Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Rare Grande Dame

Nobody does a better " Say something hair day" like Bassem Feghali, who is the most famous female impersonator in the Arab World. Yes, you heard right! A rare queen this week. Bassem Feghali is a genuinely talented Lebanese drag queen, who excels mostly in recreating legendary Arab female singers such as Sabaah, Fairouz, Samira Tawfik...but also more contemporary pop divas like Haifa Wehbe , Nawal El Zoghby, Elissa, Nancy Ajram and even the internationally acclaimed Latin star Shakira. Bassem also does an excellent impersonation of Lebanese yoga master Mariam Nour. Not only does Bassem Feghali dress and act like them for the purpose of entertaining the public, but he also skillfully adopts their exact voice timbre to create perfect doubles! His performances resemble more a full standup comedy show, rather than mere character impersonations; He jokes with the public, tells stories and makes up his own lyrics to spoof famous songs. On stage, Bassem Feghali is one outspoken unstoppable and hilariously funny entertainer. Once out of his lengendary flashy costumes, he re-becomes one simple timid man. Although homosexuality is not generally tolerated in the Arab World, still, drag queens are an integral part of Arabic pop culture. In many Egyptian movies for example, the leading male actors can be seen casually dressed in a female gender role for humor purposes, sometimes even for the full length of the film! Bassem Feghali usually performs his sketches at big clubs and theaters across the Arab World, and is often the stage crowd warmer of large music concerts. Feghali is also the guest star at televised Lebanese beauty pageants or award ceremonies In 2010, Bassem Feghali appeared in a special TV series on LBC called Kassakiss Antika (Stories of Antika), in which he embodies a fictional character called Antika Sursock. The Agatha Christie wanna-be author is from the old bourgeoisie of Ashrafieh; a class that has lost most of its fortune but is still holding onto its previous lifestyle. Bassem plays most of the other characters on the show, and impersonates famous Arab female celebrities as usual. And lets not discuss those fabulous ensembles!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Millionaire's Row

The stunning entrance to the Laurel Hill Cemetery, my outing for a Sunday afternoon with the Lad. Your thinking, shouldn't I have visited during the Halloween holiday? I'm a bird of a different feather, and enjoy a good outing in a interesting cemetery anytime. Our original outing was to go see the Moore Mansion, but it was booked for a wedding. So I suggested going to see some millionaires, mind ya, dead ones. Just my luck. So it was off to Millionaire 's Row. It’s not exactly something you’d associate with a cemetery. But then again, neither are Atlantic City and Tacony. At least, you wouldn’t just by looking at some of the biggest mausoleums on Millionaire’s Row in Laurel Hill Cemetery, which is the nations largest historic cemetery and is home to the mausoleum of the Disston family, among other famous elite families of Victorian Philadelphia. The cemetery features a special section, nicknamed Millionaire’s Row, for all of the most wealthy residents that it holds. It’s characterized by a row of mausoleums that lead down a curved road. Strolling through it, the history seems quite distant and sometimes hard to relate to. That is, until one tries. The cemetery also offers spectacular views of Philadelphia, which is further down the river. And some of the last foliage was still lingering.......

Mausoleums, and some tombstones fascinate me, I can't lie. I like to go up to them and peer inside. One of these days, I worry that a spirit resident will look back at me through the door, scare the mothballs out of me, and then I'll need my OWN tomb. But on I go, fearles,s peeping in the houses of the dead. Plus the architecture of these buildings are so stunning and detailed to see, each so different from the next.

Mausoleums, by definition, are monuments erected as buildings, usually free-standing, that house a deceased remains. Many times, they hold an entire family's remains, with niches for coffins or urns. The more costly ones may include stained glass windows, which here were aplenty And many of them mimic the fashionable architectural styles of their times, for example, the Egyptian Revival which was popular in the early 20th century.

As I mentioned above, most of the mausoleums have stained glass windows, and  wrought iron doors, which are so beautiful, and so many to see. I may have to return to do a post just on them. I also think winter could be a neat time to see Laurel Hill, strolling through the paths with hot mulled cider, but no promises, as I hate the bitter cold! And what was with the fog in only this part of the place in the above picture? Was I getting a visit from the ghost of Christmas past? Or had I had to many sidecars?

Monday, November 26, 2012

RuPauls DragRace 5....Bring her The Girls!

What better way to start the week than with a bunch on queens? RuPauls fifth season of Drag Race is around the corner, and I for one can't wait for a regular season, after the All-Stars, which I gave up on, due to the team challenge, which I feel impeded some of the talent on the show, like Nina and Lattrice, but I'm not bitter. No, the fifth season is full of yet some real talents and personalities which have been featured right here, so you may recognize a few.

Alaska Thunderfuck, Pittsburgh

Sharon Needles’ concubine, Alaska will be the first queen whose full name can’t be said on television. I have seen her perform and met her once, and she is about as fierce as Sharon was, but with her own look and style. She will be a top contender.

Alyssa Edwards, Mesquite, TX.
In 2010 this beauty, Alyssa was forced her to give up her Miss Gay America pageant title, quite the scandal in the drag world. You think that’s gonna come up during Untucked? Hint? My sources say Yes!

Coco Montrese, Las Vegas

So Coco was the runner-up at the Miss Gay America contest, and snatched the crown when Aylssa Edwards was axed. Expect some sparks between these two Southern belles. Coco is a pretty talented queen and appears regularly at Vegas' Drink and Drag Diner.

Detox Icunt, Los Angeles
Another queen whose name will have to be bleeped out! You might remember Detox from “Chow Down,” the parody video Willam Belli made about Chick-fil-A, but she’s also appeared in a Rihanna video and recorded music with Ke$ha. So she’ll be a shoo-in at Lipsynch for Your Life. (May she never have to prove it.) And she is very hilarious, and is another of my top contenders.

Honey Mahogany, San Francisco
According to her profile, San Francisco’s first Drag Queen contestant hails from Ethiopia and took her stage name from two different shades of foundation. All I know is, with a name like Honey Mahogany, if she doesn’t do Pam Grier for The Snatch Game, it is ovah!

Ivy Winters, New York City
She’s made outfits for Manila Luzon and Lady Bunny, so you know this is one bitch who knows how to sew. She’s also a professional fire-eater, which  could add to her shade-throwing, an interesting twist. Another performer I have seen, with some unusual talents.

Jade Jolie, Gainesville, FL
Generally I'd say nothing good comes out of Florida, but Jade is one of the prettier queens we’ve seen on the show I must say. Getting a Dida Ritz vibe—but, y’know, white. I'm not sure how far yet she'll go.

Jinkx Monsoon, Seattle
I'm getting a Tammie Brown vibe from this self-described Jewish narcoleptic queen from Seattle. Which means we’ll totally worship her and she’ll get sent home too quickly.

Lineysha Sparx San Juan, PR
Like the Mistress, this Puerto Rican never wears the same outfit twice. Do we dare hope for some Team Yarlexis magic? I love her wig talents, may I add. Another of my contenders.

Monica Beverly Hillz, Owensboro, KY
Her classy name aside, Monica actually hails from small town Kentucky. Is she going to be able to hold her own against them big-city queens?

Penny Tration, Cincinnati
  A funny drag handle can sometimes wear thin, but it didn’t hurt Sharon Needles. We also like that Penny’s not a twig—real girls have curves!

Roxxxy Andrews, Orlando
In my email from Logo, they say in this queens profile, it calls Roxxxy “a pageant girl through and through.” Will that help or hinder her in the challenges, which are usually more out-there than donning a swimsuit and high heels. And might I add is very cute as a boy!

Serena ChaCha, Tallahassee, FL
Serena is this season’s baby, right out of art school. I hope that doesn’t mean she’ll be wearing a diaper and throwing tantrums. Actually…

Vivienne Pinay, New York City
Girlfriend hails from New York but we first saw her in a Vogue Italia piece showing queens in half-drag. Does she have what it takes? RuPaul always said Filipinas make the fiercest queens.
Who will you put your chips on —and who will sashay away?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Loss of Sahara Davenport

Sahara Davenport was a drag queen and reality television personality and classically-trained dancer. He was best known as a contestant on the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race, and could be seen all over New York City performing and hosting shows.Sarha Davenport died from heart failure at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. You'll be missed girl.

Fashion and the Big Boys..... the Casa du Borghese. It was as you know another normal Sunday!

Now do you understand my obsession with Elephants?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Called to the Stand at Bourbon & Pearls

As you know,I don't normally par take in the questions of blog awards, as I have done too many, and for a while, were being frequent, but have made the exceptions when the questions are intriguing, or asked by a beautiful, seductive, temptress like the chic Tabitha, who hails from Scotland, whose blog Bourbon and Pearls is a definite daily treat to behold, some days even better then the best Hendricks, full of swank locales, fabulous fashion of her own, and her entertaining writing style. I'm so glad to have met her in the blogosphere. I just dare you to check her out on my side bar. She may have you in for cocktails. So lets get to her questions for me, and I'll grab my gin......

1. Which famous person looks most like you/would play you in a movie?

Neil Patrick Harris. For a couple years now friends and co-workers have told me I remind them of the actor. In looks, style, humor, and my mannerisms. At first I didn't see this, but I can now as we both have gotten older. And I'm alright with that, because he is sexy.

2.What's the most played song on your I-Pod?

It's a damn tie, who knew. Right now it's between Christina Aguilera's Not Myself Tonight.........

..... and Henry Mancini's, Loose Caboose. from the party scene in Breakfast at Tiffany's

I have a very diverse I pod.

3. If you were a victim of a witch's spell which animal would you most like to be? (cats and dogs are verboten)

A peacock! My only hope is that the said witch would let me hold on to some drag roots. and let me enjoy my feathers and plumes. A bird may not have a good life, but at least I'd look regal and would hope the Great Hera would take me as her pet.

4 If you could strike out one word from the English language what would it be?

Once it had to do with awe. Now it just means "great" and gorssly over used. How did "awesome" conquer the world? "Awesome” has been with my generation in America so long that it now has a whiff of retro. Of all the under used words we could use for a adjective, how lazy to always use this word. I despise it.

5. What did you want to be when you were 10 years old?

At ten, and fours years after. I wanted to be a detective or sleuth. I had always enjoyed the Agatha Christie movies and enjoyed a good "Who Done It",plus all the cool tools they used. Except my suits would be more suave, like 007!

6. If you had to convert to another religion which one would you choose and why?

hmmmmmm, well you know, I not sure. But it certainly wouldn't be a Scientologist, because Tom Cruise would make me become a Atheist real quick! Maybe something like Buddhism, to promote some calm around here!

7. Why are we here?

Well, I assume, we have some higher force that has a sense of humor watching the predicaments we get ourselves in.

8. Muffin or pretzel?

Oh baby, I'll take a muffin any day over a pretzel. Never been a pretzel person.

9. If you had to live in London during the Great Plague or Paris during the Terror which would you choose and why?

Well, since I consider myself a lover and not a fighter, I would have to say the Great Plague. Hopefully with advanced warning I could vacate the city and go into hiding with provisions and wait out the dreaded Plague. Although it would be awful lonely.

10. What are you getting me, Tabitha that is, for Christmas?

Well Tabs is a special friend, so she deserves a special a month long visit from her God Dog Buster Bolfig Borghese.......
....hand delivered by the handsome David Gandy of course!

Now if any of you would like the answer all or any of these questions, I'd love to hear some of your replies! As some of you are mighty entertaining. Now I hope this means the world won't end.