Friday, February 09, 2007
Baby, you can drive my car...
This past week saw the passing of Anna Nicole Smith. I’ve gotten some emails from people who realized that Anna and I knew each other (although we weren’t close friends) and I just wanted to thank everyone for their condolences. The times I spent around Anna were some of the most fun and rewarding, as she had an incredible energy and was someone who would practically give her left arm to make sure everyone around her was happy.
The Anna Nicole on her reality show was only one, very small, side of her personality. She mugged for the cameras, yes, but who she was once the veneer of celebrity was taken down was something all together different: She is and always will be the small-town girl from Mexia, TX. Whether you appreciated her antics or not, she died a tragically early death, something NO ONE deserves, leaving behind a little girl and many people to wonder what kind of legacy will this infant will come to know as she grows older.
I had first met Anna in Las Vegas, where she was hosting a party at Bellagio’s Light. This was at the peak of her reality show success and people turned out in droves to catch a glimpse of this modern-day pinup girl and her wacky entourage. I had been sitting on one of the sofas for most of the night, talking with a friend of mine who had just opened in Zumanity at NY-NY. As the night wore on, each banquette basically meshed into another one, with everyone participating in each other’s conversations. This led to Anna coming up to our table and comically asking ‘how the hell does someone as beautiful as you live with yourself’ to my female friend. She responded with an equally as smart-ass remark and Anna plopped down next to us and told her assistant to get her a RedBull.
She chatted with Vanessa for awhile. They hit it off. I mostly just listened to Anna wax poetic about the horrors of signing away your soul to a reality show on E! Sure, it seemed like a horribly public way to live, but thanks to that show she was also reborn as a B-list celebrity and it kept the money coming in. I told her not to look a gift horse in the mouth.
I don’t know whether she was momentarily offended or if she just was surprised that I could actually speak, but she then turned to me and immediately started grilling me with questions: ‘Where you from,’ ‘what kind of music do you listen to,’ ‘do you watch my show,’ ‘are you gay or straight,’ etc. I remember being very honest with her about what I did for a living, at which point she clapped her hands and told me ‘you’re gorgeous, of course you are.’ After about 30 minutes of this, she got up and mingled around the room.
I thought it was over. I was wrong. So very wrong.
Later in the night, Anna was speaking to the room on the mic, singing her theme song from the show and basically just being ‘Anna Nicole Smith.’ Then suddenly, almost as if a bolt of lightening hit her, she turned in our direction and announced:
‘That guy over there (she points at me) is my escort for the evening. He’s fucking hot, so keep your damn hands off of him guys. He’s mine. HI BENJAMIN!!!’
I wanted to crawl under the table and die.
In hindsight, it’s funny and somwhat charming. It was the start of a nice friendship, as we kept in touch over email, as well as through Anna reading this blog. Every now and then I’d get an email asking where I was and if we happen to be in the same place at the same time. Coincidentally enough, the only other time we hung out was when we saw Zumanity (back in Las Vegas) together. She had just lost all of her weight and gotten the TrimSpa contract. It was a zoo. I guess all of the paparazzi from LA came into Vegas just to follow her around town. Her relationship with the photogs was incredible. She knew she needed them and they knew they needed her. No pretense.
In reading through several online message boards, news sources and opinion pages, it seems that disrespect for the dead isn’t something people care much about anymore. People have been merciless in coloring her a drug-riddled, imbecilic mother who cared very little for anyone but herself. I totally disagree. 99.9% of people out there have never even had the chance to talk with this woman, see how she truly functions and hear what she has to say when the flashbulbs stop popping. True, she was a personality, but at heart she was also just a simple person.
Yes, it was a tragic death. Contrary to popular belief, NO DRUGS were found in here system after an extensive 6-hour autopsy. This was not a suicide. Yes, she will be missed. Yes, she leaves behind many who saw the incredibly strong woman she was. I’m not calling her Mother Teresa... I’m calling her my friend.
I put together some of my favorite ‘Anna Moments’ here:
Shopper Alert: Universal Gear is having their yearly denim sale. I just picked up a few new pair of Diesel jeans along with some nicely priced-down jackets from G-Star. Shipping is speedy and ordering online couldn’t be easier. Check it out.
I had the chance to catch the national tour of Putnam County Spelling Bee this week while it stopped in San Antonio. I’ve blabbed about how great the Broadway and Chicago casts of this musical were and the tour is no exception. I was initially worried about how such an intimate show would translate into larger tour settings, as most of the theatres the show is stopping at are at least 2000 seat giants. I’m happy to report that the arrangements hold up well, the vocal harmonies are easily heard, the audience interaction bodes well and the show is just as charming (and emotionally striking) as it always was. The voices cast in the tour are outstanding.
Speaking of outstanding voices, I found this video on YouTube of the infamous show-stopping number from Dreamgirls (the movie). This is why Jennifer Hudson will win the Oscar:
Also, a BIG DAMN CONGRATS goes out to my friend and fellow performer Hallie Scarnado for making the cut on this season’s American Idol. For those who aren’t glued to your television sets (or don’t fly in aircraft with live television), here’s a refresher of her audition when the show rolled through San Antonio:
A big welcome to the readers of This Week in Texas, otherwise known as TWT, a weekly print publication for the Texas gay community. I am now a weekly contributor to their widely-read magazine and am thrilled to be sharing my viewpoint with my fellow gay Texans. As always, if there’s something you like, dislike or want to see tweaked (my nipples excluded), please email and let me know.
So, in prepping all of these names and categories for this year’s ESCORT AWARDS, it came to my attention that while some of these guys do their jobs (and do them well), there are more than a few mentioned on that list who are more infamous than famous. Sure, we know the stories immediately on a few of them, but things have recently surfaced regarding one in-particular and the ultimate safety of his clientele. I’ve been told that he’s not to be trusted. He’s young and pretty, but that doesn’t always make for someone you can leave alone in your home.
It’s all been interesting and one thing is for certain: My readers LOVE Eric NYC. I’ve gotten more email about this young guy than any other out there, all singing his praises and calling him the ‘next big thing’ (literally and figuratively, depending on if he’s clothed or naked). I have a feeling that 2007 will be Eric’s time to really shine.
Jason Rylee... Why’d you even leave? Good lord, you’ve got fan support. You've also got stellar reviews and an impeccable reputation. Congrats!
I’ve heard about the escort breakdowns, the underage child-porn addictions, the undisclosed diseases, the amazing muscle bottoms, twinks who grow up and are lost interests, those who promise and don’t deliver, humongous appendages and the fem guys they’re attached to, escorts who Botox more than is humanly possible, guys who look nothing like their pictures, the one twink who’s client found his Valtrex prescription, a certain escort’s penchant for stand-up comedy and a couple who should or already do wear hairpieces.
There’s so much to write and I don’t even know where to begin...
So I won’t. Well, not this week at least *wink*
To think that something from Fredericksburg, TX could make such a profound impact on my life: Circle E Candles. They’re huge, smelly and cheap. Three of my favorite qualities. LOL.
Tired of always waiting for a table at your favorite resturaunt? Don't. Hit up OpenTable online, sign-up (it's free) and make sure you're set to breeze right to your seat like a real VIP. I've used this service for about a year now and it's worked like a charm each and every time.
THE WHACKOFF OF THE WEEK goes to a site dedicated to those with a speedo fetish (which I do) and best of all, it’s blogged on a regular basis. If a tight and toned swimmers body is what you drool over, this site is your Mecca. Click here and enjoy the show.
Also: I just updated my Google Gallery with new snapshots from my time around the world. All three sections have new photos, some of which are guaranteed to warm up even the most chilly of places around the country. Look for additional new video to hit the web later tonight.
EYE CANDY. Need we say more? I'm starting this week's edition off with some of the press photos of Daniel Radcliffe in the new West End production of 'Equus.' Looks like this twink has finally grown up.
Thanks y'all for staying tuned and your patience during this lag was mucho appreciado... I don't plan on going on blogcation that long again anytime soon. Feels good to get back into the swing of things...