Month: January 2014

Guy with Two Penises; Free Gay Excerpt Loving Daylight; Charlie Crist is Sorry

Guy with Two Penises

Yesterday a friend sent me a link about a man with two penises. At first I thought it was a joke and the photos were shopped. But then I made the social media rounds and by coincidence saw other people talking about it. Evidently, it’s a rare syndrome called Diphallia and it can and does happen.

You can read more here.

And here are the links someone posted photos.

Charlie Christ is Sorry

Charlie Crist, once the governor of Florida, backed a ban on gay marriage back in 2008. He was a Republican then, and now he’s a Democrat running for office again and he’s sorry he backed the ban on gay marriage in 2008 and I guess he wants some kind of absolution for this. I’m not sure, not exactly. But I don’t think he’s going to be the only one to flip flop on this in the coming year. I’m not sure I blame him either. I predict more will follow him to the point where it becomes cliché. At least he’s one of the first.

‘I’m sorry I did that. It was a mistake. I was wrong,’ Crist told Watermark. ‘As a Republican, on social issues I always felt I was a round peg in a square hole. I just didn’t fit. But I tried, until I couldn’t do it any more … until I had to say, “Enough is enough.”’

It’s been alleged that Crist is also a closeted gay man. There was even a documentary produced about this called Outrage. I saw it in 2009 and found it very sad and interesting at the same time.

You can read more here.

Free Gay Excerpt Loving Daylight

It’s Friday and I always like to put up an excerpt for the weekend in case I don’t get a chance to post. This one is from a book I wrote with a pen name for a collection of romance books that was sold on the Home Shopping Network back in 2009. It’s a vampire novel called Loving Daylight. This is the raw version.

For the first time in eighty years, Avenir LaFramboise was returning to the place where he’d been born, Glendale Harbor, Maine, on Mt. Desert Island. It was a cool night in late September and he could smell the salt water in the air. He’d just turned one hundred and one years old. But he didn’t have gray hair and he didn’t walk with a cane. The only thing that looked old about him was the car he was driving, a l978 red Mercedes convertible with a black top. He’d had the car since it was new and could never abide the idea of parting with it.

            When Avenir truly loved something, he was willing to do anything in his power to hold on to it and preserve it forever.

            His hair was still light golden brown, short and wavy, the way it had been the day his life had changed forever back in l929. It never grew longer, and if he shaved his head bald, it would grow back to the same exact length within minutes. His eyes were steel blue and shaped like pumpkin seeds. He had a lean, wiry body, with long muscles in his legs and arms. He’d been a rower, so the lines of his square chest muscles and his defined abdomen cracked through the surface of his skin with little effort. And his skin was always slightly tanned all year long, because he’d become a vampire on a warm night at the end of one of the hottest, sunniest July’s ever recorded in Mt. Deserthistory.

            When he pulled up to the front gate, he stopped the car and smiled at a bronze sign embedded in the stone wall that wrapped around the forty-acre property. The sign read “Raspberry Hall.” Raspberry was the English translation of his last name. Avenir’s father had had a great sense of humor and he’d never been above poking fun at himself. Avenir could remember the day his father had decided on this name for the house. It was the first day they’d moved in; his father’s face had beamed with pride. Avenir shook his head and laughed, then he pulled up to the gate and pressed the intercom button.

            A minute later, a young woman’s voice said, “May I ask who is calling?”

            Avenir pressed his hand to his chest and swallowed. Her voice sounded so familiar he had trouble finding his own. “Ah well, yes,” he said, “Avenir LaFramboise.” She sounded just like his beloved Adriana, but he knew her name was Sienna.

            “I’ll open the gate,” the woman said. “Just follow the drive and pull up to the main entrance, please. We’ve been expecting you.”

             While the gate slowly opened, he took a deep breath and sighed. They thought he was visiting because he wanted to get to know his family better. But the real reason was that he’d seen Sienna’s photo in the news a month earlier. She’d found a baby seal on the beach and she’d spent the entire night on the sand nursing it while she’d waited for help. She’d covered it with her jacket and wrapped her arms around its weak body to protect it from the cold. And the story of her unselfish act (to his surprise) had made headlines all around the world for two days in a row.

            The baby seal lived, and the experts said it was all because of what Sienna had done for it. So they named the seal Sienna in her honor.

Her full name was Sienna Harrington, the great-granddaughter of his first love, Adriana Laperouse Harrington. When he saw the article about the seal on his computer screen, and then saw Sienna’s photo, he knew he had to go home and see her in person. They were visually identical. And he wanted to find out more about her, because he’d never been able to get Adriana out of his head.  

            He passed through the gate slowly, amazed at how little things had changed in all those years. The uphill gravel drive was still lined with tall oaks, the hedgerows were still trimmed into rows of long, flat boxes, and the iron, three-tiered fountain in the middle of the front lawn was still surrounded by small, round boxwoods. He stopped for a moment and stared up at the house. The four gray stone towers still seemed to anchor the rest of the massive stone structure. A light blazed in each of the sixty-five rooms.

           When he pulled up to the front and parked beneath the portico, he looked to the right. The soaring, dark double doors opened at the same time and a young woman stood in the center of the doorway. Her hair was long and blond and parted dead center. She wore a simple black dress and black high heels. He switched off the engine and clicked off the lights. And when he got out of the car and crossed to the front door, a lump formed in his throat that was so large he could barely swallow.

            “I’m Sienna,” the young woman said, “I work here.” She gave him a blank stare; her hands were folded below her stomach.

            He smiled. “I’m Avenir LaFramboise,” he said. He’d read in the news article that she was a housekeeper, and he didn’t understand. Adriana Laperouse, Sienna’s great-grandmother, had married into a family that had been even wealthier than his, the Harringtons. How had Sienna wound up being the LaFramboise family housekeeper so many years later?

            She pressed her lips together and nodded, but she wouldn’t look him in the eye. “I’ll show you to the library,” she said. “The family is waiting for you there.” Then she unfolded her hands and stepped to the side so he could enter.

            The interior of the house hadn’t changed much either. He stopped in the center of the main hall and lifted his head higher. His expression remained empty, except for the fact that his mouth was slightly open. The walk-in fireplace to the right still had the hand carved woodwork and mantel that had been shipped from Italy, the dark walnut panels on the walls that had been shipped from England had aged well with time, and the gray and white marble floor looked even better now that it wasn’t slick and shiny. He took a breath and inhaled. The house still smelled like smoldering cedar chips.

            Sienna stood there staring at him. While he reached out and touched one of the columns with the tips of his fingers, she folded her hands again and rested them on her stomach. The four columns in the hall had originally been dark wood, but his father had hired a French artist to paint them with a faux marble technique to lighten the room. They looked so much like pink marble you had to touch them to feel the warmth of the wood to be sure they weren’t real stone.

            He smiled and said, “They look so authentic.”

            “Yes, they do,” she said. Then she unfolded her hands and extended her right arm. “If you’d like to follow me now, I’ll take you to the library.”

             He already knew where the library was. He’d studied for his school exams there many nights. But he smiled and said, “Of course.”

            She led him down the hall toward the rear of the house. The black dress was tight and it hugged the round curves of her beautiful body. She even walked like Adriana, with a slight lilt in her step and a natural jiggle in her hips.

            When they reached the library, she said, “Mr. LaFramboise is here.”

            Avenir tilted his head to the side and corrected her fast. “Please,” he said, “Call me Avenir.”

            But before she had a chance to reply, an attractive young man rose from an antique armchair beside the fireplace and crossed to where he was standing. He stepped in front of Sienna, placing his back to her face, and said, “I’m your distant cousin, Larson LaFramboise,” he said. “I’m not exactly sure how we’re related, but I think our great-grandfathers were brothers.” He stared closely, and his eyes darted up and down.

            Avenir shook his hand and smiled. “They were brothers,” he said. “Their father started making LaFramboise Liqours in France, then he moved to the United Statesand invested his money in steel.” Larson was a good-looking man in his early twenties, with dark hair and a well-formed, muscular body. But he looked nothing like Avenir. The only part of Larson that resembled the rest of the LaFramboise family were his steel blue eyes.

            Then a middle-aged man with salt and pepper hair stood from the sofa and shook his head. His eyes were wide and he cinched his eyebrows. He pointed to two oval portraits over the fireplace and said, “I can’t believe how much you resemble your great-grandfather,” he said. “It’s uncanny.” One portrait was actually Avenir, and the other was Avenir’s brother, Pierre. But the man didn’t know this.  

            Avenir looked up at the painting and smiled. “It’s does look like me,” he said. He remembered well the day that picture was taken. He’d just come back from a morning of sailing with his father and brother, and his mother had insisted he sit for the portrait. When he’d looked into the lens and the photographer snapped the photo, he’d lifted one eyebrow slightly higher than the other. He’d never actually seen the portrait up close because he’d disappeared not long after it was taken.

             A woman stood from the other soda and put her martini glass on the coffee table. She was in her mid-forties, with red hair and bright red lipstick. She was wearing a tight leopard cocktail dress with gold stilettos and black stockings. She waved her arm in Sienna’s direction and said, “That will be all, Sienna. We’ll call for you when we’re ready to dine. Thank you, dear.”

            Sienna turned and left the room without wavering. Avenir watched her leave the room and disappear into the hallway.

            The woman said, “I’m Karla LaFramboise. Please excuse my husband, Robert, for not introducing himself to you.” She gave Robert a look and extended her arm to shake Avenir’s hand.

            Then Robert extended his hand to Avenir and said, “I’m so sorry. I just can’t get over the resemblance. And to be honest, when I first heard you were coming, I was a little leery about meeting you. After all, your great-grandfather disappeared very mysteriously and no one ever heard from him again.”

            Avenir shook his hand and smiled. “I can understand how you feel,” he said. “It took me a long time to muster the courage to contact you.” He’d planned an explanation ahead of time because he knew they’d be curious about his background. “As I’ve always been told, my great-grandfather left Maine to study in Europe. But I’m not sure about the full story. He died long before I was born. My grandfather and my father both died young, too. I’m afraid I’m the only one left from my branch of the family. When my mother passed away last year, I decided to look up the family tree.”

            “What did your father do?” Larson asked. He looked Avenir up and down and bit the inside of his face.

            “He owned shopping malls all over the United States,” Avenir said. “And I inherited everything when my mother died.” It wasn’t a total lie. Avenir had started buying up properties back in the l930s…during the Depression when they were cheap. He was bored and alone and he didn’t have much else to do. Now he was a wealthy man; he owned almost as much land as the Catholic Church. And he’d been building indoor shopping malls all over America since the early l960s.

            “Interesting,” Robert said, “I’m interested in hearing everything about you. I’ve always been curious about why your great-grandfather disappeared without a trace.”

            Avenir rubbed his jaw and smiled, then he shook his head and said, “I’m afraid I’m not going to be much help. I probably know just about as much as you.” It was a plausible excuse; no one could fault him for what he didn’t know.

            After that, Karla invited Avenir into the library and offered him a drink. They were having cocktails later than usual because Avenir didn’t arrive until after dusk. He graciously accepted a martini and sat down on one of the sofas next to Larson. Unlike so many of the dramatic legends that claimed vampires couldn’t eat or drink anything but blood, Avenir could tolerate anything humans consumed. Though human food wasn’t something he needed in order to survive, it didn’t hurt him. Food and drink entered his body the same way it entered the human body. But the second he chewed and swallowed, it evaporated and vanished completely. It was like pouring liquid into the wide end of a funnel and having nothing come out the bottom.

            A short time later, Karla called Sienna on the intercom and told her they were ready for dinner. Sienna returned to the library, escorted them into the dining room, and then disappeared through the kitchen door. Avenir watched her leave with wide eyes. He marveled at how easily she moved through the room with that never-ending blank expression on her face.

            Then Sienna disappeared completely. An older, heavy-set woman took over and served them dinner. No one offered an explanation. And when Avenir casually mentioned Sienna during the main course, Karla smiled and said, “Sienna usually leaves at night. She has a part-time job somewhere else.”

            “I see,” Avenir said. He went back to eating small morsels of food that he couldn’t taste. He thought about asking where Sienna’s other part-time job was, but he didn’t want them to know he was interested in her.

             When dinner was finally over (it took forever), he removed his napkin from his lap and stood up before everyone else. If it hadn’t been the fact that he’d seen Sienna, this would have been the most boring night of his life. Karla and Robert could only be described as droll buffoons. Karla had a deep voice that cracked, and Robert spoke from the side of his mouth with a hiss. They gossiped about local real estate as if they were experts, and dropped names along the way about all the rich and powerful people they knew on Mt. Desert Island. They spoke of one wealthy family as if they were best friends, and dissed a famous celebrity in the next town as being nothing but “trashy new money you wouldn’t want to associate with.” And Larson hardly said a word. He sat there eating his dinner without looking up, while the other two rambled through two hours of empty conversation.

            Robert offered Avenir a nightcap in the library, but Avenir quickly raised his hands and said, “If you’ll excuse me, I’d like to go to my room now.” He was only staying there for a short time. He had to pretend to go to bed just like everyone else. They had no idea that he’d already arranged for a safe place to rest during the daylight hours where no one could find him, a dark place in an abandoned old house he was about to purchase. “I work at night and sleep most of the day. I find it more productive. And tomorrow evening I have an appointment to look at some real estate.” He had no intention of working. But the thought of spending a minute more with them made his fangs hurt.

            “Real estate?” Robert asked. His eyes opened wide and he leaned forward. He wasn’t even concerned about the odd statement Avenir had made about working at night and sleeping all day.

            “Yes,” Avenir said, “I’m thinking of buying the old Harrington estate on the cliff not far from here.” He didn’t think they’d even care. He didn’t think they had any connections to the house.  Avenir didn’t know all the history behind the property, but he knew that the last owner to live there had been Sienna’s uncle, her father’s brother. When the uncle died, Sienna’s cousins moved away and let it fall into complete disrepair.

            “Oceanview?” Karla asked, and then turned to her husband and frowned. She pressed her palm to her throat and looked back at Avenir.

            Avenir held the back of the dining room chair and stared at them for a moment. “What’s wrong?” From the way they were staring at him, it looked as if they’d just discovered he was a vampire and that he really was the original Avenir LaFramboise.

            Larson smacked his lips together and said, “That place is a mess. It should have been torn down years ago. It’s an eyesore and it’s creepy. I’ve even heard that it’s haunted.”

            Avenir raised his eyebrows and said, “Well, I’m going to see it tomorrow. From what I’ve seen on the Internet it has great potential. And it is the largest estate on the island.” They had no idea how well Avenir knew the house. He’d watched it being built a long time ago as a child. The original owner had been the founder of the Harrington fortune. The fact that it was rumored to be haunted only made it more interesting. Avenir hadn’t come in contact with a ghost in a long time.

            “I strongly advise you to stay away from that property,” Robert said. His lips twitched and his voice wavered.  

            Karla crossed to where Avenir was standing and patted his hand. “Don’t be too disappointed, dear. After you’ve seen it, we can call our realtor and have her show you something more suitable. Oceanview is a teardown.”

Peculiar Author Predictions for 2014; Amazon Pulls Anti Gay Book?

Peculiar Author Predictions for 2014

Although they are not the grand publishing predictions of author Joe Konrath for 2014, there’s something unsettling about how American scientist and sci-fi author, Isaac Asimov, nailed more than a few predictions over fifty years ago that have actually been realized today.

One of which is…

“By 2014, electroluminescent panels will be in common use.”

You may not realize what electroluminescent panels are, but these thin, bright panels are used in retail displays, signs, lighting and flat panel TVs.

There’s a list of several others, along with a few things he mentioned that didn’t come true.

You can read more here.

My predictions:

I predict more and more LGBTI celebrities will come out this year, George Clooney will remain a bachelor, we’ll see even more nude male calendars for the holiday season of 2014, the movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey will suck but will garner millions at the box office, and there will still be people writing about how e-books are only a passing trend.

Amazon Pulls Anti-Gay Book?

Actually, not. According to this article it wasn’t Amazon that pulled an allegedly anti-gay book it was the publisher.

But after contacting Amazon, GSN was told it was in fact the publishers that chose to no longer stock the book on the website. 

Author and anti-gay radio host, Linda Harvey, wrote a book that suggests parents should ignore gay kids in what sounds like an attempt to pretend it’s not there. It really doesn’t make sense to me, but there’s something about parents telling kids to realize their bright futures and not to pay attention to the fact that they might be gay. I could be wrong, but it’s really not all that clear.

On coming out, Harvey says many young people think it is a ‘new civil right’ to be ‘who you are’. ‘But there’s a problem. Are we sure this is the truth?’ she says. ‘Does this identity bring the promised liberation and the key to a whole new life?

I don’t get it. You’re either gay or you’re not. If you’re a young adult male and you’re attracted to women nothing is going to change that. The same thing goes if you’re a young adult male and you’re attracted to men. At least that’s how I remember it when I was a young adult male. I know for some there are gay areas, but for most there aren’t.

In any event, Harvey has made claims there is no proof there ever was a gay young adult or kid. Well, I’m living proof, Harvey, and that’s all you need to know. I knew it at three years old, but I went to proms with women, pretended to like women, and didn’t come out until my early twenties. All that didn’t scar me for life and I actually do have fond memories of my prom night and my high school years, but I would rather have gone to the prom with a football player than one of the cheerleaders if I had had the choice back then.

You can read more of this here.  

Don Jon Film Review; Gay Mayor Atlantic City NJ

Gay Mayor Atlantic City NJ

In what many are calling the beginning of changing times, the new mayor of Atlantic City, New Jersey was recently sworn in and there are several significant facts about him worth mentioning. One, he’s gay. Two, he’s Republican. And three, he’s interested in the concept of giving free land to the poor. He’s also the first Republican mayor there in 23 years.

Don Guardian was sworn in as the resort city’s 49th mayor amid a brutal slowdown that has seen it lose its place as the nation’s second-largest gambling market, with casino revenues falling more than 40 percent and thousands of jobs being lost in the past six years. The 60-year-old Guardian warns of challenging times ahead as his administration tries to turn things around.

Not only does this erase several stereotypes, it also shows the world that New Jersey is nothing like you see it portrayed on TV and in films…which of course is highly significant to my film review of Don Jon, below.

You can read more here.

Don Jon Film Review

Over the holidays, I ran across an article I thought was interesting about authors insulting readers by not taking the time to research basic (important) details. This particular article discussed historicals and how some authors ignore historic details to the extreme…at the risk of insulting readers who might know more than the author. When I wrote A Young Widow’s Promise I remember researching power mowers, among many things, because I’d set the story during the civil war and the main character turns her front property into a burial ground. I didn’t want the main character mowing her front property with a John Deer from Home Depot. That would have been stupid on my part, and because I don’t write historical fiction often I tend to take that kind of research to extremes. I also did this same kind of research in the story I wrote for the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic (can’t remember the title of that one right now). I spent a couple of days researching corsets worn during the Edwardian period, among other facts I thought were important to get right. Because if you don’t get these facts right, at least in the most basic sense, you’ll wind up with a film or book like Don Jon filled with misconceptions and stereotypes.

This review contains spoilers, so you’ve been warned. Frankly, there aren’t enough surprises in the film to even care about spoilers. The reason it contains spoilers is because I think everyone should know, in this case, what they are getting into before they spend their hard-earned money. We see the money issue a lot in book circles, and some book reviewers even mention book prices in reviews, but we never see it with film reviews and I don’t think that’s fair…especially when you consider how privileged those like Joseph Gordon-Levitt are to be garnering millions of dollars at the expense of hard working people, with films like Don Jon. I watched Don Jon on demand and paid 5.99. That’s six bucks I’ll never see again. And if this film had been an e-book on Amazon I would have returned it that same night. Unfortunately, we can’t return films on demand; just books. If it had been a DVD, Tony would have stepped on it.

I had been looking forward to this film because I’ve been writing erotica for many years and I thought  Gordon-Levitt would treat the subject of porn addiction well. Unfortunately, the film begins with a voice over through the main character’s POV (Don Jon) and I had a bad feeling when I heard the overly clichéd outer borough New York accent. But things only devolved from there. As it turns out, the main character is from New Jersey, and the accent turned out to be more like something you’d expect to hear from someone mocking New Jersey accents without knowing a thing about New Jersey or the millions of people who live there. I’m from New Jersey and I don’t have that accent, nor do I know anyone in New Jersey with an accent like that. Evidently, no one’s told Gordon-Levitt New Jersey is the home of Princeton University. And even in those few sections of northern New Jersey where you might find a hint of the accents in Don Jon they are so highly exaggerated I thought this film might be a parody at first. But it’s not a parody. It’s supposed to be deep and meaningful, ahem. And if I go any further about how deep and meaningful it is I’ll be writing a parody right now.

As the film tries to move forward, the main character is portrayed as a dumb fuck with too much testosterone who spends his time working out at the gym, hunting for pussy, and jacking to free porn clips. But there’s nothing sexual about it, not one single scene. And I think if you’re going to get into porn addiction this way you should at least know and touch certain topics lightly. In other words, this main character is so into porn he views and jacks multiple times a day, however, he does this sitting at his desk, in his clothes, into a tissue. I’m not joking here. That’s the extent to which his addiction goes, and there’s no mention of online interaction or web cams, or anything else many people with porn addictions are doing these days. Young men like the character Gordon-Levitt portrays can’t wait to show off their bodies with web cams…even if they are more voyeuristic. But this idiotic portrayal of a porn addict didn’t even come across as remotely believable because it lacked so much of what triggers excitement in most porn addicts. If they had made him a lame porn addict that would have been different. But they just made him a porn addict in general. Again, there’s nothing sexy about the movie either. So if you’re thinking of seeing this film to get a glimpse of the body Gordon-Levitt worked so hard to get for this film you’ll wind up even more disappointed. There was one scene where he’s wearing low-rise jeans that make him look hot, but that’s not even realistic because those jeans cost so much the main character would never have been able to afford them in the first place.

So, Don Jon’s addicted to sitting in his small apartment while jacking to porn, he spends his free nights cruising bars with straight brainless buds mocking and degrading women in a way that resembles a rape culture mind set, and goes through a string of one night stands without emotion because he prefers porn and tissues to the real thing. Then along comes Hollywood’s Missy Right to save the day, he falls batshit crazy in “love” with her, and tries to change his evil porn addict ways. But Missy Right is not only a manipulating, controlling woman with a limited intellect who baits him with sex, and she’s such a bad stereotype of all young women she could set feminism back hundreds of years. There’s one scene where he’s literally panting for sex with her, but she refuses to indulge him and will only let him dry hump her out in the hallway of her apartment building while they are both still fully clothed. I swear I’m not joking about this either. It’s the kind of WTF-ery you don’t see often. He actually climaxes by dry humping her from behind, both remain fully clothed, and it was the one scene in the film where I actually felt sorry for the main character. But all in all, he deserves what he gets.

While he’s seeing Missy Right, he continues to jack at his desk to cheap free porn clips. She eventually catches him, the shit hits the proverbial fan, and she creates this weird scene where it looks more like he screwed her sister instead of watching free porn. She really goes ballistic on him, ultimately dumping him in a following scene just like this one when she catches him a second time by snooping through his browsing history. And while I get the basic premise behind this, scenes like this do nothing for women or the fact that women also enjoy visual erotic fulfillment, too, sometimes. In this film it’s as if only men enjoy adult entertainment and anything resembling Fifty Shades of Grey is “mommy porn.” There have been articles and rants about this kind of double standard for women and I’m not going into too many details now. The point is the film seems to promote the stereotype that only men watch porn, and women want nothing but emotional stimulation and to watch Dr.Phil. Or worse, that it’s wrong for women to enjoy porn. But that’s not where the insult to women ends.

Before she breaks up with him, Missy Right talks Don Jon into taking a course. A course will save his life. She has plans for him, oh yes, and she holds sex over his head the entire time to get him to do whatever she wants him to do. Of course he does it. His family loves her, which goes into another cliché of the good woman standing behind the evil porn watching man. While he’s taking the course, he meets a slightly older woman who is “different.” I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the kind of course he’s taking is never mentioned, what kind of school he’s attending is never mentioned, and his goals are never once mentioned. He’s just taking a “course,” you know, like the boy goes to college kind of thing to turn his life around. Ugh! I wasn’t even certain he’d graduated from high school! In any event, he meets the older woman and she notices him watching porn on his phone. At this point, I thought there might be hope. I thought this might be the relationship that will turn the film into something important and make all the fresh hells I’d suffered through worth while.

But the older woman who had so much potential as a character who can help Don Jon evolve only turns out to be as dysfunctional as Don Jon and they wind up in a creepy relationship that’s based on sex, emptiness, and this strange brand of sexual schadenfreude that left me with the feeling they both actually do deserve each other and Missy Right was smart to dump him in the first place. And not because he watched porn, but because he’s just a creep.

And if all this isn’t enough, the film insults Catholics, too. In an attempt to absolve his sin of watching free porn clips, the main character never misses mass on Sundays (with his family) and he goes to confession once a week. He tells the priest in this old fashioned confessional how many times he jacks to porn, how much pre-marital sex he has, and the priest gives him his penance. I’m also Catholic. I went to twelve years of Catholic school. That’s not how it works in 2014.

There are a few scenes with the main character’s family and they also portray New Jersey families with the same kind of stereotypical nonsense that’s so consistent throughout the film. Tony Danza is in these scenes, and he never seems to leave the dining room (except for church, I think) where there’s a huge flat screen TV set up over the buffet so he can watch football in his undershirt, scream like a madman, and insult his son with the same inauthentic New Jersey accent.

It could have been great. It could have been something worthwhile, and I think that’s what bothered me the most about this movie. But it turned out to be insulting and immature and I don’t think Gordon-Levitt would have done it quite the same way if he’d been older. I think HE should take a course somewhere. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who won’t know this when they see the film and once again a bad film will slip through the proverbial cracks because most people won’t know any better. Some reviews have been good, more than a few others mimic what I just wrote. I know it’s all subjective. But you can’t make details and facts subjective. That just doesn’t work for those who do know better.

Internationally, the film has grossed over thirty million dollars.

Jill Hughes on Facebook; Gay Boy Scouts in 2014

Jill Hughes on Facebook

An author friend whom I’ve known for about five years, Jill Elaine Hughes, wrote an interesting post about why she’s backing away a little from Facebook. Her reasons are explained in detail, and she also links to other posts on the same topic. She gets into ads, paying for ads, and even comments on privacy issues. I’ve posted about my disappointments with Facebook several times, and I can’t disagree with anything she posted. I’ve actually ranted a few times with regard to LGBTI content. Facebook is the place where you are always guilty until proven innocent.

Sorry, Facebook, but that is a classic marketing bait-and-switch.  You can’t expect users to keep going to your site and trying to create content that your readers will find engaging and relevant if you turn the whole shebang into a gigantic bleeping commercial.

I often find myself going to individual timelines to see what friends posted because FB decided to filter my news feed. And these are authors, readers, and friends I care about and I want to see what they have to say without FB filtering anything for me. And even though I do try to promote books and blog posts on FB I have found most of my hits come from random Google searches, not from FB. The only reason I’m on FB is to interact with people I’ve come to enjoy. But as a promotional tool I find it almost a complete waste of time. Not completely, but almost. I think in an abstract way it can help…but only to a certain extent.  

So my take on all this is that FB is okay for certain things, but don’t put all your promotional efforts into FB if you’re trying to brand yourself as an author. You might be missing out on markets and preaching to the proverbial choir.

You can read Jill’s post here.

Gay Boy Scouts in 2014

This is really one of those articles that make me smile and want to punch something at the same time. Smile because it’s good to see this kind of progress. Punch because they never seem to go far enough and we always wind up getting slapped in the face. The Boy Scouts have a new policy and gay Boy Scouts will be allowed to join. But there’s also a catch:

The controversial policy change spurred strong reactions from all side. Some supporters argue the policy, which leaves a ban on gay adults intact, doesn’t go far enough, while conservative groups claim the 103-year-old youth organization has abandoned its core values.
Read more:

There are more slaps in the face with this topic not mentioned in the article, but that’s for a future, longer post.

USA 2,014 years old; Joey Stefano; Tim Tebow on ESPN

USA 2,014 Years Old

Evidently, there are some people in the US who think the US is 2,014 years old. I wish I had something more to start out 2014, but so far this seems to be as good as it gets. (Unless you’d rather I link to Joe Konrath’s predictions on publishing again 🙂 I’m personally going to be making a few announcements later this year, as writer, so I can move forward. For the time being, I still have two contracted books in the Glendora Hill series to finish, I’m enjoying writing them more than anything I’ve done before, and I’ll be indie publishing even more fiction this year. I’ll also post more on wedding plans Tony and I have for later this month. We’re booked to go to Vermont, and the place looks great. I’ll post links soon.

In any event…

According to Twitter, more than a few people believe that the United States was formed 2014 years ago, and that New Year’s Day is America’s birthday. There is so much about this idea that doesn’t make sense.

In an update, it turns out a lot of people were joking around. But it does remind me of a few mock interviews I saw during recent important political elections where reporters went out on the streets, asked people who was running for office, and asked basic general information about the candidates. The answers were surprising. A few people thought Sarah Palin was running for vice-President on the Obama ticket. I’m not joking about that.

This bothers me for more than one reason. These are the same people we have signing up for jury duty, and it seems to be getting worse as time passes. I wouldn’t want them as a jury of my peers.

You can read more here.

Joey Stefano

I don’t think I’ve ever linked to this before in previous posts about Joey Stefano. And it comes with an adult content warning, so it’s NSFW. But it’s an interesting article about Stefano, with NSFW photos, and I wanted to add it to my own list of links that I’ve posted about him previously. If you don’t know who Joey Stefano is, and how much he influenced gay male culture in the late 1980’s and 90’s, you can read more about him here. I tried to do a search on the upcoming film about Stefano’s life that’s being produced by Chad Darnell, but couldn’t find anything newer than last summer so I don’t know what’s up with that.

Immaculate Heart Cemetery in Marcus Hook would seem an unlikely resting place for a power-bottom porn star, but this is indeed where Chester native Joey Stefano, né Nicholas Iacona Jr., lays in perpetual sleep. His final resting place bears no headstone, making his presence in the cemetery derelict if not absent.

You can read more here.

Tim Tebow on ESPN

I find Tim Tebow interesting for several reasons, one of which is he seems to attract a certain amount of attention for no apparent reason. Or at least more attention than other professional sports figures in the US. I’m not the only one who feels this way, because now he has a TV show on ESPN that I would imagine is going to be successful.

 According to ESPN, Tebow’s primary role will be as an analyst for SEC Nation, the network’s traveling pregame show that will originate from a different SEC campus each week beginning Aug. 28, 2014.

The article goes on to mention that Tebow didn’t attract much interest in the NFL. But I think the fact remains that he does attract attention in the mainstream and he’s become a regular name in anything pop culture related.

You can read more here.