Gone Goat

salmon

Albert and I just returned from a road trip up north to visit family. We went fishing in Medford, where I reeled in a 20-pound salmon on the Rogue River. Albert’s dad, Bob, gutted the giant fish on the riverbank and began by tossing the beating heart on a nearby rock. He expertly butchered the rest of the water-beast and the heart continued to beat during the entire process, like a horror movie. Oregon is beautiful land, and you can see animals everywhere. From Bob’s porch we could see cows, llamas, and almost a dozen wild turkeys. My first thought is “beautiful.” In Oregon, people’s first thought is, “I want to kill and eat all of that.”

We also went to visit Albert’s aunt and uncle near Sacramento. The day before I arrived, they had rescued a kitten and an adult cat, so here I got to pet the animals as opposed to hunting them. There is nothing more fun than playing with a couple of very happy cats that know they just got a new lease on one of their nine lives. We also visited friends in San Francisco for the weekend. I love that beautiful city and it still feels like home in many ways, BUT (and there is always a but) it is filthy. The first thing I saw as we parked our car in the Castro in the light of day was a man pooping on the sidewalk. Welcome home!

Speaking of sidewalks, let me just add, that throwing stuff on the sidewalk or in the gutter is gross. People in my neighborhood clean out their cars by dumping their trash onto the streets, like it’s supposed to magically disappear. Beer bottles and Slurpee cups dot not disintegrate like fall leaves, and I believe that you are whatever you leave behind. For example, if you leave your trash on the ground, you are trash. If you leave your dog’s crap on the ground, then you are shit. It’s very simple.

Sometimes the garbage just doesn’t make sense, however. I was picking up detritus by my front sidewalk the other day and came across a coupling I just couldn’t figure out. There in my grass was one used condom and a cherry tomato. I could see either of these item alone, but together it’s just the worst salad ever. Did someone almost finish their light lunch before having sex in the gutter. I am actually happy that somebody is having safe sex in front of my home and eating healthy in the street. Good for you, you dirty prophylactic.

Before I sign off, I have a few recommendations for you. Albert and I went to see Edward Albee’s “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?” playing at the LGBT Center, and it’s fantastic. The show has witty, smart dialogue similar to his classic “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” but with the addition of bestiality. It is shocking and hysterical and has some of the best performances I’ve seen in town.

We’ve also gone to a couple movies that are not to be missed. Gone Girl is a great adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel starring Ben Affleck and his penis. I loved the book and thought David Fincher’s direction of the film was perfect. We also saw the movie Pride, based on the true story of how a London-based gay and lesbian activist group supported a group of National Mine Workers in 1984. It is a very funny and inspiring movie about tolerance and friendship. Gays, lesbians, and miners should see it to learn some of their history, and know the hard work and battles our fairy godmothers and godfathers had to fight. Everybody else should see it because it shows the power of the human spirit, and it will make you laugh and cry.

Finally, my new book Bring a Bag of Ice is available digitally for your Kindle, tablet, or smartphone. Download your copy from Amazon today:

http://www.amazon.com/Bring-Bag-Ice-Short-Adventures-ebook/dp/B00O3IOJNY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1412631426&sr=1-1&keywords=bring+a+bag+of+ice

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Can We Talk?

TempleFB

Always. We can and should talk because our minds are always working, and most people haven’t learned to read them yet. Thank you to Joan Rivers and Robin Williams for making us laugh uncontrollably simply by speaking your unfiltered thoughts. Rest in peace, you comedy geniuses, and we’ll do our part to keep the laughter flowing.

Last Thursday was Albert’s 48th birthday, which put him decidedly in his late 40’s. I don’t like to be late for anything, particularly my youth. As we were leaving the house for a day of celebrating, a Mexican lady was pushing a baby stroller in front of the house and stopped by our walkway. She was looking at something on the ground, and then started calling out to me. “There is something alive over here! Hey, there is something moving.”

I assumed it was a little mouse or something in the landscaping that the cat would later bring me as a present. I walked over expecting to see a Stuart Little, happily playing in the bushes. Instead, I looked down to the sidewalk to see a rodent fetus. It was a squishy, gray eraser with ears and a long tail, no more than a few inches long, and it was breathing.

The woman looked down at the devil monster, and with a heavy Spanish accent proclaimed, “I think it’s a puppy.”

A puppy? I am not a veterinarian, but I’m pretty sure that looks nothing like a puppy, and I don’t think dogs just drop their babies on the sidewalk, willy-nilly. I was in no mood to argue with this woman, when clearly vermin was falling from the tree overhead, so I just agreed. “Yeah, maybe it is a puppy.”

The woman exited with her baby stroller, and Albert joined me in fetus identification. “It’s either a baby squirrel, a baby rat, or possibly a baby possum.” Albert narrowed it down to three potential animals and immediately put it in a box, brought it in the house, and started to nurse it back to health. He got out the dropper and we tried to hydrate the little rodent or dog with water. This was made more difficult by the fact that the thing barely had a fully formed mouth. I’m pretty sure at this point we were trying to save some sort of abortion, which is not the way Albert wanted to spend his birthday.

I go through all the possibilities in my head. Even if this thing lives, which I doubt, two of the potential animals it might become, I don’t want in the house. At best it’s a squirrel, and I’m not even sure how well that would fare with our cat, Ratty. We decide that if it’s actually a rat we will name it Kitty, because our cat is named The Rat. It’s already complicated. We create a nest for our new preemie using a heating pad and some fake fur and move on with our adventures.

We visit a beautiful Buddhist temple in Hacienda Heights that we had wanted to check out and go hiking in Altadena. The Hsi Lai temple was a striking orange-roofed monastery nestled on a mountainside, and the subsequent hike nearly killed us, because it was pushing 100 degrees outside. We get home to find another fetus on our front sidewalk, this one squished to death. What is happening in this tree? Are these rat-squirrel babies just falling out of their nest, or are they being pushed out by an unfit mother? I can see her, chewing on the butt of a Marlboro Red, kicking her unexpected litter, one by one, out of the tree, squealing, “Momma’s going out tonight, I don’t have time for this.” Do I call Peta or Child Protective Services?

Albert tried to keep the original vermin alive for most of the weekend, until he found it stiff and dead in its box one morning. A few days later I was walking in the front yard and I found a third squished devil fetus on the sidewalk. It is raining aborted babies in Hollywood. So, no matter how your day is going, you can say, “At least rodents aren’t falling from the sky, like at Billy’s house.” You’re welcome.

RIP

Hair-Do

NoMoney

First let me show you a gift my friend Chris gave me the first day I published my book Bring a Bag of Ice. I love the brutal honesty of all my friends.

Summer in Los Angeles is ridiculously rocked with entertainment, and I’m pooped. Let’s start with the Hollywood Bowl, which I attended twice last week. First a classical show of movie scores from composers of The Americas, conducted by our amazing Gustavo Dudamel. You can get seats for classical nights for less than the price of a movie, and last Thursday we spent a beautiful night under the stars listening to the scores of Battlestar Galactica, Angels in America, Beasts of the Southern Wild and more.

We returned to the Bowl on Saturday night for an all-star production of Hair, which was fantastic. The cast was lead by Kristin Bell, Hunter Parish of Weeds, and a couple of the Glee girls. The standouts were Amber Riley, the fierce black girl that sings “White Boys,” and the very sexy Benjamin Walker as Berger. We are in a severe drought in California, so it was perfect when the Hair tribe actually conjured rain for the second act of the show. Some of the audience was less than thrilled, but we brought wigs, so our heads stayed dry as the hippies let the sunshine in.

While I’m on live theater, lets go downtown to talk about the shows at The Center Theater Group. Last night we saw Buyer and Cellar, which is a hysterical one man show starring Michael Urie. The Ugly Betty star plays a struggling actor working in Barbra Streisand’s private underground Malibu mall. The play is fiction but the combination of strange truth and great writing make for a very, very funny night.

The complete opposite of good theater is happening next door at The Ahmanson. I love musicals and I’m a huge Queen fan, so we went to see London’s long running production of We Will Rock You. This is one of the worst jacked-up jukebox shows I’ve ever seen, and I can’t warn you enough to avoid this tour at all costs. It is like terrible children’s theater for adults, yet I literally couldn’t figure out what was supposed to be happening through most of it. Apparently people would get into situations with space villains, I couldn’t tell you what or why, and to get out of the predicaments somebody would yell, “We’re gonna rock!” and that would solve the problem. Repeatedly. It is worse than the similarly named Rock of Ages but in space and combined with the annoyance of Cats. Imagine the hell.

If bad theater isn’t your thing, we also caught a horrible art show. We saw the Mike Kelley show at MOCA downtown before it closed and found that it was a huge amount of work, none of which I liked. I suppose he’s “good” because art critics say he is and half of my friends loved it. I felt it was the work of a lazy hoarder. Much of the show looked like he raided a thrift store and then scattered things about the room, which I do in my garage but don’t charge people to enter. He must have been a charming man…to get people to buy into this bullshit.

We have also been checking out some summer movies to avoid the Hollywood heat. We saw the ape movie, which is good, but I preferred the last James Franco movie to the current Keri Russell one. We also saw Guardians of the Galaxy, which is also a very good blockbuster. For something a little more unique I recommend Snowpiercer, starring Tilda Swinton in one of my favorite performances of the year. This movie is totally bizarre, not for everyone, but wonderfully visionary. I would describe it as a post-apocalyptic dark comedy action adventure with amazing sets and costumes, but it’s really just a crazy train ride. We also went to a premiere screening of The Hundred-Foot Journey, starring Helen Mirren, which opens tomorrow. It’s a feel-good, food-porn, rom-com and I loved it. Two big thumbs up, but make sure you don’t go hungry or it will be a torture film.

I read in the news today that a special education teacher in Oklahoma showed up to her first day of school drunk and without pants. Doesn’t that make you feel better? You are probably not wasted and naked at work, and it’s unlikely your kids are being educated in Oklahoma.

Pumping Up Summer

Prudence

Summer is in full swing, which means there is a ton to do in Los Angeles. The Hollywood Forever cemetery movie screenings produced by Cinespia are selling out every weekend. We went to Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and had a blast. The movie is funnier than I remembered, with a witty Jane Russell and an over-the-top Marilyn Monroe performance as a woman obsessed with diamonds. The camera nearly ignores the very funny Russell, in favor of the overly sexualized Monroe, in an otherwise strangely gay musical. There is a pool scene that looks like the Village People’s YMCA.

If movies aren’t your scene, how about music? The Hollywood Bowl has something every night of the week, and we caught the Robyn and Röyksopp show with a big group of friends. My new summer music favorite however is Sia, whose new album just dropped and it’s terrific.

It’s also been a summer of guests and pool parties. Our friends Trisha, Kevin, and their daughter Mason stayed with us, and Krista, Roger, and their son Charlie came for a visit from Cincinnati. I love when some of my favorite people visit and different worlds collide in new places. We have also been swimming a lot this summer so thanks to Gabi, Trevor and Joey, Ken and Carey, Tom, and John for the much appreciated pool time.

If theater is your thing, the annual Hollywood Fringe festival just happened. We caught a very funny play called No Homo, written by Brandon Baruch, who happens to be the son of a friend of ours. We went to support a friend and ended up seeing the winner of the Best World Premiere production, among other awards. Well done, friend’s talented son and the cast! This weekend we’re headed Jackie Beat’s new show on Saturday night at the Renberg Theater, so if you’re looking for some edgy humor, she’s got the beat.

Last Monday we went to the LA premier of Such Good People written by our friend David Michael Barrett! Randy Harrison and the very funny Michael Urie star in this screwball comedy about a money grab in Silver Lake. The movie also includes standout performances by Ana Ortiz, Alec Mapa, and Drew Droege. We went to the cast party afterwards with the likes of Urie and a blue-blonde Lance Bass.

Two nights later I was out to dinner in West Hollywood at Pump, and Lance Bass was there again. I like your new hair, but stop following me Lance! We were brought to dinner by our friend Andy, who is a huge he fan of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I don’t watch the show, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching Andy’s expression as Lisa Vanderpump, her husband, kids, and other cast members took the table right next to ours. He was essentially watching live tv for the rest of the meal. The food at Pump is very good, not great, but the atmosphere is lovely. I have to give credit to Vanderpump for turning a cursed location and dingy parking lot into a stunning new destination, with beautiful old olive trees and every chandelier in the Restoration Hardware catalogue.

While I’m on food, I have another recommendation for you. Hoy-Ka Thai Noodles just opened up on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood around the corner from my house and it’s delicious. I love Thai food and there are many choices in the neighborhood, but these are some of the best noodle dishes I’ve ever had. Albert and I were sitting at a tall table when a woman came over and told us that we chose the “Hoy-Ka” table, which translates to “dangle your feet.” She and her husband are the owners and are super nice, and talked to us during much of our meal. They had the same restaurant on Western in a smaller location and always had a line out the door, so when they moved, their fans followed them. Everything is fresh and homemade, and they have the most delicious egg rolls I have ever tasted in my life. Give the place a try and sit Hoy-Ka!

A special thank you to all my friends who have posted pictures with my new book. I appreciate all your help with sharing my book with your friends, like Prudence did (above), and giving me much needed publicity.

Link

BABOIcoverLoI realize that I disappeared again but this time I have an excuse. I was busy finishing my new book, and it’s done. I am thrilled to announce that my book Bring a Bag of Ice is available for purchase on Amazon, so please check it out. This collection of true short stories are my adventures assisting an allergic beekeeper, singing on cruise ships, whitewater rafting, playing Tony the Tiger, meeting Stephen Sondheim, being a chorus boy for Betty White, going Down Under, and much more.

 

If you are looking for some summer laughs, you can preview or purchase my book below:

http://www.amazon.com/Bring-Bag-Ice-Short-Adventures/dp/1500224529/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405020941&sr=1-1&keywords=billy+lambrinides

 

Spring Showstoppers

UnitedArtists

Per usual, I have been too busy to blog at you people, so let me catch you up. There are just too many entertainment possibilities in Southern California to do them all, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

We caught a one night only show called Return to Grey Gardens put on by Peaches Christ at the Wilshire Ebell Theater. It starred last year’s winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Jinkx Monsoon channeling Little Edie, and it was hysterical. Jinkx goes beyond camp in her acting abilities, and can sing like a Broadway star in a woman’s voice, which is pretty amazing. I saw a brilliant mash-up done by Peaches Christ years ago called Rocky Horror Superstar, which was equally freaky and wonderful, so I look forward to more of her theatrical drag productions.

We went downtown twice this week for shows. Friday night we caught Rufus Wainwright’s tour at The Orpheum and it was fantastic. I have been listening to his music for years and this “best of” show made me realize the sheer volume of his catalogue. His younger sister Lucy opened the show and she is adorable and funny, as much a comedian as a musician. I’m a fan of Rufus’ voice, which many people are not, but his songwriting ability is unbelievable. There are not many modern artists that reviewers regularly compare to Cole Porter. Bring it.

Last night we went downtown to the historic United Artists Theater at the new Ace Hotel. We went for a Cinespia screening of 1982’s Tron, which was almost impossible to sit through because it is so damn bad. The theater, however, is stunning, and, without a doubt, the most beautiful I have ever seen. If you get a chance to see something in this Spanish Gothic 1927 gem take it, unless it’s the movie Tron.

This week we also headed to Westwood to catch Annette Bening in Ruth Draper’s Monologues. I am a huge fan of Bening, and she did not disappoint in this one-woman acting showcase. I was not familiar with Draper, or her monologues written between 1920 and 1956, which are wonderful and feel completely contemporary. Bening plays four completely different characters, and acts and reacts to an empty stage that she fills with her skill alone. The show runs through May 18, if you want to check it out at The Geffen.

We also went to Coachella this year, so a big thank you to Steve for the VIP tickets! This years celebrity encounters included Lindsay Lohan, who was alone and made me sad, Jamie Foxx, Kellan Lutz, and the gorgeous Florence Welch. We had seen many of the acts in past years, but Coachella is always a blast in the desert. Even with all of the brilliant headliners like Arcade Fire, my favorite act of the year was a classic—The Pet Shops Boys.

This past Sunday was Easter and we were invited to our friend Megan’s for a brunch on the rooftop of the historic Hollywood Tower. Albert and I thought it would be small, intimate group of people, and decided to wear our very large bunny costumes…for kicks. It ended up being a huge, fun bash and the rabbits were quite a hit. Cheri Oteri was one of the guests, and at one point was seducing Albert in his bunny costume, making for an unforgettable Easter.

bunnies

Sprang Forward

streetmovie

 

The news has been all abuzz about Russia and Crimea and the Ukraine. I can’t believe the cold war is back, and so soon too, but at least we’re not talking about the Middle East or oil wars for a hot minute. Please, for the love of geography and a good joke, let there be an actual “Crimea River” somewhere on the map.

This is the second year in a row that we didn’t throw our annual Oscar party. We were flying home from Sydney during the show, so if you did not get an invitation, it was not because of anything you did. I think Ellen did a good job, even though her nerves were showing, and Idina Menzel got a hysterical story for her cabaret act. Speaking of movies, we saw Grand Budapest Hotel and thought it was good, not great. I’m a big Wes Anderson fan, and this was one of my least favorite films of his — gorgeous and quirky, but not particularly funny or moving. We also rented Rush, which is boring unless you understand the obsession with car racing, which I don’t. I do not care who can drive the fastest in circles to get nowhere.

Albert’s aunt Sherry and uncle Jerry came for a visit last weekend. We spent an afternoon at the Getty Villa, and it is not horrible to hang out in a beautiful Roman country house on the coast of Malibu. Admission is free and parking is $15 for as many people as you can squeeze in, so clown car it to the museum and go see some ancient art.

I went to a very fun brunch at my friend William’s in Mount Washington on Sunday, and a dinner party at Gabi’s house in Studio City on Tuesday night. Thanks for the invites and the delicious food, boys!

I was interrupted from writing this week by a cute guy coming door to door, asking for signatures regarding a project at The Palladium. He called me Sir several times, which I hate because it makes me feel very old. Then when I told him my email, he responded with, “Hotmail? That’s old school. My uncle has a Hotmail account.” Well isn’t that special. Please do not return to my home unless you are selling Girl Scout Cookies.

Today I was interrupted by a man coming to my door from the Hollywood Forever cemetery. He was taking a neighborhood survey, and I am a fan of the cemetery, so I was happy to talk. Then the conversation took a turn from survey to sales pitch and the man asked, “Has someone near to you recently departed, or would you like some more information about our services?” Oh my God, what are the odds that someone has recently died and I’m just sitting at home with the corpse waiting for somebody to come by and help? Did something happen that I’m unaware of, that should make me start looking around my house for dead bodies? It is one thing to get brochures from Orange County retirement homes in the mail at age 44 (which I do), and quite another to have the cemetery actually come knocking on my door! We did have a large earthquake on Monday morning, so I’m a bit worried that I didn’t make it.

This weeks celebrity sightings included Kathy Kinney from The Drew Carey Show, and Joel McHale, both at my gym, Josh Groban driving his car, and Beth Behrs from Two Broke Girls at Trader Joe’s. The picture (above) is from my walk to the gym this week when I passed a 50’s or 60’s film being shot.