment is. It's usually about 6 months into their tenure... Molly Shannon busted out Mary Katherine Gallagher around that time... Rachel Dratch did that horribly deformed child that wore a burlap sack, had an arm growing out of its head and could only say "Glorph!"... the divine Amy Poehler, of course, gave us Amber - the over-confidant amputee with a flatulence problem... it typically happens by now. Casey Wilson - it's not going to happen. I'm sorry. On the plus side, you're still better than 2 Laraine Newman's, 5 Victoria Jackson's and a baker's dozen of Beth Cahill's.


AAAAAAHHH!!! Everybody run! Crazy, over-privileged, questionably-British divorcee/minor youtube star Tricia Walsh-Smith is coming to steal your soul!!! Yep... this lady is textbook bonkers - she makes Glenn Close's character in Fatal Attraction look as harmless and carefree as inquisitive French schoolgirl, Madeleine... earlier this year, she and her crazy eyes famously took to youtube to air her very private grievances about her divorce and make her case for why she should remain in the lap of luxury... and for some reason, we kept watching... and watching... and watching... 


As I get older, I become increasingly cynical about IT-girls. You need to understand, I've lived through so many of them by this point. I can remember, only a few years ago when the likes of Kirsten Dunst, Jessica Simpson and Ashanti were the absolute scaldingly hottest things on the planet and now they're lucky if they're practically anonymous. Take heed, you little strumpet... I find it specifically exceptional how Miley Cyrus - in about a span of 5 months - went from super-famous to complete overexposure... it usually takes at least 6...  then there's this whole self-righteous virginity issue, which is just a patent set-up for failure... Flooziness and an inclination for hard-living are imbedded in her genes... expect two things from Miley by the end of 2009 - A.) A pregnancy and B.) not being able to remember her name. 


Gross. Just gross. This blob of a lady who looks like she's coming to eat your children set the stage for the great GLBT human rights movement we're experiencing right now when, earlier this year, she was recorded in some sort of secret Republican kabal in her native Oklahoma (where she was an elected and is now, amazingly, a re-elected state legislator) making utterly shocking homophobic remarks. There aren't enough numbers to count all the kinds of wrong this bitch is. AND those jug-blowing yokels in Oklahoma actually RE-ELECTED her! To give you some perspective - this would be like electing an actual hood-wearing KKKlansman to office in the late 60's. If nothing else, this raging cunt serves as a reminder of how very, VERY far we have to go. 


I routinely pose the question to myself about whether or not I'd be happier if Elizabeth Hasselbeck was tossed out on her impenetrably clenched ass from The View. And, after exhaustingly weighing the pro's and con's (because that's what I do in my spare time, y'know... make completely inconsequential lists of pro's and con's... oh brother...), I always come back to the conclusion that I enjoy her as a Republican whipping boy waaay too much to see her leave.  


Now I am all for tickety-tock tranny's, as you may know. But this was a bit much even for me. Thomas Beattie used to be a chick. Thomas Beattie decided to become a dude, and was well under way to dude-dom, but - call it a hunch - decided to keep hi/r lady business, well, just in case. So, instead of adopting one of countless children who need a home, the Beattie's decided to play God and generate not one but TWO of what will no doubt be the most hormonally complex children in history. I feel the same way about Thomas Beattie as I do about TurDuckEn (A Chicken stuffed inside a Duck stuffed inside a Turkey... yes, it's a godless bastardization of fowl, if you ask me)... just because it could happen, doesn't necessarily mean it should happen... 


Even my shrillest, neediest, most sensitive female acquaintances who I've heartlessly phased out of my life were more tolerable than Jennifer Aniston in 2008. So here's the deal: you've got a children's movie about a dog coming out on Christmas Day! How do you promote it? Take to every single print publication that will have you and talk about how desperately lonely you are (not to mention, continue to plead for people's sympathy and stay attached to the Brangelina saga by referring to Angelina Jolie's actions as "uncool"). Jennifer Aniston's "Tour of Uncool 08" was relentless, and what's worse - it worked. Marley & Me debuted at number 1. God help us the next time she has something to promote... it will be very uncool... 


The Elliot Spitzer whore. Okay - no one understands that a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do better than me, but this opportunistic skank sunk to treacherous new lows. An aspiring singer, DuPre decided to pay her bills via the oldest profession in the world. One of her clients was super-hypocritical governor of New York and established adversary of the sex industry, Elliot Spitzer. He got busted. Her name got revealed. People flocked to her myspace page, looked through her pictures, played her songs. She lapped up the attention. Girls Gone Wild impresario/douchebag Joe Francis offered her a million dollars to do a video. That is, until the Girls Gone Wild people discovered that she was already part of their family on a tape from years previous. HA! Bitch gave it away for free. Suddenly the offer was off the table and her stock began to plummet... until months later when she sits down with Diane Sawyer and tries to re-ignite the fire and insincerely apologizing to Spitzer's family. Good luck with that music career.


The "Most Hated Woman On The Internet" got away with cold blooded murder this fall. Background in a nutshell: a psychologically shaky girl named Megan Meier had apparently spread some gossip about Lori's daughter - an incredibly out-of-character move for a teenage girl, am I right? So Lori did what any good mother would do - she set up a fake myspace profile as an 18-year-old boy named "Josh Evans", seduced her, coerced secrets out of her, publicly humiliated her and ultimately drove her to suicide. Yep. In a nutshell. Then - this fall - she walked away scott free and opened up a very worthwhile dialogue about how to deal with and legally punish cyber-bullying. Beyond the fact that this bitch is indefinitely going to be Hitler's bunkmate in hell, I think if you actually have the time and effort to construct an elaborate ruse on a social networking site might be a pretty clear sign that you should think about taking up a hobby. This all could have been avoided if Lori Drew had just fucking taken up knitting like a normal Mom... 







I don't think we'll ever fully comprehend how close we got to civilization coming to an end. Because, people - that finger over the big red button with an "X" on it lingered dangerously close. We were so damningly close to complete catastrophe. If Sarah Palin had made it, our world would look like some terrifying cross between The Day After Tomorrow (in terms of ecological devastation) meets A Handmaid's Tale (in terms of every woman would have a chip implanted in her head that would shock them if they even thought about abortion) meets Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion (or some sort of lady comedy where a dimwit makes good)... I truly do believe that one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse came and went with Sarah Palin, and join you in a collective "Phew". 

So yeah.

That's about it for me for Aught 8. 

I thank you so much tuning in this year. The feedback I get about these little scribblings continues to amaze me and I appreciate it more than I can tell you...

I hope you have the happiest 2009 imaginable - 

A small contribution to your night and another annual tradition - MY YEAR END DANCE PARTY MIX!!! 

Ass-rocking tunes from this year passed! Track listing... 

Mary J. Blige - Just Fine (Moto Blanco Mix)
Estelle feat. Kanye West - American Boy (Soul Seekerz Mix)
Janet - Feedback (Ralphi Rosario Mix)
Britney Spears - Break The Ice (Kaskade Mix) 
Snoop Dogg - Sexual Seduction (Wideboys Mix) 
NeYo - Closer (Norty Cotto Mix) 
Alicia Keys - No One (Lenny B Mix) 
Mariah Carey - Touch My Body (Seamus Haji Mix)
Natasha Bedingfield - Angel (Moto Blanco Mix) 
Lady GaGa - Just Dance (Harry 'Choo Choo' Romero Mix)
Madonna featuring Timbaland & Justin Timberlake - 4 Minutes (Bob Sinclair Mix) 
Rihanna - Disturbia (Jody Ben Broeder Mix) 
Katy Perry - I Kissed A Girl (Bam Bam & Mixin' Mark Mix)
Pink - So What (Tony Arzadon Mix) 
Danity Kane - Damaged (Mike Rizzo Global Mix) 
Jennifer Hudson - Spotlight (Moto Blanco Mix) 
Natasha Bedingfield - Pocketful of Sunshine (Stonebridge Mix) 
Paula Abdul - Dance Like There's No Tomorrow (Paul Oakenfold Mix) 
Celine Dion - Taking Chances (I-Soul Mix) 
Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love (Jason Nevins Mix) 
Lindsay Lohan - Bossy (Soulshaker Mix) 
Chris Brown - Forever (Cahill Mix) 
Pussycat Dolls - When I Grow Up (Dave Aude Mix) 
The Ting Tings - Shut Up and Let Me Go (Chris Lake Mix) 
Britney Spears - Piece of Me (Vasquez & Vicious Mix) 
Natasha Bedingfield - Love Like This (Johnny Vicious Mix) 
Miley Cyrus - See You Again (Wideboys Mix) 

Download/Listen to it HERE!!!

That's it. For reals. 

Have a great night.

See you in '09!!!

--- Aj

Friday, December 19, 2008

Well happpppy holidays to you and yours!

How ya been keeping? Well, I assume. I've been pretty decent myself.

Last week's 10th edition of Bitch Salad was a thunderous success (save for a bit of a glitch with Laura Landauer's haunted smoke machine, but we made lemonade out of those lemons in the end...), so thank you SOOOO fucking much to each and all who came out to that. Video's will be coming soon...

I also took in a screening of current Oscar-bait film Doubt, starring the amazing Meryl Streep and accordingly exceptional Amy Adams... SPOILER: The prevailing theme of the movie - doubt. Yep. Doubt doubt doubt. If you don't like that word, DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE - because holy fuck, they say it every 10 seconds. Another prevailing theme: Interracial pedophilia and underage drinking. So that's fun, at least.

No... but yeah - Meryl's amazing as per usual, but all the people who will be lured to this movie based on her star-turn performances in The Devil Wears Prada and Mamma Mia! (not to mention Amy Adams' classic performance in Enchanted) will be sorely disappointed... the shit's a play on film... there's a lot of heavy handed dialogue and about 5 scenes. There is no fabulous makeover montage that I'm so fond of to speak of.... nope... just 5 half-hour-long scenes, generally in church offices. Anyballs... go and see it, if just to keep Meryl Streep's movie-star ball rolling. Please.


So t'is the season... it truly is beginning to look a lot like Christmas (well, in Toronto, it's kinda beginning to look a lot like The Day After Tomorrow, but I'll continue to try and view the glass as being half-full...) - and as such, I only find it fitting to impose some magical Christmas sounds I've discovered on your ears...

The first one is FUCKING AMAZING... I am OBSESSED with this...

I don't know who did it or how I even came across it, but it's a mash-up of Karen Carpenter singing "The Christmas Song" and something that the Roots did... if this song could take a human form, it would look like your mild-mannered, Christmas-sweater-wearing, Nanaimo-bar-baking Aunt Judith stoned out of her mind on some demented Barbadosian weed. It's just fucking genius.

Download/Listen to it HERE!!!

The next offering comes from one of the breakout starts of 2008 - Lady GaGa.

Ohhh Lady GaGa. Substantial props for assuming a stage name that starts with "Lady" - it's very regal... further props for bringing back the zany super-hero aesthetic to pop music... and, final props for merging your signature Betty-Boop-on-meth-voice coupled with your thinly veiled crass sexual metaphors with the Christmas Spirit. Thank God for Lady GaGa and her Christmas single, "Christmas Tree" - although I'm sure, I heartily assume it's just another metaphor for a big, sturdy cock. With lyrics like "Light me up, put me on top, let's fa-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la", anyone who listens to this is sure to be filled with Christmas Spirit. Or hot, piping spunk. One of the two.

Download/Listen to it HERE!!!

The penultimate offering comes from a sultry-voiced dance music queen named Kirstine W., who you probably wouldn't know unless you're a gay remix enthusiast, which I just so happen to totally be, so...

She recently released an album entitled "Mr. Christmas", featuring dance-i-fied versions of several Christmas songs, including (but not limited to) "Oh Holy Night", "Mary, Did You Know" and "Favourite Things"... but there's one song she did that jumped right out of me, a cover of "Hard Candy Christmas" from the musical The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. The song - about carrying on in the face of hard times... specifically, loss, be it financial or personal - has specific resonance this year, what with the horrific financial climate.

It also has significance for me, because The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas was the first musical my parents took me to see (odd choice, I know, but it just happened to be what the Brockville Operatic Society was doing at the time...) It was bizarre... I remember it vividly... Oddly enough, my French Teacher - Madame Darroch - was in it, playing a whore, who said the line "shit" after being left out of an orgy of football players. This blew my mind... ANYBALLS - I remember crying my fucking eyes out at the end when the whores were evacuated from the whorehouse singing "Hard Candy Christmas".

Anyballs... GOOD SONG... Download/Listen to it HERE!!!

But... the ultimate offering - I'm talkin' the aural equivalent of gold, mer and mothafuckin' frankincense up in herre - that I can give you this season has to be a track off of outsider-musician (and close personal friend of mine) Heidi Brander's sophomore Christmas album, "Pair Noel"...

Background: Last Christmastime, Heidi surprised all of us in my friendship circle with a full-length Christmas album she recorded. It was amazing. I made her a myspace page. She's really taken off.

This year's follow-up was a collection of yule tide duets - "Pair Noel". We had a listening party last night, and it was absolutely bonkers. Well worth listening to each and every song. But I'm not made of time, so I'll post the duet that I did with her... in the style of Whitney Houston featuring Bobbi Kristina from her Christmas album "One Wish", here's Heidi featuring me raping and murdering "The Li'l Drummer Boy"...

Download/Listen to it HERE!!!

And I strongly urge you to visit Heidi's myspace page to hear more...

Anyballs - that's it for me. This snow better stop at some point.

Back on Monday with a countdown!!!

Have a good one,

--- Aj

Monday, December 08, 2008

Big Whoop! Who Gives a Bibble? Gabba Gabba Hey.

It's been a while since I've gabba gabba hey'd, hasn't it?

So, hi...

How was your weekend? Mine sucked toad ballsacks. I was in Hamilton slinging 'funny' all weekend to a crowd of - if I could borrow a page from Liz Lemon - "whittling, jug blowing IHOP monkeys" who couldn't have cared less. I didn't know this about Hamilton - but it's a mountain town. As in it's on a mountain. A snow-capped one, to boot. Well, no. But there were substantial thermal differences, that's for sure. Anyballs - this is boring... moving on:

A few things...

1.) The most hilarious thing I've read in a while...

Some amazingly kooky lady named Eileen Bernstein who teaches social studies at a public school in the outer boroughs of New York was teaching her class of 12-year-olds about slavery. She decides to, well, get creative in this history lesson by taking two black girls in the class, BINDING THEM TOGETHER, then making them crawl under a desk to replicate how conditions were on a slave boat... Holy fuck... that is out of control... and SO something that would have happened in my hometown of Brockville.

I remember learning about slavery - we didn't have any black kids for the teacher to force into any such creative anachronism (we didn't even have anyone who looked remotely swarthy, for that matter...), but make no mistake about it - if we did, the teacher totally would have done something like that and thought that it would have been a really instrumental learning experience. Instead, we just read the Barbara Smucker novel "Underground To Canada" - a touching story of a young slave named June Lilly (versioned to Ju'Lilly, for short), "followin' the drinkin' gourd" (the big dipper in slavetalk) on the underground railroad to Canada and, ultimately, freedom.

Because in Canada, as my teacher put it at the time, if you owned slaves, "it would have been like wearing a New Kids On The Block T-Shirt"... this was around 1993, so yes, that reference had a lot of weight behind it.

2.) The most hilarious thing I've heard in a while...

C/o urban dictionary.com - The Kimmy Gibbler: When you refuse to leave after you have a one night stand, even when they ask you nicely.

The sentence they provide as an example: "Last night I met some whore at the bar....we came back to my place and she gave me the Kimmy Gibbler....she fucked the hell out of me and then refused to go home when I asked her nicely."

Ugh - I have been Kimmy Gibbler-d so many times I can't handle it. I can't tell you how nice it is to finally have a name for when that happens.

3.) The most hilarious thing I've seen in a while...

The purported cover work for Whitney Houston's long-awaited comeback album...

Yeah. No.

Devastatingly, this is not it. It's some sort of fan-generated photoshopping.

You don't know desperate every fibre of my being was that this was actually it, because this would have been fucking amazing.

I'll bet the actual album cover will be her sitting there looking Dionne Warwick-esque in a cream turtle neck surrounded by Laura Ashley-isms, as opposed to this little nugget that makes the last Pussycat Dolls album cover look like it was shot by Anne Geddes...

In other Whitney Houston news - reports that her and Bobby B were on the verge of reconciliation were met by a resounding "Hell To The No!" by Whitney's press rep. Or at least they should have been.

The most hilarious thing ever ever ever EVER ever...



AHHHH! Can you even fucking handle it?!?!? I certainly can't.


One more thing...

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the passing of a Toronto comedian and friend of mine, Troy Dixon.

He died in a car crash Saturday night - from what I've pieced together, he was travelling in the dead of snow squall country somewhere around Guelph driving back from a gig when he hit a patch of black ice and crashed. Game over. Very sad.

He was just about the nicest guy ever, a TERRIFIC comedian and, as you can tell from the photo, a searingly hot piece (Troy was well-aware that he had a standing invitation to, at any time, sit, full-weight, on my face).

His death is sad for so many reasons... Of course, it's heart-breaking to his family and close friends and anyone connected with him in any way, as we've lost a human life - but it's particularly sad and terrifying because of the way it happened... a fluke patch of black ice while driving home from a gig - something that could have happened to ANY of us... I was on the road all weekend - this easily could have happened to me.

To me, the saddest thing about this is that Troy was just on his way up... he was just getting good and all of a sudden, this happens. It really makes you question this whole concept of "destiny" what the point of all this is. Well no - the point of all this is that we are all so temporary and fragile and it can be over any second, so for fuck sake's, if ever you needed reason to tell anyone that you loved you love them, let this be it.

Anyballs... Rest in peace, Troy.

That's about it...

--- Aj

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Catchin' Up...


It's been some time. I think since Obama won or some garbage.

It's so awkward to come back to the blogosphere after being AWOL for so, so long. It's like running into a a good friend who you just haven't talked to out of sheer laziness/asshole-ish aloofness and all you can do is exchange pleasantries and talk about how brutal this winter is going to presumably be.

I'm sorry for that. Been a little bit busy. Doing what, exactly?

Oh this and that. That and this. Giggin'... Hallowe'en-in'... goin'-through-a-break-up-in'... and lastly, protestin'... yes, protestin'...

I'll elaborate:

Giggin': Well, it finally happened. I'm actually getting road work as a comic now. It's exactly as different-yet-as-similar as I'd always expected it to be. Some of it good: I've had surprisingly delightful experiences in semi-urban Ontarian centres like Kitchener and London... Some of them very bad: I played a gig last Thursday at George Brown college right here in Toronto for an audience that was 90% East Indian (Jamaica and Trinidad, at least, were audibly "in da house") which was so beyond horrific that news of that Wal-Mart employee that was trampled to death by a discounted-XBox-hungry mob seemed downright humane by comparison. OOH-WEE... if every I needed a reminder that comedy is indeed hard, that was it. I actually muttered "I'm still getting paid for this either way" for the first time. Anyballs... it was pretty awesome.

Hallowe'enin': I think it's been customary since Aught'5 that I post a comprehensive recap of my Hallowe'en... despite the fact that it was well-over a month ago, I feel the need to commit it to the annals of my blog (yes... annals...)

I was bouncing around a lot of costume options...

The forerunners were Rio from Jem & The Holograms (pending someone else went as gem... or else I'd just look like a tranny in a purple wig)... or Elaine Stritch... specifically, Elaine Stritch from her one woman show, "Elaine Stritch: Live At Liberty... it would have been sooo super easy... Flowing blouse, meemaw wig, cheap pearls, black tights, heels, a stool, and some long winded stories about my days treadin' the boards at the Schubert theatre...

After substantial rumination, I ultimately decided that going as Elaine Stritch was a.) thoroughly random and b.) devastatingly unsexy... and if Hallowe'en is about one thing, it's about being sexy... so I racked my brain, yet nothing... then, in a brainstorming session with Yerxa - who, incidentally was torn between Meryl Streep from "Mamma Mia" and Liza Minnelli... again, sexiness won out and Liza it was... - jogged my imagination when he asked me "well... have there been any newsmakers recently?"... which is funny in itself because a few years ago we were thinking about theming our costumes out of NEWSMAKERS - and going as Elizabeth Smart and Jennifer Willbanks (the runway bride with crazy eyes), but that ultimately proved futile... I'm not making sense/being boring - I'll get to the point...

So in a last minute stroke of creativity I decided to version a costume out of the gay cannibal - Anthony Morley, the disgraced former "Mr. Gay UK" in its inaugural year (1993) who was recently convicted of killing and eating his former lover - that a surprisingly and encouragingly large amount of people got. Particularly these two dudes dressed as Latter Day Saint's church elders who I almost had a threeway with, but that's a story for another time...

The costume was exorbitantly expensive to make. On the plus side, I am fucking superstar at iron-ing on letters onto delicate fabrics. If anyone wants some Laverne &/or Shirley-esque monogramed sweaters, I'm your man.

Moving on...

Goin'-through-a-break-up-in': I won't say too much about this, because I - much like the late Princess Diana - am famously guarded about my private life. But yes, I went through a bit of a break-up this autumn. I'll surmise it's when's, what's and how's like this: Remember that episode arc in season 5 of "Sex & The City" when Carrie meets Jack Berger? And things are going ridiculously well? And then she's dumped via a post-it? And then she sees his friends out at a club, one of them makes a sweeping statement implying that they had insight into Carrie & Berger's relationship that Carrie didn't have, then Carrie freaks out on the friends?

Yeah. Same thing happened to me. Only no post-it. Yeah. Anyballs - that's the extent of what I'll say about that.

Protestin': First thing's first: What is Prop 8? Proposition 8 - or, rather, Propisition H8 as it's been predictably coined in this age of Internet shorthand/functional illiteracy - is and was a proposition on California's latest ballot that, if passed would amend the California state constitution to prohibit gays, lesbians and everything in between from marrying. It would staunchly define marriage as between a man and a woman - no if's, and's and/or but's. Leading up to the vote, millions upon millions of dollars was raised to drum up pro-Prop 8 propaganda (say that three times fast, jeez louise...) Typical Evangelical double-speak saying that this was about "protecting marriage" and terrifying people into voting for it. Regretably, Propisition 8 passed by a slim margin.

This has spurred the biggest civil rights 'debate' of our time (and I'm talking about my generation in particular... so chill the fuck out people who lived through segregation) - if I had to try my hand at succinctly summing up this debate, this is what I understand it to be:

On the far right side, you have deeply religious, illogical people who are absolutely "no-way, no-how" and absolutely refuse to see homosexuality as anything less than a demonic disease that they're terrified would thoroughly permeate their beings if allowed some sort of constitutional recognition or protection.

On the centre-right you have median religious people who, in their lighter moments, tolerate homosexuality and won't lose sleep if they happen to catch 5 minutes of the odd rerun of Will & Grace, but still very much believe it to be somewhat of a perverse 'lifestyle choice' and thereby not worthy of constitutional recognition or protection. These people think that a vote for Prop 8 doesn't make them a bigot, it just makes them traditional.

On the centre-left, you have people who are all "love is love" and, although it's not my cup their cup of tea, don't believe it's their business to tell someone who they can and cannot love and thoroughly believe that the Bruce Cockburn song "Lovers In A Dangerous Time" rings especially true today. These people are adorable.

Then, on the far-left you have people who are absolutely disgusted, saddened and furious that we're still going through this systematic oppression of people questioning our existence and culture as being a choice in the name of "The Bible" and are simply going to do something about it.

Queue the protests - held globally - including one right here in Toronto in front of the US Consulate that I braved perfectly awful weather for (for realz: it was the thermal equivalent of a dead elderly woman's vagina)...

That's me with my fellow civil rights warriors, Heid and Anth.

I know that it's kind of redundant to be protesting this on Canadian soil - as we have gay marriage and strict hate crime/speech laws in place here - but the reality is that as Canadians, we take more cultural queues from the US than we generate on our own, so I was there to join the impact in changing the attitude that being gay is a choice - it is an irrefutable biological predisposition.

And also... because I made some really hilarious signs...

The first:

It garned much more agreement than disagreement, let me tell ya.

The Mormon church mobilized its membership and, in a bona fide recession, raised over 20 million dollars to pass a proposition that defines marriage as being between 1 man and 1 woman - which is a very different tune than they were whistling a short while ago. *cough-POLYGAMY-cough*.

Since then, they've undergone understandable scrutiny - and they just can't possibly imagine why. It's an amazing case of the aggressor playing the victim. Absolutely amazing. They argue that they were expressing their religious freedoms... no, you formed a crazed mob with a political agenda in the name of religion. Which is pretty fucked up. You know - I really don't have a problem with many religious freaks... like the Amish. I fucking love the Amish, and you know why? Because they may be fucking freaks, but they mind their own fucking business. They are not out trying to force anyone to go the way of their buggy (however, given the recent financial and ecological crises and the fact that bonnet's are due for a couture comeback any day now, they just might be onto something)... The Mormon's are crying 'victim' - reporting that white powder has been anonymously sent to several of their churches as a scare tactic. Again - given your recent scheming, what possible reason do we have to not believe that y'all aren't doing it to y'all's selves to add to y'all's already heaping pile of propaganda?

Anyballs - for this reason, some of my signage could have been considered a little anti-Mormon...

Yeah. I don't have a specific hate on for Donny and/or Marie - in fact, I was quite concerned when she took a tumble on Dancing With The Stars last season - but they're kinda the poster children for the Mormon church. So que sera sera.

I'll half-admit that this one might have been a little heavy-handed...

Meh. Whatcha gonna do.

Of course this one pertains to the threat that Stephen "The Least Talented One" Baldwin's threat that if Obama won, he'd move to Canada...

... A claim he quickly rebuffed a few days after I was seen brandishing this sign at the protest. Coincidence. Most indefinitely NOT. You're welcome Canada.

Sidebar: Back when I was working my first pseudo-intern-bullshit-entertainment-industry job for some kooky lady that did publicity on film sets, we were working on a balls awful direct-to-DVD sci-fi movie called Earth Storm - and it starred none other than Stephen Baldwin. And I was in charge of shooting the interviews for the DVD extras. So I have sat face to face with the man for upwards to and including 45 minutes. "Douchebag" does not being to describe him. Actually - I take that back. I think he could have been a lot worse. Anyballs - I had to do extensive research on him beforehand and found out that A.) He was recently "born again" and B.) Not at all happy to discuss some of his 'spicier' film work i.e. "Threesome" and "Bio-Dome"... so BITCH YOU KNOW I BROUGHT IT UP... and no, he was not happy. But he KNEW it was a deliberate move to piss him off... and looked at me like "You just had to go there"... it was pretty amazing.

And a short week later I called the Toronto Film Festival head office and used his name to finagle myself tickets to the closing night gala. BOOM! YA BURT, STEPHEN BALDWIN, YA BURNT!


This last poster is kind of random, but Anthony - who's thoroughly obsessed with the show 227 - insisted on me making some 227-themed protest fare, so here's what we came up with:

So yeah. Protesting can be fun!

But on a serious note - I've been following this 'debate' very closely and intensely... I patronizingly air-quote 'debate' because I think it's ridiculous that this is even a fucking discussion... the fact that the validity of someone's existence as a citizen of this world is a "DEBATE" is fucking BONKERS...

Anyway, in trying to make some sense out of it - I've come across to fantastic articles that really drum home some fantastic points about how the other side works...

The first one is an interview with gay Catholic author Richard Rodriguez entitled "Why churches fear gay marriage". It's a fucking magnificent read and brought up so many points that I would have never considered.

In it, he really explores the dichotomy of being A.) gay and Catholic and B.) gay and of a traditionally religious ethnic minority - and reconciling all of that. He talks about how it's important to not use blasphemy as a weapon - which I reluctantly understand... but it's so fun to!!! Whatevs.

But the most provocative point he makes is this:

"Q: You said recently the real issue behind the anti-gay marriage movement is the crisis in the family. What do you mean?

A: American families are under a great deal of stress. The divorce rate isn't declining, it's increasing. And the majority of American women are now living alone. We are raising children in America without fathers. I think of Michael Phelps at the Olympics with his mother in the stands. His father was completely absent. He was negligible; no one refers to him, no one noticed his absence.

The possibility that a whole new generation of American males is being raised by women without men is very challenging for the churches. I think they want to reassert some sort of male authority over the order of things. I think the pro-Proposition 8 movement was really galvanized by an insecurity that churches are feeling now with the rise of women.

Monotheistic religions feel threatened by the rise of feminism and the insistence, in many communities, that women take a bigger role in the church. At the same time that women are claiming more responsibility for their religious life, they are also moving out of traditional roles as wife and mother. This is why abortion is so threatening to many religious people -- it represents some rejection of the traditional role of mother.

In such a world, we need to identify the relationship between feminism and homosexuality. These movements began, in some sense, to achieve visibility alongside one another. I know a lot of black churches take offense when gay activists say that the gay movement is somehow analogous to the black civil rights movement. And while there is some relationship between the persecution of gays and the anti-miscegenation laws in the United States, I think the true analogy is to the women's movement. What we represent as gays in America is an alternative to the traditional male-structured society. The possibility that we can form ourselves sexually -- even form our sense of what a sex is -- sets us apart from the traditional roles we were given by our fathers."
Yeah. I think that's fucking brilliant. I think that heterosexual male insecurity over the fact that they just might not be able to institutionalize subordination of anyone who's not them makes so much sense it almost actually blows my mind. But really - that entire interview is so chock-full of nuggets, I'd highly recommend you read it in its entirety.

Article number 2: Op-Ed piece by one Charles M. Blow (I'll bet he is), about the exorbitant amount of black people who voted for Prop 8, the reasoning behind that, and proposed resolutions to it.

In the article, he says a lot of the accountability lies with black women (I'd be damned if it was any of the sistas that I know... but apparently, it's a big deal).

The money quote by estimation:

"First, comparing the struggles of legalizing interracial marriage with those to legalize gay marriage is a bad idea. Many black women do not seem to be big fans of interracial marriage either. They’re the least likely of all groups to intermarry, and many don’t look kindly on the black men who intermarry at nearly three times the rate that they do, according to a 2005 study of black intermarriage rates in the Wisconsin Law Review. Wrong reference. Don’t even go there.

Second, don’t debate the Bible. You can’t win. Religious faith is not defined by logic, it defies it. Instead, decouple the legal right from the religious rite, and emphasize the idea of acceptance without endorsement."
So true. So wise.

I guess I found these articles so interesting because I'm so staunchly secular, and can't even reason how this mythology fits into the equation, so it was helpful to read those and get some perspective.

But ultimately, the solution to all of this is going to be quite simple: 87% of people in my generation voted against Prop 8. It's a matter of the older people who were for Prop 8 dying. Plain and simple. And they are, so that's comforting.

Anyballs - so that kinda catches us up to snuff, I suppose.

Guess what's upon us?!

Thaaat's right - ONE WEEK TODAY!!!


Our 10th Annivesary Spectacular!!!

And in honour of that...

Here's the mix... that I play before the show... for your cardio-doing/pre-drinking pleasure...

Track listing:

Soul Avengerz feat. Zena Chavez - Move (Original)
Shontelle - T-Shirt (Josh Harris Mix)
Mariah Carey - I'm That Chick (Craig C. Mix)
Kanye West - Love Lockdown (Chew Fu Small Room Mix)
Flo Rida - In The Ayer (Jason Nevins Mix)
David Archuleta - Crush (Mike Rizzo Global Mix)
Christina Aguilera - Keeps Gettin' Better (Jody Den Broeder Mix)
The Saturdays - Up (Wideboys Mix)
The Veronicas - Untouched (Eddie Amador Mix)
Madonna - Miles Away (Morgan Page Mix)
Solange - Sandcastle Disco (Freemasons Mix)
Pussycat Dolls - I Hate This Part (Moto Blanco Mix)
Beyonce - Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) (RedTop Mix)
Lady GaGa - Poker Face (Glam As You Mix)
Britney Spears - Womanizer (Digital Dog Mix)

Download/Listen to it HERE!

So that's that. So good to be back.

Obligatorily yours,

--- Aj

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

That "Yes We Can" Blog

Wow wow wow wow wow...

So yeah, apparently, there was some sort of political to-do in the United States earlier this week.
Barack Obama won the presidency of the United States of America Tuesday evening, and it was a huge fucking deal.

I did not anticipate it being as big of a deal as it was at all. I can remember watching the 2004 election results, and it was the bust to bust all busts. Quite literally. I was up until 2 AM and the tone was both grim AND uneventful. It was weird. And then, by morning, we knew nothing. Of course it turned out that Bush would still be all up in our business for four more quite inglorious years - with exit polls explaining that the top issue was 'protection of values' (i.e. "Gays marrying? Not on my watch!") trumping four more years of Bushs' misguidance.

Anyballs. I was expecting it to be another toss-up this year - and that no one would know anything until morning. This is why I opted out of any sort of social gatherings... I thought it would just be a bust and I'd be under slept and disappointed in the morning. How very, very wrong I was.

I was watching CNN - not NBC - so I was in the company of yer Wolf Blizter's, yer Candy Crowley's, yer Soledad O'Brien's and of course, yer Andy Cooper's. I had read earlier that day that the first polls closing would be McCain states, so it's going to look like McCain is leading off the bat, but he's not. All I can remember all night was Obama in a menacing lead at every point.

I can then remember when Ohio was called - apparently that was the kicker. This was confirmed by Dana Bash, who - beside being the terrifying hybrid of Janice from The Muppets and Felicity "Bree" Huffman in Transamerica...


Anyballs - Dana Bash said at that moment, heart's sank at the McCain party, where she and her busted tranny muppet face were. Apparently - they didn't even announce it to the crowd... that's how heart-sinking it was.

Still, I wasn't sold. This is going to take HOURS I thought to myself. I kept the TV on. There were a bunch of fat asshole talking head politic-ista's yammering around in circles about what this would mean for the country... yadda yadda yadda...

At approximately 11:05 (mere minutes after the Western polls closed), Andy Cooper and Soledad O'Brien were making some inane CNN smalltalk about Iowa when SHAZAM - without an ounce of ceremony, the banner changes to read "Barack Obama Elected President" and we cut to crowds cheering for nigh on 10 minutes.

And I absolutely lost my shit.

And had no idea why.

But I did - lost it. My shit. Completely.

The more I think about it, I think it was a cry of relief. Certainly a release of adrenaline, because this was so built up in everyone's subconscious, but relief. The nightmare is over. For once - and I quite literally mean once, in recent history - the American people used common sense and did not subscribe to unsubstantiated phobias... well, at least enough of them didn't...

That's the thing, though. I went into this appropriately cynical. With the expectation that the Obama situation was too good to be true, and in the end, the US would blow it and opt for more of the same. I cried out of relief and astonishment that "Holy fuck... this IS a reality now". The good guy finally fucking won.

Even if this is a complete crap shoot and he fucks things up immeasurably/can't repair enough of Bushs' damage - I'll always have the memory of that relief and that hope. I think it was a moment the world NEEDED to have. At this moment in time, and for so many reasons beyond the immediate ones.

I also cried out of relativity to the plight of the African American population and what this meant to them - of course I now feel a little less sympathetic considering their involvement in passing California's ghoulish Proposition 8, but I'll get to that in a bit.

Anyballs - you know what it was like?! Quite literally - it reminded me of American Idol, Season 3 when Fantasia Barrino beat Diana DeGarmo. I'M ENTIRELY SERIOUS... don't remember it? Here...

Fantasia - the exponentially more talented yet controversial choice - beating remarkably similar pageant queen Diana. It was like a modern-day fairy-tale, much like Tuesday night...

I know, I know - any excuse to talk about Fantasia. Deal. With. It.

So yeah... soon after came McCain's concession speech. Flanked by the ever-vacant Cindy and the y'know, just, Sarah & Todd Palin, he came off certainly classier than he had during his campaign. It was a very dignified moment, save for the drunk yokels in the crowd who booed every time McCain's brought up Obama. Sidebar: When the cut to Palin, she actually looked disappointed and surprised to have lost. Like in the way a spoiled 9-year-old looks disappointed and surprised when they don't get a pet Unicorn for their birthday. Either scenario is equally implausible.

Cut to Obama's victory speech in Chicago - I was especially moved by the image of America's new First Family. It also hit me that as excited as I am about Obama being the next president, I think I'm more excited about Michelle Obama being the next first lady. WORK!

Then came Obama's speech. I lost my shit again - NUTS! I can tell you the exact moment it occurred... when he said: "It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled..." - that just hit me like a ton of joy-bricks. For the first time, the President of the United States of America recognizing the minority group and biological predisposition of which I belong as part of his constituency. Not disregarding it as some unspeakable, perverse 'lifestyle choice' like past presidents - but recognizing it, saying it. That honestly meant the world. And that's kind of sad, really. How low that bar of expectation is. But yeah... baby steps...

Anyballs - this trumps 9/11 as the definitive moment of my generation. Why? Because for the first time, my generation - the millenials - has its first significant moment that we can take responsibility for, the first item of history that we produced. And that, along with freshly tracked crow's feet I've discovered (Editor's note: ACK!), makes me feel really fucking old.

And that's the sense that I've made out of this.

Congrats to you, America!

Smell ya later,

--- Aj

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Bee's Knees

And a good Wednesday to you.

Last night I braved the snow - YES, SNOW. WHAT THE FUCK?!?! - to venture out to the cinema to take in "The Secret Life of Bees".

I'd tell you more about it, but it's a secret.

No. It wasn't so great. I enjoyed it, because I enjoy things that feature black ladies, but me-don't-thinks anybody's gonna be winning any Oscars from it.

It featured quite serviceable performances by Jennifer Hudson (who, yes, as it turns out, can act after all... suck it, Sex & The City: The Movie and the doubts that arose thereafter) and apparent cellist Alicia Keys - who, by the by, played the bitchy sister. Make no mistake about that.

Queen Latifah looked the portrait of a 1960's bee-keeping bull dyke (I know - is there any other kind?). Latifah is fast cornering the market on wise, elder authoritative black ladies... kinda like a female Morgan Freeman.

Dakota Fanning was her usual intense, precocious self. I don't care how normal an adolescence she's seeming to have, that bitch is always going to be the ringleader from Village of the Damned to me.

The real revelation of the evening (if there was one) was Sophie Okonedo as borderline retarded sister, Mae. I actually put her right up there with Sean Penn in "I Am Sam", Dustin Hoffman in "Rain Man" and Rosie O'Donnell in "Riding The Bus With My Sister" in terms of commendable cinematic portrayals of specially abled folk. Look at me being so PC. Ooh La La!

It must have kind of sucked for Sophie Okonedo, though. She's this fucking RADA-trained tragedian and she's playing opposite people whose acting credits include "Charlotte's Web", American Idol, "The Nanny Diaries" and of course, "Living Single".

I will say this about Jennifer Hudson, though: Just like the saying goes that "nobody gets beaten to death like Hilary Swank", no one can go from desperate to sassy like Jennifer Hudson. I'm very happy to know that she's finding her niche.

In other news:

Have you seen this yet? Y'should.


I can only hope that she pulls out that condescending, passive-aggressive, "talking-to-8-year-olds" tone out of her pocket when she tries to finagle the nukes away from Kim Jong Ill.

ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?! The extent to which this bitch knows not what she says is getting out of control at this point!

I often joke that "I don't mean to play logistic police right now, but..." - I can't tell you how much I believe there truly SHOULD be some sort of private 'logic' brigade or something that can intervene when things just don't fucking make a stitch of sense - LIKE THE POSSIBILITY THAT THIS DUMB BITCH MIGHT BE RUNNING THE FREE WORLD IN A MATTER OF MONTHS!!!



Until tomorrow!

--- Aj

Monday, October 20, 2008

Comings, Goings, Doings

Hey friends... Friends of friends...

How've you been keeping? I trust well.

I've been busy. Good-busy.

Last Tuesday, of course, marked a particularly Sapphic edition of Bitch Salad - a Gi-normous thank you to all who came out for that ('GI-normous' both as in superlatively huge AND vaGInally...)

It wasn't as lesbo-centric in terms of an audience turnout as I thought - which was just as well, as my lesbo-centric material was scant at best. But yeah - suu-h-uuper-fun. I totally put more germs in my head insofar as doing theme shows WITHIN the already themed show that Bitch Salad is. I.E. an all musical edition... or an all-'urban' edition... or... uhh... an all-puppeteer edition... yeah... probably not... whatevs...

So the excitement continued when last Wednesday saw me attend the opening of Mivish Productions' restaging of the beloved classic "The Sound of Music" - something I was waiting for with baited breath, considering my overly enthusiastic interest in the CBC reality show, "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?" this past summer.

In three words: Feel Good Time.

I don't know if you're a fan of the movie at all, or fuck, even SAW the movie - as a shockingly high number of people I've spoken to haven't (read: One person. I can't believe anyone has NOT seen the movie?!?! I thought some sort of accrued knowledge of the Family Von Trapp was more requisite in someone's childhood than the assfucking Bible... meh)... - but this thing definitely lived up to it.

The solution to "How [Exactly] [You Do] Solve a Problem Like Maria?", underdog Elicia MacKenzie, definitely worked it out. She still isn't nor shall she ever be runner up/predicted winner Janna Polzin (who, incidentally, alternates in the part Wednesday evenings and Sunday matinees), but she's definitely believable in the part of flibbertigibbet songbird nanny/mistress, Maria Rainer-Von Trapp.

Other highlights include Noella Huet's "Mother Abbess"... although her acting ranges from barely passable to passable, she can sing like a motherfucker. Like a motherfucker, let me tell ya. Upon hearing her fuck the shit out of the last phrase in the first-act closer "Climb Ev'ry Mountain", you'll be hard pressed to find yourself sitting on a dry seat. It's devastating.

And, of course, the bitch who plays Gretl is mayhaps the fiercest bitch who's e'er lived. She literally needs to blink and the audience full blown ovates. It's nuts. I was ACTUALLY star struck by her at the after party. I kept almost approaching her, only to come to my senses and be like "Dude... she still poops her pants... we can't hang out."

Some differences from the movie:

In the live version, the staple "My Favourite Things" is NOT sung to the children in bed to distract them from the thunder storm, but instead by the Mother Abbess to Maria in an uncharacteristically secular move. Good heavens!

What Maria does, in fact, sing to the children to lift their spirits during the thunderstorm, is instead "The Lonely Goatherd" - a song famously done in a marionette orgy in the film. This was incredibly disappointing, as I was hoping with all my might that there'd be a chorus of people pretending to be marionettes. BUT NO. Instead, it's just Maria yodelling to the kids as they scream their heads off. I thought, "Fuck... could there not be a little bit of reimagining here? Like maybe a mash-up of "The Lonely Goatherd" and Gwen Stefani's "Wind It Up"? Like have Gretl come out like "This is the key that makes us wind up..." But no. Anyballs...

Another thing that is noticeably different in the stage production is the part of the Baroness - she's not the skanky, jealous tranny that people have come to know and love from the film... but instead a quite noble and feminine character who simply can't have a meeting of the minds with the Captain... BORING! I WANTED TRANNY BARONESS!!! Instead of being played by a Kathleen Turner-type, as she should have been, she was played by a Gwenyth Paltrow-type, if that gives you any idea.

Anyballs - the party afterwards was fine. Cramped as fuck, as it was held in the actual theatre, because - as I'm told - every banquet hall in the city has been booked due to some mystery conference of sorts. There was a considerable food shortage, and it was all Austrain-themed.

During the show, at one point Elicia/Maria rewards herself for a job well done making clothes out of curtains or something, by sneaking a pastry, but is then busted by the Baroness. I then remarked to my co-horts that if Elicia/Maria needs to do that 8 shows a week, she's going to end up like Jenna Maroney in the episode of "30 Rock" when she comes back from summer hiatus performing in "Mystic Pizza: The Musical" on Broadway, only to have gained 50 pounds from having to eat 3 pieces of pizza on stage per show... I couldn't find a clip of it, but because the more 30 Rock you can mention, the better, DO enjoy Jenna performing her Number 1 smash hit (on the Israeli pop charts), "Muffin Top":

Anyballs - this whole Mystic Pizza: The Musical thing was worth mentioning, because afterwards, upon discovering that the scant food selection was all of Austrian persuasion (Cabbage Rolls, Schnizel, Pickeled motherfucking Herring...), my compatriot Heidi remarked that "now [she] really does wish this was Mystic Pizza: The Musical". Ha. Because then various pizza-things would have been served. Meh - it was funny at the time.

So yes...

Go see "The Sound of Music". And by all means join me in having "The Lonely Goatherd" in my head for the rest of days.

I'm going to see "The Secret Life of Bees" tonight. Jennifer Hudson is in it. I expect sass by the barrell full.

Smell ya later,

--- Aj