My Life as a Covergirl

Weeeellll… I’ve come down with a case of laryngitis. You can imagine Drew’s delight. He’s been exceptionally chipper all day long and whenever I try to say something he shouts “WHAT?!” like Dave Chapelle doing Lil John. He’s a fucker.

Although truthfully I don’t mind it that much myself. It’s a bit of a relief to have an excuse to be quiet, and I did get to leave work a few hours early today. My favorite channel TCM is showing nonstop black and white scary movies, all the good ones, which is highly comforting after this week’s not-yet-finished but incredibly terrifying technicolor rhinestone trip down the rabbit hole that is Patricia Field during Halloween season.

Seriously folks, I’m going to do a plug here: if you are in NY and in the market for a costume, go visit the store, if only for sheer entertainment’s sake. And tomorrow I’m going in early to mark the costumes down, so if you’ve been remiss in getting something now’s the time.

I try to stay out of the way of the customers as much as I can, because, well, let’s face it, I am not a real people person. But occasionally during this time of year when much of it is about the lingerie department (my domain), I’ll spend some time on the floor yelling at the kids that they don’t know how to tie a corset and running up and down the stairs finding shoe sizes.

So yesterday I found a very pretty Jamaican girl, not older than 20 or 21, with her mother in the lingerie section and looking confused. I asked the girl what she wanted to be for Halloween and she said, “I’m having a party and I need a costume.”

So I gamely said, “Okay. How do you envision yourself?”
Her: “It’s a half-naked party.”
Me: “All righty. How naked? Like panty and bra naked? Corset and ruffle panty? Slip?”

She pulls out a flyer for a club and on it is a photo of a bodacious black woman in a g-string and nothing else.

Me: “Oookay… Well, we’ve got plenty of g-strings. What color would you like?”
The Mother: “Tha gerl is pregnant! She can’t be wearin’ no g-string.”
The Girl (rolling her eyes): “Do you have anything that will cover my belly?”
Me: “Hmm…So a high waisted girdle panty perhaps?”

So I dig out a bunch of girdle panties and trot them into the dressing room. And of course run to the front desk to gossip about the pregnant maybe teenage girl with her mom in the dressing room getting ready for the big naked party. Because I’m good like that. I’ll gossip about you before you’ve even left the building.

By the time I got back she had chosen a panty and also found a pair of pink butterfly pasties which didn’t fully cover her large nipples on her very large breasts. On the up side, the mother had found a beaded drapey choker to go with the whole thing.

Girl (holding the pasties over her nipples and assessing the mirror: “Do I look pregnant?”
Mother: “Gerl. You ARE pregnant and everybody already knows.”
Me: “Ah…that necklace looks fabulous.”
Girl: “I don’ like it.”
Mother: “You need to be wearin’ sometin beside a panty! This makes it classy!”
Me: “Yes, it does make it look more like an actual costume.”
Mother: “See! Otherwise it’s just de panty and dose silly little butterflies.”
Girl: “I don’ like it.
Me: “It’s very Josephine Baker.”
(Girl looks at me blankly)
Me: “You know…famous performer in the 20’s and 30’s, very erotic, appeared almost naked, broke down all kinds of walls for black women…”
(Girl looks at me blankly)
Me: “Banana dance?”
(Girl looks bored)
Mother: “I know who Josephine Baker is. She don’ know nothin’. Look at her, she’s pregnant and naked. Now lets just get the panties and the necklace and get outta here…”
Girl: “I’m goin’ to need some stockin’s.”
Me: “I’m on it…”

Today a girl wandered in front of me in a long red sequinned gown and said, “Who can I be?”
I croaked out through the laryngitis, “Jessica Rabbit, of course!”
She said: “Who’s that?”
Me: “Jessica Rabbit. Roger Rabbit’s wife? Sexiest cartoon character ever?”
(Girl looks at me blankly)
Me: “You know, long red hair, long red dress, totally hot?”
(Girl looks confused but perks up when she hears the word “hot”)
Me (sighing): “Like Kim Kardashian, but with red hair and a brain.”
Girl (flash of recognition in her eyes): “Oh. Cool!”

And that’s about the time I decided that I didn’t want to try to talk anymore and it was time to go home to overeat pasta and watch Val Lewton movies with the pets.

This is my life as a covergirl. Pray for me tomorrow.

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Halloween 2007

SOUNDCHECK:

Once we get Stonehenge mounted from the ceiling it looks like Moses’ tablets. Relighting imperative.

I have a big fit because the circus performers have hung a burlap curtain that blocks out one side of the stage. Club staff ignores my strident demands for action so I huff a bit and then get up on an amp and poke it with a mike stand until it’s jammed behind some wiring and no longer blocking everything. I feel very proud of myself but now the opening band The Hunt is eyeing us suspiciously. What, they’ve never seen crabby old bitches before?

Realize there will be very little space for the druids and decide to prop the one with the worst eyesight at the front of the stage and just tell him not to move for 45 minutes.

One person who shall remain nameless leaves a piece of intimate and slimming bodywear at the club and calls in to send Billy the lighting guy out onto the floor to find said item. After he relights Stonehenge of course. He doesn’t find it but we believe that’s bc he was under the mistaken impression he’d been sent to look for a bra.

AT HOME PRE-GIG:

Donna calls to remind me to bring the witch hats.

I chew out Drew for staying out all night and getting wrecked the night before and tell him that he’d better be bright eyed and bushy tailed by the time we leave the house. He assures me he’ll be most squirrel-esque by witching hour, then rolls over and goes to sleep.

Squeeze myself into police costume and curse my love of carbs.

Have a panic attack that no one will actually show up to see us play.

Keep thinking I’m forgetting something.

AT THE GIG:

Incredibly relieved to pull up and see a huge line outside the club and running down the block.

Realize I’ve forgotten to bring the witch hats.

Discover dressing room packed like an elevator full of sweaty strangers, broken cups and empty beer bottles strewn everywhere, and start shouting at people to get the fuck out. Bushy-tailed boyfriend shouts, “Get ’em, Honey!” Ex-girlfriend of guitar player says, “God, you’re a bitch, Raff.” I tell her if she doesn’t like it she can make some space too, but she chooses to stay in order to torment Donna for not remembering her. Guitar player hides.

Apologize to the girls for forgetting to bring the witch hats.

Sweaty lead singer from other opening band the Stalkers is already so drunk he’s verging on incoherent, tries to hit on extremely shy Gini who just smiles sweetly and looks at him like he has three heads. He turns to me and says, “Whisheso mean?” I say, “Hell, buddy, she’s the nice one. Now maybe you want to get the fuck out of the dressing room so we can have a tiny bit of space?” He too chooses to stay.

Electric Dave takes over stage door duty, thank you Dave.

Organize druids for big entrance.

ONSTAGE:


Druids! Stonehenge! Mayhem! Lights! Trying not to step on cables, trying to remember lyrics. Was that my line or Gini’s? Oops! It’s already passed.

Wonder if the cheap-ass police costume corset is bunching up and giving me a muffin top above my tiny skirt. Friend shouts out that my skirt is too tiny so I show everyone my ass (as per usual). This gets a big cheer and I hope distracts everyone from the muffin top.

Gasp for air with all the stage fog and suddenly remember that playing a full show is actually a fair amount of work.

Halfway through the set I notice some dipshit in a ringlet wig crawling all over Drew while he tries to push her off. I watch dumbfounded as she alternates between pouting over his rebuffs and new attempts to grind her crotch on his hip and wrap her arms around him. As I’m processing this I realize I’m in the middle of a show and pull my attention back to the fact that I have to focus on what I’m doing. Then I remember I’m the one on a platform with a microphone. Heh, heh, heh…When the song is done I shout: “Hey ringlets! I see you crawling all over my boyfriend while I’m up here working on this stage and you’d might as well just leave now because when I’m done I’m gonna find you and kick yer fucking ass. I got a bottle of tequila in the dressing room and a whooooole lotta fucking energy.” Donna says, “She’s not kidding, she’ll do it!” The crowd goes “Ooooooh…”

Varied psychotic friends who enjoy a bit of the old ultra-violence now and then fan out to enact justice, but ringlets disappears for remainder of evening. Andre J. and my girl Corinne lean on Drew and grin at me from the audience. Someone whispers to Corinne, “Don’t touch him!”

Show goes swimmingly, lots of headbanging in the audience, a small moshpit, druids perform expertly, no one fucks up too majorly, everyone has a blast, Lord Roadkill’s cord is only kicked out of the amp about 10 times. Rock and roll!

AFTERSHOW:

Wasted lead singer of opening band still in the dressing room, now wearing Gini’s Indian headdress. Guitarist’s ex-gf continues to harass Donna who pleads with her eyes to me for rescue. I interject that Donna’s senile and can’t be expected to remember everything and hand her a bottle of whiskey for comfort.

Imbibe afore-mentioned tequila while Drew cracks jokes about being married to the eye of Sauron.

Midget (little person?) from circus performers decides to get naked in the middle of the room, then flips out on Electric Dave for looking at her and tells Johnny T that Dave’s a little people pervert. Johnny T shouts at Dave for looking at naked little people. Dave looks confused.

Fabulous and talented girl who does acrobatics on a swing above the dance floor tells me she’s a fan and I tell her no, I’m HER fan and we squeal and get really girlie and take pictures together and swear our undying love. T’s so wasted she keeps poking her head in the corner of the photos we’re trying to take.

Some goofball calls me Joyce and then says I look like his ex-girlfriend named Joyce. As if. I sic T on him, she slurs curses and kicks bottles off the table and he wanders off.

My supermodel bff doses us with her special supermodel uber-mushrooms. She and her also-model boyfriend are dressed as Sid and Nancy but because they’re so pretty Drew dubs them Sid and Fancy. Since we’re now high on mushrooms this is the funniest joke ever told.

Wind up at Three of Cups licking Mike’s head (which tastes of substances) as he hops around with my leopard bag hanging from his neck, shouting “You are the greatest performer that ever lived!!” Drew says he’s like one of those toads you can lick and get high off of. Another incredibly hilarious joke brought to you by drug abuse. I realize it doesn’t taste that good, I’m only hurting myself and cut it out.

Dano blesses us all in his priest costume, which I find oddly comforting. I think he should wear it all the time.

Aforementioned shapewear item is found.

Miki shouts last call and it takes me ten minutes to figure out which side of my coat goes up.

Pets are glowing when we get home.

I get a message from Donna that she forgot Stonehenge at the club.

—————————————————————————-

Life is good. Thank you everyone for coming out and making it one of the funnest nights of my life. I’ll post photos in another blog once they’re all in.






Update!

First, thank you so much everyone for the lovely birthday wishes. I have awesome friends and people wrote some really nice things and I got some great presents. I was touched, that myspace birthday feature is the shiz. And I blissfully forgot how old I was until Drew reminded me. No worries though. Once he comes to I’m sure he’ll promise never to mention it again.

Second, I’m drained.

I forgot that the last time I performed a full set with a band I did not have a full time day job. Plus it’s the busiest time of the year for the store which means the phones are ringing off the hook and I’m racing around shouting things like, “Oh my God, is it possible that we’re out of white satin corsets? It can’t be!!!” and “Can we overnight the last Madame Monastery costume to Idaho??”

And I don’t even work on the floor. Thank God because I’d kill someone for sure. Today a woman came in, pushed her way through the melee and stated in a French accent, “I want to be surrealism.” If I’d had a weapon in my hand she’d be dead right now. Luckily the kids who actually deal with the customers sort of shoved me gently and led her away before I stopped sputtering “Unspeakable! Unspeakable!” like Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby.

So yeah, grown women are tearing the place apart to get their sexy costumes together. Every costume is X + Whore = Slutty X. As in Indian Maiden + Whore = Slutty Indian Maiden. This year everyone wants to be a pirate or Marie Antoinette. You know, if pirates and deposed French royalty wore teeny minis and fishnet stockings. Pretty much everything needs a push-up bra and ruffle panties and a garter belt. If you walk in there asking to be a Hassidic wife you’re going to walk out with a blonde wig, a g-string and a rhinestone handled riding crop.

So that’s entertaining, but the roiling humanity of it all is killing me.

Then there are rehearsals, which come after long days of fashion mayhem and cut into time allotted towards much needed beauty rest. Gini lives in MN so we’ve had to jam them all in at once. And there are our own costumes and guest stars to organize. And dealing with the club to make sure that my high fashion co-workers along with the Queen Mother Ms. Pat are taken care of in the style they are accustomed, and that we have the gear we need and that the lighting guy can make it and t-shirts made and blah, blah, blah… And don’t even get me started on the guest list, that alone could drive a sane person to madness. I have it on a google doc and I just rearrange and stare at it and it never becomes manageable. Thank God my mom’s not coming bc she’d have to be on the reduced list.

But it’s going to be a lot of sloppy fun and I just wanted to post an update before I plunge into the last few days of overtime bc I don’t know if I’ll get a moment again.

For everyone who’s asking – we’re on at 11:30. MF is notorious for its long lines so get there early. There’s an open vodka bar from 10-11 pm so that should be incentive. Plus I hear the opening band the Stalkers are great. I took a look at the club today and it’s cool and has a lot of rooms to wander in and out of and the staff actually seems cheerful and friendly. The party pushes for costumes, if you don’t want to do that just don’t go looking like a total slob and you should be able to get in with a minimum of hassle. After the bands it turns into more of a rock dance party and then they get tighter about the fashion.

Oh, and I just noticed my good friend RACHAEL wrote a blog some time ago about her experiences with CSFH that I thought was kind of cute: SUPERFREE. Her blogs are usually pretty funny but because she’s not on myspace I forget to read them sometimes.

All right, I think that’s it. Going to bed now so I can work an extra day this week in order to ensure that the good women (and some ahem…men) are cinched in and pulled up and teased properly for All Hallow’s Eve. Thank God the accountant cancelled out on the early meeting Pat wanted to have tomorrow. Because nothing says good times like beginning an extra day of work with a long drawn out discussion about taxes. Luckily she pushed it back to another early Saturday morning. Sigh…

See you on Wednesday. If not then, see you at the bar.