Fat woman-hating suburban asshole.
Landed on my ass.
Does Chloe Sevigny suck as bad as her clothes? Jury’s still out.
Daniel Ash is a twat.
Because hope, unlike aging British musicians, springs eternal.
A couple in a passing car saw what happened and picked me up and took me to my vet’s office on Eldritch. The street was one way so they dropped me on the corner. I ran breathless down the street and got to the office only to find the gate down—they were inexplicably closed in the middle of the day. The street and buildings started spinning around me.
I ran up to Houston and waved for cabs. There were no open ones and car passengers gaped at me as I ran down the middle of the street, covered in blood, crying, carrying my dying dog, and waving my arm. No one stopped. Everything felt silent and dreamlike and I moved in slow motion, like those dreams where you can’t seem to move or you feel as if you’re moving in quicksand while somewhere in the background there’s a loud ticking sound of precious time slipping away.
My arms are smeared with blood
Whispers the faucet.
After that I couldn’t drink alcohol without going on a crying jag. I began obsessively looking at Pekingese dogs online. Not so much to find another one, but just to see their faces, to feel nearer to him. I missed him so much it ached all the time, and I felt so shitty, so horrendously guilty for not protecting him. I knew I should have had him on a leash, why did I risk it?
One day I looked at Petfinder and found this picture of Winter:
And so the next weekend, against my better judgement, I rode the trains back out and picked up my new dog.
Two, to help anyone out there who is thinking of or has already adopted an abused or neglected pet. You don’t know what you’re getting when you adopt an adult animal, especially one that hasn’t had it so great. I had no idea that it would be so hard and there is no manual for it. I’m sure there are people out there who have dealt with worse, but there is no network of support to go to when you need help, and I could have used it. So if anyone is out there looking to take something like this on, I want to tell you that you have to be patient, very patient.
And though you don’t always know what you’re getting, the reward for patience is often great. I am not going to buy any more dogs in my life. It’s wonderful to get a perfect, purebred puppy. It is SO much easier sometimes. But it’s too selfish an act to justify anymore. I love the puppies, they’re adorable, but there are too many animals out there that need homes, too many desperate souls sitting in cages day after day waiting for some attention, for a walk, for a life, or just waiting to be euthanized while some ass makes cash breeding new and unnecessary puppies, oftentimes in abusive mills. Winter has been a huge life lesson for me about patience and acceptance, about the ways that abuse changes who we are, canine or otherwise, and about how the machinations of healing work. Which I suppose is why he entered it in the first place. I think there are times in our lives when we are meant to be “in service”, and it’s important to be able to see that the gift is not only for the ones we serve, but also for ourselves as well.
—If you feel in your gut that your job is wrong for you, or doesn’t make you feel good, then you shouldn’t be there. This is regardless of how many people tell you it’s a great position and you should be grateful. A job can look great on paper but not feel right. How do you feel when you get home after work? Do you feel drained and miserable, or tired but satisfied? Do your coworkers treat you with respect or disdain? Trust your inner voice! It’s telling you the truth.
—All jobs (and means of finance) are just the channel, not the source, and the source is infinite. Infinite! Meaning that there is enough for you to have all kinds of bounty coming in from the Universe, and that if you cut one channel off, another one will open up. And if you cut off a weak channel (like a job that is just trickling tiny bits of cash or making you feel like a piece of garbage every day) a better one will almost always open up.
So, as with all my long-winded tales, there is a point I’m trying to get across. Which is simply that if you are suffering, if you are somewhere where you have no internal power, you are not supposed to be there. And sometimes if you stay in the place of pain, you aren’t allowing the space for something more rewarding and loving to come in. I have been handed this particular lesson over and over, and I’m only now getting it completely. The jobs were never as bad as that again, but I still have had to work to find the courage to move from unhappy work situations when I feared that I wouldn’t find anything better or that somehow my world would collapse if I didn’t have a job for two minutes. But every time I ignore that voice of fear in my brain and follow my gut and just step out of the shit, I am rewarded. And usually within the week, I swear to God.
P.S. I wrote this blog a few days before Katrina hit and forgot to post it right away. Now a crappy job seems a fairly benign thing compared to what people are going through and have lost down South. So I want to reiterate one more time–take a minute to look at what you have, at the people you love and the life you lead, and be grateful. It could always be so much worse. And if you are in the financial position to help, make sure to take a minute to donate what you can.
Her: “Well, I’m not doing anything, I don’t know what it is.”
Me: “Well there’s water coming from somewhere in your apartment. It’s raining into my kitchen. We’re talking major flooding.”
Her: “Well, I don’t know where it’s coming from.”
Me: “You don’t see any leaking anywhere?”
Her: “Well, water is pouring into my bathroom, but I didn’t do anything.”
Me: “You mean you have a leak? Is it a pipe?”
Her: “I don’t know, it’s just pouring.”
Me: “Is it coming from your ceiling or near the tub or toilet?”
Her: “It’s just pouring around the floor.”
Me: “Can you see if it’s coming from a pipe?”
Her: “I don’t know.”
Me: “Is it coming from under the tub or the toilet?”
Her: “I don’t know.”
Me: “Can I look at it so I can call Rock and have him come in, if it’s a pipe we have to take care of it right now, my kitchen ceiling is pouring water.”
Her: “Who’s Rock?”
Me: “The super.”
Her: “Oh. I don’t know him….Is this building always like this? Cause I’m going to complain.”
Me: “Can I please look at it?
Her: “Well, I don’t know where it’s coming from.”
Me (panicking): “Can I PLEASE look at it??”
Her: “I know, but I didn’t do anything. Is this building always like this?”
Me: “Um…yes, that’s generally what happens in this building when you plug the toilet.”
Her: “I’m trying to stop it but I don’t know how it started.”
Me: “Did you use it and then flush it?”
Me (I am zen, yes I can be zen…): “Do you want a plunger?”
Went to Motorhead last night and screamed A LOT. I am a fan of the high-pitched “Wooooooooo!!!”, while my new best friend Corinne favors the more guttural and plaintive, “Lemmmmyyyyy!!” My brother uses the standard male shout of “Yeah!!”. And since we kept making our friend Mike go get the beer he had no time to shout anything but “Corona?!”.
Afterwards I abandoned my friends and family like the shallow rock whore that I am and finagled my way backstage. This involved much trying to look nonchalantly hot while standing behind others more famous than me who did the talking. Once we got back there it was the usual clusterfuck of road crew trying to do their job, rock and roll types blocking the way looking for action, and giant security jerks barking at everyone to move. Good times.
Ended up alone w/Lemmy for a few minutes in his dressing room, I sat on his lap like a good girl and he poured me a jack and coke. We had an interesting talk about his having a vein cauterized in his heart, they had to go through a vein in his leg. Turns out 30 years of constant speed usage can cause arrhythmia. Again, I must use the phrase: who knew?
I told him I think he’s going to just go and go like a motherfucker until he drops one day, and he agreed. I have a friend who said that this is the kind of conversation that everyone dreams of having with Lemmy Kilmeister. I think you just have to catch him when he’s feeling contented. I haven’t had a real conversation w/him for years so it was a nice surprise.
He has three loves—sex, drugs, and rock and roll. And while he’s the coolest guy on the planet, if you’re not providing one of those things he doesn’t have time to slow down for your ass. I’ve never been a fan of speedy powders and he gave up on trying to get me in the sack a long time ago, so it was wonderful to hang alone w/him for a minute. He is not a close friend in the every day sense of the phrase, but I have a great fondness in my heart for him. To me he is the embodiment of rock and roll spirit, and is a true gentleman to boot.
Then it was on to some of the usual bars to meet up with my patient friends, where I continued to drink jack and coke in honor of the evening, completely forgetting that I have a low tolerance for whiskey, sugar and caffeine. So within a very short period of time I was not only completely loaded, but bouncing off the walls like an eight year old the day after Halloween. I was FLYING. Again, good times.
Well, for me anyway: my boyfriend Drew hooked up with us halfway through the night and I could see the terror in his eyes as I spun around the room. That man suffers! He claimed it was all very Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but it’s his own fault. When we first hooked up my brother took him aside and said, “Run, man! Run while you can. You don’t know what you’re getting into. She’s smarter and meaner than you, and you don’t stand a chance!” So he knew what he was getting into.
Anyway, at some point Mike just stopped making any sense but wouldn’t shut up, so I decided to lick his forehead in a sugar and bourbon fueled attempt to affectionately slime some cohesion into his wasted brain. Drew said he wouldn’t kiss me if I didn’t stop licking Mike’s head and Mike just continued to talk nonsense, so eventually that plan had to be abandoned in failure.
We didn’t see Motorhead again that night. There was some talk of them going to Snitch, but I later heard that Phil Campbell and Mickey the drummer ended up at Niagara, and that Lemmy went to Scores w/my myspace acquaintance Rocka Rolla and her girlfriends. I think she’ll probably post a blog later on if you’re interested.
So I am feeling so much more cheerful than I have all week long. Turns out there was no existential crisis, I was just too sober and not getting enough attention from aging rock stars. Maybe all that sugar helped, too. And just when I was feeling all deep and ready to do some very serious blogging…
As I type this, Mike is at his desk at his job with his head in his hands. He claims he has no recollection of the head licking and doesn’t remember what was so all fired important that he couldn’t stop talking about it. Here is the one photo I got from last night. I look absolutely terrible in this one, but Lemmy seems pretty perky, no?
I was very surprised that pretty much everyone who had something to say feels or has felt essentially the same way. We have all, even the most physically beautiful of the people I heard from, felt less than, humiliated, hurt or just unworthy at certain times because we didn’t feel attractive enough. Isn’t that crazy?? Especially when I think of how many gorgeous people I know.
I was horribly sick recently and it really put things into perspective as well. It was the worst flu I have had in a long time, with a sore throat so bad that swallowing brought tears to my eyes and made my ears ache. I was only able to crawl from the bed to the couch and back again for four days, completely weak and totally uncomfortable. It was misery! So this made me think about how lucky I am to be the healthy person that I usually am.
All of this beauty stuff is completely moot when your health isn’t there and I am going to try to give my body a little more love for being strong and carrying me every day instead of constantly examining it for flaws. I get so focused on the little stupid things at times that I forget to look at the big picture. Millions of people have bodies that are uncomfortable to be in or don’t work properly, or they have lost their families to genocide, or live in abject poverty. I am healthy and relatively affluent compared to much of the world. What right do I have to fester over minor details?
And then I read the most amazing quote by a life coach named Martha Beck: “The longing to be beautiful is fundamentally a longing to be free from shame.” How brilliant is THAT? And the other quote I loved is from James, who says that if you REALLY look at someone, you realize everyone is beautiful.
If you follow that first train of thought, then, what we really need to strive for instead of beauty, is shamelessness. When we’re really young we don’t have the filter to accept or reject what people say to and about us, we just accept it all and suffer the pain of that rejection.
But we are adults now, and have a choice. We can choose to surround ourselves with people who support us and then we can be shameless about who we are, and shameless about admitting our fears and insecurities. I am noticing that it is extremely freeing to just be honest about my own neuroses and sorrows, because the people in my life respond in kind. And then instead of feeling shitty about myself I get to feel happily connected to someone else. And isn’t that the whole point of being in these bodies anyway?
As for the second train of thought, I did a little experiment with myself and spent a day looking for beauty in every person I passed on the street. This is not an easy experiment for a misanthrope like myself, but it was really interesting, and I suggest you try it. I tried to be objective and look at humans the way I do dogs, because to me every dog I see on the street is gorgeous, no matter how ratty or fat or mongrel.
And it worked—I started to see that every single person had something, at least one thing, beautiful about them. Then after a short time of doing that I started feeling very open and happy, instead of the usual hating everyone and wondering if they got dressed in the dark. When you really look at people as individuals you stop comparing each person to the ridiculous standards we have come to accept as real and just see the interesting and lovely in each person’s face.
Those magazine standards just aren’t real and I don’t want to hang onto them anymore. There is a biological breeding imperative which naturally leans towards the symmetrical, but other than that, all that other stuff we take as truth because we see it in the media is just commercial sales. It’s airbrushing and some person that I don’t know or care about deciding that thin and tall or very, very young is the only kind of physicality that deserves love. So then we feel ashamed and unworthy because we don’t fit that mold, and we buy all sorts of products to try to get closer to that ideal.
And I’ll probably always buy the damn products because I know I’m just one moisturizer away from a perfect life, but I really, really want to stop buying the bullshit. It only supports a tiny fraction of the world population, and it definitely doesn’t support me or you in any kind of honest or loving way. It doesn’t even support the girls photographed with the products, really.
So I got a very freeing lesson with that last blog, I came clean about something fairly minor and got interesting information and some deep human connection in return. So I am all about being truthful these days. Truth equals beauty, forgiveness equals beauty, an open heart brings us beauty. And I know this entry is a little corny but I wanted to tell you that, and to tell you how grateful I am for everything you guys had to say on the subject.
Okay, now I don’t want all these blogs to be tired old walks down memory lane, because I actually do have a life now. But since I put up the tattoo blog a few people have been sending messages asking what it was like to tour with Motorhead, and since they’re playing NYC soon, I thought I’d do up a little report for ya…
HOW I SPENT MY MOTORHEAD TOUR
We sucked majorly at Hammersmith in London on the first night, petrified girls hiding behind mikes in front of the not very enthused few people who showed up early (possibly accidentally) and various people we were hoping to impress, including one fairly famous in London ex-boyfriend who I had screwed up with so badly a year prior that I know he was secretly pleased to see such a deserved and humiliating crash and burn. But Lemmy came backstage immediately afterwards to give us some pointers on how not to suck (“Walk to the front of the stage once in a while, ladies…”).
Spent every single night of the tour standing at the side of the stage waving a beer and shouting to other band members: “Oh my God!! We’re on tour with MOTORHEAD!!”
A case of Boilermakers in a can ended up on our bus—beer with a shot of whiskey already added. In a can! So convenient! This concoction was considered too foul even by Motorhead’s crew and so they very kindly donated the case to us. Spent days weaving down the aisle of the bus with these cans in my hand, swearing “Theesh arn s’bad, rilly!” Not surprisingly, we all developed a great tolerance for strong European beer, plus a penchant for vodka and Red Bull, which was not yet available in the States and enabled one to continue drinking well into the night.
One of the many dubious results of our newly developed alcoholism was that our makeup got thicker and more ornate as time went on, until by the end of the tour we were drawing great eyeliner lines up towards our eyebrows like Divine.
Motorhead chipped in and got us hotel rooms when we couldn’t afford them. How often does a headlining band do that for their openers?
A week into the tour and in a completely Spinal Tap moment, we received the first copies of our CD, which turned out to have a photo of a naked male ass on the cover. Yes, a naked male ass. To which Venus could only shriek, over and over: “Oh my God! There’s an ass on our record cover! There’s an ASS on our record cover!! THERE’S AN ASS ON OUR RECORD COVER!!!”
Fell head first and stark naked out of the top bunk of the tour bus (in front of everyone—band and crew) and cut my head open, thus garnering the title of Official Bunk Diving Champion. Alcohol was rumored to have played a part in the fall.
Every time we got near a phone we would prank call my sister over and over again. To which she responded, “Are you guys so uncool that the only thing you have to do is spend all your money prank calling me all the way from Europe??” Well, um, yes, actually.
Before entering the Nordic countries we wrote out a list of appropriate phrases and their translations to carry with us, such as, “Do you think I’m hot?”, “How old are you?”, “Get rid of your girlfriend”, and “My room number is…”
Honey 1 Percenter (She Wolf on myspace!) got some fabulously dirty notes from Philthy, who had very ingeniously affixed a small fan to a hanger and often wore it around his head for cooling purposes. We surmised that it assisted him in the creative writing process as well.
Had gentle and loving caterers who fed us with great care and talent. As a result of this and the previously mentioned alcohol consumption, we put on a few pounds, to which Lemmy was often heard to comment, “Girls, lay off the catering table already, will ya?”
Members of Motorhead often took an overnight bag and rode on our bus for the long trips, which was great fun. They always outlasted the girls in party mode and often complained that we weren’t putting out the way Girlschool did. On these nights Lemmy was particularly fond of singing his lyrics into my ear, which was handy for discovering which songs I’d been singing the wrong words to all those years.
Got sick one night and vomited in front of the bus headlights as famed guitar tech extraordinaire Depford John was walking by. He shoved his hand in the vomit and waved it in my face and shouted “Rooowwrrrr!” This prompted me to vomit again but was very impressive nonetheless.
Motorhead was filmed at a show in Munich for a documentary which was released a few years later. Munich hated us and pelted us with hard candy (got it in the forehead, thanks a lot, fucking Munich!), to which members of Motorhead responded most gallantly by wearing as much CSFH gear as possible when they got on stage. The film’s director was a sexist and demented creep, so when he filmed a bit where the girls came onstage and pretended to play sax during the MH set he edited it to only show our boobs and butts. But every shot of MH features another piece of Slut swag.
Got a really crappy spur of the moment tattoo at Hanky Panky in Amsterdam. The guy who did it dug so hard the whole thing scarred up. Later that night Motorhead cancelled the show because the Paradiso didn’t put a stage extension on as previously requested. Fans mini-rioted, burning t-shirts and shouting very nasty things and we had to sneak out of the club with our heads covered. Since this was the last night of the tour our wonderful caterers made a celebratory hash cake, which we (of course) promptly consumed while waiting to see if the show was going to happen. As a result I fuzzily stalled out mid-escape to stand in the middle of the melee and watch dreamily, until a Dutch friend dragged me out of the fray before I was spotted. Spent the rest of the night in the hotel bar unable to form sentences.
Philthy was given some trouble when we came from France back into the UK for some videos he had purchased in a dubious Dutch entertainment establishment. The police brought drug dogs on our bus and the dogs sniffed the bus kitchen table quite a bit, because even though we’d wiped it in a panic, let’s face it we were wasted slobs at that point and there was residue left behind from two months of rampant drug abuse. But they finally left and we breathed a sigh of relief, able to live to ruin our bodies with chemicals and alcohol for another day.
And then sadly, sadly we bid the boys adieu and teetered onto the plane home, back to NY to dry out and get dropped by our label before the record ever got released in the states. C’est la vie… But lastly, I am happy and proud to report that I am mentioned as a crush in Lemmy’s autobiography (page 232!), not by name, but at least I know it’s me, goddamnit. And now you do, too. Love on ya, rock and rollers!
Joey was the first rock star I met when I moved to NY from the sticks of Michigan. He was leaning up against the bar at Danceteria not really talking to anyone. It was the same night Hanoi Rocks played, and I couldn’t believe one of my rock heroes could be found just loitering around the bar. I went up and said, “Hi, I’m Raffaele.” He said “I’m Joey,” and shook my hand. A couple of hours later I picked up Blixa Bargeld for about two minutes, until he tried to dangle me off of the balcony of the Limelight (the fact that he had bits of his wife’s hair stapled to his leather vest should have been a tip-off).
A few years down the road Joey gave my band the Cycle Sluts an opening slot for The Ramones at the Ritz. It was our second gig ever and it put us on the map. He was always such a champion for new bands, he just really loved rock and roll. During that period we were constantly yanking on him and screaming drunkenly, in unison, into his face. We had this drunken, bastardized ballet move we made everyone do with us and Joey didn’t have the greatest balance so he would just lift his foot off the floor a few inches to shut us up.
The Sluts hosted many after-hours parties at “Slutquarters” on 4th and B that featured him as a regular. We all did a ton of coke in those days and one night he had some very friendly South American dealers with him that had mounds of the stuff. One kept waving the loaded mirror in my face and saying, “For you, for you!” Joey was always quiet and we were always really, really loud. I think he liked the noise. Later that night (morning) he fell asleep in a chair and we just continued to party around him.
One night at the Lismar Lounge, where we all worked and hung out, a few members of a certain bike club who also hung out there decided they had a problem with Joey. I don’t remember why, but it was a dangerous situation. There were a few truly terrifying minutes when they locked him and someone else (Daniel Rey, maybe?) into the deli next door. One of the Lismar bartenders, who somehow was seeing both one of the bike club members and Joey at the same time, ran out and threw herself at the door and begged them not to hurt him. It was one of those scenes that make you feel so scared you get nauseous inside, but somehow it ended up all right. I think Joey was so gentle that they just decided not to bother.
Joey wearing only his leather jacket and ripped jeans in the freezing cold at the Pet Sematary video shoot.
Joey on the roof of Coney Island High for a barbeque, eating a hot dog and smiling.
The sound of his voice, saying “Hey Raff…”
Going to the cloisters to film a video for Joey’s protégées, The Independents. I was dressed as a vampire queen and I walked slowly, trying to look very serious without cracking up, down cement stairs in a cape towards Joey, who was standing a few feet behind the camera. He said, “That was great, Raff.” Later in the car he put some money in my hand, which I hadn’t asked for or expected.
Being on the train w/my ex Jesse after we got the news Joey was dead, just staring out the window and feeling sad.
I wasn’t one of his closest friends, but I like to think that he counted me as more than an acquaintance. I know I’ll never walk past the corner of 9th Street and 3rd Avenue without thinking of him with affection. He was a true rock star and a truly lovely person, and I’m looking forward to seeing him on the other side.