Personal

Adventures in Subway Artwork

I have never been a fan of public transportation. One time as I was making my way home from a particularly grueling day at high school, I was on the train leaning against the wall and the train doors hit me as they were closing.

“Stand clear of the closing doors, please.”

Trains are my least favorite because, and this should come as no surprise, they have subway performers and artists and I am always suspicious of those.

Cue the above drawing, by Tolan Van Harris, my subway artist of the day. Andy, our friend Chris, and I were making our way around the city during NYC Pride and upon entering the Times Square bound S train, we were asked if we minded getting drawn. My coworkers told me that I look a little angry in this drawing, so I guess my feelings on subway artists came across. However, I LOVE this. How cool is it to have a complete stranger make art specifically of you, just because something left an impression on them enough to want to put that out into the world? And then for them to share it with you?

On top of that, I had a really nice Pride. After the parade we went to Logo TV’s Drag Race Pride Party hosted by Michelle Visage. I’ve seen BenDeLaCreme perform and I was at a party that Bianca Del Rio made an appearance at, so it was nice to see them as well as the other season six finalists of RuPaul’s Drag Race and previous Miss Congenialities perform. Ivy Winter’s routine was out of this world. I’ve never seen anything else quite like this event.

Last weekend, Andy and I went to Staten Island PrideFest where we saw some familiar faces. An old friend of mine had a hand in the event, so it was nice that it was such a huge success. I also had a wonderful conversation with a fellow Whovian (if you see this, mystery woman, hit me up) thanks to my tardis shirt from Threadless! Our favorite part? The Doggy Drag Show!

Personal

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

At Open House New York last year, Andy and I learned of “Nothing to Hide,” the magic show directed by Neil Patrick Harris. We had planned to go, but we weren’t entirely sure if he would be performing himself or just directing. Instead, luckily enough, another opportunity arose to see NPH live: “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”

We bought tickets as a sort of one-year anniversary present to one another, and on the final day of May we headed into the city. First we had a romantic dinner at 44 SW Ristorante & Bar, despite the attempts of a herd of rude tourists to ruin the moment. In order to actually have something to toast with we each ordered expensive specialty drinks that we didn’t like enough to finish.

And then I did a terrible thing. The waitress left her pen. And because I had some severe delusions about meeting NPH after the show, I “borrowed” it for the night. And karma, in all of her glory, came to me in the form of exploded ink all over my favorite jeans.

The show itself was fantastic. We didn’t know what to expect (there was an unwritten rule between us that we wouldn’t research what the show was about) but as soon as the cast came on stage, neither of us could take our eyes off of the stage. I think my high school self would have been jealous, because it was pretty much everything that I would have wanted to see back then in my imagined future life.

The set design was beautiful – they did so much with lighting alone – that even though there wasn’t much to work with, everything was taken advantage of. I wasn’t a big fan of some of the music, but we ordered the Original Cast Recording beforehand, and those songs have grown on me a lot now that I’ve listened to the album on repeat.

Watching the Tony Awards was really exciting because we saw them win “all the awards” including NPH’s win as Best Lead Actor in a Musical. So that should be enough to sell you on grabbing tickets. NPH is slated to perform until mid-August, when Andrew Rannells is set to replace him.

Personal

Moose Sighting

I’m currently on vacation in New Hampshire with my boyfriend and his family, and last night we went on a Moose Tour by Pemi Valley Tours. Here’s what we saw minus a few deer. Such an exciting night!

Web Series

The Outs at PaleyFest: Made In NY

Back in October my boyfriend dragged a very sick Brandon to The Paley Center for an event we were both very excited for: An interview of the cast and crew of The Outs. Above is a clip from the event where you can catch a glimpse (twice!) of me and my boyfriend’s arm (we’re way too excited about this).

Since we are such huge fans of the web series (we did create a tour of the shooting locations used), sitting so close to the people responsible for our new favorite show was an amazing experience. Having a background in film, I was very pleased to learn more about the co-writers Adam Goldman and Sasha Winters and just how their Kickstarter project turned into a household name (at least in the GLBT community).

What really resonated with me that night was Tommy Heleringer’s comments on his journey as an actor. Apparently he had decided to quit acting before getting a role on The Outs, and having seemingly failed at his dream he was in a bad place. I know how it feels to feel lost on your career path, but also how things can change quickly and unexpectedly. Since Tommy’s character, Paul “Scruffy,” is one of my favorite characters from the series, my heart went out to him and was glad for his success from the show.

While the spotlight was obviously on the cast and crew, it was really interesting to hear from John Cameron Mitchell, who moderated the evening. He is the director of Shortbus and the writer of Hedwig and the Angry Inch (which my boyfriend and I are planning to see later this year).

After the interview the third episode of the team’s new series, Whatever This Is, was screened. The event was very enjoyable, and I look forward to attending future NYC events by The Paley Center.

And while my boyfriend and I stayed afterwards for a good 15 minutes to try and work up the courage to talk to any of the members of the cast and crew, we decided we would be cowardly lions instead. Oh well, there’s always next time!

Movies

The Gay Best Friend

Somewhere around two months ago, I drove my boyfriend and I to Long Island for a double feature screening at the Long Island Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. I was super excited because one of the feature films was Geography Club, and I had written a review of the book it was based off of. The film, like the book, was no great shakes but made for nice, light, entertainment. However, the other feature film (G.B.F.) and the additional short film (Boygame) were very well-executed and very enjoyable.

For the purposes of this post, I’ll be talking about G.B.F., since out of the three films it was the most entertaining and I’m happy to share that it is now available in the U.S. on Video on Demand and it appears to be rolling out in select theaters (none in New York, currently, according to the official Facebook page).

I had actually heard some buzz about G.B.F. before finding out it would be screened at the LIGLFF, but had never seen a trailer or read a description until I was purchasing tickets. The trailer, which you can view here is what sealed the deal for me.

I mean, look at that cast! Michael J. Willet (United States of Tara), Paul Iacono (The Hard Times of RJ Berger), Sasha Pieterse (Pretty Little Liars), Andrea Bowen (Desperate Housewives), Evanna Lynch (Harry Potter), Megan Mullally (Will & Grace), and many others appear in the film. Quite a few reviews from critics are comparing G.B.F. to Mean Girls but I don’t think that’s fair. While there are some small similarities (as there would be in almost any high school comedy), I believe that making comparisons like that will keep people from seeing this film.

Michael J. Willet and Paul Iacono were fantastic. I was very excited to see more of Michael after his small part on United States of Tara. While most will also give (well-deserved) praise to Sasha Pieterse and Andrea Bowen, I have to say that Xosha Roquemore (Precious) as Caprice was hysterically and made it easy to fall in love with her character.

Plus reading this interview that screenwriter George Northy did for Brightest Young Things makes me that much more interested in and hopeful for his future in screenwriting. His experience with this film and how it ultimately turned out actually gives me that extra push to start writing again. You never know what a story can turn into or where it can go.

If you have the ability to watch G.B.F. either in theaters or on Video on Demand, I definitely recommend it.

Tech

My Top Ten Favorite Apps

I recently became aware that the last time I listed my favorite iOS apps was back in 2012, so I’ve decided a new list was very overdue. Some apps have made it back onto the list, while others have been knocked off to make room for new ones.

1o. Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse – iPad/iPhone – $9.99

When I was younger, I used to love to play Disney’s World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck on Sega Genesis with my dad. So I was excited to find out that the games’ predecessor, Castle of Illusion was remade into an iOS app. Unfortunately, the app isn’t compatible with my iPad 2 (though it will work on newer models) but I can play it on my iPhone 5. I haven’t had too much time to really sit down and fully enjoy the game, but I’ve loved the levels I’ve played so far. Check to see if your device is compatible before purchasing.

Purchase

o9. Delivery Status – iPad/iPhone – $4.99

This app has had a few changes since I included it on the last list, but it is still well worth the download. It started out as a Mac OSX Dashboard widget, and was one of the first widgets downloaded to my old Macbook. If you’re in need of a reliable delivery tracker for your packages, I definitely recommend this app.

Purchase

o8. Cartwheel by Target – iPad/iPhone – free

Okay, okay. Let me start off by saying that I do work part-time at Target. However, if I didn’t, I probably would have no idea this app existed unless I was told by a team member or saw a sign in the store. Many people are unfortunately unaware about this app. Here’s how it works: Sign up with an e-mail or your Facebook account, browse for products or scan barcodes, and if a product you plan on purchasing has a Cartwheel coupon, show your Cartwheel barcode to your cashier. It’s really simple and can definitely help you save a few bucks. Plus, because you can scan barcodes, it is super easy to scan all your products with the app before getting on line to see if you can get a percentage off your total.

Download free

o7. Shazam – iPhone – free

Shazam is definitely a huge favorite of mine because you can launch it when you’re watching TV, listening to the radio, at a party, or virtually anywhere your device’s microphone can pick up recorded music. Now if you’re unable to figure out who is singing or what the song is to download for later, this app finds out for you. So simple.

Download free

o6. Flow Free – iPad/iPhone – free

My boyfriend’s roommate was playing this on her Kindle one night and I ended up downloading it on my iPad and can’t stop playing. I tend to get fed up with games after awhile, but I’m absolutely addicted to this game. It’s puzzle based, and if you enjoyed those maze games growing up this might be a good app for you. You have to connect two dots of the same color, without breaking any other connections. There are different packs of varying difficulties, so it’s hard to get tired of this app.

Download free

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Movies

You Miss Me Yet?

Yes, Veronica, we did. Very much so.

For those of you who didn’t know, E! had the exclusive first screening of the Veronica Mars Movie trailer. While the above video is a copy I found on YouTube (which will hopefully be replaced with the official link soon), feel free to watch the “exclusive” version over at E! Online.

Kudos, though, to E! Online for completely dropping the ball and publishing an article about a movie trailer urging readers to view the trailer on their own website – without actually including the trailer for close to a half hour.

I’m not entirely sure I dig the whole high school reunion thing they have going on, but I do think I like how Veronica left Veronica back in Neptune and is thrown back into that world again – by none other than Logan Echolls. What are your thoughts on the trailer?

Web Series

The Outs Tour

A few months before my boyfriend and I went on our very first date, I had already fallen in love: with The OutsThe web series, by Adam Goldman, is a story about a really rough breakup between two men and how they overcome it. The people behind the series have been receiving a lot of much deserved recognition, which is exciting because I am clearly a big fan.

Imagine my excitement when my boyfriend, after being forced to watch with me, realized that many of the locations were around his neighborhood. No, seriously. Imagine it. After finishing all 7 episodes, we mapped out all of the restaurants and businesses they had shot scenes in. And then, because we probably have some serious boundary issues when it comes to fandom, we found the building that was used in the exterior scenes of Mitchell’s (played by Goldman) apartment. The Outs Tour, which you may have seen as a hashtag on a few of my recent Instagram posts, had officially been born.

And because I’m just that kind of guy, I’ll share it with you:

1. PeteZaaz

766 Classon Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

EDIT: PeteZaaz is now closed

Pizzas. I think we were both a little nervous since this was our first stop and we weren’t even sure what we wanted out of the tour yet. We ordered two cokes and a ½ “Brooklyn” (regular) and ½ Baked Potato pie and it was so delicious. The weather was still warm at this point, so we eat outside in the backyard. There were a few picnic tables and candles to illuminate the area since it was already dark but we couldn’t really tell what else was there (besides an adorable cat who refused our fellow diners’ crust). Plus, it was a cute place to start the tour because Mitchell had a first date here – even though I’d say ours went a bit better than his.

 

2. Tom’s Restaurant

782 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY

Tom’s Restaurant was not at all what I had expected, especially from the its appearance on the show where a few of the characters met up for food – it seemed like it would be a quiet but quirky diner that not many people knew of. My boyfriend, however, had been there before and told me that there would be a long line. There was. Once inside, we ordered (chocolate chip pancakes and a vanilla egg cream for me, cinnamon pancakes and milk for him) and you were able to really take in the decor and atmosphere of the place. It was nice, but I wouldn’t order the chocolate pancakes again because they were way too filling so I didn’t get to eat much.

 

3. Wino(t)

796 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY

This place was really significant for me. My favorite character, the fabulous Oona, worked there. Like her, I’m not that big of a wine drinker although it is starting to grow on me and this was a perfect place to buy my first bottle of wine. We bought a riesling (Shine by Heinz Eifel) and it was thoroughly enjoyed over an episode or two of Teen Wolf. High class.

 

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Personal

Sterek or Treat!

Last weekend my boyfriend and his roommate threw a rooftop Halloween party (you can see the photos over on Instagram). Since both of us are big fans of MTV’s Teen Wolf we decided to go as the ultimate couples costume: Stiles Stilinski and Derek Hale (or Sterek, as “shipped” by our fellow fans of the show).

My boyfriend really went above and beyond for the party. He created spooky names for all of the food and drinks, even making place cards out of plastic vampire fangs. I wish I had more photos to really give you a sense for how much thought was put into this party, but it was so dark and my camera flash didn’t do it much justice. I was able to get a good shot of the jack-o-lanterns (Disney themed).

Ursula was carved by my boyfriend, and The Beast and Oogie Boogie were carved by his roommate’s boyfriend. Pretty sweet, right?

What are you going as for Halloween this year?

Music Video

It’s Never Winter When It’s Donna Summer All Year Long!

I think we all know that I’m a huge fan of British girl group, The Saturdays. I did make an (unfortunately only unofficial) music video for their song, Open Up, after all.

Well, they’re back at it again with Disco Love: a new song and great music video. Check it out above and let me know if it’s on getting put on replay at your place too. Unfortunately, it’s not available for preorder yet here, but hopefully it will be soon!

Also, props for hiding Frankie’s baby bump so well – I almost forgot she’s expecting!