London!

I have been doing so many heavy blogs and I want to lighten it up a little, so this one is gonna be mostly a what-I-did-this-September report. I hope it won’t be too boring!

I took a trip with Wendigo/Art on A founder Wendy Scripps and artist Jozie Lovestar to London last month to organize a show of Jozie’s photographs in the Sanctum Soho Hotel. Honestly, I was a bit resistant because I have been traveling a lot this year; I have been lucky to have traveled a decent amount in my life and have visited London many times, either visiting friends, playing shows or staying with boyfriends during the Anglophile period of my dating life. Although the one I ended up with there for a time, Slam Thunderhide of Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction, was actually Canadian. Side-story–he’s an awesome guy but his ex-wife hated me so much she told everyone years later that I died of AIDS in full dementia. Which I think is pretty hilarious; I appreciate a creative diss.

Anyhoo, now it’s many years later and I found myself back there, this time under much more lavish circumstances and in a more adult (ish) state of mind. Honestly, I think the first class flight would have been enough for me. I was way more excited than was appropriate. My top favorite things in life are free stuff, laying around, eating, and drinking, and that’s exactly what you’re given. I sat happily in the airport VIP lounge waiting for someone to get wise and throw me out, then laid in my little compartment on the plane under a comfy blanket with a pillow behind my head watching free movies while women in cute red skirts came around every five seconds to fling free champagne and food in my direction. If someone could have thrown a cat into the mix they would have had to drag me off.

The Sanctum Soho is a gorgeous hotel and the staff is lovely in the way that only an international staff can be. Did you know that cool people in England don’t use washcloths? They call them flannels and our gorgeous, hip, gay, fabulous concierge actually giggled when I asked him for one. Who doesn’t love a giggling gay concierge?

I should have taken photos in the room but our stuff was everywhere so I didn’t bother. Here’s a dresser that I wanted to remember though:

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Here are a couple of real photos of the place so you can a better idea. It’s a very rock and roll hotel…

The show, which was really a party, went well. We had some large pieces and this project entaile having a giant wooden crate custom built, like the kind you see in movies about museums, then packing the art with a mountain of bubble wrap, then hiring a freight company to fly it overseas. And then everything got stuck in customs and I had to fill out endless amounts of confusing paperwork and then the actual day of the opening we were told the artwork would be coming the NEXT day. I considered having a meltdown and then decided, eh fuck it, it’s art, we’re not doing hurricane rescue or heart operations. In the end did it matter? But I did talk the powers that be into speeding it up and the art arrived that afternoon and went up on the walls in the nick of time. Here’s an extremely unflattering photo of me unwrapping art before I sat down to order more scones with clotted cream.

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My dear and generous friend Jyrki 69 flew over from Finland to DJ for us, and my other dear friend Storm Large happened to be able to get into town too, so we all stayed in the same hotel and room hopped. Or at least I did, consuming their booze and digging through their toiletries for perfume samples. Other friends showed up for the party, people I haven’t seen in decades, and that was really special: Finnish guitarist extradinaire Timo Kaltio, bass playing legend Dave Tregunna, legendary tattoo artists Sean Vasquez and his beautiful wife Leticia Molera Vasquez plus assorted hot fetish model chicks and awesome people I never get to see because we live on other continents.

So whew! That was a lot, but fun, and the rest of the trip we could relax. We were right near Carnaby Street…

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…so I picked up some overpriced but properly fitting mod shirts for Sam to stem the flow of his constant purchasing of overlarge old lady smocks on Poshmark…

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Jozie is a fitness trainer and she looks like this:

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So annoying, right? She also has a book out right now:

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I know a good thing when I see it, so I was as ready as my lazy ass could be to get in some training time with her.  We found an uber gay gym nearby where the house music is always pumping, all the men are Italian and and appear to work out constantly. It was ridiculous and so much fun. She flirted with the boys in tight shorts while simultaneously beating the crap out of me. Jozie always makes working out entertaining.

I had dinner at the uber British Wosely with my friend Paul Wassif  (yet another super talented and great-looking musician) who I hadn’t seen in person since the 80’s. My phone was nonworking overseas and I have a terrible sense of direction, so no matter how simple the trip I would photograph a map when wifi was available and then walk staring intently at the photo in a neurotic I’m-gonna-get-lost panic.

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It was one of the high points of the trip for me, humming and walking leisurely through the streets of London by myself, looking in windows and up at buildings. It’s such a beautiful city and so different from NYC. Naturally, I forgot to get an actual photo with Paul, just a shot of my martini while waiting for him to arrive…

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It was lovely to be able to catch up as adults as we were both pretty messy in our younger years and didn’t part on the easiest of terms. I love being able to revisit and feel you get a bit of a do-over with someone, which seems to be a major theme in my life, always hoping to do things better the next time around. So thank you, Paul.

Then it was time for Jyrki to head back to the land of Finns. He said we were having brunch but it turned out to be primarily a ruse to drag me by the elbow at breakneck speed through the streets and pubs of Soho before he got on his plane.

This is me, unamused at the prospect of a) drinking so early in the day and b) being photographed while half asleep:

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Jyrki and his very patient cab driver:

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And then it was back on the plane for me. I ordered the dessert this time in order to be sure to completely wipe out all of Jozie’s hard work.

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It is a lovely life and I’m grateful.

Namaste, bitches!

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Orangutan Mama

Well, today was a perfectly gorgeous day and I had intended to go to the mermaid parade with some kids from the store and hook up with my friend Heather while there. I have acquired a really good parasol that would have worked out quite well for standing in the sunshine and looking fabulous, but alas, it was not to be. This last week was so busy that I’ve got laryngitis and my jaw has just begun to cease hurting from gritting my teeth through a heavy work week accompanied by social obligations every night. Now it’s all about dirty hair, pajamas and the TV until Monday morning rolls around. I suspect that Drew is somewhat pleased that I am unable to talk too much.

My good friend Jyrki and his band the 69 Eyes played on Wednesday at the Gramercy Theatre. I like the theatre a lot, it’s not too big and has an old school feel to it. Jyrki wanted me to make sure that Ronnie Sweetheart came to the gig, which was arranged, and he dedicated Rocker to Ronnie with a story of how a Throbs gig inspired him to start a band in the 80’s. Ronnie was very touched. Then I got a lovely dedication of the song Gothic Girl “for the Cycle Slut that I call when I am depressed”. Of course I was absolutely delighted to be the envy of all the teenage goth girls in the front row of the “gosh pit” (as Kitty Kowalski dubbed it). Yes, I am that petty.

Afterwards Jyrki said, “I was afraid you’d be pissed you didn’t get Rocker”. Dude, are you kidding? I’m such a glutton for attention that as long as I’m mentioned I’m happy. He also gave me a copy of the photo book that Ville Juurikkala put together from their last tour. If you are a fan you should pick it up, it’s absolutely gorgeous and the photos are well above the usual quality of band/tour documentation.

Afterwards we went to Cups and drank too much and watched Racci Shay from Wednesday 13 get hot wax poured all over his chest. I’m too lazy to look up their links for you but they’re out there. It was another quality evening brought to you by rock and roll. I was simply very happy to be surrounded by people with long black hair and heavy eyeliner, which doesn’t happen nearly enough for my taste nowadays. And the next night I got a text from Racci (though I don’t remember exchanging numbers), which simply said, “Shit housed again. Wonder what’s gonna happen!” Godspeed, Mr. Shay.

The night before that I went to one of Drew’s gigs. He has more than one band, three to be exact, and this particular one I hadn’t seen in a while. Although their crowd is usually too Williamsburg for my taste it was a welcome relief to be surrounded by working-class people involved in their own subculture rather than the models and socialites of late. At least these people are there to listen to music. Sigh…guess this means I’m going to have to stop bitching about frumpy Brooklynites now. Things have gotten so bad in NYC I’m actually being forced to make peace with the hipsters…

I had one of those Oprah lightbulb moments during the show, which I would like to share. I am beginning to see that TGW is right in her opinion that we never really escape high school, and I am once again blogging how life can tend to revisit those flourescent lit hallways of our youth.

One of the women who is a part of the inner circle of this particular band has always been somewhat rude to me. She’s one of those females that will talk to your guy for lengthy periods of time without physically or verbally acknowledging that you’re standing there next to him, and consequently her.

You know those ladies: even though you may have been introduced they will laugh and rub male arms and crack jokes and ask questions and never, ever look in your direction while you stand there silently waiting to be included in the conversation, or for the conversation to end so you and your significant other can move on to friendlier pastures.

This is a pet peeve of mine. I like women–being friends with women, hanging with women, etc, and this always feels like a slap in the face. It’s a power play designated to dampen another female’s spirit and it’s one of those particularly feminine ploys that make men somewhat rightfully deem women as catty little bitches. Because, well, some of us are catty little bitches. And I have no use for it. I am as competitive and neurotic as the next woman, but this kind of warfare is far too amateur and obvious for my taste.

Okay, so that’s where we’ve been with this particular person. And me being me, I’ve gone on a rant whenever her name comes up, primarily because Drew, although extremely intelligent and wise in the ways of women and men, was just not seeing it and trying to diffuse my ire by hastily brushing it off. Which is a fatal mistake because it only makes me more enraged and ranty. Men, take heed: when your woman complains that someone you’re friends with is a bitch, protect your own peace and quiet by allowing that she may have a point, even if you secretly think she’s just nuts.

So she came in while Drew and I were at a table with her boyfriend, the boyfriend sitting on a chair across from a banquette along the wall that Drew and I were both sitting on. She took the chair next to him, and gave her boyfriend and Drew a big hello, and at the last second sort glanced in my direction out of obligation and mumbled, “Hey, how’re you?” without sincerity. I replied, “All right.” in the cuntiest manner possible. I don’t always intend to behave this way, but I just can’t help myself sometimes.

Her boyfriend got up to get a drink, and as soon as he was a few feet from the table she turned to Drew and said, “I’m going to sit next to you.” And she actually got up from her seat and sat on the scant inches left on the edge of the banquette on the opposite side of Drew. So now she’s packed up against him, the three of us are in a row against the wall, and he is forced to turn his head completely away from me to answer her questions and carry on a polite conversation, all the while knowing that his psychotic Scorpio girlfriend is on the other side fuming, and it could all turn ugly at any second.

But honestly, I’m just tired of all of the superficial bullshit lately. I genuinely want to get along with the different groups of people around me and he and I haven’t had much time together in comfortable spaces lately. We’re both often overtired and time together is at a premium. I just wanted to have a good night out with my boyfriend and not get into anything stupid. So I left them on the banquette and got up and went to the bar to take a breath and collect myself. The bartender was cool and she and I bonded for a minute over white wine preferences and by the time I came back bitchy girl’s boyfriend had returned and Drew could comfortably turn his attention back to me. He mouthed the words, “Wow, that was really fucked up.”

Um…YEAH. See, I’m not always crazy.

Then it was time for them to play and I stood happily next to a very tough older gentleman who is a good friend of Drew’s and always comes to the gigs. He was recently released from prison and just happens to be gay, so I think the hard time thing worked out better for him than most. He seems pretty casual about it anyway, and I like his rough edges. He spoke to me about how he’s really into some band called Trillium lately and I gave him a rundown of all the shoes in the room that I thought should never be worn again. We have absolutely nothing in common and just sort of talked over each other and it was funny and comforting and I felt really proud of myself that I hadn’t made an issue out of the earlier event.

As we stood there bitchy girl moved past us to the front of the stage (this kind of girl always stands directly in front of the stage), and as she walked up I saw another girl who is also part of the entourage head towards her. This second girl has never, ever once looked at me, but the energy of the rejection is more passive than directly aggressive. Her boyfriend is also tight with mine, and we are often in the same room together. She always stands next to her man and ignores the entire scene rather sullenly. I know that she has some life in her bc I’ve seen her posts here on myspace, but when I’ve attempted to catch her eye to say hello it’s been fruitless. So now I just don’t bother, but I’m not especially offended.

Okay, so I see the two girls converge, their heads go together in conversation and the band begins, and I realize that they’re good friends. And I wonder, have I unwittingly done something to one of them that has caused both of them to shun me? This is always a possibility, but as I pondered their obvious ease of friendship I happened to glance down at that moment at my extremely short skirt and high heels. Click, click, click…my brain actually started working and the proverbial light bulb went, “Ping!

Ooooooooohhhhh. I’m the hot girl. I had no idea.

Seriously. And I am by no means tooting any horns here. I know my assets but I also am well aware of my limitations. These girls are half my age and I never considered that there was any competing to be done because we come from completely separate planets. I come from the land of aging rockers, excessive tattoos, too much makeup, and gothey guys getting wax poured on their chests in shitty basement bars that play metal. In that dying land I am queen. In their land

I am an old crow in a push-up bra. These girls come from a much younger point of reference in which corduroy and choppy haircuts feature prominently. They would never be interested in the music scenes that I find interesting, and they have the bloom of youth on their side. They are by no means unattractive physically, just wearing much different wrappers. It’s apples and oranges. So it never even occurred to me that there would be any struggle in this direction. Plus, we’re supposed to get along because our men are buds. I had NO IDEA we were playing THAT game. That tedious, tiring, old, stupid, stupid game!

So there I stood with a cocktail in my hand marveling at the fact that the whole time I was taking someone’s poor opinion of me very personally when I should have just seen it for what it was—those same damn insecure bitches from high school acting like assholes in the hallway that I spoke of in my last blog.

Which makes me think that we need to start viewing more interactions from a standing by the locker point of view. From that vantage point a lot of social behavior makes sense: everyone wants to be cool, some girls form yucky little cliques and act bitchy without reason, and others, like me, still feel like the dorks they were back then and thus immediately gravitate towards the comfort and wisdom of the gays, and don’t always recognize social dynamics for what they are right away.

It makes me wonder: how often are we reacting/interacting from our high school state of self? I’m beginning to think it’s more often than we’d like to admit.

And yes, you knew that already, TGW, didn’t you?

Anyway, the realization sort of made me soften towards these dumbass girls and I actually had a conversation with the first one later on in the night when she was forced to stand alone next to me at the bar while the boys loaded their gear. It went fairly well but I still plan on wearing something truly whorey to the next gig, just to make a point. Now that I know which game we’re playing I think I’m going to have a little fun with it.

And on a completely different note, someone sent me this video (link below) today, which is an example of women doing something really wonderful and reminding me that all this social crap that many of us are in the middle of right now is meaningless.

Power, looks, insecurity, popularity, etc. are all moments of ego that have nothing to do with the truth of who we are. My speaking of it is my way of trying to make peace with the world I have chosen to exist within and am now struggling to make peace with, but I always know that it’s an illusory pond that we’re playing in. When I watch this I am reminded that we have bigger fish to fry, now more than ever…




Orangutan Mama