Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas is one of my favorite days of the year, especially now that I have a husband who is even more into it than me. We get a tree that takes up our entire tiny living room, we buy way too many presents even though we swear we won't, we shop at Whole Foods for supplies to last us days (because we refuse to go anywhere), and then we eat like pigs and watch Christmas movies while the cats chew on the tree or sit in opened boxes. This year my mother sent, along with way too many gifts for Drew and me, some homemade catnip pillows, so they're all completely stoned and rolling around on the floor with their respective pillows as I write this.

Overlarge tree jammed into tiny apartment:


Stoned and happy cats:



Note that Chocula's pillow is in festive Christmas fabric. My mother is incredibly indulgent. When I was a kid she baked a cake on my hero Todd Rundgren's birthday, now she wraps and sends presents for my cats.

I wanted to post a video of Drew doing his Christmas dance in his new Motor jeans and cashmere scarf, but he put the kaibosh on that bit of festivity and retired for a nap.

I am happy today, but I always remember when things were not as cheery, and it keeps me mindful of all of the people in the world who are not equally blessed. My happiness is also comprised of gratitude, because my holidays were not always perfect, so I know as well as some how lonely it can be.

This week I thought about a particularly crappy Christmas past. I know I have posted similar blogs, but I share it because I really want those who are out there and feeling bad (who might read this) to know that things do change, and that the feelings of loneliness or sadness on holidays where you are supposed to be happy, but aren't, are universal.

I always had great holidays growing up. My parents were very generous and we got a ton of presents on Christmas. My siblings and I got along well enough that the day was a melee of toys and food and leaping on relatives. I wasn't a happy kid for a few different reasons, but the holidays were happy for me.

When I got to New York, it was a different world. I was broke and dove into the most difficult of situations, the darkest energies sometimes. I fell in love with drug addicts who had nothing to give and usually spent Christmas bartending in dive bars, fighting off alcoholics and the energy suckers that also had nowhere else to go. I had friends, but they were equally young, lost, and alone. When I picture those times in my mind, they are always gray-colored: not the comforting black and white of an old movie, but the dirty gray of one of those winter days that you feel disconnected and adrift in depression.

I bartended one Christmas Eve right after breaking up with my cheating boyfriend, who wouldn't have gotten me a present anyway. I was heartbroken, and along with pouring for the few people who ventured out, tried to get out of my head by doing a lot of coke with a friend, who conveniently happened to be a coke-dealer. He hung out at my bar all night and we tweaked and drank and talked and tweaked and drank and talked until 6 am. At some point during the frenzied conversation he invited me to go to Christmas dinner with his family the next day, and I agreed, as I had nothing else planned.

I went home and didn't fall asleep until the sun was well into the sky. Once asleep I dreamed that my apartment was covered in insects, giant beetles the size of your hand, crawling out of the floorboards and cracks in the walls, hiding in the pockets of my clothing, clicking and tapping on every surface in sight, eventually crawling on me, as I panicked and brushed them off. There were so many I couldn't get them all off of me and I shrieked as they took over the room. I awoke with a start; it was such a vivid and creepy dream, but not too hard to decipher. Bugs = drugs.

My friend, current occupation notwithstanding, was a truly nice person from a nice family, and I knew his parents would be proper and classy. I threw clothing around trying to find something appropriate for a dinner out with them, as they were taking us to a nice restaurant. I finally chose what I thought was a simple black dress.

When I arrived at the restaurant and took my coat off and looked around, I realized how out of touch with reality I had become. The dress was skintight, low-cut, and short. It was a dress made for hanging out in clubs, not for an afternoon Christmas dinner with someone's family. I desperately wanted to throw my coat back on, but that would have been weird, so I sat down with too much of my chest and bare leg visible to two lovely older people and a restaurant full of strangers, who glanced disapprovingly. Excruciating.

His parents didn't blink an eye and asked the usual polite questions about my background and history. They were warm and gracious and recommended certain items on the menu and as I looked at it I saw that they would be paying a great deal for this dinner. I ordered the standard turkey holiday dinner, and once it arrived I knew I would be too sick with the coke hangover to eat it.

I took as many bites as I could and felt it coming up almost immediately. I excused myself, feeling even more embarrassed at having to walk across the crowded room in that dress, and moved as quickly as I could to the bathroom. I threw up as soon as I got to the toilet. I could hear the woman in the stall next to me hustling to get out of the room. I wanted to kneel down and sob over the toilet, I felt so cold and ill, and like the lowest piece of trash in the world. I was lost and alone. I wanted to be home with my mommy, in pajamas, feeling warm and safe, not stuck in this big city wearing a cheap dress and trying desperately to appear normal and happy for people whose generosity of spirit only made it more clear to me that I was neither of those things and was indeed completely unworthy of their company.

I cleaned myself up as quickly as possible and went back to the table, praying the absence wasn't overly long. I apologized profusely for not being able to eat the expensive dinner, and they expressed their concern for my well-being. I white-knuckled it through the rest of the evening and thanked them quietly. When I got home I threw the dress in the hamper, to be left there for months. I cried a little bit and fell into a heavy sleep.

Tonight I will drink wine with my love and cook morels and asparagus in pasta. We dvr-ed "Remember the Night" and we might watch some "Freaks and Geeks" as well. I will not be putting on any kind of dress and will remain in pajamas for the day. In a little while I'll call my mom and a few friends. I already spoke to my sister, who is thrilled that Drew got her husband a t-shirt featuring Johnny Cash giving the finger. She said, "Great. My son is 6, he hadn't learned about the finger yet. He can take that back to school after vacation." You're welcome, sis.  

I have a new video game to play, a pound of my favorite toffee, gorgeous gloves that Drew spent far too much on, an exquisite hand-knitted sweater from mom, Patti Smith's new book, a bunch of other smaller items, and high-tech running shoes which will surely come in handy after the over-consumption that's been going on this week. I don't need these gifts, they're just stuff, but the thought and love that went into their choice is something that feeds my soul. Life is amazing and I am more grateful than words can say.

That other, foggier Christmas was a lifetime ago, but I bless that experience and many others like it. I wouldn't enjoy what I have now in the same way if I hadn't seen the other side. I wouldn't have gotten here if I hadn't walked through there. So once again I say to those of you out there in the cold, don't despair. You can change it for yourself. There is a world of happiness that belongs to us all, if we can only get out of our own way and find a path.

Merry Christmas friends and fam!





Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday Reportage

I had the best night last night!

My good friend and co-worker Joey invited Zoe and I to go dinner with him and some friends at Lips, a restaurant that features a drag show and servers in drag. I had never been there, but Joey is an absolute riot and I'll go anywhere he asks me. Plus he used to work there as "Paulina" so you know we were gonna get hooked up with some free booze and a good table. 

The lovely Paulina:


Lips is uptown on 56th Street and the cab ride was lovely, because New York City, especially in that area, looks beautiful in December. Everything is covered in lights, the trees and windows, there are giant Christmas trees everywhere and you feel as if you are in a movie. I tried to find a picture for you and just wasted another half an hour noodling around on the internets, although I did find this brilliant blog: Welsh Alien in New York. Once I am done procrastinating on book writing by posting this blog, I'll procrastinate by reading some of her older posts.

Anyway, back to us: Paulina joined us for dinner in a very sexy little black number and we had an absolute blast. First, the place is GORGEOUS. Pink leopard walls, giant crystal shoe chandeliers. Totally something out of La Cage aux Folles. New York is so funny like that. I do the same things and see the same places over and over when there are a million different interesting places and people available at any time. I love my comfort zone but I also love discovering new comfort zones, especially if they involve drag queens and food.

We pigged out and watched a series of lip synch performance, including one that featured a killer headdress for a Half Breed Cher! I just kept thinking, how do you get that thing in a cab at night?



And me being the rock and roll equivalent of Lucille Ball, I was quickly dragged onstage by a very talented Joan Rivers impersonator for a sort of humiliating and random runway contest designed to entertain and involve all the bachelorettes and birthday girls in the room. Thank God I had a couple in me prior. I have no problem shouting into a microphone, but walking back and forth trying to look cute is not really my forte.



Alas, I did not win. It was a three way tie between a crazy lesbian in rhinestone cowgirl gear, a woman celebrating her 50th birthday, and a very attractive older black gentleman who wanted to do runway with me, but was unceremoniously shoved back in line by Joan. 

It really was fun. And afterward Joan told me that I was gorgeous and looked like a cross between Cher and Dita Von Teese, so you know THAT made my night. Then a group of wasted college kids piled up on our table, because it was closer to the stage, and Paulina almost got in a fistfight with one of them because they wouldn't leave. She stood up and did some head-weaving and earring removal while I clapped and shouted, "VIOLENCE! VIOLENCE!" like we were all in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (as seen below around the 5:00 mark). Dignified to the end.


Luckily the fabulous staff came running and dragged said teenagers back to their rightful place and we retired to the bar where the delightful Frankie Cocktail compared tattoos with Zoe, including one she got during a stint in the Navy.

Frankie:


Zoe, me, Paulina:


After dinner Zoe and I raced to the Best Buy Theater to meet up with Michael Alago at the Life of Agony show. We were extremely late and missed the entire show; Michael had to run out from backstage to get us in the door. As we stood there fussing with the door personnel one mook (of which there are many at a Life of Agony concert) said, "Look at the old whores." So there went my lovely Dita/Cher compliment! But then two seconds later another meathead grabbed my ass. Ah, one minute you're on top of the world, the next at the bottom of the heap, only to be flung back up again by a hammy, grubby paw.

Michael ushered us backstage and I met the absolutely lovely Keith Caputo. He was so warm and gracious, and I'm psyched because we'll both be reading at Zoe's Ho Ho Ho Holiday Party on Sunday. I can't wait to hear what he has to say. 

Michael yelled at our handsome friend Alex Dementia for never putting out: "Whaddya think we bring you out for, conversation?" Then as we were leaving he very generously took a portrait of me with his phone. I look a bit older than I'd like in the photo but I love it nonetheless.


Zoe and I retired to Manitoba's, the bar owned by her and her husband Handsome Dick Manitoba, where we finished off the night with a couple shots of tequila. We tottered to a cab and home, and though my head aches today, I can honestly say the night was well worth the hangover.



Sunday, December 12, 2010

Not on Christmas!

Many people are mean. Unnecessarily so, in my opinion, and I have been called a bitch many, many, maaaaaannny times in my life. I accept it, I yam what I yam. I am too frank sometimes, too controlling, too quick to react, too touchy. I hate meeting new people so I protect shyness and a need for personal space with a bitchy exterior. 

I was accused last weekend, by what I deem a crazy person, of being a total bitch. She gained entrance into my apartment through another friend, and then bounced off of the walls like a toddler on crack until I tried to shut her down with mommy firmness. She couldn't handle it, or I didn't handle it correctly. I don't know. I do know that it was my house and she didn't leave for five hours so it must not have been that painful. But the situation threw me for a loop and made me question myself. I thought about it seriously and had numerous conversations with friends about my behavior, her behavior, and the outcome. I truly don't want to be a mean person, and I think about it often these days. How to draw the line without gouging it into someone's head.

The media is covering cyber-bullying in a major way right now, and we hear all these stories of children killing themselves due to being abused online. There was the teenage girl who killed herself after another girl's mother posed as a boy on myspace and lured the girl in and then taunted her mercilessly. Reprehensible. That college kid who jumped off a bridge because his roommate posted a live video stream of him getting sexual with another boy. Painful. This week I watched a girl on Dr. Phil (my TV dad, even though I know he would yell at me for swearing) who was the victim of a fake facebook page, where someone posted nude photos that looked like her, put her name, number, address, etc. all over the page, and let it loose on the world. She was stalked at her home by perverts, followed home from school, called incessantly, etc. She was terrified and depressed. Can you imagine having that happen when you're a teenager? I could barely handle it if someone made fun of my sweater.

I don't read comments under youtube videos any more, because no matter how harmless or joyful the video, there are always stupid, fucked up things thrown in the comment list. It's a dumping ground for the truly ignorant, and it depresses me to read that kind of keyboard pollution.

In most places on the net, you can post your comments anonymously. The few times I've received hate mail here on my tiny blog, it's always posted anonymously. I will approve comments that disagree with my opinion, but anonymous slams get thrown in the dumper. If you want to get evil, put your fucking name on the thing. Because in my opinion, all of this internet anonymity has created a sea of opportunity to harm each other with no consequences, and I want no part of it.

But that's also the beauty of the internet. I love that it's impossible to keep Wikileaks down. Did anyone read this? WikiLeaks avoids shutdown as supporters worldwide go on the offensive. Fabulous. Some anarchy on the internet may save us from the greed in our government.

So what do we do? I realize I am preaching to the choir here, but the simple answer (to quote my old friend Agatha) is to be nice and fucking polite. Which is not to say you can't have a controversial opinion, just state it in an adult manner.

My friend Rob Schwager, who is a killer comic artist, among other things, posted this on Twitter and got slammed: "I find it amusing that the people who talk the most crap about Christians all year long, still have the gall to give presents at CHRISTmas." I happen to love Christmas AND think organized religion is bullshit, and that all this Jesus worship is ridiculous because there have been many teachers over time, he is only one of them, and it wasn't what he spoke of anyway. I just like the sentiment of the holiday, the present giving, It's a Wonderful Life, the tree dropping needles in my tiny living room. I love it all, as does Drew. Regardless, this post doesn't bother me in the least, but apparently it set off a little shitstorm in his feed. 

Which is fine in some ways. On one hand, we all have differing opinions and part of being connected through our computers is sharing them. But Rob ended up feeling abused by the onslaught of commentary, and that I don't get, and I don't think it would occur in the same way if he'd stated it in person to that same group of people. People think it's fine to shout things with their keyboard that they would never say face to face. And that is what I think is sort of icky about the internet. 

So I propose, at least during this somewhat pointless, overly commercialized and vaguely Christian Christmas season, that we all try to be nice and fucking polite. At least until someone is bouncing off the walls of your home. I am not always, but I will continue to put in the effort.  And I will leave you with this, a beloved holiday moment that I think sums up the holiday spirit quite nicely:


Monday, November 29, 2010

Channel from Moms

Hey my friends - for those of you who might not know, a channel is a message brought through from a guide or other source. Usually the person bringing the message through knows what's happening and has been practicing for a while. My mother has been a seeker her entire life and now channels messages from Arcturus. I don't want to get into it with any of you about belief systems or whether you think it's real or not. I'm simply offering this information for those that are interested because I thought this was a good one. If you want to see other channels her website is http://www.onenessofall.com

                                                  NOVEMBER 28, 2010



Hello to all.

We are here to say to you that all is proceeding according to plan.  You are rapidly moving out of the old energy and into the higher and brighter light of the new dimension.  We say that what you are hearing and seeing on your news is not always the truth, so keep to your own inner guidance at all times and trust your intuition.  You are being confronted on many sides by the energy of the dark who wish you to stay in the old consciousness.  That is the way they can once again gain control over the masses,  but do not buy into this dear ones, it is a ploy that you have outgrown and no longer will work.  They know this, and are "pulling out all the stops" so to speak.  Just allow these  energies to play out.  They are made of wind and nothing else.

We trust that you will be having much change in your lives.  We see you moving quickly into better circumstances as changes unfold.  Do not despair dear ones, you are moving forward, even if it does not seem to be so.

Today we would like to speak of the energy of ascension.  The energy of ascension is the movement into a new state of consciousness.  It is a leaving behind of the old ways and beliefs, and the energy that  comprised them.  Ascension means ascending into a new evolutionary level  and is something that happens by grace.  You do not simply choose to be ascended and the next day you have ascended.  You must be in and of an energy that is able to handle the higher frequencies of the more refined light.  This is what is happening now to most of you as a result of hundreds of lifetimes of spiritual growth and awareness.  After many footsteps, and many of them bloody, you are ascending.  Gaia is ascending.  Those "modern" scientists who  "poo-poo" the idea that Gaia is a living entity,  will be much surprised at some point in their own evolution.  There is nothing  not living and ascending.

Ascension entails the release of old energies; those energies held in place only through accepted beliefs and concepts.  All is energy .  This is why we tell you that you are now releasing old patterns of energy.  This is why you may be remembering hurts and pains from the past and feeling emotions of guilt, anger, or sadness.  These are old energies that are now releasing from your energy fields in order for you to incorporate  higher frequencies of light.  It is very important to let these go; to allow those feelings to release and move into the nothingness that they really are.  Do not claim them back in, saying to yourself; "I am so guilty, or  I am such a bad person etc."   This is very important because unless you understand what is taking place,  the temptation is  accept old energies back in because  you are experiencing  them as they flow out.

You  are releasing, but the mind is interpreting  on the levels it knows.  So if you have dreams of some past event that is scary or is weird, but seems very real, it is probably the releasing of something from a distant past that you were still carrying around in your energy field.  Mind  interprets according to what it already knows, and so  interprets experiences during sleep time as something that may make no sense to you.

The process of clearing  uses energy and as a result many of you are feeling very tired and think something is wrong with you.  The fact is  that you simply don't have as much energy left over for the usual things, when you are busy expending it for  release and integration.  At some point this will come to an end.  Just  lay down if you need to.  Rest more, relax more, and allow yourself to have more fun.

Most clearing is done in a general way, but when an intense  experience buried deeply from the near or distant past is ready to be released, it will somehow come to your conscious awareness either through a dream, a channeled message, healing energy work,  memory, or  some way that enables you become aware of it.  This is necessary in order for  you to release it on a conscious level.  To do this, you simply become aware of it (this may be accompanied by some emotion) , and then when you are ready, realize that you not longer choose this  to be a part of your energy  and consciously choose to release it.  This happens often with regard to sexual abuse energy, or traumas like being burned  the stake in another life, being murdered or events of a horrendous nature experienced when the world was at a very low level.

Do not dwell on these events of the past, they are coming to you simply in order for you to release them. They carry only the energy or power that you give them now or have given them in the past.  You are graduating and do not need to drag these with you,.  Indeed you cannot drag them with you because thy only exist in the lower frequencies.

Many hold on to past events of trauma as if they were medals of honor.  They earned you  lessons, but after that, you must let them go.  Many spend their whole lives reliving and reactivating the energy of traumatic events. This is the ego at work.  We are not denying  that there was indeed much pain in the experience and that there is a need to heal, but  what we are saying is that there comes a time for every individual to let the past  go through the realization that there is no law to support these things, the are not God ordained or God sustained. They are images; illusions created in the third dimension through a belief in duality and separation.

You see dear ones, it is time to move on.  Many are experiencing this as  the need to clean house--  physically , emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  This is new energy of release and movement.  This is the ascension dear ones.  You are ascending, should you choose.  You can choose not to, if you wish because  as always you have free will and there is no one forcing  you to graduate.  If you choose to stay in the old energy, that is fine because at some point, in other lifetimes or places, all will evolve- it is the truth of being.

We say in love,  think about what we have said dear ones, time is drawing short and many changes you will see in 2011.

Thank you Arcturian Group                                                                                 11/28/2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Internet Obsession

Lord. My life is like Lucy Ricardo's but with loud music, more booze, and pets. I kind of like it. 

During unhappier days I asked a very good psychic when there would be peace. She said, "You are afraid of peace and the boredom it might bring." I could see that what she said was true, and I've come to accept that a little bit of chaos is not a bad thing. As long as it's not dark chaos, it keeps life lively. I suspect that many people have consciously or unconsciously made the same choice; it's becoming increasingly apparent to me that we are all mere souls trying on various people suits and situations, and when we are able to stop freaking out and enjoy the ride, things can be pretty entertaining.

Last Saturday morning I woke up with a black eye. I have no idea what happened, just a random black eye. Then Sunday morning my Android phone committed suicide by leaping off of the bed during the night. I looked over the edge and it was just laying there, face down. So sad. It wouldn't turn on or respond in any way. Perhaps there was just one too many cat photos on it, I pictured my poor little phone teetering on the edge of the bed, thinking it had no other choice and imagining freedom on the other side. If only it had told me it was feeling down.

Abandoned by hand-held technology, I felt cut adrift for three days until a new Droid II arrived (free via an amazing deal from Amazon, yo), struggling sadly through life with no text messages and looking battered with a bruised swath underneath an eye. It did come to mind that it might be kind of dumb to be so unhappy without a cellphone when one is surrounded by other phones and constant internet. But this is the age we live in, and while I do not embrace the music of today's youth, I do embrace their technology.

I loooove the internet. Way more than is dignified. I've got myspace, which will be dismantled as soon as I muster the energy to collect all the photos housed there. There's this blog. There's Facebook, upon which is spent an embarrassing amount of time, and in which I communicate more regularly with friends than via standard email. And now there's Twitter, something I swore I would not do. And then I swore that I was only joining it to follow my friends but began tweeting almost immediately upon sign-up. Drew, who thinks it's all bullshit, said, "Great. So you're a twat like everyone else." Yep. I'm twatting! Just like Demi Moore, except with far fewer bikini shots. Add me! Let's communicate pointless trivia when we could be doing something more productive! It's @MissAnthropeNYC.

Then, on Thanksgiving, another tragedy struck. Facebook shut my page down with no warning. SHUT ME DOWN. Boom, gone! The log-in page appeared with a notice that said the account was disabled due to violation of terms. What violation? How dare they? I clicked on the link offered and it gave me a form asking for a scan of my driver's license to check the name associated with the account. 

Oops. So they were serious about that name thing? Effing nerds. I was on there under Anastasia Beaverhausen, a name I have come to love, but which was obvious enough to give me away. I had planned on changing it to something more real anyway, it was just difficult to give up being a Beaverhausen. So elegant, like royalty. It's where the beaver live. And I never imagined that Facebook would shut someone down with no warning. What about that Indian guy that's posting ads all over the Murphy's Law page? Why does he get to live to spam another day?

So I sent off my response, and as expected, got no response in return. I sent off two more over the course of the last couple of days and still have not heard from them. Bastards! In the meantime, I set up a new profile and started apologizing and re-adding friends. And THEN I got a warning from Facebook that I had added too many people in one day, and if I tried to friend any more they would shut me down. So there you go. Facebook hates popular people with exotic, beautiful names. 

The whole thing has made me feel weirdly vulnerable and attacked, like a virtual black eye. In the grand scheme of things, it's clear that if this is my biggest problem for the day, life is pretty good. t's frigging Facebook fer Chrissake. But it was weirdly upsetting, like someone had invaded my private world: photos lost, connections severed, the Beaverhausen legacy destroyed in the blink of a black eye.

Alison suggested that someone may have turned me in, to which I recoiled in dismay, "But everyone loves me! Don't they? Who would do that, Ali?" She laughed and said, "Oh, I don't know, Mary! You're always so sweet!" Bitches! So there is that possibility that one of the many people I've offended over the years got a small revenge. But I choose to believe that it has nothing to do with my obnoxious personality, and the Facebook staff is populated by mean Nazis who hate fun.

On a less retarded note of interest, I did send a (Facebook) message to a girl who I had much drama with in the '80's. She was part of our friend circle until she slept with my chronically unfaithful boyfriend behind my back. I (being completely unhinged on a good day back then) tortured her for months and then beat her up at a Raging Slab gig. And in return, she sent me to jail for two days. Good and classy times, my friends. But she is actually a very nice person and dropped the charges when the philandering boyfriend in question put in a call requesting clemency on my behalf. She asked that I'd quit torturing her in return, which seemed a reasonable request. It was a large life lesson, and she has my eternal gratitude. She also went on to get a black belt in karate, so even if I wasn't grateful and respectful, I'd have to pretend or get my own ass kicked.

Anyhoo, it's a long and entertaining story that I am trying to write down, but I had questions and couldn't remember some details. I knew she was online so I sent some questions and stated that I would understand completely if she preferred not to respond. She did respond, and merely asked that she's not made to look too bad, which is pretty easily done since it's fairly obvious who the maniac was in that equation.

So that's my internet report for today. Not quite as pithy or deep as it could be, but it feels good to share some internet pain. And so I don't appear completely vapid I'll also post (in a new blog) a channel that my mom sent out today. Maybe Facebook will see it and note that I come from a nice family and it might be more prudent to go after that spammy Indian guy.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Morning in Manhattan

ME (flipping through hanging clothes): What is this? Is this your jacket? When did this get here? I don't recognize it.

DREW (without looking up from his book): Yes, it's a jacket.

ME: Yours? It's not mine.

(silence)

ME: You are ignoring me.

DREW: No, I'm busy picturing throwing this book at you. It just bounced off your head and make a really good sound. 

ME: Really.

DREW: Yes, and now you're laying on the floor silent. You've been knocked out cold.

ME: Well, I suppose a man can dream, Andrew.

DREW (smiling, eyes closed): Shhhhh....

Friday, November 12, 2010

Typecasting

MIKE: We watched this Spanish horror movie the other night and thought of you the whole time.

MIKE SQUARED: Yeah, it was pretty funny.

ME: Why?

MIKE: One of the characters looked just like you. She was your doppelganger, except she had red hair.

MIKE SQUARED: Totally. Just like you. Same energy.

ME: Wow, awesome! What was her character? Was she cool?

MIKE SQUARED: I'm not going to lie to you, Raff. She was the tattooed carnival slut.

ME: Goddamnit. Again??

MIKE: Yeah. Sorry.

MIKE SQUARED: Yeah...





Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution

Weeeeelll, I had a classic old broads kinda weekend I thought I'd share.

The Friday before Halloween found Alison and I on a bus to Philly to hang with La Montenegro (Kim) and see the Black Crowes play at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby (birthplace of Todd Rundgren, for you equally, ahem, "seasoned" readers). Kim's good friend Alex was able to procure 4th row center seats and I haven't seen the Black Crowes play live since the early 90's, and Kim and I spend a lot of time listening to them when we're together, so it seemed a worthy undertaking.

The beginning of the night started with Kim in the middle of a really good rant about her latest ex. I love her rants:

"You know what? I hate that fat fuck even more now. UGH. Take away the beard and mustache and he's just an Irish potato. A POTATO!  WITH A SHITTY ATTITUDE!! ECK. And those hands. THOSE LITTLE HANDS! They're all tiny and grasping, like a troll. LIKE A FAT FUCK POTATO TROLL! He should be UNDER A BRIDGE!!! I hate that asshole, I can't believe I ever let him NEAR my vagina."

Alex and I accidentally wore the same McQueen scarf (which, btw, is a $500 rip-off of the $8 skull scarves we used to get on St. Mark's Place), hers was purchased legitimately, mine stolen from Drew. A female fan gave it to him at a gig in Europe and I relieved him of it immediately upon his return home, my argument being that he was never going to wear it and items from admiring women must go to the girlfriend for use or discard. He rolled his eyes and handed over the scarf. 

We laughed at our matching designer scarves and then because Alex is in the middle of a pumpkin ale love affair, I helped her shove a leather-covered flask full of the stuff into the back of her pants right before we entered the venue.

I felt puffy from PMS and stressed over what to wear that would make me feel svelter than I really am. Kim has a broken toe so she's forced to wear a medical boot for a month, so she wasn't much happier, and Alison was worried about the way her ass looked in her pants. There was no need to stress it turned out, as we discovered that a Philly Black Crowes audience is not an overly glamorous one, and in fact consists primarily of wasted old fat dudes, with a few tolerant wives scattered here and there. As soon as the four of us entered the building we were accosted by a man who could barely speak from overuse of spirit, who  found us all equally attractive and urged us to high five over and over again in celebration of Kim and my tattoos. We were, indeed, the belles of the contractor's ball.

We fought our way to the front of the large theater and found ourselves seated behind the biggest mountain of a man I've ever seen. Why is it there's always a giant guy in front of you, no matter what show it is or where you stand? I think there should be a tall dude section in every venue. In the back. But whatever, we were so close to the band it didn't matter.

I know I should take the time to give proper show reviews, but I find show reviews tedious and am far too self-absorbed to pay enough attention. Last time Jesse played he got off the stage with his wireless mike and made his way through the crowd to point out his oblivious ex-girlfriend as I stood yammering with Zoe and Rabbit at the bar. It was embarrassing but well played. I do love his shows, it's just that there's so much to talk about!

So review: the Black Crowes put on a great show: nine people - the core band and then another percussionist and two back up singers. They are tight as hell and I am a huge fan of the music so that helps. What I am not a fan of is their Grateful Dead tendency to ramble off into never-ending jams. I hate jams. And I am not alone on this, the great Lemmy Kilmeister once said to me, "I don't jam." Well, of course you don't because it's tedious as fuck. So in between great versions of great Black Crowes songs you have to stand and look interested in the tedium of a 15 minute song breakdown. Cut the jams, people! No one cares! That's my goddamn review.

We danced and sang along and drank copious amounts of cheap beer (after we polished off Alex's flask), as it was the only alcoholic beverage available. As I tried to avoid another high five from our original friend (who somehow was seated right next to us), a girl I'd known in the 80's and 90's made her way through the row to me. She was a little bombed and hugged me repeatedly and said "I miss you!" I told her it was great to see her, and she handed me what I thought was an aftershow VIP sticker, one of those sort of backstage passes that generally lead you to a holding pen where you hang out feeling like a dick wondering if the band will eventually deign to hang out with you and the other dicks. 

I thanked her profusely and said, "Babe, this is no good to me unless I get three more." And she said, "That was mine, I'm pretending I lost it. Don't tell anyone where you got it. I want you to go backstage and say hi to Chris Robinson."

Ed note: Quite a few centuries ago, during the paleolithic era, I had a brief couple of moments with aforementioned singer. It is not worthy of too much discussion, although I will put it in the book if there ever is a book. It was at a particularly low point in my life, no reflection on him, I was just not in a good head, and it went down in the standard rock and roll sputter: girl thinks there's something actually going on, boy just having fun on the road, girl writes boy a particularly scathing letter, boy thinks girl is crazy and refuses to make eye contact next time they're in the same room. Which was cool, and it was 20 years ago so it's embarrassing to even bring it up, but her statement wouldn't make as much sense if I didn't. I've bumped into him numerous times since then and it's all good, mostly because I'm so determined to show that I'm not crazy that I'm as stiff as the Queen of England. Which probably only makes me look crazier. No matter how hard I try to hold it in, the crazy seeps out through the cracks.

So I slap my sticker pass on my leg and get to dancing and clapping. BOOSH! All of a sudden I'm completely drenched in what feels like a bucket's worth of cold liquid. What the hell? Is this a GWAR show? I look at the moron next to me. He is stoned beyond any sort of functionality and stands swaying and staring emptily into space. I know that he had a full plastic pint of beer two minutes before that, now his cup is empty and hanging at half mast in his grubby mitt. I pick up my shirt and wring it. Liquid drips onto the floor. I can feel my sock squishing in my boot. Yes, there is beer pooling in the bottom of my extremely overpriced Jonathan Kelsey boots, which were procured at half price but still cost almost as much as my rent.

Rage flares, I turn to dumbass and say, "Do you want to explain why I'm COVERED in your fucking beer?" He mumbles a word and goes back to staring forward. He then drops what's left of his beer, and slowly, sloooowly squats down, feels about on the sticky floor for the cup, and sloooooowly stands up, brings the cup to his mouth, and swigs the last bit in the bottom and and then stares into the bottom of the empty cup. I hate him with every fiber of my being.

"WELL???" I sputter ineffectually. He mumbles again, "I said I was sorry." He turns to his equally stupefied friend and they exchange a look which says, "Bro, I am so fucked up and this bitch is freaking me out."

I turn around and start pointing out my state of soaked-ness to anyone who will listen. It does not bring me satisfaction, but it's all I have. A lone security guard makes his way to the idiots, says something to them but moves on. I want to yell at him, "I DEMAND SATISFACTION, GOOD SIR! REMOVE THIS LOUT, IMMEDIATELY!" But there is no satisfaction when you're covered in beer and the guy who did it is too stoned to care. I go back to watching the band.

The show ends and I tell the girls I'm going to see if the pass is worth anything. It is not. I find an accommodating security guard at the backstage door and he says, "Who gave it to you? I can look and see if they're back there." I panic and mumble the girl's name, as she told me not to mention her. Another security walks by and says, "That's a working pass, you can't just pass those around! You should go wait in the diner across the street, maybe the band will show up there." Then he snickers. I look at the nice security and say, "Well, that was a bit snarky, wasn't it?" And then I snicker as well. I'm separated from my crew and so coated with beer that I can't really defend my honor too mightily at this point in the game. I also notice that this is, indeed, a working pass, and I am very obviously not on any sound crew. Quelle embarrassment.



The nice guy says, "Who do you want to see?" And I say, "Okay, I REALLY don't care if I get back there, but I had intended to run in and say hi to Chris Robinson, and then run right back out to my waiting friends." He says, "Who is Chris Robinson?" I say, "The singer." He looks at me blankly. I say, "You know, the one who looks like Shaggy from Scooby Doo? Tell him that Raffaele from the Cycle Sluts wants to say a quick hi."

"Ooooh! Okay, be right back!" This truly must be the nicest man working security in Northern America.

After a few minutes he exits again and says, "Sorry, couldn't find him and they're being very tight back there." I said, "Absolutely no worries, thank you so much. I feel like a jerk standing here anyway. Have a great night."

I find my ladies and we make our way back to the parking garage, which turns out to be quite the scene. We are immediately spotted and followed by a rapist in a grey hoodie who keeps saying things like, "Hey. Where ya goin'? You girls wanna party. Hey, where ya goin'? Let's hang out." Fortunately he was too fucked up to formulate an effective plan of attack, and when we ran aground of a tailgate party featuring a loud sound system and about 6 or 7 guys who looked like they had grandchildren waiting for them at home, he wandered sad and alone back to his kidnap van. 

One of the grandpas, said, "Hey, ladies! Want some beer!" We sat in the car debating this opportunity for a few minutes. I was sort of pro. What could be more entertaining that drinking cheap beer in a parking garage with a bunch of really old Black Crowes fans? I mean, we'd already come this far. Alison is way more sensible than me and hadn't had anything to drink, so she took the con position. Alex mentioned that she already had a pumpkin ale in the car and Kim couldn't make up her mind.

Alex didn't have an opener, and before we could say anything about bottle opening options, she ran to the curb and smashed the top of the bottle, creating the most jagged opening possible.

I screamed and said, "There is no way in hell that you are allowed to drink out of that bottle! Throw it away, immediately!!" 

Alex, who is a practicing lawyer and all around super smart and classy chick, said, "It's cool. I've got experience, spent a lot of time with fire-eaters. I can handle a little glass." This is the look I gave Alison over the back of the seat:



We freaked, Alex insisted, and she did indeed drink out of the bottle. Then she realized she'd lost her flask. We drove around to the venue and Alex went in to search. After 10 minutes she  returned, sad and flaskless. 

I said, "We can get you another one."

She said, "Not this one." 

Kim asked, "Where did you get it, Chrome Hearts? Somewhere expensive, right?"

Alex whispered sheepishly, "Erm...It was Gram Parsons'."

We all start screaming yet again, and I shout: "GRAM PARSONS?? We just lost GRAM PARSON'S FLASK?? Are you fucking kidding? You have to go back in there and get it."

Alex assured us that she had done a thorough search and it was gone, and we all mourned the fact that it was not only gone, but picked up by someone who will never know its true value. I pray it wasn't stoned beer jerk. Alex took another sip of her extremely dangerous beer, and we clucked sadly. What a loss.

Next up, a late night dinner with a bottle of red wine, and a waiter who was so impressed with Alex's determination to drink that glassed up ale that he strained it for her into 4 glasses. Yes, I drank it. I'm not proud at 1 am, puffy with PMS, coated in some asshole's cup of Budweiser and refused at a backstage door. Who am I to say no to a little glass infused pumpkin ale? This is the bottle, sitting on our table prior to being carted off by a very indulgent waiter:


Kim and Ali:


Alex and me. My tongue is yellow from drinking shitty beer for three hours:


And lastly, back to Kim's kitchen, where I ingest half a painkiller that had been hanging around in my bag since my birthday, and within minutes am floating on a mild opiate haze, which no doubt is the reason for the focus on this photo:


We spend the rest of the morning drinking French wine and dancing to songs of Kim's choosing. We danced and danced and danced until 7 am. Each time shouting, "Last song and then we're going to bed!" But the songs sounded so good, we just couldn't stop.

 


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Things Change

When I was very young my parents would pack the kids up and drive a few hours to their town of origin, which was Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Most of the time the brood stayed with our maternal grandmother and father, because they had the space available in their home. On one particular occasion, when I must have been around 8 years old, my younger brother Joe and I went alone with my father and stayed with his sister Etta.

Aunt Etta was the eldest of 11 kids, my father was the youngest. Etta was probably a bit of a surrogate mom to him; his much older sisters doted on him as a child, while his mother, weary from carrying the weight of so many children with what appeared to be an often absentee husband, probably couldn’t give him the attention or patience he might have needed.

Etta looooved my little sister, although she was just a baby at this time so the adoration had only just kicked in. And my sister wasn’t along for this trip. In my childhood memory Etta regularly shunted me aside as someone who had to be tolerated. In fairness, I think she was probably nicer than I’ve painted it in subjective memory, but I resented the way she doted on my sister and the way everyone else smiled upon their special bond. Etta was a matter of fact, ouspoken woman used to being in control, and for her there wasn’t much to enjoy about my bookish, sullen nature. In stark contrast, there was my sister: an adorable, outgoing, curly-topped, Italian moppet. Although this visit was prior to my getting glasses, and I can see in old photos that I was a pretty child at this time.

One of Etta’s great sorrows in life was that she and her husband were unable to conceive more than one child: our cousin Randy, who was a kind and cheerful boy, too much older than us to be of interest, but still a lovely guy with an easy smile. I liked Randy better than i did his mother, who expressed her desire for more children by taking in foster teenagers, like Kenny.

This visit was the only time I met Kenny, and I don’t think he was in their care for very long. In my memory it seems as if he was 18 or 19. I was so little that he seemed very old, but in retrospect he was probably more like 15 or 16. I remember that he was tall and skinny and his hair was cut overly short.

From the minute we landed, Kenny was all over me. He ruffled my hair, he tried to joke with me, he pulled at my clothing, he found any excuse to touch me, and the few times I happened to walk near him, he pulled me into his lap. He was relentless about getting me into his lap.

I hated it. I was averse to the spotlight and didn’t want to be touched by anyone other than my immediate family. And I was already well on my way to mind-crippling physical guilt courtesy of the Catholic church. So on a good day this would have been too much. I sensed instinctively that this was not the standard attention that a teenage boy should be lavishing upon an 8 year old girl. But I didn’t know how to rebuke the advances. The only recourse seemed to be to tolerate them as best I could and hide from him as much as possible. His attention made me feel guilty, and creepy, and weird, and even more alone than usual while surrounded by people. My father was preoccupied, my brother a pest, my aunt politely masking her mild disdain. I counted the hours until I could get home to the warm presence of my mother.

The night before we were to leave, I woke up in the dark, feeling the energy of someone standing next to my side of the large double bed that Joe and I were sharing. It was Kenny.

Ugh. What now? Why was he standing here in the dark? I wasn’t scared as much as sincerely bummed out that there he was again. I lay frozen and could hear my brother’s baby snore sleep next to me.

He whispered, “Shh. Don’t wake up your brother.”

He squatted down and slid his hands under the covers and under my flowered cotton nightie. I squeezed my eyes shut. He fingered my vagina very gently in weird motions.

It seemed silly, albeit horrible. I felt as if my privates were like the folded paper cootie catchers we played with in school, and he was just moving it back and forth looking for the answer. Do you like red, blue, green or yellow? Do you pick 2, 3, 4, or 5? 

The clock on the nightstand ticked quietly.

“Do you like this?” He asked.

“No.” I whispered. He wiggled his fingers a bit more.

“Doesn’t it feel good?”

I didn’t answer but shook my head, my teeth clenched, waiting desperately for it to stop. I felt beyond icky and terrified that my brother would wake up and see what was happening.

After a few more hour-long seconds of effort he gave up with his poking around. He leaned into my ear and said, “Don’t tell your dad or your brother, okay? It’s our secret.”

I felt hate bloom in my heart.

I didn’t tell. I felt deeply ashamed and I could never let them know this awful secret about me, especially my father, who loved me. I felt that if he knew that I was dirty, he would stop loving me. My Aunt Etta was right. 

I sat quietly in the back of the car, looking out the window as we drove home the next morning: my childhood cracked forever, the world a grey place.


Texting with the Third Street One Percent


ME (group text): Come hang with me and Kim tonight at Niagara 7th Street and Avenue A!

B: WHO THE FUCK IS THIS?

Me: It's Raff, you asshole!

B: 1. HOW THE FUCK WOULD I KNOW THAT?????????? 2. HUH? 3. WHY WOULD YOU TELL ME THE ADDRESS OF NIAGARA WHEN I'VE BEEN THERE SINCE 1983? AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST...I HAVE TO "WORK" THERE AT 10 PM, YOU BIG TITTED BITCH!

Me: Ha!!! Sorry, that was a mini mass text to the chosen few. And goddamnit, stop yelling at me! You're like Kanye West with the all caps, fer Chrissake.

B: fuck you...ASSHOLE, IT'S THE ONLY WAY I CAN SEE THE LETTERS.

Me: And another thing, why aren't you keeping my number close to your black heart?

B: CAUSE IT BURNS ME.