Gee whiz, readers! Another spectacular five days here at Queerty. Thanks for all your wonderful comments. We really appreciate it.
Queerty ReBUTTal’s usually dedicated to our comments on your comments, but we’re opening the floor to our editor this week.
If you’re feeling brave, check out what he’s been up to over the past five days as he jetted from New York to LA, met porn stars, politicians and prolific journalists.
The gods must be crazy – or have a sick sense of humor – because in about three weeks I’ll celebrate 52 as Queerty’s editor. Unless Jesus himself rings in for an interview, I don’t think the next 18 days will compare to the past five.
Monday followed my standard routine: wake up ass early, deliver the goods (Morning and news) and try to get to the office by one. I didn’t make it until three, the precise time I had a meeting with our new video guru, Zach. He’s a nice kid. And patient, bless him: he waited while I finished one of this week’s lighter stories – Madonna’s adoption. Things tend to get crazy around the afternoons, as stories and the Sandman start to catch up with me. I thanked my lucky stars when an interview canceled, because I needed some extra time to dig through my crowded desk. The rest of the day tapered off, I hit the gym and headed home, where I hit the hay at around one or so. A pleasantly boring day – the only one in the week.
I’m not much of a morning person. Even after 49 weeks at this gig, I still haven’t quite mastered the art of being cheery first thing. Tuesday was no exception, but I managed to shake it off enough to navigate the subways and get to the office at around 7. Without Prejudice host Dr. Robi Ludwig and I had a 9am phone date. A publicist’s miscommunication delayed the call until 9:30, which suited me just fine: extra time to harness the more affable side of Andrew B.
Our conversation can be read here, so I won’t bore you with the details. I will say, however, that Ludwig seemed like a genuinely nice, respectful – and respectable – woman. I didn’t have time to tell her, unfortunately, because I had to run off to meet Zach for another hot date: underwear models.
Vowing never to eat again, I walked amongst the gods to check out National Underwear Day in New York’s Times Square. The idea of a day dedicated to underwear strikes me as a bit silly, in a good way but I can understand why my friend, Freshpair owner Michael Kleinmann, got into the business. First of all, underwear’s important – soaks up that testicle sweat, which can be very important, especially in the summer. Second of all, Kleinmann had the unparalleled pleasure of casting the models, whom you can ogle in our video.
Sadly, I didn’t have too much time to ogle, because I had to run back to the office. The rest of my day unfolded behind my desk, images of sugar-tushed models dancing in my head.
A tornado swept through my beloved Brooklyn early Wednesday. My air-conditioner masked most of the malicious weather, but a particularly nasty bolt of lightning and its subsequent thunder woke me from a brief slumber. 6:20. I should be awake. Decide to sleep a bit more and wake up to write about Young Republican leader Glenn Murphy’s sex scandal. Now, I love a GOP sex scandal as much as the next homo-journo, but the image of Murphy sucking sleeping men’s dicks made me a bit queasy. Maybe I’ll delay breakfast and pack for the Logo/HRC gay forum in Los Angeles…
For some reason, New York’s transit system hasn’t quite mastered rain. Nevermind the fact that it’s rained for eternity and our city’s one a few hundred years young, the subways still can’t cope with a little drizzle and, as a result, I’m forced to stand in smelly, steamy tunnel for forty minutes. Daydream about moving to Los Angeles, remember I hate Los Angeles and decide to watch rats running along tracks. Glenn Murphy’s picture flashes in my imagination. There’s the queasy feeling again!
I find Zach’s smiling face at the office and, again, make him wait while we deal with a Don’t Ask-related story. Representative Gary Ackerman discussed the costs of Clinton’s discriminatory military policy. Some people call book burning Charles Merrill a hero. Fuck that. I think Ackerman deserves a metal. He does, after all, have the balls to stand up to Condi Rice. Remember? He made fun of the Pentagon for being afraid of gay people: “…The military seems more afraid of gay people than they are [of] terrorists, but they’re very brave with the terrorists.” Brilliant! Ackerman also wagged a finger over fired translators. Ackerman, if you’re reading this, I have a total crush.
Zach and I braved the streets of Chelsea to get some opinions on the gay forum. It’s not as easy as it looks. We had a bit of trouble on the concrete, so Zach suggested we head to Chelsea Market: an upscale market with fish shops, bakeries and fountains all under one roof. Not many of its patrons wanted to chat, but we did find that adorable Yankee fan, who made me laugh. It’s the best medicine, you know.
Security weren’t laughing, though and gave us the boot. They did, however, ask us if we were from NY 1. Maybe the city’s news station has a monopoly on the market? No matter, I had a plane to catch and much to do. I arrived in Los Angeles around 9:30, 12:30 in New York. My bags, meanwhile, decided to take a detour. They’ve yet to arrive.
Getting up in Los Angeles makes my New York experience look like a cake walk. 4:30am never looked so ugly, but had much to discuss ahead of the gay forum, including a rundown of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards’ respective fund raiser invitations. Hillary wins.
When my friend James told me that the Starbucks on Santa Monica counts as the world’s gayest coffee shop, I didn’t believe him. James, I owe you an apology, because when I met HRC’s Joe Solmonese at the aforementioned location, I got gayer. That place makes Big Cup – the now defunct Chelsea staple where I worked between my freshman and sophomore years – look like a KKK meeting.
Queerty and I have written some pretty harsh things about HRC, so I didn’t quite know what to expect when I met up with Solmonese. Would he be an absolute cunt? Hardly! Solmonese turned out to be a great guy and more forthcoming than I expected. While I still stand by everything I’ve personally written, I’m glad to have chatted with the HRC president and thank him for his time. Will I continue busting HRC’s balls? Fuck yeah.
Rushed to my friend James’ friend’s house to transcribe and publish the interview. This friend, it turns out, used to work for porn producer Chi Chi LaRue. His porn name? Luca DiCorso. I’ll tell you, he’s even more beautiful in person. He’s also got a beautiful garden, but lamented his dying jasmine, which leaves his garden exposed to the West Hollywood streets. More importantly, DiCorso’s an angel: he let me use his computer for a few hours while I finished up work. Thanks, babe. I owe you one.
Logo asked the press to check in at 3:30. I’m not sure where they got that number, but press ended up milling about in the sun until about 4pm. Apparently security had to clear the black box they converted into our head quarters.
I’d never been to such an orchestrated event and really couldn’t believe all the news media who showed up to cover the event. All this for gay people? How fabulous! As CNN, Telemundo and other major news networks set up, I felt totally grassroots with my minimalist approach: legal pad, pen and candidate’s positions. A very organic experience. Well, as organic as one can get amongst the hustle and bustle of press types: a far more boisterous crowd than one might imagine. Loads of schmoozing.
I didn’t know a soul. Introduced myself to Pam Spaulding, but she didn’t seem very interested. Ran into my former HX Media coworkers, Kerry Eleveld and Sean Kennedy, both of whom now work for The Advocate. All three of us worked together one year ago and now we were covering a gay forum? What a beautiful occupational moment.
The room’s filling up when a woman takes the seat next to me. I’m reading Vanity Fair and enjoying my own world when she asks me about my notepad: a souvenir from New York’s public theater. I ask the woman her name. Nora Ephron. How could I not recognize the famed journalist and director of Sleepless in Seattle and screenwriter of When Harry Met Sally? Kick myself.
Ephron now writes for Huffington Post and, sure enough, Arianna Huffington walks on over and introduces herself and her newest writer, Max Follmer. The ladies get whisked off to the studio audience, leaving me with my Logo-provided turkey sandwich and a journo from Chicago Tribune. Follmer comes back looking for Huffington and Ephron. They’re inside, I tell him and start chatting him up. “I just started,” he says, “It’s hard because everyone’s a blogger.” I tell him I’m a blogger. He apologizes, but doesn’t blush. He then tells me he wrote the invitation piece I mentioned before. I thank him for the great piece. “It’s nice when the invitations come in the mail,” he enthuses. I just smile.
The debates start – I’ll spare you my personal analysis, largely because I’m still silently picking my candidates apart. Ephron rushes in looking for her glasses. She’s got a pair in her hand and one on her head, but insists there’s another pair. She starts to rush away, but turns to ask me if I’ve seen Romeo & Juliet in the park. I haven’t. Ephron gives it a thumbs up, by the way.
Skip Logo’s after party for some much needed dinner and sleep.
Another early wake-up. Do a bit of forum analysis before heading off to the Ritz-Carlton in Pasadena to interview Governor Bill Richardson Now, I’ve seen some nice hotels in my day, but this place definitely takes the cake with its bridges and man-made rivers and bungalows. It’s nuts.
Richardson’s on the phone when I get in and we’ve only got a bit of time. Honestly, I didn’t warm to Richardson like I expected. He lives in Santa Fe, as does my mother, so I thought we’d hit it off. I’m not sure we did. I did, however, get the interview. I rush back to transcribe and, as you’ve probably seen, post it. Now I’m writing to you guys, my readers. Sure, I don’t know most of you, but I’m thrilled to be approaching my one year mark. And don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere.
Except out to enjoy the weekend, which you should do, too.