Saturday, November 5, 2011


One of my very favorite books is Joan Crawford’s bonkers autobiography, “My Way of Life.” From its unapologetically bossy title to the many snapshots inside – gems like her maid, Mamacita, stuffing the sleeves of Joan’s shoulder-padded business suits in preparation for one of her many business trips for Pepsi Cola – this book is a real page-turner!

The cover of this rare book (they go for BIG bucks on Ebay!) features an amazing photo of Joan sitting below an enormous and somewhat disturbing portrait by the one and only Margaret Keane, best known for her “big-eyed orphans.”

Granted, those saucer-sized peepers look downright adorable when they are cautiously peering out from under the wispy bangs of an emaciated little street waif playing the guitar or a dirty Dickensian ragamuffin holding a rat-like kitten while standing next to a trash can in an alley.

But when they are boring into you from below the world-famous caterpillar eyebrows of an adult woman in a full-length white evening gown with matching opera gloves and a dark aquamarine wrap coat, dripping in diamonds, it’s just plain creepy. And as if that wasn’t strange enough, perched on Joan’s lap are two rather sickly looking off-white toy poodles. It’s hard to believe that Joan, quite possibly the world’s most famous neat freak, would pose for a photo – destined to be a book cover, no less – without everything being just perfect, but I’m sorry, those dogs look filthy. “I’m not mad at you, I’m mad at the dirt! You have to clean UNDER the dogs’ eyes, Helga!” Yes, Fifi and Pepe’s eyes look oozy, and Joan’s look particularly boozy – and perhaps therein lies the explanation. So essentially, the cover of the autobiography of the poster child of all Control freaks features EIGHT really spooky eyes.

But I am not making fun of La Crawford.  This is merely some good-natured ribbing directed at a goddess I actually worship. And although I have said it many times, I think it bears repeating that I do not believe one word that spilled from the mutinous mouth or poisoned pen of that LYING DESIGNER SACK OF ADOPTED SHIT, CHRISTINA CRAWFORD! That being said, let’s get to the point, shall we?

I often like to imagine what it would be like if Joan was doing the same exact thing that I happened to be doing. And more specifically, how she would have written about it in “My Way of Life.” The rules are simple: First, Joan would NEVER abbreviate or shorten ANYTHING – that would be downright lazy.

Second, Joan has a way of over-explaining even the most mundane and obvious things, but in the most pleasantly soothing and proper albeit patronizing way.

And finally, Joan would creatively add drama and glamour to it all. That’s the way she lived and the way she wrote.

Okay, so I am going to drive to Palm Springs tomorrow with my friend, Muffy Bolding, to perform for Gay Pride. We may stop for a bite to eat on the way. Sounds like fun, huh? Well, just wait until Joan gets ahold of it!  Keep in mind that this is still me, Jackie Beat, writing… But it’s me channeling the style of Joan!  Take it away, Joanie…

Tomorrow morning I shall awaken around 7 AM so as to get an early start on my busy day. You see, I am taking one of those wonderful little automobile trips to the most delightful and magical of all places, the desert oasis known as Palm Springs. I will be performing later that evening for a group of wonderfully creative and stylish young men who are celebrating some sort of accomplishment, the surrounding details of which I am not entirely sure. Many of these gentlemen will be bearded, or at the very least mustachioed, as that is currently the popular style among this particular group of so-called “confirmed bachelors.”

With a schedule as busy as mine, even as simple a trip as this is a real treat! As such, I thought it a great idea to bring along one of my very favorite people, with whom I never seem to spend enough time.  So, although I am a very independent woman and have never felt the need for a bodyguard or chaperone, I am bringing along with me one of my oldest and dearest friends, the enigmatic lady writer, Muffy Bolding. You may be shocked to learn that Miss Bolding is, in fact, a Mrs., but I can assure you this is indeed the case. She is wife to her dashing husband, Gregory, and mother to her three well-mannered and immaculate children – all future actors, I’m quite certain. Let me just say that the good-looking, shiny apples don’t fall far from the witty, iconically bespectacled tree!

Though it is not a terribly long drive from Los Angeles to Palm Springs, I am making sure to factor in plenty of time so that Muffy and I may stop for a leisurely luncheon while en route. Despite the fact that I have eaten at some of the finest restaurants in all the world, you may be quite surprised to learn that I greatly enjoy putting on a pair of comfortable dungarees, a simple gingham shirt, and going on a casual picnic. And to me, stopping at one of the many roadside diners along the way will be rather like picnicking for a couple of harried Hollywood hobos like Muffy and myself.

Yes, I cannot wait to pull in, park the car and, by stepping into a humble no-frills eatery, in essence travel back to a simpler time, if you will. The friendly waitress – no doubt named Doris, Dolores, Dottie or something equally as unassuming and unabashedly American -- will greet us, kindly inviting us to sit wherever we’d like, and perhaps even suggesting a few of her favorites from the limited but homey menu. We, of course, will listen politely – maybe even feigning interest in an item or two – all the while knowing exactly what we want. For me it will be a hamburger sandwich, cooked well-done. Now I can hear more than a few of you haughty gourmands out there clucking your tongues in culinary judgment, but in this day and age that mélange of ground beef could easily be from several hundred different head of cattle, so I always make sure that my ground beef – along with any possible bacteria – is properly cooked into submission! I still enjoy steak tartar, but you must understand that is made from one top quality piece of meat from but one animal, mind you. But enough about that! I will also ask that my grilled hamburger be served on a toasted bun with generous dollops of both mayonnaise and prepared yellow mustard. In addition, I shall gently request a nice thick slice of raw white onion (good for the heart and blood!), some ripe red beefsteak tomato and just a few crisp leaves of crunchy iceberg lettuce. On the side? French-fried potatoes, of course! And while it may raise a few eyebrows in that charming but unsophisticated roadside chuckwagon, I happen to prefer mine dipped in decadent Thousand Island dressing as opposed to fancy tomato catsup. God forbid anyone recognizes me as a celebrity behind my dark sunglasses or beneath my straw hat as I indulge this admittedly perverse condiment fetish (I learned it from an eccentric but extremely handsome foreign co-star), as it may just make its way into Monday's gossip columns!

Knowing my pal, Muffy, she will order a big hearty bowl of soup. Muffy just loves soup! And I honestly don’t think it matters the variety, so long as it’s piping hot and accompanied by some fresh-baked bread and butter or at the very least some saltine crackers or those delectable cellophane-wrapped Rye Krisp that always seem to sneak into my handbag, along with those addictive Andes mints, for later. Again, I can imagine more than a few of you rolling your eyes out there and saying, “They’re driving to the desert! Who on God's green Earth would have soup?” Muffy would, that’s who! And, trust me, she will. And speaking of the desert, I’m sure we two California camels will be quite parched and feel the need to order refreshing beverages the moment we sit down. Muffy will have an iced tea with some sort of dietetic sweetener, while I may opt for very strong, freshly-brewed (don’t be afraid to demand it!) black coffee for a much-needed little afternoon burst of energy. After all, we still have a bit of a drive ahead of us. But before we hit the road, we’ll share a nice big slice of homemade pie. And this time, we will indeed listen to the waitress’s suggestion. If she says the apple is particularly good, then that’s what we’ll have – with a piece of sharp cheddar cheese melting all over it like a smitten, tipsy lover. There truly is nothing better and it will be worth the extra calisthenics or the need to adopt a slimming program later in the week featuring nothing but large-curd low-fat cottage cheese, cling peaches in heavy syrup and Melba toast. Oh. what we do to stay in shape!

Oh dear, look at the time! We really must get back on the road if we are going to make it to our hotel in time for me to apply my cosmetics, and perhaps even a glamorous wiglet, for the stage. After "powdering our noses" we both pile back into my coupe, adjust the air-conditioning to our comfort level, tune the radio to something light yet upbeat, and we are once again on our way. Palm Springs or bust!

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Use the first letter of your first name and make a list of ten things that start with that letter — all to do with YOU!

This entry brought to you by…the letter "J"

And the idea for this entry was shamelessly pilfered from the one and only Muffy Bolding (a constant source of inspiration and life-affirming aggravation)

1. JACQUELINE SUSANN: A former lingerie model and rumored bisexual, Susann practically invented the in-store autograph session: "If the book is signed, they can't return it!" This Pucci-wearing phenom wrote "Once is Not Enough," "The Love Machine," "Dolores," the God-awful sci-fi fiasco "Yargo" and the best-selling work of fiction of all time (if you don't count The Bible!), "Valley of the Dolls!" ("The DaVinci Code" may now be number one, but I choose to ignore this annoying fact, okay?) Taken from us way too early (cancer, of course), Jackie also wrote an entire book about her prissy little poodle, "Every Night, Josephine!" Yep, my kinda' lady.

2. JALAPENO JELLY: This magical marriage of spicy and sweet is best when plopped on top of a brick of cream cheese and served with crackers. Heaven!

3. JOAN CRAWFORD: I love, love, love The Crawford. I could watch her in anything -- from the sublime "Rain" to the stinking rotten Tennessee Williams wannabe "Queen Bee." I often ask myself, "What would Joan Crawford do?' The answer is usually something fabulous and decadent like A) Put on a vintage kimono B) Read a book while soaking in a hot bath C) Whip up a batch of bacon-wrapped scallops D) Clean the kitchen with a toothbrush or, more than likely, E) ALL OF THE ABOVE. Viva La Crawford! (And, although I am not saying the woman was a saint, I do NOT believe Christina Crawford's snotty side of the story)

4. JOHN SINGER SARGENT: One of my favorite artists of all time. The man responsible for two of the sexiest paintings in the history of art: "Dr. Pozzi at Home" and "Madame X."

5. JERKY, BEEF: I adore salty, chewy beef jerky.

6. JUST LIKE HEAVEN, by The Cure:  Show me, show me, show me how you do that trick, the one that makes me scream." she said.  "The one that makes me laugh," she said and threw her arms around my neck...

7. JESSICA LANGE in "American Horror Story": My friend James and I are convinced she is channeling Geraldine Paige in "Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice?" And don't even get me started on "Grey Gardens!" She was always amazing, but she was so beautiful that it took away from her talent. Now that she's older, she can really sink her teeth into these quirky roles.

8. JAPAN: I want to go so bad! This is a hold-over from back in the '80s when it was all about Japan. And all of a sudden, I am finding Japanese men to be very sexy. I love it when they look like extras from a "Godzilla" movie -- '60s slim-fit suit, horn-rimmed glasses -- but you know they're total pervs in bed. Exotic geek chic! And I really love Japanese pubic hair.

9. JIM HENSON: The late creator of The Muppets was a genius. When I think of all the joy he has brought into my life I have to say a silent and heartfelt, "Thank you."

10. JAR: I have only eaten at this Los Angeles restaurant once, but it was one of the best meals I have ever had. I really must go back!

11. JAKE GYLLENHAAL: Oh boy, now this is some GOOD eatin'!

Monday, October 3, 2011


I recently performed at THE ROCK in Phoenix, Arizona and as usual I was asked by my hosts, "What would you like to do while you're here?" My answer to that question was (and always is!) "I want to go thrift store shopping!" So, after an AMAZING lunch at Barrio, a-shopping we did go! Here are just a few of the treasures I found...

Our first stop was BOOM BOOM LA RUE, a fabulous drag boutique that features new and vintage clothing, large-size shoes, wigs, makeup, nails, accessories, REDONKULOUS jewelry and just about anything else a big ol' man might need to transform himself into a "pretty lady!"  I found a stunning, like-new vintage outfit that took my breath away!

Looking like something right out of the original wardrobe of "Auntie Mame," this full-length sleeveless gem (with matching jacket!) is gold Lurex with a gorgeous pattern featuring dark brown Spider Mums and a maroon Greek chain.  The label says "Lady Shaheen" (I must research!) and the dress and jacket fit PERFECTLY! The price? Only $35!

I cannot wait to wear this with some of my amazing Yma Sumac jewelry!

I also treated myself to a slutty red wig with bangs... Viva la slut!

Then we went to a REAL thrift store, Goodwill Industries, where I scored a practically brand new lightweight Calvin Klein suit with thin gray stripes. I am not a label whore, but seeing how I only paid $24 for this -- AND IT FITS LIKE A GLOVE -- I think it's one hell of a great deal!

I also found this ceramic lion "valet" in black and cream with a red velvet insert for $12.99. It now holds my favorite vintage tortoise shell sunglasses, a few rings I wear every day and my lip balm.

And these beautiful turquoise and gold midcentury glasses for only 69 cents each!

Happy thrifting!

Monday, August 29, 2011


How's this for Karma? Although Gays such as myself should NOT be shopping at Target, I have a prescription that is a controlled substance (!) and not easily transferred, so I was at the South Pasadena location today with Muffy Bolding. Well, she saw a cute pair of sandals she thought her daughter might like. Not wanting to be an "uncool mom" and buy anything that her daughter might possibly find unfashionable, she pulled out her cell phone to snap and send a quick photo.  Besides, the shoe came in a variety of sassy colors and, should it be deemed acceptable, there was still the question of "which hue would do?"

The moment poor Muffy raised her iPhone to take said photo, a Target empolyee -- standing nearby, ironically piling bananas onto a shelf -- went bananas and informed her that, "The taking of photos is NOT allowed!" I was getting my prescription at the time, but when Muffy approached me, not unlike a puppy that had been kicked, and told me what had just happened, I saw red -- and I am not just talking about the Target employees' signature crimson polo shirts!  I marched right past the banana boy towards those sandals and loudly announced, "Here is my cell phone, with a camera, and I am taking a photo of these shoes!" He didn't say a word. But I asked to have a word with the manager -- who, it turned out, looked like a kid right out of high school. Yep, about 5 feet tall with stupid spiky hair and when he said, "I'm the manager!" his chest puffed up like that of a tiny bird.  He was talking to a guy who looked like a 7 foot tall fat retarded rat and some rent-a-cop that resembled a young Erik Estrada. I explained the situation -- and my confusion with the NO PHOTOS rule -- and like any good corporate robot the tiny spiky manager/bird simply repeated the rule and pointed out that it was indeed a rule.

"Are you afraid that people are trying to steal your AMAZING Target shoe designs?" I asked, dripping with sarcasm. He repeated the rule. "Aren't there photos of every item available in this store on your website for anyone and everyone to see right now? I mean, are these shoes a SECRET!?" I asked, again leaving a puddle of sarcasm on the floor ("Clean up on aisle 3!"). Again, he repeated that it was store policy, blah blah blah. I said, "Well, that's fucking stupid!" Well, you'd have thought I'd spit on Jesus...

"It is also store policy that there be no cursing -- THIS IS A FAMILY STORE!" he chirped. "A family store, huh?" I asked, the mere mention of the sacred hetero family making me wild-eyed, as if I am anti-family or something. "Well, I am in the MANSON family!" I bellowed. Then he said that we had to leave and that they were calling the police. I pointed out that I was waiting for my prescription to be filled and that I would not be leaving without it. They followed about a foot behind us as we walked to the pharmacy and, at one point, I wheeled around and yelled, "Get a fucking life!"

"That's it, you are being escorted from the store or the police will be called" the Assistant Daytime Manager said in a quivery voice. This was his big moment. I paid for my prescription and we started to head towards the exit. Again, baby bird, retarded fat rat and Erik Estrada walked right behind us. And again, I turned and AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS said, "We are leaving, you assholes! You do NOT need to fucking follow us!" Then I decided to tell a bewildered lady standing nearby the entire story -- AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS -- while Muffy and I marched towards the front door.  The woman just said, "That's crazy!"

Muffy, later told me that she had resigned herself to the fact that she would be bailing me out of jail that night. But thank God that didn't happen. We piled into my 2002 Pontiac Grand Am and drove away, vowing NEVER again to darken the doorway of Target!

"This is a FAMILY store!"  Fuck you, loser -- you don't think I have a family? Yes, even middle-aged faggots and their Velma look-alike fag hags have families. So go get your butt-ugly girlfriend pregnant AGAIN and add yet another hideous little shit to YOUR family!


I really wish I wasn’t so shy... Sometimes I yearn to be one of those people who are not afraid to speak their mind, you know?  I wish I were more opinionated about how I feel -- as opposed to the quiet and reserved “shrinking violet” that I actually am.  Having said that -- under my breath, in a non-threatening and pleasant whisper, of course -- let me climb up onto this table and, at the top of my lungs, share with you a few things that are...


It's 2011, can we make one thing perfectly clear: BEING GAY IS NOT A CHOICE. If it was, please tell me why anyone would have chosen it back when being so was the worst possible thing? Gays were killed in nazi concentration camps, the victims of hate crimes and lest we forget when AIDS first struck in the 1980's. If you were 16 and saw gay men all around you being beaten, killed or dying a slow agonizing death from a horrible disease -- and being Gay was a CHOICE -- why would you choose it? It makes absolutely NO sense, but fools like Tracy Morgan, Evangelical Christians and other idiots still nonchalantly claim, "It's a choice." You know what IS a choice? Religion is a choice. Warping, twisting and perverting what is natural in the name of a man-made God is a choice. It really is a matter of intelligence and there are simply a lot of really stupid people out there. You have every right to be stupid, all I ask is that please SHUT THE EFF UP. Thank you.

This is LOS ANGELES -- not a farm in Wisconsin, not Tijuana, not Mayberry RFD! There are cars EVERYWHERE. So pleeeease put your fricking dog on a freaking leash, you fracking piece of shit asshole.  I just watched as some woman who was walking two well-behaved dogs, ON LEASHES, was attacked by three not-so-well-trained dogs that just came running out of someone’s yard.  A few people ran out and helped break up the scuffle, ushering their pets back into the unfenced yard, but not before I saw one of the men swat the dog he had scooped up IN THE FACE.  Listen, do whatever it takes to separate the snarling dogs, but once it’s over there is no need to strike a dog -- especially in the face!  Of course these semi-retarded entitled cretins did not utter even ONE word to this woman -- no apology of any kind.  She just stood there, dazed and confused, while checking to see if either of her dogs were hurt.  And before you tell me that your dog is “well-trained”, let me just remind you that NO ONE can train a dog 100%... If the dog sees a cat, a child, another dog, a skunk, a raccoon, a squirrel, a chicken bone -- or one of thousands of other things -- OR THERE IS AN EARTHQUAKE OR A GUN SHOT -- they might dart into the street. Is your dog-training ego really worth seeing your dog unceremoniously crushed beneath the tires of an SUV? I say NO!

I have been OBSESSED with the recent Profiles in History auction of Debbie Reynolds’ amazing collection of Hollywood memorabilia.  First, I went with my equally bonkers ex-boyfriend and my slusband (straight lady husband), Muffy Bolding, to witness the unparalleled exhibit with my own two eyes.  I stood mere inches from Marilyn Monroe’s infamous white “subway” dress from The Seven Year Itch, Charlie Chaplin’s signature bowler hat, tons of horribly/wonderfully gaudy gold-leafed Egyptian crap from both Cleopatras, 1934 with Claudette Colbert and 1960 with Elizabeth Taylor (not to mention Eagle-Lion in 1945 featuring Vivien Leigh as Cleo!), the Santa Claus suit from A Miracle on 34th Street and hundreds of other iconic costumes and props from The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, Ben Hur, My Fair Lady, Mutiny on the Bounty, Singing in the Rain, Apocalypse Now, A Streetcar Named Desire, How To Marry a Millionaire, Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, Mildred Pierce, Planet of the Apes, Funny Girl and many more classic films!  My ex bid on (and actually won!) a set of five purple and green roller skating costumes from Funny Girl -- complete with tights, hats and skates.  He got them for an unbelievably low $2500. The costume Barbra Streisand wore in that scene sold for $65,000! But that is nothing compared to the $4.6 million Marilyn’s aforementioned “subway” dress raked in or the $3.7 million that the stunning black and white masterpiece with matching hat that Cecil Beaton designed for Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady.  My ex, who spent over fifteen hours at the actual auction waiting for those skating costumes to come up, texted me throughout the day.  He said that two Japanese men were bidding on almost everything and that a French man and woman (perhaps from Monaco?) were snatching up anything that had belonged to Grace Kelly.  It’s so sad that these treasures will be scattered all over the world -- many as far away as Japan.  The American Dream -- and specifically, its golden Hollywood chapter -- is now officially dead and pinned like a butterfly to acid-free velvet, behind shatterproof plexiglas in a climate-controlled environment.


Dearest Readers,

I am writing to you, once again, from the charming seaside resort village known as Provincetown, Massachusetts.  As I sit here, typing this column on my lap top computer near an open window, I can smell the salt air, the fried clams and the backed-up sewer system wafting in.  You may remember that just a few years ago I fled this “paradise” in the middle of the night without telling anyone.  I likened my situation to that of an abused woman who realizes, despite the fact that “he” keeps promising never to hit her again, nothing is ever going to change.  So I just left.  And I vowed I would NEVER return.  Well, as everyone’s favorite little faux lesbian Justin Beiber would say, “Never say never!”  Regular readers of this column know all too well that I am in need of a hip replacement.  Seeing how there is no Drag Queen Union, I don’t have medical insurance.  And that is why I am here in “P-Town” yet again -- dressing up like a nymphomaniacal clown and standing on the street like common gutter trash, begging people to come see my brilliant show.  I am in excruciating pain -- both physical and emotional -- but “the show must go on!”  I have decided to do my best to have a good attitude, and in order to do that I thought I should perhaps learn more about this quaint little place that I once heard described as “a sleepy little drinking town with a fishing problem.”  Here are some fun facts about where I am currently serving a two month sentence for various crimes against nature, specifically those regarding crumbling hip bones.  And as I wince in pain with every step I take, I cannot help but think, “I hope my mother enjoyed all those cocktails and cigarettes she guzzled and puffed while pregnant with me!”

1620: Pilgrims arrive on the Mayflower and make the first landing in the New World in Provincetown Harbor. The Pilgrims stay for only five weeks, then continue on to their ultimate destination of Plymouth. (See, even close to 400 years ago, no one could stomach this place for very long!)

1727: The first permanent settlement in Provincetown was established with fishing being the primary draw for settlers. (And “fishing” is still the primary draw for many of today’s visitors -- especially during “Womyn’s Week!”)

1800: Provincetown’s population swelled by the middle of the 19th century. (Not unlike the unfortunate “swelling” one may suffer after hooking up with one of the filthy, toothless locals!)

1898: The Portland Gale swept away half of the town’s wharfs and decimated the fishing industry. Provincetown embarked on a tourism campaign to fill the economic gap. Artists and bohemians were among the earliest visitors. (Rumor has it the first tourism slogan was “Provincetown, Just A Few Less Deadly Diseases Than Some Other Places!”)

1910: The Pilgrim Monument was dedicated by President Taft which commemorated the Pilgrims’ landing in Provincetown. (The museum proudly features the very first designs for flip-flops and the now infamous rainbow umbrella hat!)

1915: Eugene O’Neill, considered the father of modern American theater, mounted his first play on an East End Provincetown wharf, and thus established Provincetown as the birthplace of modern American theater.  (And now I can be seen in drag as a topless mermaid every Tuesday in “Peter Pansy” at The Crown & Anchor!)

1961: The U.S. Congress created the Cape Cod National Seashore. (Two years later some drunk guy named Larry creates the first whimsical frog made out of seashells with googly eyes glued onto them!)

2004: Gay marriage became legalized in Massachusetts. Shortly thereafter, Provincetown became the place to get married with over 1,400 marriage licenses issued to date. (And rumor has it that an impressive 16 of those marriages are still in tact!)

2011: Hell freezes over as world-famous drag superstar, Jackie Beat, makes her triumphant return to Provincetown!  She can be seen every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 10 PM at The Art House.  For tickets or more info please visit

All joking aside, it really is beautiful and relaxing here, so please come see me.  Hey, you and your “life partner” can even hold hands in public!


By the time this column “hits the street” it will be old news (and I mean OLD!), but on July 24th I turned 48. The simple act of typing that number is quite terrifying. It’s almost as dangerous as typing the word “Scientology” -- ALMOST -- but I feel the need to not only be honest, but downright proud of that number. Let me explain...

As everyone on the planet knows, the supremely talented Amy Winehouse died on July 23rd -- the day before my birthday. Thankfully, I have never had to battle drug addiction (unless, of course, you count double bacon cheeseburgers as “drugs” and, frankly, you should!) so I cannot stand in judgment of Amy or anyone else. But I can realize that, in the grand scheme of things, there are far worse things than celebrating your 48th birthday while in a popular vacation destination, Provincetown, surrounded by beautiful and witty friends such as the uber-talented and oh-so-generous Ryan Landry, Scott Martino (aka Penny Champagne), Justin Vivian Bond and Nath-Ann, Olive A. Nother, Grady West (aka the ridiculously “special” Dina Martina) and one of the funniest people I have ever met, Mr. David Ilku (one half of The Dueling Bankheads, one third of Unitard and 100% she-larious!). And as if that wasn’t enough, I was also surrounded by cold sesame noodles with chicken and peanut butter, glazed pork chops, fresh green beans, jasmine rice with coconut, cupcakes and this reDONKulous cake batter ice cream that Justin brought that nearly resulted in the cancellation of my show that night.  Can you say “sugar coma?” But the show must go on -- and it did!  And that sums up my life at 48: The show goes on!

Despite needing TWO new hips, I limp to the Art House Theater every night, apply my world-famous, award-winning makeup, “bark” on the street for an hour and then sing my sagging ass off for an hour in my solo show. People, if I end up in a wheelchair, I have news for you: I will bejewel the motherfucker and add a fully-choreographed rendition of “Proud Mary” to my act! “Rollin’, rollin’ rollin’ on the river!” And no, I will NOT do it dressed as a mermaid -- because I am fully aware of the fact that Bette Midler did the mermaid in the wheelchair routine and to do it again would not only be a blatant rip-off, but downright disrespectful! The irony here is that anyone who would stoop that low will probably live to be 99, while a true artist like Winehouse doesn’t even get to blow out 28 candles.  That’s right, she was only 27.

Amy joins many other amazingly talented, but doomed performers who died at that same young age -- legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison and Brian Jones. Look at that list. I am convinced that these people were not of this Earth. They were truly beyond anything I can comprehend. I know many people who matter-of-factly say, “They were stupid drug addicts,” but I still listen to Janis or Jimi and feel fortunate that we were blessed with those brief 27 years. They were like comets that had to burn out. I am thankful to be a performer, but damn glad that I am not as a rare a gem as these misunderstood and tortured souls. It ain’t worth it. And when people say, “They are so lucky to have died while they were still young and beautiful” I simply have to respond that I would much rather get old and hideous and have to be pushed into my coffin screaming and scratching and fighting to the bitter end. All the physical pain and indignity of growing old, especially in this country and in this profession, are worth just one more laugh with a dear friend or one more kiss on the tender black lips of one of my precious dogs.

I AM 48 YEARS OLD! And avoiding that truth or lying and saying a lower number is no different than denying I am Gay. Same closet, different shelf. This is what 48 looks, sounds and feels like. As Cher says, “I don’t mind getting older when you consider the alternative.”

And now, if you will excuse me, I have to prepare for my show tonight. And after that show, I am going to paint a black star over one of my eyes and go sing a Kiss song with the band Space Pussy -- and I am going to rock it better and harder than bitches half my age! Happy birthday to me!