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:

Jozie gym

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…

Wosely

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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Pranariffic Yogabutt

Whew! Everyone across the board is adamant that 2016 has been a terrible year.

I’m in agreement for the most part. It’s so sad to know that there’s an assembly of supervillains prepping to take over our country. People are dying right and left, one of my lifelong best friends left unexpectedly, I know another friend who lost both parents this year. Many people are upset about all the celebrity deaths, which don’t upset me too much unless there is a personal connection. We have their bodies of work to enjoy, and I believe they’re fine on the other side. I think that death means getting out of this difficult and accelerated school of life and getting to go home for the spiritual equivalent of summer vacation, shoes optional. Honestly, that sounds awesome to me. Also, there is so much going on in the world with the living that I want to keep my focus there. Bowie doesn’t need me. Living girls in hijabs getting hassled on the train need me. I will admit that I would have liked to see Carrie Fisher hang around for a little while longer though.

There is so much to discuss, but I can really only speak of my own personal stuff because that’s what drives me to write. My goal is twofold: I hope the little bits of illumination that come my way can help others in similar situations, and I look to sort out my own thoughts and feelings by putting them down.

My upheaval started in 2015 and continued through until exactly December 24, 2016, when the fog dissipated and the emotional load lightened. I posted this on Facebook already, it’s an interesting article on numerology that is very close to exactly my experiences of the last two years: http://astrostyle.com/9-universal-year-numerology/

I have had a hard time blogging over the last two years because I wish to protect the people I love and I haven’t been clear on what to say. I haven’t understood my own motivations, my decision-making abilities, my ability to love, my self-worth. I experienced creativity-crippling self-hatred, which was mirrored in a few negative messages that came my way, mostly from strangers. I did a lot of escaping, a lot of drinking, a lot of socializing. Storm Large (my friend and partner in drugs, sex, and rock and roll for 30 years) and I both marveled at the way we regressed after decades of working on maturing. There has been an attitude of fuck it, we’re always going to be messy and never properly tamed no matter how hard we try, so let’s die if we must, let’s live it up while we can.

There can be a lot of fun in that, and I’ve got some entertaining photos on my phone that will never see the light of social media. But the downside to escape is that you never really do, especially when you’re over 40 and you know better. You wake up the next day and assess the damage to your middle aged face, then suffer the work day with a recriminating hangover. In the end it’s undignified, depression-inducing and counterproductive. And most importantly, it’s wasted time, of which there is a finite amount.

This was the first holiday season in 13 years that I would not be following a list of happy traditions with Drew. He has his girlfriend now (I call her “The Nose” or “Number 2” because I’m a jerk) and I am with Sam. It’s strange and new, it’s been difficult at times, emotional, confusing–it is what it is because I made my choices. Sam is Jewish and so much younger than me that Christmas is different for him. And even if it wasn’t, you can’t just pop one person into another person’s place and expect to continue on unchanged. It’s not fair and it’s not realistic. So for me this season has been tentative, one of examining and embracing the newness. Change can be good, but with that comes a mourning of what was, which was, for the most part, lovely. I felt that I had an inner home with Drew, and for better or worse, that is gone.

Storm and I spent hours on the phone dissecting our lives and our feelings, and decided that it was time to go with the weirdness flow and do something life-affirming and healthy. She picked me up a few days before Christmas in a rental car and we drove to the Kripalu retreat, a lovely place located in a former monastery in the middle of mountains, next to a lake, replete with gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. We were determined to rejuvenate our livers and find enlightenment: four days of yoga, no TV, very little phone or internet, organic, mostly vegetarian food, and seminars on things like gratitude and Ayurvedic healing.

The trip exceeded our expectations. It was both inspiring and life-changing, despite the fact that we were our usual dick selves. We became immediately obsessed with the meals, which we called feedings, because the food was so good, healthy and plentiful that we could stuff ourselves without guilt. We planned every day around when we would eat, then sat in corners together, forking into our mountainous plates while whispering a running commentary on our fellow guests. We laughed so hard we couldn’t breathe.

Storm: “Look, there’s rapey McDowndog. Avert your eyes.”

Me (referring to a couple who were supposed to massage their own feet in an Ayurvedic seminar, but instead she sat on the floor and rubbed her husband’s feet while gazing up at him in what could have been either fear or adoration)—“The foot people are here. I think they’re terrorists. Don’t they look like terrorists?”

Storm: “You know they’ve been screwing all night, look at her hair.”

Me: “Eeeeuuuw…oh wait. There’s no way she’s a terrorist, her name tag says ‘Cindy’.”

Storm: “I need more soup. Do you want more soup?”

Me: “I think I saw cake. I’m gonna go look.”

Okay, so more full than fully enlightened. But we tried. Storm is much nicer than I am so I worked on following her lead on opening my heart to strangers. Or at least to not be rude to them when they tried to engage in friendly conversation. By the end of the four days I forgot to be quite so shitty and even chatted to a woman about the eggs, very inappropriately during the silent breakfast. She snickered and elbowed me. Shut up, yoga butt.

We got massaged, sat in the sauna, meditated, did a ton of yoga, and ran on the treadmill. I tried to take off a tight hoodie while on said treadmill and got knocked off in a spectacular display worthy of youtube. Both of my knees are skinned and I’m covered in bruises. My whole body ached, but I didn’t care, we just kept going.

On Christmas Eve, on a whim, I signed up for a tarot card reading and that was when something deep shifted for me. I didn’t ask any questions, just told the reader to give me a general overview. I liked her; she was no nonsense with warm voice and a hawk’s gaze. She flipped the first couple cards, pointed, looked at me and asked, “What is this grief?” She flipped one more and tapped it and said, “Broken heart.”

My eyes got hot. I felt exposed. And surprised at my immediate visceral reaction.

I shook off the looming tears and told her a little about my situation. I told her I caused the dissolution of a long-term relationship with a very good man. I told her how it was my fault, my confusion, my instability that had caused pain to others, not just to him–my family, his family, our friends, even our pets. She continued to set cards down quickly, glancing at them and moving on. She looked at me and said, “You are carrying a heavy burden of guilt that is keeping you from moving forward. Let it go. This is not your fault, it is 50/50. He wasn’t hearing you. You could have handled aspects better, we always can, but you did your best. You are doing the work you’re supposed to be doing. This is necessary.”

A great weight lifted off of my heart. A weight so heavy I didn’t realize how much of it I had taken on. I have heard this same thing a number of times from friends but I didn’t believe it. You know that thing you carry where you think people don’t really see your secret inner awfulness? Deep down I believed what I’ve always believed–that I am a bad girl, a bad person, a destroyer. This is why we can’t have nice things.

She told me to eat warm, comforting food, to wear silk pajamas, to watch movies I love in soft blankets, to be quiet at home and simply be nice to myself. Pretty basic advice, but I needed it. Do we think to do that for ourselves? Most of the time I’m festering on how I need to lose 10 lbs or running out the door to handle the 20 things I’ve got to do that day. I am far more unkind to myself than I am to the strangers I not so silently judge while stuffing myself on the dinner menu.

She told me a lot of other things too, about Sam, about my friends, about my future, all good. But these are things for another day.

After that I had warm oil drizzled on my third eye center until I was spacey and fully basted like a Thanksgiving turkey. I flopped around the endless halls with my oil-soaked hair matted to my head, no makeup, sweat pants, slippers, banged up knees. I felt like a little kid, for once unbothered with my appearance, snickering with my lifelong pal over our dumb inside jokes. I felt loved by her, by every experience. Everything on this trip kept steering me to be gentle to myself, to take care of my psyche and my body, to feel the love that was being handed to me freely, and to at least try to be gentle with others no matter how weird they are with each other’s feet in public.

So I was given a huge gift this Christmas–to feel healthy, free and loved. It’s been a long time coming. I know how lucky I am to have had the opportunity, so if anyone is curious about what it entailed, the tarot reader’s name, anything like that, feel free to email me. I’m happy to pay my good fortune forward.

And as a special holiday gift, I’ll leave you with this photo of Storm, who was beyond pleased to discover that our shower had a glass wall facing the beds. You’re welcome, internet.

Destiny!

For weeks now I’ve been thinking about how people define themselves, and if or how that could alter our destiny.

I have always resisted labeling myself, primarily because I still don’t know what I’m supposed to be when I grow up. Plus I think it pigeonholes people, as no one is just one thing. I hated it when I was outside my office job and someone would say, “Oh, that’s Raff, she’s a bookkeeper.” Ugh. So unglamorous, and it totally negated all the other stuff I am. Part of me wanted to shout, “But I’m also a good pet mom and I can write decently and I was once a rock star!” But no one wants to hear someone’s lengthy life resume upon introduction, so I’d just wave and smile tightly. And even if a stranger probes around for more details from me, I’m unlikely to hand them over willingly anyway, because (self-examining, too-much-information blog notwithstanding) I hate talking about myself to strangers. It makes me feel squirmy and overexposed.

And once you tell people outside of the rock and roll circle that you were once a rock and roll singer, it gets goofy: “Oh, that sounds exciting! Did you play bass? What band?” And you say, no, I sang, and well, there were a couple, the biggest one was Cycle Sluts from Hell, and they roll their eyes and say, “Woo! Well, that is quite a name, missy. So all righty, what was that like?” And then you have to go into this abbreviated version of a life-altering event chain and it’s tedious and embarrassing.

So now that I’m a bartender again, I have moments where people will be sitting in front of me talking about bands I know personally or how they’re super old school because they’ve been in NY since 2003, or whatever, and I’m tempted to say something to prove I’m cool. Most of the time I don’t, because, well, that would be a sad and desperate way to function, and really, who cares? Is it that important to impress a stranger with my advanced age and knowledge of the East Village prior to the great real estate rape of the 21st century? They don’t give a fuck, it’s like getting a lecture from your parents. 

And then other times on a Saturday night people will be dancing awkwardly in front of me in those ubiquitous blue striped shirts to say, “Shout” for the nine millionth time this year, and I will think, “Wow, I am a complete alien right now. I have lived an entire lifetime of adventure that these yutzes couldn’t begin to understand.”


(I counted. This guy, although I think he’s pretty adorable for a preppy type, was carrying 7 identical blue striped shirts.)

But then my second thought is, that’s ridiculously egocentric. Maybe they have all kinds of experiences, or will have experiences, that I can’t know or understand. We’re all the stars of our own lives, and who is to say that what I find important or cool is really the most important and/or cool? It’s all relative.

Anyway, so now that I’m back in the bars and working like an hour a week on a book and writing this blog when the mood strikes me, I have been kind of cheerfully free-falling without any real idea of what I’m Supposed To Be Doing. I knew I couldn’t sit in an office managing someone else’s money while people screamed at each other over my head for a minute longer, but now that the regressive year of screwing around and working as little as possible is almost up, perhaps it’s time to act my age.

Or maybe I’ll just coast like this for the rest of my days? It’s entirely possible, although the thought terrifies my long-suffering boyfriend.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve hung out a lot with with one of my besties Storm Large, because she’s been in town to sing at Carnegie Hall, which was a major career milestone, then she did a solo show at Joe’s Pub, and tomorrow is singing with Pink Martini for a benefit at the Central Park Zoo. It’s pretty obvious that she’s got it going on career-wise, and her labels are very clearly defined, she is a critically acclaimed singer/ performer/author, and can announce herself indisputably as such. We always talk about what the hell I’m doing with my life, because she believes in my talents and really wants me to move forward. She was one of the people who pushed me to quit my day job, now she’s pushing me to behave like a proper writer.

We got into the whole “but who am I?” conversation and she said, “Dude, you’re a writer. You just are. You have to start identifying yourself as one and get on with it.” And I did my standard dance of, oh, well, it’s only my little blog and I don’t have a book out and may never have one and blah, blah, and then I heard myself and realized that I really need to STFU. How we choose to define ourselves is really, who we are or who we become, to the world and to ourselves. It propels in directions, or conversely, holds us back if we label ourselves incorrectly.

And then I remember that another awesome friend, Chloe Valentine, had recently referred to me as an artist. I.e., “Oh, well, you’re an artist and it’s a difficult path and you can’t force your creativity…” I felt so happy to be referred to as an artist. I’ve never thought of myself as such, even though I’ve spent my life creating and being drawn to creative people. There was even a point when I started learning business-ey things like Excel and database management that I thought maybe I was born to organize for creative people. I guess I always thought of an artist as someone well-defined and earning a living as a painter, or a singer, or a writer who, you know, doesn’t play video games and take constant photos of their cats on their days off from work.




I think many of us, especially women, impose a certain modesty upon ourselves that doesn’t always serve well. We don’t want to toot our own horn, to make others uncomfortable or be seen as an egomaniac or an asshole. We want to be nice. I guess the trick is to know when it’s okay to state who you are, and when it’s better to sit back quietly and let the blue shirts talk about a friend’s band unfettered. Anyway, think about it. Who are you? Who do you want to be? Where are your true talents and do you let them shine? It’s time we all got on with it. I’m planning on it as soon as I max out to level 60 in Borderlands 2.



It is never too late to be what you might have been.” –George Eliot
 


Point/Counterpoint Part Deux

To further the ongoing war between the sexes, my arch-nemesis, Handsome Dick Manitoba, posted his response to my last blog here: MANIBLOG.

I know, I know…the mind reels! So many words rushing through my brain! And most of them foul!
Dear HDM,

Firstly, you DID call that scene in “The Wanderers” a work of “PURE GENIUS”. Your words, not mine. Ginkgo Biloba, anyone? And I never claimed “Nosferatu, The Vampyre” or the Addams Family movie were hip. Just that the first one interested me as a young girl more than watching a bunch of actors who were clearly over the age of 20 playing two-digit IQ’ed teenage boys doing their thing on the streets of New York, and that the second one featured a truly hilarious scene of female comedy.

The burning question of the hour is, however: why is it that every frigging Jew from New York City thinks his birthplace is the center of the Universe? And you’re all convinced that the rest of us are equally fascinated. I would bet a large sum of money that you have dragged my patient and beautiful BFF to said neighborhood in the Bronx to point out all the “landmarks” ad nauseum:

“And here is where I fingered my first girlfriend…Her name was Melanie…” I’m sure Zoe was captivated by every second of this tour of the holy land. “Tell me again, HDM, about how they cranked the cars with that little handle when you were a boy!”

Okay, just kidding on that last line. But seriously, all New York born and bred men think their own personal childhood locales are so much more interesting than they actually are. I will give you this, however, Mr. Manitoba. I do get that “The Wanderers” is a period piece capturing a part of history that is appreciated by many. Just not me. Or your wife.

NOW, let’s get on to that ridiculous photo. Posting it does not make you a sexist pig. You are actually NOT a sexist pig, Richard. You like women and you have no visible issues with women in power. Look at who you married! Look at who you are arguing with. You are, however, a complete IDIOT.

I say this will all due respect.

Finding a beautiful woman attractive is normal, but what you do with that attraction is what separates the men from the boys and either gets you praise: “GOOD BOY, YOU DIDN’T TWIST YOUR NECK TO CHECK OUT THAT WOMAN’S ASS ON THE STREET, HERE’S A NICE BLOW JOB.” or derision: “SIR, YOU ARE AN IDIOT.”

Posting photos of other women that you find attractive (in this manner) is incredibly disrespectful to your wife and your marriage. And it’s juvenile. Why not just tape a Farrah poster on the back of your bedroom door?  Lemme break it down for you:

Woman are raised to compete with one another in a much more insidious manner than men. Society places a value on us according to our looks. A man can look like a warthog but if he’s successful, he’s golden. A woman doesn’t have that luxury. It doesn’t matter how successful she is, if she’s not high on the food chain of societal beauty standards, she is “less than” and often a joke. A normal woman, who has borne and is raising your child, cleans your house, finds your lost items, and deals with your braying ass day after day, cannot compete with an airbrushed still photo of a model who has been painstakingly and professionally lit, coiffed, painted and wonderbra-ed within an inch of her life, and who sits there quietly two dimensional, never whining about how much it hurts to hike in heels or nagging you that she is tired of falling into the toilet late at night because you forget to put the damn seat down.

Real live women are faced with these images all day long, and even though we know the perfection is unattainable, we compare ourselves unfavorably as if it were. The images often make us feel shitty. We don’t look that good, we can’t be that skinny, we can’t go back in time and become teenagers again, we can’t be flawless. Hell, the model in that photo isn’t even that flawless. It takes a very confident woman to resist the low-self-esteem pull of this constant stream of manufactured images, and it helps to have a strong, supportive male by her side.

So why, Richard, you overgrown teenager, would you post a photo like this when it does not make your wife feel special or good about herself? Especially as it will not get you anywhere you want to be (i.e. naked with your hot wife), because the last thing a woman wants to do is sidle up and get busy with a guy who has just posted a photo of another woman. So you’re essentially cock-blocking your own damn self. Which makes you an idiot.

Ladies and gentleman of the jury. I rest my case.


And thusly, you must be punished, HDM, so here’s some more female hilarity for you. You already know this one so you can sing along during the last chorus. Hopefully it will do you some good. Tell Zoe to call me. We’re due for a girl’s night out!


Love It To Life

First: Happy birthday a day late, Karl! Your blog rules.

Soooo…I have had the most writerly and rock and roll weekend without actually doing any writing or any rocking.

Friday, which is supposed to be my writing day, found me happily long lunching it with Storm instead. She has been in and out of town for various reasons which I will not divulge publicly, and I am so happy to have her around. Storm is, on top of all her other projects, writing a book, and is already signed to a book deal and under a deadline. It is most helpful to me to have someone I am so close to further along in the process than I currently am, and we talked about words and phrases and our history and although it wasn’t maybe truly productive on my end, it actually 
was, if you know what I mean.

Drew is in Germany at the moment playing drums for Walter Shreifels, so the pets and I are home alone and I had planned on turning Saturday (yesterday) into a writing day. But I just wasn’t feeling it. I will admit here that I spent the entire afternoon watching movies (Tsotsi – so sad but great) and playing Borderlands on the Xbox, with curlers in my hair. I am currently a level 24 Siren with a Firefly class mod, if anyone wants to know. I felt guilty but the idea of writing about my crap just did not appeal.

Then last night I met up with my gorgeous friend Zoe for dinner at the Stanton Social Club. Zoe is a wonderful writer with a fascinating history, and is also working on a book (check her 
HERE). I love her stories and sense of humor and we have been trying to get together for months. We have led different lives but we are both rock chicks close to the same age, so we have lots to talk about. Zoe was very helpful with her thoughts on book proposals and agents, which was something I needed to hear, and we ate a truckload of delicious food (including 3 desserts sent out by her friend the chef) and dished about anyone and everyone. It was fabulous, albeit fattening.

Afterward we moved on to Bowery Ballroom to see my ex and our good friend Jesse Malin play with his new band the St. Marks Social Club. The band was great, it’s a bit edgier and more rock based than he’s been in the past, and we truly enjoyed the show. But of course we stood in the back, away from the fray, and continued to drink and gossip mercilessly the whole time. When we met up with Jesse sometime later he said he saw us standing in the very back yapping. The man always catches my bad behavior. I do pay attention, but I am notorious for watching shows from the back bar.

And then after that we wobbled to Manitoba’s for the after party. Zoe is married to Handsome Dick Manitoba and he was working his ass off because the place was jammed. We ran into Mickey Leigh, who is not at all pleased with me because of my
previous blog in which I questioned some of the intentions pointed in Joey Ramone’s historical direction. I thought I was diplomatic enough but Mickey was not having it, though he did hear me out and I stated some things drunkenly which I will now try to clarify in the light of day.

Joey was my friend and I loved him very much. Without Joey I may not have gotten as far as I did in the music business (for whatever that’s worth) and he was a lovely soul. Although we were not super close on a day to day basis I considered him a good friend and hold his memory dear. I knew him to be a private person and I do question whether what has unfolded since his death would have been his first choice of outcome.

That being said, it was never my intention to hurt anyone with my most decidedly outside assessments, and I fully acknowledge that Mickey is Joey’s brother and has the absolute right to his opinions and to write about their history together, and he certainly knows more than I do about the inner workings of the man. And. I have not read the book and I have prefaced anything I’ve said with that caveat. I may read it at some point; I don’t know if I’m ready to go there just yet. But I am honestly sorry for any damage my opinions may have caused, and I gave Mickey a hug and told him that just because I don’t necessarily agree with everything I’ve heard, it does not mean that I would ever wish him harm or ill will and I am truly sorry to be a source of upset. I respect his position as Joey’s brother and a member of the rock and roll “community”, and it is my firm belief that you can disagree with people and still be friends.

So Mickey, here it is for the record: I apologize for upsetting you with that past blog, and of course am incredibly flattered that anyone pays any attention whatsoever to what I have to say, so with that in mind I promise I will keep my public mouth shut on the subject from here on out.

Lastly, I know this is going to make me out to be more of a wackjob than ever, but since I gave up any pretense towards sanity long ago, here it is: I have had a couple of conversations with Joey since his death and he seems to have a good sense of humor about everything. He is just as generous with his time as ever and will show up to talk whenever I ask it of him, even though I’m sure he has better things to do on the other side. So whatever emotional opinions people may have towards his legacy, don’t worry about Joey, he’s doing great.

It’s a rock and roll life and I’m grateful for every single, stupid second of it. 

Panther Boots

Last night was Storm’s gig (actually 2 gigs, an early and a late show added because the first one sold out) at Joe’s Pub, as most of you already know if you’re connected to me. I really wanted my friends to see her because I knew it would be special, so I tried to push it on facebook and myspace. Electric Dave took some photos and I added a couple here, plus I was happy to be able to introduce Jo “Boobs” Weldon to Storm (a meeting of the titans!).

The show was somehow more phenomenal than expected, and expectations were already high. It could be argued that I am biased but the friends that came along felt the same way about it. I can say with total confidence that Storm Large is one of the finest performers I have ever seen in my life. It was also an emotional show for me as it’s been a while since I’ve seen her perform in person, and many of the songs are so personal that I could not help to connect their lyrics and feeling to the writer that I love and the history that I know. 

At one point she said, “One of my best friends is in the audience. We used to do our weight in drugs back in the day, it’s a miracle we look as good as we do.” I clapped and waved my arms and then had to think for a minute… Did we really do that? It seems impossible now, but I know we did. 

Storm, more than any other friend in my life, is the one that I truly plumbed the depths with. We didn’t drag each other down, we were good to one another and talked constantly about how we wanted to be better people. But we were both unconsciously determined to see how far we could take it. Storm and I have seen each other at our most raw, most fucked up, most vulnerable. We were young and wild and beautiful and full of self-loathing. 

Storm didn’t have money to get new boots so when the heel broke off of one she pulled the other heel off too and tiptoed around the East Village for weeks. She told some confused kids on the street that they were her “panther boots”. I had to duct tape a garbage bag to my smashed-out window after someone threw out all of my belongings without bothering to open it first. Storm helped me clean up the rubble and almost got shot by my psycho neighbor when she climbed a wall to look for my jewelry. It was all just part of the day.

So now we are adults and she is performing in a beautiful space for civilized people. And I am sitting with a glass of wine, watching while surrounded by people who love me and would never dream of throwing my stuff out of a window. Storm has the money for nice shoes. And she sings beautifully and honestly and I felt so overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of it all, that we made it here somehow. We’re still alive and no one is sobbing into a phone or tweaking out in a stranger’s burned-out apartment with no electricity. We’re actually fairly happy people. 

I could see so clearly that for all of the sadness that many of us have at not finding that perfect romantic soulmate, we have soulmates in some of our friends, we just don’t pay attention sometimes. It doesn’t always fill our hearts in the same exciting way, but it carries us for years, sometimes for our entire lives if we’re lucky. I felt so inspired and happy to see my friend shine so brightly last night, and so grateful that we got to this point. It put everything in perspective for me–how tiny I still make things for myself sometimes when they are meant be grand, and how truly magical our lives really are. I know it’s only going to get better.

Storm & Me
Jo Weldon, Storm, me
 
 
 


Bloaaargh

Hello good peoples!

I know that it’s been a small time since I’ve blogged. The blame lies with a serious procrastination problem and Fallout 3 for the Xbox. It is imperative that I get my shit together and foment a writing career, and the task looms darkly over my bed at night, like a dream monster. It daunts. And when in daunt, procrastinate in the least cool manner possible. This is me on the weekends:

Nerd alert! But it has finally come to that place where procrastination ceases to be a viable option. All of my friends have publishing deals and are generously offering assistance. It appears that the shitholes we were living in and the crap we were doing to kill ourselves “back in the day” is entertainment now. Who knew? And I do have the ability to write when I put the controller down and stop yelling at my boyfriend, so the only hindrance at this point in time is ME and a desperate fear of change and success.

I had a great talk with Storm, who was here for a few days last week and who will be here next week to perform at Joe’s Pub on December 1. We had a meal together and then had drinks with (her friend) Timothy Hutton and his pal, a man who stated that he worked for the government but wouldn’t tell me exactly what the work entailed. It was some kind of cop-type job and although he wouldn’t say too much about it, I got him to spill all kinds of juicy info on his personal life, which was HIGHLY entertaining. I love it when men I have no emotional investment in let me dissect their brains and hearts. 

In any case, seeing Storm and talking about her successes and our past and what I need to do was immeasurably helpful. She knows me well enough to understand what I need in the way of guidance, and I am much better with baby steps than one large picture. So I have formulated some baby steps:

–I have to move the decent portions of the myspace blog to my blogger account, which I only started last year while the myspace blog has been going for a few years. This will be a chore as there is no way to import directly, it’s going to involve copying and pasting. A few kind people have mentioned that they’ve remained on myspace only to read my blogs, so for those of you who aren’t aware, I have been posting the same blogs in a myspace free zone, here: Miss Anthrope’s House of High Drama. For those of you who are reading this on the blogger site, thank you for keeping close tabs!

And while we’re on the subject, what is everyone’s thought on this blog sitch? Should I continue posting them in both places or just direct people to the blogger site? I’m unsure. Does it even matter?

–I have to put together a package to get myself a book agent. This won’t be too hard as I already have stuff, it just freaks me out to think about it and I’m going to have to do some digging and editing to condense into something appropriately sell-able.

–I have to bug my friends to get meetings for me with their agents. The awesome part about this is that I actually have friends with great agents who are willing to share. I’m so fortunate that others’ ability to get shit done has paved the way for my procrastinating ass. And then once I have said agent I will be able to put together and shop a decent proposal.

–Lastly (and most least, leastly?) I have to dig through all of my old photos and find a very old snap of Storm posing next to her date of the moment’s ginormous cock. She sent it to me when she first moved to California, and she’s raunchier than I am and talks about this massive organ in her show, so I promised I’d try to find the evidence. This is, of course, not part of the book plan, I just think it’s a fun item to put on the list. Sometimes I can’t believe the comic trajectory my life has taken, I am so lucky to never be bored.

It would undoubtedly be wiser to play my cards closer to the chest and not talk about this journey until it’s actually underway. But I have never felt the need to hide anything I’m doing or thinking, unless to do otherwise would harm someone. And even then I still tend to compulsively spill everything (sorry, Mike). So that’s the publicized plan for now. These steps are not too horribly terrifying (except perhaps that last one), and I should be able to chug away at a decent pace without getting too distracted by the Fallout wasteland. So thank you everyone for your words of encouragement, I am honestly very grateful at how kind you all are.

Oh, and PS– On the friends with books tip, Eerie Von has a new book of photos coming out (Misery Obscura) and he’s doing a signing at Generation Records on January 8th, so if you’re in NYC and a fan, save the date. He informed me today that I’m in it, I’m praying it’s nothing too heinous (you never know), but I’m sure the book is going to be special. He’s a great guy and I’m excited to see him in person for the first time in quite some years.