Sylvester the Talking Kitty Thursday, Dec 15 2011 

I am officially in love with the Talking Kitty videos created by Steve Cash. In these videos, Sylvester the cat is kind of a dick to his owner, Steve, the dog, Shelby, and the other cat, Gibson.

Here’s my favorite of the videos, which all feature Sylvester’s potty mouth:

He had me at “Fuck ’em!” All of the videos are great and highly addictive!

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Allan Hyde’s “Alla Salute!” Sunday, May 29 2011 

Danish actor Allan Hyde first came to my attention in the second season of HBO’s True Blood, in which he played Eric’s maker, Godric. Alexander Skarsgård is more my type, so I didn’t really notice Hyde all that much while he was on the series. That’s all changed with my newest obsession, Hyde’s Internet series, Alla Salute!, which Hyde writes and stars in.

This hilarious series of shorts is about two friends who decide to open a restaurant in their apartment. Hyde plays Patrik, a little league soccer coach who fancies himself a ladies man. (Despite his chiseled physique, the ladies aren’t the ones trying to get with him.) Aleksandar Antonijevic plays Claudio, Patrik’s roommate and the chef of the new restaurant, which was the idea of his ex-girlfriend. Initially, Claudio thinks that opening the restaurant will get him back together with Sidsel, played by Julie Christiansen. (Patrik also hopes to hook up with her.)

All of this adds up to a smart, funny, hilariously sexy show. I can’t wait for the next episode!

Here’s episode 1, “Sidsel Left Me …”:

Patrik’s semi-nudity is featured in almost every episode, which both appeals to anyone who appreciates a hot guy and adds a comic dimension, since his efforts to seduce seem to get him no where. The food also look great! And every episode features the title phrase, “Alla salute!”

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Death on the Nile (2004): A Review Sunday, Nov 28 2010 

Yesterday, PJ and I went to Columbus to do a little sales shopping. Mostly, we bought clothes. PJ’s recently gotten back into reading Agatha Christie novels, and at some point while we were shopping he mentioned something about Hercule Poirot and Death on the Nile. This started us off on a quest to find a DVD of it.

Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, my family enjoyed watching the Joan Hickson Miss Marple series and then the David Suchet Hercule Poirot series. So, I was particularly desirous of finding the Suchet version of Death on the Nile, which I had never seen (at least that I can remember). While looking at Barnes and Nobles, we found a multi-disk collection of the episodes for about $100, which seemed like a lot more than we really wanted to pay. But then PJ pointed out that, if we were really going to watch all of the episodes, then it would be worth purchasing. So we did.

So, last night we watched Death on the Nile, which I thought was wonderful. Death takes place mostly on a cruise on the Nile. Simon Doyle and Linnet Ridgeway are celebrating their honeymoon. The couple would be perfectly happy if it weren’t for one little problem: Linnet’s former friend (and until quite recently Simon’s former fiancée) Jackie is hounding them in revenge for Linnet stealing her man. Every where they go, she pops up to torment the new couple. And her taunts and jeers seem to be getting increasingly irrational and potentially violent. Everything comes to a head when a murderer strikes during the cruise.

I had seen the 1978 movie version, which starred Peter Ustinov, Bette Davis, Angela Lansbury, Mia Farrow, Maggie Smith, and David Niven. Here’s a clip from that adaptation:

This version is rather campy and even comical, but it’s also fun and engaging.

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SotW: I Want to Hold Your Hand by Glee Monday, Oct 11 2010 

Since today is National Coming Out Day, I especially wanted to blog about last week’s episode of Glee, which is one of my favorite shows. Chris Colfer was particularly wonderful in this episode, in which Kurt’s father has a heart attack and is left in a coma. While his father is in the hospital, Kurt sings The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in Glee Club:

This song is very affecting in this episode, but what I like most about it is its potential as a queer song. This song is all about longing and wanting to love another person in this really simple way: to hold their hand.

Ultimately, I think that’s what all gay rights issues are really about: we want to hold the hand of our beloved openly and fearlessly, to be able to acknowledge who we are and who we love and share our lives with. This song sums that up for me, especially with a gay actor singing it.

Colfer’s version of the song is so simply beautiful. After hearing it for the first time, I told PJ that someday, when we’re allowed to marry legally and have a ceremony, I want this version of the song to be sung at our wedding. I think it would be beautiful.

So, I’ve downloaded it from iTunes, and I’m dreaming of the day when I’ll get married to the man I love. I can’t wait.

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True Blood Season 3 Tuesday, Jun 15 2010 

True Blood season 3 started on Sunday with a great episode. I didn’t really care for the Maryann story line of season 2, so I’m glad that we’re moving on now. I thought the episode had a good balance between continuing with the aftermath of the second season while moving the plot lines forward in new directions.

Of course the best part of the episode was the sequence between Sam and Bill:

This has to be the hottest scene in television history! And even though PJ immediately said that this had to be someone’s dream, I liked the way it started off realistically — the part where Sam has to invite Bill into the hotel room, for example.

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Watching the 2010 Olympics Monday, Feb 22 2010 

This year I’m watching the winter Olympics much more than I usually do. Working a 9 to 5 job means that I look forward to coming home and watching t.v. in the evening. Consequently, I’m watching it in a much more routinized way than I have in the past.

In addition to relaxing, watching the Olympics has been particularly fun this year for a few reasons. First, I’m watching different sports than I usually do. In the past, I pretty much only watched figure skating. The women’s and men’s competitions have always been fun to watch, since I would be fairly familiar with the major competitors, since figure skating is on television throughout the winter. I’ve especially enjoyed watching the men skate, since many of them seem so gay (whether they really are or not).

But this year I didn’t watch the men’s competition, except for a few minutes of one or two skaters who had no chance to medal. In many ways, this year’s competition seems like a repeat of years past with the same skaters vying for medals. More significantly, I think, I’ve simply lost interest in the sport. So many articles have come along lately about trying to butch the men up and about the way in which Johnny Weir has been penalized for his flamboyance. For a sport that revels in gay clichés, it seems a shame that it’s so homophobic. I’ve also been reading about how the sport is dominated by anti-gay evangelicals, which, whether true or not, just seems to reinforce the image of a self-loathing sport. Are these guys actually ashamed to be figure skaters? Ashamed of artistry and performance? It just seems sad.

So, I’ve been watching other sports instead. Of course, as a gay man what gets me immediately interested in watching a new sport is seeing a hot athlete performing at his peak. So, I’ve noticed that the sports I’m watching all feature hot men. Consequently, I decided to organize the rest of this post around my five favorite men of the 2010 Olympics. Bode Miller gets all of the network attention, but these guys are the real reasons to watch the Winter games!

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True Blood Sunday, Sep 7 2008 

Tonight I watched the first episode of HBO’s True Blood, a vampire series starring Anna Paquin as a waitress in a small Louisiana town who meets and becomes enamored with a vampire, Bill, played by Stephen Moyer. Here’s the trailer:

Based on a series of novels by Charlaine Harris, True Blood imagines that vampires have “come out of the coffin” and live among us. This has been made possible by the invention of a blood substitute, Tru Blood, which has rendered vampires’ need for human blood obsolete. I’ve never heard of, much less read, the novels upon which this series is based, but I like vampire series in general, so I thought I’d give it a look.

Overall, I like this first episode. It’s not great or anything close to great. It’s derivative. And many of the characters seem like caricatures rather than developed entities. But even so, I enjoyed this first episode. It seems to have promise as an enjoyable bit of fluff.

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Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog: A Review Thursday, Jul 17 2008 

One of the blogs I read directed its readers’ attention to Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, which stars Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion. Here’s the trailer:

I love this Internet mini-series! Joss Whedon is, of course, the man behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly (which is one of the best sci-fi series ever), and Serenity. I loved the musical episode of Buffy. I even bought the soundtrack cd! Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog brings a similar aesthetic to the story of a geeky villain, played by Neil Patrick Harris, who has a crush on a woman at his laundromat, Penny, played by Felicia Day. Dr. Horrible’s nemesis, Captain Hammer, played by Nathan Fillion, however, comes between them when it appears that he’s saved Penny from being run over by a van. (more…)

Young American Bodies Thursday, Jun 19 2008 

Yesterday, my friend James emailed me a link to an article about an internet series, Young American Bodies, on www.ifc.com. He included a brief description, but I was skeptical that it would be something I’d like. Then I started watching it. Now I love it! Here’s the first episode:

The series follows a group of friends and their romantic and sexual relationships. Maggie, the woman in this first scene above, is the feckless young woman unsure of what she really wants. Ben is the everyman who is maybe too much the good guy to attract female attention. Casey has a boyfriend, Noah, but their relationship seems increasingly distant and uncommunicative. Dia is dating Kelly, and they both seem really happy and well matched.

What I like most about this series is its realism. The characters seem real to me, their activities seem real, and their issues and problems seem real. I also really like the documentary feel of this series — the hand-held camera work in particular. It creates the sense that we’re simply eavesdropping on these people’s lives, that we’re voyeurs watching bits and pieces of their conversations and activities. And this bits-and-pieces element works really well — the narrative is often elliptical, forcing us to fill in gaps and figure out what’s happened in between scenes (though the series doesn’t make it difficult to fill in these gaps).

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