My Name Is Peter

Some Thoughts on Some Things

An article the Associated Press just published states that, yes, in fact, tanning beds are as deadly as arsenic and mustard gas. According to an analysis of around 20 studies, people’s risk of skin cancer jumps 75% when they start using tanning beds under the age of 30. The article continues on to say that in the UK, melanoma is the leading cancer diagnosis for young women in their 20’s. Melanoma is no joke, and it is typically not seen until much later in life! The UV light from tanning beds is also believed to cause eye cancer.

Yes, eye cancer.

The American Cancer Society suggests people use alternatives like bronzers and self-tanning creams to get that golden glow.

Check out the article from the Associated Press for more info.


July 28th, 2009

Sunday night I had the chance (thank you, Christian!) to see Grace Jones at The Hollywood Bowl. The acts before her were good, but when this lady came onstage, it was very clear why she became an an icon and the others were relegated to opening act status. She owned that stage. I mean OWNED. And even though I’m only familiar with one song she has sung in her long career, I was riveted to the core for her entire performance, which included a costume change for nearly every song. At one point (video below) in the middle of her version of the Edith Piaf classic “La Vie En Rose,” this 61 year old veteran turned around to show us her naked backside, which, at 61, looks better than mine after a year and a half of Barry’s Bootcamp. Check it.

Side note: Earlier in the show, Ms. Jones explained to us that her son was in her band. So, as my friend 007 so deftly pointed out, her son had been staring at his Mom’s naked rear end for the entire song. Therapy anyone?

But I digress. This morning at Bootcamp, I was both struck and disturbed. Barry asked us all to do a fairly complex maneuver on the treadmill that involved a steep incline, a slow moving belt, and slightly acrobatic jumping lunges. Admittedly, this was a challenge, but it wasn’t forever, and the benefits became crystal clear through the sudden and intense pain I felt in ass muscles I didn’t even know existed. Trying to take my mind off the pain, I glanced down the row of treadmills to see Barry coaching an acquaintance of mine on how to perform the lunges. The acquaintance finally gave it a half-assed try, pun intended, until a frustrated Barry banished him to “Run the stairs!” Bootcamp Acquaintance was seriously on the sh*t list to achieve that honor. I am afraid of those stairs. Seriously.

Anyway, once Bootcamp Acquaintance returned from the stairs, he did one or two more exercise rotations and then unceremoniously took off. Now I don’t know if he didn’t feel well or what the story was, but truth be told, I thought of Grace Jones. Would she have given up so easily? Did her 61 year old ass look like it did on Sunday night by sheer genetics? Watch that video again.

Grace Jones proved to me, and to the entire Hollywood Bowl on Sunday night, that when your ass is on the line, you have to get out there and do your thing. You’ve got to persevere and win over an audience who may know nothing more about you than your name. Because if you aren’t willing to work your own ass off, how’s it going to be when other people’s asses on are the line?

The other day, I got an excited email from a friend I will henceforth call 007. This is because he is so beautiful he may as well have a License to Kill. It seems, according the screen grab in 007’s email (example to the right), that a certain someone’s facebook status had switched from ambiguous to “single.” And it also seemed that I may have inadvertently sent this certain someone a slightly flirtatious comment, as one does. But I myself had no idea that this certain someone’s status had moved from ambiguous to single, as I am not a professional cyber-stalker like 007 has so clearly become. I simply like to send slightly flirtatious messages through facebook to cute boys every so often, as one does.

Side Note: I have been told by relatively objective sources that my slightly flirtatious messages tend to have the subtlety of a steam roller.

But I digress. Back to 007’s email. The message and tone were both quite clear. “BACK THE &@#% OFF,” I believe it read, followed by the obligatory email smiley face. So I flew to my iChat to find out what was going on! As it turned out, 007 had had his eye on this certain someone for a few years, but this certain someone was in a very serious relationship. That is until facebook told us otherwise. Timing is everything in life, don’t you think?

Anyway, the whole situation got me to thinking, as one does. What has happened to our world? Has our instinctive mating dance been reduced to the way we choose to address our facebook relationship status? As we progress further and further into the information age, where everything is becoming faster and faster and more optimized, I have watched some of my friends’ sex lives dissolve into a brief series of email and IM encounters. Both parties answer a series of questions on a website and then agree to meet for a hookup. Hookup happens. Needs have been met. Life moves on until someone gets horny again. And then it’s back to the Question and Answer section of tonight’s program.

Now, with the advent of iPhone apps like Grindr and Loopt, we don’t even need to speak to people at bars, clubs, restaurants, libraries or produce departments, let alone bother with clunky websites. All we need is a GPS-enabled iPhone and we’ve got ourselves our own personal sexual homing device.

Come on people! Live a little! Get up from the computer. Put down the iPhone. Take a chance and meet someone in-person and for real. Introduce friends to each other. Set people up on dates. Get set up on dates! Go have a real conversation that doesn’t include abbreviations like LOL, QT, BTW, or ROTFL. Please.

OMG – look at the time. TTYL! :-)


July 23rd, 2009

I’ve been looking at it all day, and there is just something so amazing to me about this album cover. It’s like a mash-up of Warhol, Lichtenstein, I believe an old Herb Ritts photo of Madonna, and some Marilyn Monroe thrown in for good measure. Nothing about its individual elements is new or original, but once synthesized together, it becomes a new piece of art unto itself. Kind of like Madonna herself.

I’ve been many places around the world, but nowhere on earth, at least nowhere I’ve seen, is quite like West Hollywood. WeHo is a gay city, run and cared for by a gay community, and I love it here. It is a place that embraces individuality, diversity and self-expression. Where else can an accountant by the name of Daddy Don celebrate all that he is and run a thriving accounting business at the same time?

Side note: I have a number of friends who hand their taxes over to Daddy Don each year and totally swear by him.

But I digress. West Hollywood has, of course, developed a number of stereotypes. The most consistent of all being that all the men here are so perfect they are not only inaccessible and unattainable, but their entire motivation for being seems to be the maintenance of their perfectly tanned and toned physiques. The male versions of Pamela Anderson, as it were. But so what? Who cares? This is LA, after all, and I for one would rather be surrounded by pretty people. Does that make me shallow?

But seriously, WeHo is a place where so many young men, who grew up in small-minded families surrounded by small-minded towns, first get a chance to truly be themselves and live in a city that fully supports their endeavors to be all that they can be. In other words, seeing a drag queen walk down Santa Monica Boulevard at 1:30 on a Wednesday afternoon is about as remarkable as seeing Mickey Mouse at Disneyland.

And so, I will continue to be filled with a sense of giddy gratitude every time I walk down Santa Monica Boulevard and see that Gay Flag right next to The Stars and Stripes.

Without You I’m Nothing

July 22nd, 2009

Over the weekend, I had the chance to see Sandra Bernhard’s genius first film, released in 1990, projected on the big screen at Outfest. If you have not seen this movie – see it! The trailer doesn’t even begin do it justice. Beyond.

Paula and Idol

July 22nd, 2009

OK. So I don’t like to write about such fluff, usually. And having had to cover American Idol for waaaaay too long in my day job, I am kind of over the whole phenomenon. However, I am a little horrified by the producers’ choice in actually debating whether or not to renew Paula’s contract.

Here is what I know, being a former media insider and all. For some reason, people tend to think it is Simon who is the real draw. People assume Simon is the genius whose razor tongue drives the ratings. “Let’s all tune in tonight and see what that bristle-y Brit has in store for those baby belters tonight!” Right? Well, actually, not so much.

In my experience, Simon has three basic, under-nuanced reactions to performances:

1. “You were really good tonight. Probably your best performance of the season.”

2. “You were just average tonight. I’ve seen you do better. In my opinon, you’re going to have to really step it up if you expect to win this competition.”

3. “You sounded like a starving cat in heat screaming in a back alley.”

But it has always been Paula who scores the real media coverage. And beyond the media, how often have you stood around your water cooler saying like, “OMG you guys! Can you believe what came out of crazy Paula’s mouth last night? I mean, is she, like, high or something? I mean…”

Paula is the one who continues to give Kathy Griffin the real comic gold. Paula is the one who still seems like she genuinely cares about each of the contestants and is actually rooting for them to do their very best. Paula cries real tears. Paula’s reactions are always original, completely out of left field, and totally memorable, especially when they make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Do you remember the time she compared one contestant’s performance to “a really great salad”? Oh, I do.

So, in my opinion, FOX needs to get its sh*t together and realize the gem they have on their hands. Or, in Paula’s own words, recognize her for “the gift” that she is.

In other words, suck it up, pay her what she’s worth, and get over it!

Banned German Sprite Ad

July 20th, 2009

My friend Antonio just posted this commercial on his blog. Apparently, this ad was banned in Germany. Oh Germans. I think they should air it here. On The View. 😉


My friend Charles

July 20th, 2009

I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to my friend Charles. You can follow on him on Twitter. I highly recommend you do.

Charles and I met years ago at a Madonna record release party at the Abbey in West Hollywood. I was there with a friend who had some business to attend to, so I was quickly left alone to fend for myself amidst a sea of rabid WeHo Madonna gays. If you have never found yourself alone amidst a sea of rabid WeHo Madonna gays, it feels a bit like the zombie dance scene in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video. I’m more of a New York Madonna gay, so you know.

Anyway, maybe sensing me to be a kindred spirit, maybe taking pity on me, probably both – Charles, sporting a very becoming newsboy cap, approached me and said, “It’s a whole situation here, isn’t it?” Side note: the Lifetime movie version of Charles’ life would be entitled: “It’s a Whole Situation: The Charles Porch Story.”

But I digress. Back at the Abbey, I looked at him and uttered a terrified, “Yes.”

C’mon, let’s get you a drink.” And so began a beautiful friendship.

I often refer to Charles as “The Source of my Sanity,” because he truly is. He has a unique outlook on life, which he has coined “The Double D Philosophy,” or “The Dolly / Dalai Duality,” as in Dolly Parton and, of course, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Don’t believe it? Take a look at this video. With Charles’ patient guidance, I have come to realize that Dolly Parton has, in fact, answered most of life’s difficult questions through her music. Have a burning bewilderment? Just search Dolly’s catalogue of songs and take a listen. She’ll make it better.

Charles is currently on a 10-day tour of South America. He is in Buenos Aires on a quest to become the First Lady of Argentina and, after achieving that goal, going on to vacation in Brazil with “His Brazilian Peeps.” I miss him loads, but I understand that he has work to do and others to inspire and enlighten. Hurry home :)