Olympic Spotlight: Scott Moir

As one half of the Canadian figure skating team competing for a medal in Ice Dancing, this is Scott Moir, who will do his best to twizzle to the gold tonight. For me, the best part of the ice dancing is the selection of outfits. Figure skating is, as a general rule, the place for flash and pizzazz, and ice dancers embrace that more than any other genre. As for Mr. Moir, he and his partner Tessa Virtue were the Olympic champions in 2010, and the silver medalists in 2014. That’s flashy enough in itself. 

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Too Dreamy: Cigarettes After Sex

Jacob Tomsky has been a hero to me ever since he released ‘Heads in Beds’ – a behind-the-scenes run-down of the hotel hospitality industry that was more gripping than it had any right to be (unless you’re obsessed with hotels the way I am). His wit and roughly-hewn good looks landed him a semi-tongue-in-cheek Hunk of the Day honor, which I’m guessing he was mortified but part-secretly thrilled with – at least, I hope. Since that time I’ve been equally-enthralled by his take-and-give-no-fucks Twitter feed. Most recently, he’s been a slightly-reluctant rock star, playing the drums for the exquisitely moody Cigarettes After Sex. They’re going to be touring the US in the coming months, including stops in Brooklyn and Boston, so I may have to make the pilgrimage to one or both of those shows. The tour kicks off in Texas, just like Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour did, so they’re following in some magical footsteps. Don’t expect cone-bras or mimed-masturbation, but a fan-boy can wish…

It’s been a long time since I’ve been inspired by a group, or any music for that matter. I thought it was age, or the general state of radio, then I thought I was heading into the ennui of a mid-life crisis, but now I’m feeling a new spark : the seductive pull of something that resonates and propels me to explore again. It’s moody and evocative – what one might expect the cigarette-smoke tendrils of Dorothy Parker to sound like if they could make music. It casts an entrancing spell, slightly reminiscent of the very best work of Angelo Badalamenti. The dreamy soundscape conjured is cinematic in texture, and devastating in lyrical liberty.

Their eponymous album opened with ‘K’, setting up a promising beginning that the tense music teased was not going to always going to be easy. “I remember when I first noticed that you liked me back/ We were sitting down in a restaurant waiting for the check/ We had made love earlier that day with no strings attached/ But I could tell that something had changed how you looked at me then.”

In ‘Affection’, the double-edged conundrum of being the object of such or the person who’s fixated finds bittersweet imbalance: 

I know that you say I get mean when I’m drinking,
But then again sometimes I get really sweet
So what does it mean if I tell you to go fuck yourself
Or if I say that you’re beautiful to me
It’s affection always,
You’re gonna see it someday
My attention for you
Even if it’s not what you need

By the time that album concludes with ‘Young & Dumb’, the battlefield of love has been littered with carnage, the bitter sting of betrayal hanging in the air like so much gray smoke. But the soul of the music remains calm, it’s dreamlike-trance holding the listener rapt, soothing the raging heart. 

It’s good fucking stuff. 

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Hunk of the Day: Michael Lucas

Gay porn impresario Michael Lucas earns his first Hunk of the Day honor much later than was warranted, but delayed gratification is its own pleasure, and after heading up Lucas Entertainment for the past two decades, this may be his moment. Ever-outspoken and controversial, there is no denying that he has been at the forefront of gay adult entertainment for the last twenty years, and like him or not, his influence is vast and far-reaching. Congrats on this latest accomplishment.

 

 

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Getting Into Tom Ford’s Underwear

I’ve been begging for this for years. 

With his celebrated history of putting sex into fashion, Tom Ford by all rights should have been putting out underwear collections a long time ago. I have a feeling I know why he hasn’t up until now: he has always claimed he doesn’t wear underwear. Ruins the line and adds unwanted bulk to an outfit. Fair enough. But I’m guessing he doesn’t wear all those gorgeous gowns either, and that’s never stopped him. Regardless, I’m happy he’s finally taken the undergarments plunge. Or am I?

He premiered the first collection of silk boxers and baggy boxer briefs on the runaway a few days ago, and that initial peek left me wanting more. Not because it was so good, but because it was rather underwhelming. Silk boxers? Are we really going back there? Fine, I’m game. But those baggy boxer briefs? And animal prints? Not so sure. I like the subtle shades of nude he’s working, and I’m sure the fabric is luxurious to the utterly-impractical point of ‘Dry-Clean-Only’ but I expected something sexier, maybe something a little sheer, perhaps a touch of lace or mesh if we’re going to animal-print cheesiness. 

No price points have been revealed yet either, which is always an ominous sign for my empty wallet, but everyone knows I’m going to end up in Tom Ford’s underwear. Some way, somehow, it’s going to happen. This was meant to be. And if it means my ass is going to be covered in leopard-print silk, so fucking be it. Mr. Ford can caress my privates any way he likes. 

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The Egg Illuminated

There was a time when Albany was magical to me. When I was a little kid in relatively-rural Amsterdam, NY, I viewed Albany as the closest thing to a big city. I’d been to New York and Boston a number of times, but they felt far away and distant. A few hours can be an eternity for children. Albany was a much shorter trip, but it still held the allure of glamour and sophistication. My Mom used to go shopping in the downtown, back when it bustled, and stores occupied multiple floors. The Plaza had been completed by the time I was old enough to walk, and we went to a few shows at the Egg. In certain sections, the walls were curved, and the novelty of the thing never wore off.

On certain days, when I’m walking at lunch and the sun is shining in a clear blue sky, I’ll look up at the Plaza and feel the same excitement and awe of our city. I’ll remember the wonder it once held for a kid from Amsterdam. I’ll try, mostly in vain, to re-inhabit that moment when it all seemed so impressive.

 

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A Tale of Two Scarves

Because sometimes a single scarf is too lonely.

Because sometimes a solitary color needs company.

Because sometimes silk wants for a bit of velvet.

For all these reasons and more, this is a two-scarf day.

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A Winter Dinner Party

This evening my brother is hosting a dinner party at his new home in Amsterdam. At my none-too-subtle urging, we started planning for this a while back. Getting a new home in order is no easy feat, and he’s been working around the clock to bring it together. I personally think it looks great considering how long he’s had it, and the front two rooms are magazine-worthy. (Maybe they wouldn’t be the cover, but an interior layout is nothing shabby.) 

There is a cocktail hour loosely slated for before dinner, at which we’ll be serving bourbon-based drinks. The signature cocktail for the night’s festivities will be the grapefruit-accented Blushing Betty, as seen here. Of course, there will also be Bada Bing cherries on hand and a fresh bottle of sweet vermouth for anyone who wants a Manhattan

I’ve requested some mellow jazz for the evening, but my bother’s tastes tend to stray into livelier territory. I can handle some Buddy Rich, the rest remains to be seen. A fancy record-player and a extensive collection of vinyl means that the possibilities are endless. We might get into the Lou Reed and Velvet Underground weeds, and I’m not going to argue. Hell, we may even get my brother to strum the guitar and start a sing-a-long. Anyone know the chords to ‘Like A Prayer‘? 

JoAnn is coming in from the Cape to join us, and Suzie and Pat are driving in from Delmar, so it will be a good group for breaking bread and passing a winter night. 

PS – If the time isn’t right, then Mo Vaughn

 

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Hunk of the Day Reprise: Joey McIntyre

It’s been almost four years since Joey McIntyre was last named Hunk of the Day. For that first crowning, there was a smattering of shirtless shots. For his second Hunk of the Day honor, here are a few more. As can be seen, Mr. McIntyre is aging more than gracefully. He gives me hope. 

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Stirrings in Winter’s Night

It’s been brewing for a while now, and in my head it’s slowly been assembling itself. It’s different, though, when you finally put it into words and begin the process. A new project is in the works, and for the next few months my creative output will be focused on that. As is often the state of things at this stage, it’s all hush-hush and top-secret. The only thing I can tell you is that it was inspired by a recent trip to the art museum in Chicago, which basically tells you nothing.

Being that it is the earliest stage, I’m not sure how this one will play out. It may be entirely online, or it may manifest itself physically. That’s the best part of this moment – I just don’t know which way it will take me. I do know that it will be darker than some of my usual fare, and as such I’ve been prepping by making our home a little warmer and more peaceful, with the sounds of Japanese Zen meditation flute music, a few sticks of Japanese incense, and a couple of books (and upcoming experiments in) inekana. If there is peace by the hearth, my creative demons can freely roam and no one will get hurt.

Hopefully you’ll come along for the ride…

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Olympic Spotlight: Javier Fernández

Representing Spain, figure skater Javier Fernández had a stellar showing in his short program at the Winter Olympics. The long program is slated to take place today and it looks to be a nail-biter. Nathan Chen all but knocked himself out of gold-medal contention, so it’s all up to Adam Rippon to bring home some precious metal for the US. Japan is giving the real threat to Mr. Fernández, with two amazing athletes: Yuzuru Hanyu and Shoma Uno. Hanyu currently sits comfortably in the lead, Fernández is right behind him, and Uno rounds out the top three. It’s going to be quite the night of competition. 

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Truest of Blues

Most people equate blue skies with summer days, but the truest blue may be found on a clear winter afternoon, when the sheer frigidity of the air lends a crystalline clarity to the sky, and the sun and the atmosphere are free to work whatever scientific alchemy is required to bring out the deepest and most glorious shades of blue known to the eye. Echoed by the fallen snow seen here, the effect can be a double dose of blue sky, where it bounces off the shadows, saturating and challenging the spaces where the ease of gray usually resides.

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Olympic Spotlight: Jorik Hendrickx

Adding to the impressive roster of openly-gay athletes competing in this winter’s Olympic games, this is Belgian figure skater Jorik Hendrickx. In his home country, he is a two-time National Champion, and this marks his second Olympic Games. He joins Adam Rippon, Gus Kenworthy and Eric Radford in representing the LGBTQ community, which is a pretty wonderful thing to see. 

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Winter Thruway

Jeremy James wrote a great song about traveling the New York State Thruway for his ‘Landlocked’ album, and if you get a chance you should give it a listen. (You should also check out ‘Waiting’ – probably my favorite songs of his from the same album.) Here’s a view of that vaunted road on a typical mid-winter day. Nothing too profound, nothing too exceptional. Just a simple moment unremarkable for anything, but no less beautiful for it. Winter makes hunters of us all – whether it’s a hunt for warmth or beauty or the return of spring.

When the snow is new, when the sky is blue, when rhyming is all I can do, we pause for the slow trudge of winter and nudge it along as best we can. Considering the calendar, we are more than halfway through the wretched season. I detected the slightest scent of a thaw last week, but it was quickly withdrawn by the next morning. It won’t go that quickly or easily.

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Hunk of the Day: Paul Caiano

Despite it being the height of winter, there’s a hot front coming through in the form of this Hunk of the Day. Bringing the heat to the early morning hours on WNYT, this is Paul Caiano taking his bow as Hunk of the Day. Not one to be outdone by the recent hunk status of newcomer Asa Stackel, Mr. Caiano has the DILF-y swagger of the seasoned weather-pro he’s become in almost two decades of work as a meteorologist. His passion for weather bleeds through his forecasts, and his dogged dedication to getting it right earns him this Hunk of the Day honor.

PS – This makes it official: Subrina Dhammi is a rose between two Hunks. 

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Adam Rippon: Giving Us the Sassiest

Vice President Mike Pence (who didn’t even stand when the host country’s athletes entered during the Parade of Nations – yeah, we all saw it) tried to pretend he wasn’t a homophobic bigot but Adam Rippon wasn’t having any of it, and I’m happy to report he hasn’t backed down from that powerful stance. Pence made overtures to meet with Rippon (dude, get off his jock already) but Rippon quickly pointed out Pence’s anti-gay voting history when refusing a sit-down with the awful man. (It’s on record, so when Pence pretends otherwise it’s an easily-refuted lie.)

I’m more excited about Rippon’s Olympic performances. He just skated a perfect program for the USA’s Figure Skating Team Event (and was robbed by, ahem, the Olympic Athletes from Russia – that’s their moniker being that the country cheated so much and was basically banned from the Olympic games – look it up). But beauty and talent will always defy points and scoring systems, so Rippon can rest assured that he soared over his competition. He competes in the individual events today and tomorrow, and it promises to be mesmerizing. 

 

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