Reason #108

…that Drew is Tigger-ey…

DREW’S FRIEND (chin on the ground over a 90 lb blonde standing next to us): Dude, I think she’s famous.

DREW: Man, who gives a shit? Models are like tribbles, they’re fucking everywhere. You can’t get away from them. You open up a bathroom door in any club and piles of them fall out with coke all over their noses…

Luxury Goods

I stayed home from work today because I pulled a muscle in my back at a Cardio Tai Box class at the gym. That makes me sound all hardcore and athletic, doesn’t it? Nope, I just happened to make it to a class that beat the crap out of me.

I also stayed home from work bc Drew got some somewhat shitty news regarding a project that was going to bring him some much needed extra cash, and I didn’t get much sleep because we sat up late talking about the state of things – the music and entertainment business, friends, a person’s financial worth, a person’s worth to themselves, etc. Overall the outcome of the situation will be fine for him and maybe better in the long run, but it did bring up the question of how does one get their worth as a creative entity when the world is not always kind to creative entities.

I work with someone who creates spaces – he does store windows, fashion show layouts, party interiors, set design for photo shoots. It’s not exactly interior decorating, bc it’s usually temporary and much more glamourous rooms, but I don’t know what the exact term for what he does is called. Maybe it’s just set designer? Anyway, he’s a huge talent, I’m always stunned at the beauty he creates, and at how much work goes into it. It takes a lot of vision and physical labor.

Recently he told me, “You have to charge people a reasonably high price. If you undervalue yourself and try to do favors and discounts, the client doesn’t feel you’re worth even that much, and they will skip out on the bill entirely. You are only respected and paid if you charge accordingly.”

I thought this was a very interesting bit of information. The logical mode of thinking would be that if you’re giving someone something cheap, they’ll be more inclined to pay you bc it’s easier to come up with the cash. But there is a deeper level to it – if I bargain basement myself, other people will follow suit and I will only attract basement-level experiences. Hmmm…

We’ve already established that what you think and say out loud you create. I’ve been practicing more of this lately, under my mother’s wise tutelage, and I’m amazed at how easily it works for me. I make statements like “I choose to have an easy, swift and comfortable flight.” or “I intend to remain calm and open-minded throughout today’s meeting.” And it works. Whether you have my beliefs about energy and creation, or whether it’s just a good way to set your mind to something, in my experience it does work. And in line with that, I am attempting to refrain from my usual sarcastic and negative statements regarding various events and issues. When I pay attention I am surprised at all the negative things that roll so easily into my brain and out of my mouth.

So following this train of thought, it does make sense that if you set your intentions at a certain value for yourself, monetarily or otherwise, others will hear that intention and follow suit. I’m not talking about screaming that “I’m better than this!” during times of duress, although sometimes that’s necessary, but about actually choosing to value oneself and what one does at a respectable level. It’s not as easy as it sounds, there are all kinds of insecurities and unknowns that can get in the way. But it can’t hurt to work towards that end.

Recently I was walking to an appointment on 34th Street, thinking warm and cheery thoughts about the Christmas bonuses that Pat very generously handed out this year. I walked past a spot on 32nd that used to contain an all-nude “gentleman’s” club. Many years ago, after CSFH had collapsed and before I got my first management job at Coney, I was desperate for cash and work and gained employment there as a hostess. It was my job to show up at 4pm dress sexily and nab the men as they walked in the door and fast talk them into exhorbitantly priced fake cocktails and beer before they sat down in front of the squatting and bending nude girls. Suffice to say I hated every second of it, and was pretty fucking depressed by the entire venture. I felt like the lowest piece of shit in New York City, to be exact.

At the same time I had a therapist who was an absolute champion, and who insisted that I keep coming to him regardless of my ability to pay, and who told me that he had faith that I would be able to pay him back at a later time, which I did (very slowly). This therapist said to me, as I sat on his couch snuffling into a wet tissue, “What makes you think that this is the only thing available to you? Why would you think that this is all you have to offer?”

I didn’t completely get it right away; I needed a job and that’s who had hired me. But over time I understood what he was saying, and even though I didn’t get it completely right then I quit the job within the week at his urging. I didn’t know I had any choices, he knew I did. So it was really nice to walk by this ex-house of horrors and to feel light years away from feeling so trapped by my own circumstance and lack of self-esteem. I owe him a card…and maybe a car. Things aren’t perfect and I am still only now figuring out how to truly trust my own value, but it’s still on a much further upward trajectory.

And that’s really itI don’t have any truly deep insights on all this, I just wanted to put it out there today because it’s on my mind. 2009 – let’s overprice ourselves!

Abstinence – Week 1

Well…here’s my report…

The CHEF’S DIET thing is pretty cool. It’s been so easy that if it weren’t outrageously expensive I’d do it on a regular basis. They deliver your fresh food in the middle of the night right on your doorstep, in my case it’s been coming at 10 pm. It arrives in a lovely icepacked container which holds breakfast, lunch, snack 1, dinner, and snack 2, all neatly packaged and labeled. It’s delightful to look at and the food is good.

The only issue is that except for breakfast the portions are small, ergo the pesky DIET part of the whole thing. And of course there aren’t a lot of carbs. God, I love carbs. So you’re slowly starving at a low-level hum and begin obsessing over your next meal by about 1pm in the afternoon. Lunch and afternoon snack are do-able, then dinner leaves you feeling like you’re being toyed with and the tiny dessert you’re instructed to eat an hour before going to bed sits on the counter laughing at your pain until you break down and tear it open frantically and eat it in two bites. Which isn’t difficult considering its miniscule size.

And then the obsession extends into wondering what you’re going to eat the next day. The food delivery is like Christmas every night, I’ve been opening the door immediately at 10 and excitedly pawing through the container to see what tomorrow holds, listing each item out loud to Drew and/or the pets, depending upon who’s willing to listen. And then I lay them out carefully in order in the fridge like a fetishist. Good times.

The upside is I have all kinds of energy at night from being hungry, and my apartment is looking much cleaner. I call Drew and chatter like a squirrel while scrubbing the tub. He says he feels like he’s living in slightly less clever version of “His Girl Friday” and had no idea that those mounds of pasta were what held me together: I went to Sephora and researched sunblock like a chemist. I have already made a list of what I’m bringing on vacation even though we’re not leaving until the middle of February. I keep sitting up in the middle of the night with new vacation visions of myself – a deep-v one-piece swimsuit with a large hat. Yes! Turbans, I’m going to need turbans, and faux flowers for the beachy updos I’ll be wearing to dinner. And which shoes to bring? Should I rack up my credit card even further and get new gold wedgie sandals to go with my non-existent chiffon floral maxi dresses? Damn it, why don’t I own any flowy halter jumpsuits? I peruse the resort collections in Bazaar like I’m going to to the South of France for a month with Lagerfeld, rather than on a week long cruise with my boyfriend and a slew of complete maniacs, including THESE ONES and THIS ONE and THIS ONE, just to photo ID a few. Let’s be real, by day two I’ll be lucky if I’m sober enough to put my hair in a ponytail and pull on a pair of clean shorts.

And as for the liquor abstinence, my dear pal and co-founder of the Classy (Sometimes Crazy) Old Hags Club, Miss ANKI Supreme, took me out to Brooklyn to a hardcore show last night and I had some fun and managed it pretty well. Yes, Dano, you heard me: BROOKLYN AND HARDCORE. My two favorite things…NOT, although Anki’s enthusiasm is slowly winning me over. She did pick me up in a cab, and I’ve talked her into watching the herd while I’m gone, so it was a trade-off. But if you promise me that brie and wine which we discussed, I may take a train out to you one day, especially if I’m still on this damn diet.

So upon arrival to said Brooklyn hardcore show I was handed a huge pile of drink tickets by BOB, the promoter and all around lovely person. Apparently my friends are used to assuming I’m going to need a lot of alcohol. Hmm…tempting…But I dutifully sipped on my seltzer and cranberry and handed the tickets to Anki one by one so she could happily enjoy her vodka. I stood next to her all smug sober Sally with my lips pursed like Meryl Streep in Doubt. Yes, yes, I’m always this saintly and ladylike, its enough for me just to enjoy watching my friends have fun. My beauty shines unearthly, you say? Oh, no, silly, that’s just the reflection off my halo…

At first I had a mild panic attack, could I do this? I am so accustomed to using alcohol to assuage my social anxiety that it has been years since I have entered a venue and not gone directly to the bar before watching a show or socializing. But it actually turned out to be pretty interesting. I was able to follow conversations much more consciously and I didn’t take it personally when giant hardcore dudes lumbered into me on their way to the bar. I was definitely stiffer, but Anki assures me that I wasn’t completely boring.

AND, when I was ready to leave (which of course was much earlier than everyone else because I was frigging sober), I marveled at how easy it was to navigate down the stairs of Europa without banging into the walls back and forth the whole time. I didn’t freak out about having to call a cab and conversed easily with the cab company and the driver who eventually picked me up. I proudly got out of the cab without dropping anything (bag, keys, cash, etc…) and walked in a straight line to my door.

Ooohh, so that’s how you keep your dignity…

AND THEN I got up this morning and went to the gym. Truly, a miracle of sorts. So I’m looking forward to a few more sober nights out. You know, and then standing on the balcony of my stateroom, looking slender and elegant in a floaty white halter jumpsuit while THIS GUY leans around from the balcony next door and shouts, “What the hell are you wearing? You want an appletini or straight vodka??”

ADDENDUM 1/11/09:
It just dawned on me that I could be sounding like a smug asshole right now considering the current economy. Just to set things straight – Drew and I are both freaking out a little that we decided to do a big trip right when things are so financially dire. It’s especially rough for him at the moment as his job fluctuates and lately he’s making half of what he usually does. But it’s our six year anniversary on Feb 14 and we’ve never gone anywhere except Michigan together, so we’re doing without in other areas to make it happen. And for the record I would never want to make light of the financial situation that many of my friends are in right now.

So how about this look? You know, for casual nights in the casino…


Drew (seeing me on the couch hugging the dog): What the hell are you watching? Why does the dog look so bummed out?

Me: “Silk”. This guy’s married to Keira Knightley and he keeps going to Japan to get silk worms but it’s mostly because he’s hot for a Japanese girl.

Drew (rolling his eyes): So he’s cheating on her.

Me: Yes, and now she’s dying.

Drew: Because he’s being punished?

Me: Yes. And look how beautiful she is. She’s floating around the garden in her long gown. She knows, but she’s not saying anything because she loves him so much.

Drew: She’s slowly fading away because he’s been bad, isn’t she?

Me: Yes.

Drew: This is very tragic. No wonder the dog is so upset.

Me: This is what happens when men are bad, Andrew. Now she’s going to die of an unnamed disease that just makes you prettier and he’s going to be left all alone with the knowledge that she was the one he really loved and he fucked it all up.

Drew: Wow. Good thing I’m seeing this, so I learn a lesson.

Me: Yes, yes it is.

Drew: Kleenex?

Me (sniffling): Yes, please.

Florence Nightingale

I have a beautiful, young model friend who for very legitimate reasons that I won’t go into here, had a panic attack on NYE. Unfortunately for her I was the one available to take care of her in the Dickies dressing room at Bowery Electric. It went something like this:

X (hyperventilating): I can’t see straight.

Me: Take a sip of your water and try to breath slowly.

X: I think I was dosed.

Me: I don’t think you were, I think you’re having an anxiety attack.

X: I feel really weird.

Me (touching her arm): Try to just concentrate on your breath, we can sit here as long as you need to. Omg, that coat is gorgeous. Who made it?

X: Burberry. I really think I was dosed.

Me: No, everyone in this area is someone I know. I would have noticed someone acting strange. That coat is fucking amazing. I need that coat.

Steve Poss (walking by): Aw, don’t be sad, you’re too pretty to be upset! Do you want a vicodin?

X: No, thank you.

Me (yanking the pill out of his hand): I do. Give it to me.

X: All right, I can see a little better now.

Me: Good…Holy hell. Those are the most beautiful shoes I’ve ever seen.

X: YSL. I’m sorry I’m being a pain.

Me: You’re not being a pain. Those shoes are giving me pain. I think I’m going to have an attack because I don’t own those shoes.

X: You’re being so nice.

Me: Yeah, I’m a peach. What size are your feet? Damn it, lemme try one of those on…

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