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Top 5 Thursdays: Bar Etiquette

In: Alex, Random Reads
bar-etiquette-alex

I need to vent. This past weekend I went up to Vancouver to join in the opening ceremony celebrations…OK I have a quick tangent – the opening ceremony festivities and the overall vibe/energy of the city was AMAZING. I was so proud of my fellow cast members that were in the ceremony and was moved by how proud my Canuck friends were of their country. Truly awesome experience.

Back to the post. When I was up in YVR last weekend I decided to go out Saturday night to catch Freemasons at Celebrities night club. Overall, the night was pretty good. Met some really cool people, loved the music and loved the Celebrities venue. That said, either I hadn’t had enough drinks in me to deal with the other gays/girls (real girls) or people were just being ridiculously obnoxious because I was ready to call it a night after about only an hour. I dunno what it was, but it got me thinking. Even if you’re sh*tfaced and dancing around and have no idea where you are, there’s still some sort of bar etiquette that one should follow when going out on the town. This week’s Top 5 highlights my ideas of proper bar etiquette, for patrons and bar employees alike.

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Top 5 Thursdays: MTV Gets a Face Lift

In: Alex, TV Shows
new-mtv-logo

This past Monday 29 year old MTV went under the knife and got a face lift, or some lipo depending on how you look at it.  Basically, MTV – Music Television, dropped the “Music Television” from their logo since, to be blunt, they don’t really do much of anything with music anymore with the exception of listing artists and songs at the bottom of “The Hills” episodes and that little award show the VMAs.  Over the last several years, MTV’s programming has taken a drastic lean towards reality TV programming that, while definitely is entertaining, isn’t music.  Rolling Stone has a good article on the change of the iconic logo here.

All that said, this got me thinking to back when I was a kid and would rush home to watch a new Britney Spears (Destiny’s Child, Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, TLC, etc, etc) video.  I literally would spend hours just watching music videos with my friend after school or during the summer, before going to bed and when I woke up in the morning.  I miss music videos – thank goodness for Paladia HD (American HD channel that place nothing but concerts and music videos) and On Demand music videos.  OK, enough rambling, below are my top 5 MUSIC related shows from MTV’s heyday.  While writing this, for a split I wanted to be back in 8th grade.  But then I remembered Gap carpenter jeans and Old Navy fleeces and slapped myself back into reality.   (PS:  remember when MTV Spring Break was actually cool and we were young enough to actually watch it while we were on spring break?!)

Top 5 MTV “music-related shows” after the jump

hollywood

I was watching Oprah (surprise, surprise) yesterday and she made a comment about how obsessed our culture is with celebrities and their lives.  Even though I wouldn’t say that I’m obsessed with celebrities, I do keep current on some celeb gossip blogs and do have interest in the idea of fame in general, what it does to people and how if affects their lives. Oprah’s comment got me thinking, if I could spend a day with any celebrity, who would it be?  This one celebrity turned into 5, (because I’m contractually obligated to do a Top 5 every Thursday – I kid) so here I am with my Top 5 Thursdays, 5 celebrities I’d want to spend the day with.

5) Kathy Griffin

kathy-griffin

This B is hilarious.  I would love to spend a day just sitting around with KG eating junk food, watching TV while we make fun of people.  She is so quick and her humor is just constantly on – I love it.  After reading her book, “Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin” I developed a respect for her as a person, a daughter and a sister.  She is truly one of the hardest working people in LA and rarely disappoints (unless you count the time she said dick in front of Bette Midler).

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royal-caribbean-cruise-haiti

In case you’ve been living under a rock, two weeks ago Haiti experienced an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale causing massive amounts of damage coupled with a disheartening number of Haitians left dead, dying or  severely injured. With an estimated death toll upwards of 150,000, the number of fatalities in Haiti has far surpassed that of the 2004 tsunami that ravaged Thailand (with numbers there reported at around 4,800). Haiti is in a state of distress and will be for quite a while. On a higher note, both financial and recovery support has been pouring into Haiti. George Clooney hosted a telethon last week, the Red Cross has set up a text-to-donate service and there are many other way for people to show their support for the country. Which brings me to the point of this article. I work for an advertising agency and my client is a cruise line so I have to stay up-to-date with other cruise lines, be it campaigns, new ships or just general news about our competitors, Royal Caribbean International (RCI from here on) being one of these competitors.

Last week I noticed a few articles on the web highlighting some controversy over the fact that RCI has continued stopping at it’s own private island, Labadee, about 60 miles north of Port-au-Prince, the center of the earthquake. Harsh criticism has come down on RCI for continuing to bring it’s cruisers to the island get away to play and vacation in the sun while so much destruction and death is around the corner. It’s unimaginable to some that RCI would continue to shuttle people to the island to have fun. On the flip side, RCI has not only brought passengers/tourists to the island (who stimulate the local economy by spending money), but has also brought supplies (food and water) and has pledged to donate at least $1 million (some say the total with supplies will reach $2 million).

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lobby-lounge-curtis-bigelow-paul-villa

Attention Seattle (and anyone visiting): NEW BAR ALERT!  NEW BAR ALERT!

Someone has been listening to our gripes, moans and groans about the lack of bar selections on The Hill (Capitol Hill – Seattle’s gayest hill), because there is a fresh new face  on Pike St and her name is The Lobby. That someone – make it someones – who have heard our cries are Lobby owners Curtis Bigelow and Paul Villa and let me tell you, they have provided The Hill with a breath of fresh air.

I first heard rumors about the opening of a new bar in mid-November and was intrigued to know what the outcome would be given that it’s planned home was none other than the (cursed) Sugar space. That said, I was pleasantly surprised the first weekend I walked into Lobby and have been back just about every weekend since. The atmosphere, patrons, staff and drinks are a much needed change to the normal bar routine both my friends and I had found ourselves in. Paul and Curtis have left no surface untouched, even going so far as to put up a wall eliminating what used to be the dance floor (what Paul and Curtis say really cursed the space), creating a cozier space with a boutique hotel feel. I hope they’re superstitions are correct because I and many others don’t want this place to close down anytime soon – ever. Never.

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Top 5 Thursdays: Reality Shows I Wanna Be On

In: Alex, TV Shows
reality-tv-wish-list

I’m sitting here catching up on American Idol,  and it got me thinking, if I had the opportunity to be on a reality show what would I be on?  I’m not a huge fan of dating shows (unless it’s “I Love New York” or the soon to be rumored dating show featuring none other than SNOOKI!) so I wouldn’t do that, but with the amount of reality genres out there I figure I have a good selection to choose from (excluding Jude Judy – wait… no I’d go on that).

reality-tv-wish-american-idol

5) American Idol
If I went to singing school (to improve my already stellar talent) and thought I could actually get somewhere on this show, I would totally do it in a heartbeat.  To be center stage with hundreds and potentially thousands of people screaming your name and cheering you on, wanting you to succeed – that would be such a rush.  But an even bigger rush than that would be to have a famous singer coaching you, helping you to improve your talent.  How awesome would it be to have Lionel Richie, Diana Ross or Mary J. Blige giving you tips on how to be a better singer?  I would die.  D-I-E, die.

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Musical Review: Xanadu

In: Alex, The Arts
xanadu-paramount-theater

First off – GO buy tickets here… NOW!  Xanadu is currently playing at the Paramount Theater in Seattle until January 24th (this Sunday) – this is a limited engagement and tickets will be gone quick.  So GO – after you read my article of course.

Tuesday night I was fortunate enough to score tickets to Broadway’s hit musical Xanadu, so I grabbed my friend Scott (Lady, as I affectionately call him) and  made our way down to Seattle’s Paramount theater.  To be perfectly honest, when we sat in our seats I turned to Scott and said “I really don’t understand how a musical about a roller skating and Greek gods can be a hit musical.  I mean, REALLY?”  Scott just looked at me, nodded and shrugged his shoulders.  If I didn’t understand why this wasn’t a hit before the show started, I definitely did 10 minutes into it.

It’s safe to say that both Scott and I gay-gasped throughout the musical, probably about every 20 minutes.  Between the outfits, humor, glitter, lights, music and energy – there was no shortage of laughing out loud and definitely not much time spent without smiles plastered across our faces.  The story line, while literally out of this world, is cute and not over the top in the cheese department.  Clio (aka Kara), played by Elizabeth Stanley, kills it as the Leader of the Muses even adapting a comical version of Olivia Newton John’s Australian accent.  Her on-stage counterpart Sonny played by Max Von Essen is equally as entertaining as the goofy Venice Beach “valley boy” artist trying to make a name for himself.  

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Martin Luther King, Jr: His Dream

In: Alex, Politics & Issues
martin-luther-king-day

On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. and delivered one of the most famous speeches in history.  Dr King spoke not only to the 200,000 civil rights supporters who flanked – and even stood in – the Memorial’s reflecting pool, but also spoke to countless future generations who would be taught his speech in the hopes his message would be learned and his dream passed on.

For many of us Americans, this Monday holiday provides us with an extended weekend to relax, run some errands and catch up on TV, but how often do we take time to realize what Martin Luther King, Jr Day is really about – what the message was that he was trying to convey?  In this time of a renewed sense of civil rights for not only a multitude of races, but also for the GLBT community, it’s important that the dream Dr King had be shouted from rooftops, posted on blogs, included in Facebook updates and shared among friends.

People, today I urge you – no, I’m asking you – to take a few minutes from the hustle and bustle of your day to read Dr King’s speech, listen to his message and hear what he’s saying.  Whether you’re an American or a Canadian, black or white, gay or straight, rich or poor, the message is still the same – freedom and equality is deserved by not one, but all.  Without the tenacity, dedication and perseverance of this man and all of his forward-thinking supporters I would not be able to realize my dreams, I would not have the friends I have, I would not be able to have the career I’m working towards and because of my mixed race, there’s a chance I would not even be here.  Today I’m thankful not for an extended weekend but for a man who shared his dream.  To Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, I say thank you.

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