Monday, July 04, 2005
The hiatus has ended. It feels good to get back into the swing of things, but spending some much needed time offline was something I needed: Reality is always a good thing...
Last blog I had mentioned heading out on a roadtrip from Salt Lake City through Vegas and into California. Well, it happened. It was not only a relaxing experience, but one that was a welcome change from the typical Texas scenery. Aside from the brush fires that were closing parts of Hwy 15, the deep crimson rock that framed Nevada was incredible, along with fleeting glances of the Valley of Fire and Grand Canyon. The forbidden fruit after exiting stage left of Utah seemed to be fireworks and small casinos who touted their massive payout to customers (even if it was from the year 2000).
The blunt change of red rock to the Hard Rock is quick and plastic. The layer of smog that sits over Vegas is palpable and since this was my first time traveling into Sin City by ways of car, it seemed to be a much more ‘real’ way than via McCarren Airport. I’d mentioned that this trip was going to be a nomadic dream in terms of hotel visits: A night at MGM’s SkyLofts and a night at the Wynn Resort. Two newer property hotels on the strip that are both touting to the same clientele.
Check-in at the MGM was painless. They got us up to the room, did the paperwork in-room and left us to explore the place. Here’s a look at the downstairs of this place:
It was incredible. Two floors. One bedroom. The bathroom was friggin’ huge with a steam room, waterfall shower, infinity-edge whirlpool tub and no less than 3 televisions. Honestly, does anyone really need three TV’s in their crapper? With all of that visual stimulation going, it’d probably make it one tough cookie to drop the kids off at the pool. The technology in the loft was impressive: Everything was controlled (audio, music, lighting, drapes, etc) from handheld touch-screens. Electronics were by Bang and Olufsen. Audio is on-demand. Wireless and wired high-speed net connections were available as well. Great room. Great people who run it. They’ll do anything to make your stay comfortable.
The second night was at the new Wynn: I had big expectations, as Steve Wynn spent years saying this was his crowning glory. ‘Themes are dead’ Wynn said. ‘Better than Bellagio’ they wailed. Did the hotel live up to the hype? Somewhat. Let me explain:
Attention to detail at the Wynn is incredible. It’s a much more intimate property than Bellagio. The only thing ‘bigger’ and more grand would be the rooms, which could be considered all-suite style. Wynn’s choice of color through the hotel was nicely done with neutrals mixing well with bold colors of blood red, burnt orange and saturated earth tones. He often uses ornate fabrics on walls, accessorizes rooms with original artwork, seemingly spends an insane amount on fresh flower arrangements and generally keeps design lines free-flowing and somewhat ‘Seuss-ish.’
Check-in was later than expected, so we took some time to catch some grub at one of Wynn’s Noodle Houses. Great meal and design eye candy throughout the restaurant. Finally got up to the room, had a few housekeeping snags (ie, footprints on the walls) so ultimately the night was comped by the front desk. Nice touch. It’s something like that which will keep your customers coming back. Wynn knows that he’s going to break more than a few eggs in making this cake, thus he’s also being a bit more liberal in doling out the comps. Forbes reported recently that the Wynn exceeded their first month’s take by more than double ($174 mil). It’s obvious that even Steve Wynn is impressed with the numbers they’ve been racking up.
The pools at Wynn are well laid-out and offer two private pools for guests staying in a Tower Suite room or higher. Nice touch, as the private pools stay much more empty and offer a truly relaxing way to catch some rays and just veg for an afternoon. Cabanas are available for full and half day rental. I think the price starts at $150. Ouch.
Let’s stray away from Vegas: This past week my piece hit the net with Dan Savage’s The Stranger, a newspaper (and net publication) based in Seattle. I wrote for their Queer Issue. The article turned out nicely and I appreciate ALL of the complimentary emails from readers, looking forward to possibly writing more for print publications. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, the article can be found by clicking HERE. Enjoy.
I had a chance to catch opening night of George Romero’s Land of the Dead while in Vegas. I had HUGE expectations for this flick. Remakes of his work have landed well at the box office, so I had assumed that Romero would really come out fighting to show us what his newly expanded budget of $17 million could do for the zombie movie genre...
Boy was I fucking wrong. What a flop.
... and you thought i couldn't take a career step down from this
Dennis Hopper sleepwalked his way through the movie, while real talents like John Leguizamo were wasted in stereotypical roles with bullshit script. Even the gore effects in the movie were lackluster, with way too many CGI shots and not enough physical effects. If I wanted to see a whole mess of computer generated shots, I’d watch Jurassic Park and be floored. When I watch a zombie movie, I want edge-of-my-seat action, 90% of it being blood-soaked, and some really gruesome physical effects. Romero’s original ‘Dawn of the Dead’ was FAR superior to this piece of garbage. This time around he simply tried too hard to incorporate too many worthless subplots. It slowed the movie down and really didn’t allow the audience to have fun.
Lord... May this craptastic movie NEVER make it into a DVD-set of Romero’s other works. Amen.
Speaking of movies, next week brings Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Choco Factory. From a recent article in Entertainment Weekly, it seems that Burton didn’t have much respect for the original film or for Gene Wilder’s performance. He took the opportunity to bash Wilder a little in the article for not supporting his reimaging of the flick (or whatever the shit he’s calling it)...
Burton is a cretin. The last good movie he did was Batman. What do they say about throwing stones in glass houses Mr. Burton? Need I remind the jury about Planet of the Apes.
Jack Albertson is dead and Peter Ostrum is a recluse, but Gene can still kick your ass Burton!
Willy Wonka will always be Gene Wilder to me. Depp can bob his hair, wear technicolor contacts and play wacky all he likes, but Wilder will be topped by no one. Added, there will be no singing in this version either. Sacrilege.
I’m reading this article about Trinity Broadcasting Starlett Jan Crouch today. For those of you unfamiliar with this wooly mammoth, here’s a sneak peek:
She looks like an angora kitten in drag preaching the gospel and demanding cash-love gifts, no?
However, despite her position as co-founder and first lady of TBN, Jan stayed out of the spotlight in the early days. She was a skinny, spacey, frail little thing, dutifully supporting her windbag, platypus-faced husband, Paul Crouch. But sometime in the early ‘90s, things changed. Paul was hit with accusations that he was into guys.
Oh the shame! (cue dramatic music)
One can imagine her cornering Paul in one of TBN’s Newport Beach, CA mansions after yet another meeting with an alleged molestee’s lawyer: Jan jabs a finger into Paul’s man-tit and ferociously mews, "You can chase all the man booty you want mister, but things are going to change around here!"
And change they did. Amid various payoffs, lawsuits and gag orders, Jan underwent a startling metamorphosis: Her makeup suddenly thickened, her wigs became fuller and more elaborate, and she was sporting a newly tight and varnished face and an enormous bust. Plus her attitude took a turn for the sassy. On the air Jan began teasing her husband (who apparently decided to battle the gay rumors by draping his corpulent frame in hideous ultra-gay Versace knockoffs). She took to peppering her lengthy monologues with a trademark evil giggle when she let something catty or greedy slip out, and she has spent a lot of time solo hosting Praise the Lord and the 30-minute ‘news’ show Behind the Scenes.
Without Paul to hold her back, Jan has been free to be her daffy, devout, money-grubbing self (‘Hello-o-o! He died on the cross for you!’) She rivets us with stories about Jesus raising her pet chicken from the dead. She inspires us to pledge amounts we can’t possibly afford by telling us about the TBN faithful who have done just that before receiving and inexplicable cash windfall via computer error or surprise inheritance.
Jan makes us weep as she shares the story of her humanitarian endeavors in Haiti, where her Smile of a Child charity is building a children’s hospital on direct orders from God after a hyena ripped off the face of a local tot who couldn’t afford plastic surgery, unlike Jan. This report comes complete with surreal montages of Jan dispensing toys to Haitian children– Picture a pink-wigged Dollywood animatronic figure in platform boots cackling ‘It’s from Jesus!’ as she presses her plum-colored lip-job to the confused little black faces. Many of them seem to be saying, ‘Thanks, Scary Wig Lady, but I’ll take my chances with the hyenas.’
Over this past weekend, I also had a chance to stop into Philly during Live 8. An insane number of people were in the city. Quick trip, with me only being in the city for about 15 hours. Flew back today , repacking as I type and out tomorrow for a 4th in New Orleans.
Last week was void of Eye Candy, but I think this week’s crop will more than make up for it. A bevy of beautiful boys awaits and you can always count on 15 Minutes (and my yahoo group) for the BEST in EC and EC Archives. Enjoy this week’s edition:
Spent time in Philly meeting a new friend and an amazingly cute guy named Jonathan (pictured below). He’s currently known among some escorting circles, but I guarantee that this kid will skyrocket with his very marketable combo of looks, sex drive and smarts. More to come on this guy in the near future... Much, much more. Next week I’ll share some stories (if it's cool with him), but for now let’s just say that he'll do very well in this industry. He's a cool kid.
The hot guy in question
This week’s WHACKOFF OF THE WEEK is found at JustUs Boys. It’s a hotspot for some good free images without all of the pop-up problems that are plaguing more and more pic sites. Thanks to my eyes and ears in Philly (and across the bridge) for this heads up. A most appreciated selection :)
Thumbs way up to my compadre in West Hollywood for taking a stance in the pages of a very public magazine. Nice article kid. Looking good against that hard steel. Naughty boy.
Random smile of the day, thanks to this pic:
Until next Sunday... Blogging is such sweet sorrow. Here's wishing everyone a most safe and enjoyable 4th. See ya in the funny pages.
‘Always forgive your enemies: Nothing annoys them so much.’ — Oscar Wilde