Alison Agosti expected to see some weird shit when she attended Nicolas Cage's estate sale. Turns out the first weird and awful thing she saw—a dog peeing blood—turned out to be just about the only weird and awful thing she saw. But the whole report, which just went up at HitFix, is worth reading anyway:
My friend and I walked in, really just prepared for anything. At the very least, a sex dungeon, a secret tea room, SWORDS (I was expecting a lot of swords), but we were greeted only by a small foyer with a lone Egyptian-themed chair and some cardboard boxes. I was already wondering If I should have stayed outside for the conclusion of the blood peeing dog saga. Forward was an expansive living room, and to our right was a small weight room. We chose to go into the weight room first. I want you to know that it smelled exactly like a recently emptied canister of Pringles. Not original either, maybe pizza? Or cheddar? None of the equipment was any newer that maybe the late-80s. An old stationary bike, weights, and a menagerie of boxing gloves (including several pairs with flames, which would be a theme throughout the house). I began to feel a sinking suspicion that while this may have been a house that Cage owned, he certainly didn’t spend much time here.
Go read the whole thing, and then spend the rest of the afternoon daydreaming about the wonders Agosti would have found in a just world.
I loved these two comments on Anna Minard's post about Senator Mike Hewitt's (R-Walla Wall) proposal to basically institute gay farming gulags in Eastern Washington, provided that his bill passes allowing righteous Christians to stop selling food to the gays. The first gold-star comment goes to wisepunk:
Then MacCrocodile deftly responds:
Thanks for being smart smartasses—my favorite asses!—guys.
Please enjoy the following story from Jacob James' vast collection of wonderful stories about celebs from his brush with fame while playing with the Lashes!
As our band was getting more popular, our record label booked us a series of high profile shows in the effort to show off that we were, in fact, the next cool thing. These shows made money but never scored us the kind of cool points they were supposed to. Something always went awry. Three shows stand out in my mind: The Time We Played NASCAR in Florida (we played right before a staged wet t-shirt contest), The Time We Opened For Trey Anistasio from Phish on a Moored Boat in New York City (aquatic puns welcome), and The Time Eric's Clothes Were Stolen From the Playboy Mansion.
We were asked to play the Playboy Mansion through our successful and well-connected A&R guy, when such a thing existed. He had an assistant who had a sister who worked as a publicist for some part of Hugh Hefner's empire, and she would do us the favor and book us and then we'd be famous and make everyone lots of money and rule the world. Then we got the contract.
I know the internet likes to pick on Gwyneth Paltrow, but sometimes Gwyneth Paltrow deserves it. Case in point: Beth Greenfield learns that one day's worth of meals made exclusively from recipes found in Paltrow's cookbook could cost as much as $300.
I've been hearing about this video since Sunday, but only now got around to watching it: Jinkx Monsoon at NYC's Gramercy Theater, performing Les Miserables' "I Dreamed a Dream" in the guise of Grey Gardens' Little Edie.
A-plus concept, amazing (if slightly pitchy) delivery, total star.
Anne Hathaway, Chloe Moretz and Sam Rockwell are all deep in negotiations to join Laggies. The Lynn Shelton-directed dark comedy chronicles perpetual adolescent and late-twentysomething Megan (Hathaway) who, freaked out by her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, pretends to go on a career retreat but actually hides out for a week with 16-year-old Annika (Moretz), her new best friend.
Hopefully, Deadline Hollywood didn't jinx anything by publishing this scoop. Of course, we have another Lynn Shelton film, Touchy Feely, to enjoy before Laggies comes out, too, which means we are living in a golden age of Sheltoniana.
Johnny Depp is currently filming the upcoming flick Lucky Them in the Seattle area, and he surprised small-town fans when he serenaded locals in the town of Carnation while taking a break from work.
Congratulations to Lucky Them director Megan Griffiths for landing Depp for her movie. I'd like to think Griffiths's Stranger Genius award helped make this possible, although I have no idea how that could possibly be.
Inventor of the color red Taylor Swift was recently interviewed for Vanity Fair and she was, of course, asked about how people can’t stop talking about who she’s dating. I think it’s annoying, too. She’s 22, gorgeous, successful—if she weren’t dating people, the gossip rags would instead print bullshit about how she's a lonely spinster. Or if she were in a long-term relationship, they'd claim she's too young to settle down. When it comes to what she does with her personal life, she can't win, and I'm sure that fucking sucks.
But instead of taking it in stride (unfortunately being the butt of jokes is part of the job of being a mega-superstar), Swift addressed the comments Tina Fey and Amy Poehler made at the Golden Globes (about how Swift should or shouldn't date Michael J. Fox's son after having just broken up with rumored boyfriend Harry "One Direction" Styles) by saying:
You know, Katie Couric is one of my favorite people, because she said to me she had heard a quote that she loved, that said, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.
I agree! I mean, if Hell existed I would agree. But yes, the sentiment is true. Women who go out of their way to be against other women are lame. And I'd totally be on Team Taylor here, if only she hasn't built a career on singing about how awful women are. Swift's catalog is filled with tales about women who are standing in the way of her and her dreams. They're keeping her from her perfect man or otherwise threatening her happiness.
But in Season 5, it appears we’re back to glamour-land, with a slate of queens who, with a few execptions, seem to value being “fishy”—i.e., as convincing in their imitation of women as possible—above all else. I challenge you to find a five-minute block of any episode that doesn’t contain that word flopping around on deck. But fishy has its limits, and they were never more apparent than in this week’s episode, which featured the Snatch Game, a fan-favorite over the past few seasons. Styled on the 1960s hit Match Game, the contest begins with Ru asking an innuendo-laden question of a duo of guest “celebrities.” The queens, who are all meant to be impersonating specific celebrities (Cher, Madonna, and so on) record their answers on cards. Ru then compares the celebrity answers with the queens’ to see if there is a match. This rarely happens; the point of the exercise is comedy, not points.
As you might expect, much of that comedy comes from the impersonation skills of the queens themselves. They not only need to look like their star, but also must channel that figure’s idiosyncrasies, clichés, and neuroses to humorous effect—they need to be, in a word, campy. Unfortunately, Monday’s edition of the Snatch Game revealed almost all of this season’s contestants as fish out of water. Alaska and Roxxxy Andrews were passably funny as Lady Bunny and Tamar Braxton, respectively, but the clear winner of the night—partially because she had no competition—was Jinkx Monsoon as Little Edie, the troubled and transcendent cousin of Jackie Kennedy featured in the canonical camp documentary, Grey Gardens.
Jinkx’s interpretation of Little Edie was excellent, and she deserved to win. But, based on the admittedly edited version of events that we saw, none, not one, of Jinkx’s peers seemed to know what Grey Gardens even was. And worse than that cringe-worthy ignorance was the embarrassing gall some of the queens displayed in making fun of Jinkx for her camp knowledge. When Coco Montrese, until now a favorite of mine, tried to “read” (that is, artfully insult) Jinkx during the Snatch Game by asking Ru who Little Edie was, I almost felt pity for how stupid she looked. Almost.
Well... Justin Beiber didn't attend because he felt sad! Large grown men were carried out of hotel parties after too much champagne! No one cheered for Chris Brown! John Mayer was dressed like a game-show host! Taylor Swift's perfomance included dancing clowns!
For more red hot gossip, check out Bree McKenna's 2013 Grammy synopsis RIGHT OVER HERE!
Sigh. Chris Brown vented some feelings on Instagram last night, making it clear he was frustrated with his not-so-great reputation. MTV News has a screengrab of the rant, should you want to read it in full.
Here's an excerpt:
Im a human being and I honestly think I deserve respect im sick of being accused... Im Tired yall just don't understand I've been going through this shit since I was 19 years old.. you cant sit here and tell me to calm down, when am I gonna get a positive outcome out of anything I do? when can I get that feed back? Im TIRED do you read me im tired!!!!!! Im not gonna sit here and play victim, Im just tired of this shit... I pray every day and night for a new outcome... and just when everything seems to be going good some new shit happens..
Pauline Phillips, a California housewife who nearly 60 years ago, seeking something more meaningful than mah-jongg, transformed herself into the syndicated columnist Dear Abby—and in so doing became a trusted, tart-tongued adviser to tens of millions—died on Wednesday in Minneapolis. She was 94.
Phillips, who had Alzheimers disease, passed her column to her daughter more than a decade ago. So Phillips's column will survive her. (It's hard to imagine my straight snowboardin' son taking over "Savage Love" someday, but... anything is possible, I guess.) Phillips was the twin sister and, for many years, the bitter rival of Eppie "Ann Landers" Lederer.
In 1955, Mrs. Phillips’s twin, now Eppie Lederer, took over the Ann Landers column for The Chicago Sun-Times. A rank beginner soon swamped by a flood of mail, she began sending batches of letters to her sister—for advice, as it were. “I provided the sharp answers,” Mrs. Phillips told The Ladies’ Home Journal in 1981. “I’d say, ‘You’re writing too long (she still does), and this is the way I’d say it.’ ” She added, “My stuff was published—and it looked awfully good in print.” So good that when The Sun-Times later forbade Mrs. Lederer to send letters out of the office, Mrs. Phillips, by this time living in the Bay Area, vowed to find a column of her own.
And so she did—and Pauline and Eppie didn't speak for years.
There was a time when most cities had more than one newspaper. One paper would run Ann Landers, another would run Dear Abby. People tended to prefer one columnist or the other, their preferences shaped by which paper their families read. My family subscribed to all of Chicago's daily papers—Chicago had four dailies when I was a kid (a really little kid)—and I grew up reading both Ann in the Sun-Times and Abby in the Chicago Tribune. But I strongly preferred Ann. I'm actually sitting at Ann Lander's desk, which I bought at auction after her death, as I write this post. Ann's IBM Correcting Selectric III is sitting on the desk and a Saks Fifth Avenue receipt for a dress that Lander's purchased for $30 in 1974 is in the top drawer. (Fun fact: After Rupert Murdoch bought the Sun-Times in 1984, Ann quit the paper and moved her column to the Tribune, which then ran both Ann and Abby until Lander's died in 2002.)
So, yeah, you could call me more of an Ann Lander's fan. But I must say I have a newfound appreciation for Abby after reading Margolit Fox's terrific obit in the New York Times. Fox quotes a few of Abby's pithier-than-Ann responses to her readers. Here's a good one:
Dear Abby: Our son married a girl when he was in the service. They were married in February and she had an 8 1/2-pound baby girl in August. She said the baby was premature. Can an 8 1/2-pound baby be this premature?—Wanting to Know
Dear Wanting: The baby was on time. The wedding was late. Forget it.
And Fox's obit ends with the most famous three-word response in the whole, sordid history of the advice-column racket:
Dear Abby: Two men who claim to be father and adopted son just bought an old mansion across the street and fixed it up. We notice a very suspicious mixture of company coming and going at all hours—blacks, whites, Orientals, women who look like men and men who look like women. This has always been considered one of the finest sections of San Francisco, and these weirdos are giving it a bad name. How can we improve the neighborhood? — Nob Hill Residents
Dear Residents: You could move.
Phillips wrote that decades ago—back when adult gay men often resorted to adopting their adult partners because it was the only way to secure any legal protections for their relationships—and people are still quoting it today. I don't think anyone working in this genre will ever top it.
My sympathies to Jeanne Phillips, Pauline's daughter and the current author of "Dear Abby."
Not because I think it was funny, anyone who’s tried their hand at the cat-herding, producer-pleasing and budget-meeting clusterfuck of trying to shoot a movie of any kind knows the hell of having your most important link also be your weakest. So I kinda feel for Paul Schrader, especially since he’s a guy who brought us some of the most iconic movies in history and has since become a washed up foot note....
What I DID find funny, however, was the way the mainstream industry so clearly looks down on porn and dismissed the script as “pornography.” They got all high and mighty about even working with a porn star but then the article paints a picture of a bunch of narcissistic, over-rated, fading producers, a drunken, irresponsible, manipulative actress and a very reliable porn star.
Yes… James Deen was the only responsible adult, it appears, amongst a group of under-talented, under-funded and unsupervised brats.
Deen’s one “irresponsible” moment wasn’t showing up drunk, showing up late, being difficult, playing sick, throwing fits or being an asshole. It was taking a day to actually go work somewhere else (which, when you’re a porn star being paid $100 a day and $0 on the days you don’t and you’re NOT a millionaire like Lindsay or the rest of them, was probably more motivated by a need to pay rent and eat).
So can we PLEASE drop this absurd notion that porn stars are lazy, hooked on drugs and irresponsible? Because while that may occasionally be the case, it’s clearly a lot more common in “real” movies.
If you want more celebrity bullshit posts, post 'em. And please note that the two Seahawks posts were by regular actual employees of The Stranger, and one of them was so disdainful as to actually constitute a Golden Globes post.
For some reason, this fascinates me. Actor Patrick Dempsey—best known for his role as Dr. McDreamy in Grey's Anatomy, and as an adorable nerd in the 1987 teen movie Can't Buy Me Love (SQUEEEEEEEEE!!!)—claims he has beat out Starbucks to buy the Seattle-based Tully's Coffee chain. WHAT.
The coffee chain was part of a bankruptcy auction, and Dempsey's company (Global Baristas, LLC) made the presumably winning bid of $9,150,000 to beat out Starbucks and others, including Baristas Coffee, which runs a chain of drive-throughs featuring employees in skimpy outfits. WHAT.
Here's Dempsey's enthusiastic response to his victory (which actually isn't final until the deal gets the okay from the bankruptcy judge next week), via the New York Post:
"I'm thrilled that we won and I'm even more excited about saving Tully's Coffee and its hundreds of jobs," he said. "Tully's is a great company with committed employees, and with its base in Seattle, one of the world's greatest cities, I'm confident we will be able to successfully build the brand and help grow the economy. "
RAHHHHHHH!!! (I'll take one grande soy Mocha McSteamy, half caff, with a squirt of whipped cream... FOR OBVIOUS REASONS.)