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A lifestyle blog by Alan Pierce on The Whole 9


Oftentimes, I am baffled by the spewing of morality by people who have clearly forgotten how long I’ve known them.


I think it’s more that they’re trying to convince themselves than anything else… not that I speak from experience or anything…

I wonder at the distance between me and some of the people I’ve known the longest, grown up with…and since grown apart. I’m not sure if they’ve taken the road out from the middle, or if I have. I’ve never thought much differently than where I am today, and thanks to my parents I’ve always come to decisions and assessments on my own. Alas, the gulf has grown…but I will continue to love them (friends) for how I remember them.

A thought…

I love the comedians I’ve been hanging out with for the last four or five years, but seriously, I need to hang out with some people that aren’t quite so sensitive…like teenage girls or burn victims.




This morning, the Fever Jones and I slept in. He made the dish for Thanksgiving in the valley and I played on the computer and with Pandora. My friends on Facebook, however, were feeding the poor.

I’m thankful for my family, loving friends and the Fever Jones. I’m also thankful for my friends who took care of the poor while I relaxed at home under the chandelier…all that time on my feet would’ve killed my back.


You are funny Alan. As long as we all do something, that’s all that matters and your droll humor can’t hide that you do :-) Hope you and the Fever had a happy one.

Ten Years Ago Today

I had gotten up and showered at my then boyfriend’s house and was getting ready for work. I turned on the television and couldn’t quite figure out why my usual news station was playing what appeared to be a Bruce Willis movie. It took so long to understand what was really going on.


My new “mystery” job is at Outfest – a 29 year old LGBTQ Film Festival. As a Volunteer Coordinator (I’m not the volunteer, I’m coordinating the volunteers). It’s one of those jobs I always thought I’d be good at: collecting people, getting to know them, and giving them duties. Much like my old job (except all of the people actually WANT to be there) and much like my social life (I ASSUME they want to be there as well).

[insert insightful blog here - because I've tried and tried and don't appear to be very clever now that I'm working]

So here’s what I need: Volunteers. Hundreds of volunteers. I need people to usher, to work parties, to help filmmakers and sponsors find their seats and direct them to the next event. I need volunteers to CALL volunteers to make sure they show up. I need good, reliable people to surround me and make things run smoothly.

Go here, look over our shifts, and meet some great people in the process:

And come SEE the movies. I’ve been taking them home and they’re FANTASTIC movies.

About Outfest:

Outfest protects our past, showcases our present and nurtures our future by fostering artistic expression of gender, sexuality and LGBTQ culture and its transformative social impact on the world.
Protecting Our Past. Showcasing Our Present. Nurturing Our Future.

Outfest is the leading organization showcasing, nurturing and preserving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender film images and artistry. For 29 years Outfest has led the charge, spotlighting emerging talent, creating community between filmmakers and audiences and offering a world-class forum for stories that reflect and often transform LGBT lives.

Since its founding in 1982, Outfest has showcased over 4,500 films for audiences well over half a million people. Our festivals, year-round screening series and special events bring together film lovers, innovative artists, celebrities, entertainment industry professionals … and some of the hottest parties around!

Outfest is also the only nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that the extensive but threatened LGBT film heritage is preserved. Since the beginning of the struggle for LGBT equality, visionary filmmakers have recorded their lives, challenges and triumphs on film. Outfest is committed to saving, preserving and providing access to that precious, affirming heritage for generations to come.

Outfest is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Laying the groundwork for our next quarter-century as an LGBT institution, Outfest proudly presents a range of annual programs spanning art, film and culture:

Outfest: The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
The oldest continuous film festival in Los Angeles.

Fusion: The Los Angeles LGBT People of Color Film Festival
The only multi-cultural, gender-inclusive People of Color film festival.

Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation
The first film preservation program in the world dedicated to saving and protecting LGBT films.

Access LA
Nurturing emerging filmmakers by forging connections with established industry professionals including the Outfest Screenwriting Lab.



woo hoo!! I will be at Outfest with bells on this coming weekend.

The Passion

The Passion (said like it would sound if Snooki said it. [i.e. you have to construe your face into a grimace that looks like you bit into a green persimmon to say it right]).

I had been searching for a job and, in conjunction, searching for my “passion”. In the process of this search, I’d been attending a meditation and writing workshop called “Comedy Karma” led by a wildly talented Sarah Taylor. These evening workshops include 3 meditations of varying lengths with two writing sessions in between. The writing sections are given a beginning by Sarah, and then the writer writes constantly – never stopping regardless of the direction the writing takes until a set time has been reached. This assignment was started with: “What I don’t know about myself is…”.

Setting the scene, imagine me and seven other people sprawled across a living room in a house on a busy corner with a lot of windows. The five minute meditation left us looking like the Jonestown Peoples Temple to anyone looking in the window and afterwards I noticed that three bleary eyed people looked like they’d been roughly awakened from a two hour nap. We took up our pens, and I wrote:

“What I don’t know about myself is… What is my ‘passion’? Of course I just spent the last writing session talking about that, but seriously, it’s getting a little embarrassing looking at people with a completely blank stare when they ask what my passion is. That, by the way, is one of those sentences I used to snicker about when I would hear it. ‘What is your passion?’ And now I understand there is a problem. Does everyone else have an answer for that? ‘Pearly White’ and ‘Croakie Roberts’ over there have cute socks on. I think I’m going to have to get cute socks – maybe something with a puff on them. ‘Purple Scarf’ has tiny little breasts that she’s delighted with. That’s nice. So, I like to meet and collect people. Is that a passion? I also like to drink wine and judge people – how’s that on the passion list? Now we’re back to Shawn Pelofsky’s idea of the two of us having a show where we criticized strangers when they passed us in the lobby of a casino. ‘The Queens of Mean’. Perhaps I should’ve said ‘critiqued’ instead of ‘criticized’. What am I going to do tomorrow? Yoga at 11 and hiking with Tammy Jo at 1pm? Perhaps. Passion. Drat. I hope the passion vine survives the trauma – I really want to see that growing in the garden soon. Some jackass walking by and whistling – is that his passion? Walking and whistling? That might be lamer than not having a passion.”

Let me first point out that the people I’ve mentioned in the assignment are people that are sitting around me for the most part. Instead of writing something inane like “I don’t know what to write, whatever shall I write” eighteen times until I finally think of something to write about, I start looking around the room at my “classmates”. Let me also point out that I’ve changed the names of everyone that was in the room. Apparently comedians are far too sensitive to listen to my “critiques”.

As a side note, what kind of horrible person must I be if COMEDIANS are sensitive around me? Seriously? Most of them just become comedians in an attempt to make sense of the daily heckling. I must be a monster.

I should also point out that I still haven’t found my passion, though at the last networking meeting I went to, I sipped wine and told people I took pictures of the ill-dressed and wrote bad things about them. Apparently they thought I was trying to read my cellphone’s screen when I took their pictures and posted them on Facebook.  I would’ve thought the flash would’ve given me away.

All this being said, I DO have a job at the moment and I’ll be telling you ALL about it very, very shortly. Cuz it’s going to take a village.


I just saw this post! I love your class writings. You are so talented.

I know here you’re poking fun at it all and I also know you already get this, because you are a wise man: yes comedians are sensitive! Ever wonder why so many of them commit suicide? Gulp. And you are SO not a horrible person. Horribly funny, yes!

You are great at poking fun at and making fun of people. And now you’re just getting skillful at knowing when and how to do this. Like…if you’re in a room full of people who enjoy a safe place to get vulnerable and creatively bare their soul ;)

This writing exercise has helped so many people go beyond what their “go-to” habit is when they write; to push past it and write about things they maybe don’t ever let themselves write about or had no idea was lurking underneath. People emerge from meditation more open, vulnerable and in greater touch with themselves. It’s a tender place, but one from which we can create amazingly personal, funny and even touching writing.

So who knows…maybe in the next Comedy Karma class, you’ll write right past the urge to focus on others and focus on yourself and write about your passion. Or your search for it. When you go beyond your “go-to” Alanisms, I always see glimmers of personal, risk-taking, soul baring brilliance!


“I have never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.”

~ Mark Twain

The Lady, Gaga

What I knew about Lady Gaga wouldn’t have filled a thimble: she came to some awards ceremony in an egg, Pokerface, and crazy costumes. But when my tart Brooke K. offered me a chance to go to her concert, of course I was in. VIP tickets meant hopefully I wouldn’t be standing amongst the masses. And it would give me a chance to get out of the house so Fever Jones could have a little downtime – remember, since my unfortunate unemployment it’s been all Alan, all the time at home. The poor thing needs a break.

I had never been to a show at Staples, but I knew to take the train, and when we arrived the area didn’t look TOO crazy – A loud outfit here, something a bit out of place there. Hair wrapped around a soda can…things like that. And then we got to “Will Call” and the line into the center. It was a total freak show…and not just kids. I saw 70 year old women dressed up in crazy outfits and garish makeup. I couldn’t stop looking. And inside was even more condense crazy. I was truly in heaven.

We got inside and bought a drink (basically they painted a layer of vodka on the bottom of a cup and added soda to the top – NEVER buy booze at Staples) and sat down and watched. There were masses of people in the general admission standing-room-only area. It looked like hell in ultraviolet. It turned out that it was also Lady Gaga’s 25th birthday, so all the lights we were looking down at were LED birthday tiaras. I still kind of want one.

The opening act was the Scissor Sisters. A dear friend, Flower, introduced me to them several years ago and oh-sweet-jesus that Jake Shears gets NOTHING but hotter. They’re an excellent, high-energy opener for a show like Lady Gaga, and by the end of their performance he has stripped down to a thong and has sweat running down every taut musc…um, I digress. I love Ana Matronic, she’s got a great voice and a definite style. “’Spawned by the scuzzy, gay nightlife scene of New York’ they took their name from a sexual position between two women also known as tribadism”. That makes me giggle.

Lady Gaga was late to the party. About 30 minutes, I think (Though saying that out loud makes me think of that horrid Kim Zlociak and her ricockulous song “Tardy to the Party” and I’m oh SO glad I never have to hear THAT again). Again, however, the people-watching was TOTALLY worth the wait. EVERY age group was represented at this concert. I saw 10 year olds and 80 year olds and they were ALL delighted to be there. There were zombies, people in “caution” tape, men and women in various shades of drag – my people were everywhere and I thought, “of course, every gay loves a fad”. But then the concert began and I understood.

Lady Gaga is a show woman, and a fantastic time. She’s a good girl, with a lovely message. She’s doing remarkable thing like coupling with Virgin Mobile and raising money and volunteers for homeless youth. She’s advocating for full equality for gays and lesbians, she’s teaching people that THEY are worthwhile, regardless of their insecurities. And I love that she admits to bad days: “When I wake up in the morning, I feel just like any other insecure 24-year-old girl,” she says. “Then I say, ‘Bitch, you’re Lady Gaga, you get up and walk the walk today.’” This show has a good rhythm, a story, a message, a progression and the entire trip is her amazing voice, dancing, lights, and musicians. And she makes sure that you know, she has never lip-synched; not at the concert, not on tv…and that she knows people pay too much money to receive that kind of treatment.

The show was better than Madonna. Though it has made me need to go back to listen to the Madonna on my iPod.

While I’ve been sitting here writing this article, several news stories have crossed my screen. Such as the assbags in the Indiana Senate voting one step closer to banning gay marriage and civil unions. BTW – Equality for gays is going to happen. We ARE going to get married. Right now, the only question is, will it be your children or your grandchildren who look at you in horror when they hear of the discrimination that happened on your watch.


Brilliant as always, Alan. Is the “We ARE going to get married” an announcement? Oh, I hope so as I do love me some Fever Jones. xoxo

Were you the one with the huge antlers and string of blue lights hanging off them? If I had known you were there I would have shouted out to you. Absolutely, everything you said is true, but it was past my bedtime when she finally started at 1000 PM, but worth it.

Awesome as always….

You da man Alan! lol

Ugh, after reading her interview in Vogue I dislike her more. I’m not against her wacky public persona, but she needs to stop being so overexposed.

I love this post! The pictures are insane. Butt-less chaps and a fierce mohawk. Of course!

Your last paragraph gave me chills. So true. It WILL happen.

Snow Day

Snow Day

As I sit in my home in Los Angeles, all the doors and windows open letting in a gentle breeze and the scent of flowers I planted only yesterday, the news is showing Chicago and the rest of the Midwest under snow. And I’m an ass on the Facebook, posting pictures of walks along the beach and hike into nearby canyons.

The truth is that I miss the seasons and, especially, snow days. Huddled inside with a good book and a fireplace, the snow filling every window – these are good memories of that small amount of time before cell phones and computers. I always had the kitchen stocked with goodies (because you know I always feed a cold AND a flu), candles lit around the house, and was cozy despite the wind howling at the widows. Of course when I got to Chicago it was all about braving the elements to get to the best friend’s place so we could be snowed in together.

I do, however, remember the other side of it. I remember the snow days of my childhood in Kansas. There was the fireplace and the snow, but there was also the chore of it all. Good times hauling wood in from the pasture, breaking the ice in the trough so the horses could drink, and going around to rental properties to make sure their pipes hadn’t frozen. There was the pharmacy and getting medications to the people that had run out or needed something for any little ailment and Dad always tried to make sure the restaurant was open and running for the truckers and farmers needing coffee and breakfast.

As I sit in my home in Los Angeles, all the doors and windows open, I think that snow days are best when you travel to them. I’ll remain here in my little community (which, interestingly, has the same population as my hometown) in my big city , where everything seems so like a resort. I’ll read a little, write a little, wander off to lunch. If I need snow I’ll drive the hour and a half to a mountain. Chances are, however, that I’ll go the short distance to the ocean instead. Perhaps I’ll go skiing in a couple of weeks.

Be safe everyone. Stay indoors where it’s warm. I’m going to a hike.


Lovely. I just got around to catching up on the blogs.
I too come from a 4 season climate. I miss the quiet of the snow in the early morning hours. The glistening in the moonlight quiet walks. I, however, love it here in So. Cal. I no longer can shovel 5 feet of snow without consequences to my body. I visit the snow and enjoy our repose then back to basking in this golden state I’ve come to call home.