Clowns Are Scary… Except This One

scary-clownsOn the whole, I think clowns are terrifying.  (As well as “Elf on the Shelf” and people in full-blown furry costumes at amusement parks… but those are things for another time.)  Who knows where this fear started.  My parents have attributed it to the Stephen King book and movie “It”.  While I agree that “It” was/is the scariest TV movie ever made, I’m not sure that’s it.  

And I know I’m not alone.  Across America, millions of people share this same fear – Coulrophobia, or fear of clowns.  A quick Internet search revealed 16,100 results. There are even websites dedicated to the subject, such as Ihateclowns.com, where coulrophobes gather to share their thoughts. Clowns are common characters at Halloween events such as Universal Studios yearly Halloween Horror Nights, which featured a killer clown as its main icon for several years. Clearly, the fear is real.

But, I found one clown that is laugh-out-loud-absolutely-100%-pee-in-your-pants hysterical… though I’m not sure the kids in the commercial share my feelings.  Watch and enjoy.

, , , ,

No Comments

Edge of Glory – Gaga and Gay Marriage

prince-eric (2)Like most children from the 80s and 90s, I grew up on Disney movies.  The cartoons were full of magic and wonder, and I was enthralled.  Prince Charming.  Happily Ever After.  The whole nine yards.

prince-on-white-horse (2)As a strong, gay adult male, I’m not looking for some Prince Charming/White Knight to ride in on his horse and save me.  I’m fully capable of saving myself.  But as for the Happily Ever After… who wouldn’t want that?

After Lady Gaga released “Edge of Glory”, a guy in California filmed a fan-made video (more like a short film) to go along with the song.  I’ve watched it countless times, and it makes my soul happy every time.  This is definitely a Happily Ever After I would want.

 

, , , , , , ,

No Comments

Glee – Let’s Have a Kiki!

Artie-glee-7960939-1024-768I have been a fan of “Glee” since the pilot episode, and I will stay a fan past the day it goes off the air.  It’s a show that, no matter what mood I’m in when it starts, I always feel better when it’s over.  When Glee is on top of it’s game, it’s phenomenal, but, in recent seasons, it has fluctuated between brilliant/funny/touching and uneven/scattered.  Thankfully, though, the moments of brilliance are so stellar that it makes up for all the times where the show may fall a tad short.

glee-s4e3-kurtSJP

The clip below is one of my favorites.  It’s from the Thanksgiving episode and highlights Sarah Jessica Parker’s short-lived role as Kurt’s mentor at Vogue.com.  Yes, it’s over-the-top, but it’s also unapologetic and just goes for it.  And when “Glee” swings for the fences like this and hits it out of the park, I know there is a lot of life left in this show. (Since they got rid of the original version, consider the Spanish translation an added bonus.)

 

, , , ,

1 Comment

Auto-Tune the News

Unless you were living under a rock in 2010, you know who Antoine Dodson is. And most likely you know him from YouTube. His original interview is comedy gold. But you know what can make the news better? That’s right, if you turn it into a song! Thankfully for all of us, The Greggory Brothers have taken it upon themselves to find outrageous news stories and set them to music. Here are a few of my favorites:

Antoine Dodson – The Bed Intruder Song

Jimmy McMillan – The Rent Is Too Damn High

Charlie Sheen – Winning

Christine O’Donnell – I’m Not A Witch

Yeah, like some of those won’t be stuck in your head all day. You’re welcome.

, , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Incoherent Ramblings on Love and Relationships

In Cincinnati, this wonderful city of ours, there are many questions we ask ourselves and others. What flavor of Graeter’s ice cream will I have today? How bad will traffic be after the Reds game? Can you believe they finally broke ground on the Banks project? But when talking with friends and co-workers, conversation usually turns to relationships and love… and that brings up another question…

“What is love?”

On the surface, that seems like a pretty straight-forward and easy question, but under closer examination, things aren’t always as easy as they seem. So, let’s take a look at love. I don’t mean familial love or love of your fellow man, but that great love that binds people together, for better or worse, till death (or divorce) do you part. That’s the kind of love I’m talking about. Some people spend their whole lives searching for it. For other people, it finds them. However it happens, most people do experience love at some point in their lives.

Each person has a different definition or interpretation of the word. Webster’s defines love as “a strong affection for another arising out of attraction”. That’s very clinical… boring…cut and dry, and really doesn’t seem to do justice to the idea of love… in my never humble opinion at least. What about the romance? The quickening heartbeat when that special someone enters the room? The knowing glances? The unspoken understanding? The pure, unadulterated joy? But it’s not all sunshine and roses. There’s also the opposite side of the spectrum to consider. What about the sorrow? The betrayal? The tears? The fights and the pain? Through it all, the good and the bad, aren’t most of us looking for the possibility of a “happily ever after”? In the above definition, where does all that come in to play? That’s right, it doesn’t.

With that being the case, let’s take a look at where all of us learn about love… the movies. Movies teach us that out there for all of us is “The One”. Barring horrible events like a sinking ocean liner or an untimely fatal illness, we are guaranteed to ride off into the sunset hand in hand. Or so they’d like us to believe. Unfortunately, this happens less than 1% of the time in the real world. Even more unfortunately, we all have to live in this real world. No Fairy Godmother, no magic twist of fate, and, most of the time, no Prince Charming.

Enough with the broad generalizations of love. Let’s look at something more specific: Relationships. Relationships are the road on which love is built. All relationships have a beginning, a middle, and an end. At the beginning of a relationship, there is uncertainty: Where is this going? Do I want this to go anywhere? What do we call this? No one really likes uncertainty, so some people like to rush through the beginning stages of a relationship and jump right to the middle where they feel nice and stable and can say things like “I’m in a relationship”. But more often than not, when you rush through the beginning, you are also rushing right towards the end. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Sorry. Let’s go back to the beginning.

After the initial meeting, all roads to love begin in the same place. Dating. Dating in the movies is much easier than real life too. In the movies, you’ll have a quirky first meeting, a few impossibly romantic dinners, a terrible relationship-ending misunderstanding, but not to fear, because, in the third act, all is resolved, and you and your sweetie can share a kiss on the observation deck of the Empire State Building. In reality, the adventure that is dating can be the definition of insanity… doing the same thing over and over yet expecting a different outcome.

In my experience, this has often been the case. Not to say I haven’t tried changing it up. I’ve tried dating for romance or dating for passion. I’ve even tried dating for mutual respect and decent conversation… attempting to avoid the messy trappings of all that other stuff. (Sometimes you just have to get out of the house.) Whether my fault, their fault, or no one’s fault at all, no matter the start, they all had the same result. Close the curtain. Take a bow. Relationship over.

Then there’s something they don’t like to mention in the movies. At the end of a relationship, you are presented with a wonderful new gift… baggage. (Ahhhh, baggage.) Baggage can come in all shapes and sizes: doubt, trust issues, self esteem problems, etc. The list goes on and on. The end of a bad relationship practically guarantees you a matching set of brand new, oversized baggage. Even good relationships can be enough to mess you up for awhile. You just hope that by the time you decide to try again, your baggage has been reduced to something closer to a carry-on tote than a steamer trunk.

For me, when it comes to relationships, I think Carrie Bradshaw put it best when she said, “There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you that you love, well, that’s just fabulous.”

In the end, love in the real world is like walking through a mine field. You take a step, blow up, put yourself back together, and stupidly take another step. It makes me wonder… Why do we do this to ourselves… again and again? Some say that it’s human nature: it hurts so much to be alone that we’d all rather blow-up than be single. I don’t agree with that at all. The answer I keep coming back to is that because when it’s good, it’s totally worth it. And those great moments are what make me keep coming back for more.

, , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Sassy Gay Friend

Many times in classic literature, the heroines came upon a tragic end to their lives. It went with the story, added depth to the narrative, but ultimately was a real downer. But thanks to the fabulous people at Second City, we find out it doesn’t have to be that way. These stories could have had a happy ending. All these women needed was a Sassy Gay Friend. Watch and enjoy!

Juliet from “Romeo and Juliet”

Ophelia from “Hamlet”

Desdemona from “Othello”

Eve from “The Bible”

The Giving Tree from… well… “The Giving Tree”

Nina from Black Swan

Miss Havisham from ‘Great Expectations”

Lady Macbeth from “Macbeth”

Now, isn’t that better?

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Eric Himan / Eric and the Adams

This summer, I discovered a new singer. Now when I say “new”, I mean new to me, not new to the scene, because he has been making incredible music for years now. I don’t remember now where or how I heard about him, but I’m oh so glad I did. I’m talking about Eric Himan.

Eric HimanEric Himan is so grassroots, his face is green. Though his music tells a different story. Without the help of record labels, booking agents, publicists, or management, Eric Himan is touring to more places, getting great press coverage, and still has time to run his record label, Thumbcrown Records, home to his six studio albums. He just released his newest, Resonate, and has five years of solid touring in the US under his belt.

To describe Eric’s sound, I would say it’s like if Maroon 5, John Mayer, and Tracy Chapman got together, had a baby, and gave that baby a guitar. It’s been a long time since I’ve found a singer whose music I identify with as much as I do his. Over the course of 10 days, I downloaded and devoured all the music Eric had to offer, loving every bit of it, and that’s when I saw something else…

He had a band! Eric and the Adams

Eric and the AdamsIn August 2007, upon moving to Oklahoma and getting offered a local gig requiring a back-up band, Eric met the Adams duo (Jimmy Adams on bass and Angel Adams on drums) in Tulsa after performing at an open mic on the same night. Eric joined his experience with the Adams’ explosive creativity. Their differences in styles of music have made it fun to put together a sound that is unique only to them. They started performing locally and word caught on. The rest, as they say, is history.

 

 

 

 

Angel AdamsAngel – By day, she’s an art director and graphic artist. By night, her superhero persona is Drummer for Eric and the Adams. Spending many years traveling overseas serving with humanitarian aid and missionary organizations, she started that work at 14 years old and hasn’t stopped. “I LOVE to travel and love that I’ve been a part of helping in the lives of so many people. I did my very best to have at least one ‘Indiana Jones’ experience every trip I’ve been on…I have LOTS of stories to tell.” Currently, she lives in Tulsa, OK with her incredibly supportive partner (and high school sweetheart) and their 5 (yes, 5) gigantic dogs.

Jimmy Adams

Jimmy – Plays bass in the band Eric and the Adams. He’s married with 4 boys is currently attending college and runs his own landscaping business. Growing up, he spent most of my time outside building forts and climbing trees…which also could be translated into breaking a lot of bones. He’s spent a lot of time in casts from trying to defy gravity. That same “kid” creeps in every now and then, showing up in their live performances. He describes his influences as bands like Sublime and Incubus…but making room for everything else from Kelly Clarkson and Gwen Stefani to Bach and Chopin.

 

If you want to find out more about Eric Himan or Eric and the Adams, click here and here.

*****The Music*****

As I said, I really connect with the music of Eric Himan and Eric and the Adams. Their music travels the gamut. Always crisp, clear, and deeply soulful, it is at times emotional and touching and at others fun and upbeat. In their catalog, there is something for everyone. And so you can appreciate it too, below are some videos showing you their undeniable talent. So watch, listen, love it, and enjoy!

Eric Himan – There’s Gotta Be Something

Eric Himan – Little Boy Blue

Eric Himan – 7 Song Cover Medley

Eric and the Adams – Every Move

Eric and the Adams – Keeper of the Secret

, , , , , , ,

No Comments

It Gets Better

If you’ve been near a newspaper, tv, or the internet over the last two weeks, you’ve no doubt heard about the gay suicides across the United States due to bullying. Some of these kids were 13 and 15 years old. Just children. Starting puberty or starting high school. This is the most difficult time in their lives. This is the time when they start really developing their personality, discovering who they are, and carving out their identity. And to think that they felt their life was so hopeless that they had to do something as drastic as taking their own life… well, it just breaks my heart. I feel like I need to say something. Share part of my story. Something. Because what is happening CANNOT be allowed to continue. As a society, we need to be teaching love and acceptance, not hate and intolerance. The younger generation learns from our actions and behavior. We must be the example.

I would love to think that someday we’ll live in a world where bullying doesn’t exist, but this is the real world, and there will always be bullies. Dealing with a bully is never fun, but there is always a way. There is always hope. Hope survives, even in the darkest of times.

Growing up gay in the rural mountains of West Virginia was not easy. I did my best to hide what I was, because at that point, I myself didn’t really understand it. I knew I was different, and I knew the feelings I was having were not the same ones my friends were having. In a town of 2000 people, there’s no such thing as a gay role model to look up to. And there weren’t gay characters on tv and in movies like there are now. So I completely understand the feelings of confusion and lonliness. And I had my share of bullies. No physical violence or anything like that. But nasty names and rude comments, yeah, I dealt with that. Personally, I used my quick wit and sarcasm to deal with bullies… to the point where the bully was then the odd man out and getting a dose of their own medicine. Is that the right thing to do? Maybe not. But that was my defense mechanism, and it worked for me.

For the gay youth out there, in the end, what I’m saying is that there is always a way to deal with what you are going through. Sarcasm and a quick wit worked for me. Maybe for others there is the support of their friends. A family that loves them. A trusted person to talk to. Something. Anything. Never give up. Suicide is not the answer. EVER.

The most important thing I can say is that yes, it does get better. So much better. Once I was honest with myself and my family and friends about who I was, things got significantly better. I had a support system. I was able to surround myself with people that liked me for me. Right now, teenagers just want to be normal, and I completely understand that. But as you get older, you’ll realize that being normal is boring. Being different is amazing! Embrace your indviduality! You are special. You are amazing. You are loved. And you deserve to see all the wonderful things life has in store for you.

But if you need someone to talk to, there is help. There is hope. Contact The Trevlor Project. Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1-866-4-U-TREVOR

Below are some videos from people with the same message for you that I had. First up is a song/video from a dear friend of mine that she wrote for her son, but it applies to all. Listen to their words and know “It Gets Better”.

Sherry McCamley – “My Beautiful Boy”

The Trevor Project – It Gets Better

Ellen Degeneres – An Important Message About Bullying

Kathy Griffin – A Special Message

Chris Colfer (Glee) – It Gets Better

Eric Himan (Singer/Songwriter), featuring Angel Adams/Jimmy Adams – It Gets Better

Jay Manuel (America’s Next Top Model) – It Gets Better

Michael Urie (Ugly Betty) – It Gets Better

Tim Gunn (Project Runway) – It Gets Better

Todrick Hall – It Gets Better (song and music video)

Joel Burns – City Council from Fort Worth, Texas – Personal Story for It Gets Better

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Quirk Classics – Book Trailers

A series created by Quirk Books, Quirk Classics blends the work of classic literary masters with new scenes of horrific creatures and gruesome action.

Their Mission: To enhance classic novels with pop culture phenomena.

As the home of the original literary mash-up and New York Times Best Seller, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”, Quirk Classics is the premier brand in literary monster mash-ups and remixed classics. Soon to be literary cult-classics, Quirk Classics are designed to be cleverly conceived, well-written, and entertainingly executed masterpieces that bring new fans to both classic works of literature and to original works of genre-based fiction.

Below are two trailers for their books: “Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters”, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls”, & “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After”. Enjoy!

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After

, , , , , ,

No Comments

Glee – Sue Sylvester – Sneaky Gays

One of the best parts of the TV show Glee is Sue Sylvester, played flawlessly by the brilliant Jane Lynch.

Here, Sue Sylvester on her WOHN News segment – Sue’s Corner – explains how sneaky gays are ruining America.

 

, , , ,

No Comments