Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I'm back! Yeah, I know: It's been, what, nearly three months since I last blogged. I appreciate the numerous emails that went from kind to prodding to bitchy to, "Umm, are you dead?"

Not dead, really, but Zombie-esque. Between the holidays (Gary and I suffer from what I term "gay guilt" and must celebrate every holiday at least TWICE, once with my family, once with his, sometimes with friends) and a recent boating trip to the keys with my family (more on that later, including some amazing dolphin video and some amazing footage of me laying out), I have been working my a-hole off completing edits to, finalizing my tour for, and promoting my upcoming memoir, IT'S ALL RELATIVE, as well as completing edits to my hilarious dog anthology, I'M NOT THE BIGGEST BITCH IN THIS RELATIONSHIP! (out November 1 from NAL; proceeds to benefit the Humane Society). In addition, I've been writing two columns a month, working on my next memoir and my first novel (yeah, you heard me), and obsessing over old oldest mutt, Marge, who is now a miraculous 13 /12 but, sadly, battling kidney disease. She's doing OK, actually better than I am ... at least she can hold her urine. But, please keep the old gal in your thoughts and prayers.

I've also been revamping my web site, which now features a new addition and mega, yearlong contest/giveaway:


Since my upcoming memoir is all about the yearly celebrations that bring out the very best and worst in our nearest and dearest, and also features some truly disturbing holiday photos of me, Gary and the entire Rouse House, I felt it was only just to also invite you, dear reader and fan, into our House of Horrors.

So, since you're obviously reading this right now, go back to the home page when you finish and click on the Horrible Holiday Photos link that appears just above the rotating Rouses. That will take you to a Tumblr page, where you can WIN HUGE PRIZES (including my books, some of my best friends' -- who just happen to be mammoth, NYT bestselling authors -- books, as well as holiday-themed prizes tied to each month!).

Below is the 4-1-1 about the site (... and, whenever, I hear or say 4-1-1, I have to sing, "Andy Cohen's got the 411 ... ", which is the Bravo TV Clubhouse WATCH WHAT HAPPENS! theme song) ... We'll be posting the deets on FB, Twitter (not Myspace, though, because, well, I'M NOT 12!) ... so, post your best and worst holiday photos and stories (they must parallel the holidays found in IT'S ALL RELATIVE, as well as the particular month we happen to be living in), and you could win. A panel of huge names will judge!

So, here's the deets from the Tumble site ... enter ... laugh ... cry ... and, maybe, even win!

About Horrible Holiday Photos

How Come the Only Thing My Family Tree Ever Grows Is Nuts?

That’s the question my new memoir, It’s All Relative: Two Families, Three Dogs, 34 Holidays and 50 Boxes of Wine, attempts to answer, and the question we all ask ourselves, no matter the holiday. It’s All Relative celebrates the yearly celebrations that bring out the very best and worst in my nearest and dearest.

And, the one thing my family gifted me with — in addition to the ability to laugh at myself — was dysfunction. For instance:

VALENTINE’S DAY: I’m what I like to term a “practical romantic,” which is why my first V-Day with my partner, Gary, I presented him with a three-pack of Hane’s underwear over a romantic dinner. He stormed out of the restaurant. To applause.

EASTER: My father, the engineer, buried our eggs.

HALLOWEEN: My mother once dressed me up as a Ubangi tribesman — in blackface and carrying a pillow case — in the rural Ozarks, because she had just become a National Geographic aficionado and wanted to use me to demonstrate her knowledge of international affairs/culture to our community.

The book even celebrates non-traditional holidays, like National Pez Collectors Convention (I collect Pez) and Barbie’s b-day (Gary believes Barbie is his baby).

We’ll be posting Horrible Holiday Photos of our happy hellidays throughout the year … AND I WANT YOU TO BE PART OF THE PAIN, TOO, BY SENDING US YOUR HORRIBLE HOLIDAY PHOTOS AND STORIES! Every month for the next year, my team of drunken elves and I will pick out two winners every month and give away signed copies of my bestselling memoir and the Today Show Must-Read At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream as well as signed books from surprise, huge bestselling authors (INCLUDING BESTSELLERS JEN LANCASTER AND SARAH PEKKANEN) PLUS PLUS PLUS special holiday gifts that correspond to the helliday of the moment (be it Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s or 4th of July!).

What we want is either:

Your worst, hideous, awful, drunken, dysfunctional holiday story OR photo,
Or, your best, most touching, loving, sentimental holiday story OR photo
The stories MUST coincide with the current month and its holidays, as well as those holidays detailed in It’s All Relative (i.e., for Febuary, send us stories about Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, or Oscar Night, and we’ll post all entries on this web site that aren’t too deplorable, disgusting, or disturbing (OK, we’ll post those, too), and then pick TWO winners (a best and a worst holiday story/photo), which I’ll announce the last day of every month.

The goal is to make this a viral site, similar to Awkward Family Photos but for the holidays.

Start writing, or searching for that perfect (or better yet, perfectly awful) photo and submit it. Good lucky, happy hellidays, and may your jingle balls never get itchy!