So You Don’t Have To: 50 Shades of Gay

Summer Reading

So You Don’t Have To is where I re-cap the “newest” books, TV & Film. This installment takes on “Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars” by Scotty Bowers.

Free time off from work can offer new perspectives on life and love. Staycations especially can give you that psychic space to step OUT of your work life and INTO sleeping in, marathons of Roseanne, lapses in hygiene, housework as procrastination for creative projects, and the realization that it’s 4:30 PM and what do you have to show for today besides a calm demeanor and a Buddah-like understanding of the nuance of the cultural catchphrase “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Chile?!”

However if you’re a woman of today, even maximum relaxation has its limits. With leisure time at a premium you simply must make the most of your time, and I think that’s why people read books. Maybe?

In a blur of a few reading sessions ending in mind-dizzying afternoon on Labor Day I finished the tome “Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars” by Scotty Bowers. As a leisure-reader I’m neither in a position to critique nor to judge, so I’m simply trying to convey that I finished this book and read the whole thing.

I wanted to read this since catching the CBS Sunday Morning segment that aired earlier this summer. The Amazon reviews sealed my interest, vacillating between glowing excitement and disgust dipped in flavors of horror and disdain. Love it or hate it – it’s a book alright, and I was ready to find out.

I can’t tell if the internet has someone else nicknaming this book “50 Shades of Gay,” but either way it’s a safe bet you’re hearing it here last, whether you’ve heard the nickname before or you’re just reading it on the website of the same name.

I’ll spare you the salacious, plentiful, and literal “blow-by-blows” of the peccadilloes of the stars of yesteryear, so if you like reading about famous Hollywood men of the 30s-60s expressing physical affection for each other, described in a basely graphic way, then take a gander at what Scotty has to say. I also recommend it if you don’t have issues with childhood abuse disguised as romantic affairs. Blech.

There are a lot of descriptions I’d love to get into but this is a family website. Not really but as I’m getting to the end of this entry I’m realizing that I need to tell people what I’ve read. It basically boils down to me needing validation for having read the sentence “Cole Porter _____ _____ _____ like a pro” and for reading about a time when Charles Laughton ate a doo doo sandwich.


Consummate pro

Perhaps this book came into my life at a time to say: “Here’s some entertainment for you, culled from the carnal exploits in a time when homosexuality was covered up by the major motion picture studios. Perhaps it is today as well? But let’s let this scamp Scotty break it down for you in explicit, easy to understand terms. Less interesting and pervasive will be the hetero exploits of his clients and encounters, but that’s why you’ll write a blog called ’50 Shades of Gay.’ Until then, why don’t you relax with a cool drink in the twilight hours of your staycation and finish this book, the way Scotty himself finished – physical encounters that is – many, many times.”

5 stars

Believe it… Or Not


The final (?) season of Laverne & Shirley was just Laverne. At her audition for the Playboy club, Hugh Hefner decides the spot will go to Carrie Fisher.

Dummy Maguire

The latest installment of “Movies for Dummies” pays tribute Jerry Maguire.



New Jack Summer

Get those ears ready – you’re about to Hear It Here… Now!

Summer is around the corner, and my musical divining rod tells me that the hip hop and R&B of the years 1988 to 1991, possibly 1992, will be the most exciting and inspiring music and fashion infusion you could imagine for this season of fun on the run. Think head-to-toe style, sophistication, and mastery of beats, lyrics, samples and harmonies – and I think you just saw anywhere from 1 to 4  months ahead into the future.

Do your thing with an ’89 swing with MC Lyte

Or are you more of an Around The Way Girl with bamboo earrings?



Are you dreaming, or is this Christopher Williams with “I’m Dreamin'”?

Or perhaps you’re looking for something Nice & Smooth

If you google “hip hop 1988” like I literally just did, you’ll get Wikipedia’s entry called “Golden Age Hip Hop.” Where was I and what was I doing in that golden age? I definitely had nothing to do with hip hop, so I want to be clear that I’m coming at this from a  place of sheer ignorance and instinct.

Rhymes were focused on boasting about – of all things – one’s rhyme skills. The vibes were romantic yet cautious. And production values minted a particular warmth and soul around funky, free-wheelin’ bass lines and cooley high harmonies.  It’s going to be a New Jack kind of summer.

Best of Zazzle

Just for laughs, I like to head on over to Zazzle every once in a blue one and do a search for something that will make me laugh.  Nothing like it opens up my flow-hole when I’m at the office, penned in like an animal, with some sort of mental blockage. Funny sayings and inside jokes emblazoned in wacky yet common typefaces on manufactured goods ranging from ballcaps to keychains – mousepads to notepads? Sign me up for a stroll along this riverbank of creativity and fun – and then let me get back to making high-quality television, please.

Today I read about a lady in Denver who tried to get out of jury duty by acting wacky. In addition to an ensemble of red lipstick, black eyebrows, reindeer socks and mismatched shoes (or Christmas Kristen as I call it) she sported a cool t-shirt that said “Ask Me About My Bestseller.” Now, that’s what I call style AND substance.

I immediately hit the Zazz (who has time for 2 syllables these days?) and did a search for “Ask Me About My.” You name it, and somebody has already designed a cool mug or button with this cool catchphrase. Just fill in the blank with a body part, a disease, or a medical procedure and you’ve got a hit item for sale.

Then I saw this one.

Instead of filing this away into the abyss of my existence where the hours of 9 AM to 7 PM normally go, I took a look at the clock and decided to “blog that Zazz.”

Hear It Here Last is a place of positivity, so here’s all of the cool things this shirt has going for it:

  • It’s provocative.
  • It’s suspenseful – Don’t ask me about my grandkids. “Okay, why?” They died in a fire!
  • It draws the viewer in. Did the person wearing this set the fire? Did they escape and leave the grandchildren inside? Are the grandchildren’s parents still alive or were they also killed in the fire? If they are still alive AND it’s the grandparent’s fault, have they forgiven them?
  •  It has 2 fonts – one sophisticated, the other playful.
  • It says it all – yet it says nothing – yet it conveys the heaviest sentiment of all – “You don’t even want to know the grief I’m living right now.”

Tired of explaining life’s tragedies? Wear the words and take the weight off your shoulders. Zazzle it.

Some Walk By Night

One day out of the week has to be Monday, that’s for dang sure. And it’s usually on Mondays that you’re feeling the burn of unrealized dreams. Maybe you’re kicking yourself for not opening a detective agency.  Maybe you’re dreaming of a classier bygone era where a war of the wits was only matched by the richness of designer shoulder pads and skinny ties.

No matter where your heart song is, I think the opening theme of “Moonlighting” really captures a quest for sophistication that Mondays sorely lack.

When Monday throws you the old “Wrong Way – Do Not Enter – Severe Tire Damage” sign the way the Moonlighting intro does – just slip into the cool pastel world of Al Jarreau.  You can find this NOT so hidden gem on Al Jarreau’s album “Best of Al Jarreau.” Here’s the full title theme and video:

Full Moonlighting Song and Video

Aside: He also has a song called Golden Girl??

I wish I had a comfortable car to drive home in, so after I listen to the traffic report, I could roll down the windows a little, and pop this into the CD player and enjoy the great sound coming out of my speakers. Maybe I had a hard day at the office and my pantyhose are giving me trouble, so I bring the CD into the house, and play it out of my home system while I go change into a jogging suit. Better open a window, it’s nice out this evening. I think I’ll sit on the couch and enjoy the rest of this song before I have to make dinner.

Music Monday Bonus! Bruce Willis performing in the Seagrams Golden Wine Cooler commercial.This one’s for Fridays.

Believe it… Or Not


Believe it… Or Not: This photo is from an episode of “Laverne & Shirley.” As soon as Shirley and Dan Marinara (aka Laverne’s boyfriend) take off from Rodeo DiFazio’s to go to the Dodgers game, Lenny & Squiggy sit down for a silent film fantasia. Here, Eric Von Squigheim seduces his silent film dream girl.

Spotlight on… The Peanuts aka The Mothra Twins

It’s no secret, I’m a lady of today. If a flight of fancy dances its way into my thoughts, I’ll google it, because in this world, I’m on a strictly need-to-know basis. As I sat down at my desk to start the business day, The Mothra Twins crossed my mind, moseyed down my fingers, and materialized into my search bar. “What’s up with them?” I mused for no reason other than my mind is totally worthless.

Well, it turns out these twins were a singing sensation in the 60s. Identical twin Sisters Emi and Yumi Ito were The Peanuts.

Music keeps the world rotating on an axis of love and harmonies.

Doesn’t it make you wish you had a twin? And if you are a twin – why are you reading this – you should be breaking into showbiz with your other half.

According to Wikipedia (which is basically everything on this site), “The pair retired from performance in 1975.” Won’t you come back, The Peanuts? And somebody get me a The Peanuts album!

Spotlight On… Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Dance to the beat of a Rhythm Nation and Singing Sensation: Ladysmith Black Mambazo! Now that the gods have heard our prayers (the gods must be crazy, fyi) and Wikipedia is back and more revealing than ever, I can give you the full scoop on today’s “Spotlight On.”

One of the things I love about looking up Ladysmith Black Mambazo (not the group itself – this is regarding looking up the group) is that the first phrase used to describe them is “all-male.” I always thought (always = a few times over the course of 25 years) Ladysmith was an honorable title, and “Black Mambazo” was an intimidating nickname. To my shock, Ladysmith is the town from which founder (and possible Family Ties theme inspiration?) Joseph Shabalala hails. So check your preconceived notions at the door – these guys aren’t “lady” smiths – song smiths is more like it!

Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s singing style combines “Isicathamiya,” a South African Zulu style also known as a cappella, and “Mbube” another form of South African vocal music that is “all-male” and is also similar to a cappella. Mbube means “lion” in Zulu, and hails from the year 1933 and a boy named Soloman Linda. Stateside folks recognize this little ditty as The Lion Sleeps Tonight.

I now preset the music of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. This is a group that went from a dream to a reality to a global phenomenon. I’m going to South Africa soon for the first time, I wonder where they hang out? And if they’d let me lend some of my own song-smithing? Nah!

More facts:

  • They have been BANNED from Isicathamiya competitions because they have the genre on lockdown
  • They deliver a message of peace, love, and harmony
  • They’re touring the U.S. now through March. I hope I’ll have as good a time in their motherland as they’ll have in mine!

One Of Those Days: How-To Edition

Sometimes it’s one of those days where you come home from work, power up into your exercise suit and squat your way to world domination. Other days you’re paralyzed by the cast iron grip your workplace has on your colon, and after you hysterically send your husband on a wild goose chase for your missing grip socks because you’re spiraling out of control, you collapse, grateful, into your beloved cashmere pants with nothing left to give.

Once you give up though, the feeling of guilt and despair is exhilarating. Nothing is standing between you and however low you want to go. Last night, it was a DVR rock block Beverly Wives (that’s what the insiders call RHOBH) and T & T (again, industry lingo for Toddlers and Tiaras). As part of a pre-honeymoon health “initiative” I’m laying off the rosé. But that shouldn’t keep me from enjoying a few “Chocolate Wine Grapes” while I wonder about pageant moms who do other contestants’ hair and makeup for the same show their kid is in. Is it a conflict of interest or strictly professional? I think it’s a case of c’est la vie and you can tell THAT to the judge.

So in these last 2 paragraphs you may have noticed where this is going. Or maybe my words are caressing you to sleep. Anyhoo, if “cashmere pants” and “Chocolate Wine Grapes” jumped out at you like the man in a gorilla suit on an episode of “Just For Laughs,” you could give JB Fletcher a run for her money. As I peeled myself off the recliner to head to bed, I happened to look down and mused, “There’s certainly no way a Chocolate Wine Grape rolled beneath my loins and under my cheeks to form a warmed choco patty in this last hour and a half. I must have pooped myself in the recliner while watching TV and simply didn’t notice. Woops.”  However the sniff test revealed the truth. And the truth was a Chocolate Wine Grape rolled beneath my loins and under my cheeks to form a warmed choco patty sometime between Taylor’s apology to Camille and a visit to Perfection Studios in Arkansas.

I used to say “I never buy nice clothes because everything I own has a chocolate stain on it.” And from this story you might unfurl a Ziggy-style lesson and slap me with a coupon that says “This entitles you to one free hug.” But no, not everything I own has a chocolate stain on it. Because I got this one out! Here’s how.

  1. Loosen any loose choco without actually touching it.
  2. Run stains under cold water
  3. Turn on your Spinbrush and loosen more choco
  4. Nothing’s happening. In the 70s people always used club soda to get out drink stains that they spilled on other people. Splash some seltzer on there. Why not?
  5. I wonder what would happen if I stuck my Spinbrush in the Seltzer bottle. Will it get real fizzy? No. Is the water now contaminated? Who can say. Apply seltzer-ed brush to stain.
  6. Get some laundry detergent and spot-soak for 5 mins
  7. Take a Q tip and rub the stain away
  8. Lay cashmere pants flat to dry overnight for tomorrow night’s adventures

Later that night I had a nightmare that I was a contestant on Supermarket Sweep and was forced to slowly wheel through the wine section without putting anything in my cart. Sweet dreams are made of thi-is – chocolate wine grapes that is.