Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Way Better Than Desperate (Or, All About My Enemy)

I saw A Letter to Three Wives this week. It's the film Joseph L. Mankiewicz made a year before he directed All About Eve, one of the best films ever made. There are quite a few similarities between the two films, but, A Letter to Three Wives is shockingly, especially for its time, challenging in its direction and story arc. It uses voiceover, flashback (both big no-nos in current mainstream Hollywood cinema) and an almost hallucinatory approach to introducing the stories of each of the three wives.

The premise of the film is that a letter has been written to three women, married housewives in Westchester, by a presumed man-eater named Addie Ross (who is never shown on camera). Addie's letter informs all three women that she has run off with one of their husbands. The wives receive the letter just as they are about to take a day-long boat trip down the Hudson River, leaving all three to let their imaginations simmer and stew in the possibility of whether or not it is their husband that has left them. Each woman has her own contained narrative - as told in extended flashbacks - which details Addie's relationship to each of their husbands.

The film is an acute dissection of post-war suburban social mores and the clenched jaw politeness of the Anglo-Saxon set. All three wives are friends, but not close. They are all also friends of Addie's, the seductress, and gossip about her constantly. The wives are so catty, that there is actually a great deal of sympathy for Addie before each of their backstories are revealed.

The film features an amazing set of performances, including one by the astonishingly beautiful Linda Darnell (pictured) and the always reliable Thelma Ritter as a wise-craking maid.

Ritter gets the movie's best line - during a preparations for a pretensious dinner party, poor Thelma is stuffed into a maid's uniform. Her critique of her new outfit:

"The cap's out. Makes me look like a lamb chop with pants on."

Desperate Housewives outright steals this film's premise and, in my opinion, fucks it all up. I have never been a big fan of the show, now I'm even less of one.

Anachronistic Slang (Or, Come On Baby Tell Me What's the Word)

I have been known to overuse the heavily dated slang term "word". I got busted for this yesterday by someone I just met. In response to a dinner suggestion, I said, simply:

"Word."

His somewhat confused response: "Uh, is this 1994?"

Bitch know-it-all that I am some of the time, I corrected him by saying, "Well, no. It would be more like 1987-1989, roughly."

Not the greatest ice-breaker, but it did work out just fine....

I actually re-appropriated the anachronistic use from my friend Jeremy, who, despite being a white boy from Albequerque, New Mexico, most of the time sounds like he hails from somewhere deep in the heart of Brooklyn. He peppers his speech with exclamations like "yo","word", "hells no", and "chicken-head".

"Word" has penetrated my being to the point where I forget that there are only limited contexts in which to use it appropriately. I was once on the phone with a stuffy client and, at the end of an oddly friendly exchange, I said it. I didn't mean to, it just came out:

"Word. I'll call you as soon as it's ready."

"Did you just say word?" She asked, through a wave of uncomfortable giggling.

Worse than word, I have also been known to say whoa, like I'm Joey Lawrence circa 1992.

That's right, bitch: Whoa.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Your Outfit May Be Subject to Editorial Approval

Somehow the topic of linen came up in conversation yesterday with my mother.

Yes, it doesn't get much gayer than that.

Anyway, I had to relate the following story, since it's one of my favorites involving my dear friend Torrey. He still, to this day, denies what happened. Regardless, here it is:

One October evening a few years ago, I met Torrey for dinner. It was starting to get cold outside, so I was in a leather jacket. I was also wearing a then-favorite hat of mine, a beige linen newsboy cap. When we were seated at a table, I took off my jacket and hat, which I placed on the booth seat between us.

Torrey said, a little excitedly:

"Ooo. I like that hat."

Since Torrey is a fashion writer, at the time I was immediately drunk with the thought that I had somehow, within my own limited style-conscious means, possibly impressed him.

He then proceeded to pick up the hat, gripping it between his thumb and index finger. Suddenly, Torrey dropped the hat as if it were on fire.

Or as if it were a live cockroach.

Or as if it were a stinky, oozy turd.

"What?" I asked as his face convulsed in horror.

"Good Christ, Trevor. Linen is a summer fabric."

Monday, August 29, 2005

Eva Longoria, Lip Reader (Or, Know the Toe Lady. Know the Toe.)

I suffered through the MTV Video Music Awards last night. Why, I'm still not quite sure. Despite having several beers in my system, the show was barely watchable. The shit has devolved drastically in recent years.

The most entertaining spectacles:

R. Kelly's high school talent showcase "dramatic reading competition" rendition of his own song "In the Closet". He played four characters, including himself, unconvincingly. It had to be seen to be believed.

Mariah Carey's tits, protruding sluggishly, as usual, from her armpits.

Missy Elliott's big dyke posse.

Eva Longoria's massive camel toe. The toe was so puffy and swolen, it looked like 50 Cent and Lindsay Lohan had been taking turns alternately pounding and munching Eva's delicates just before she stomped her desperate ass onstage.

Eva, if ever you need help, there is assistance: know the toe.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Pissy Cat Dolls (Or, Don't Cha Wish Your...)

In order to combat the frequent banality of bad, gay-oriented dance music, I have been known to rewrite songs to make the experience of the drone of this-that-or-the-other random pop diva-thingy's latest single tolerable, if not downright fun.

Here is my take on the Pussycat Dolls' ridiculous, inescapable, putrid single Don't Cha, rewritten as an ode to water sports:

Oh, pissycat dolls

I know you like pee (I know you like pee)
I know you do (I know you do)
Thats why whenever I come around he pisses all over you
And I know you want pee (I know you want pee)
It's easy to see (it's easy to see)
And in the back of your mind
I know you should be in the shower with me

[Chorus]
Don't cha wish your boyfriend would pee on me
Don't cha wish your boyfriend was a pee-freak like me
Don't cha, dont cha
Don't cha wish your boyfriend would piss like me
Don't cha wish your boyfriend was fun like me
Don't cha, dont cha

Fight the feeling (fight the feeling)
Give me some flow (give me some flow)
Cause if it aint pee
It just aint enough to shoot a greasy load
Don't be so pee-shy (Don't be so pee-shy)
You have to piss fair (you have to piss fair)
See, I dont care
But I know he aint gon' wanna share

I know I'm on your mind
I know we'll have a good time
I'm your friend
I'm fun
And I'm fine
A human urinal
Look at me, you aint blind [2x]

See, I know he loves pee (I know he loves pee)
I understand (I understand)
I'd probably be just as crazy about you
If you were my piss-can
Maybe next lifetime (maybe next lifetime)
Possibly (possibly)
Until then, Oh friend you're piss is safe with me

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Tag Team (Or, I'm It)

So, Bob just tagged me to do a Top Ten List, see below...

List ten songs that you are currently digging ... it doesn't matter what genre they are from, whether they have words, or even if they're no good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying right now. Post these instructions, the artists, and the ten songs in your blog. Mine are:

Juliette and the Licks - "Comin' Around"
The Runaways - "Cherry Bomb"
Spoon - "I Turn My Camera On"
Liz Phair - "Insanity"
Bob Mould - "Paralyzed"
Aztec Camera - "Oblivious (12" Mix)"
Missy Elliott - "Can't Stop"
Northern State - "Last Night"
The Thorns - "I Told You"
Max Sedgley - "Devil Inside"

I'm still nursing a teeny hangover that is a result of my cameo at the Runt party at Nowhere last night. I also slunk around the corner to the $1 beer blast at the Phoenix.

Woof.

I haven't been one lately to go nuts on a school night, but something about the weather last night led me down the rabbit hole of goodtimes and beer, beer, beer.

Thankfully, there are things like VitaminWater and bacon-egg-and-cheese sandwiches for days like these...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Help Me, I Think I'm Falling for U-Trau Again

Last week, I was buying some new underwear (a.k.a. manpanties, nuthuggers, ball slings, u-trau, banana hammocks, et.al.) at the less-than upscale Chelsea Jeans on 7th Avenue. I am a hit-and-run male shopper, so I was trying to grab my new man panty-wear and get out as quickly as humanly possible.

Tearing through the overly homosexual selection of undergarments, I was approached by one of the Chelsea Jeans sales staff. I was eyeing some (insert over licensed designer name here) briefs and my new best friend and sales girl offered this advice, after rolling her eyes:

"Oh, no girl. Are you sure those are your size?"

They were a medium.

Caught slightly off-guard, I responded: "Um...I think so. Why? Am I bigger than that?"

The sales girl ripped open the box, threw down the empty cardboard container and smacked them up against my hips and waist.

"Mmmmm, baby. I guess you're right. I was thinkin' you was a small and these shits don't shrink, OK? I'm just sayin'..."

I laughed and picked up another version of the same size pair of underwear. I moved down the aisle to another set of overpriced psuedo-designer delicates. The sales girl, maybe taken by the attention that my big laugh provided her, was still lingering. As I persued this other set of man-panties, she said:

"Honey, no. You won't be gettin' those."

Again, taken a little aback, I was thinking to myself, why is she all of a sudden the conscience of my undergarment fashion choices?

As I asked her, "Why?" I picked up one of the boxes and saw the price. I had evidently moved into the haute man-panty section of Chelsea Jeans: these bitches were priced at $32.00 a piece.

"Oh, shit." I said.

"That's right, girl. I told you won't be gettin' those, OK."

As a rule, I never trust the lure of the sales staff. But in this case, G-friend was on the money...or, rather, oddly watching out for mine.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Now I'm Standing Six Feet One

Well, Six Feet Under is no more.

I won't give up any spoilers for those who didn't catch it last night, but it was shocking and invigorating for a show based on the business of death to end fully in support of life and the merits of living. After five years of the big-opening death scene, this episode began with a birth instead. Grappling with the impact of Nate's death, most of the characters (except, tellingly, Frederico) accept their lives instead of bucking against them. David is no longer his worst enemy; Ruth is no longer suffocating (and suffocated); Claire is no longer afraid; Brenda is no longer at odds with the world.

I am sad to see it leave the airways...but it was time.

One thing: the weirdo flash-forward death sequences of all of the characters was truly campy and bizarre. It had no place in the episode...they should have just let Claire drive off, simply enough.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Dolly Revisited (Or, Harsh Truths From 1990)

In 1990, as a freshman in college, I had two gay best friends, Rob and Aaron. One night, while incredibly stoned, the film 9 to 5 came up in conversation. In a heady fit suitable for an adolescent girl, I exclaimed:

"Omigod, you guys. There are three of us...we are so those three characters!"

Those three characters being the meek Judy Bernley (Jane Fonda), the titular and sweet Doralee Rhodes (Dolly Parton) and the neurotic control freak Violet Newstead (Lily Tomlin).

Somehow in my exclamation, I was predicting that I, quite naturally, would be the leader, Violet Newstead. So, to validate the outburst, I asked Rob and Aaron:

"So, which one am I?"

Without pause, they said, in full 9 to 5 unison:

"DOLLY PARTON."

Confused, crushed and paranoid, I wondered:

"But...why?"

After a beat, Rob replied:

"Well, first of all, you've got those tits. Second of all, you're the kind of bitch everyone assumes is sleeping with the boss, but really isn't."

Sad, but achingly, breakingly, decidedly...true.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

She's Got Pretty Persuasion (Or, Any Film Using the Term "Rug Muncher" Is OK In My Book)

I saw Pretty Persuasion last night - it is a deft black comedy with sharper teeth than Jaws. It was brimming with a lot of nasty humor...needlesstosay, I was swooning. I'm a sucker for any sort of black comedy, and this one really aims high.

Evan Rachel Wood, star of Thirteen, is amazingly intense as Kimberly Joyce, a whipsmart Lolita who has a fondness for cruelty, revenge and manipulation. Ms. Wood can take over a scene with just a look; there is a hell of a lot brewing beneath the surface of her steel blue eyes. In one scene, she calls Jane Krakowski a rug muncher (among many other things) - a term that never fails to get a giggle from me. The script also has the guts to make mean jokes about the "war" in Iraq, anal sex, eating disorders, girl-on-girl oral sex, the "immigrant" experience, and parental cocaine abuse. (Because, like duh, that's such a problem).

It's what I want, hurry and buy all has been tried.
Follow reason and buy, cannot shuffle in this heat, it's all wrong.
Try to put that on your sleeve it's all wrong it's all wrong.

He's got a pretty persuasion. She's got pretty persuasion.
God damn your confusion. She's got pretty persuasion.


As quoted from REM's album, Reckoning.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Everybody Comes To Dollywood (Or, The Tits are Big and the Songs Are Good)

I went to see Dolly Parton last night at Radio City with Rob, John and Torrey (Torrey and Rob, pictured at left, rockin' the show after 4 glasses of champagne). Dolly tore the shit up, I was crying like a little Smoky Mountain girly when she sang "Coat of Many Colors".

I have to say though, Dolly was making some very odd comments - and extremely hard marketing upsells - about how we all needed to "buy her new album", "get on down to Dollywood", and (ok, not quite), "get to Walmart and buy six or seven copies of Rhinestone and Straight Talk on DVD if you love me!!!". Is she secretly broke or some shit?

There were a lot - I mean a lot - of homosexuals there to cheer on Ms. Dolly. Wasn't really surprised though, but still, I felt like I was at a house party in Chelsea, there were so many familiar faces up in the joint.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Le Rayon Vert (Or, Oprah Didn't Say Anything About Tripping My Ass Off)


...I started drinking green tea instead of coffee this week.

The result?

Some majorly messed up, psychedelic dreams.

I'm starting to think that the box of tea is severely ancient and that I'm working through some sort of St. Vitus' Dance shit.

Needlesstosay: whoa.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

HBO Late At Night, Circa Summer 1985

Thinking about the summer, I fondly recall Jeff Bridges in Against All Odds...I think I humped the TV screen in my parents' basement when I first watched this movie in the summer of 1985 (I'm pretty sure I begged to see it at the theater the year before, when it was first released). I seem to remember him having sex...a lot...with Rachel Ward. Not quite the overload that was Body Heat, which I'm still sort of floored by.

More on all that later.

Play. Pause. Repeat. Play. Pause. Repeat.

I'm catching up with a mountain of design work right now, so my head is all up in that space...the space where I'm listening to loud music, trying not to go cross-eyed, trying to type as quickly as I can, aching to cross anything I can off of my neverending to-do list, wanting to do just about anything else including any or all of the following:

- smoke
- smoke pot
- drink water
- drink booze
- take a long walk
- take a long walk, listening to music
- take a long walk to MoMA
- take a long walk to Hudson, New York
- watch Swimming Pool
- watch TV (anything)
- watch the entire box set of Cassavettes films I bought in December
- actually write something longer instead of adding things to my "list of things to write about"
- sleep, sleep, sleep.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Who Knew? (Or, This and That About You Know What Just Don't Tell Anyone Except Everyone You Want to Know About It)

From today's Times: The Art and Science of Gossip.

Islands in the Stream (Or, Scotch on the Rocks)

I finally saw The Island last night. Despite a stinky ass ending, it was a truly gripping action movie for about an hour - I'm not quite sure why it got such a righteous smackdown in the press. War of the Worlds was honestly not any better. Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor were overwhelmingly attractive - almost painfully so. Mr. McGregor is just about the only male actor these days who can pull off anything...and he is only getting better with age. So, in praise of Scottish men, here's his virtual daddy, Sean Connery.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Walking and Talking Through Jell-O (Or, Is This Fall, That I'm Feeling?)

Today is one down-low, down-dog, downbeat, downtown, down and out, down for the count, down under, downy mildew, down to the wire, down on my knees, face down, down-down-down (how do you like it? how do you like it?), brokedown palace, down on the boardwalk, down down day.

That said, this is no excuse for an entry. I'm just paying myself back for my everybody's-working-for-the-weekend weekend.

Lunch today, however, was the opposite of down. To honor that, the last (for a long while anyway) of Liz Phair:

Your eyelashes sparkle like gilded grass
And your lips are sweet and slippery like a cherub's bare wet ass

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Hot, Hot, Hot

Don't write about the weather.
Don't write about the weather.
Don't write about the weather.

Just think about Marlon Brando circa 1954.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

What Else Do You Need? (Or, I Am a Product)

So, this is the first of what should have been multiple entries way back in June.

When my mother was visiting New York in June, we met up with some of my friends at Cowgirl Hall of Fame in the West Village for a casual, loud and tequilla-filled dinner. Cowgirl was featured in an old Sex and the City episode, which Linda Marie identified as soon as we walked up to the restaurant.

"Oh, the one where Miranda and Carrie see Steve and Aidan with new girlfriends, right?"

I wasn't all that shocked - earlier that day, she had tagged the Viceroy in Chelsea as being one of the locations from the Richard Gere/Diane Lane movie Unfaithful without batting an eyelash.

I had promised Torrey that I would buy his dinner/drinks that night. I was concerned though, since Torrey, a well-known big eater, only ordered Corn Dogs for his entreé. When the dogs showed up, I asked him,

"Hey, are you sure that's all you want? Don't be shy just because I'm paying."

Torrey replied, "Oh, no. It's cool." He then grabbed one of the corn dogs, opened his Gucci-model lips way wide and proceeded to nearly give the breaded treat a blow job.

"I mean what else do you need after this?" He said, just before chugging the greasy stick.

Linda Marie leaned in and answered:

"A cigarette?"

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Shock of the Cough

In college, my then-boyfriend (now best friend) Rob and I took an Art History class on Northern Renaissance Painting. It was taught by a lean, stylish, steel-haired and mildly over-the-top woman named Jean French. Most thought Professor French was a tough cookie and a ball-buster; Rob and I thought she was something of a role model. She was always on the go, always intense about her work and had once re-attributed a limestone church in the French countryside to an earlier century with her naked eye. All this, wearing a smart driving scarf and clearly unsensible shoes.

Yes, Jean was that good.

At the time, Rob and I were chin-deep in academia, so to us Jean was a kind of superheroine, as if she was all we wanted to be when we grew up.

Which could still be true.

During the two-hour class, Jean would always take a "5-minute break" which was really more like a "As-long-as-it-takes-me-to-smoke-one-cigarette-break". Once, after one of her smoke breaks, she was the victim of a violent coughing attack. Clinging to her podium for - what appeared to be - dear life, Jean called out to Rob, dramatically through puffs of tortured wheeziness:

"Robert...Robert, please. Get me a drink of water from the fountain outside. No not the one closest to this lecture room...the one around the corner...the one with cool water, you know the one I mean."

I was beside myself, as was Rob. Like the good fag Art History student, Rob tore out of the room through waves of stoned classmates, who I'm sure barely knew what was going on. (Two of our rich-girl stoner classmates had once famously cut up a $100 monograph art book to use as flash cards for a final).

The reality of our situation was this: we were being taught by Tallulah Bankhead.

T&A (Or, Jabba The Night Nurse)

In late December 1984, I was 13 years old and ready to enjoy my Christmas break - what should have been a heady escape from seventh grade filled with iced sugar cookies, HBO, Dungeons & Dragons novels and naughty He-Man fantasies. However, I was supposedly always sick with tonsilitis (this is a little iffy: Linda Marie has an addiction to the attention she receives from the medical industry, and at the slightest ache or pain, my brother and I were subject to lengthy doctor's visits, medications and the looming threat of surgery. I was more likely just a chunky kid who claimed to have a sore throat a lot to get out of gym class).

Anyway, my brother Jason (then 6 and also "suffering") and I were both slapped into the Children's Hospital in Akron to get our tonsils and adenoids scraped out at the same time right at the start of Holiday break. Linda Marie must have finagled a "Buy Two, Get the second Pair at half off" deal with the hospital, like we were sets of pumps at Payless that had to be had at a bargain. We were promised gallons of ice cream, endless popsicles, fountain sodas served up by the most fetching, fashionable nurses Akron had to offer and quick winks from handsome Gregory Harrison-esque doctors in white coats and scrubs with deep, hairy chest revealing V-necks (OK, maybe that was my own private stuggle with being silently, shamefully addicted to Trapper John, MD at an early age). With all of that built-up fantasia spinning in my head, I didn't mind the overnight stay at the hosptial one bit. I was also allowed to use my mother's petite bright blue 1960s Samsonite Tourister hard-top make up case for use as an overnight bag.

As we sat in the waiting room at five in the morning, Linda Marie and my stepdad Joe handed me a huge Encyclopaedia of Mythology to read in the hospital. In true early homo-fashion, I was obsessed with Greek mythology. I'm fairly certain I had my first orgasm watching Harry Hamlin's tanned half-nude flesh burn across my parents' TV screen in "Clash of the Titans". At first I was a little disappointed - the encyclopaedia was such a commanding, serious book. I was yearning for something trashy to read by Danielle Steel or Jacqueline Susann to take the edge of the pain like my Dad's friend Shirley had done that summer she had her toenails surgically removed and sat limp by her pool all summer reading and drinking Bloody Marys from a plastic squirt bottle. After flipping through my present quickly, I realized it was my new favorite thing ever: it had more naked men than any other book I had seen up to that point. Sure, most of the men were indecipherable white marble and completely busted up, but they were naked men all the same. That book coupled with the potential of a Gregory Harrison sighting made me swoon.

"This trip to the hospital was the best thing that's ever happened to me," I squealed to myself.

The details of the actual trip into the operating room though are a little fuzzier. There were an awful lot of hoses, steel trap doors, frightening looking nurses with huge, vaguely muscular arms, and squeaky carts topped with kids in flimsy, ill-patterned gowns. I do remember going under quickly and waking up almost immediately in the dungeon of the "recovery" room. Through my personal dense fog of anesthesia, I opened my eyes to see an unfortunate looking nurse with a teased out, blown out, burned out blonde mess of a hairdo and too much cheap make-up on. She was barking something important at me through her too glossy pink lips. I could tell it was important by the over-emphasized fake nice kiddy tone her voice had.

"Whatever you do," she nearly yelled, "Don't blow your nose sweetie. Ok? You will feel like you have to, but don't."

It hadn't occurred to me just yet, but now that she had mentioned it, all I did want to do was blow my nose - bad.

Jason was rolled into the recovery room moments later - these doctors certainly weren't messing around with the two-for-one deal they had going. The burned out recovery nurse scurried over to him and gave him the same speal. Instead of complying nicely through the haze of recovery drugs, as I had, Jason sat up bolt upright in bed glared, at me and screamed "IT HURTS!!!!" and proceeded to send air out through his nose violently - as if a tissue were in front of his face or as if he had been in total privacy without benefit of a tissue. Blood flew everywhere. Other recovering children started screaming as well. Suddenly, dozens of recovery nurses - most much more attactive than mine, feverishly blossomed out of nowhere to attend to Jason's hemorraging nostrils. "I told you not to blow your nose, sweetie!" Our blond mess growled with less kiddy-nicess. Jason replied simply, "BUT IT HURTS!!!"

I think I must have passed out for a bit, because the next thing I remember is seeing our parents in our regular hospital room discussing our condition with the surgeon. I looked to my left and spy Jason sleeping cooly face up in the bed next to me under the too-warm hosptial blankets. I was fully inclined in bed and decided to turn the TV on - at which point, pain hits me all over my face, neck and throat. Whatever demerol stupor I had been in was now history. "Ok," I thought, "Now is when the glamour and ice-cream begin!" I began buzzing the nurse button - a useful borrowed behavior from Trapper John - ready for sherbert, ginger ale and icey grape goodness.

My mother comes over and asks, "Are you alright honey?"

"Yes," I croaked. "I'm just ready for ice cream."

Another decidedly unattractive nurse rolls in and spouts "Whatchu want honey?"

"Ice cream" I croak again. My mother, stepdad and the surgeon all seem to coo and giggle delightfully at the same time, as if I'm on some 1950s TV sitcom and I've just hit the child sympathy-turn button in the teleplay.

"Think again mister." The nurse heartily bellows. "You can't get no solid food until 6 tonight honey. I'll get you some ice chips."

Suddenly, my hospital fantasy was a dreary, sordid reality: I had moved from the sweet honey of dramatic one-hour television to the course brutality of 20/20. I felt like I was to be beaten to death by this ogre of a nurse in the next segment between commercials. "Children's Hosptial Nightmares: How You Can Protect Your Children" would be the title of my spot - Hugh Downs would have to interview my grief-stricken mother, who would look stunning, key-lit and weeping through the sheen of her Clinique foundation and waterproof mascara she purchased especially for the occasion. Why didn't my parents seem to care that much? Didn't they realize more than half of why I was in this mess was for the easy flowing guilt-free freezer snacks? I could feel tears well up in my eyes. My mother, sensing my hurt and confusion, eased up to me and whispered "It's OK honey, you can have as much ice cream as you want when we get home tomorrow morning."

At this point in time, it's only nine in the morning - 24 hours before this fantasy day of ice cream at home and only four hours into this mess of a day at the hospital. All of this reality had started to worry me terribly. If there were to be no ice cream, no popsicles and no soda, there would surely be no Gregory Harrision either. I pressed the nurse button again, maybe this time, Gregory would come instead of the scary nurse. I would also take the consolation prize of the older Dr. John himself. I may have been a little young to appreciate the full-on beauty of an older greying bearded daddy, but anything would have been better than Jabba the Hut in a wig and white platform sneakers. Unfortunately for her, the same Jabba-esque creature showed up - and this time, she was pissed. Her hands akimbo on hips, she glares at me sullenly almost hurtfully - as if I've taken her away from an all-important early morning date with a box of donuts.

"Whatchu want HONEY? I WAS JUST IN HERE!" She whelped.

Fully drained of Demerol at this point, I was in no mood to cope with her attitude. Somehow, in all of my 13 year old less than bitchy being, I summoned up a dark beast within - something which could only be a by-product of watching "Mommie Dearest" enough times on HBO for certain scenes to become part of the fabric of my character.

"Listen here you lousy cunt." I belted like a pro - like a grand dame laid up in the hospital in a lemon terry cloth turban and matching robe who's been refused her bottle of vodka and, more disturbingly, access to her make-up artist.

"Get me a popsicle now goddammit! I was promised popsicles and ice cream. Not ice chips, you bitch. And certainly not abuse from the likes of you!"

The Jabba-Nurse turned on her platform heels and, since my parents and surgeon were still in the room going over my brother's condition, motioned for my mother to meet her outside. On her way out the door, my mother shot me a stunned look that had a faint glimmer of admiration - as if to say silently, "Atta boy. You gotta make these bitches work around here, don't you?"

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Bunny Stew



Thanks to G for this - The 30-Second Bunnies Theater at angryalien.com

All of these 30 second re-enactments are hilarious...Jaws and The Exorcist (shown above) are especially good.

Joni Mitchell Never Lies (Or, The Last of the Maudlin)

This is the last of my maudlin entries regarding a certain situation. Up next will be nothing but stupid, shallow and hopefully funny. Sadges don't dwell or linger, so this is it...a quote from Joni Mitchell's Blue, hands down, the greatest heartbreak album ever made:

Blue, songs are like tattoos
You know I've been to sea before
Crown and anchor me
Or let me sail away
Hey Blue, here is a song for you
Ink on a pin
Underneath the skin
An empty space to fill in
Well there're so many sinking now
You've got to keep thinking
You can make it through these waves
Acid, booze, and ass
Needles, guns, and grass
Lots of laughs, lots of laughs
Everybody's saying that hell's the hippest way to go
Well I don't think so
But I'm gonna take a look around it though

© Joni Mitchell

The Word of the Week (Or, Miss Sandy Sandstone)

The BV word of the week is asshole.

Now, let's use that in a sentence.

When the "nice", "sensitive" guy you're (supposedly) dating ditches you on a Fire Island Saturday night to attend a hot tub/sex party an hour after you were making out with him romantically on the beach, he is an asshole.

One of my favorite uses, as exerpted from John Waters' Pink Flamingos:

CONNIE MARBLE: I guess there's just two kinds of people, Miss Sandstone: MY kind of people, and assholes. It's rather obvious which category you fit into. Have a nice day.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

War of the Worlds (Or, Tom's Hungry Power Bottom)

I went to see War of the Worlds last night with my friend Gustavo. The movie starts off exciting/scary enough...but the plot loses steam about an hour into it...opening up a mini-Pandora's box of unintentional hilarity. (Tim Robbins lurking in a basement is always a good time.) The best one of these scenes entailed Tom Cruise being sucked up into an alien space ship via a giant, red, juicy, seemingly-blood engorged, veiny, distended anus. Watching Tom getting slurped up and down by this sphinchtery thing, G. and I started laughing really hard.

"It's like a giant asshole." G. said through giggles.

"It looks like Tom is really into it too."

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

You Know You're Heartbroken When...

...an Avril Lavigne song can make you cry.

Dancing At the Lottery

So, I'm feeling bitter (see below) and am a little afraid of what I might write here today. This is something I wrote a long while ago, but the imagery is similar to what is stuck in my head now, after the living nightmare that was my Fire Island house's party.

His shoulders roll without him.
His body marks time without effort.
Felt up in a common fashion
By many other men,
He toys expensive symbols around his throat.
He sees me and refuses me.

But I would still give myself to him.
I would easily throw everything away
To hang there with those hack bangles
Around that massive graceful neck
Underneath that sweaty now transparent
T-shirt meant only as a suggestive prop
Which one lucky one will get to remove
And later pick up off of
His floor in the morning.

This is not my day at the lottery.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Words of Wisdom from Linda Marie

So, I still owe you readers of BV an entire recap of the events of my mom's June visit.

Before I get going on that front, here's a tidbit she just gave me (in regards to "The Longest Summer" below):

"Honey, you're my child. We respond to assholes the same way. Shit on me once - we're done. When there's shit involved, there are no second chances."

The Longest Summer

In lieu of a lengthy expose of the last two confusing months of my romantic life (long story: chasing the passive-agressive isn't really the best game for a Sagittarian), which I started writing, but ended up sounding horribly, cruelly bitter, here are the lyrics to Liz Phair's new song "Everything to Me":

I bet it makes you laugh
Watching me work so hard to reach you
You never gave a damn
About all of those things I did to please you
All that you wanted
You found somewhere else
And nothing could drag you
Away from yourself
Do you really know me at all?
Would you take the time
To catch me if I fall
Are you ever gonna be that real to me?
Everything to me?
Lucky I've been through Hell
Backroads and shortcuts
I know them well
Baby just stick with me
We'll make it together
Just wait and see
Do you really know me at all?
Would you take the time
To catch me if I fall
Are you ever gonna be that real to me?
Everything to me?
The walls they close in
The air it goes out
You left with nothing but the shadow of a doubt
Nobody talks
No one is here
It's just you and me
Do you really know me at all?
Would you take the time
To catch me if I fall
Are you ever gonna be that real to me?
Do you really know me at all?
Would you take the time
To catch me if I fall?
Are you ever gonna be that real to me?
Everything to me?
I bet it makes you laugh
Watching me work so hard to reach you

© 2005, Liz Phair

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Last Waltz (Or, the Trauma of the Gifted Child)

This was the first part of an essay I started writing about my relationship with my whiskey-swilling seventh grade English Teacher, Mrs. Waltz. I never quite got around to describing Mrs. Waltz...she's a much bigger character than Mrs. Stoner, who is featured here as what was meant to be a lead-in to the big W.

I have had many emotional love affairs with teachers. Some were highly inappropriate, some were devastating, and all were entirely in my head (the love parts were anyway). The first such dramatic pairing was my relationship with my passive aggressive kindergarden teacher Mrs. Stoner.

Yes, that really was her name.

Since she taught mostly 5 year-olds (with the occasional 6 year old and the rare, lanky needs-to-shave-but-can’t-sit-still-to-learn-yet 14 year-old), the loaded currency of her name was never to be claimed as outright comedy. She was able to sit in her classroom peacefully all day listening to the likes of “Yes, Mrs. Stoner” “Can I go to the bathroom, Mrs. Stoner?” and “Mrs. Stoner, I’m hungry and just ate Play-Dough” without the relentless, dazed heckling such a name would naturally accrue in the mid 1970s. I’m sure there were hoardes of bemused, half-stoned, smartass parents biting their tongue, but who in their right mind would dare do such a thing to a forty-year old doe-eyed seemingly sweet woman who weilded the power to advance their children to first grade or to keep them in half-day limbo again for another year.

Over the course of our time together, Mrs. Stoner and I fell in and out of love quite dramatically. I’m still not quite sure what happened. I think I got too big for my Sears Toughskin britches – the kind with the reinforced knee – for her mild midwestern tastes. She began to resent me.

Our love begain easily enough – I was a cute kid who could read and write relentlessly from the age of three who willfully hurled myself at any sort of education. I also showed up to the first class with my index finger permanently lodged deep in my right nostril, wailing like a siren, desperately clinging to the wavy polka-dotted rayon of my mother’s culhottes. Norman Rockwell couldn’t have made this picture any more damn poignant. Mrs. Stoner quite naturally fell hard for me. She gently convinced me to let go of my mother and join the ranks of the properly-socialized publically educated.

The turning point came sometime after Christmas. I had a nasty habit of being the class show-off and had completed the assignment “Write your first name down on this lined piece of paper” in five seconds flat and had raised my hand obnoxiously, proudly, anxiously in order to be released into the Reading Room, a cozy corner of the room that was lined with carpet remnants and bookshelves filled to capacity – also known as my little piece of heaven. I could hear the hiss of disdain from the other students when my hand went up with as much noise as double-ply polyester against velour could generate. I really didn’t care though since my favorite bougeoise-but-chic married hippos George and Martha were calling my name from the den of the reading corner. Who cared about being liked by other kids when George and Martha were making split pea soup together in their matching yellow and purple floral mu-mus?

“Yes, Trevor.” Mrs. Stoner called wearily as she slowly dragged herself over to the table where I was sitting. I was somewhat taken aback by her tone, but still eager and ready – waiting for the easy affirmation that I knew was soon to come.

I showed her my name, printed neatly in all-captials on the lined piece of paper. TREVOR it read in my signature style – the top of each R being tight circles, the acenders being coyly drawn askew –stylized in a manner that would seem “cute” for a 5 year old.

“Your Rs are a little off, Trevor.”

“Oh.” I replied partially rejected. I quickly rewrote my name, this time without the intentional stylization.

“Better.” Mrs. Stoner drawled back at me. “Can you try writing your last name too?”

Pissed at the veiled threat of her challenge, I quickly and succinctly write all eleven of the letters needed to comprise my surname MESSERSMITH onto the page next to TREVOR. This time, no frills, no cutesiness – just straightforward, by the books handwriting.

“Ok. Do you know any lowercase letters yet?” She stated to me, almost bored. How dare she! I thought. The rest of these kids are scrawling their names all over the page like crazed cave people trying to start fires. John E. the kid next to me, couldn’t even hold his pencil properly and was carving a weird pagan symbol into the lacquered surface of the table. Mrs. Stoner, it seemed, had tired of my shenanigans and was doing everything in her power to keep me from my new best friends for five minutes, the haughty hippos George and Martha.

“Yes, I do, Mrs. Stoner.” I snarled at her and chugged out the 17 letters needed to produce my name methodically in a tight but crude lowercase Helvetica. I looked up at her, waiting for the appraisal I had yet to receive – the golden passport to the reading room. Still unimpressed, Mrs. Stoner stood there silently, reviewing my lowercase lettering. The bitch hadn’t even taught us that yet. I was stunned at her sloth in releasing me from the shackles of her regular teaching.

“I can try it in cursive too if you’d like.” I said to her too sweetly. I smiled at her with such cute resolve, she finally caved.

“Fine. Trevor, you can go to the Reading Room now.” She blurted without passion. Mrs. Stoner could barely look at me at this point. She moved to another star student named Meredith, who had just then finished her all-caps rendition of her first name.

“Wow!” She exclaimed. “Meredith, you did a great job! Why don’t you go join Trevor in the Reading Room.” Meredith was an out-loud reader and had a horribly extreme lisp that could turn the song “Wells Fargo Wagon” from “The Music Man”, a naturally lisp-worthy vehicle, into a 45 minute sonic nightmare not even the most compassionate parent would be able to sit through. I knew Meredith would turn my sojorn in the Reading Room into being stuck as a shocked audience to a complex aria sung by the tone deaf.

Quite simply, Mrs. Stoner was fucking with me.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

An Artist At Work (A Short Film from 1999)

I’m supposed to be a photographer. That’s what I’m supposed to be. It shouldn’t be that hard right? I have training, an education and live in a city nearly fully peopled with such beings.

Well, right now I fucking hate it.

Not just hate it. Crazy hate it.

All I can think about is how I can turn any one of my many cameras-- those constant commenting tormentors into a planter, or a handbag or maybe even - better yet – a urinal.

Why not? At least it will have to stay in one place and have some resemblance of a utilitarian function. Not to just sit there teasing me. Taunting me.

What’s my problem anyway?

Well, it’s like this: it’s too much work. That stupid camera’s just a little machine that just wants to fuck with me. Why did I ever want to do this anyway? Why did I choose photography as my medium – the channel for a muse? There’s just too much work involved. And I’m just not that into it. Sure, there’s Polaroid you say. Sure, there’s digital you squeal. There’s options for the perpetually lazy such as me.

But think about other creative pursuits.

Like Dance.

I could have been a dancer. How hard is that? You get up, run around, jump a little, then go back to sleep. All of your friends will be fabulous or rich or at the very least, thin. Plus--you won’t ever have to go to the gym anymore, saving time and money--leading to the possibility of more sleep.

But hey, I forgot something.

Dancers don’t make any money.

Like at all.

So in between jumping around and pileating and hanging out with all my fabulously thin, hollow-eyed friends, I’d have to work.

Like a dog.

Not even a lazy dog--I’d have to work like one of those crazy ass white fang freakout kind of dogs that drag those overweight bulldykes across the tundra for sport.

OK, so dancing is out. But what about acting?

That’s even easier--no jumping, no running. Just lines, lines, lines. Those little white lines that blow you away. Oh, and some memorizing too. Wow. Actors have it all--no overhead, no exercise, just speaking words someone else--who’s more creative and possibly less paid--is compelled to write for you.

Unless they make you do that icky improvisation stuff where you do have to be creative.

Shit. This is a lot harder than I thought.

Plus, as with dancing, there’s that whole money thing again. Instead of working like a dog--I’d have to work like a waiter. Or a retail whore. Or a hustler. Or an investment banker.

Hey, wait a minute--rewind. Hustler. Hmmmmm...illegal...
challenging...glamorous...Plus, I’d get acting skills to boot.

I’d be just like Jane Fonda in Klute. I could have some fabulous shag, a great apartment and not one, but two stalkers – a resonably attractive police detective and a more alluring crazyass freak into heavy breathing and peeping at me while I try on sequined gowns late at night. Better yet, I could be like one of those best supporting actress types all hookered up for momentary success like Mira Sorvino or Kim Basinger or Danny DeVito.

So acting goes on the list!

What else did I forget to take in college? Painting. Oh yes (SHOW HOUSE PAINTERS) the most admirable of arts! I could show and sell my fabulous works and have friends like Peggy Guggenheim to buy me art supplies, subscriptions to Elle Decor for color research and Jil Sander suits to wear while I’m painting. Ahh yes. Painting sounds wonderful. If only my parents’ last names were Rockefeller and Vanderbilt I’d be good to go.

But alas, without these names, or at the very least some kind of bad ass white trash reputation or even some kind of glamorous communicable disease I may never make it. I may just have to move to Florida and sell my expressionistic renderings of seahorses at some abandoned gas station.

So unless I marry well or suddenly wake up one morning without taste (ME AND SEAHORSES) ixnay on the aintingpay.

What’s left?

Sculpture? Too hard.

Performance art? Too over.

Macramé? Too involved and emotionally taxing.

Is it back to acting already? So soon!

Oh wait--what about music? There is the cost of an instrument and lessons. But hey, that never stopped some people (SHOW JENNIFER LOPEZ, BACKSTREET BOYS) I could sing, dance AND act! I could be like the great all around entertainers of old (SHOW CHER, RAQUEL WELCH, RIP TAYLOR)

So that’s it. Instead of photography--it’s superstardom baby! It’s all just too easy. I’ll just call my manager, my agent, my personal assistant, my attorney, my masseuse: “Book the big room baby! Mama’s on her way home!”

Shit. I guess I should put out a record or something first.

Is that harder than photography? I guess it is...at least until the day my own private bloated, power-hungry Colonel – like the one Elvis had - strides himself into my life. (SHOW COLONEL SANDERS)

So it’s back to me. “Me and Photography and Elvis” the book Prysila Presley never wrote.

Did I mention that I haven’t taken a real photograph in nearly ten years? Oops. I guess I should. There you go. Now you know how truly madly deeply lazy I truly madly deeply am. Did I mention that after graduation I sold out and got bourgeoise faster than Madame Bovary. Who needs suffering when there’s a sale at Pottery Barn?

Anyway, I threw myself into the then-blossoming world of the internet so fast it made heads spin. I was like Ronnie Sue Marie Tyler, the 17 year old girl everyone knows and loves--who has an eighth grade education a bikini and a heart of gold who falls off the bus in LA wanting desperately to showcase her talents only to be shot out the ass end of the porn industry--to later achieve clout by acting in those movies on Cinemax.

Whoa. Where did this take us! Ronnie Sue Marie Tyler! Get back on that bus and get yourself back to Arkansas this very instant!

Anyway, like po’ Ronnie Sue Marie, I got shot out the ass end of the computer industry to end up at Harvard. Not just Harvard--Harvard Business School. Where I excelled at the art of male impersonation: “Yeah man! How ‘bout them Red Nicks! I mean them White Expo-surs...”

Uhh..anyway, so here I am. With this fucking camera that I want to pee in (remember--hello? wake up people I’m talking!) And now it’s time to work.

No more dancing.

No more acting.

No more painting or sculpture or performance art or music or superstardom.

Just pictures.

That’s all.

I know! I’ll start with a self-portrait. Or maybe I’ll...I’ll...I’ll fold socks. For six hours. Or trim my nose hair into a festive holiday pattern. Oh, I know I’ll plan a party where I can force all of my creative friends to find things for me to photograph.

No better yet: I’ll photograph parties. Just like Nan Goldin. I can get drunk, get high get supermotherfucking high and then take pictures. Or screw. Or flirt. Or flirt with my friend’s boyfriend. Or screw my best friend’s boyfriend. Wow! This is the life I’ve been looking for!

Oh wait...what about those goddamned pictures! Fuck.I got all loaded, ready to go, and now--blah--no pictures. But I did get a few phone numbers, some great pate and a new blouse. It wasn’t all bad--it just wasn’t art.

Wait, I know. I can call those boys I met and ask them to pose for me! Yeah! They can come over get all oiled up and greasy and then wham-O! Art art art! Isn’t that how all my idols do it anyway? yeah, boys, boys, boys. Art art art. Money money money.

But what would my parents think? Wouldn’t this put me down low--like poor Ronnie Sue Marie Tyler? Wouldn’t I just be another service provider like a waiter, retail whore or hustler?

Hey wait a minute! I’m becoming an actor again!

But isn’t all art all creativity about the same thing anyway (SHOW GUY MASTURBATING) So, it’s back to hustling--I mean acting.

No c’mon. I can do this. I did in college after all--where rolling over to refill my bong was a big deal. I’m all grown up all right. I can do this. I just need a minute. Or 10.

Hey smoking is such a fabulous hobby--how about that? And another drink? Fuck.

Friday, August 05, 2005

A Window to 14 Years Ago

On Seeing My Father Nude
I sat below among the tile of your
Bespotted chamber. I gazed up at you–
So bare–my father’s flesh revealed to me.
Your chest, well rounded, curved around the spine
Of strength you were. Then, I loved you too well.
Ashamed, you turned to hide yourself from my
All-wanting eyes. But it was far too late.
I’d made my claim upon your flesh–that which
I knew was mine. Your back to me, I crawled
Within your sultry soul. I thought I saw
You tremble softly–maybe it was cold.
The towel around now covered you from my
Breathtaken view. It was not you I sought
Beyond–but the sameness of sex I felt.
That day undressed more than you’d ever know,
Your nude brought forth a burning, fevered force–
One that you, bare among those “true,” fierce men
Most likely harbored cold beneath your skin,
Afraid to feel the whole of what you were.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Sometimes, All You Need is a Napkin (Or, I Think I'm in Love Again)

Thanks to Bob, I got to see Liz Phair's acoustic set last night at Joe's Pub. I'm a professed junkie, so she could have played anything and I would have been apeshit. The crowd was half older, staid types (who politely listened and nodded along to the music) and half off the hook girly girls, a sonic wall of "woowoos" and off-color remarks. In person, LP is one hot tamale; she's got stems for days. Rob and I were seriously considering heterosexuality at key points in the evening (most notably perhaps, once she reaches the climax of "Flower" when she sings: "I'll fuck you till your dick is blue.")

Here's what I remember of her playlist:

Polyester Bride
Baby Got Going
Extraordinary
Black Market White Babies
Perfect World
Mesmerizing
Divorce Song
Flower
Little Digger
Supernova
Never Said
Why Can't I?
Fuck and Run

There were a few extras (new songs, B-sides) that I don't know the names of...all in all though, I was in heaven. Her stage presence was delightfully frank and the best kind of Midwestern-attitude-in-necessary-exile.

Liz is always a summertime thing...

Summer of 1994: Just moved to Boston from college. "Exile in Guyville" never left my CD player. At the end of that summer, WFNX (perhaps the only good thing about Boston) played "Supernova" every hour on the hour.

Summer of 1998: A delirious, booze-drenched summer in Boston. "Whitechocolatespaceegg" carried me through many a depressing "Fuck and Run" hangover at work.

Summer of 2003: "Liz Phair" was my soundtrack to two weeks visiting my ailing mother in Ohio. I would blast the CD in my parents car, barrelling down backroads and highways. In a time of what I now see as astonishing despair, the album really helped.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I Think I'm in Love


This might be late in the game, but I'm head over heels in love with Sarah Silverman. She stole The Aristocrats, hands down. Just prior to the screening of The Aristocrats, there was also an insane trailer for the movie version of her show Jesus Is Magic. There's an abridged version of the clip here.

A quote of hers: "People are always introducing me as 'Sarah Silverman, Jewish comedienne.' I hate that. I wish people would see me for who I really am - I'm white."

(She's a fellow Sagittarian to boot. Clearly.)

Hold the Press...Who is That?

As seen on the Lower East Side, two weeks ago...my friend Tamara stopping traffic on Delancy Street.

More Than Words

My new assistant Sharla, shown here with TV star Valerie Cherish.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Beach Blanket Euro

Lifted from the screenplay of my life, circa August 2003:

ROBERT: God, you know, I haven't been to the beach at all this summer.

(Cut to: close-up of me, thinking...)

TREVOR (voiceover): Didn't homegirl just get back from the Mediterranean?

I clear my throat, roll my eyes and mentally prepare the smartass smack-down. ROBERT, sensing this, quickly changes course, veering head on into a far better punchline than I could ever have concocted on my own.

ROBERT: Well...there was Greece and Marseilles. But, I mean, I haven't been to any of the New York beaches.