Thursday, November 8, 2012

Natalia At The Bora Bora NUI

Tropicalia Natalia Wearing Palm Spring Silstone Barbie's Coral Caftan.
This is also the suite at the Bora Bora NUI that Peter and I stayed in.

Recently while staying at the beautiful Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando during the FR Convention in 2012, the theme and the resort reminded me of the time that Peter and I got to spend an equally wonderful time at another resort – IN BORA BORA! The resort was called the NUI and to get all the way to Bora Bora it took exactly 24 hours, but it was worth every minute once we got there.

To be among the beautiful flora and fauna of French Polynesia was absolutely mind-boggling. It in fact, took us a few days to believe that we were actually in the magnificent place. It was like Dorothy when she left her real life of sepia toned Kansas and woke up in the Technicolor land of OZ. The air was permeated with coconut and vanilla. The room (which is the setting that I placed Natalia in the picture above) was spectacular. They were called “Motu's” and were constructed on beams over the water. They were completely luxurious and had the most amazing amenities one could ask for. We had our own private sun bathing deck that we could dive straight into the ocean from. The bathroom was like heaven and the sheets on the canopy bed were like butter! (Additionally, every night the native ladies that attended the rooms would leave floral patterns using tropical flowers and leaves on your bed for turn down service….I took of picture of it every night…they were soooo intricate and beautiful).

Peter and I with Kathy Griffin In The Beautful Blue Water of
Bora Bora During A Private Lunch On A Near By Island.
You are probably asking yourself,”Why were those lucky bastards there anyway?” Well, we were very fortunate to have been the media sponsor on Kathy Griffin’s Emmy Award Winning Show “My Life On The D-List”. Our magazine was chosen to be sponsors in Florida for the show to promote people from the South East to go on the trip. The season our show was featured (which was Season 4 Episode 7) was also an Emmy winner for her. Kathy, Tiffany and Tom (her assistant and tour manager) were amazing and we were also able to share this beautiful experience with many of our friends. Among them was model/artist/entertainer India Brooks (who was our official hostess with the moistest), Karen Brown (of Straight Girl In A Gay World fame), Jim & Eric (our good friends, one of which is a hairstylist…we had to look good for TV) and Mario Cantone (from Sex In The City) and his partner Jerry Dixon (his brilliant musical arranger).
Jerry, Mario, India & Me. Ugh...I was so sunburned on
the first day that we went out on the beach!
Peter and I will never forget this amazing experience (mostly because we own the DVD of the season we were one…lol…and it on at . The episode is called “Busted In Bora Bora” in case you want to see the whole thing on or something). It was a dream come true. There was only one problem. After a year of preparing this trip between all the guests and Kathy’s people, Peter and I “stress-ate” and put on the most weight we have ever been. Apparently, we forgot TWO very important facts: WE WERE GOING TO BE ON NATIONAL TV and THE CAMERA PUTS ON 10Lbs (There were several cameras going at the same time.. LOL) ! Well, I wish I would have had a fabulous caftan to wear like the one made for Barbie with the coral design that now looks so spectacular on Natalia. Maybe soon I will get another's hoping!
The Whole Bora Bora Gang After The Shooting Of My Life On The D-List: Busted In Bora Bora Episode

Photoshoot with India Brooks On A Catamaran.
I pray to God I’m able to see the blue water and night sky of Bora Bora again….but if not there are some very special memories I will always carry with me:

1-      Getting to become friends with Kathy Griffin and her incredible crew.

2-      Watching Kathy perform up close and personal.

3-      Skinning dipping (drunk off our asses) with Mario Cantone…I have pictures Mario…don’t piss me off…lol)

4-      Booger Drag night….that’s when you use anything in your room to create your drag outfit.

5-      Being terrified out of my mind when I had to swim with the sharks and sting rays…just a couple of months after Steve Irwin was killed. I couldn’t stop thinking of him the whole time.

6-      The beautiful black pearl farm that we visited (I still have and wear the pearl that I got there)

7-      The photoshoots with India.

8-      The massages and pedicures with Karen.

9-      The romantic evenings alone with Peter.

10-   The amazing drink, food and native people that made us feel so welcomed in their beautiful country.

Yarana! (Hello and goodbye in French Polynesian)



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Flame Rouge Veronique Doll On Tall Handspeak Body Wearing Platinum Jordan's Dress
& Convention Imogen's Purse and Shoes. GORG!
I’ve been collecting dolls now (collectively) for almost 20 years. I first collected Barbie (my first was Silver Screen Barbie from F.A.O. Schwarz) and then I took close to a 10 year hiatus from seriously collecting. When a doll would come out that would fetch my eye…I would get it, but they were far and few between in those years. When I came back to collecting full throttle it was mostly due to the Integrity Toys line. They had been out for a couple of year at that point, but I had really not noticed them. It was not until, I met one of the designers and bough his inaugural line that I was truly hooked again. It was like black tar heroin. On hit and I was back at square one.

I’ve never been a completest. I’ve always just collected what I “like”. The problem is with Integrity Toys….I love all of it! I try to hold off and only order a all my “must haves”. Inevitably, I always regret the ones that I deem I don’t “need”. So, I end up chalking it up to my theory of putting what I want out into the Universe and hopefully they will come (or won’t) sooner or later.

I have “grail dolls” like Venus Eugenia, Optic Verve Agnes…etc., but I try to not obsesses about it. Again, I try to be grateful for the wonderful collection that I have and enjoy and not for the few dolls that have escaped my grasp.

Sometime though….you just get lucky! At this year’s convention , I was able to do a bit of serious room shopping for the very first time. As many of you know, I don’t buy anything first night of convention. I’m usually too busy catching up with friends and /or mixing drinks. Also, friends don’t let friends “drink and shop”. I did that the first year and blew all my money on the first night (shut up David Carr). I’ve met some great people over the last couple of years of going to the FR Convention. Every year I come back with a “grail doll”, spend less than I would have on ebay and additionally have a great story to accompany the purchase of the doll. I tend to attach memories to things that I get from special people. This year I was able to get a very special doll (that I’ve wanted for eva…) from a very special person.

The story starts at the 2011 Convention, when I met three very sweet guys that were sharing a room together that they were selling out of. Two were a couple and one was a single, handsome strapping tall bearded man (just like I like ‘em…hehehehehe) named Frank Villa. After finding out that we had very similar taste in dolls (they all had great things to sell from their room….even a Superman Tonner doll for Peter) we all became good convention friends. To the point that I was so exhausted (and/or hung over) that I slept (and drooled alittle) during one of the workshops in 2011 (which wasn’t entirely my fault…there was a slideshow presentation in which the professor turned out the lights to see the screen better  and like a Pavlovian dog I went right to sleep. I do it at movies I PAY to see too. I always have to catch the end of everything on Cable).

This year I did not fall asleep on Frank again (although I totally would of..he’s very cuddly) but I did buy a doll from him…..drumroll please…..FLAME ROUGE VERONIQUE nude! A doll that I thought I would never be able to afford….EVER! Well, now she is finally re-transplanted on a tall handspeak body and dressed in the a combo outfit that I also got at this year’s convention souvenir room (Platinum Jordan’s dress and convention Imogen’s shoes and purse….red in homage to the “flame” namesake of the doll). Now she is GORG! (inside joke!)

So, I again I repeat…your grail dolls will find their way to you if you “put it out there…let go….and let GOD (or whatever greater power that you connect with).

Thanks again Frank…everytime I look at her I think of YOU my friend and how you made a dolly dream come true for me!



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Wearing Your HEART On Your Sleeve

Lana "Love Story" Wearing Josephine's "La Divina". I Borrowed RuPaul's RED Gloves To
Represent Wearing Your HEART On Your Sleeve. ;-)

I just realized this weekend (while watching a marathon of Inyanla episodes on OWN…the only good network left on cable) that I have been passive aggressively holding a grudge against a person I love for about a full year now. I had an "a-ha" moment.

People that really know me, understand that I have many acquaintances but consider few people REAL friends. Basically, it's because of two main reasons. The first is as a young person I was "stabbed in the back" by many "friends" and when I grew older I learned (mostly due to my mom's advice and mentoring) that eventually everyone disappoints you and that all we truly have in this life that we can count on is our "family". 

Sadly, when I came OUT (of the closet) even my family turned their backs on me. So, because I did not cultivate friendships easily and due to my family turning me away when they found out I was gay, I created a wall around my heart and I told myself,"I don't need anyone." That's a very sad existence. It's lonely and depressing. I've been working on tearing down that wall around my heart for years now…with Peter's help (he is much more open and optimistic than I am)…but every once in a while, when I feel like someone has let me down or hurt me, I inevitably put a couple bricks back up. It's a slow process, but I'm "doing my work" like Iyanla says.

Now, because Peter and I have owned and published a popular GLBT nightlife and entertainment magazine ( for seven years now, we are fortunate to get many perks. We've gotten used to people being "nice" to us in order to be on the receiving end of one of the perks (like free tickets to concerts and events, meeting celebrities, VIP status as bars…trust me…it's not as glamourous as it sounds). We've had people "use us" for those fringe benefits and it hurts. Nonetheless, we understand that it comes with the territory and after this many years in the "scene" we can now see individuals with ulterior motives coming a mile away. 

Peter and I are by nature generous. We like to share and enjoy our life and all the bonuses that we are blessed to have with those we care most about. That is how we were both raised. Not to be greedy, to give the shirt off your back to someone who needs it and that good times are made better by sharing them with others we love. But, I would be lying if I didn't say that MY (not Peter's) antennas are not constantly up. It is as if I keep EXPECTING people to disappoint me….and that's when I got it. I'm allowing other peoples actions to change ME and take ME back to being the completely closed off person that I fight becoming again. Ding-Ding-Ding! My "a-ha" moment.

Last year, around this time, I was hurt (unintentionally I believe) by a person I had been getting to know as a REAL FRIEND. Slowly, I went into protective mode, which was to pull away from that person. I didn't even realize that I was doing it…but, instead of speaking to that person and saying,"Hey, I really didn't like what you just did…." or "Do you know that what you said really just hurt my feelings…." I did what I normally do and just started taking inventory of this person's actions and words becoming more and more sensitive to them. I was hurt…and hurt turned to passive aggressiveness. Which lead to distance I feared that having another injury to my heart at the time would be fatal to my faith in humanity as a whole. I was going back to my corner…my safe place.

I don't want to LIVE in that space anymore.

I learned a few things, out of this experience and from Iyanla's wisdom:

1- Our family, friends and loved one are NOT MIND READERS. If they do something that hurts or upsets us WE MUST LET THEM KNOW and not carry the baggage with us that will eventually hold us down and ruins the relationship. Plus, they might not even be AWARE that they did anything in the first place. All that leads to is building resentment towards those we care about. And let's face it, our loved ones deserve honesty not resentment. 

2- We ALL do the BEST we can…and when WE KNOW BETTER…WE DO BETTER. 

3- You can't control other people's actions. You can ONLY control how you respond.

4- Give of yourself and expect NOTHING in return. Not even gratitude. WE SHOULD GIVE TO OTHERS FOR OURSELVES.

5- Be who YOU are….if you are a "natural spring" that enjoys to openly share of your blessings with others….YOU MUST CONTINUE TO DO SO. The river of blessings must be allowed to flow so that it can continue to grow. Be grateful to God for granting you the blessings to share with others.

6- DON'T BLOCK YOURSELF OFF. No one can hurt you…unless you let them. Live in the sun. Remember, sometimes you'll get burned…but without the sun - NO LIVING THING CAN GROW.

7- DON'T TAKE INVENTORY OF WHAT YOU DO FOR OTHERS....and what they do in return. It's not a contest. 

8- BEFORE YOU BLAME SOMETHING TOTALLY ON SOMEONE ELSE….look in the mirror and see what part YOU had in the misunderstanding. It takes two to tango!

9- WASTING TIME arguing over small issues with family or friends is STUPID. They can be taken away from us at any moment. Our time together in this life is precious…spend it enjoying each others company and not harboring petty grudges. 

10- We are NEVER to old to learn or change your course of life. When we stop evolving and learning is when we are truly done in this life.

I leave you all with one last piece of advice from one of my new gurus and spiritual mentors Miss Iyanla Van Zant.....