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May 2006

Damn that was a long hiatus. I feel like an comatose extra in that Robin Williams mid-’80s bomb ‘Awakenings.’

It’s funny how the longer you stop doing something, the easier it becomes to continue to not keep doing it. Case-in-point: 15 Minutes. I’ve been tinkering with writing a new entry for well over 3 days now and haven’t really found much inspiration for a column. Writing a weekly shtick isn’t as easy as I had once thought.

It takes continual open eyes, the ability to whip out a steno pad at the drop of a hat to write down something inspirational (try doing that while running through JFK) and realizing that you’ve got to cater to a whole spectrum of different tastes, point-of-views and senses of humor. It’s downright daunting, but it’s also a fun challenge that really pushes me to keep things sharp and always remember to keep people talking. Life’s no fun without a little jolt every now and then. Someone’s got to raise your blood pressure now and then.

Sam Donaldson: Single-handedly keeping the schlack industry in business

This week I’ve got more to talk about than Carter has liver pills… It’s been a wild month for me travel-wise, while the world of celeb has spiraled downward into depths that even I can’t fathom without a proper oxygen tank and face mask. Summer blockbuster films seem to simply be a snore, while whispers of an ‘elite’ force of male4male companions are on the horizon and on the web. Dale Chihuly’s popping up all over the Midwest and Oprah has now achieved demi-God status in the states (although at press time people in France are still laughing at her).

Maybe she’ll finally get into Hermes after-hours. I hear that Jesus gets FANTASTIC swag.

The Last Supper. Dining set by Armani Casa.

So, get ready for the blitz because it’s coming strong this week. The 15 is coming out with fists up and firing on all 8-cylinders…

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of heading through Italy, Indy and Oklahoma City. A strange, but very cool combo of places that all offer their fair share of things to keep the senses at bay. I’d been to both Italy and Indy before, but never to OKC. The first day there, I saw their version of San Antonio’s Riverwalk and smiled, as I had never seen a city try to replicate it quite so well. While it’s much shorter (only about a mile) and unmistakably cleaner, it definitely has its charm. It runs through a portion of the city (The Brickyard) which is obviously getting a great deal of money pumped into it, with clubs, bars and restaurants everywhere. I had the pleasure of seeing Mission Impossible III locally there and enjoyed one of the best movie theater experiences I’ve ever had. Really impressive.

Italy was, as expected, incredible. It got off to a rough start travelwise, but ended up going way too quickly, but getting to see the very best of both Venice and Rome. I had a chance to stop into my favorite restaurant for lunch in Venice (Do Forni), which is just a block from San Marco. They (IMO) have the best Venetian liver in the city. They also have an incredible selection of Chianti and if you’re a fan of French Bordeaux, this place is for you. Prices are reasonable. The Euro is quite strong against the dollar right now, but hey, it’s Europe… Everything’s expensive. Just embed this into your psyche on the plane ride over and you’ll be fine. LOL.

I had a chance to fly Virgin’s Upper Class on the way over. Incredibly comfortable seating. I’ve never had a flight attendant ‘prepare’ my bed the way Virgin did and I’ve got to say, it was a great night’s sleep. 100% flat featherbed with full-size pillows and cashmere blankets. Virgin is really putting the heat on British Airways in terms of getting the much-revered business flyer. Service was good, but I will say that the food was basic and not at all becoming of a business/first setup. The cabin was outfitted with massive bathrooms (note to self: Mile-High Club possibilities) and a soft neon blue lighting that really made you feel like you were at a bar lounge rather than 35k feet above the ground. Good amenity kits. Wonderful sleeper suits provided. Look for the snazzy walk-up bar mid-cabin (good Bellini from what I was told) and a limited spa on board (massage, mani/pedi, aromatherapy). A great way to fly, but still not as competitive as some of the other more-together air carriers out there. I will say that their Clubhouse facility in JFK is amazing and i’ve never seen a pre-departure lounge quite that well-designed or hospitable.

Venice is just an incredible city. If you go (or have gone in the past), there’s nothing more relaxing than knowing that you can’t truly get lost on what amounts to an island city. I actually recommend getting lost as much as possible. Sure, the Rialto Bridge, San Marco and Lido are all swank places to see, but it’s the side streets and residential areas that can provide the most grit for you photographers out there. Learn as much of the language as you can. Speak with confidence, but at the very least, try to speak on their level. It shows you’re trying. Water Taxis are a ripoff, but a necessary evil if you plan on getting into Venice super-early or super-late. Forgo the gondola rides and just take Vesputti #1 (public transport) for the best (and cheapest) ride around Venice. For those on the ‘Benjamin Nicholas Tour’ of Venice, don’t miss the newly opened LUSH shop at the base of the Rialto bridge. I’m a sucker for product, what can i say?

Even in Rome you can’t get away from Dan Brown…

Snagged a ride on the Eurostar to Rome, while enjoying an awesome view of Italian countryside for the 4.5 hour ride. While the US rail system is in current peril, the Eurostar is THE way to travel around Europe if you’re wanting a fast, reliable and clean transport. I totally dug having breakfast in the dining car while racing past some of the most incredible scenery I’ve ever seen. It might not be as quick as flying, but it’s got so much more heart.

Rome is insane. People everywhere. Noise. Pollution. The most ass-backwards traffic patterns known to man. Yet, in all of this gridlock, you suddenly run smack dab into the most influential architecture, fountains, sculpture and museums in the world. It’s like going from 100 mph to a dead stop in a matter of seconds. The madness outside of St Peters seems to melt away the first time you step foot into the Basicillica and realize that nothing like this will ever be built again. The sheer scale of the Colosseum is both frightening and mesmerizing all at the same time. Every inch of Rome oozes with history, as if you mig
ht turn a corner and at any second find lions eating Christians (okay, well maybe not exactly that, but you get the picture).

I will say that I did successfully resist the urge to openly bleat ‘Caesars Palace in Vegas is so much more clean… Who’da thunk it? I was told there would be slot machines here…’ while in the Vatican. I figure that that’s the last place I’d want to be a cretin and that I was on thin ice already. But hey, like I’ve always said, if God really is watching, we might as well put on a good show.

Flew back to the states with Continental. They do an incredible BusinessFirst service and while the seating may not have been flat-bed style, it was more than comfortable. Their flight attendants were VERY professional (and quite smiley), with the never-ending choices of food and IFE (in-flight entertainment) never too far from reach. I always enjoy that Continental does a desert cart with hot fudge sundaes. Made to-order and served fresh. They assured me that they took out all of the calories and that everything eaten was fat-free. I tried to convince them that if I took in too many calories on a long flight that they might need to shoehorn my ass out of the seat Kirstie Alley-style when we landed.

So, Will & Grace is over. Boofriggityhoo. I’m sick of all of these articles being written lately that praise the show for breaking new ground and bringing positive attention to the gay community. BAH! The only thing that Will & Grace did was prove to America that when you’re gay you’re either one of two stereotypes: A flaming, one-dimensional queen who can quip one-liners and make a total ass of himself for the pleasure of others or a career successful, but ultimately loveless gay man who never seems to find inner happiness and peace. Not to mention that Will was never truly given the chance to show his love for ANY of the ‘boyfriends’ he had on the show in those 8 years.

Sean, you’re not fooling anyone. Just embrace your inner Richard Simmons…

Let’s face it kids, I’m not naive enough to expect visceral butt-boffing on the level of Queer As Folk (another unfortunate stereotype-of-a-show), but it would have been nice to round out Will’s character into something more than a gay Seinfeld. He was neurotic as hell and towards the end, was bordering on total farce. This show did as much for the gay community as Ryan Seacrest has done towards suppressing his urge to bottom for anything with a masculine scent.

They should have killed off every character on that show long ago in creative fashion and just left the ropes to Karen and Rosario. Hell, I’m feeling generous, so even Beverly Leslie can stay around. I simply hope that Megan Mullally’s career takes off when she debuts her talk show this fall. She’s a TRUE talent and a triple-threat that could really bowl Hollywood over.

Rosie is joining The View. I can’t wait to see the clashes that will take place when she starts to open her yapper. All I ask is that Star Jones and O’Donnell settle this like the classy (*snort*) ladies they are and don’t resort to oil wrestling on-air. I don’t know if I could handle that.

Star Jones: Human Bobble-Head Doll

Can you even imagine Star, greased up like Brittney Spears at a Burger King, oil wrestling to defend her point-of-view? I just threw up a little.

Speaking of talk shows: Who the hell told Oprah that we care what she thinks after the cameras stop rolling? I mean, seriously. Here’s a woman, who not more than 10 years ago had show topics like ‘My Husband Sewed My Vagina Shut’ and now she’s some damned Christ-like figure to millions of men, women and children? Has the whole world gone apeshit.

I caught really great collections of Dale Chihuly (famed glass-blowing artist) in Indy and OKC this past week. The Children’s Museum in Indy has his tallest glass tower, as well as some really creative children’s exhibits explaining how he creates his work. OKC’s art museum is known for having Chihuly’s largest permanent collection, as well as the only Waterford Crystal Chandelier (also created by Chihuly) made outside of their usual band of glass blowers.

Amazing stuff. His color saturation on his glass is wonderful if lit correctly, and both museums did his work justice with very clean halogen lighting.

WHAT WELL-REVIEWED ESCORT is currently getting a bad name for speaking out-of-turn about his clients drug habits? It looks as if this once golden-boy is now turning a new leaf and showing his true colors in regards to his once, very private, privacy policy. How ironic that this particular stud-for-hire has a blow habit himself.

A NO-SHOW NO NO… It seems as if a band of banished and bruised escorts has formed an alliance to out those clients who no-show, flake out or simply get abusive. This new blog seems to have found it’s niche in a take-no-prisoners sort of way. Crap Clients Beware! The list is growing on a daily basis, but repent sinners, as they always leave a way to get de-listed from this not-so-boffo blacklist.

IT’S GREEK TO ME AND HE’S HOT, but is this future billionaire on the bi-highway to gaysville? Eyes and ears at hotspot Pure in Las Vegas say they saw this young playboy quite literally playing with another boy! The Housewives definitely wouldn’t approve of this well-known pairing.

SPEAKING OF DESPERATE… It looks as if a male member (literally) of this smash show has recently been pegged as being less-than-gifted in below-the-belt ways. Porn superstar Jenna Jameson let 15 Minutes know recently that while she’s naming no names, she’s got the goods on a young buck from the show and his very ‘little’ problem.

LOOKING FOR THE ELITE? It’s coming thanks to a merge of two well-known M4M websites, applications will soon be taken to narrow down the very best in male escorts available. From what we hear, it’s not a traditional agency, but a new concept in pre-screening and putting the very best into your hands based on your wants and needs. We here at The 15 remember when a certain Hoo was working on this very concept, even going as far as to register the name He planned to call them his ‘Hooboys’ and only allow a select group of guys into the circle. Interesting as it was, it never came to pass and now the idea has suddenly popped up somewhere else in similar format. Stay tuned.

WHAT AGING TEEN HEARTTHROB and current song-and-dance man was seen at a major airport enjoying a meal with what appeared to be his boytoy? With homoeroticism in technicolor, this duo was seen enjoying a quiet meal together, while one fork-fed the other with stars of romance in each other’s eyes. I wonder if his wife knows about this? Forget his wife… I wonder if his CHURCH knows about this?

Website of this second: Addictive as the day is long.

Website of this second: Do you really need a detailed explaination on this one?

Yet another Website: FlipFlopErotic Blog. If you’re into hot guys, hot feet and those who crave such things, this is your mecca. These guys will soon be doing a feature on this site, as well as me and why i’m obsessed with my flip flops. Inquiring minds must be really bored if this is now news.

Many of you have asked about the status of my Groups site and I’m currently having it worked on. For the time being, I’ve opened up a
MySpace webpage (along with the seemingly billions of other people) and am taking on ‘friends’ if you want to sign-up. While the site is a little basic right now, look for images, videos and more in the near future, along with a whole new Groups-based site to debut on my private server. I’ve made the mistake too many times of going through Yahoo and this time I’ve learned my lesson.
I’ve got lots of options for continued interactivity, so stay tuned for more info in the coming couple of weeks.

As always, I’ll keep y’all informed 😉

This week’s ridiculously good-looking EYE CANDY… Back where they belong:


‘Because it’s not what a lady would do….’ —— THE catchphrase in Italy.