f to the Y to the I - A Fruitful 2009
Lisa Marie: Kelly and I share in a great relationship by encouraging one another to excel in our individuality. Our motto: A better me makes a better us. Trust, this Gemini can put a mood or five on. We build our relationship based on the needs of us. Many of these needs include exploring, tasting and pushing our boundaries to enjoy the fruits of the earth. Let us take a venture into the best of the best fruits of 2009.
Kelly: So many professionals go solo. Not us. We never, ever miss a chance to explore together on the company dime. Lisa has been fondly nicknamed the “corporate traveler” by my cohorts, and I really believe my business partners get more out of their meetings (slash wine-sloshin’ beer bashes) with the corporate traveler than they do with me. Nothing seals a deal better than a sexy lesbian lover who happens to pull me to her side. This past year, we dined on oyster “flights” in Boston and ate until our fingers stung from the lemon and horseradish.
Lisa Marie: I research restaurants online to find those with style, quality and good reviews. It makes for a better experience overall. The flights from B&G Oysters were de-lish. Later we headed over to the Institute of Contemporary Art for the Shepard Fairey exhibit. The museum was small, modern and beautiful. The exhibit seemed a slice out of history with the recent events and legalities over the Fair Use Act with his Obama poster.
Kelly: And then there was Vegas: We were enchanted by the wine angels in the Aureole restaurant at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. These angels work inside the restaurant’s chilled, 42-foot-tall wine tower made of laminated glass. They wear black catsuits and harnesses and flutter from one wine bottle to another to retrieve the bottles that customers request.
And then we found the local H&M and ran through the store pulling jeans and hats off the rack before it closed.
Lisa Marie: Honestly, one night in Vegas is all I need. Good thing, cuz that’s all we got. A city with an H&M is a city worth visiting. Get it while you can because there’s no online H&M shopping in the United States. Speaking of get it, Kelly grooved it in Vegas for her public-speaking gig. It’s fun to be a corporate traveler and watch sassy girls speak at conventions, especially when they’re yours.
Kelly: We took the corporate traveler far … all the way to the Philippines, where we felt the guilty pleasure of the bourgeoisie while staying at the elegant and hip Makati Shangri-La Hotel in Manila. We rode in the local jeepneys, ate hot Indian food, traveled by car through privately owned highways and rice paddies, visited Mount Mayon, which is now erupting, and received the deepest, hardest, longest massages on Earth. It’s a massage society, and we did as the Romans do, spending all day at the baths.
Lisa Marie: And very authentic with the lovely women bathing in a shared bath, with a large movie screen playing American movies from the ’90s. During our massage, I looked over to the table next to me to see Kelly launched in the air in a crescent shape and balancing on her therapist’s limbs. The next second, I found myself in the same position and loving every moment of it.
The Philippines trip is definitely at the top of my list. I screened my documentary the same, but different, which explores the various life roles of four transgender people, at the University of the Philippines. We were fortunate to have Hender, my sexy, clever, multi-lingual and transgender hostess give us a tour of local Manila, from street food (chicken intestines on a stick) to skinny jeans to the Makati red light district.
Kelly: Did I mention the massage of my life? Oh, you thought I was talking about the Philippines massage, which was incredibly amazing, painful, and frightening all at the same time. Who wouldn’t feel that way about a 90-pound Filipina woman hoisting your entire body, like a bag of rice, into the air with her feet? Sure, that’s fun, but what I’m really talking about is the amazing massage Lisa gave me in her studio for Valentine’s Day.
I admit … I was nervous. Her studio was minimal: just a massage table setup in an old, dark-wood Kansas City office building in the West Bottoms. I gazed at the art on her walls — a few large art pieces constructed around the theme of broken bones. The only light in the room was a few beams softly sifting through the blinds. It was dark. The energy in the room clearly centered around the massage table and Lisa. Without any hesitation, I did everything she asked me to do. Diligently. What followed was a set of methodical touches, slow and deep moves, and subtle adjustments. Over the sheet. Under the sheet. I let her do everything that was on her mind.
Lisa Marie: Ahem, well I’m blushing. Now that I’m a retired professional massage therapist, I can get my romantic on a bit more in the massage arena. As should we all!
Another body treatment that you have to search for the romantic in is the Master Cleanse, a 10-day fast that don’t go so fast, you know what I’m saying? You may drink a lemon-maple syrup-cayenne-and-water concoction to your heart’s content, but may no food enter thy mouth. You may also indulge in peppermint tea. Not only do you awake and think, “Ugh, no food today,” you also awake to a warm quart of saltwater in the morning for your saltwater flush to keep things a-movin’. That’s the gist of the process, and it’s awesome for you as you detoxify and break habits.
Now, how we made it sexy? You bide your time with the other’s bodice. Rav-ish, baby. We took long, hot baths and ate slushies and popsicles made from our lemonade concoctions. It’s a major accomplishment, and you feel proud and confident in completing the task. We each dropped about 10 pounds and felt a bit more bootylicious in and out of our jeans.
We’ve found that eating vegan maintains a bootylicious figure. While on vacation, we veer from vegan but not far. In the KC ’hood, we enjoy a few places to entice our cravings such as our latest find, The Foundry, with their out-of-this-world vegan pizza and other options. I will say this — all good restaurants should have a vegan option listed outright on the menu in this day and age.
Kelly: One of my friends told me, “You and Lisa, you guys always do things that require helmets.” True. Like GoCars in San Diego, electric vehicles with automated guide systems that chauffeured us through downtown, giving us historical tidbits about the city. The best part was that we could stop and park, and run into a restaurant or store.
Another helmet moment: tandem biking through Napa Valley, riding from one amazing winery to another, in the spring sun, our skin warmed and the chardonnay chilled. We stayed at the Chateau de Vie B&B, gay-owned and exquisite all-around, with the most amazing boutique wine on-site. Oh yeah, there are more helmet events: kayaking in La Jolla, Calif., where we chased down migrating whales; Segway riding at Union Station, which resulted in an unfortunate arm injury; and wakeboarding at the Camsur Watersports Complex in the Philippines, where we were slung around a manmade lake at high speed on our knees, dodging steep ramps and other debris (mainly billabong-outfitted tourists like ourselves).
Lisa Marie: We’re rough and tough and enjoy a good ride. Life is full of adventure!
Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.
— Andy Warhol
Kelly: KC is chock-full of great artists who fill local spaces with their fantastic pieces. What I’ve found is that the coolest and smartest gallery owners tend to attract the best artists in town. Night parties, hip and unusual music, food, drink, smart conversation, warm patios or plush seating all tend to foster the idea that art = congregation and love. You need to spend time in the space surrounded by art and artist to understand art appreciation. It’s a physical experience. And it’s good business.
Tom Deatherage of the Late Show, Apryl McAnerney of Slap & Tickle, and Jody Wilkins of Pi Gallery all understand this. They live their galleries. Each gallery, housed in questionably renovated Kansas City buildings in the Crossroads art district, has its own energy and themes. Pi is fun and open, with a great patio view to the outdoor Crossroads music stage. Inside, there is an old cigarette machine transformed into an art-dispensing contraption where small art drops out for a few dollars.
Lisa Marie: Pi also offers coffee and tasty treats, and makes for a cool dining experience. Owning and running a gallery ain’t easy, folks. It takes love. And Jody loves us.
Kelly: The Late Show is hard and driven and masculine, like its owner, Deatherage. Art pieces are stacked against the walls. Security tape and lights block off specific work areas for Tom. Every inch of the upstairs space is covered in art. Artists love showing their work at Tom’s, not only because the space is cool and he moves the art fast into the hands of buyers, but also because his opening night parties are a blast and usually standing room only.
Lisa Marie: I love Tom, and everything he touches turns into art. Even the pretty boys. He’s a Kansas City art warrior, but better known as art daddy. His character adds the cool to KC, people. Stay close and he may rub off on you.
Kelly: Slap & Tickle also has its own thing going on. McAnerney’s space is like walking into a big toy box: cosmic, plush and filled with odd characters.
Lisa Marie: Apryl is always the hostess to sexy art and music events in her space, dressing the part and playing up its name. If you see a foxy, dred-headed girl in a mini-skirt and boots, tell the gallery owner to keep on and keep it real.
These gallery owners make the job seem glamorous, but keep in mind it is a j-o-b. We should all be mindful of how we can support these gems to keep them alive and well. It’s a group effort, for those of you into the group thing.
Art of Dining
Kelly: Along with adapting to veganism, the art of dinner parties is a newfound love from this past year. You learn quickly that vegan does not go well with restaurants, unless you like hummus and couscous on a regular basis. For this social being, this was a gap that had to be bridged, and bridged it was by carefully constructing our own social mélange of friends. The parties are casual, but the menus are well-constructed. All guests are asked to participate in the dinner in one way or another via a dinner theme. Of course, the success of this really depends on whom you are inviting. At one party we had the following attendees: a zoo keeper, personal trainer, political studies professor, die-hard renaissance festival attendee, a local chef, and of course, your favorites, a lovely filmmaker and art collector. A perfect ensemble!
Lisa Marie: The food is not the only area with a recipe, my good folks. I enjoy experimenting with a combination of personalities and good energies as well. This is what makes fine dining.
Kelly: Themes can range from wearing something red along with a story, to preparing a “top chef” dish, which was created through a lottery pull from regions, colors, and courses.
Lisa Marie: Tell us how much you enjoy our article and we may invite you over as well!
Lisa Marie Evans is a local filmmaker and artist, and Kelly Reed is a creative writer and art collector. Together they enjoy the sexy, finer things in life, such as travel, food, art, adventure and women. In their column, Lisa Marie and Kelly wish to share with the LGBT community what they find out about the ways to enjoy and appreciate life.