Monthly Archives: September 2005

Cock Tales

Quote of the Day: “Everybody can’t be on top…” —Prince, “Pop Life”

The Contest: As far as the HUNG contest goes, seems a few of y’all out there–sistas, brothas, gay, straight, black and white and brown–did wanna tell me about the biggest dick you’d ever come across. Thanks for the stories. Some of them were quite, uh, entertaining. Wish I’d heard some of ’em when I was writing the book …If I get permission, maybe I’ll share some of the stories here…

Sex Talk: Interesting discussion about penis size, about being hung and not being hung and other assorted stuff over at an nice Yahoo group called AfroerotiK. Especially hearing sistas talk about the size thing and what works for them and what doesn’t work. Ya gotta join the group to be a part of the discussion—very easy to do—but it’s well worth a visit. I haven’t put in my two cents yet, but I’ve read some of the posts in the thread, and I say it again—wish I’d heard some of those stories when I was writing the book.

In HUNG News: From an email I got recently: “I loved your book. I’ve loved big black dicks since I saw Shaft when I was a little kid in the 70s.” Now there’s a kat who got the book, in my opinion…

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The HUNG Contest

Quote of the Day: “I’m no longer confused but don’t tell anybody/I’m about to break the rules but don’t tell anybody…” — Kanye West, “Graduation Day”

Today was a good day. I got my hands on a real live hardcover copy of my book HUNG. After all these months of sending advance paperback copies to reviewers and friends and family, it was real cool to finally get a copy of the Real Thing. Blurbs on the back from Eve Ensler and Jill Nelson and Toure. The author’s photo by Eugene Bussey ain’t as jacked as I thought it might be (because of me, not him: I hate taking pics). This brotha is excited as hell. Soon the book will be on the tables at Barnes & Noble and available online here and here and other assorted places one can buy books out there in the world.

To celebrate getting my finished book, I’ve decided to have a contest. The winner of the contest will get an autographed copy of HUNG and one of the big beautiful glossy posters of the cover that graced the penthouse space where Courvoisier and Doubleday feted the release of the book. I’ll sign the poster as well. Between today and the official release of HUNG on October 25, there will be two giveaway drawings for an autographed copy of HUNG and one of those hot 24″ x 36″ posters of the book’s cover.

You can enter now by sending an email to TheSPBQ@aol.com,
with your name in the message body and “HUNG Giveaway” in the subject line. A member of TEAM HUNG first suggested that we have entrants tell us who had the biggest, uh, member they’d ever seen, but we decided that might be in bad taste. Fun, indeed, but in bad taste…so we made it a lil easier…

Winners will be randomly selected from the entries and someone from TEAM HUNG—probably me—will shout you out you by email that you’ve won the prize—a prize you’ll really want to keep your eye on, if ya know what I’m sayin’.

There will be two drawings: One on October 11, in honor of the original release date of HUNG and the birthday of someone really dear to me who was very helpful with getting HUNG together. The second drawing will be on October 24, the night before the official release of HUNG. A little birdie tells me that there might be one more drawing somewhere between the two, but that birdie is only chirping right now and my hearing isn’t so good after blasting my iPod all day.

Peep the rules:

1. Ya gotta be at least 18 years old.
2. Autographed books and posters must be shipped to addresses in the U.S.
3. Winners will be notified by e-mail and must supply a mailing address within 5 days.
4. You only need to submit once to be considered. If you don’t win the first you’ll be in the running for one of the others. Only one win per person and per mailing address.
5. Names of winners will be posted on The SPB Q.

Good luck to you and thanks for entering. And thanks for supporting The SPB Q…and HUNG.

MORE SPB Q: Other HUNG Contest stuff, Why I Wrote A Book Called HUNG

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I Really Do Love the 80s…III

Quote of the Day: “I’m always willing to learn/When you’ve got something to teach…” Depeche Mode, “Strangelove”

In honor of the Ipod Nano I’m treating myself to next week, I built myself a sprawling 80s mix encompassing some of the faves that I like to share with peeps—both folks who were there then but don’t remember or know a song and the new heads, like the 23-year-old I’m currently obsessed with who thought The Killers came up with the gorgeous riff and melody of “Mr. Brightside” all by their pretty lonesome (that is, until I forced him to sit thru Blondie’s gorgeous “Dreaming” to teach him a thing or two)…You’ll see that my 50-song mix is no “Greatest Hits of the 80s”. No. As much as I love singles, I’m a real “album-track” kid at heart, a dig-into-the-set type who likes to discover what everyone else is ignoring. And even though there are some “hits”, this isn’t even “My Favorite Hits of the 80s”. This mix is a just-over-3-hour blend of euro-pop, classic rock standards, post-disco dance stuff, college radio legends and a bit of everything else that first and foremost, just sound good together–the first rule of any mix. But they’re also a bunch of songs that touched me in the 80s or, at best (or worst?), provided a splendid little sonic landscape against which I did a lot of dancing and crying and studying (or not studying) and sulking and cruising and obsessing to. Hope it conjures some memories for you…or leads to something you never knew or heard or liked before…enjoy…

1. Androgynous — The Replacements
2. Wish You Were Here — Simple Minds
3. Big Sister’s Clothes — Elvis Costello & The Attractions
4. Rain — Terence Trent D’Arby
5. Carnival Of Sorts (Box Cars) — R.E.M.
6. Smalltown Boy — Bronski Beat
7. Robert De Niro’s Waiting — Bananarama
8. Bloc Bloc Bloc — OMD
9. Suburbia — Pet Shop Boys
10. Slit Skirts — Pete Townsend

11. Pieces Of Ice — Diana Ross
12. Stir It Up — Patti LaBelle
13. Synchronicity II — The Police
14. Pop Life — Prince And The Revolution
15. Johnny and Mary — Robert Palmer
16. Back On the Chain Gang — The Pretenders
17. Shelter — Lone Justice
18. The Bugle Sounds Again — Aztec Camera
19. Outstanding — The Gap Band
20. Island Of Lost Souls — Blondie

21. Tumble And Twirl — David Bowie
22. Fadeaway — The Bodeans
23. Boy — Book of Love
24. The Wanderer — Donna Summer
25. Sex Crime — Eurythmics
26. Duel — Propaganda
27. Don’t Cry — ASIA
28. Sister Christian — Night Ranger
29. Invincible — Pat Benatar
30. I Need You Tonight — Peter Wolf

31. Appetite — Prefab Sprout
32. Easy Lover – The Phils, Bailey & Collins
33. Borderline — Madonna
34. I Believe — R.E.M.
35. Hang Fire — The Rolling Stones
36. Baby Jane — Rod Stewart
37. Dead Giveaway — Shalamar
38. Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others — The Smiths
39. Last Time Forever — Squeeze
40. My Ever Changing Mood — The Style Council

41. Never In Your Sun — Stevie Wonder
42. These Early Days — Everything But The Girl
43. The Last Time — Eurythmics
44. Lonely In Your Nightmare — Duran Duran
45. The Promise — Arcadia
46. Every Word Means No — Let’s Active
47. Mrs. Green — The Three O’Clock
48. Romeo and Juliet — Dire Straits
49. Empty Garden (Hey, Hey Johnny) — Elton John
50. Forever Young (Special Extended Mix) — Alphaville

Liner Notes: Specific memory reasons some songs made the mix—Track 44 makes me think of my high school buddy Seiji, the biggest Beatle fan I knew up to that point. I can remember being with him in Mr. Silverman’s physical science lab talking about the fact that John Lennon had been shot…Track 40 reminds me of the first music review I ever wrote in college, of Stevie’s In Square Circle album, my sophomore year…Track 9 reminds me of the day my pops took me to buy my first SONY CD player, right before I went back to school for my junior year; the first 2 CDs I bought were Prince’s Parade and the Pet Shop Boys debut…Track 30 is the very first song that I searched the Internet for, because it wasn’t on CD, and feeling like the most modern boy in the world when I found it…Track 36 is the song that made me want to be a music journalist because it was the first song that I heard by an artist I liked that got bad reviews every where I looked, yet I loved it, and I figured that my opinion was as good as the rock-culture czars at Rolling Stone and Musician and Creem (same applies to Tracks 11, 20, and 21—all got bad reviews but I loved them—either I had the worst taste in the world–which I readily accept with a sorta twisted badge of honor—or those music critic guys from up on high just didn’t have the ears they were being paid to have). Come to realize it’s all an opinion game anyway, right? I loved Bob Christgau and Nelson George, just to name two of the heads who I read regularly, but that didn’t mean I had to agree with everything they wrote. And so (for better or worse) a music journalist was born. So that’s why I get to say that Tracks 1, 3, 10, 16, 19, 28, 31, 33, 46 and 48 are all, in their own individual ways, ten of the finest pop songs ever written.

Or that I’ve ever heard.

Or of the decade.

Or…ah fuck it, they’re just songs, right?…

Yup, they’re just songs, and they mean the world to a dude like me.

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I Heart Gina Gershon


Okay, new favorite movie I probably shouldn’t love as much as I do, but I can’t stop watching it whenever it comes on cable—which is all the time lately, especially late at night when I should be working: Prey For Rock & Roll, about Clam Dandy, an all-chick-band in L.A. that’s trying to stay afloat as they age into cats in a game that feels like it was made primarily for kittens. Manages to be both shlock melodrama and forceful character study at the same time. And how does it manage that, you ask? Ya got me. All I know is that Gina Gershon is a sexy little lead singer with a constant sneer and bad dye job, perfect in that way that only she can be when the role seems tailor-made for her (like the terrific, noir-y Bound). With a black lady love too, as the flick opens. Love that Gilmore Girls prep-snob Shelly Cole as the drummer half of a sweet, tragic lesbonic couple with Lori Petty. My fave Soprano, Drea de Matteo, plays the fallen rich girl strung out on drugs and a boyfriend with some weird rape-fantasy. And then there’s Marc Blucas, a vision in tattoo-ed, post- Buffy glory, playing, basically, the girl part in a film full of smart, strong girls—he’s the virgin with the heart of gold, willing to do anything for the woman he loves. The band plays some vague LA post-punk rock throughout the flick, then two songs actually slap you upside the head with how god they actually are: the sad, elegiac “Every 6 Minutes” and the haunting “4 Into 3” which opens these lyrics: “They say it’s lonely at the top/Let me tell you man it kills at the bottom/Well you will never hear your name/If no one knows you how can you be forgotten?” In a movie about dreams deferred, lost, and regained, those lyrics make a subtle point that the movie tries too hard land. But the performances are all sexy and real and felt, and sometimes that’s all you want from a new obsession.

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I’ll See that one in White…or maybe Asian…

Maybe they just don’t fit in?: Hmmm. No black contestants on this ex-con’s new copycat TV show. What, did she get her fill of Negroes when she was incarcerated? That’s not such a “good thing” now is it? I wonder if she hates black people as much as George Bush hates black people? Or as much as this stick hates fat people?

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The Year of Living Desperately

Quote of the Day: “Fate/Up against your will/Through the thick and thin…” — Echo & the Bunnymen, “The Killing Moon”

(…sorry for the lack of visual stuff in this post, for some reason Blogger isn’t allowing me to post pics….)

About three years ago, my screenwriting partner and I wrote a TV spec script—a script based on our own idea, without an assignment, that no one paid us for—which we somehow got to Fran Drescher, you know, The Nanny chick. She read it, she loved it, she wanted my partner and I to come to LA and work with her on a script that would be her return to episodic TV. Our script was an hour-long drama about a rich Park Avenue Jewish housewife who managed a down-on-his-luck but up-and-coming young black boxer from Brooklyn. Somewhere between writing our great script, which had gotten us meetings with other people as well, and getting on a plane back to NYC after pitch meetings with Fran at ABC, the show had somehow become a half-hour sitcom about a rich Park Avenue Jewish housewife who’s husband’s been convicted of some Enron-type thievery, leaving said housewife and her kids as down-on-their-luck as the black Brooklyn boxer said housewife discovers is her client after her hubby’s prison sentence begins.

Suffice to say, nothing ever became of the script we wrote. Fran went her way, with her ideas about a show in which she’d be dating a much younger guy (once our boxer) and we went ours, me to HUNG, my partner to a great idea that I won’t reveal here. The best thing I can say about that experience was that I got an up-close-and-personal view of some things I’d never experienced before. The first being TV execs who say things like “We don’t do single-camera shows”, then suddenly a coupla single-camera comedies appear on the network a season later. The second being the truly priceless education in TV comedy writing that I got from Fran herself, of whom I was a huge fan years before she’d read and liked my writing, before I ever set foot in her luscious Malibu crib. The third was the very beauty and nirvana that was Malibu itself. I’d always been fascinated by Malibu, by the idea of it, the idea of the Colony, where all the rich and famous played and snorted coke and had orgies. Part of the time, at least. But it wasn’t until my partner and I were ensconsed in Fran’s guest house, right on the beach, waking up and writing to the lush sound of Pacific Ocean waves lapping at the sand below the deck that I really knew the sound and meaning of paradise.

The last thing I encountered was my own sense of self, which one probably has to encounter in a land of plenty like Malibu for it to really make any sense. I was getting on a Jet Blue flight back to NYC with no firm deal in place, with only the possibility of some network agreeing to greenlight a sitcom co-developed by two TV novices and the former star of a former hit show. But I was getting on that plane with a very clear sense that I was doing what I was meant to be doing. I was meant to be creating; I was meant to use words to create an effect, to create an emotion, to get a reaction. Going to Malibu, chilling with Fran Drescher, who was getting through her own cancer ordeal and forging ahead in a world that didn’t exactly think of over-40 women as viable entertainment options, gave me a purpose about my writing future I hadn’t had before, even with the success of VIBE and my journalism behind me. Something about that trip, about the impending rejection implicit in it, about the eventual pass that came to pass when all the negotiation began—I knew that the fight was part of the plan and that I could wage it if I had to to make sure the words I wrote were to find a life outside of my PowerBook.

I was thinking about all this stuff last night as I watched the season premieres of Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy, two huge hit shows back for second seasons on the network that didn’t have any hit shows when Fran and Dan and I were sitting in that meeting with the development execs telling us what they “did” and “didn’t” do. I was thinking about all this stuff because someone at ABC took a risk. Someone at ABC thought that Marc Cherry’s dark satire of prime-time soaps which had been rejected all around town was a viable enough project to put on the air last year. Someone at ABC thought that Shonda Rhimes’s crafty and smart interns-in-love show was strong enough to be given a shot. I was thinking about all this because Marc Cherry is the gay guy and Shonda Rhimes is the black chick and they’re running their shows in a town where there aren’t a lot of gay guys or black chicks running their own shows. And they’re reaping the rewards of hard times and dark times and rejection and late paychecks and bad agents and cancellations and lame studio “notes” and awkward picth meetings and being told what networks “did” and “didn’t” do and deciding somewhere along the line that they were meant to be creating, too.

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Funniest, saddest, most perfect character moment I’ve seen on television in a long long time: Desperate Housewives Marcia Cross as Bree Van der Kamp, walking the aisle of the church during her husband’s funeral, looking for a tie to replace the gaudy prep-school memento her monstrous mother-in-law (the spot-on Shirley Knight) had managed to slip around Rex’s neck, then, finding one, propping Rex up in the casket and tying the tie that she preferred. Had Rex, indeed traded a controlling mother for a controlling wife? Oh, Marcia, Marcia, Marcia—so good, dating back to the psycho she played on Knots Landing way before Melrose Place was a diamond dot in Aaron Spelling or Darren Star’s eyes—is spot-on, and the reason I watch every week. Or at least she was; Miss Alfre’s in town now…

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Check it Out

Quote of the Day: “Rockin’ and a-rollin’, splishin’ and a-splashin’/Over the horizon, what can it be?” – Schoolhouse Rock, “No More Kings”

Book It!: Hmmmm…So Oprah’s picked James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces for the Book Club this time around. Something relatively new. Non-fiction. Memoirish. Sorta controversial subject matter. I know I wouldn’t be doing a Franzen on homegirl. Nice touch having Frey’s mom in the audience when she announced the book…

Book Her: Maybe, based on this ex-con’s new show’s low ratings and tumbling stock, is it possible that she just “doesn’t fit in”?

In HUNG news: Nice review of HUNG posted here, from the University of Texas at Austin.

Gotta run. More later—including a new SPB playlist…

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