Monthly Archives: October 2014

BOT’s Box: Mail Call!

Check out this amazing mail call I had today…

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I received a stylish polo from Dapper D Fashions, a sassy postcard from Alpha Harlot, and this rad bow tie – skull and crossbones in wee Santa hats! I’m also particularly intrigued by a package I shall not describe just yet from Berman Innovations.

Thank you so much everybody!


The Dinah 2015: Dinah turns 25!

I’m so excited! I’m going to be there again this year. Are you? I can’t wait to hear the line up! And, I note they’ve spelled all the celebrity names right (unlike me). I’ve so much to learn…

CLUB SKIRTS DINAH SHORE WEEKEND COMMENCES CELEBRATION OF ITS
2015 SILVER ANNIVERSARY:
CELEBRATING 25 EPIC YEARS OF WORLD-CLASS ENTERTAINMENT AS ONE OF PALM SPRINGS’ LEADING SIGNATURE EVENTS

IMG_0753.JPGPalm Springs, CA – The legendary Dinah Shore Weekend, founded and produced by Mariah Hanson under her Club Skirts marquee, has officially commenced the six-months long celebration of its Silver Anniversary.

April 1-5, 2015 Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend is turning twenty-five and taking the event to a new zenith.

Twenty-five years of excellence and unwavering commitment to deliver world-class entertainment and top notch customer service that continue as Mariah Hanson and her team commemorate the landmark by honoring the partnerships that have been part of the amazing journey and contributed to the event’s stratospheric success.

A quarter-century ago, Mariah Hanson did more than just kick-start her Dinah. She also and most importantly launched what would become her enduring legacy to both the city of Palm Springs and the LGBT community.

From a small, one-night event at a Palm Springs museum with 1,500 participants twenty-five years ago, to booking lavish locations at deluxe hotels over five days of epic pool parties and world-class entertainment with some 15,000-plus attendees and major corporate sponsors today, Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend has evolved into one of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley’s largest tourism boosters and undisputed biggest lesbian event of its kind in the world.

The natural symbiosis shared by these two iconic LGBT Mecca has continuously been a match made in heaven. More than a tradition The Dinah Shore Weekend has over these past 25 years (and counting) become a Palm Springs institution and one of the city’s most popular spring attractions.

Once the party pied-a-terre of Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack, who turned Palm Springs into America’s most glamorous destination for the glitterati in the 1950s, the famous sunny oasis has now gotten back in the swing of things to once again reclaim its status as one of Hollywood’s hippest playground and the world hub for major high-profile festivals and special events.

The envy of the world with its 360-days of sunshine, the swanky modern city of glitz and glamour has been attracting a new generation of visitors from young hipsters, international jet-setters to Hollywood A-listers and socialites, who vie for the ultra-chic weekend getaway of martini-sipping, cabana lounging and celebrity sightseeing.

As one of the early pioneers, the Dinah has become one of Palm Spring staple events sharing the spotlight with the likes of the Coachella Music Festival, Stagecoach, The Palm Springs International Film Festival, the BNP Paribas Open Trophy, and the PGA and LPGA golf tournaments –all intrinsically linked to the famous desert community.

In the span of twenty five years The Dinah has cemented its status as not only an event the entertainment industry’s most elite go to but also as a trendsetting event that music industry insiders watch and jockey to book their artists’ performances.

It is the only acknowledged all-girl party that features such a phenomenal line-up of talent to ever to perform at a lesbian event. Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Colbie Caillat, India Arie, The Pussycat Dolls, Kesha and more recently Iggy Azalea, are just a few examples of major recording artists that headlined the epic event while still “unknown” and then systematically went on to hit international superstardom.

While The Dinah has been spearheading music careers, it has, most importantly, also been transforming lives and making a difference in and for the LGBT community. Offering an unparalleled one-of-a-kind experience for myriads of women who come every year from all over the world to enjoy the freedom to be who they truly are without fearing the judgment of others, and gain, as well, a tremendous amount of self worth.

The event has also been serving as a platform to mobilize the LGBT community around humanitarian projects and social issues, famously partnering in previous years with a variety of activist associations and charity organizations such as GLAAD, HRC, NOH8, Love is Louder, Equality California, and The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center among others.

The Dinah has certifiably come to represent an ever-growing movement that has crossed over to mainstream bringing more and more visibility to the lesbian community – one that had never existed before.

Now ready to soar to new heights, the 25th installment of The Dinah is already expected to be one of the major highlights of the 2015 Palm Springs festival season.

Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend is not just breaking grounds; it is making history!

Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend 2015 will be held April 1 through the 5th in Palm Springs, CA. For More Information go to: http://www.TheDinah.com

Facebook: Facebook.com/ClubSkirtsDinahShoreWeekend

Twitter: @Dinahshore
Pinterest/Instagram: #DinahShore
#thedinah25

To learn more about The City of Palm Springs visit: http://www.visitgreaterpalmsprings.com

http://www.thedinah.com

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The Lesbian Mastermind behind The Dinah: An Interview with Mariah Hanson

This interview was published over at Huffington Post on October 13, 2014. I have shared it here for my WordPress friends.

I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Mariah Hanson who runs The Dinah each year in Palm Springs. As confirmation of her lifetime of success, Mariah will be honored by The Center in Palm Springs with its first ever “Legacy Award” to recognize exceptional work on behalf of LGBT people living in the Coachella Valley. I met her this year at The Dinah and she was charming. I was lucky enough to get to ask her some questions well after the dust on the event settled.

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Tell me about yourself.
I am a very passionate woman interested in all aspects of really discovering all the ways we can grow and be the best person we can be. My event reflects that, working my weekend is like going through EST or a seminar. We really lay the groundwork for people to see how they can make a difference. How they can reach out to people who are on the edge, heartbroken, maybe in crisis, or in mourning. The vibe with my staff is really about making a very welcoming amazing first impression with people and then letting that experience flow throughout the weekend. Think about a fancy restaurant with a famous chef. The first course is fantastic. Then you have to go to the bathroom, excuse yourself, and you go in and it’s disgusting. How do you feel when you walk back to your food? Doesn’t matter how good the chef is now. I may be the face of Dinah, but everyone is important. Even the janitor.

I am definitely an event producer, who loves what I do and feels incredibly honored to do what I do. An individual who, as I grow older, is really enjoying the opportunity that we all have to grow and be kind and make a difference. Making a positive difference in our lives is really important. The journey that we have to take has a ripple effect. I love what I do. And then I ride horses. I am a cowgirl. I drive a Chevy. People wouldn’t recognize me.

How do you feel Dinah has developed?
I think it’s seen an incredible growth trajectory. It started out as a pretty wild three-day party focused around drinking and DJ driven. 24-25 years later it is an international lesbian music festival with film, comedy, live music, and charity. It just has become this amazing event. We gave feedback forms last year at the film festival and the feedback was more events like this – mostly from women in their 30s and 50s. As the event grows there is room to do different stuff during the Dinah.

How do you manage to top the year before?
Well I will tell you my goal isn’t to get bigger every year. The goal is just to throw the most amazing event for lesbians in the world. Other events are changing, more talent that is recognizable because gay events set the bar.

Do you see other event promoters as competition?
No. I see it as a win-win. You are in New Orleans and at that beignet shop – you know what I am talking about – there is a line around the block. [Cafe du Monde] Someone comes to NOLA and sees the line and thinks, wow they are making a lot of money; I want to open a beignet shop. But they aren’t as good at making beignets. So they revert to competitive tactics and send the health department over to the other shop. The other option is to see the line and think that this town loves pastries! Let’s open a bakery and make almond croissants. Second scenario: Everyone in NOLA is going to get really fat and be eating a lot of beignets and croissants. First: competitor will go out of business, not everyone is a beignet baker. Not everyone is nightclub promoter.

Favorite memory from the past 24 Dinah’s?
I’ve got a couple. One is listening to the Pussycat Dolls sing Don’t Cha. Another is talking to Katy Perry’s manager about Lady Gaga; I felt this presence behind me as I was talking to him. It was so strong and I turned around – it was Katy Perry, listening to everything I was saying to her manager. She is absolutely stunning and deserves her success. She has a good heart and is really funny. I was really blown away by her. Mary Lambert this year was spellbinding. I was so moved by her.

Me, too. Have you noticed a change in the crowd or any shifts?
I started producing independently in 2006 and that meant that I could make sure everyone was invited to the party and embrace the diversity of our community. If you go now it is incredibly diverse, people from all over the world, different pockets all over the US that are not as accepting as they could be, but at Dinah something different happens. It’s like walking through the door to Narnia and they just embrace the diversity. It is the most positive vibe over the weekend. It is amazing and thrills me. Look around. Look to your left and look to your right. This is amazing. We have 5 days of the most diverse and beautiful people. I’d like to invite the United Nations to come to Dinah and take notes. We can get along. Our differences are so small in the big scheme of things. It happens organically, but we are picking the seeds that we plant. I don’t allow my staff to be rude; if they are rude, they don’t come back. Customers aren’t allowed to be rude either. Positive seeds – treat every customer like gold. We are planting seeds that foster that kind of garden. So there is a stage that is set, and then it happens organically. Valuing and honoring people who attend the event. We appreciate that they are there and want them to have a wonderful weekend. I can’t take responsibility for the weekend, only for the stage.

I’m not so sure about that, Mariah. Who’s on your dream line up?
P!nk – been trying to get her forever. Bring Katy Perry back. Ok, here is my dream line up: P!nk, Katy Perry, Earth Wind & Fire, Chrissie Hynde, Justin Timberlake, and Dolly Parton. Challenge is that you have to stay relevant.

What is one thing people don’t know about you?
I am a bookworm. And, I do a Christmas poetry slam every year.

How fascinating! We talked about this for a few minutes. Mariah and her best friend recite poetry with each other to celebrate. With that, we moved on to the Lightning Round. Yes or no answers, no elaboration needed.

Favorite beer?
Stella, not a beer drinker. I prefer it on draft. I am a wine drinker – big reds.

Cars or motorcycles?
Cars, unless you say Vespa – in purple.

Rather be hot or cold?
Hot, hate to be cold.

Prefer to wear silver or gold?
Gold, I like silver more than I used to.

Books or movies?
Books. If you ask me fiction or nonfiction, then biographies. Why am I reading fiction when the lives of these people are so much more colorful than anything someone made up?

Straight ties or bow ties?
Bow ties, I have to go with eccentric. But, I am more into dresses and if she wore a tie.

And, with her last answer, I sat up a little taller, straightened my bow tie and thanked Mariah for her time. I have to say that I was expecting her to be different. I don’t know how exactly. Maybe less personal. A little more full of herself. After all, she runs the biggest lesbian event in the world. She gets huge talent to come to the desert to sing for several thousand women. Every year. She is a legend. But not as in old, just as in – it’s The Dinah! She has been running The Dinah since it was actually a golf tournament, with a party on the side (as opposed to the week-long party it is now). She wasn’t full of herself, though. She was funny and charming, and hot. I really enjoyed our talk. I can’t wait to go to The Dinah again next year.

It’s Butch to create something that gives so many lesbians joy, year in and year out. Thank you, Mariah. That’s very Butch. Be Butch.


“Mom, What’s a Lockdown Drill?”

Published today on the Huffington Post, reprinted here for my WordPress friends.

Something very disturbing happened today. My daughter, who is 11 and in 6th grade, participated in a lockdown drill at her school. I got an automated call from the school this morning to let me know that the drill would take place. I appreciated that call because it is the kind of thing that I would like to know. Kids sometimes worry about things. Especially things that they don’t understand – or maybe they do understand, but cannot accept.

I remember distinctly being horrified and disgusted as a child by the awful murder of a woman in the middle of the street while a variety of people looked on yet did nothing. This was the first time in my life that I was confronted with the facts that there was evil in the world; the world is not in fact fair; and sometimes people can be disgusting and repulsive (and I don’t mean the killer). I had nightmares for days. I am sure that my mother could add a lot more detail here, but the bottom line is some of my innocence was destroyed by the crime. I was simply not able to reconcile my understanding of the world so beautiful, filled with Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Strawberry Shortcake dolls, people who loved and cared for me, and this true horror.

Worrying how she would internalize the drill, I made a note to discuss it with my daughter tonight. And, I did just that. The perfect opportunity presented itself: my son was at baseball practice, and I had time with my daughter after karate.

“Tell me about your day, honey,” I prompted. We played our usual high-medium-low game (which allows me to learn at least 3 things that happened in my children’s days) and she added, “We had a lockdown drill today.”

“Yes, I know. How did it go?” She explained that the alarm went off, the teacher locked the door, turned out the lights, and all of the children got down on the floor. They were to be quiet. My daughter commented that if it was real, they would have all been in trouble because no one was quiet.

I asked her if they explained the reason for the drill. She said it would happen when someone they don’t know walks onto campus. As we began the discussion of what would cause someone to come onto a campus full of children to hurt them, I started to feel sick to my stomach. And ill-prepared.

My son came home during the conversation, and though he is much younger, I couldn’t exclude him. We broadened the discussion to include him. “What is a lockdown, Mom?”

“Why would anyone want to hurt a bunch of kids?”

“What would make someone do that?”

I said something about how I had no idea. About how the people who do such things are hurting terribly and they want the world to hurt with them. About how people who are unstable can be thrown over the edge by the death of someone they love, the loss of their own children, etc. I struggled for explanations.

We talked about why they aren’t supposed to just run. We talked about the fact that the law enforcement experts have decided our best chance is to lock ourselves in and wait – and pray if that’s your thing. We talked about the guidance my daughter got today that if you can’t get inside and you see the killer, you should run as fast as you can. That the killer is trying to hurt as many people as quickly as possible and might not care to chase you.

What? Why is this a conversation that I must have with my kids? How do I balance this with the philosophy that I have that the world is a beautiful place? That people are inherently good? That you will receive from the world what you put into it, but that you must keep giving even on bad and unfair days? That though the world might not operate fairly, you still should?

We talked about the fact that this happens sometimes in schools, post offices, work places. Evil walks among us – though I didn’t say that.

“It won’t happen to us, right Mom?”

Right, baby. It won’t. I think we’d have a better chance of winning the lottery, or dying by shark attack. But, we practice a little just so that you are ready. Like we are ready for earthquakes and how we have a disaster plan, and a backpack.

I explained that we can put as much love into the world as possible. People who do these kinds of things seem to be loners, people who are made fun of. We talked about how many criminals were miserable kids, teased by kids or beaten by parents. I reiterated that the two of them should never be kids who tease others. They are the kids who are kind to all – especially the kids sitting alone. You never know when your kindness to someone might help.

The conversation morphed into a discussion of being teased – which I will talk about later. I moved us on to funny things, and positive life stuff. Like Santa and the Tooth Fairy. I hugged my daughter very tightly, and tickled my son so hard that he farted. Massive giggling ensued. Peace was restored. At least, I hope so. For their sakes.

After they were sound asleep, I slumped into my chair. What the hell? Why is this our conversation? How is it fair that a 7 and 11 year old have to practice what to do if a gunman comes onto their campus to shoot as many children as possible? Why are we having these conversations? Why, in America, are we standing for one second longer the free-for-all access to guns designed for massive-instantaneous killing?

I’ve not been very political as far as guns – besides a few tweets about how people keep misreading the Second Amendment – but tonight’s dialogue about massacres of children has left me sick and repulsed. After Sandy Hook there was a public outcry – a hope that we might capitalize on the public outrage and do something to curb the reprehensible availability of automatic weapons. But, nothing has happened.

There have been more killings. According to ABC recently, more than 50 attacks or plots since Columbine. And still, nothing has happened. It’s time. No more parents should have these conversations. No more children should have to introduce mass shootings into their Santa-Barbie-Minecraft-Lego filled worlds.

It’s Butch to stand up for what’s right, even when it is controversial. Be Butch.


Suck It, Biggots!

Biggots in 5 states are looking at Fox News today and shaking their heads. What the …? Equality is contagious, you see. You can’t start treating people equally – as they deserve – with dignity in one, two, three, four, five, six states and expect everyone else to just lump it.

What did you think? Did you really think that you could just throw enough money at the issue, keep trying to scare people and We would forget? Go away? Accept less?

You see, I demand to be treated equally. I demand that for me, my love, my kids, my family, my friends, my neighbors. But…

I also demand that for you, your love, your kids, your family, your friends, your neighbors. Even though I don’t know you. I may not even like you. But still I demand this. For all of us. Even the biggots.

I want equality for you, too. That’s what America is all about. If you don’t like it, suck it.

http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2014/10/u-s-supreme-court-denies-marriage-appeals-from-five-states/

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Beauty is Ugly

I had to laugh when a friend snapped this picture of me today getting my hair did. You’ve heard the saying, “Beauty is pain.” Well, it’s also quite an ugly process. Lol.

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I mean, look at that sexy shower cap. And that cotton roll! Anyone who posts selfies should occasionally post an ugly, unflattering pic. I certainly take plenty of pictures that are “un-shareworthy” and deleted immediately. That’s a whole different filter, isn’t it?

Here is the finished product, as it were. Also, not a great shot of me.

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Now, I know you are shocked that the “bleached blonde” hawk of which I am so fond, is in fact, not my natural hair color. While we’re at it… There is no Loch Ness Monster, either. Oh, life isn’t fair. And, mustard will always have that gross watery squirt at the top. Now you know.

It’s Butch to be comfortable looking that ugly during your beauty routine, *cough* erm, grooming routine. Be Butch.


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