Use Your Beautiful Asian Drag Illusion

I have had a very entertaining couple of nights.
On Friday I was stuck in the store until 10 pm for one of our ridiculous staff meetings. I won’t even get into that can of gay worms. Afterwards, since it was so late, I decided not to eat anything and just go home, but while walking got hijacked into stopping into Lucky Chengs for a drink with some co-workers.

For those of you who don’t live in NY, Cheng’s is an absolute pit located on First Avenue. Years ago the theme was “Delicious food served by beautiful Asian drag queens”. Unfortunately, they soon ran out of beautiful Asian drag queens willing to waitress and over time the place morphed into a burial ground where the trannie prostitutes go to die. 
It is unbelievable in there. Half-naked, gorgeous black boys in drag, with asses you could park your drink on, falling off their heels and squawking at each other, aging white boys in bikinis and Marilyn wigs trying to keep the cutlets from falling out of their bra tops, and the occasional actual Asian in a cheap slip, drunk and wobbly, leaning against the bar for support: all of them suffering under the weighty demands and whims of squealing gangs of chubby bachelorettes in penis hats and veils. 
These denizens of the outer boroughs, Long Island, and New Jersey travel in packs in white limousines to visit the freak show. They stand on their chairs and dance while shouting “Whooo!!” at each other, bitchily demanding more appletinis and high five-ing their sistren while taking photos with the staff like its a grown-up Disneyland. I kept expecting to hear one of them yell, “Dance, Monkey, DANCE!!”
And to make it even better, there’s karaoke. So the brides to be can get up and sing the hits for their friends. So while youre having a cocktail at the bar you can watch a drunken sorority sister with a mom haircut belt out “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” while getting spanked by a wasted, spindly-legged trannie in a miniskirt. Gorgeous!

As I settled into my second glass of wine a particularly masculine faced ladyboy staggered into my chair looking tired and sad. I asked, “Are you okay?” She narrowed her eyes and said in a very thick accent, “You a crazy faggot? You a crazy faggot??” I said, “Why, yes. Yes, I am a crazy faggot.” Seemed the appropriate answer.

It is an unholy place for sure. So of course I stayed for three glasses of wine and then teetered home chuckling to myself.

Then Saturday I cursed my co-workers and the seedy allure of Lucky Cheng’s and suffered a nice little no food/cheap wine hangover. And my good friend Michael Schmidt has been in town from L.A. for a few weeks and we had made plans to hang out on Saturday night.

Some of you know Michael, he is a brilliant designer of jewelry and clothing and was the mastermind behind Squeezebox. He has made clothing for Deborah Harry, Cher, Sebastian Bach, and other famous types. He’s been my friend for 20 years, we both landed in NY from the Midwest at the same time and have much history together. And whenever we’re together cool shit just happens. He is in town right now helping Don Hill renovate his club, and he also had a hangover but we dragged ourselves out in the pouring rain to see Supervillain play at Continental.

I would just like to interject a little aside here and state for the record that Trigger, the owner of Continental, is an ass. New Yorkers already know this, but the rest of the world should be told. I am sick of his shit. I’m not one of those people that expects to get in free all the time, and I like putting money in to support my friends’ bands. And I NEVER ask him to comp me, but once in a while it is a natural courtesy and there area few reasons why anyone else on the planet would comp me on the odd occasion if they were standing at the door at Continental. For one, I played in a band that had some notoriety. But that was quite a while ago so I don’t use that card very often. But then I frigging managed Coney Island High, right around the corner from his sorry ass, where he entered and drank for free any time he wanted. I also made sure to comp him everything when he visited Remote Lounge, a horrible club I managed a while back. And lastly, I was Jesse Malin’s girlfriend for seven years, who Trigger worships and comps and butt-kisses at all times. Any time I am with Jesse, he comps me, but most begrudgingly of course. I know he hates it, even though I have never been anything but polite and respectful towards him. The man is notorious for his issues with women, though, so I don’t know why I’m always surprised at what a dick he is.

So last night I walk up to the door, by myself, and Trigger is standing there next to his doorman Karl, who I know. Karl looks at me, smiles, looks at Trigger, then looks at me again, then back at Trigger, like, “Dude, wtf, youre gonna make me charge her?” Trigger just stands there in his ridiculous coolie hat watching silently and waiting for me to pay like the douchebag he is. I just pulled out my money, smiled at Karl, and paid. The guy felt so bad he apologized to me later. I told him I know his boss is an asshole and not to think twice about it.

Anyway, end of Trigger rant…So Supervillain rocked and afterwards Michael wanted to go by Don Hill’s to get some cash and to show me the Misshapes party. Don is the polar opposite of Trigger, the most generous club-owner on the planet and even if I hate the party or band going on at his place it’s always fun to hang out there. And the Misshapes, for my metal friends that aren’t surrounded by gay club kids all day long, are three horrible, pretentious 20-something hipster DJs that rule NY right now. Exactly the opposite of what I think is cool, but I was curious to see what the scene was like and it was a chance to see Don and his staff. So Michael’s words were something like, “Come on, Doll. We’ll get drunk and you can pick on the hipsters.”

Which we did, most heartily. But before I get to that, in the cab on the way over and totally out of the blue, Michael turned to me and said, “Remember that time we went to the pyramid and Axl sat down at the bar next to you and you guys started talking about how he has YOU tattooed on his arm?” I said, “Yeah, that was the first time we met him, remember, before they played the Ritz. We laughed about that tattoo and then talked about jewelry.”

Fast forward to the party. It is a sea of pasty, indeed misshapen children, all dancing with great bursts of flapping irony to the sounds of Journey and The Strokes. The place is packed with little girls in Karen Oh drag. I don’t hate the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and she’s cool enough, but essentially its just sloppy Pat Benetar gear with a crappy haircut. Let’s just say it’s not very pretty. Or sexy. Or cool. It was all fairly hideous as far as I was concerned. 
And the boys were even worse. They were even pastier and more misshapen, and were all wearing headbands. I am not kidding when I say this. Headbands! Yucky, mealy little boys in badly fitting jeans and stretchy Olivia Newton John circa “Physical” HEADBANDS. So me being me and Don being the purveyor of many shots, I drank a substantial quantity of tequila and began loudly and repeatedly announcing that I wouldn’t fuck anyone in the place, even with Karen Oh’s vagina. Michael patted my cheek and said, “Here’s another shot, honey. Now please don’t hit anyone.”

About an hour into the drinking and ranting, Ronnie G, Don’s partner and one of my favorite people on the planet, comes up and says, “Axl Rose is here.” Yippee! Finally some action. Plus I couldn’t believe it– Michael had fucking conjured Axl, which is the kind of thing that always happens when we’re hanging out! I was beside myself. Back in the day I was friendly with Duff, and I think what Axl did to his bandmembers was pretty rotten and destroyed a band that was a total powerhouse on stage. I loved Guns and Roses. But I can’t help having affection for him and who he is.Yes, hes a crazy mess but I have an affinity for crazy messes and he is forever connected to some of the best times of my life. Plus he’s always behaved like an absolute gentleman towards me.

So Ronnie leads Axl and his posse to a quickly roped off section near the DJ booth. He’s wearing mostly white and is followed by one male friend in a trucker cap and black t-shirt, an older woman who is probably wrangling him for the evening, and a few fairly hot rock type girls. I thought, thank God, actual women with boobs and butts wearing something besides Flashdance sweatshirts and shag haircuts. And Axl didnt look as bad as expected. He still has those wacky cornrows but he doesn’t look as shiny and facelifted and scary as he did during the MTV awards show. But of course, by this time I was blind drunk, so its all a little bit of a blur. He could have been wearing beautiful Asian drag for all I knew.

So, me being me, I marched over to his area and smile at him. He stood up and took my hand, and I leaned in and shouted over the blaring speakers, “We’ve met a few times before, I’m Raffaele from Cycle Sluts from Hell.” He smiled and started to say something but because he stood up and leaned over the rope a little, a huge swarm of nasty little hipsters started shoving and crowding around to take pictures with him. It was crazy and I felt bad and retreated back to the nearby bar so he could sit back down in peace.

After a little more time at the bar being banged into by badly dressed children, I turned to Ronnie and said,Come on, we’ve got to go sit in there.” It probably came out like, “Cermn. Weef goddasiddin.” But Ronnie was loaded too so he got it. He grabbed my hand and walked me into the section. The guy in the trucker cap says his name is Vegas and he knows me, and immediately gets up and puts me in the seat next to Axl. So now I’m totally amped–I’m in a VIP section sitting next to Axl Rose! It’s so old school! I love old school! And I have a million things I’d like to ask him but the unfortunate abuse of tequila made my brain mushy. So I said, gesturing to the clamoring toddlers in headbands trying to get his attention, “I don’t know how you deal with this. It’s totally nuts.” And he laughed and said, “Thats why I didn’t go out for 13 years. This is actually pretty mellow.”

So then we start talking about jewelry because that’s the first conversation we ever had, and he shows me the most gorgeous silver bracelet with skulls on it that I have ever seen in my life. It was pristine, totally badass and obviously incredibly expensive. He told me the name of the designer, but of course I can’t remember it today. And then we chitchatted about other things, NONE of which I can remember because I was so hammered. I eventually got up because I felt funny hogging the hot seat, and I said, “It was really great to see you and I hope we meet again soon. I’ll be at your show at the Hammerstein.” He took my hand again and said, “Do you need help getting in? Take Vegas’ number in case you need anything.” What a fucking champ. Trigger can’t give me a break at his door even once and someone I barely know is making sure I have a way into his sold out show.

I was completely giddy for the rest of the night and spent another half hour happily stomping on hipster feet (since I was the only one in heels) and texting my friends about the Axl sighting. We left Don’s and went on to Cups, where I slurred nonsense into Rik’s ear for a half an hour. And then finally when it was well past time to go home, we did.

It could not have been a better weekend if I planned it.

The end.

4/24/06 ADDENDUM!
Found this pic today.You can see my partially obscured face in the crowd, but I am posting it because it is clear photographic evidence of blatant and shameless headband usage!!

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Spring Cleaning

First, this has been my month for stalkers. I have one nutbag that regularly writes looooooong, rambling, unpunctuated serial killer style letters, all detailing how interesting he is. But he is a big CSFH fan and I used to know him in passing in the Scrap Bar days so he doesn’t scare me. But then he took the blog I wrote about the other creepy guy and posted it in a bulletin to the 2000 naked chicks he has in his friend list. 

So I flipped out and told him to take it down because I didn’t want the first freak coming after me because this freak was posting my private shit everywhere. Which of course prompted a flurry of long and completely psychotic messages about how he was a brave Native American and followed the old ways (which obviously include vast amounts of hallucinogens) and I had broken his heart by not being the badass rock star he wanted me to be. I swear this guy was typing for hours and if he could have put it all in tiny writing in notebooks, “Seven” style, he would have. I told him if he didn’t stop acting so nuts I was going to block him. 
Then he simmered down for a day or two, but I knew it couldn’t last. He had to send one more missive which took a new but equally annoying tone: he wrote how he wanted to thank me because he had posted a bulletin about how he wasn’t going to rock anymore due to the aforementioned broken heart caused by me not rocking hard enough for him by making him take the bulletin down, and some obviously mentally challenged young woman said the thought of him quitting his imaginary band made her cry. Upshot is he’s decided not to quit rocking or writing insane letters so we can all breathe a sigh of relief. DELETE!
Then I have this other girl who in the beginning was regularly asking me for advice about her broken heart. I am noticing that the people who are most adamant that they need your advice rarely listen. They just want someone to hear their complaints. But I felt a little sorry for her (always a bad idea) so I answered her as thoroughly as I could, a few times I might add. 
Then she became this little stalking spider on myspace. Every time I posted a bulletin she would respond within two seconds and she regularly sent me needy missives asking why I wasn’t paying more attention to her. (Um, because I don’t know you and I’m tired of listening to you whine?) I swear I think the girl lives on myspace, night and day. She created two nearly identical profiles for herself so she could leave double the sparkley comments and I’ve been trying to figure out how to get her out of my inbox without being mean. Ignoring her wasn’t doing the trick. 
Then the breaker came when I posted a Marilyn Monroe gif in a friend’s comment section yesterday, a friend she couldn’t possibly know, and a few minutes later she sent a message asking where I got the gif. It made me feel completely invaded. I sent her a response that I think she is very sweet but she is too up in my shit sometimes. She got very upset about that and says that I don’t leave her comments anyway, that she is obviously not my type of friend (my type is non-psychotic for those of you who are wondering) and she is saying goodbye. So I’m free of that one now, too. What a relief. Myspace Spring cleaning!
Anyway, those of you who know me in person (and are not currently trying to boil my myspace bunny) know that I have been going through a minor existential crisis for some time now. My job has been very stressful, we renovated a new space and moved the store into it, and the ensuing bills and late hours of box dragging and people screaming at each other over box dragging has just taken its toll. But it’s not just this particular job. I have been questioning my whole work career, which I never set out to have. I just wanted to have money coming in so I could do fun things on the side that would eventually pull me out of the jobs altogether. But the side has become non-existent and the work all-encompassing.
I am hyper-responsible, and lately I am looking at the less responsible people I know and they seem to be having a far better time. I’ve been feeling resentful, frustrated and trapped by the routine and certain tasks put upon me that are distasteful, boring, and tedious. I am sure that the Universe has a bigger plan for me than dealing with someone else’s taxes and dragging file cabinets around, damn it! But this week I’ve been a little quieter about my frustration and am looking over all the choices made throughout my life that have brought me here. I’ve also been observing the choices of people around me.

Many years ago I went through a period where I did a lot of coke. I wasn’t very happy, worked in an awful bar that made me even less happy, and had people handing me free packets every night. I am very sensitive to drugs, especially anything that brings energy up. The come down is too much and it makes me depressed and often physically sick. But it was routine at that point and I couldn’t see past the habit. I wasn’t addicted really, but I was stuck. I got along better with my druggie husband when I was equally addled, and much of my social scene revolved around it. But I was miserable, full of shame about my behavior when high and tired of feeling crappy physically. My friend Storm (who helped me through that period more than I can say and who rocks the fuck out of any song you hand her) and I began noticing that all of our cokey conversations were revolving around how shitty doing coke was. I started having dreams about giant bugs crawling all over my house and my body. Then one morning I woke up after a particularly bingey night and the first thing I did upon opening my eyes was start crying. I just wanted to die.

So I called my mom and said, “I’m doing all of this coke and I hate it and its making me depressed and suicidal.” And my mother, who must be a genius, said, “Well, stop doing coke.”
Um, duh…okay, never thought of that. Seriously, I was so lost I never even considered that particular choice.
So I followed her advice. I refused all offers that night and every night after that. I felt uncomfortable socially for about two weeks, and then it became clear to me how much easier it was to hang out without being all tweaked out, and though my life still had a lot of holes in it, I felt a lot better. I don’t have anything against anyone who likes coke (though I will openly mock you for my own entertainment if I notice you’re gacked and defenseless) and I am not above partying in other ways on occasion. This story remains remarkable to me not because of drugs but because it was the first real moment where I realized that I actually did have the power of choice over my own world.
Two days ago I watched my boss (not Pat) have a total meltdown (one of many) over a garbage can because she consistently chooses to work too many hours and is totally fried out. She feels powerless and frustrated and drained. Yet I can see from my viewpoint that although the nature of our particular beast (no, still not Pat, I mean the business) does involve many moments where she and I are forced to do things we don’t want to do, she is regularly making choices about the time and energy she spends there. And her choices have direct and obvious results. 
I have felt powerless and frustrated lately as well, but watching her freak out over something so minor became another light bulb moment. It is such a life lesson to watch someone else do the same things you do. But I can see now that I don’t have to stand anywhere that I don’t want to, as much as I think I’m supposed to, that its the responsible thing to do, that it is the right thing to do, that I need the job–whatever the motivating factors are, it’s still my active choice whether to show up or not.
I have an ex-bandmate, who shall remain nameless, who always lived on the scrambling, squatting side of things. This person refused to get a job because they wanted to be a rock star and felt working was beneath them. It was annoying: they were always broke and regularly had some sort of financial or living crisis going on that they needed help with. While I, being the polar opposite, barely had time for band stuff because I was so busy working to make sure I could pay my rent and have beer money leftover for my moochey broke bandmates.
I look back now in sadness at times with the Sluts when I got mad because photo sessions went late and I had to go to work. How nuts is that? Why did I care? How could I choose some crappy job over getting my photo taken for a magazine? But I did. I was completely panicked out about making sure money was coming in, about not falling into some kind of imaginary hole that loomed right behind my just letting things go for a second. So I was always the one running to work and it’s caused me to miss out on all kinds of events and adventures and to not live completely in the moments when adventures were happening. And that sucks.
I didn’t know I had a choice then but I can see it very clearly now. I have consistently chosen to work hard. And I’m good at the jobs and I’ve managed to get myself to the point where I can get the kind of work that other people would really like to do. I don’t hate what I do now, the lingerie part of it brings me actual joy. But I can’t help feeling that there’s more out there for me to do, and maybe my choices haven’t served me as well as they could have. I have a friend who flies by the seat of her pants financially and has published two books now. Ditto from Gutterboy is getting a movie made based on the book he published! And that moochy ex-bandmate went on to form a band that has a substantial following and tours regularly, plus some kind of amazing apartment achieved by sitting on a waiting list for housing for people with no cash. 
But the idea of being totally broke and worried about paying bills just makes me depressed. I like getting my nails done and going out to dinner and purchasing the occasional pair of completely unnecessary shoes. New York is expensive and it costs money to look this cheap! So I haven’t quite figured out what the choice is. It’s always obvious what other people should do but when its your own life its not as clear.
I’ve decided to just sit and observe and think about it for the time being until I can figure out how to have the time to write and have a real life without being completely broke. I don’t have a bad job, so it’s not like I need to run screaming from it this minute. And my mother, who as I’ve already illustrated is worth listening to, wrote this to me this week:
“Because the energy level of the planet is increasing so fast, be careful what you create for your self. The word ‘I’ means God, and is very powerful. If you say; ‘I have a crappy job’, you create that for yourself.”
So I am walking around saying things like, “I have all the time and money I need to live a creative, fun, exciting life.” I suggest you do the same.
And if you want to write long, crazy messages about how your father was a Native American and taught you that the white man was to be feared but you still are a rock god of the highest order because 2000 myspace hookers can’t be wrong, you know where to find me.

What Will the Neighbors Think

Just came across this — Murphy’s Law “What Will the Neighbors Think”. I play the dominatrix. Shit, come to think of it, I always play the dominatrix. But this one was really fun and you’ll probably see a lot of people you know in it, definitely reminds me of the Coney days. Just make sure you hit play and then pause again and let it load before trying to play it or it will be too choppy.


Joey Ramone

My friend Kat is working on a piece for college about Joey Ramone. I thought some of you might like to see the answers to the interview she gave me. Please do not borrow any of this as it’s exclusively hers.


How did you discover the Ramones? Roughly what year or age? 

I was 15 or 16 and I would buy every rock magazine I could get my hands on, so I’m sure I read about them before I heard them. This was before you could see bands regularly on TV and eons before the internet so all information on music was garnered from Creem, Circus and Rolling Stone. Then I would have to go talk the guy that owned the only record store in town into special ordering albums for me, bc no one wanted the shit I was into. I finally got Rocket to Russia and ran home to play it right away. On my way home I ran into my neighbor and showed it to him. He said, “Thats punk rock, isnt it?” And I said “Yep…”
Then I went home and put the record on and wondered what the hell was wrong with the guy singing, he sounded like he had marbles in his mouth. But I loved it and played it over and over, hopping around the room.
What were your impressions of Joey as a fan? (assuming you were a fan before you were a friend).
I loved that he looked so gawky and strange, and that the way he pronounced words when he sang was so weird. He was like a glorious punk rock alien. I tore all the knees out in my jeans because of Joey, I liked the way his skinny legs looked poking through the holes.
What went through your mind the first time you saw the Ramones live? When and where was this?
I saw them at the Ritz, where heinous Webster Hall is now. It was one of the first shows I went to when I moved to NYC so it must have been around 1983. My friend Leslie made me come really early so we could be at the front of the stage and I ended up getting in a physical fight with a girl who kept trying to get in front of me. She grabbed onto my hair and I couldn’t fight her properly because she held my head down with it. I was so frigging mad. That was probably the first and last time I stood right in front of a stage. Anyway, the show was awesome, of course. I think the first thing that went through my mind was, “Shit, they’re playing so FAST.”
How did you meet Joey?
Around that same time I went to Danceteria to see Hanoi Rocks play. When I walked in Joey was standing at the third floor bar by himself. I couldn’t believe it and immediately went up and introduced myself. I said, “Hi! I’m Raffaele.” And he said, “Hi. I’m Joey.” And that was it, I didn’t know what else to say. He was the first official rock star I met in NY. I met Michael Monroe and Rik Ocasek that night too.
How did your opinions of Joey change as you went from fan to friend? (again assuming you were a fan first).
I just grew to have a great fondness for him. My opinion didnt change, I always thought he was the coolest, but my personal affection grew.
What do you think made Joey special/different/great as a friend/person?
Joey and I were never super close, like I was close enough to have his phone number and email but I never called him and rarely emailed. So I can’t say that I knew all of his secrets as a friend or anything. But to me he was always very sweet and humble, and he was easy to hang out with, no entourage or bullshit. Joey was very generous with his time and energy as far as helping out bands that he like and he really loved music and always worked to help out local bands and make things happen in the scene. He never acted like he thought he was better than anyone and he came out regularly to see bands and socialize.
What do you think it was about Joey that captivated audiences and also people on an individual basis?
That he was such a weird looking and sounding guy with so much charisma onstage. He made you realize that you didn’t have to be Robert Plant to be a frontman for a cool rock and roll band. He made it all seem possible.
As a friend, what role did Joey play in your life?
Joey was my first indication that my rock and roll dreams could actually happen. I bought his records and read about him and then I came to NY and there he was, just standing there. So he was my first rock star friend. Then when I was in Cycle Sluts From Hell he helped the band immensely, and I have often said that he is a big reason we got so much attention quickly. So his friendship helped my own musical career. Our second gig ever was opening for the Ramones (at the Ritz again) and that was huge, and completely due to him. We spent a lot of time hanging out partying with him late at night, often in our apartments until well after the sun came up. After that era things mellowed out, Joey stopped drinking and the scene changed, but I would still see him out and about. Then when I started running Coney Island High and going out with Jesse Malin we spent more regular time with him, going to movies or barbeques or whatever, because they were very close friends. Joey was just a part of my NY experience from the time I got here to the time he died.
What did he mean to you personally? (because I am trying to express his impact on the people around him in this paper)
I’m not sure how to answer this. I loved Joey and I’m very grateful that I got to have him in my life. He was the personification of NY rock and roll and a lovely person.
What kind of impact do you think Joey had on the world?
The Ramones changed everything. There was nothing like them before or since, and they still have rabid fans all over the world. As I said, I think Joey made people see that they didn’t have to be Adonis with a perfect voice to be a great frontman.

I’ve heard vague evidence that Joey was a warm, loving person. What are your thoughts?
Most definitely.
Something I would like to convey in this project is Joey, like others, had some kind of adversity that he in a sense overcame to achieve the things he did in his life. I know he had OCD and would like to know what you think about the role that aspect of his life played to influence his professional life. Since I am having a difficult time structuring questions around a subject I find sensitive I would love it if you would share your thoughts on this. Basically did you see this side of him and how do you think it affected him. Also if you think that was a big factor in his drive and heart for his music.

I know that Joey had OCD but I didn’t see evidence of it very often. I know he had a little thing where he would have to step up on curbs more than once. And physically he was just fragile, like he had really bad balance and moved slowly. I know he was never that strong physically and I would imagine the OCD made touring harder for him, but I never heard him discuss it. Joey was very private about that kind of stuff. I don’t think it affected his drive for music, except maybe that he loved rock enough to get out there and do it regardless of the issues that could have held him back.

I’ve heard it said that Joey was a very complex person. Do you have any opinions or explanations about this?
He was complex, as we all are. He also wasn’t perfect, as none of us are, but any opinions or explanations I might put here wouldn’t be fair because I wasn’t privy to his very personal life. I wouldn’t want to speculate or open up things that he might have wanted to keep private. 
What were you doing and how did you feel when you heard the news that Joey had passed away?
I was on a train with Jesse. We knew he wasn’t doing well in the hospital and we were waiting for news. Jesse got a message on his cellphone that Joey was gone and we didn’t talk, just looked out the window feeling sad for the rest of the ride.
Having recently lost Biscuit of the Big Boys I really felt the energy change in Austin. Did you have any similar feelings with Joey gone? Or is he gone?
Yes. For me it was the end of the rock and roll era in NYC. 
How do you think Joey’s passing affected people in the scene in NYC?
I don’t know for sure. I know he’s missed. I know that the bands he was trying to help out were sorely affected by his loss. He was in the middle of shooting a video that he was funding and directing for his favorite local band The Independents when he died (I played a vampire queen in it btw, I don’t know what happened to the footage). So those guys were just crushed, they loved him personally and all the help he was going to give them was gone, it was a double blow. I think we all just miss him and his name still comes up a lot in conversations when I’m out. 
Was there any social evidence in the week following?
There are always a lot of people trying to get in on the drama when someone famous dies. Everyone wants to be at the funeral and feel a part of it. I hate that kind of stuff and didn’t participate. I mourned Joey in my own way. I think I had a conversation with him while I was doing the dishes, sort of telling him I hoped he was okay and wishing him well on the other side. I did go with Jesse to the unveiling of the tombstone a year after he died, that was much quieter.
When the Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, were you at the ceremony, watching it on TV. Where were you?
Jesse went, I watched it on TV.
What were your feelings on the induction, and what was said by Tommy?
I don’t remember what he said, actually, but I always thought Tommy seemed pretty cool. Definitely the most rational of the surviving members.

Were you at the dedication of Joey Ramone Square? How did you feel? Please describe a little about what it was like.
No, I had to work. I saw people waiting around CBs when I walked past in the morning. Again, Jesse was there so I got the lowdown from him. I think it’s wonderful that they named that spot after Joey, I pass the sign often and it makes me feel hope that rock isn’t completely dead. I’m sure Joey loves it.
Did you have to travel specifically for the event? If so could you describe what the circumstances were that compelled you to go?
Nope, it’s in my ‘hood.
In closing I would like to ask if you have anything you would like to add: comments about Joey, memories, observations, etc.
Joey was a lovely person and a real rock star and I am grateful I knew him.

Light & Dark

Please stop before you read this. This blog is very heavy, and its about animal abuse and my thoughts on God. If you don’t want to read about either of those things, don’t worry, I won’t be offended and I’ll be back to rock and roll silliness soon enough.

I have gotten to a point in my life where I am unable to watch or read anything too disturbing for entertainment. I think my taste is still pretty dark in some ways, but there has to be some light at the core of the story, even if it’s a sad or depressing one. I love Rob Zombie, but I don’t want to watch his movies and gratuitous violence makes me feel uneasy and sick inside. I will never watch Irreversible even though some of my friends have told me it’s a great movie. I just can’t handle it anymore, the cynical stuff makes me feel like I’m polluting my soul. I know that sounds a little bit corny but it’s the truth.

I have a lot of animal rights oriented people in my friend list. I don’t know all of them but we have that particular issue in common. I send letters and emails where they advise and I donate to whatever causes I can. Animals are all important to me. I know that there are other worthy causes in the world but this is the one that keeps me awake at night. However, I don’t watch PETA films on how fur is skinned or how animals are treated in labs, because I can’t handle it. I already know that it’s going on, and I don’t need any more convincing that it needs to stop. I am the choir, and I don’t need preaching to.

Yesterday one of my myspace acquaintances posted a bulletin that I opened as I was casually finishing up my night, not expecting anything out of the ordinary. It contained detailed, close-up photos from a Chinese fetish film in which a woman killed a kitten with her heels. It was absolutely devastating. I don’t want to give any unnecessary details but I will say that the photo that destroyed me completely was one where the kitten looked up at her happily, and with complete trust. It was the absolute destruction of innocence, darkness over light, all caught on film.

Words can’t express how absolutely distraught I am feeling about it today. I lay awake all night last night trying to create some order in my mind and I spent my entire day bursting into tears and snapping at people. I have been crying since I got home from work. I feel as if I’ve gone through something traumatic in my own life.

I don’t often talk about God in my blogs because although I have some very definite spiritual beliefs I don’t think myspace is the place to get into it. But I will say that I spent most of last night handing the kitten over to God. I know that that kitten suffered a momentary pain and then went back to Source without my assistance. But I feel so powerless and wounded by it that I also need to find a way to acknowledge that I have no control, and that there is a higher law that I may not see in action here but is still one I can trust. I have to see it this way or I will go mad. And deep down I know it is the truth.

On Sunday I watched Dr. Wayne Dyer on PBS. He is a great source of information on how to live your life more fully, if you have never heard of him. He had a beautiful woman on his show named Immaculee Ilibagiza. She is a Tutsi who survived the genocide in Rwanda and wrote a book about her experience. The book is called “Left To Tell” and I intend to read it as soon as possible.

During the genocide, she and seven other women were hidden by a Hutu pastor in a 3 x 4 foot bathroom for 3 months. They were unable to bathe, lie down or really move. Men hunting for them looked through the house repeatedly, over and over, calling her name and the names of the others, saying things like, “I have killed 399 pigs, if I find her I will have an even 400.” She held her breath and waited to die for months. But she didn’t die, she just had to stand there quietly while her mind when through all the machinations that it did. At the end of the ordeal she came out weighing 60 lbs. and her whole family, her belongings, everything that she was and had was gone.

This woman spoke with such quiet, gentle forgiveness about this horrible time, and about how she went through her thoughts down into her True Self, where she found peace and forgiveness in the midst of that which cannot be forgiven. While she spoke I felt that I was watching a very evolved being impart the Truth.

So somehow the two things are connected for me, I can’t stop thinking about either one, and I know that there are no coincidences. I know that I am meant to have this information. I haven’t yet pieced it together completely, but I think that through this woman’s voice the Universe was trying to show me (and others) that there is a place of light even in the darkest times. That even when we are in our bodies in the blackest moments there is a soul that is greater than our circumstances that we can trust will be there when the bodies and circumstances are gone. It is a place of light where we can go when we are surrounded by darkness. I have to trust that if this is true for a beautiful African woman that it is also true for a trusting kitten, and for the people who live in such darkness that they cannot see that destroying either one of those things is a crime against their own selves as well.

I truly hope I haven’t upset anyone with this blog. I just have to get it out there today.

More Adventure Please!

First, a big thank you to those of you who’ve actually mentioned you missed my blogs. I am very flattered. I know I haven’t written anything in a while, truth is that there hasn’t been a burning desire to say anything, which, if you know me, is fairly miraculous. But I’m back!

One random thing – I can’t believe how much the display photo on this site dictates the level and style of contact that you get on here, it’s remarkable. I think all my male friends on myspace should put up a photo of a hot girl for a day and just see what happens. I’ve been getting a lot of black metal guys with the upside down cross photo, and I feel a little guilty because it’s a fraud, but that’s infinitely better than the random onslaught that occurs with the other “friendlier” photos. I changed out of the black metal photo and then went back a few hours later. I couldn’t stand it. Oh, and I got a nasty email from one girl saying she knows Cherie and didn’t like my profile rant about not wanting collectors. Maybe I’ll post that in another blog because it’s also interesting.

And for those of you who are curious, the 69 Eyes gig was really fun. Bowery Ballroom was crowded and the band sounded great. Afterwards we went to Ming’s on Avenue B, which was sufficiently gothey enough to get the boys a lot of attention and where Jyrki handed me endless glasses of jagermeister until I was beyond drunk. Drinking with Finns is nigh on impossible, they are professionals and they will kill you and then stand over the puddle that once was you mumbling things about Hanoi Rocks. It’s brutal. There were a couple of people taking pictures, if they’re located I’ll post them later on.

I did meet the famed Bam Margara, although I still don’t really get why he’s famous. Jyrki and his drummer Jussi did a radio show with him on Sirius and I thought the guy’s style was really crass and juvenile, that typical rock and roll party dude frat-boy mentality where women are either hot pussies or ignorable skanks and nothing else. Which I suppose is why he’s loved on MTV. But he’s helping someone I care about to reach more people in the States, so I have to give him that respect at least. And we shared a cab with him and he seemed pretty nice, except that he didn’t even pretend to pull out any money at the end of the ride. Jyrki (who is always a gentleman) wanted to pay but I beat him to it. I am happy to chip in for cabs but I’m old fashioned and think guys should at least expect that they’re going to pay for the whole thing, especially if MTV is paying them loads of money for acting the ass. And he was with one of those horrible “I’m with the famous guy so I’m not going to acknowledge your presence” kind of girls, who actually sat next to me in the cab and never once looked at me throughout the ride and conversation. And forget about pretending to pull out any money for the cab fare. It’s like that type feels that they’re so cool that they cannot deign to give any sign that any other woman exists. Even when you’re fucking giving them a ride in YOUR cab to a party of YOUR choosing. I hate that kind of petty bullshit with a passion and there’s always at least one trying it in the room when you are around someone (marginally) famous. Tara, you will have to come up with a name for this archetype.

But then I thought: Okay, whatever, bitch. You have to sleep with that yutz at the end of the night and you’d better enjoy his tiny bit of notoriety now because I doubt it’s going to last that long and then you’re going to have to act the snot in some suburb in NJ with your paunchy used-to-be-on-MTV husband who calls everyone dude and refuses to get a real job and spends all day getting stoned with Sebastian Bach. Either that or he’ll cheat on you with some horrorshow porn star in LA and then you’ll have to find another low-rung celebrity who will allow you to stand stone-faced next to them. Either way will be revenge enough for me.

Anyway, the night was a lot of fun but sort of set me off on a weeklong existential crisis that I have been utilizing as a torture device for friends. Yes, yet another one. I seem to have them every month, perhaps it’s really just PMS that I’m trying to disguise as something deeper? It’s frigging hard being female sometimes, you can never be sure whether it’s hormones or bonafide angst. The question is always there: am I complicated or just full of estrogen?

My current crisis is that I got a glimpse into what my life used to be like on a regular basis, and it made me realize how constrained I’ve set things up to be now. Which is not to say that I am unhappy. I think my life is great, and I have fun and am generally a happy person. But I always expected to lead a life of rock and roll excitement until the end and lately it has been most decidedly lacking in the adventure department.

I quit singing in bands because I was burnt out and because I didn’t want to turn 40 and be lugging gear into CB’s. I didn’t want to wake up one day and find myself irrelevant or embarrassing, another shrunken head trying to relive the glory days. I also couldn’t deal with working the side jobs to support it anymore, I wanted something more. Bartending is only good for a certain amount of years, after you pass a certain line you become that bitter, angry bartender that everyone hates, and I got to a day when I realized I had more to offer the world than a Budweiser and a snarl. So I quit my last band The Creeps (which in my opinion was actually better than the Sluts) and focused on managing Coney Island High, and for a point thought that my life would be about managing rock clubs. But Giuliani and pop culture turned that into an impossible nightmare and I quit to take a job offer to general manage a magazine and printing company. That collapsed a year or two later and now I’m at Patricia Field, which is an absolute nuthouse but is also where I can be myself, and where I am loved and treated well.

I have the kind of job that many people would kill to have, and I do enjoy it most of the time. Not all aspects – I deal with the numbers end of things, bank statements, bills, etc. and that’s boring as hell and certainly not a job I EVER envisioned having. And if I’m not there on payday the store turns into a gayer version of that rumble scene in Anchorman– people on fire, limbs getting chopped off, trident throwing, horses, general madness and mayhem combined with a lot of high pitched squealing. Which means that my schedule is pretty much written in stone. But I also get paid well to shop for lingerie, and how could you not love that? Nothing makes me happier than poring over lingerie catalogs or sipping coffee in a pink showroom while discussing silk vs. nylon. I rearrange my little section in the store and enjoy seeing people get excited over the things I’ve chosen.

But as I watched my friend get on his tour bus and ride into the sunset I had a moment of panic that life was rolling on without me, that there is a big party out there that I haven’t been attending lately.

I thought:  I want a tour bus, Daddy. I want a tour bus NOW!

Okay, maybe not exactly, and yes, I know we’d all like that plus a couple of million bucks. But I am yearning for more excitement, goddamnit. I am supposed to be leading a rock and roll life and have somehow set myself up so that it’s fairly impossible much of the time. How did I end up having to get up in the morning to work 5 days a week? This is not what I had planned! I want to get on a plane and fly out to exotic locations and get drunk with my famous friends while they play their shows. I want to get on the bus and roll into a new town with music blasting on the stereo, cracking the same inside jokes over and over again, anticipating the night’s activities. I want to have nothing to do all day but put on way too much makeup and play a show for a half an hour and then party with attractive strangers who think I’m much cooler than I actually am.

But that is not my reality now. I have a job, cats, an epileptic dog with abandonment issues, rent to pay, and a relationship worthy of respect. Sigh…I am no longer able, or I guess willing, to act like the crazy Cycle Slut I once was, and sometimes the responsibility of being an adult feels heavy.

I should insert here, however, that many of my friends, and most definitely my sister would beg to differ, as they think it could be about time I grew up and may be beating the proverbial dead horse. I don’t want to have kids. I am committed in my relationship but I don’t care about getting married, I still dress like a hooker and am not averse to getting up on platforms or couches to perform whorey dances when the music is loud enough. I occasionally ingest substances that are not necessarily doctor recommended. But don’t listen to my sister, she’s crazy and strangely obsessed with guinea pigs. I still maintain that I have possibly become too responsible for my own good.

Drew is on tour in Europe, as he has been for much of the last year, and I have to admit that at times I get too tweaked out about what he’s doing on the road, even though I know that he is a great guy and would never do anything too crazy to fuck anything up between us. It has occurred to me that the reason that I’m focusing too tightly on what he’s doing is that I’m totally jealous that he’s in Europe playing shows while I am getting up early to use an adding machine.

I don’t really have an answer, and I’m not complaining in any way about my life. Drew has to work his ass off when he’s home to make up for the money lost when he’s out on the road, and that’s often the reality of being in a band today. I realize that there are people reading my blogs that would be very excited to have half of what I have had. I am a lucky girl and am by no means ungrateful. Part of my reason for sharing it is to clean away some of the mystery for people and I know that one of my jobs here in this life and body is to bring this information, to open up my world for examination for those who haven’t been as fortunate as I have. And I’m happy to do it.

I suppose I’m writing this down to explain why I haven’t had anything too real to write about lately. I’m stagnating a bit and trying to find the answers. I don’t think the answer is getting in a van and sweating it out with some new band while my savings dwindle. Plus truthfully, I was never the greatest singer on the planet and mostly got by on charisma and humor. I am getting a little long in the tooth for that and I am also a lover of my creature comforts, my overpriced bras, my clean sheets, my overfed pets, and a steady cash flow. So for the time being I suppose I’m just going to try to get to a few more shows until I figure it out. I may be going to see Rob Zombie this week even though it’s a school night, and I’m going to Children of Bodom with Tati next Sunday if she’ll have me, and even though Monday is all important payroll day.

Let the fashion crew sweat it out a little. Mommy’s coming in late, goddamnit.

It’s Up To You

A few occurrences and recent conversations have made me ponder the whole rock and roll male/female thing, and I want to get it down in some cohesive fashion, if only to get it clear in my own head:
I love rock and roll boys, as do most of the women (and some men) in my friend list. I have enjoyed a long and hearty career as a lover of this particular type of man, and I wouldn’t change that for the world. But I feel that there are so many more layers to it than initially meet the eye.
There is nothing more exciting and ego-gratifying than being the girl in the soundbooth at a crowded music hall while the hero on stage sings a song written specifically about you. There is a great thrill in going backstage and being chosen as the person a rock star (major or minor, could just be a small show in a club somewhere, I’m speaking in generalities) most wants to lavish his attention upon. It’s fun to walk into a room holding the hand of the person everyone is there to see. And if you really hit the jackpot and form a relationship with one of the more successful of these boys, you also get to quit your day job to travel around, staying in hotels and on buses living the rock and roll life vicariously. You get to sit in green rooms of late night talk shows and you get to wear all your coolest clothes with frequency. If he’s nice you get good presents. Lord knows I love a good present! And your day-to-day existence is a more exciting when you are with these boys. People treat you better, you don’t have to buy tickets for shows, you get backstage everywhere. You are special. It is heady stuff. 
I decided I wanted this as a kid, and I managed to succeed occasionally at attaining it as an adult. I think that when I was a teenager I just secretly assumed that I would marry a rich rock star one day and lead a very glamorous life and not have to work out any messy details on my own. Actually, come to think of it, it wasn’t that secret. At age 14 or so my best friend and I wrote out what our lives were going to be like and I detailed the master plan then. She just wanted to get married to some nice guy and have babies, I thought that was preposterous unless that guy had long hair and sang into a microphone covered in scarves. Luckily it never happened, I don’t have the gentle personality required to make a good rock wife, I’m far too paranoid, crabby and controlling, and thusly have been forced to create my own glamour.
While I wouldn’t have it any differently, and while I still choose to make my life with a musician, the reality of the experience is heavier and there are often more moments of loneliness and confusion than there are of feeling like the most special woman in the room. Which is an illusion that is impossible to sustain 24/7 anyway, there is always someone younger and prettier than you waiting in the wings, and if you don’t have enough of your own life and self-esteem to handle the moments when you are not the It Girl, it can be a drug you can’t get enough of in the end. 
At times we females claim that we are the muses and other times we claim to have been used. It is my contention that though this is sometimes true, oftentimes we are the predators and users ourselves. We are one side of the coin that makes up the dynamic. We choose to seek out men with star quality who perform on stages because it makes us feel grander. It’s exciting to stand in the dark and feel a connection to the music and to the people who make the music that moves us so profoundly. Sometimes we genuinely fall in love with them, sometimes we just really like being with a rock star. I realized this about someone I was involved with once. I didn’t really want him, but I really wanted the lifestyle that was attached to him, so I hung on longer than I should have. I kept thinking of that line that Bernadette Peters says in “The Jerk” when they realize they’re bankrupt: She whines sadly: “I dont care about losing the money, but I don’t want to lose all the STUFF.”  You said a mouthful, sister.
I am lucky to have had each side of the experience. I had my moment as a minor rock star and I got to pick up boys and throw them down as I saw fit. I got to be the one that people clamored to hang out with because I held the backstage cache. Don’t let anyone tell you differently, it’s cool to be that person. It’s really, really fun. When people ask me if I miss being in a band I always say that I don’t miss lugging gear or bartending to support it, but I do miss having record company dough and people telling me I’m brilliant and sexy 20 times a day and handling all the boring details for me while I play shows and then run off to get drunk and chat up some hot Swede in a hotel bar. I’ve been called a man-eater and at times it’s been true. Of course in the end I am still just a total girl and I carry huge amounts of guilt for the cavalier way I treated some people, I’m sure far more than the guys who have mistreated me ever carried. But again, I’m glad for the experience. I understand what it’s like to be on the road, to be getting attention, and to just want to have fun with people without turning it into a responsibility.
Lately I am weary of listening to women brag about their conquests, weary of watching women hurt each other in competition over this stuff, and weary of feeling the urge to defend my own bit of turf. I have a great guy now but he still goes on the road regularly and it is a fucking pain in the ass to be at home cleaning out the cat box while your significant other is rocking out in some other country and getting hit on by hot girls who don’t give a fuck whether he’s in a relationship or not. I enjoy my solitary time but if he’s gone for a long stretch and I’m feeling especially hormonal I start getting paranoid about everything and use it as an opportunity to torture him via telephone. Luckily I have enough experience to know when I’m veering into crazy-town and I have someone that works very hard to make sure I feel safe. And obviously there are still some things about the rock and roll world that I crave, because this is the lifestyle I continue to choose and I can’t imagine choosing any other.
But it can be rough and for the first time in my life I have started thinking, “Hmm, maybe there would be some downsides if he was a hugely famous rock star…” I never even considered this until recently. The assumption has always been the bigger the rock star the bigger the prize. But lately I am just really loving my guy for who he is and feeling grateful for what a stand-up, solid, beautiful, special man he is, and that has nothing to do with his status as a musician.
The competition factor is just grossing me out right now. Women are absolutely rotten to each other when it comes to competing for attention, and it’s such a bummer sometimes. Firstly, as far as I’m concerned, there are no real rock stars left to fight over anyway (it was my opinion that Marilyn Manson was the last one standing, but he’s too busy being happily married to do anything too interesting anymore). And secondly, rip her to shreds if you don’t feel you owe her anything and you absolutely must have a particular man, but keep your friends sacred fer Chrissake. Those boys get old and lose their luster just like the rest of us. Tara and I had a really funny conversation about all the superhot guys who had record deals and girls tearing each other apart for them in the 80’s, and who are now ordinary, paunchy, balding regular guys. We just didn’t know back then that the everything changes with time. Those boys are often wonderful, exciting, beautiful, sexy, and worthy of our attention. But they are also totally human and have all the annoying habits that our dads and brothers do.

And as I’ve said, there is a lot about the whole trip that can have more to do with filling insecure egos than with actually connecting to a particular person. Motives need to be examined in order to stay clean and clear.
Shit, I guess I’m not exactly sure what I’m trying to say. I just feel like some of us, myself included, spend a lot of time talking up our groupie status and not getting real about what it actually says about our own selfish and sometimes shallow natures. I’ve been listening to The Jayhawks all day long (yes, I know, there’s an alt-country phase happening, so sue me). maybe their lyrics below are inspiring the thoughts…

I heard you bragging ’bout the boys you took
Are you a victim or a small time crook
Or just a little fool
You know, you know it’s up to you

You’re no princess you’re a prima donna
Can’t understand why the world wasn’t handed to you
You know, you know it’s up to you

Yeah, when you’re deep inside your head
Justify the blame

Six green olives and a champagne basket
Paid the bill with your boyfriend’s plastic
What a little fool
Takes one to get to two

Yeah, when you’re deep inside your head
Justify the blame

Stirring a tin cup with a silver spoon
Tell me honey, who is possessing who
You know, you know it’s up to you
You know, you know it’s up to you

When Models Attack!

This morning I was walking to work in my usual January fashion–very quickly and crabbily, wearing the same f-ing jeans and sweater I’ve been wearing all winter because I’m sick of the cold and not getting enough light and don’t give a shit anymore what I’m wearing. And I was late because I didn’t want to get dressed and go to work in the first place, so I was walking even faster than usual and feeling a little stressed.

While I’m walking down a fairly empty street in Soho I am passed by a very tall and attractive girl, obviously a model. The neighborhood is littered with them and they are easy to identify because of their height, the standard no-makeup on perfect face and the long, expensively coiffed but messy, natural brown hair. She also had on the sneakers and high quality but standard looking wool coat they always wear.

So our model does that really annoying thing that is a staple of NY rudeness, the pass and cut off move where the person speeds up just fast enough to pass you, then cuts in really close and steps in front of you so that you have to slow your speed for a second. This is an annoyance technique that works twofold: first, you have the sudden invasion of your space by a body coming up from behind and veering too close, second you get the forced stride break that jams up your energy and motion.

And me, being my cranky January self, decided not to slow down and stepped on her heel. I might even go so far to admit that I may have purposely timed my foot to step on it. It is not easy to admit that I am so incredibly immature, but there it is. I’ll state it for the record: at times I am incredibly immature. Many moments throughout the day I strive to take the high road, but once in a while, especially when it’s cold and I’m cranky and late for work and don’t want to be cut off when there’s plenty of frigging space for two people on the sidewalk, I let my lower nature take over and do its rotten thing.

But then I felt a little bit badly about the bratty behavior, so I said, “Sorry!” To which our tall beauty turned around and gave me the dirtiest of looks. I mean, she looked at me like I was a bug. Which of course just goaded me back into being even more rotten, so I added, “But you shouldn’t cut people off.”

She swung her head around and angrily mouthed the words, “What did you say?”. She actually said it out loud, I’m sure, but I had my Ipod blasting and I couldn’t hear anything except Ryan Adams whining about whatever girl he was ruining at songwriting time. Then very quickly she twisted around so that she was walking very closely by my side and started jamming her elbow into my arm. I was stunned. I have never experienced this bizarre and particular move, and said (probably too loudly because I couldn’t hear), “What the fuck are you doing??”

She continued to elbow me and look at me threateningly while saying things that I couldn’t hear. I gaped up at her unbelievingly and assessed the situation. Could I take her? She was incredibly tall and obviously crazy. How humiliating would it be to have my ass kicked in public by a model! Oh, the red-faced shame of it…

And truthfully, I don’t know that I have enough rage left in me to engage in fisticuffs anymore. Although still cranky, I am lazy and somewhat contented in my dotage. So I said, “Look, I said I was sorry, but if you don’t want to have your heels stepped on you shouldn’t cut people off like that.” At least that’s what I think I said, it was all happening very fast and internally I was veering wildly from adrenaline fight mode to total outside-of-body amusement at the ridiculous situations I regularly get myself into. And while this was going on Ryan continued to cry a river in my ears because I was too disconcerted to shut the ipod down.

Then just as quickly as she veered into me, she turned sharply and veered into the street, still muttering words forever unheard and leaving me feeling stunned, a little bit frightened, and weirdly giggly.

And this, my friends, is a first-hand account of when models attack. I am relieved and happy to say that I escaped unscathed, and perhaps a little wiser. Next time I step on a model’s heel I’ll make sure the ipod is turned off first so I won’t miss what she says.

Random Sunday Stuff

While I wait for Drew to wake up so we can eat breakfast and go see the Bodies exhibit…

First, what does everyone think about the Brangelina baby? I believe there may be a special place in hell cordoned off and waiting for those two.

Secondly, a good friend of ours has become the new love interest for a majorly famous female with access to all sorts of expensive fashion. I am SO excited to have the gossip magazines and my life intersecting, if only in a marginal kind of way (which is really as close as I’d want it anyway). I am secretly hoping that they hang out long enough for me to become her new bff and get some castoff high end handbags and shoes. Is that wrong? Okay, yes it is, it’s incredibly shallow and greedy but I never claimed to be a saint.

Remember that idiot upstairs that flooded my apt? Well she did it again this week, only worse. This time it wasn’t completely her fault as she didn’t plug the toilet, it was some kind of pipe leak. I woke up to the sound of major water pouring into my apt and the guy downstairs knocking and shouting, “There’s a flood!” We ran upstairs but she wouldn’t answer the door as we pounded and pounded and screamed at her door, every minute being crucial as it was a huge amount of water. By the time the super got the key to her place there was a nice hole in my ceiling and my bathroom wall was wrecked. Then we turned the key and walked in and she said, “Hello?” from her bedroom like it was all perfectly casual. She had been there the whole fucking time.

Suffice to say that I went off in a way that only I can, for those of you who know me. She claims that she didn’t hear anything because she sleeps with earplugs, I know she was comfy in her bedroom and is a spoiled, lazy, selfish little brat who just didn’t want to deal, because that’s what she did when she flooded my place the last time. I have never wanted to slap someone more in my life. She just stood there in her NYU sweatpants and Patty Pussy haircut whining, “It’s not my faaaaault.” while I raged in my black robe, hair all crazy, eyes wild with frustration, my dog yapping on the landing below. Of course it’s not your fault, honey. I know from the super that your parents paid a year’s rent in advance without looking at the apt to put you in this neighborhood. And they always take care of icky things like being decent to your neighbors!

I was really nice the first time and she couldn’t be bothered to apologize then, either, so I hope I scared the crap out of her and I intend to make her extremely uncomfortable whenever I see her in the halls. My apt smells like mildewy ass now, so I have plenty of fuel to keep the rage going for a while. I really miss living around junkies and drug dealers, they were so much more respectful than the repulsive crop of mama’s boys and girls that have taken over NYC.

So that whole thing really bummed me out, and added to the angst that I am having this week about what I’m doing with my life. I am afraid that when I die and my life flashes in front of me, 9/10ths of it will be of me walking to work, working, washing dishes, vacuuming, working, cleaning up dog shit, doing the laundry, working, walking home from work, etc. I have two days a week to get all of my errands done, exercise, hang out with my friends, give my boyfriend a little attention, walk the dog, and maybe, maybe if I’m lucky get some writing done. The rest of the week is filled up with making a living. I like my job, but I am finding it hard to have a life outside of it, and I make a comfortable living, but not enough to catapault me out of this old school, five floor walkup, leaky ceilinged East Village lifestyle.

I regularly marvel at how many incredibly talented people I know. People that by all rights should be rich and famous for what they do, people that are complete stars. And yet most of us are suffering in obscurity and working these bullshit jobs to be able to do what we want in our free time. I am luckier than most that I have managed to find something better than bartending or sitting in a cubicle, but I don’t want to get old and die without leaving something interesting and creative behind. I also would love to have a lifestyle where I am not obligated to be in the same place 40 hours a week.

But if I was given more time, would I use it productively? Or would I noodle around on myspace and watch talk shows all day long? Because that’s generally what I do when I get the odd extra day off. I don’t know how truly ambitious I am. I want to be ambitious, I want to leave something interesting and meaningful behind, but I seem to be stuck at the moment. Maybe I’m procrastinating? Is anyone else struggling with this? I need to know.

So those are my thoughts for the day. To sum up: Brangelina, I will whore my friendship out for expensive designer goods, my neighbor is the worst person on the planet, Lord, please don’t let me die without getting something creative done first.

*sigh* Give me your thoughts, people. I’m going to go raid the fridge now.

Tragedy Plus Time

…really does equal comedy sometimes. It’s amazing, and I think it’s my favorite part about, ah… “maturing.”

My ex-husband Curt was here over the holidays. He lives in Florida with his girlfriend Kimona, who has family here, and they visit NYC about twice a year. Interestingly, Kimona and I worked together years prior when Curt and I were married. They got together many years later in Florida, and there is no weirdness between the two of us. I always liked her and by the time they became a couple a decade had passed since the marriage had ended. They are both crazy in a way that suits each other and I believe they are happy together. Much happier than he and I could have ever been.

Most of you know the history of my marriage either personally or from other blogs, but for those of you who don’t, here’s a brief synopsis: it was a million years ago (okay 15); we were very young; we both had record deals and it was the ’80’s so things were crazy with groupies, gigs, and travel. Curt was gorgeous and cheated on me constantly; I became psycho and started pounding the crap out of everyone he slept with. The final straw came when he and his entire band gang-banged Lydia Lunch in a hot tub in L.A. That was too much to bear and I moved all of his stuff out of our apt before he got back from the trip, only to end up giving him that apartment back and moving into the apartment directly underneath it and in direct earshot of all his womanizing good times.

The entire relationship was high, high drama, the kind that people only have the energy for when they are that young. There were violent fights and apartment smashings and clothes tearing and screaming into phones and suicidal moments and passionate embraces. I still loved him when I left but I knew it was impossible, we were hideous together and I had been trying to leave for years. I just couldn’t find the strength and I suffered mightily when it was finally over. My heartbreak was epic, I didn’t think I’d ever get over it. It took me seven years to let go completely. I know it was that long because I remember the actual moment when it dawned on me that I was free. It was a shining, angels singing moment.

But before that, directly after we split up he didn’t seem to be bothered in the least and his life became even more of a roaring party than it was when we were together. We had a couple of moments of connection, one where I freaked out hysterically and he sat on the roof holding me while I heaved and sobbed and another girl waited patiently in his apartment. It was weird and horrible and typical, yet another low point in my life. I wrote him a couple of letters apologizing for my part, but he never responded and it only served to make me feel more misused. In retrospect I’m glad he didn’t because it only would have pulled me back in. He chose a new girlfriend very quickly, a 20 year old blonde dipshit of a model who I have also written about, and we stopped speaking to each other altogether. It was a mutual thing. He purposely chose my polar opposite and all the hurt and anger we felt felt crystallized into a solid, icy hatred for each other. We practically hissed when we passed in the hallway. I smoked and listened to him fuck her and wished to die.

One night my friend Storm (who rocks btw– Storm and the Balls) and I got good and loaded on Jagermeister and she kicked his motorcycle over in front of the building. The thing never worked again. He was furious and I was elated. I fucking hated that bike. Then we went upstairs and spray-painted his door with all kinds of obscenities, which got him in major trouble with the landlord, who loved me and hated him for the simple reason that I paid my rent and he didn’t. It was all incredibly immature but the only satisfaction I could wrangle.

Curt became a bad junkie and had to leave town. My insane, control freaking codependency had kept him afloat, without it he was able to freely do all the drugs he wanted, and it took its toll pretty quickly. He dropped his girlfriend (now also a junkie) back into the dirtwater Southern town she came from, never to return to her again, and drove home to his mother’s in Minneapolis to pull himself together. He kept the apartment above me for a little while and sublet it to other random junkies. On one of his trips back to deal with the apartment he knocked on my door with divorce papers. We had both been so freaked out that neither one of us wanted to deal with it. The truth is that I had been so attached that I couldn’t consider it. But it was five years later and time. He was pleasant and not high; I signed the papers and with that we were on speaking terms again.

Now it is fifteen years later and we are friends. When he and Kimona come to town we usually get together for dinner or drinks. They visit the store and Kimona shops on my discount. Drew and I have had dinner with them. It’s absolutely pleasant and adult, or as adult as Curt can be, for those of you who know him.

A few days before Christmas I went out to dinner with the two of them and a couple of other old friends and it was a marvel to me how time can actually clean away all the blood and sorrow. He looks older than he did when we were together, I begrudgingly admit that time has taken its toll on both of us. But to me he is exactly the same, only now I love him without any attachment other than affection and friendship. I enjoy his girlfriend’s company and the way they interact together. It makes me glad to see that he has someone who cares about him. And without the attachment I am able to remember why we were connected in the first place. I get his stupid jokes in a way that many people don’t, and he understands who I am in a way that many people don’t. We were always connected on a deep level and now it feels as if we had a childhood together or were war buddies. The past is just something that happened to us and the pain of it has no real power anymore, except to make life richer for the experience.

At one point we started joking about destroying each other’s belongings (which happened a few times I am embarrassed to say) and he said, “Oh, but we’ve already apologized for all of that.”

I had waited for years for him to apologize, or at the very least acknowledge how much he hurt me. But he never did, and I had long since ceased expecting or even caring if it happen. I know his limitations and had assumed he just wasn’t capable of it, and I had already forgiven him long ago without the apology. But I protested and said, “No way, you have never apologized to me for anything.”

He looked totally shocked for a moment, and responded. “Well, I guess I owe you a Corvette then.” And he picked up the bottle of wine in front of us and poured it into my glass while smiling apologetically.

Okay, it wasn’t Shakespeare, but it was something I had wanted for a long time. Now it came in an Indian restaurant when I didn’t need it anymore. Which is always the way that kind of stuff works, and I can’t help thinking there’s some lesson in that alone. But it made me think about how clean I feel now. I feel blessed to have been through such a giant, horrible, depth-plumbing life lesson with this person and be able to joke about it, to feel a peaceful love for him, and to feel gratitude for some very crap moments in my life. It is further proof that we are really here in these bodies on a fact-finding mission, and that if we just wait, things always change. And as Woody said, if we wait long enough, they get funnier.

To me that’s an absolute miracle.

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