Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Upside of Anger, Jane Fonda, and Jane Austen

Tonight I was supposed to go with Jesse to a party that John Varvatos threw. I was really looking forward to it as I haven't seen him (Jesse, not John Varvatos) in weeks and Ian Hunter played a few songs, which would have been cool. And of course it would have been an opportunity for quality footwear exhibition.

But I woke up feeling peakish and by mid-day was completely fevery with a weird toothache where I believe an impacted wisdom tooth lies. Blargh. I have so much shit going on with my teeth and gums I could write a whole blog about just that. Suffice to say that even with dental insurance it's sucking all the money I had allotted for botox, restylane, and tattoos this year. You think I jest, and yet I do not.


I was so weak and sick that Drew came to my job to bring me home, and I should be in bed reading Pride and Prejudice for the nine millionth time in my life. But I just had a pretty deep conversation with my sister over the phone and now I feel like writing a little bit.


My sister, who I've just lauded in a previous blog, may have to put one of her dogs down because even with serious training and work he's attacking everyone. And her husband is quitting smoking so he's temporarily rotten and on top of that she's babysitting a fussy newborn baby while also taking care of her very busy two and a half year old son, who in my eyes is completely perfect and can do absolutely no wrong, but is still a handful at times. So let's just say she's not really interested in overpriced French shoes at the moment. Please give her a break and don't bug her about any of this, btw, I don't want to drive her over the edge with a too-revealing blog.


A girlfriend of mine is raising her three and a half year old son almost completely by herself while running a business from top to bottom on her own--design, production, packing, shipping, invoicing, etc. It's an enormous load and lately she's been sounding really fucking tired and I feel powerless to do anything but listen.


Another friend is struggling to find her way to the positive side of a life in which she has never received guidance or support from her family from the time she was a little girl. Instead she just got told she was worthless in both word and action and I watch her battle the resulting demons on a day-to-day basis. It doesn't look easy or fun.


One of my favorite movies to come out in the last couple of years is The Upside of Anger. Joan Allen plays a middle aged woman with four daughters who gets left by her husband and is so completely pissed off at life that she's nearly immobilized with rage (and vodka). I have watched this movie over and over again, and I think it's because I see so much of myself and my friends in it.


Another thing I've seen recently that is tying this all together in my head is an interview with Jane Fonda that happened on my favorite channel, Turner Classic Movies, with my favorite TV host, Robert Osbourne. I like to pretend he's my surrogate dad, everything feels safe and warm when he's on the screen.

Anyway, if you get a chance it's on the free movies on demand channel, somewhere in the 1000's. It's very much worth watching because Ms. Fonda is just completely centered in herself and 100% honest about where she's been, how she got there, and who she is now. It's ostensibly an interview about acting, but so much about being human comes out that it's much bigger than just a regular interview, at least in my mind. And it occurred to me as I watched it that here is this woman who from the outside was handed everything on a platter--beauty, money, the fast lane to Hollywood, etc., and yet who still had to find her way through a heavy and sometimes very painful journey to get to the deep truth of who she is now.


The point of all this—hmm… only women bleed? Nah! Men bleed too, but tonight I am thinking about the women in my life and how most of them seem to be carrying heavy loads.


I have it so good right now in my life. I do have the occasional problem, but as I've mentioned before somewhere along the way things shifted and now I learn my lessons primarily through joy with small amounts of pain, rather than through the great suffering chasms of agony and self-loathing I once dragged my ass through. The people that surround me are so loving and patient and kind and I am more than grateful for my good fortune.

And contrary to the belief of some, I don't believe that it's cool to be a raging bitch all the time, and sometimes find myself thinking that many women my age are so fucking bitter and pissed off it's no wonder many men choose infants and beige wallpaper. There's a speech in The Upside of Anger made by a character that dates really young women that I love. He says,


Who should I sleep with, Terry? Women like you? Your age? My age? I don't. You know why? Cause younger women are *nice*. You take them out, and they're actually grateful. "Oh look, a steak. Yummy." You go for a walk after dinner, the air smells nice, they say, "Thank you. This was *nice*. This was *fun*. You're *funny*. Tee-hee-hee." What should I do, Terry? Settle down and marry some pissed-off thing like you? I'd rather have someone come over and do dental work, every day, from my backside, up through my ass!


I get that. Because me and my girls, we're not easy. We're tired and we're cranky. Maybe I'm a little less cranky at the moment than some of my peers, but I can point out a couple of people who would be willing to tell you the multitude of ways that I can be a raging, sarcastic, high maintenance, paranoid, controlling pain-in-the-fucking ass. I will never be sweet and malleable the way I was long ago. Too much time and painfully gained information has passed through me.

But I am much kinder and more compassionate than I used to be, and I try very hard to empathize with the humans around me now, even as I torture them with my incessant need to be the queen of the Universe. When I was in my teens and 20's and just saying yes all the time, it never occurred to me to think about what someone else might be feeling. I just wanted everyone to love me, or at least want me, no matter what it might cost them (or me).


And I think that might be the case with many of my angry girls out there. It's not easy to be an adult, to raise kids on your own, to keep businesses afloat, families functional, dogs from biting. It makes a girl pissy at times. But underneath that and maybe through that comes a depth of spirit that most of us aren't born with. And maybe that's the trade-off for a little bit of bitchiness. And maybe once we get through some of our shit, hopefully with the help of a patient man here and there, when we reach Jane Fonda's age we might get to be as grand and marvelous as she is right now (and come to think of it, my mother as well).


Anyway, just fevered, drifty thoughts for the evening. And now I'm gonna go take an Advil and read a few pages of a Ms. Austen while the cats fight over who gets to lay directly on my head.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Shoes!

So I have had a gift certificate for Louboutin burning a hole in my pocket since my birthday in October. I've been on a waiting list for the Very Prive since then:





Aren't those amazing? Unfortunately they're frigging impossible to get. Expensive Parisian shoes are eked out in tiny quantities to make them seem worth the over-inflated price tag. There have been others but the Prive remains close to my heart. Also unfortunate is that everyone else loves them too so now you can find knock-offs everywhere. I am impatient and not really that much of a label whore, so I already own faux Prives in faux snakeskin and leopard and wear them proudly. I also racked my cc last year on some Louboutin lace Prive's. So really I should be done with this particular shape.


Anyhoo, this Sunday I dragged Drew out into the sunshine to see if there was anything else worthy of consideration. He says it's amazing that I whine about distance and need a map and extensive phone coddling to get one stop into Brooklyn for a barbeque, yet can walk for miles through a maze of complicated West Village streets directly to an unmarked boutique the size of a postage stamp. Priorities, people!


The store was jammed with straight women clawing for pumps. The girls behind the counter looked a little terrorized by the sheer numbers and I realized after a few minutes of watching ladies stomp on one another that they were all European, probably taking advantage of our weak American dollar. Thanks a lot, George Bush. I can't get my goddamn black patent Prive's because you fucked up our economy.


Luckily, Drew is one of those rare straight men completely comfortable in shopping situations and he doesn't mind waiting. His favorite of my favorites is Agent Provocateur, but he likes cunty shoes too, so he plopped down on the cushy couch and threw out comments as I waved potential footwear in front of his face:


"I don't think you'll wear those very often."
"That's a nice color."
"Those are hot baby, try them on."


He's such a rock and roll metrosexual. This is a huge relief from past boyfriends, who were more prone to:


"I don't care, just get the ones you want."
"I'm gonna wait outside. Hurry up because I'm hungry."
"I like you better in sneakers anyway." (Um…hi, I'm Mary Raffaele… have we met?)


Or my favorite—just staring into space and looking as if the suffering caused by shopping is nearly unbearable.


So after the German housewives cleared out I got my turn and at the bottom of this page is the pair I picked out. Yippee! My esteemed colleague Tara G. Warrior is not as fond of these as the aformentioned lace Prives I bought last year, which I made such a big deal of that most of you have already seen photos, but I like to give you visuals to go along with these very deep and socially important tales:






But everyone else in the office thinks I'll get some serious wear out of the new ones. I also like the name, which is "Sabotage". Heh, heh, heh...


Sunday, April 15, 2007

This One's for You, Dano



It's a monsoon out there and I'm supposed to be making some changes on the CSFH myspace page, but I just don't have the will to be productive today. Instead let's just add another blog.


On Friday night I had two or three or four shots of tequila and while doing so took the time to force my friend Dano to take a few sips of water. Once I learned that he prefers ginger ale I set about torturing him re his liquid intake. It kills me when my friends don't drink enough water. I know this is ridiculous and buttinski but I can't help it.

As much as I like my tipple, I am very fussy about other liquids with no alcoholic properties. Personally I've never been a huge fan of soda which is probably why I'm such a water snob. I will have the occasional red bull when I'm feeling too drunk or a jack and coke here and there when Motorhead is in town, but mostly just in tribute or if I've managed to weasel myself into Lemmy's dressing room to consume his booze. I have a low tolerance for stimulants and too much soda makes me feel edgy and dehydrated. I don't drink fruit juice that often either bc I feel like it's just pouring liquid sugar into my system, but today's lecture is about soda.

Also, on a side note, I purchased a book recently which talks about, and contains photographs of how water reacts to your energy. It looks really interesting and you can find information about this amazing study here: Water Crystals. So for those of you who have similar metaphysical beliefs to myself, I highly recommend taking a second to bless the water you put into your body before drinking it. Everything on this planet has a vibration and whatever you're taking into your body and energy should be of the hightest vibration possible in order to keep healthy and sane. Also, for you New York dwellers, the water is so recycled here that it's good to drink as much bottled as you can.




WATER

  • 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
  • In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.
  • Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3%.
  • One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.
  • Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
  • Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers. Hmm...who can I think of who has back pain?
  • A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
  • Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%,and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

Okay, now I know you don't drink Coke Dano, but it's all the same shit really. I looked these claims up though and some of them are unproven. I've indicated which ones are proven and which ones aren't according to truthorfiction.com.


And now for the properties of COKE:

  • In many states (in the USA) the highway patrol carries two gallons of Coke in the truck to remove blood from the highway after a car accident. Unproven
  • You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of coke and it will be gone in two days. Unproven
  • To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl and let the "real thing" sit for one hour, then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous China. True
  • To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub the bumper with a rumpled-up piece of aluminium foil dipped in Coca-Cola. True
  • To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of Coca- Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion. True but sounds sticky and messy and boiling water has been recommended instead.
  • To loosen a rusted bolt: Applying a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes. True
  • To bake a moist ham: Empty a can of Coca-Cola into the baking pan, wrap the ham in aluminium foil, and bake. Thirty minutes before the ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix with the Coke for sumptuous brown gravy. Um...yuck.
  • To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of coke into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains. It will also clean road haze from your windshield. They didn't cover this one but there is no way I'm pouring Coke on my clothes. I get this along with other liquids by default from hanging out in Cups on a Friday night anyway.


For Your Info

  • The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. Its pH is 2.8. It will dissolve a nail in about 4 days. The nail part is unproven.
  • Phosphoric acid also leaches calcium from bones and is a major contributor to the rising increase in osteoporosis. True
  • To carry Coca-Cola syrup (the concentrate) the commercial truck must use the Hazardous material place cards reserved for Highly corrosive materials. True
  • The distributors of coke have been using it to clean the engines of their trucks for about 20 years! True

Okay, end of lecture. Guess I'll continue the procrastination by noodling around youtube for a while. Then I'm making a stir-fry. With tofu just in case anyone's wondering.

Shut It, Lovey

For those of you who don't know, I have a sister named Lisa who is six years younger than me. Now if you don't know her don't get too nuts stalking her because she doesn't have a lot of computer time. But I feel like writing about her today.


I have always been very lucky with female friendships. Men are my drug of choice, and I have a history of all kinds of territory and trust issues and crappy romances, but for some reason my female friendships have remained unscathed by my nonsense with the opposite sex. I have always been able to choose strong, trustworthy, giving women to surround myself with, and I think it's probably because of my sister. Don't tell her I told you that though.


I hated her guts when we were kids. Seriously, if I could have figured out a way to hide the body she wouldn't be here now. She was so incredibly cute and outgoing as a little girl, just around the time I started feeling truly uncomfortable in the world, and the way people reacted to her with joy while merely tolerating me made me loathe being at family gatherings and public places with her. She charmed everyone she met. Our father nicknamed her Lovey and her light laid bare and magnified my own sadness.


To make matters worse we had to share a bedroom and a bed at a time when our age gap felt very wide. She was still almost a baby and I was a pre-teen desperate to protect my model horse collection, which I knew she coveted. She left her shit all over my side of the room. She still wet the bed, and I was the one who would wake up lying in it. I would cry with rage and wake my mother up, and she would sleepily put a towel down and tell me it wasn't that bad. I would crawl back into the bed, teetering uncomfortably as far on the edge as I could manage and seething with the injustice of the situation.

The last time it happened I simply bent my knees into my chest, put my feet on her back, and kicked her as hard as I could out of the bed. She landed on the floor with a thud and woke up crying. It was one of the most satisfying moments of my life.


My sister and I have often joked that Welcome to the Dollhouse is a pretty good representation of what our relationship was like. I was in the house all angsty and unattractive and cutting the heads off dolls while she pirouetted blissfully on the lawn. It's an exaggeration, but it comes close.


However, things changed when we reached adulthood. Lisa was living in LA for a short period and CSFH went out there to play, and it was then that I realized she wasn't a little girl anymore. And we actually had fun hanging out. And when her roommate turned out to be a speed freak and almost got them caught up in a white slavery ring (at least that's how I remember it? Correct me if I'm wrong, Lovey), it was decided that she would come and live with me in New York.


She came during what was an incredibly rough period for me. the band was happening but my personal life was a mess. I was in the process of splitting up with my on again/off again husband but only moving to the apartment directly below him. I've already written in detail about how much fun that particular insanity was.

Lisa helped me carry my shit downstairs and we set up house in the tiny one bedroom apartment. We were completely on top of each other but the domesticity kept me grounded. I cooked and cleaned and yelled at her for being such a slob and she sat on my bed watching tv with me for hours while I smoked and brooded. We both got Pomeranians and ate brunches at sidewalk caf├ęs with the dogs in tow. One night I walked in and there was a Doberman puppy snuffling around in my bed. And I didn't really mind.


Lisa walked into a pretty decent set of circumstances though. Cycle Sluts were getting large amounts of attention and she had a backstage pass and free entrance to anywhere she wanted to go. I had worked for years to get the standing that she got overnight through being related to me, and I think she enjoyed it mightily.

One of her favorite moments was walking onto the stage balcony at the Limelight on a night we were headlining. The crowd went crazy thinking it was me, and she smiled and waved and tossed her hair. It was a nonstop party and there was a regular train of hot long-haired guys and partying female friends traveling in and out of our tiny place, dogs underfoot, music blasting. And she never seemed to mind that the situation had reversed itself, now she was the one in the background while I pirouetted on the lawn.


My mother is very involved in spiritual healing and because of that we have regular access to quality psychic readers and channelers. One of the people reading my sister told her that she has been with me through many lives and in fact came to New York to help me heal. And in fact it did seem that way because after 7 years she decided it was time to go home again. This was prompted by a broken heart:


Lisa, picking up the phone, sounding muffled: "Mfff…hello…"
Me: What are you doing?
Lisa: Oh…nothing…just laying face down on the bed.


You get the picture. But it also just felt like her time here was done. So she jammed up a beater car she bought through a friend with all her shit, a guinea pig, Jane the Doberman, and my rotten little Pom named Bean. Bean liked it so much at my mother's house in the country that I didn't have the heart to keep her in the city. So I waved goodbye as the car drove away with my dog yapping wildly out the back window. And of course right after that she got horribly sick and cost Lisa large sums of money and constant medical attention to keep her alive.


Once she left I realized how much I had depended on her for all my day-to-day activities. My social life changed, I no longer had someone I could automatically drag to parties or order Burritoville with or watch tv with while making snide comments.

Lisa and I have the same rotten sense of humor, people will look at us in genuine horror at some of the things we snicker to each other. Whenever a gorgeous girl walks past us we usually turn to each other and say in unison, "Whore." It's really about making fun of our own insecurities but sometimes people don't get it.

And she was one of only two people up until recently who understood that I was far more fragile than appearances belied. Even though it looked like I was the one with all the power and control, I was always veering on the edge and she protected me in ways that I didn't fully understand until much later. When 9/11 hit and my sister couldn't get through on the phone she got completely hysterical and I was touched that she was so worried about me.


Recently I went through something very heavy and private, and before I had a chance to talk to her about it in depth she started dreaming about what was happening with me. It was unbelievable. One time she even managed to get into my body/brain somehow, and the next morning described to me what it looked like where I was the night before and exactly what I was feeling and seeing. That's when we both realized that we are more deeply connected than the surface relationship of being born to the same parents. It's comforting to know that I have that and it's interesting to me that I spent so much time feeling so alone when in actuality I wasn't. I suspect that this is true for many of us.


We lead very different lives now. She lives in Michigan with her son and husband and goes to bed at 10 pm to make it to playgroups early in the morning. That is a lifestyle that would make me suicidal. And she's not interested in participating in my mode of arrested development either. Last time Drew and I visited, a combination of alcohol and fireworks (and one stick of dynamite, interestingly enough) developed and brought the cops to her place. She was not amused and not surprised. She often expresses the fear that one day I will be Baby Jane, covered in pancake makeup and wearing old hot shorts trying to run her over with a car.


Lisa and I only say nice things to each other when buildings are collapsing; our primary form of communication is abuse. And nothing's really going on right now to merit a whole blog so I'm setting myself up for all kinds of annoying gloating. But today I've gotten a couple of emails from people asking about her, and I had a hangover and it made me wish she'd been here to eat spaghetti and watch Clueless for the 9 millionth time.



Sunday, April 8, 2007

An Easter Rat Tale


Many years ago I was in Niagara with my then-boyfriend Jesse, who is/was a partner in the bar. As per our usual Saturday night we were there til well after close with remaining staff members and friends, getting our last drinks in. Those nights always went longer than I really have the stamina for, and I was tired and very drunk. I stared woozily into space wishing I was home in bed while Jesse talked to our friends and his partner Johnny T moved around the room unplugging things.

When Johnny got to the cigarette machine (told you this was years ago!) he screamed and then shouted, "Agh! Get me a bucket! Get me a broom!" The barback ran to him with a bucket and we sort of half paid attention as he continued to shout curses and something about a rat. To which I perked up and responded automatically, "Don't hurt it!"

Johnny bent over a little further and peered downwards intently for a moment, and then said, "Shit! It's a domestic rat. It's standing up looking at me!" He stretched out his arm and picked the rat up, walked back to the bar, and handed it to me. Because everyone knows if there's something alive and squirming it should be handed to me for further inspection. People are always handing off their unwanted bugs and furry creatures to me.

I held the rat up in my hands and touched my nose to hers and Jesse grimaced. "Blech." He said. She was a fat little female, white and yellow in coloring, and very obviously used to being handled. Florentino the barback said, "Oh yeah, there was a punk rock girl in here who said she lost her rat in the bathroom." Which meant that the little rat had traversed from the back of the bar all the way to the front where the cigarette machine was located during a packed Saturday night, managing to avoid being spotted or stepped on. I admired her plucky rodent courage. What I did not admire was the dumbass idiot trying to relive the 80's who left her damn rat in a bar without even leaving a phone number, proving once again that most people are assholes. But I shrugged and shoved the rat in my coat pocket and we took a cab home.

Once we got to Jesse's apartment I told him that he would have to keep her because I had too many cats in my apartment. He made a face and I put her in a box with torn newspaper for a nest, along with a shot glass full of water and some bread, and we went to bed. During the morning hours I heard a lot of squeaking from the box and as I lay there listening Jesse opened his eyes, turned to me and said, "I don't think I can handle having a rat." I wasn't surprised and told him I was expecting to have to take her anyway.

Jesse breathed a sigh of relief and got up and started moving around the apartment while I laid in bed lazily feeling sorry for myself that I was stuck with a pet rat. When he got to the living room, where the box was located, he started making a strange squealing/moaning noise. "Aaaaaaaah…Eeeeeeeeaaahh…"

I gave him a look. "Geez, it's just a rat. Don't be such a wuss."

He pointed at the box, shaking his hand. "Aaaaaaaah… Babies. Babies! There's BABIES!!"

Whaaaa? And there they were. Eight pink newborn rats, all squirming and nursing around their pleased looking little mother. "You little slut." I said, and sighed. I have never in my life wanted one rat and overnight I had obtained nine. NINE rats. It was so typical of my Lucy Ricardo life. And I was fully stuck because not very many other people in this world want pet rats either. A few friends claimed they would take one when the babies got old enough, but they all changed their minds when it came time. And I just didn't have the heart to drop them off at the pet shop to be eaten by snakes because I'd watched them all grow from tiny hairless infants. They were so cheerful, it just didn't seem right. So I simply separated the boys from the girls into large aquariums as early as I deemed possible to prevent any more "surprises".

The cats laid on top of the lids and the rats spent all day trying to get out with little or no regard for the danger of the cats. They chewed great holes into the screened lids and dangled from the edges of the holes by their front paws like athletic escape artists. I was constantly shoving someone back into the box. I covered the lids with large books and they chewed through those. I bought more lids. And I changed litter and bought rodent chow and changed litter and bought rodent chow and waited for them to get old and die, my only thin comfort being the knowledge that rats don't live for very long. I was working as General Manager for Popsmear magazine at the time and we had a very loose office, so I brought the boys up there and they lived in the staff kitchen. They lounged around on top of the lid like beach bums and the shipping manager cleaned the aquarium for me and the people who didn't like rats in their kitchen had to keep their mouths shut bc I was the boss. Sometimes people would carry one around and it was always fun to see outsiders freak out at the sight of a fat yellow rat crawling across someone's keyboard.

Here are the highlights:

One girl escaped and I simply couldn't find her. Two days later the phone went dead and when the Verizon man came to check the line he discovered the phone cord had been chewed through. He looked at the cord, looked at the aquarium, and then looked at me and asked if any of them were missing. "Um…yes, actually." Three days after that I started smelling something awful near my bed and after sniffing around like Dawn Davenport I discovered the body of the missing girl in a crevice in the wall. I felt really badly that I hadn't found her in time and wondered if she'd died of starvation.

Another one of the girls was incredibly determined to live the free life. Every day she found a way out of the aquarium and over to the cupboards underneath my sink, and every day I nabbed her and shoved her back in with the others. Finally, after weeks of intense struggle, I gave in. She liked it under there and would come up when I washed dishes or brushed my teeth and sit next to the faucet washing her face and wiggling her nose at me. I would leave a little chow in a bowl or I'd hand her something tasty off of dirty plates and we got along fine. It was cute and funny—at least to me. Jesse was not as amused.

At night I would hear her scrambling around among the buckets and cleaning products and occasionally I'd open the cupboard and check up on her. She was always very busy but would stop what she was doing to look at me and hear what I had to say. But after a few months something seemed off. There was too much action under the sink at night and I got suspicious.

At the time I was going through a pretty major depression. Popsmear was near bankruptcy and my job was extremely stressful and not at all what I wanted to be doing all day long. My relationship wasn't in the greatest state either. I felt powerless and overwhelmed and always on the verge of a complete meltdown, and was doing a lot of crying on a daily basis.

So when the noises started as I was lying in bed staring at the ceiling, I was not really in a good place for any surprises. But it seemed important to know, so I got out of bed with the lights off, grabbed a flashlight and crept quietly to the sink. I opened the doors as quickly as possible and hit the flashlight. And there it was: a big black, unfamiliar rat tail racing into the hole by the drain. My little blonde girl stood on the laundry detergent inside a bucket, her tiny hands gripped on the rim of the bucket. She looked at me openly like, "What? You never said I couldn't have anyone over."

I sat down naked on the kitchen floor and put my face down on my arms and sobbed. The cats sat on either side of me staring at the rat. The rat stared at all of us and wiggled her nose. It was not one of the more elegant moments in my life.

So now I had a pet rat who was probably pregnant with wild rat babies, and who was attracting actual street rats, who were most likely carrying fleas and disease into my kitchen. I decided the only thing to do was to let her go and I figured the garden next to the restaurant across the street from my apartment was the best location. The garden was really nice and there was sure to be food to be found near the restaurant. The next evening Jesse came over for moral support, and I picked her up from next to the sink and we walked down and across the street to the garden. It was the start of the fall and unseasonably cold out. I put her down in the leaves that coated the garden floor and instead of running she stood up on her hind legs and just looked at me. And then it started to rain. And then I started to cry.

I went inside and cried for a half an hour and then went back out to get her. I couldn't take it. But she was gone by then and I felt like a really bad person for months after that, especially when snow hit. I still wish I hadn't put her outside.

After that it got a little easier. Popsmear closed and I had to bring the boys back, but everyone lost their youthful urge to escape and for the most part stayed in their proper aquariums and slowly got old and died off one by one. The mother got really, really old and bony, and one day Kim and I came home from a night out, drunk and teetering on our heels to a horrible, yet familiar smell.

"Ick." I said. "There's a dead rat in here." I went into snuffling Dawn mode again and found the mother dead and looking strange. I put on a rubber glove and picked her up by the tail and we woozily examined the body as it dangled in front of our faces. We finally focused and ascertained that the top of her head had been peeled back very carefully and the contents were missing. It was apparent that her children had eaten her brain, which I've been told rats will do. It was disgusting but fairly interesting at the same time. Yay rats!

And then one joyous and sunny day the last remaining rat died a peaceful and comfortable death. I hummed and lugged the aquarium down many flights of stairs and dropped it, along with the remaining cedar chips and rodent chow, on the street. And I never looked back.

The end.


Sunday, April 1, 2007

Doris Day

I love Doris Day movies.

There, I've said it. Ordinarily I prefer a sexier, darker movie star – Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Natalie Wood. But Doris has some very obvious appeal.


I love the way the audience is expected to suspend its disbelief and accept that Rock Hudson's wealthy, sexually active bachelor characters will throw out their whole swinging way of life to chase after and marry virginal Doris. We all pretend that Doris is the hottest, most irresistible thing on the planet and the movie works out just fine every time. Rock always has a stable of alluring dark-haired French girlfriends (apparently dark-haired French girls put out in the 50's) who willingly hand him over to the stability of marriage with an inexperienced American with a football helmet hairdo and a closet-full of white evening gowns. We know this because in every movie he asks one of the girlfriends what to do in regards to Doris and they invariably tell him to go for it, dahling. At least that's how I have it in my mind.


Of course Doris initially refuses his filthy advances, squealing in her gravelly voice that she would never! But you know she will in the end, because, well, it's Rock Hudson and he's rich and handsome and rakish and, well, no one knew he preferred boys back then.


I think Doris and my dog look a little bit alike:








Okay, maybe they don't really, but I like to pretend they do.

Doris has been a pioneer in the field of animal rights, btw:
Doris Day Animal League

The point of this blog? There is none, and I apologize for it's pointlessness. I'm just watching Pillow Talk and feeling chipper enough to share. It's hard to be depressed while this is going on:


..


Except perhaps that I've proven once and for all that I really am a gay man. Oops.