Friday, December 16, 2005

And When They Go...They Let Ya Know

First, just want to tell everyone that I watched a movie on cable (Showtime on demand) that blew me away. It’s called “Speak”, and it’s about a teenage girl who gets raped at a party at the start of high school and subsequently shuts down socially. I am lucky that I never went through that particular experience but the movie expresses the isolation that comes with being a teenage social outcast better than most I’ve seen. “Welcome to the Dollhouse” almost got it, but it was too harsh and satirical. This movie summed up the first half of my own junior high/high school years almost exactly, even right down to art being the only outlet and the one teacher that sort of gets it, but still can’t make things better for you. I felt like I was watching my own life but I have a feeling that many others have had similar experiences and will be able to connect.

So people have been sending me emails asking me about Johnny Thunders and in my estimation he is most definitely blogworthy. I am not an expert by any means, but here is the sum total of my Johnny Thunders experience:

I loved the Dolls as a teenager (of course) and my favorite was always Johnny. He was just the coolest to me with his teased black hair and sharp taste in clothing. I just loved the way his voice rang out in, “Traa-aaaash”, you could always recognize it right away. Then just as I was discovering the Dolls, LAMF came out, and that blew me away as well. I was in remote Michigan and young enough not to understand the whole junkie thing, I knew it meant they were addicted to heroin, but I had never seen it up close so it seemed glamorous to me. And they sounded cool as hell, Johnny’s nasal voice cut through all the lame bullshit of my high school life, straight to the heart of rock and roll, the only important thing in existence anyway. I cut photos of Johnny out of magazines and posted them in my locker while everyone else had photos of John Travolta and Olivia Newton John. Then So Alone came out it and was also given a starring role on the musical roster, where it has remained to this day.

When I got to NYC I met Sonda Weber, a native New Yorker and a brilliant rock and roll clothing designer. She made custom leather pants for all the cool, cute guys and sold her beautiful velvet tops and dresses in Enz on St. Mark's Place. Sonda was a short, chubby little firecracker with bright red hair and a sarcastic, wisecracking sense of humor. She hated that I was constantly picking up the boys she liked and designed for, but she was very funny and cool about it. When I got engaged to Slam Thunderhide from Zodiac Mindwarp (spur of the moment, for about two minutes, another blog some other time) she cracked like Mae West and said, “Finally, someone’s takin’ the bitch out of commission.” I loved her and was very sad when she moved to London years later after one of those idiots from the Black Crowes broke her heart. I never heard from her again and still wonder what she’s up to now.

Sonda sometimes designed clothing for Johnny and when he had a show at Irving she was invited to his hotel room beforehand. She knew I worshipped him and told me I could come along. I was thrilled, of course. I couldn’t believe I was actually going to hang out with Johnny Thunders! I planned my outfit very carefully and according to what I thought he would think was cool. At the time I didn’t understand that guys don’t want women to wear cool clothes, they want them to look pretty. So I was dressing exactly like the men I worshipped and I chose a pair of leather pants that Sonda had made for me, black with fringe down the sides, very Michael Monroe. On top I wore a t-shirt and old tuxedo jacket with tails, along with one of those flat on top, wide-brimmed western hats that everyone wore in the ‘80’s. I felt that this was an ensemble worthy of meeting the great JT.

So Sonda and I trekked through the cold to the Gramercy Park Hotel and took the elevator up to his room. I felt so glamorous, my first time in a hotel on my way to meet a rock star. She knocked on the door and after a moment of muffled thumping and shuffling Johnny opened the door and leaned on it, a little wobbly. He was wearing black leather pants and a tuxedo jacket. On the dresser behind him was a hat like mine. He looked me up and down slowly and said, “Ehhhhh…nice outfit.” Sonda snorted gleefully, I cringed...We spent the next two hours watching him and some very skeezy Noo Yawk type guy freebase with a miniature blowtorch while he tried on different jackets and shirts. This was before crack had been invented and I was so naïve that I didn’t quite understand exactly what they were doing, but I knew it couldn't be very healthy. The room smelled of burning chemicals and in between puffs Johnny would open the window, throw his head out, and hack into the cold air like he was dying. Eventually Sonda and I got bored and left for Irving Plaza. The show sucked of course, he was far too wrecked to perform properly, but it didn’t dampen my regard for him.

A couple years later I met Kim Montenegro, also a brilliant clothing designer. I was modeling for Tripp/Trash and Vaudeville at a boutique show at the Javits Center and she had her own booth across the aisle featuring her crazy lift and separate zip up the butt pants, which became my uniform for the next five years. She thinks they are mortifying now, but I still believe they are one of the most brilliant pant designs created in the 20th Century--like a brassiere for your ass. In any case, it was love at first sight, I thought she was just the coolest person I’d ever seen. Twenty years later and I still think she is.

So we immediately became the best of friends, and since Kim lived in Philly, she would come and stay with me in NY a lot. I got a Pomeranian because I loved her Pomeranian and we would ride through the EV in her ’56 Buick, waving at friends and chain-smoking, wearing high heels and butt pants with our little dogs yapping out the windows. We were ridiculous but we thought we were the coolest.

Kim would sometimes rent a suite at the Gramercy to show her clothes, and on one occasion instead of selling she got totally high with Cheetah Chrome and his girlfriend in the bedroom while I got really drunk and made out with some random guy I didn’t know on the living room floor. Finally we threw everyone out, fixed our faces and got out of the room and into the elevator to go out for the night. When the elevator doors opened I tripped and fell, WHAM, face first into the lobby. She laughed and laughed, hysterical and itchy, while I laid there, also laughing, as horrified hotel guests stared at us. Good times, people, good times.

Anyway, digressing as usual…Kim had dated Johnny when she was just a teenager, and continued to make clothes for him. They were friends up until his death, and if you want to see more photos of them together she’s in my friend list, but please don't hound her too much. On one of her trips to NY she said, “I’m having lunch w/Johnny, wanna come?” Well, of course I did! So I met her at an outdoor café and we had a fairly uneventful meal with Johnny Thunders. He was very sweet and they talked about old friends and what they were doing. At this point in time he was well damaged by drugs, his skin had that pasty junkie pallor and he looked like an old man. He spoke with that high-pitched whine that people get after years of being high. But it was still lunch with Johnny Thunders and I was happy to just be a part of the equation.

A couple of days later Kim called me and said, “So, Johnny wants to go out with you. I hope you don’t mind, I gave him your number.” I shrieked, “You did what??” I mean, I worshipped the guy, but he was a total mess and a gazillion years older than me! Sexual attraction was unthinkable. How would I get out of this?

I was totally freaked out and every time my phone rang I jumped. But a few days went by and he didn’t call, so I relaxed, thinking he must have changed his mind. Then, of course, as it always does when you don’t want it to, and never does when you want it to, the phone rang. My sister picked it up, said hello and handed it to me:

Me: Hello?
Man w/heavy NY accent: Raffaele. It’s Jahnny…Jahnny Thundahs.

(I put the phone against my chest and mouthed the words, “It’s fucking Johnny Thunders!!!” My sister looked at me blankly. She is notoriously uninterested in good music or rock stars and just wanted to use the phone.)

Me: Um…Hi Johnny.
Johnny: So, hey, it was nice to see you again the other day.
Me: Yeah, totally...
Johnny: I was thinking…maybe we could go onna date. Ya wanna go on a date?
Me (frantically running through excuses in my head): Well…thanks, Johnny, that’s so nice, really…um…but I have a boyfriend.
Johnny: Oh, that’s too bad. It’s probably one of those heavy metal guys, isn’t it?
Me (feeling like crap for lying): Uh, yeah…it is.
Johnny: Yeah...I hate those heavy metal guys. But, that’s cool. Just thought I’d ask.
Me: Well, I’m very flattered.
Johnny: Okay, so I'll see you around.
Me: Yeah, definitely. Take care...
Johnny: Bye…
Me: Bye…

A few months after that I ran into him at a club on the West side, I can’t remember what the name of it was, it was a short-lived venture. There were bands playing and a lot of fun people were out that night. Kim and I hung out drinking and chatting with Johnny at the bar. Somehow I remember it that he was alone, but I don’t know how that could have been possible, I’m sure he must have had someone hanging around with him. He always seemed to have one druggie pal along, never an entourage.

Eventually Johnny was talked into getting onstage for some jamming, and I was shoved up there as well to sing backup. That’s where the picture on my photo page comes from. Unfortunately, the truth must be told that we never got through a song. He fucked around, starting and stopping tunes, and I am just not a real singer. I can’t even remember my own lyrics, let alone anyone else’s, and Johnny was in no frame of mind to walk me through it. So we goofed around and giggled at each other and eventually we hopped down and went back to the bar. At least that’s the way I remember it, and that’s how I came to obtain photos of me with Johnny Thunders on a stage.

And that was the last time I saw him. I did end up going on a tour of Canada as a backup singer with Sylvain, but I never ran into Johnny again and he died a few years later. Kim was very upset and I felt a great sadness. Throughout the years I had seen him play some really shitty shows, and I didn't know him very well. In retrospect I realize that I shouldn't have been so uptight and should have just gone on the damn date, if only for the great story. But I have never changed my opinion of him; to me he was always rock royalty, a great songwriter, a trailblazer, a sharp dresser, cooler than pretty much everyone on the planet, and a very sweet person. I consider myself blessed to have the minimal contact I did.


Convo on song possiblities...check out the Axl guy in the corner!

Kim, her leopard jumpsuit (had one of those too!), Johnny, and her car.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Why I Hate Straight People

And by that I don't mean heterosexuals, I'm talking about those mall-walking, mom-jean wearing, double-wide baby strollering, still think pink hair is craaaazy, normal types that make up the majority of our population.

I went out Christmas shopping today with a mild hangover brought on via a night out with my extra gay friend Paolo and the totally rocking Army of Darkness. I adore Paolo and always have the greatest time with him, even though we have nothing in common. He calls me Myrtle, I call him Prissy. He hates rock and roll and worships Madonna, she annoys the hell out of me, and we invariably spend our time together arguing about her no matter how hard I try to steer the conversation elsewhere. If we're not arguing about Madonna directly we're still arguing about his love of crap pop culture and my hatred for it. Somehow it works for us. And the AOD, well, they just rule.

I behaved like an absolute idiot last night after drinking a LOT of liquor, starting out with sake at an employee birthday dinner, then ouzo at Patricia Field's fabulous apartment, then lots of beer at 3 of Cups with the AOD. I capped off the night by throwing Paolo to the filthy bar floor (in a $1200 coat) and doing a flailing, grinding dance on my knees over him while "Burning Up" played. This morning he called me and said,
"Oh sweet Myrt, we are an embarrassment to heavy metal heteros and Chelsea faggots everywhere."

Um, yes, Prissy, indeed we are.

Anyway, so my head is a little tender today but I braved the cold weather and dutifully shopped, and stopped into Trash and Vaudeville. I havenï't been in there in a year or so and I find it comforting that it hasn' really changed in format in 20 years. And apparently, some other things never change as well. As I stood perusing the hooker boots and creepers I heard a commotion coming from the front of the store, loud laughter and the sound of chortling voices. It was a group of six or eight men and women, obviously couples, all over 35 or so, and all of them very overweight. They lumbered to the back of the store, picking up hangers and shouting, "Hey Judy, you should wear THIS tonight!! Hahahahahahahahaha"and "Hey, what are these, FRANKENSTEIN SHOES??"and "Oh my God, Dave, what is this thing?! Har, har, har!!"

You know the drill: apparently, even in 2005, even with the success of MTV, Hot Topic and the internet, they're still coming to town to places like Trash so they can foist their ignorance and ill manners on the freaks. This bunch was so obnoxious and irritating under hangover conditions that I was forced to run out, needing peace and feeling too infuriated at their incredibly boorish, uneducated, self-satisfied behavior to maintain silence for too long. Ugh. Why is there never a fire hose around when you need one? Why can't I perfect my mental power to make people bleed from their eyes and asses when I concentrate?

The other incident that is making me consider clinging to my own status as "other" is this one:

I had a friend in high school who was a very naive, sweet Texas country boy, who was madly in love with me and of course never got a moment's play because he was exactly the opposite of what I was looking for (and come to think of it, still is). But he was so nice that I just regularly deflected his advances and we remained pals even after I started dating his close friend. He moved back to Texas after high school and we have kept in touch on and off over the last couple of years via the internet, just brief updates, never any deep or inner conversations.

So he sends me an email wanting to know what I'm up to and I give him a brief synopsis and tell him if he's really interested he can look at my myspace page. Here is his response:

Thank you for your thoughts.  I did visit your site yesterday.  Colorful friends you have...

I didn't have time to read many of your blogs though.  I'll try to visit from time to time.  Seems as that many of your friends think the world of you.  No surprise there.
Do I detect an emptiness somewhere in your heart?

Grrr. Every fucking straight person from my past always gets around to this same presumptive, self-important question. It's so incredibly annoying. But as you can see he is very nice and so I swallowed the rage that came up to respond:

Emptiness? No way! I have been happier the last few years than I ever was in my life. No worries there.

And then the second part of it comes, and I should have seen it coming because the "there must be something wrong with you" question is almost always followed by this one:

So happy to hear that.  Don't mean to pry... just want for your happiness.  Neat how life somewhere along the way does get more rewarding.  It takes on a meaningfulness that we could not see as children.

I must ask... hope you will not mind.  I have reached a point where I am not afraid to broach the subject...

Do you know Jesus? I won't preach at you, but am available to talk if you so desire...

AAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!! Okay, now I feel totally sideswiped, and I'm really fucking pissed, and this is my answer:

Oh Lord. First the emptiness question, then the Jesus question? Is there some script out there in the Midwest and down South, meant to rescue us city folk from our evil and empty ways? Please, not you, too!

 I consider myself very spiritual and I am familiar with the teachings of many masters, including Jesus. I pray, I meditate, I try to follow his (and others) example, sometimes more successfully than others, of course. But please don't hit me with the born again thing. I know it's part of that particular belief to work to bring others in, but I don't believe in organized religion or straight Christian teaching and I really resent it when people try to force their religious beliefs on others. I think it's very invasive and completely arrogant. There are all kinds of valid ways to worship God.

That being said, I respect your right to believe whatever you want to.

I expected an apology but none has been forthcoming, and I have just been fuming about it ever since. I can't stop being mad. But I wondered, why am I feeling so defensive and angry? Why do I care what he thinks about my lifestyle or that he's dragging out the whole you need me to teach you the ways of Jesus thing, which btw, I swear to fucking God, nearly every "normal" friend or acquaintance that I have ever tried to be kind to and respond when they reached out, always fucking tries to foist on me after they work their way up to the whole emptiness bullshit! It's like, well gee, your life looks good--you still look attractive, had your 15 minutes of fame, traveled the world and met all kinds of cool people, all while I've been sitting in my barcalounger in the same town I grew up in, eating bacon and assuming I know all there is to know about the world... but surely there must be SOMETHING wrong with the way you are living. Surely there must be some hole that was meant to be filled with babies and the bible! You can't be having as much fun as you appear to have, because otherwise I may have to admit that my own life might not be as much of an adventure as I had once hoped it would be.

So after examining my anger to figure out where it came from, I reached the conclusion that what is pissing me off is not that I have once again been hit with this narrow kind of condescension. It's that I was hit with it by one of the people that I trusted enough let in to my world. Every time I give one of these people from my past a little inch they take their country mile and the result is that I end up feeling like I got duped into laying myself open for the attack when I was simply trying to be friendly and open-minded. I spent my whole childhood and teen years defending who I am to the world around me and at this point in time I am not at all interested in doing it again. That is why I've gone to great pains to set up my world so that the only people I see and converse with in an intimate manner are of the same ilk.

But does that mean I have to be close-minded and think that the only cool people on the planet are the ones with tattoos and bands or jobs as trance channelers or pet psychics? Maybe! I really don't want to be a big snob who thinks every normal person out there in rural and middle America is a mouth-breathing Bush fan. And I don't want to reject a possibly wonderful person because they appear too straight or lead a life unlike mine. But I see no other choice at the moment. I have no time or energy to expend on being annoyed by people I'm not close to anymore or tourists looking to feel better about their sorry lives by guffawing at platform shoes. Sometimes, like in the latter case, it may be unavoidable. But in my own personal life, I think the ranks will have to remain closed and bigoted for the time being-- liberals, new agers, faggots and freaks only, please. And I don't mean the Jesus kind, fuckers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Blue Pill or Red Pill

As most of you know, I work in Soho at Patricia Field, a New York institution which caters to the freaks, the faggots, the fashion forward, the total ho-bag, and the random tourist looking to shop in the store owned by the stylist for Sex and the City.

I love the store, I think it is one of the few holdouts in NYC’s ever-homogenizing landscape and continues to be a middle finger in the face of the yuppie dream that this city has become. Plus it’s just fun to work there, I love the flamboyant people I work with and I absolutely love being a lingerie buyer.

But—and there’s always a big but, Dottie—I am also straddling two places, the incredibly superficial, selfish, and vapid world of fashion, and the non-matrix world of spirit and true connection. I really felt it more than ever this morning as I walked through Soho on my way to work.

I love clothing and have tons of it. I also once loved fur, and have a large amount of that as well. My first memory ever is of looking down at my blue velvet and white rabbit fur coat, complete with rabbit fur muff and hat, and feeling like the most special little girl in the world. My mother really did it up in those days, and it’s stuck. So I’m constantly collecting new items from the store that I don’t really need. But a while ago I realized that fur is just a bummer and I can’t justify it to myself anymore. The pain and suffering involved in collecting it is too high a price in my estimation. So I made up my mind that I wouldn’t get rid of the fur I already have, but I’m not going to buy any more, even vintage.

Last year I got into a huge fight with the main buyer in the store because along with the title of Lingerie Buyer and Bookkeeper, I am also the Consignment Manager, and I decided not to carry any fur on consignment. It is only a small percentage of the store’s merchandise, and I feel that it’s not causing any harm to heed the larger obligation of the good of the Universe than to cater to the fur needs of our customers. But others feel differently, and when I refused to carry a very saleable hoodie with a fur lining that my co-worker’s friend made, it turned into an ugly brawl. I couldn’t get him to understand my point and behind my back he declared that he would carry more fur than ever in the store. So now we have fur bags and fur barrettes and fur shrugs and all kinds of crap made out of cheap Chinese skinned-alive rabbits and cats and dogs and whatever. Which doesn’t make me mad, it just makes me incredibly sad.

I’m not trying to villainize my co-worker. He’s been at the store far longer than me, and is a good person who embodies Pat’s vision for fashion more than I ever will. He just doesn’t get it, the same way almost everyone I work with doesn’t get it. When the discussion comes up (which is rare because I am sick of the fight) the hardcore fashionistas in the store just look at me like I have three heads. And I understand, because I’ve been there, I was asleep once, too. I didn’t understand that my choices affected others and I didn’t realize that we are all—people, animals, plants, earth, solar system—connected and that what harms one harms us all. Now I can’t see anything except that. But to many people I know, fashion is the beginning and the end, and there is simply no awareness that the fur comes from somewhere dark or that plastic goes to a landfill somewhere and just sits there, poisoning our air and water, never rotting.

Today I walked through Soho on my way to work and all I saw in the windows was greedy consumption and death. Of course, I saw a lot of stuff I wouldn’t mind owning as well, but even that depressed me. The ridiculous consumption of overpriced designer goods and the absolute disregard for how it’s made suddenly became incredibly clear to me. And the photos of models in the windows bummed me out equally, because they are a reminder that as well as being programmed to consume as much as possible and cause suffering in the process, we also are told to feel like shit about what we look like so we will keep feeling the need to purchase, collect, consume, discard. With all those fabulous items of clothing, we still don’t fit the bodily ideals pressed into our psyches all day long. But maybe, just maybe with one more pair of $1000 fur boots, we will be that much closer. And so the matrix continues to blind us with shiny objects and airbrushed faces.

It’s as if one minute I was standing in the illusion of a beautiful, golden palace and the next my vision cleared and I found I was actually standing in a hall of bones and sorrow.

 I realize this is all a bit dramatic, and there is a good chance hormones may be responsible. But these are the thoughts for this morning. Somehow during the course of my life I have morphed into a tree-hugger--a drunken, slutty one, but a tree-hugger nonetheless. And standing in the middle of my world today feels a little daunting.

Sigh. Perhaps I just need a nice cup of free trade decaf coffee with soy milk...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Kick in the Eye

Lord. Last night I went to Bauhaus, and it was such an evening, I felt I should share.

First, I have never been a rabid Bauhaus fan, though I do have two moments in my life that cemented an affection for them. I’m dating myself here, but whatever, most of you already know I’m ancient:

When I was a teenager my friends and I would drive five hours down to Detroit on weekends to see bands play. I came from the land that rock forgot and this was the closest that me and the other four cool people in my hometown could go for any kind of scene. We would usually crash on people's floors and hang out for the weekend drinking beer, going to gigs or parties, and listening to new records (yes, actual LP’s, my friends). I was in heaven, surrounded by musicians and punk rock types for the first time in my life, feeling like an adult choosing my own scene. 

So one of those times, first thing in the morning the drummer of this particular new wave band we were staying with (cannot remember the name!) put a Bauhaus LP on the turntable, and cranked it LOUD. I think the song was In the Flat Field. Everyone started yelling at him to turn it down, it was cacophonous and frightening, and I loved it! I hadn’t heard much like it before. Remember that this was before people were using the term “goth”. It was all just new music that spoke to our desire to wear black and congregate in seedy clubs with others wearing black, and the record sounded dark and hard in a way I hadn’t heard before.

Second, and around that same time, maybe a little later, I went to the drive-in (yes, LP’s and drive-ins in one blog) to see The Hunger. And of course that first scene blew my mind, with Bela Lugosi's Dead playing, the way the band looked, the tie-in with vampires, Bowie on film, well the whole thing just flipped me the fuck out. I was bouncing up and down in the car screaming. It was the real start of my serious goth-ness. I was already well into a depressed vampire thing but I thought it was my own idea. I dyed all my clothes black and sat around my basement "apartment" in my parents house writing journals about badly it sucked to live in Michigan. My mother would sigh and tell me I looked like a hooker in mourning (though she did like Bowie, and she thought Lux Interior sang like someone was shaking him the whole time, which really amused me). Anyway, this was well before the internet, purple yarn dreads and Hot Topic vinyl ruled the teenage angst landscape, so to be so cut off and then see these hot guys looking all vampirey and playing a rocking song about Bela Lugosi sent me completely over the edge.

Fast forward to now--I am grown up and will wear other colors, although my nickname at work is still "Dark Lady". I got a call from one of my very dear friends, we shall call her X for the purposes of this blog, to tell me that another one of our friends, Vicki, is working for and touring with the band and I should call her to get on the list. The first friend, Madame X, dated Daniel Ash on and off for years. She was my roommate and every once in a while I’d wake up to find him sitting in our living room. It was all very surreal. 

So I called Vicki and she told me to bring whoever I wanted, and I put on my favorite color and headed up to the Nokia Theatre with my good friend Mike. Mike is way cooler than me and doesn’t really enjoy these oldies shows I drag him to, but he is very tolerant and acts as my date when Drew can’t be there. The venue is great by the way—cordial, unobtrusive security, great sound system, giant, spotless bathrooms, cool photos of the Dolls and Debbie Harry and plenty of room to see the band.

Everyone had been telling me the show was great. But two songs into it and I was yawning. The band sounded tight and sharp and the light show was good, but the charisma was nonexistent. Peter Murphy looked like a cross between Hugh Hefner and Frank Langella as Dracula, albeit much more handsome. He is totally gray with a nice big bald patch in the back, which I can’t fault him for as we are all aging, but that combined with a purple smoking jacket was just a little too suave old dude for my taste. Daniel sported godawful platform moonboot raver shoes, and towards the end, a fuzzy 8th Street faux pimp hat. Not cute. 

But whatever, the real problem for me was simply no action on stage, no movement from anyone except Daniel, no speaking in between songs, nothing! Just a dry, professional run-through of the set list. BORING!! Lemmy told me once that all you have to do if you don’t want to dance is just walk around the stage—go to the front, head to the side, step back a few times, just move! Peter is obviously of a different head and felt that standing in one spot looking like a dandied version of someone’s dad was enough.

Okay, so whatever, I got in free, I like the music, a lot of my friends were there, and the crowd was cool. So we watch. About halfway through Mike and I realize that we can use our passes for the VIP balcony section, so we head up there for a beautiful view. I am standing, happily leaning on the railing and watching, when a small, weasely little man shows up and starts pressing into the same spot I’m standing in. I ignore him and continue to watch the show. Thirty seconds later someone from behind pushes me. I turn around, and behind weaselboy is an overweight Jersey semi-goth type, sitting on a stool and leaning back with an air of someone who probably does the door for some crappy bar in the middle of nowhere and as a result regularly behaves like he owns everything. The energy coming off of him is palpably offensive, and I look at him like “What the fuck?” and he says to me:

“You need to move. You took my friend’s place when he went to the bathroom.” 

HUH??? I am immediately hot with fury that this oaf first put his hands on me and now has the audacity to think he can tell me what to do. But what happens sometimes when I get really angry is I can’t articulate, so while I wanted to say,

“Listen, tinymeat, I didn’t realize that we were still saving spots like fifth grade girls. I do understand, however, that the only way you are ever able to touch an attractive woman is in this abusive, misogynist manner. But be forewarned that if you ever aspire to set another greasy hand on me again I will call every real man I know in the place, of which there are many, to kick your fat, lame, suburban, loser ass down the stairs.”

What actually came out was a lot of sputtering and asking him what the fuck his problem was. And then his weasely friend had the gall to say to me, “Why don’t you just enjoy the show.”

FUME, RAGE, FUME!!! But I didn’t want to cause a scene and I knew if I got Mike involved it would be bad, so I stayed in my spot, turned around and worked on letting it go, which was VERY hard. I am still sending them balls of rage energy today and I hope that fat fuck has a crappy life.

Grrr…okay, so I do some yoga breaths and we watch the show and wait patiently for  the encore, which of course will be Bela Lugosi’s Dead. The band actually puts some kind of SPORTS JERSEY on the bass drum during the encore of Telegram Sam and Ziggy Stardust. Are you kidding me? 

And then the lights are up, band is off, time to go home, NO BELA! Again, WTF?!? I understand that they’re probably sick to death of playing it, but please! Now I really think the show sucked. But I am a positive person and there’s still the afterparty where I can see Vicki and maybe have a little fun.

Alas, it was not to be. As we’re making our way downstairs to the backstage area, my foot slips out from under me and I FALL ON MY ASS, down the stairs, in front of everyone. Absolute mortification, such a “Clueless” moment as I become, yes, the person that for the rest of the night will be known as “that girl who fell down the stairs”. Ugh. So embarrassing!! The only levity was one guy saying, “I tried to get a look up your dress but you were too fast!” That made me laugh.

We get backstage and stand in the hallway waiting for action. Chloe Sevigny stands next to me in one of her rotten outfits. I don’t know why fashion editors think she has great taste, I hate everything she wears. And now she’s giving me the I hate you because you’re another female look so I start thinking Chloe’s not that cool on top of having bad fashion sense. But maybe it was just the abusive fat guy and the fall down the stairs that were making me crabby and suspicious.

Vicki, who is stressed out and too busy to hang out, comes by and gives me a hug and gets us into the dressing room where a small and noisy gathering is happening. I don’t know what happened to Chloe and in retrospect I think I left some people behind that I should have gotten into the room, but it happened quickly and I didn’t want to put Vicki on the spot while she raced around. I got to see her for that moment but that was about it and then she was gone. My friends and I—Mike, Timmy, and Joel, park ourselves directly next to the table with the liquor, as is our usual habit, and start drinking. 

After about 10 minutes of this another stressed out band employee says to the room, “Five more minutes!” Daniel Ash is standing in front of me and I say,

“Daniel, I can’t leave without telling X I spoke to you.” And he says, in a truly snide tone:

“Oh yes, X. I heard she married the guy she used to babysit.”  And as I again sputter and start to tell him he's wrong and the guy is wonderful, he turns and starts speaking to someone next to him, obviously not remotely interested in even sending his regards.

One more time--WTF?? What is wrong with everybody? This particular woman is one of the kindest, most generous and loving people anyone could ever hope to meet and was certainly tolerant of his self-absorption and neurotic exits and entrances into her life. I couldn’t believe that he would be so dismissive about such a lovely, undeserving person—a person, I might add, that he has written songs about! I turned to Mike and said, “Okay, that’s it. We’re officially done with Bauhaus for the night.”

So that’s my review for this weekend:

Fat woman-hating suburban asshole.
No Bela.
Landed on my ass.
Does Chloe Sevigny suck as bad as her clothes? Jury’s still out.
Daniel Ash is a twat.

On the upside, my new corset was a hit and because I’ll use any excuse to get dressed up, if any other vampirey oldsters come to town I’ll be there, tarted up and hoping for the best.

Because hope, unlike aging British musicians, springs eternal.

Saturday, November 5, 2005

A Tale of Two Dogs

Okay, this one is a bit long and weepy, so if you're not interested in dogs, don't bother. And if you are, go get a cup of tea and a tissue...

I had the perfect dog once. His name was Panda, short for Pandaemonium (Victorian spelling because I’m pretentious). He was a Pekingese, the runt of his litter and born on Valentine’s Day. I purchased him from a Chinese puppy mill pet store; I knew it was wrong but once I saw his face I knew I had to have him. This is Panda:


Panda was enthusiastic and charming. He went to work with me every day and made the walk a joy. He would trot officiously, as if he was headed toward his job as well, which he sort of was, and as we neared the store he would speed up and drag me. He loved the socializing and spent his days roaming the floor, napping near my desk and hanging in the salon with his favorite friend Karlo, who would call for Panda on the intercom. Panda would sit on his lap and wrangle bites of food from staff members until he got tired enough to come back to the office and lay quietly while I worked. He was my partner from waking up to falling asleep, every day. We were in sync; when I reached to pick him up he would jump to help me; wherever I went he followed. He was my love.

Panda was run over by a giant black SUV on 2nd Avenue and 2nd Street. I had him off the leash because he liked to run on that 2nd Street block by the cemetery. I figured it burned off some of his energy and he always stopped when I told him to. But we came from a different route that day and when he got too close to the corner and I took a step to pick him up, he thought it was time to move. He looked over his shoulder and grinned at me and bolted into 2nd Avenue traffic before I could get to him. I ran screaming into traffic and he almost made it to the other side, but it was over in a second, a cotton ball under a steamroller. I bent down in the middle of the street with cars whizzing by and picked him up. His head fell back, blood pouring out of his ears and mouth. He looked so surprised and I stood in the traffic sobbing and pleading with him not to die.

A couple in a passing car saw what happened and picked me up and took me to my vet’s office on Eldritch. The street was one way so they dropped me on the corner. I ran breathless down the street and got to the office only to find the gate down—they were
inexplicably closed in the middle of the day. The street and buildings started spinning around me.

I ran up to Houston and waved for cabs. There were no open ones and car passengers gaped at me as I ran down the middle of the street, covered in blood, crying, carrying my dying dog, and waving my arm. No one stopped. Everything felt silent and dreamlike and I moved in slow motion, like those dreams where you can’t seem to move or you feel as if you’re moving in quicksand while somewhere in the background there's a loud ticking sound of precious time slipping away.

Finally a man ran into the middle of the road and flagged a police car for me. They took me to another vet, a very kind man who talked me down after he told me my dog could not be saved. I kept repeating, “It’s my fault, it’s my fault.” He told me that it wasn’t and let me spend some time in the room with the body of my perfect little love. I pressed my face into his side and touched his feet, I whispered a secret word I always used to tell him I loved him, and then Drew came and took me home. Words cannot tell you the sorrow and guilt that I felt for squandering this gift. I promise I will rarely impose my poetry upon you, but this is as close as I have gotten to explaining what it was like:

Small Dog Hit By Car

Wet line trail on the concrete
Red and thick and ropey
Blood on the pavement,
Black tar too coarse to hold the honor.

Someone I don’t know tells me,
You can clean yourself up in there.
As if I had asked
Small bathroom with clean metal sink and I catch my reflection.
Puffy tear-stained with patches of leftover foundation
Small islands of black mascara pool on cheeks
Not cute crying

My arms are smeared with blood
My chest
My neck small spatters
If I wash this blood he disappears.
I stand debating against propriety
It’s all I have left,
though sticky and brownish
In the end I pick up dutiful soap and watch him run down undeserving drain.
Whispers the faucet.

After that I couldn't drink alcohol without going on a crying jag. I began obsessively looking at Pekingese dogs online. Not so much to find another one, but just to see their faces, to feel nearer to him. I missed him so much it ached all the time, and I felt so shitty, so horrendously guilty for not protecting him. I knew I should have had him on a leash, why did I risk it?

One day I looked at Petfinder and found this picture of Winter:

I freaked out and printed the photo and showed it to Drew. He thought it was a picture of Panda. He tried to talk me out of adopting so soon and though I didn’t feel ready for another dog, the photo compelled me. I wanted my dog back so badly. I sent an email and within a week took two trains out to Jersey to meet with the woman who fostered him.

Meeting Winter was a disappointment. I think I had a fantasy that he would actually be Panda. But Winter was much bigger, his face was different and his feet were huge. Panda had delicate little feet. You can't tell from the photo that Winter's fur was coarse and matted, and his body seemed oddly out of proportion; his head and chest were big while his hindquarters were too small. I realized upon touching him that it was because was emaciated. He had been found on the street in Brooklyn, badly abused then starved and discarded in the street.

I sat on the floor and pulled him to my lap and his foster mom Amy was very pleased. Of the many people who had come hoping to adopt a small, purebred dog, I was the only person that hadn't been bitten or growled at. He was terrified of everyone, it seemed, except me. I held him and petted his head and tried to hide my disappointment and sadness that he was not my beautiful Panda. Still, there was something very poignant about his tentative desire to please.

I rode the train back thinking that I wouldn’t adopt Winter. When I got home I got an email from Amy saying that she felt that I would be the perfect owner for him, if I wanted to take him. I called my mother and sister and discussed it; they both thought he would be a good dog for me. Drew wanted me to wait and get a puppy at a better time; he thought I was acting crazy, which was true. But I also wanted to make amends somehow, to redeem myself. This wreck of a dog seemed to need me.

And so the next weekend, against my better judgement, I rode the trains back out and picked up my new dog.

Winter was sweet and tolerant on that first day as I trimmed, brushed and bathed him, and he seemed to only want to lay quietly on the floor while we went about our lives. Drew was less than thrilled at his bedraggled appearance but tried to be supportive. He started calling him “The Brain” from “Pinky and The Brain”. This is him during that first week, the saddest and most serious dog in the world:

Winter soon turned out to be incapable of the most mundane of dog activities. He was actually afraid to eat, and completely unable to eat off of a plate. Every time I fed him I would have to sit on the floor next to him and coax him with small pieces laid on the hardwood. He would neurotically bob his head towards the food over and over until he got down far enough to lick up a small piece. If I stood up he would stop eating altogether. It took forever to get through a meal.

Next up was walking: nearly impossible. He didn’t understand what was required of him. He would get as close as he could to a wall and just stand there. Shadows were terrifying, movement equally so, the sound of footsteps or car doors slamming set him off into a gasping fear frenzy. If I reached to pick him up he flinched violently, expecting to get slapped. The first time I tried to take him out it took a half an hour to get ¾ of a block. It was months before we made it all the way around the block, and the time it took was unbearably long. And I realized fairly quickly that on top of being afraid of everything and completely unfamiliar with the concept of taking a walk, he was fairly blind. He could only see shapes and shadows and if I got any distance from him he had no idea where I was.

So, taking him to work was a joke, I had to carry him the whole way and even starved he was not light like my perfect Panda. One day I got so frustrated that I forced him to walk. I dragged him angrily by the leash for blocks until I realized his toe was bleeding from being scraped on the pavement. It was official, I was the worst dog mom in the world and should be banned from ever owning a pet. I sat down on the curb next to my dog and sobbed in public. On the days we actually got to work with a minimum of trauma, he would still panic if I left him for a minute and attack anyone who tried to touch him. If there was too much activity around him—multiple people walking near, noise, whatever—he would flinch in terror until he just shut down. It was clear he would have to stay home.

Winter would do a weird gagging thing all day, especially whenever he became uncomfortable. In milder moments it would manifest as a head bob, but the bob could also lead to a full on thrown back gagging and choking, crying in pain while he smacked at his own face with his paw to try to make it stop. It happened when he tried to eat or whenever he got upset, so I thought it was a fear thing and would hold him and try to calm him down, which didn’t always work. It was difficult and frightening to watch.

Winter had never known any of the normal things a dog knows—food on a plate, hands touching him with love, a walk in the park, playing with toys. He was a beaten, discarded, shattered, ruined, fearful and defensive little dog. I expected that after a few months it would change, but it didn’t. It went on and on the same way for a very, very long time, months went by and I felt like no progress had been made. I felt disheartened, sapped, frustrated and not up to the job before me, and Panda’s absence continued to feel like a hole in my heart. There were times I couldn’t even look at Winter. Everything about owning him felt weighted and heavy. I knew that I could take him back to Amy but by that time he was so bonded to me that I didn’t have the heart to abandon him after he had suffered so much already. I felt trapped.

Then one morning as I was putting on my makeup he sat down next to my feet and pressed his flat little face into my leg and just kept it there. It was such a quiet, loving gesture from a creature who up until then had never expressed anything other than fear or compliance. My heart cracked for this little dog. Something shifted in me and it dawned that it wasn't my job to "fix" him, that I needed to let go of my expectations and just let him be, to accept him for who he was with all of his limitations.

Around that time and while I was attempting to teach him to walk I got into a conversation with a man with a goofy Shepherd mix. When your dog won’t walk everyone on the street wants to give you advice. But this man was very understanding and told me that his dog was found as a stray and she wouldn’t walk either. He told me it took two years before she started behaving like a normal dog. That was the best piece of information I could have received and that extended time frame gave me heart.

So here we are, two years and a few months later. It took about a year to get him completely healthy, now he is a meaty little tank with the most gorgeous, soft, long fur. People stop on the street to comment on how beautiful he is. My vet (the one that talked me down) figured out that the gagging is a form of seizure, and Winter takes medication for it now. It’s not perfect but much better. And even though he’s not very fast, he likes going for walks. I actually saw  the realization wash over him one day that walking outside was for pleasure and that he wouldn’t be punished or left behind. It was beautiful to see and his movements and energy shifted after that. And in the safety of my apartment he has forgotten to be nervous and behaves like a happy clown. I can see the effects of his abuse fading away. They will never totally be gone, but he is happy. He is not my partner in crime the way that Panda was, but I have come to love him in a different way. He is a valiant little soul who often has to try harder than other dogs just to be a dog.

My reason for telling you this tale is twofold: One, do not ever, ever, EVER  walk your dog without a leash. Even if your dog is good, they don't understand traffic and it is not worth the risk.

Two, to help anyone out there who is thinking of or has already adopted an abused or neglected pet. You don’t know what you’re getting when you adopt an adult animal, especially one that hasn’t had it so great. I had no idea that it would be so hard and there is no manual for it. I’m sure there are people out there who have dealt with worse, but there is no network of support to go to when you need help, and I could have used it. So if anyone is out there looking to take something like this on, I want to tell you that you have to be patient, very patient.

And though you don't always know what you're getting, the reward for patience is often great. I am not going to buy any more dogs in my life. It's wonderful to get a perfect, purebred puppy. It is SO much easier sometimes. But it's too selfish an act to justify anymore. I love the puppies, they're adorable, but there are too many animals out there that need homes, too many desperate souls sitting in cages day after day waiting for some attention, for a walk, for a life, or just waiting to be euthanized while some ass makes cash breeding new and unnecessary puppies, oftentimes in abusive mills. Winter has been a huge life lesson for me about patience and acceptance, about the ways that abuse changes who we are, canine or otherwise, and about how the machinations of healing work. Which I suppose is why he entered it in the first place. I think there are times in our lives when we are meant to be "in service", and it's important to be able to see that the gift is not only for the ones we serve, but also for ourselves as well.


Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Aftermath

I have been thinking about something for a while and witnessed an incident that made me feel like blogging it:

Firstly, the party was great, memorable, rocking, fantastic. I have the greatest friends in the world. Thank you to everyone who came, and if you brought a present and I have not thanked you personally, it is because I got a few without cards and am not sure where they came from. Everything is much appreciated, though. I am a huge fan of presents and an even bigger fan of hanging out with friends. Jonny ran the party beautifully, Poker Chris rocked the house and everyone got nice and loaded, including Drew, who lets just say thought he was taking the pill to make him tall when it was actually the pill that makes you small. A few of my friends got so friendly they went home together, and two people who shall remain nameless didn’t finish the party until 5 pm the next day. But all are safe and sound at this writing.

That being said, there was a big melee in the middle of the evening, which ties into what I have been thinking about lately:

I have a warrior spirit. I am convinced that I spent a past lifetime, or lifetimes as a war leader. And probably not a strategizing general, but some kind of maniac with a painted face and a hatchet, roaring into battle with no fear for life or limb. Think I’m nuts if you will, but I know it in my bones. I have had a few past life flashbacks over the years, none about this one but a couple of very interesting ones, and I have a sort of bodily memory for this. I can feel it when I watch battle scenes in movies, and from the situations that I have been in throughout the years. I know I could handle it, I know I have the backbone and the mind for it and it feels familiar. In this lifetime, in less stable times, I have been what you might call a berserker, anger setting me off to a place where there is no turning back, a primal instinct to step into what feels like the natural solution to the problem at hand.

I remember the exact moment in childhood when I realized that anger and violence gave me power. I was a particularly powerless child and when I finally figured out how to wield my rage I stopped being such a crybaby and started being a force to reckon with. I beat the crap out of my siblings and learned how to talk low and mean to people I wanted to scare. It might seem incredibly unevolved, which it was, but it seemed better to be feared than to be wounded, that’s for sure.

Then when shit started falling apart because of my temper, I took a look at what was really behind it. And I realized that every time I blew up, there was sadness and hurt hiding right behind it. I would freak out and have a tantrum and then five minutes later burst into tears and feel embarrassed about my behavior. And I didn’t enjoy having people afraid to set me off. My friends called it “the wrath of Raff”. One friend swears that when I flipped my right hand up in a certain way it was time to stand back. One time she was tripping on acid and doing something dumb (besides just tripping on acid) and I started yelling at her. She says that in her state she thought her hair was blowing back from the force of it and my mouth looked like a giant cavernous maw of black rage rimmed in red lipstick. So pretty! We still joke about it 15 years later. So there are some funny parts and stories to it but a lot of excess energy and suffering expended as well. It takes so much more out of me to get in that state than it will ever give me, and it has never been my intention to be a person that causes other people pain, so I have worked very hard to become kinder and more gentle.

Still, it will always be my nature to react to being made uncomfortable with strength and volume rather than gentle good will. I simply will never be mild mannered, it isn’t my natural state. But I try, I really do, and what is happening now is that I will sometimes be too nice when someone deserves to get an earful, or I will overreact to something small because the previous ten times I have been too quiet. Sometimes I’m so afraid of reacting with anger that I freeze up, unsure of what the proper response to a situation should be. But I expect that one day there will be a balance, and in the meantime I am learning to accept that I will always be a little bit scary to those who don’t understand how difficult it is to be a born berserker in a world that so desperately needs peacemakers.

One of the interesting things in my life is that if I do manage to sit back and allow the world to flow as it should, my enemies (and yes, I have had them in my life, and I have no patience for people who say they don’t hate anyone because it rarely is true) usually suffer some demise through no action of my own. I swear that it happens each time and I haven’t figured out why yet. There have been overdoses, deportations, breakups and general malaise. I try not to get too happy about it but sometimes it’s hard. I know that we are all of the same spirit and what hurts one hurts us all. I want to be spiritual, I do. So I just grin a little and then feel guilty for enjoying the revenge. Work in progress, people, work in progress…

So, at our party there was a vicious fight that ended up in innocent people being injured and not-so-innocent people going to jail. I have my own feelings about the whole thing, but I can’t go into that in any detail because I can’t figure out how to get all of my insiders onto the preferred blog list and I don’t want to publicly air my current opinion. Anyway, suffice to say that it was crazy and dangerous and continued from the inside of the bar to outside where police and an ambulance showed up.

Thirty seconds before it happened one of the persons involved that I am not fond of sort of demanded that I step in and take care of the brewing situation. I didn’t, because it was my birthday party and I wanted to have fun, because I didn’t feel like lifting a finger for someone I don’t like and who was not asking me, but telling me to do something, and because I have had enough of my own battles and am trying to just keep my trap shut these days. 

So when the fight broke out and people tore into each other, I found myself feeling a few things. First, woo hoo, this is an old school party complete with cat fight! Second, shit, someone is really going to get hurt! Then serious fear that one of those people hurt would be my boyfriend as he stood in the eye of the storm trying to break it up, then guilt that I didn’t step in and try to stop it before it came to blows and hair-pulling, and lastly, surprise that I was not in any way desirous of  jumping in as I might have in the past. I actually felt real real horror and sorrow at the violence of the situation. The whole thing seemed so awful and painful for the people involved.

So am I cured of my warrior ways? Is the past behind me? I think for the most part it is. I never really enjoyed violence or violent emotions to begin with, I just didn’t know what else to do with my feelings back then. And now it just really seems so ugly and pointless to me. Nothing gets solved and people get hurt, emotionally and physically. But I am never going to be mild-mannered. If I was really behaving in a loving manner I would have stepped in and helped the person I don’t like, regardless of my feelings. But I didn’t. Deep down I knew that if I sat back that whatever this weird karma energy that I have in my life would take care of this interloper the way it always does. It was an easy way to say “fuck you” without saying a word. And is that really the way of peace? I seriously doubt it. 

So I’m still confused about my part. Would it have been more mature to try to control the situation? That method hasn’t always worked out very well for me either. I am so tired of being the one to step in and take control, the one with the mouth, the one with the responsibility, the mommy, the manager, the warrior in charge. Even though it is my very nature to be that person and I know that sometimes people need me to be it. And maybe part of the personal power that has been given to me this time around means that I have more of a responsibility to take care of others, even if I don’t particularly like them.

I guess I’m overthinking it, as usual. Truth is I’m always going to be a little bit tougher and sharper tongued than I would like to be, and if I don’t like you I will not be able to hide it completely. I’m sure I'm destined to be one of those crotchety old ladies that Shirley Maclaine always ends up playing. My first instinct is still to get mad first, ask questions later, and I’m still learning how to take a breath and wait until the wave passes. I think most of my close female friends are the same, we are a tough and bitchy bunch of broads. Perhaps we were all in battle together in those past lifetimes and now we are finding our way through a world that needs our strength, but also our patience. To those of you who are the peacemakers, I salute you, and I hope you will be able to show us the way.

And now, a night of spaghetti and watching all the great DVD’s you people gave me, while still wearing the tiara that Corinne gave me.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Don't Be Sad

Be Bowie...

Ah, the ways I will humiliate myself to entertain you people...

Sunday, October 9, 2005

Boys are Dumb...or Not...

I've come to the conclusion that boys are dumb. They just are.

Before the male half gets upset with me, let me preface by saying that no one loves boys/men more than me. I love hanging out with them, I love the way they smell, the way their voices sound on the telephone, the way they look in leather pants, the way they can make everything all right when you're freaking out and need reassurance. I am a staunch heterosexual, I have been to the other side and it bores the hell out of me. I'll make out with a girl if I'm drunk and she's persistent, but at the end of the day I want a member of the opposite sex in my bed. I am also madly in love with my platonic male friends, whose numbers are equal to that of my female friends. They enrich my life in many ways that women alone cannot. Men rule. But boys are dumb. And all men are boys some of the time, and some of them, unfortunately, all of the time.

Here are two recent examples of dumbness that have prompted me to blog today:

I got a friend request from a random dude, ordinary looking, not hot, not hideous, who has a few people I know and not too many myspace hookers on his page. So I approved the request and totally forgot about him. Today I looked in my mailbox and there was a request to approve his comment (thank you, Tom, for creating the comment approval option, btw). And the comment is this: 

"So when we gonna fuck?"

I was DUMBfounded. EXCUSE me?? You wanted to place this vile sentence on my page, you absolute twerp?? In the immortal words of Cher in "Clueless"--

Ugh! As IF!!!!!

So whatever, I hit the block button and annoyance problem solved. Thanks again, Tom. 

But then I pondered it a little and wondered, was this a moronic version of an actual come-on? And did he think this would work? Or was he trying to be funny? Did he think I would find him cute and amusing and brash and that we would banter back and forth about when we would fuck? I think maybe he did, because why would he bother to add me as a friend if he just wanted to offend me? But I am not going to read too much into it because he's obviously an idiot, and he's also a boy and lets face it, some boys are dumb and don't know how to act like men and send a decent comment.

Next case in point:

A while back I got a message from a guy that is very cute, though not my type, and marginally famous. He has played with a few well-known people and has a whole host of girls leaving flirty comments on his page. 

Unbeknownst to him, we already met when I managed Coney and the band he was in at the time was hanging out there with my ex, who is friendly with every famous person on the planet. So this guy was very sweet, not a genius by any stretch, did a ton of coke, got a blowjob in the bathroom and then moved on with his band to the next town. I am making no judgments here; I've done stupider things on the road and off, and would never begrudge someone else their own wild ride. Anyway, I am assuming he didn't connect that he's met me because at the time I was going through a very "trying-to-be-the-low-key-rock-wife" phase in an attempt to please someone else, and as a result was much quieter and less opinionated than I typically am. Thank God that phase didn't last forever because it would have killed me.

Anyway, here is our correspondence in its entirety:

Cute But Incredibly Stupid Marginally Famous Rockstar: Do you know Luigi?

Me: Yes, I do. :-)

CBISMFR: Well that guy's a fucking ASSHOLE.

That's the whole message. Again, huh????? Did I ask for this? Why would someone intrude into my happy little world with a nasty set-up like this? I responded with something like, "I don't know what your problem is but your bullshit is uninvited and I'd appreciate it if you took your insanity somewhere else." I never heard back from him after that.

But because I was curious about what would prompt such a random attack I looked at his page a little closer, and found my man Luigi all over it. So they're friends. Then I read further and found that CBISMFR states that he loves pale girls with long black hair. Ooooooohhhhhh...I get it now. He actually doesn't hate me, he finds me attractive and this is his misguided way of showing it, much like pulling my pigtails. And because he's used to being able to act the ass and still get blowjobs in the bathroom he probably uses this kind of approach all the time. Because that's the kind of dumb things boys do.

When I first arrived in NY all fresh and dewy from the wilds of Michigan, I was very excited that I would finally get to meet and mingle with hot rock boys. The pickings were very slim back home and I had planned on breaking out and meeting cool people in bands since I was in junior high school. I spent all my teen years listening to and studying up on music, and when I got to the city I made sure my clothes were cool, my hair was teased, and that I knew all about the bands I was going to meet.

So then I got here and discovered that many of the rock guys I found so fascinating would look right past me to the mousy brown-haired girls in mom jeans standing next to me. It was unbelievable! These girls knew absolutely nothing about the bands, nor did they care! And they weren't that hot, just decently attractive, they certainly didn't have anything to say, they most definitely didn't wanna rock, and it appeared to me that they were just killing time until they settled down and had babies. I kept wondering, what did they have that I didn't have? What were they doing that I wasn't? 

Then it dawned on me one day that these girls were being chosen precisely because they weren't doing the things that I was or looking like I did. They were nice and normal and would indeed settle down and have babies while their guitar-toting boyfriends or husbands were on the road having a good time. And that's the last thing in the world that I wanted to do. I wanted to be on the road, too! So it eventually became my opinion that those boys were a little, yes, DUMB to pick such boring girlfriends because I think girls like me are a hell of a lot more fun and in the end will actually give guys in bands a lot less grief because we get it.

One of my favorite exes is Ronnie Sweetheart, of Throbs fame, and one of the many reasons that he has a special place in my heart is that early into our acquaintance he grabbed me and said, "You're like the female version of me. You are a total rock star! We need to get together." Well, you know my big fat ego loved that, and I still love him for it, he thought it was great that we were both in bands and we played a lot of shows together. And one of the boys that I adored around that same time that would have nothing to do with me, except as a fellow musician pal, and who is now paunchy and faded, says to me every time I see him, "You know, we should really get together sometime." And I think to myself, "Man, you are really dumb if you think you have any kind of chance now."

I will end my essay on male stupidity by saying that women play a big part in the dumbness of our men. Certainly if the retarded approaches that are listed above never worked, they wouldn't be attempted. For every asinine, boorish come-on there's a stupid girl who thinks it's cute. Especially with guys like the CBISMFR. He has a whole hoard of girls on his page that I'm sure would love it if he sent them witty banter such as I've received. Which makes those girls just as stupid as him.

Hmm...So okay, maybe it's not just boys that are dumb. *sigh *...Well, now that blows my whole train of thought.

I'm going to have to rethink this whole theory and get back to you. 

Saturday, September 24, 2005

A Random List

So my sister says she's not sure how to respond to my blogs lately because they're too intense. She just calls me to say right on and then we move on to talk about her obsession with dogs for five minutes or so. Then her son starts crying and I remind her that I told her to just get another dog but no, she had to have a baby and now the party is over. She tells me I can't pretend I'm twenty forever and then we hang up for the day. But I actually do have much more mundane things on my mind as well, so here's a random list of items for the weekend:

Drew and I have decided to throw ourselves a dual birthday party at Scenic (where Robots used to be) on October 20th, which is in between both our birthdays. So if you live in NY and are a friend, or aren't yet but want to hang, keep the date free. I'll post more about this later on.

I loathe Tia Carrere. I don't know why, I'm sure she's a nice girl, she just bugs the hell out of me and every time I turn on the television today she's there. Is it her birthday or something?

Now that I've dragged my family onto myspace with me, there has been some question about my name. Here is the big secret, which I actually have never made an attempt to keep secret: My first name is actually Mary, and my last name is Raffaele. I decided to use my last name as my first and only name when I moved to NYC twenty years ago, as I was very young, hated the name Mary, and assumed that I would naturally land some sort of fabulous performing career in which two names wouldn't be required. That didn't work out exactly as planned but by then it was too late and now it's a big pain in the ass that causes all kinds of confusion. For the record, most people just call me Raff. People that I become close to sometimes end up switching to Mary, and I like it when it happens naturally because it's like an intimate nickname. My family has always called me “Mare”, rarely Mary, and occasionally my brothers like to use the nickname “Scary”, although for the life of me, I can't imagine why.  I had one boss who was a total dickwad (John Argento, for those DT alumni) and once he saw my checks (some of which are still owed), he started calling me Maaaary with a sneering tone in his voice, like he had something over on me and thought it would humiliate me to have someone say it out loud. Which it didn't, it just told me exactly who he was. In any case, if we're close and you want to call me Mary, fine, but until you actually know me I prefer Raff or Raffaele.

For those of you who have been asking, I am LOVING my new position as Lingerie Buyer. I still do all of the money stuff and the administrative type things for the store, which I am good at and don't hate but also don't find that interesting. Then the other portion of my time is filled with looking through catalogs at lingerie, talking to people on the phone about lingerie, meeting with people trying to sell me lingerie, and my favorite: rearranging (that's “merchandising” for you retail pros) the lingerie. The section is very small at the moment, because over the last couple of years no one was paying attention and Patricia Field lost the lingerie customers. But it feels like it's my little garden and every day I go out and tend it. I make sure things are on the right hanger and that we're not out of lycra stripper micro-thongs (who knew there was such a demand!) and that the stockings are all lined up correctly. It pleases me to no end, plus I like spending time out of the office and on the floor with the "kids" who work in the store. And honestly, I can't believe someone is paying me good money to do it.

And speaking of fashion, I have a lot of thoughts about Kate Moss and the fashion industry's hypocritical treatment of her publicized drug abuse. But Tara G. Warrior wrote such a genius blog about it that I don't feel like I need to add too much more right now. I have a feeling Jessica may have some words to say on the subject as well. Suffice to say that the fashion and beauty industry demands that women look a certain way and then pretends to be completely surprised when they aren't healthy. I sincerely hope that Kate can pull her shit together, dump that loser boyfriend, and stick it to the companies who are distancing themselves from her right now.

And lastly, on the not quite as skinny front, I need some new photographs taken before I get too ancient. Everything I have is dated, except for the NY Times evil book club lady, and I don't want to go to my grave with that as my last photo. I will say that I am enjoying having the photo up because it's totally cut down the horny girl collector friend requests. Anyway, if you are a photographer and need someone for portraits or need a gothy/pin-up-ey type model, or tattoo model, or have some other idea, let me know. Serious inquiries only, please.

Okay, so those are the random, not so intense thoughts for now. Hope everyone has a great weekend!