Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Currently I am taking a Creative Nonfiction class at UCLA. I’ve taken other writing classes in the past at UCLA but it has been awhile. It feels good to work beside and learn with others. I’m hoping to begin my Memoir while in class. . .

In a few days, the cover story with Apolo Ohno will be out on the stands, which will coincide with the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City where copies will be distributed.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Last week I was in Palm Springs not only soaking up the desert heat, but hunting for future stories as well. Found two guys, partners, who own Casa Ocotillo where we stayed – Brian and Vic. They will make a wonderful article as both of them have been involved with the AIDS community through the years.

Checked out Palm Springs Art Museum that currently has two extraordinary exhibitions: Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nick Muray – and -- D. J. Hall: Thirty-Five Year Retrospective. Both are extremely interesting, informative, and have that “Oh, wow” factor.

The museum has a 1939 letter written by Frida to Nick [they had a 10 year love affair] when she was in Paris attending the opening of her work. The letter is such a gem, as Frida is outraged by the gallery owners and the intellectuals of the day. "[They are a] bunch of coocoo lunatic son of bitches...." She goes on further to say that they sit on their asses all day and talk and talk and talk about nothing. "I want to chew them up and spit them out." The lengthy letter further describes Frida's hatred for Paris and their art world.

As for the DJ Hall exhibit, the lively, electric colors in her paintings captivated every single one of my senses and thrilled them all into an orgasmic frenzy. I had to return 3 times to the museum just so I could experience it all over again!

Also caught THE DARK KNIGHT at Cathedral City's IMAX Theatre on opening day. Heath Ledger's frightful and eerie characterization of The Joker is a great accomplishment that will be added to an already extensive resume of a short-lived career.

Now back in LA, I'm currently tracking down more stars for cover stories....

Monday, July 14, 2008


You think you know Valerie Harper as Rhoda [Morgenstern, from her Emmy-award winning series] or Golda [Meir, from her award-winning one woman play]? Nope. Try again. She’s doing yet another stellar transformation and this time it’s Tallulah Bankhead. Valerie’s appearing in Matthew Lombardo’s brilliantly written play, LOOPED, currently in its debut at the Pasadena Playhouse. By the time the curtain
falls, the audience is eerily convinced they have spent a few hours with the Diva -- the woman who created the word, my gosh!

I attended the Saturday matinee performance and the audience shot to their feet when Valerie appeared for her curtain call. I understand that this has been normal fare at every show. It’s a 3-character play, though with all due respect to actor, Michael Karl Orenstein, the main grit is between Valerie and Chad Allen, who both compliment one other and create a moving story. In the second act, Chad’s character has some intense rollercoaster revelations and it’s fun to watch this actor stir up the audience’s emotions.

My friends and I went backstage to congratulate them. Thanks to Tony for playing photographer!

A couple years ago I interviewed both Valerie and Chad:


Thanks to Tim Courtney for the extra photographs.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I interviewed Dr. Daniel Amen today and the article will be included in an upcoming issue of A&U. PBS repeats Daniel’s program frequently, so be sure and catch it. It’s informative, inspiring, and revolutionary. See more about him and his book, CHANGE YOUR BRAIN, CHANGE YOUR LIFE in the below post.

Monday, July 7, 2008


20, 30, 35, 38, 39…..40! Yep, 40. 40. Once ya hit it, YOU KNOW IT!

Seeing the inspirational film THE VISITOR last night, which will receive several Oscar noms including Best Actor for Richard Jenkins, brought to mind-- yet again -- the journey of aging. I find that because our society is so based and invested in youth, especially Madison Avenue and Hollywood, it’s difficult to approach ‘ripeness’ with grace. [‘Ripeness’ is the positive way of saying ‘growing older.’] There’s not much support. But, as Debbie Reynolds who played Molly Brown in THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN sang, I ain’t down yet!
Thanks to new scientific research and progressive Baby Boomers who continue to set an example, we are defying our older gens sentiment of ageing. What has assisted tremendously in my journey recently have been these authors and their writings:

Dr. Don Kilhefner – Los Angeles based psychologist who writes articles for national publications that are geared toward the gay community

All of these authors above have changed my perspective and I’ve learned to switch my negative thoughts into delightfully positive ones!

Thoughts create how we feel.

When I lived in New York in the early 80s, I was taught this philosophy by a wise therapist, Miller Minor. He introduced me to a cognitive therapy called Rational Emotive Therapy [RET], which Dr. Albert Ellis conceived in the 1950s. Most cognitive/behavioral theories today are spin offs of RET, like the theory that Dr. Phil is anchored in or Dr. Wayne Dyer. When I was a kid my grandfather gave me a book, The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, so my positive attitude was established at an early age – thank heaven. My bible for most of my adult life has been Dr. David Burns’ The Feeling Good Handbook.

In my early twenties, I read several books including The Magic of Believing by Claude Bristol, which made an impact on my life, as it did with Phyllis Diller. When I interviewed her several years ago, she confided that this book “was responsible for my success.”

It’s so wonderful to know that we can control our thoughts. However, as with anything in life, it takes time, effort, and patience -- but it works. With aging comes wisdom, experience, maturity, centeredness, and a comfort in one’s own skin. With my renewed outlook, I actually look forward to ripening more….

Thursday, July 3, 2008


For the past week I’ve been piecing together the Apolo Ohno article that will be A&Us August cover story, which will be distributed at the annual international AIDS conference being held in Mexico City this year.

During my limited social interactions over the past several weeks I’ve encountered yet more individuals who have come down with the "FI Disease." I guess we’ve all been infected to some extent. I call it the "Fear of Intimacy Disease." We all seem to yearn for intimacy with another, but when we get it, we run away. Whether it’d be with a friend, family, or fan [a lover, partner, etc.]. Of course, I am NOT talking about sex! Intimacy is the act of bearing one’s heart and soul with another. It means being vulnerable, which can be very attractive. However, it can be scary, as well. Because when we're intimate with another, we're intimate with us. That means getting a good look at ourselves, both positively and negatively. Others become a mirror for us. Confrontation time, Baby. Granted, all this ain’t easy!

It helps to be intimate with ourselves FIRST before we become intimate with another.

Being intimate is certainly a developed skill. It sure would have been great if we were taught this in high school, along with other life issues like learning how to balance a checkbook and how to deal with death. Why doesn’t education prepare an individual more for REAL life?!