Dinosaur Walk

This morning on my way to work I stopped in front of a certain 3rd Street club for a chat with a friend who lives there and was moving the bikes from one side of the street to the other. As we talked I looked at the door which was once painted with a fearsome image and recently destroyed by the NYPD in a raid, to be replaced with a plain grey one. I miss that fearsome black door.

Looking at it made me flip through the catalog of memories I share with this club, not all good: Being held hostage in the Lismar til late in the night by one of their outer borough members on a psychotic, drunken tear. I talked myself out of hysteria in the mirror in the bathroom and went back out and calmed him down enough to be able to close the bar and leave with myself and the remainder of the patrons intact… Seeing innocent people get seriously hurt just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time…Getting choked for voicing my opinion too stridently during a brawl. Watching Donna jump on one of their backs in the middle of that same brawl. Getting hosed down with the soda gun at the Scrap Bar by one particularly loose cannon, only to get a sincerely apologetic visit at my job from the higher ups the next day. I think there were even flowers involved, and after that offender disappeared, not that I believe it had anything to do with me.

So I have very mixed feelings regarding the organization, but some great memories too:

Hanging with my band, drinking beer on a stoop and watching Circus of Power play at the annual 4th of July party. Watching a Eurotrash asshole harass everyone in the Lismar and then get on one of the bikes out front. We all clapped as he went sailing through the air… Regularly hanging out after working my shift at the crappiest of all dives ever created (the Pit Stop) with one of the members I considered a real friend. He was a Viking bear of a man, but spoke gently to me about how my time behind the bar wouldn’t last forever. He never once hit on me and was the first one to arrive for the afore-mentioned official apology. I was very sad when he died in a motorcycle accident, as many of the ones I knew well have, and I never pass the club without thinking about how special he was. There are a couple of other members who I consider to be real friends, and there is something to be said for their old-dog, continued refusal to let go of the lifestyle. They’re a remnant of my old hood and I’m grateful for that.

Then I passed the shell of CB’s, which currently has flowers and cards strewn in front of it with the words, “RIP. We’ll miss you Hilly.” spraypainted on the gate. I didn’t know Hilly personally and never had that much attachment to saving CBGB’s bc I believe everything has a shelf life. But I do feel for the people who knew and loved him, and it’s still sad to pass it every day, another reminder of gigs gone past and the heavy wheels of change.

I got to work and took a look at some new sequined dresses we received yesterday which have the image of Jim Morrison painted on the front. I know the person who created the dresses and although she’s talented and a nice person, I also know that she doesn’t listen to the Doors. It’s depressing but I see shit just like it every day.

Then I turned on my computer and a google alert announced that a certain spoiled, ridiculous, vapid, Almost Famous wannabe is shouting over the internet that she is very tight with my boyfriend and subsequently his band. I wouldn’t mind if she actually cared about the music, but it’s just about using someone who actually does rock to prove some non-existent depth, the same way Morrison is being used for those dresses. Even the rock groupies of this generation have no integrity! It reminds me that I need to start a preferred reader list for these blogs, btw. At the moment I’m too lazy and am just doing friends only.

So I know I sound depressed, but I’m really not. There are a couple of kids in the store who really get what’s cool and what isn’t, and they ask me all the time what it was like back when the EV was a true community of musicians, artists, performers, and yes, bikers. They sneak in music (Pat hates rock) over the store sound system that even I forgot. They brought back Natasha’s fabulous dresses from late 70’s/early 80’s St. Marks Place. Every time I look at them hanging in a row I feel a small sense of relief, not so much for the nostalgia, but because I am witnessing a desire for a certain pioneer spirit rather than a mere unimaginative rape of imagery. Every time Natasha comes in the store we greet each other warmly with a kiss. We were mere acquaintances back then, now we feel like war buddies.

And once I got into the office another 20-something co-worker complained about the NYU twats that took over the bar she was in last night and how she ended up dumping a beer on one and having him thrown out of the bar. She said it felt great and she asked me if I thought NY would change because even she hates it now. I wanted to hug her for noticing.

So yeah, I’m old and bitter and still singing the same tedious dirge about what’s happened to my hood and to subculture in general. But I feel okay this morning. I have a slew of brilliant memories that other people only dream about. I’m grateful I was here during such a special time. Today it felt sort of peaceful to watch the bikes get moved for the millionth time, and it makes me happy to have a few of the “kids” I work with really get it. I genuinely want to see them able to create whatever they want, it doesn’t have to be what we did, just something of true rebel heart. It’s also comforting that Patricia still plays by her own demented rules and continues to provide a home for the freaks (albeit dysfunctional) while the neighborhood around us grows upward in glass and steel. And who knows, maybe the real estate market will crash and things will get interesting once more.

Crazier things have happened.


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Bark at the Moon

I’ve been thinking about the pets a lot today.

As most of you know, my dog is a constant issue. This week he’s developed some sort of allergy from who-knows-where, and he has chosen to express his discomfort by yapping for hours at his own ass throughout the night at random times. It is unbelievable. No amount of discussion will change his mind on this point, and I got so frustrated at 5 am that I shook him and yelled into his terrified face, and then got up again and smacked his ass repeatedly at 5:30 am, which then shut him up for a short while (until he felt his back end needed another talking to) but kept me awake feeling shitty and weepy and wondering how I have failed as a pet owner that I’m actually hitting my dog in rage and frustration

I have had two dogs before this one who were amazing, magical, genius pals who went with me everywhere. One was a Pomeranian named Bean, and after her came a Peke named Panda. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about and miss Panda. I purchased both dogs as puppies before I really had an awakened consciousness about the sea of homeless animals out in the world (even though I worked as a volunteer at the Humane Society as a teenager—heartbreaking).

When Panda died I wanted to do the right thing and adopted his doppelganger—abused, abandoned Winter. And though Drew and I both love him, it’s like having a retarded child. He’s just not an easy dog and after 3 and a half years of stress we regularly talk about putting him down. I just don’t have the heart to do what feels like another abandonment.

Now this whole Vick thing is happening and it’s been making me think about my own role in the world as an animal lover. I feel like a hypocrite in some ways. I am not ready to give up leather. Though very seldom, I eat meat on occasion. I work at a store where fur is sold, regardless of the heated arguments I have put up against it. Though I’ve gotten rid of most of my vintage fur coats, there are a couple I’m not ready to part with yet. And I yearn to have a tiny, fancy breeder-bought dog that will trot alongside me happily to work every day.

I honestly believe that we have no right to use animals the way we do. And I believe that because domesticated animals count on us exclusively for their well-being we have been handed a sacred trust and responsibility that must be honored. Every time we violate that trust with abuse or neglect, we violate our own selves.

I hear from people occasionally who state that animal rights people are so into animals that they don’t pay any attention to other problems in the world that are, in their minds, more important – e.g., child abuse, world hunger, genocide or war. I do care very much about those other issues, but for whatever reasons animals are what move me to action, and I feel I must put my energy where I am directed. I also know that the environment would be greatly improved if we cut down on our use/abuse of animals as food, so to me those are two issues that go hand in hand.

Anyway, I’m rambling a little, I guess, and not sure what my point is. My friend Angelo has a friend named William Kay who submitted an anti-dog fighting video to the Humane Society and watching the submissions broke my heart a little. Every one was devastating and William’s was really powerful. If you want to check them out and vote they’re HERE. Make sure you have something cheerful to watch afterwards, though. Anyway, then I went to bed in the hopes of getting to a class at the gym at 10 am, and was instead kept up all night long by one example of my own imperfect attempts at making a difference in the world. I feel guilty that I hit him and guilty that I am not out on the frontlines the way many of my friends are.

The one positive note that I can see at the moment is that Vick and his friends have brought the issue of dogfighting to the public eye more than any amount of bulletin posting or petition signing could do. And that’s one step towards a world without suffering and it brings me a small amount of comfort.

All right, gonna pull myself out of this doggie funk and go get a mani/pedi, return some overdue phone calls, give the dog an anti-itch bath, and hopefully see some of you rock stars at Dirty Bomb tonight.


UPDATE:

I got some nice emails from everyone on this and some friends at Dirty Bomb also mentioned it last night. Thanks everyone. I gave that rotten Peke a bath with some medicated shampoo and voila! No more barking at his ass. Right before we went on vacation I used a cheaper shampoo bc I ran out of the usual stuff, and I think it’s been bugging him ever since. He’s still a pain in the ass but I did get a full night’s sleep last night and I’m touched that everyone is concerned.

Ohm

What it’s like inside my brain during the meditation portion of yoga class:

Shit, are we supposed to have palms up or palms down? Why is that guy breathing like that? Is anyone else grossed out by earthy yoga dude’s inappropriate sighing? Blech!…La la la…Did I order too many nun costumes? Does anyone really want to be a French maid anymore? What about stockings, should I get more plain white ones? Nah, last Halloween we had too many…Dum de dum de dum…I can’t believe I got those Louboutins on sale, wish I had somewhere to wear them… I wonder how the new shoe floor is at Saks. Maybe Kim will want to go with me next time she’s in town… Okay, are we still supposed to be lying down? I can’t hear a frigging word she’s saying from back here. Everyone’s probably sitting up while I lay here with my eyes closed, looking like an idiot… I like this laying down in the dark portion of the class, though. The only thing missing is a masseuse. Yay! Although I doubt this is calorically effective in any way: “Miss Stoger, I would just like to say that physical education in this school is a disgrace. I mean, standing in line for forty minutes is hardly aerobically effective. I doubt I’ve worked off the calories in a stick of Carefree gum”…Crap! Why do all roads lead back to Clueless? …FOCUS, MARY, FOCUS… Okay, what’s the thought for the day, oh yeah, forgiveness. Forgiveness… forgiveness… hmm… Well, I can tell you one thing, I’m not forgiving that wall-eyed little bitch right now. I can’t believe the balls on that twit, she has no idea who she’s fucking with. I will crush her like the insect she is. I will pull her heart out through her throat. I will tear her intestines with my teeth, I will… Damn it!! Not the lesson for today! There will be no intestine chewing this evening! Oh Lord, why did you make my heart so black? I want to be good, it’s just that people keep getting on my nerves… All right, just let it go for now…Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out. Shoulders down, chin up, lengthen, lengthen…Oh great. What is that? Am I getting my period?…Wait a minute, is everyone sitting up while I’m laying here festering?? DAMN IT!! Now I look like an idiot!! Sigh…

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

I have returned from a vacation in the woods at my mother’s house and am wishing we were still there. The weather was great and we swam nearly every day in crystal clear water. I didn’t bring a camera so there are no new photos, but there’s an old blog HERE with photos of the delightful fairyland that is our regular vacation spot and the home of my family.

Some highlights include:

Constant eating. And I do mean constant. Eggplant Parmesan, clam linguini, stirfries, big breakfasts, rhubarb pie, peach pie, chocolate cake, lemon cake, zucchini bread, banana bread, and the master of them all, chocolate pie with whipped cream. Luckily Michigan is the land of the giant ass so no matter how much you eat you’re still skinnier than most people in Meijers:



By those standards my entire family is anorexic and Drew and I used this as an excuse to eat like we were going to the chair. I also got this from a very nice scale in the mall:


It only cost 50 cents and my sister got a similar message. We both agreed it was a bargain at any price and celebrated by heading to the food court to eat fried food and jeer at the locals.
And speaking of Meijers, my sister claims that the elderly recoiled from me in terror in the grocery store, but I choose to believe that they were simply in awe of my natural beauty and waiflike physique.

Little Ninjas: My three year old nephew in a black satin karate uniform frog hopping and shouting “ai, ai” while punching a mitt held up by his sensei (or whatever you call them). May have been one of the cutest things ever witnessed, and I don’t even really like kids. As an added bonus we got to watch a crazed sugar addict named Austin get booted out halfway through class for running around wildly waving his arms in the air, completely unable to focus for more than five seconds. He got two or three time outs but he was so manic that ousting became inevitable. His very drained mother was a pretty blonde who couldn’t have been older than 22 and carried a baby on her hip. I felt so bad for her that I forgot my loathing of Republican housewifey breeder types for a moment. She looked completely dazed, like one minute she was in a prom dress wondering if she’d remembered to take her birth control pill that morning and then the next woke up with screaming kids hanging off of her.

This asshole barking all night:




Turns out that on top of being epileptic, snappy with strangers and nearly blind, he’s also afraid of the dark and unable to sleep for more than an hour in strange places. On top of that he’s bizarrely allergic to something in the country which makes him scratch and chew at himself noisily late into the night. We finally set him up in the garage with a night light and a bed as far away from everyone as possible so we could get a little sleep. Well, everyone except my mother whose house is closer to the garage than the guest house we were in. Drew made me promise that the dog is staying behind next year, which will save about $300 in flying costs anyway. Luckily I managed to talk my friend Alison into staying with and feeding the herd of cats left behind, so next year I’m just going to casually leave the dog in the apartment without mentioning it to her.

There was a heated argument with my brother in which he stated that I am so accustomed to people kissing my ass that I have grown bitchy and mean. To which I replied that he must have a short memory indeed because I was bitchy and mean long before anyone paid any attention to me whatsoever. He also kept using the phrase “you people” which leads me to believe that the 3-pronged matriarchy that is my mother, my sister, and myself may be grinding him down a bit. Here is a photo I took with my phone while torturing him very early in the morning as he tried to sleep:



Hours and hours and hours of Oblivion: Elder Scrolls IV on the Xbox 360. Hi, I’m Mary and I’m a total nerdbomb in disguise. This is what it really looks like inside my brain:



I got to level 3 and into the Arcane University as a mage apprentice and was all set to fight a vampire as soon as I found some lockpicks to get into his home, and then sadly, sadly it was time to fly back to New York.

So I know there are some overdue phone calls and emails waiting, and there are a ton of blogs out there that haven’t been read. But right now I’ve gotta go purchase Oblivion for the PC. 

Oh, and I’m off the wagon, which was celebrated last night with Jagermeister and Dano surprising me with an anatomy lesson entitled “the brain”. Yippee!