Dear Animal Rights A**Hole

Dear Animal Rights Asshole,

Before we begin, please allow me to give you a little background on my position on fur and animal cruelty:


–My first memory as a child was of wearing a blue velvet coat with white rabbit fur trim and a matching white rabbit fur muff. I remember feeling beautiful and I loved the softness against my skin.


–As a teenager I becaume obsessed with old Hollywood movie stars and their glamour (still am), which led me to collect vintage fur coats and muffs. I especially loved monkey fur, which is black and long, and now illegal.


–I now understand the cruelty behind the fur trade, and would never buy it again, vintage or otherwise. But I own two rabbit fur jackets that my mother bought me 20 years ago that I love and just don’t have the heart to part with yet.


–I work in fashion and have worked very hard to raise my co-worker’s consciousness about animal cruelty and child labor. I have had major, weepy arguments about the wholesale buying and selling of fur; I have calmly explained my position using photos and news articles to illustrate the points. I currently handle one small section of the buying and in my department there is no fur allowed.


–I currently own three dumped-at-a-shelter cats and an abandoned dog who was neglected and beaten so badly that it took me a good four or five years to help him get straight enough to be able to eat and socialize properly.


–I regularly donate to the HSUS, ASPCA, WSPCA, PETA, ALDF, HFA, WWF, the AAVS and local rescue groups in my area. 


–I am not a vegan, but I eat meat and animal products sparingly, on special occasions.


–I have panic attacks at night sometimes about the animals and children that aren’t being loved across our planet, and every time bad weather hits I pray for the safety and comfort of all creatures outside. I pray every day that all small creatures, human or otherwise, might find the peace and love that they deserve.


–I take animal rights very seriously.


SO…


Dear Animal Rights Asshole,


With that in mind, I would like to let you know that it is a waste of your time and energy to shout the question, “Is that real? Is that thing real??” at me as I enter the bank wearing what could easily pass for a muppet pelt. My response at the time, because I was so shocked at the aggressiveness of your tone, was “Ah…NO.” But if I had had the time to formulate a proper answer it would have been this:


No, you imbecile, if you had half a brain you would see that it is clearly faux. And it seems that if you are going to get obnoxious with strangers on the street, it might behoove you to be able to spot the differences between real and synthetic fur.


And let’s say that the coat was made from the skin of a once-live animal. Do you really think that your random, unasked for, intrusive, self-righteous attack-in-passing is the magic bullet that would sway me to the side of compassion? Do you really believe that making an enemy out of me will show me the way? 


And as a side note, did you notice that I’m wearing knee high leather boots, a leather belt, and jeans with leather lacing? And you sir, are wearing a leather jacket. Not a cool-looking one, mind you, but leather nonetheless. So where do you stand on that issue, your holiness? Surely if you are this fired up about one kind of skin, you must have some feelings about the others. Are you a vegan? Do you only wear skins or do you eat them too? 


At least you ran at someone like me, who loves animals enough that I won’t be dissuaded by douchebag tactics, rather than some fashion child who might have been on the fence and easily pushed into the non-compassionate camp by an attack like yours. 
Because let me tell you, once on that side of the fence, they are not easily dissuaded. I work with people who will put the head of the last baby seal left standing in the arctic on their Chanel bag, and never give it a second thought. 

I promise you, they do not see the pain, there simply is no consciousness for it. And the main energy (besides vanity) that fuels their callous blindness? Yours, my friend. YOURS. You and your paint throwing, street-shouting, self-righteous nonsensical approach to this issue. Your attacks gives them a reason to feel righteous about buying fur.


Last year I was encouraged when my co-workers conceded to my pleas and bought a stock of faux fur tails that looked very real. It would be great if we didn’t have to have tails at all, but it was a step. We had a party at the store and I noticed a group of fashion types hovering admiringly around the basket full of tails, choosing which color they would purchase. I was so proud of this mini-victory and I said happily to one girl, “They’re faux!” She tossed the tail down in disgust. Her mouth curled into an ugly snarl and she said, “I HATE PETA.”


I had to turn my back, I was so angry and hurt by the exchange. It was an awful moment and it colored the rest of my night. But it was also informative and I know the Universe put that woman there to teach me something. 


When I was young my mother told me that you cannot light darkness with more darkness, that you have to bring in light, because darkness is simply the absence of light. This makes a lot of sense. I know that an aggressive stance is necessary sometimes. But why should there be a war on the sidewalk between two strangers over an issue of compassion?


How about some education, some convincing, some consideration for our fellow man and his thought process? He may not know as much as we do about the issue…yet. If we preach love, don’t we have to live it? How about we teach instead of alienate? How about instead of screaming for Michael Vick’s head, we support Wayne Pacelli in his effort to get Vick out there lecturing to fans about the evils of dog-fighting. That education and reach to kids who wouldn’t ordinarily ever hear the message, is in my mind, more important than the witch hunt. Ultimately, all I care about is which outcome is going to keep the most dogs from suffering.


So, Sir Lame Jacket, I respectfully ask that you shut the fuck up, let me do my banking in peace, and start looking for ways that your dumb fuck ass can bring the light. Take it from someone living behind enemy lines, right now you’re only hurting the cause you claim to love. 


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You Can’t Go Home Again in November When it’s Raining

I went to the Guns n’ Roses show at Roseland last Friday, and have been debating on whether to report it. Then today I found myself home alone in the office at work, which never happens since Ms. PF does not believe in allotting much floor space for things like offices or backstock, so there are too many people to find yourself alone at work…like, ever. Contrary to the fashion fantasy, there are 7 stations packed into one tiny, noisy, messy office. It’s a real joy when we’ve got interns rolling in and out and the phones are ringing off the hook. But today everyone is gone with a list of excuses that run from trade shows to hangovers, and the phones are remarkably quiet, so it seems that the Universe is practically begging me to sneak something in.
Handsome Dick Manitoba and his band Manitoba opened on this particular night, and as his gorgeous wife Zoe Hansen is the Patsy to my Edina, the Edina to my Patsy, she insisted that she wasn’t going unless he got me into the show as well, which was difficult as each member of the opening band got only one guest pass. Some wrangling ensued until an extra pass was conjured up for me, one of the members of the GnR band that we are friends with took pity on Dick’s domestic plight and added my name to his list. So I am extremely grateful to all concerned for being so generous, and this is the reason that I am somewhat reluctant to post a review that is not 100% positive. But it would be pointless for me to blog otherwise.
My affection for all things GnR has been well-documented in past blogs. I will sum up by saying that the band meant everything to me in the early days. I saw all the first New York shows–L’Amour in Queens, the two at the Ritz, one at that smaller side stage they used to have at the Garden–and in my memory they were some of the best shows I have ever had the pleasure of viewing. I remember standing in the audience at the Ritz with my mouth wide open, feeling like my hair was blowing back from the energy of the band. They were that good. But everyone knows this.
So now it’s well over 20 years later and things have changed. Axl essentially stole the name from his bandmates and performs with a band of hired guns. You can’t help but feel for Slash and Duff, even with their further successes it has got to be galling every time this tour rolls around. And who knows what Izzy is feeling these days, I always picture him on a tropical island with a tan and a blond. But I am happy for the musicians, as mentioned I am friendly with one of them and he is a major talent and I’m so glad he’s got a gig that can showcase his abilities and give him a proper paycheck. I don’t begrudge any one of them their talent or their livelihood. And I was very excited to see Manitoba open and have a night with my girl listening to songs I love.

So here we go–

Zoe and I got there, waved our VIP stickers around and shouted, “The old whores are here!” We made a half-hearted attempt to get backstage and were rightfully rebuffed, then tottered about on our heels until we found a prime sitting spot–a table at center mezzanine just over the sound booth (always a sonically promising place to plant yourself). Let the cocktailing begin! “Oh waitress! Over here, Darling!!”
This is how we began. Dignified. Ladylike.
Manitoba killed it. I was so happy for them. The band was super tight, Richard is very comfortable onstage and he used his charisma to win over a crowd that was keenly focused on Axl’s arrival.
GnR came out and almost as soon as it started I thought, “Why did I think I would love this?” It sounded amazing. Axl’s voice is in top form. I don’t know what he’s doing to keep it there, I hear rumors of oxygen tents. Whatever it is, it’s working. And he’s in pretty good shape physically, he looks like a long lost member of Skynyrd these days, which in my mind is a do-able look for a man my age. I don’t expect anyone to look exactly like they did in 1988.
 This quote from from Andy Greene of Rolling Stone sums it up pretty well:
If you closed your eyes, you could almost imagine you were seeing Guns N’ Roses on the Sunset Strip in 1987. Axl sounded that good. Then you open your eyes, and see a 50-year-old Axl in a black cowboy hat and sunglasses singing alongside some guy named Bumblefoot and you’re brought right back to reality.” 
Erm…yes. And to add to that were the visuals. The visuals!! [Raises fist to the sky!] They made me sad. So very sad. 
We (the audience, not just Zoe and me) were presented with the most unbelievably generic video and light show, which in my mind was Axl’s way of saying, “I just don’t give a fuck and I’m going to allow my staff to illustrate the supreme level of my not giving a fuck with the absolute lamest Playboy channel outtakes possible mixed in with some flashy colored light stuff from 1995. Remember that band you loved? I ate it. Thank you very much and good night.”
Exhibit A, which btw, is labeled on youtube as “Axl and a bunch of dudes who aren’t Slash playing Rocket Queen.”
Sigh…So as I watched the admittedly gifted dudes who aren’t Slash run around playing Rocket Queen perfectly and as if their lives depended upon it, in front of slow motion stock catalog bikini footage, I realized that in my excitement over Manitoba opening, getting in at the last minute, our awesome VIP passes, the great table we were sitting at, and getting a night out with my partner in crime, that I had forgotten the most important factor: that Guns n’ Roses no longer exists and what lies in its stead is, at heart, a bastardization, and therefore completely heinous, no matter how good it sounds when you close your eyes. 
Luckily, oh so luckily, tequila was available. And thusly, I was able to numb the pain and bravely, yet somberly, soldier on like the trooper that I am:
Yes, that is Ross the Boss behind us.
I shall leave you with this palate cleanser: Rocket Queen as it was meant to be seen, along with one aging rock slut’s quiet prayer: Oh dear Axl, please do the right thing and get on bended knee and beg Slash for enough forgiveness to join you at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony. We already know Duff has forgiven you, and Steven Adler will show up whether he’s invited or not. And Izzy…Izzy? Are you out there? It’s time to come back in from the beach. The world of rock and roll needs you now more than ever.

One Crazy Girl’s Brief Guide to Navigating Relation Ships


So my friend Ms. DSS left this commentary on my last Drewfus blog, and I think it deserves a proper answer:

I would like to see a copy of your training notes, because yesterday was about as much as I could take…

a) criticized because I don’t fold the laundry correctly
b) criticized because I don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to the NFL MVP (even though I picked Aaron Rodgers 2 days before the announcement and got an argument)
c) if I’m not “wrong” about something it’s simply because he doesn’t really care about the subject.
d) he doesn’t know how to use a telephone (not only personally, but to call PSE&G, call the landlord, call the doctor)
e) he’s a slob (so am I but no where near this level of slovenly)
f) if my tone of voice- usually dulcet tones, mallifuluous actually- changes, I’m “yellling.”
e) I think I’m burnt out.

Thank you Miss Anthrope, I know you won’t let me down.


Love,

dssgirl

Prior to proceeding to a response, I should let everyone know that Drew hates being a character in my blogs. He also hates when I post “cute” photos of him with the cats on Facebook and all his friends text him with mocking commentary [Note to Drew’s friends: please stop ratting me out]. He also hates when I write about past sexual encounters, which I don’t do so much in blogs but there’s a load of stuff in the book that’s really going to piss him off if I ever quit noodling and actually get the damn thing written. It is a hard knock life for the partner of a person with very little filter and a 21st century amenity toward laying it all out there for the world to see. He is a very private person, and sadly for him, I am not. So while he’s not looking, let’s post another photo of him with a cat:




If he asks, tell him I posted this instead:



Okay, so back to DSS’s very interesting commentary.

I am certainly no expert on relationships, but through the extensive practice of making the worst choices possible, as often as possible, I have narrowed the stupidity down somewhat.


First, and probably most importantly, you can’t make a silk purse of out a sow’s ear. My mother told me that when I was 10 and I never forgot it, primarily because I didn’t know what a sow was and I couldn’t understand why you would want to make a purse out of an ear. Gross. But these are wise words that can be applied to many situations. In romance, as in cooking, you have to start with high quality raw material.


After years of choosing drugged out underachievers, selfish jerks, cheaters, and narcissists, I graduated to someone with a very kind heart and an enormous amount of integrity. This wasn’t genius on my part. I just thought he was hot and I got lucky that he was interested and as beautiful inside as he is out. He finds my intensity entertaining and he is very patient with the crazy, so much so that there is much less of it these days. Well, relatively speaking. And our neuroses suit each other. Sometimes you can really like or love someone but it simply isn’t a good fit, and this is probably more difficult than dating a total creep because the “correct” path is harder to navigate. 


Second, when I have made choices that have not served me well, which has been often, it was because I wasn’t ready for anything better. Meaning that I did not feel that I deserved to be loved properly, and if someone perfect had come along at that time I wouldn’t have noticed them because they wouldn’t give me the trouble I thought I so richly deserved. 


Also, along those lines, bad relationships and spending time with assholes are a fabulous way to keep from looking within at whatever things about yourself that you don’t feel good about. If you have the noise of arguments ringing in your ears you can’t hear the sound of your own self-hatred and fear. You can focus on how shitty the other person is, which keeps you preoccupied and gives you a warm feeling of superiority. To quell that noise and really look within can be excruciating. When I was absolutely forced to do it, I felt like I was dying. I really did. It felt as if I dropped into a black hole that I would never crawl out of and it was a slow and painful claw into the sunlight. 


It’s only very recently that I’ve learned how to be a good partner and trust myself and the other person. I’m still a work in progress, but now when I look back much of the shit I put myself through seems almost comical. Once you learn the lesson, in your soul rather than just knowing it intellectually in your brain, you never have to take that particular class again. 


The people in our lives are mirrors to what we are giving out energetically, and to how we feel about ourselves. So being faced with constant criticism from a partner means that this is what we feel we deserve, and maybe that this is how we view the world, with a critical and/or jaundiced eye. 


Ask yourself about all your relationships, not just romantic: 


–How do I feel when I am around this person? Do I feel loved, supported, positive, energized? Or do I walk away feeling resentful, drained, angry, sad, bad about myself, used, or unseen?


–What do I bring to my relationships? Am I the one that is draining, unhappy, selfish, ambivalent? Or am I giving too much with expectations and and then feeling frustrated because it’s not reciprocated?


–Who am I when I am with this person? Do I like myself and my behavior? Do I do things I swore I wouldn’t do?


I realized one day, probably years into our relationship, that being with Drew made me want to be a better person. It became less important to be right all the time, and I desired to live up to what I feel he deserves. This was a very new feeling for me, and a new awareness clicked in. It wasn’t that he was perfect, and I certainly never will be, but it became about a higher way of relating. 


In your case DSS, maybe it was just a bad day and you have some decent raw material to work with and you just have to do some girl-pounding on the clay (sorry guys). Maybe it’s time to do some examination, or maybe it’s time to kick his criticizing ass to the curb. Only you can decide that for yourself, and I thank you for the opportunity to think and write about it.


And lastly, because he’s still in the other room, let’s post another photo that amuses me. This is Drew’s band The New Rising Sons, who formed and were signed to Virgin in the late 90’s. I never get tired of those pants and that hat. You’re welcome, America.



Drew.0

DREW: Do you like the boots I bought you?

ME: Yes, they’re gorgeous, thank you. I’m psyched.


DREW: And dinner at Blue Ribbon, that was pretty good, right?


ME: Yes, it was amazing, thank you. I loved it.


DREW: And I’m not hungover, I had two beers at work last night, that’s it.


ME: I know, you seemed very sober when you came in


DREW: And look, I’m cooking things in the microwave on a plate, like you asked me over and over again, instead of on a paper towel.


ME: That is fabulous! Words cannot describe how happy that makes me.


DREW: It’s Drew point 0 for 2012. More awesomeness than ever. 


ME: You were awesome before, but now it looks like you might be perfect.


DREW: I know! I am! I don’t think I can get any better. This is it, I’ve reached my apex as a boyfriend. The sad thing is that I can only go down from here. 


ME: Wow. Well, you’re just going to have to maintain. It’s all about maintenance now, you don’t have to struggle to go up anymore.


DREW: Totally! But it’s exhausting being so good. I need a nap. Which is a shame because I just made the bed.


ME: Perfection does have its price. 


DREW (from the bedroom): Drew point 0, bitches!