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Stars On Our Shoulders

This one goes out to the unremarkable and the extraordinary. To me and you. 

To the people who go to work without complaint, who force a smile when all they wanted to do was stay in bed. 

To the girl who cries when the lights are out.

To the boy who cries when the lights are on. 

To my friend Ann, who loved Bon Jovi more than anything once upon a time.

To my first girlfriend and my last boyfriend

To the dreamers and the ones who dare.

To the meek and the mighty

To the ones who can’t but try anyway. 

To the guy who mugged me for my International Male coat. 

To the guy who punched the guy who mugged me. 

To the old man who made me dragon hair candy at the top of a Hong Kong tram

To all the guys I’ve loved before.

To the night I stood on the ledge of a building at Brandeis and wondered if seven stories was enough. 

To those who wake up every morning, re-wrap their wounds and go on with their day. 

To the boy who has the courage to wear his saddle shoes every day

To my eleventh-grade English teacher.

To the day after a party, that glorious mess, that sleepy muddled way of making breakfast for the friends that stayed over. 

To the summer when all my brother and I did was swim and pick flowers for Mom

To the times when my Dad tells me he loves me. 

To the night I looked into my husband’s eyes and saw the future. 

To the birthday when I got to visit a beaver

To all of us who get on the roller coaster, throw our arms in the air, open our eyes and scream for glee and glory.

I see you thinking twice
Wish I could read your mind
Move up or out of line
Too late for praying
I know we might lose our breath
We might be scared to death
This chance is like a step
Just got to take it

Hold on tight, slide a little closer
Up so high stars are on our shoulders
Time flies by, don’t close your eyes
Kiss by kiss love is like a thrill ride
What goes up might take us upside down
Life ain’t a merry go round

It’s a roller coaster… It’s a roller coaster

Can’t lie and won’t pretend
I know what’s round the bend
Too late to start again
Won’t take it slower
Let’s slip right off these tracks
We’ll fly or we might crash
Don’t look down, don’t look back
Cause it ain’t over

Hold on tight, slide a little closer
Up so high stars are on our shoulders
Time flies by, don’t close your eyes
Kiss by kiss love is like a thrill ride
What goes up might take us upside down
Life ain’t a merry go round

It’s a roller coaster… It’s a roller coaster.



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After the Oscars, A Recap

Oddly enough, this recap will have little if anything to do with the Oscars. Barring some catastrophic fashion moment or live mishap, I’m not going crazy with the award shows this year. Maybe that will change come Tony time. Or depending on the brilliance of Neil Patrick Harris. Or both in the event that he hosts again. Onto last week’s shenanigans now…

It started on a sultry note, the anti-thesis of all the wintry nonsense that just won’t quit. Here, the hot body of William Levy just won’t quit either.

The scent of winter, turned on its head in delightful fashion, thanks to L’Eau d’Hiver by the ever-elegant Jean-Claude Ellena.

A hunk of worldwide fame and acclaim, and hailing from my ancestral islands, the newly-crowned Mister International Neil Perez.

This is my ultimate fantasy, and it’s a hot one.

Speaking of hot, here is Robbie Amell flexing his pecs.

Blow this.

With Cole Monahan, it’s all about the hair. And the body. And the butt.

A hazy winter memory.

How Hudson Taylor hadn’t been named a Hunk of the Day until this past week is one of life’s mysteries, now put to rest.

Despite my cynical, jaded countenance, I still succumb to feel-good moments like this.

Get your red-hot ginger GIFs right here, in the form of Bryce Eilenberg.

Tom Ford made a splash in LA, and all I wanted to do was be there in ‘Lavender Palm.’

The Special Guest Blog this week was written by a cat. Really, it was. Millie purred and preened and showed off the proverbial power of the pussy.

The imagination of dragons set to song.

Once upon a time I wanted shit on a condom. Vote for this site anyway!

Oh, and Neil Patrick Harris got into his tighty-whities in front of a billion people, which was the best part of the Oscars.

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The Madonna Timeline: Song #51 ~ Rainbow High~ Late 1996-Early 1997

{Note: The Madonna Timeline is an ongoing feature, where I put the iPod on shuffle, and write a little anecdote on whatever was going on in my life when that Madonna song was released and/or came to prominence in my mind.}

There again I’ve more to do than simply get the message through – I haven’t started.
Let’s get this show on the road, let’s make it obvious,
Peron is off and rolling…

Seeing as how the iPod has shuffled over to ‘Rainbow High’ from Madonna’s turn in Evita, it seems a good time to dovetail the timeline with an explanation of a Tour. After all, the woman who inspired it all was then portraying Eva Peron on the big screen, and I was on my “Royal Rainbow World Tour”.

It was the very end of 1996. I had graduated early and was about to embark on a few whirlwind months of traveling –from upstate New York to Florida, from Albany to Puerto Rico, from Seattle to the Philippines, from Hong Kong to New Orleans, from Washington to London to Wales to Ireland… it was truly a world tour. While I actually went to all those places, I didn’t really perform or put on a proper show like most people who tour. My tour was just a name for a bunch of trips to see friends and family, encapsulated in a “tour book” that everyone had to sign as a memory-keeper for my travels. But when you hype and promote the hell out of something – no matter how trivial or insignificant – it sometimes turns into something more.

figure ~

In those days I was running, trying to get away from the boys who didn’t like me and the girls I could never like enough. At the time it didn’t dawn on me that when you run away from one thing you inexorably run toward something else. In this case it was an idea of the person I most wanted to be – the fascinating, charming, enthralling character I had so much trouble expressing but wanted so badly to believe was within. It always came out wrong.

glamour ~

The idea of a tour was pure fantasy and make-believe. That my friends supported and believed in it as well is a testament to them. That they stuck by me through the histrionics and tantrums, when my only way of self-preservation and survival was a vicious form of vanity, has been one of the greatest blessings of my life.

It was all I could do to put on a brave face for the world. In my costumes and couture was the armor that would shield me from injury. I thought that the sparkle of a sequin and the quill of a feather could penetrate the most otherwise-apathetic heart. I was hell-bent on not being ignored, even if that meant being grotesque.

I came from the people, they need to adore me
So Christian Dior me from my head to my toes
I need to be dazzling, I want to be Rainbow High
They must have excitement, and so must I…

If the world wouldn’t give me the time of day freely, I would demand it – and I would be ruthless about it to the point of arrogance and haughty defiance. I wanted it to come across as confidence – and in all fairness much of the time it did. The ploy was working. No matter how inwardly wracked with insecurity I may have been, I knew I could put on a smart coat, down a dry martini, and carry myself with grandeur.

I’m their product, it’s vital you sell me
So Machiavell me, make an Argentine Rose
I need to be thrilling, I want to be Rainbow High
They need their escape, and so do I…

Yes, I needed an escape, whether real or imagined. I needed love and adoration, and if I couldn’t find it from one person I’d find it in another. And another. And another…

The excitement came in ways I didn’t always invite. In catering to those who weren’t the least bit interested, I inadvertently crafted a persona that gained notice and admirers almost as an afterthought. In trying to impress one person who couldn’t give two shits, I ended up attracting the attention of three onlookers. But all I ever felt was the absence of affection from the very people whose love I wanted most. I was still alone.

All my descamisados expect me to outshine the enemy
I won’t disappoint them!
I’m their savior, that’s what they call me
So Lauren Bacall me, anything goes
To make me fantastic, I have to be Rainbow High
In magical colors…

From the lofty air of hotel balconies to the trundle of a night train, I traversed the world. A rickety jeep boldly navigated the treacherous roads of the mountains in the Philippines, carrying me to the place where my father was born. A steep tram pulled me up to a high peak overlooking Hong Kong where I had my first taste of dragon-hair’s candy. An enormous ship sailed me from Wales to Ireland, where I dangled upside-down to kiss the Blarney Stone.

It was the tour of a lifetime. Never again would I have such freedom to travel so far, and I made the most of it with the pomp and circumstance befitting royalty.

You’re not decorating a girl for a night on the town
And I’m not a second-rate queen getting kicks with a crown…
Next stop will be Europe!
The Rainbow’s gonna tour, dressed up, somewhere to go
We’ll put on a show…

It was over-the-top, over-blown, and completely out of proportion with the reality of the situation. But that’s what got me through. At some point the fantasy of it all bled into reality, bolstering what little faith I actually had in myself and coalescing into the living character I was becoming.

It was the little engine that could all over again, and the power of words, of hype, of an image that floated so mightily above everything, was enough to carry the insecure shell of a wisp that only I knew was there.

A belief in oneself, however misguided, can work wonders for the soul – and sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can keep the act going long enough to make it come true.

Look out, mighty Europe
Because you ought to know what you’re gonna get in me
Just a little touch of
Just a little touch of
Argentina’s brand of star quality.

On the screen, I watched Madonna as Eva Peron traversing the world on her own Rainbow Tour. Such a little lady, commanding such enormous power, yet so much of her life was lived alone. True, she had a husband, and the affection of an entire nation, but in the moments when it counted – when she laid her head down on her pillow at night – she was alone. Even when surrounded by mobs of people, jostled along in the busy day of a living icon, she was by herself.

Right then, my heart ached a little for Ms. Peron, a little for Madonna, and a little for myself.

Song #51– ‘Rainbow High’ – Late Fall 1996/Winter 1997
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