Friday, September 30, 2005

The Semi-Greatest Story Ever Told (Or, That's Right, Bitch.)

This past winter in Los Angeles, my friend Lucas took a friend of his out to dinner at Koi, a newish hot spot. Lucas' friend was all moist for celebrity sightings, and the place seemed to fit the bill in that regard. Upon entering, they saw Jason Lewis (a.k.a. Smith Jerrod from Sex and the City), so he figured the night would fulfill the needs of his friend.

When they were finally seated, the hostess brought them over to a two-person table nestled right next to a large circular table that appeared to be reserved for a large party.

Halfway through drinks and appetizers, Paris Hilton and entourage entered the restaurant and took up court at the large table next to Lucas and his friend.

As luck would have it, Paris was seated directly behind Lucas. Their chairs were back-to-back.

Lucas kept it together as best he could during the course of the meal. As they were about to leave, a group of waiters came over to Paris' table, candled-up birthday cake in hand.

They were singing "Happy Birthday."

To Paris.

After the singing died down and the birthday cake was on its way to the temporary home of said set of bulemic stomachs, Lucas broke down and spoke to le Paris:

LUCAS: "Paris, is it really your birthday?"

Barely half turning to face him, Paris replied over her shoulder:

PARIS: "That's right, bitch."

LUCAS: "21 again?"

PARIS: "That's right, bitch."

LUCAS: "Well, if it's really your birthday, happy birthday!"

PARIS: "Thanks, bitch."

Thursday, September 29, 2005


A certain rock star, as photographed recently in Manhattan.

That's right, bitch!

A Flying Giant Friction Blast

In college we were bored a lot. Whenever there was a distraction that was needed to be had, there just wasn't one to be found. We were in the middle of Nowhere, Upstate New York in all of its unpopulous, rural splendor.

When the weather was bad and no one had access to a car or drugs or booze, activities arose that are now hard to explain.

For example:

One day two friends of mine took it upon themselves to create a sexual organization chart of the entire school. It was a giant map of "who-fucked-who-and-who-fucked-whos."

Since there were only about a thousand students at the college, such a map could certainly be completed given the time and stockpile of gossip and hearsay available.

Again, we were in the middle of nowhere.

Think Peyton Place with early 1990s art school shenanigans.

(Yes, once there was a rave on campus.)

In the sexual org chart, each person's name was in a circle - lines were drawn out from each name, each connection of names was an indication of a sexual encounter.

Some more timid or monogamous students were asteroids orbiting the rest of the population with a single line tying them to the map.

Others who were, let's say, more popular, were fucking supernovas with flurries of lines exploding out of them.

One such supernova was nicknamed "Walking V.D." - he reeked of sex and just looking in his direction could give you chlamydia.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Bitchcast 2: The Next Day

Lucas still says it was all my fault and loves to tell people that I just hauled off and smacked his bitch up for little or no reason, like I was Alexis Carrington just after I discovered my maid's husband's brother's cousin's chauffeur sleeping with my ex-husband's ex-wife's ex-fiancee's ex-girlfiend's ex-husband.

Emergency Bitchcast System

I was once out drinking - heavily - with my friends Max and Lucas. Lucas was riding me about how many guys I have slept with and what a 'ho I was at the time.

It went something like this:

LUCAS: Slut. Slut. Slut. You're a slut, slut, slut.
ME: Shut up.
LUCAS: Whore. Whore. Whore. You're a whore, whore, whore.
ME: Bitch, I said can it.
LUCAS: 'Ho. 'Ho. 'Ho. Is it Christmas already? Because when I look at you, all I hear is 'ho, 'ho, 'ho.

We left the bar and the jingles continued, much to the amusement of Lucas. The three of us got in a cab. I was riding the hump in the middle of the backseat between Lucas and Max.

LUCAS: I'm just going to call you Miss Sure from now on. Miss Sure Thing.
ME: OK, Lucas. You know I'm over this and this is your last warning.
LUCAS: What, bitch?
ME: That's right. If you say I'm a slut one more time, I will fucking slap you in the face.
LUCAS: Really?
ME: That's right, bitch.
LUCAS: For real?
ME: That's right, bitch.
LUCAS: Are you really sure? Are you really really really sure? You slut, slut, slut?

The ample warning ignored, I wound up and gave Lucas the righteous bitchslap that I promised him. Lucas flung away in shock, holding his cheek in awe. His demeanor now one befitting the innocent.

LUCAS: I can't believe you hit me!
ME: You were warned.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Pussy Galore

One hot July Saturday night, way back when, my friend Max was celebrating his twenty-something birthday at a small Cuban restaurant. Our party was an unruly crowd of loud, and now, I realize, young 'mos who had been drinking, um, all day.

Carrying on in public in that particular way that only the extremely intoxicated can muster, we were swapping stories and screaming at each other across the table. Each member of the fifteen or so of us were clamoring for the spotlight.

At one point, Max, the birthday girl, whelped the never camera shy term of endearment "PUSSY!" at the top of his lungs.

The restaurant, quite naturally, fell silent.

After a moment or two, the other diners when back to their business, while Max continued the business of being loud.

"Ssssh...Max," I whispered to him with my own tequilla-laden tongue. "You better keep it down."

Max swiveled to me, all sorts of drunken grande dame in action.

"Whatdoyoumean?" He said without pausing for syllabication.

"I mean, don't scream PUSSY again."

Perhaps subconsciously I knew what my seemingly innocent statement would bring out in Max.

"Don't you shush me, bitch." Max started. "It's my goddamn birthday. I can say PUSSY if I want to."

Oh no.

"PUSSY. PUSSY. PUSSY!" Max wailed at the top of his lungs.

The restaurant fell silent again. The faces of the other diners were torqued in disgust.

Our drunken party laughed in a sort of collective proud horror.

The owner of the restaurant then scurried over to us with a bemused smirk on his face.

Max turned to him and said: "Sorry honey. Are we too loud?"

Before he had a chance to answer, another partier at our table asked:

"Are we the people your mother warned you about?"

"Unfortunately," he said, "You're the people she was hanging out with."

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Bitch, Why's It So Damn Hot Outside?

What is going on?

I know I shouldn't bitch too much about the beauty of the weather these days...

But...I loves me some Fall.

And, I wouldn't mind being able to turn off my air conditioner.

I'm still wearing shorts. It's almost October.

I'm starting to fear that I'm breaking some unruly post-Labor Day rule, trucking around in said shorts, and that Kathleen Turner as Beverly Sutphin from Serial Mom is lurking around a desperate Chelsea corner ready to bash in my face with the heel of a seasonally appropriate pump. To make matters worse, the shorts are from Aberzombie and Bitch.

They were a gift, I swear.

I have had some cloned out moments for sure, but I have never purchased anything from the joint.

Besides, any time I have been close to the Aberzombie store in Manhattan way way way downtown in the foodcourt-a-riffic South Street Seaport, all I can think about is eating at Pizzeria Uno like it's 1989 and I'm still a clueless high schooler.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Am I Californian?

I am a confessed astrology junkie.

I have had my chart done.

I know - too well - where all of my planets lie and what houses they fall in.

I read a few daily astrology websites like a maniac.

I cannot get any gayer.

A few years ago, my friend Joelle, also another astro-'ho and fellow Sagittarian, and I got on the subject of astrology and a certain website ( that we both avidly read. At the time, the universe was shitting its brains out on our sign and Susan Miller, the author of said site, was not afraid to give us the real deal about what was happening.

Typical entries from her read something like:

"Remember last month when I told you to hold on until next month? Well, I'm afraid this month is worse. I was afraid to tell you since last month was so bad."

"Remember last year when I told you to hold on until next year? Well, I'm afraid this year is so much worse. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, dear Sadge. When Pluto leaves your sign in 2007, you will be through all of this."

And so on and so on and so on.

Now, Joelle and I, both attempting to seek solace in the ridiculous, were upset by being denied some sort of reprieve from reality. We started joking around about Susan Miller's "too real" attitude (like "can't the bitch just lie a little!") and were over taken by the spirit of Valerie Solaris, as played by Lili Taylor in I Shot Andy Warhol:

In Valerie's gruff Brooklyn accent, I exclaimed:

"Yeah, I shot Susan Miller. I had to. She had too much control over my life."

Sad, and true.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Deeper and Deeper (Or, Additional Lyrics By Shakti Gawain)

I saw Thumbsucker tonight. In lieu of a review, I will elaborate on a joke in the film. At one point, the main character is hypnotized by his hippie orthodontist as an attempt to curtain his constant thumbsucking. During the hypnosis, the thumbsucker is asked to imagine and call upon a fictional "power animal" as a way to empower himself and stop sucking his thumb.

Did I mention the film is set on the West Coast?

I was thinking about the scene on the walk home from the theater. I asked myself: what would my power animal be, if I had to choose one? As I thought of sexy, tough creatures that would help me out in a crisis, I just started to laugh. In this imagining, my power animal appeared to me, emerging from the Subway station at the corner of 18th and 7th.

My power animal is Madonna.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

A Not So Former Look (Or, Wigstock For Men)

Nearly three years ago, I headed to D.C. to visit my friend Lucas and his boyfriend for Thanksgiving. At the time, I was sporting what jaded friends of mine referred to as a "convict chic" look; my head was completely shaved and, due to the early winter weather, I was frequently tucked into a black motorcycle jacket. (Others, clearly more jaded, called it my "Extra-in-the-cast-of-OZ-getting-gang-banged-in-the-background" look).

I had just shaved my head - nearly bald with a #1 guard - the morning I left for Washington.

Lucas had promised to pick me up at Union Station the morning I arrived. I got off the train, walked off the platform and proceeded to wander through the belly of the train station's main hall - a flurry of balconies and blandly inviting chain stores.

Passing under a balcony through a crowd of holiday shoppers, I heard the wail of Lucas' larger than life voice from above:


The previously uninterrupted flow of harried shoppers stopped suddenly midstream to peer up toward the sound of the catcall. I had no other option but to stop and turn to face my friend. The crowd collectively turned to recognize me as the Lady In Question.

Lucas, waving like a madman, only grinned a shit-eating grin.

"Oh, hey girl!" he shouted through giggles.

I could do only what is expected in such a situation.

Looking up at Lucas, I smirked, shook my head and mouthed the word "bitch."

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Meatballs (Or, Gimme Gimme Gimme Some Ham After Midnight)

An ode to meatballs:

Hot, dark, delicious
Lightly fried, how do I love?
In sauce or berries

Yes, despite the annoying humidity, fall is here and the time is right for splitting at the seams. Pants, that is.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Overlapping Flapping

As recalled from the Summer of 2003:

ME: Don't you remember, it was that day I was so hungover and bitchy?

TORREY: Sounds like every day to me.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Tales From The Disco Barn (Part 1979)

Setting: in front of a set of closed stall doors in the women's restroom of the Pavilion, Fire Island:


ANNOUNCER: In ten seconds or less: name that sound!

Is it:

A. Bianca Jagger at Studio 54, trying to keep it together after too many quaaludes.

B. Liz Taylor at Studio 54, trying not to eat the ham sandwhich tucked in the folds of her Halston muumuu, reeling from the quaalude Bianca Jagger slipped her.

C. Nan Kempner at Studio 54, trying to get her weight back down to 87 pounds for another French Vogue photo shoot.

Needless to say kids: you're all winners!!!

Apologies to Ms. Kempner, who passed away July 3, 2005. She was my kind of broad.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Goodbye to All That

Taken this weekend, my last on Fire Island:

Early Morning Bitchery (Or, My Pretty Pony)

As recalled from a very hungover Sunday morning, uh, very recently:

ROBERT: I want to go to India. I want to go to Berlin. I want to go to Madrid and Barcelona. Then, I want to go on a hot ski trip. I want hot new ski clothes. Do you want to go shopping for hot new ski clothes with me?

ME: Yeah, right after I buy myself a unicorn.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Nellie, Nellie. You, I Can Turn To. (Or, Change the World)

Oh what should I say
What should I pray
Who would care if I went ahead
And punched the wall
Oh what do I care
What should I wear
What do I care
What does it matter
If I change the world at all

I listen to some rap
I give myself a slap
Come on use the pain
Drink up from the rain
Just arise unsupervised
Healthy wealthy you know wise
Dance around
Make a sound
Let yourself become unwound
God, I'm so German
Have to have a plan
Please Ethel Merman help me out this jam
Ding a ling
Ring a ding
Anything just do something
Feelin' dense
On the fence
Civil disobedience
Come on now's the hour
Go and deviate
Can't you feel the power
Hope you appreciate

OK Dr. Phil
Ready for my pill
Flex my psychic muscle
Guess we'd better hustle
People are dying now
Do something you ugly cow
Sorry for myself again
Me, my wallet and my men
Jesus I love you
Frank I love you, too
Hit the road together
Get out of the zoo
No exit
Just a pit
Apocalyptic and a zit
Hurry now
Pack your bags
Adieu you mall scallawags
Got my sneakers velcroed
Snap my bookbag on
Goodbye little zipcode
How can I go wrong

©2005 Nellie McKay

Sunday, September 11, 2005

4x4 (Or, Why I Am Here.)

To memorialize the fourth anniversary of the September 11th attacks on New York, here are tributes to four of my favorite films in which New York is more than a setting - it is a fully realized, living, breathing character. All of these movies had a major impact on my life as a young man, specifically as a young man aching to be a part of a larger world. New York, a world unto itself, the capital of the 20th Century, was the gateway to that world. These films were glimpses to me from afar, in four distinct decades, to the character of a place I had yet to become a part of. Now that I'm a New Yorker, these stories still resonate with all of what I now know, all of what I can remember and the potential of what is to come.

Killer's Kiss
(1955, Dir: Stanley Kubrick)
A gritty, film noir version of New York in the 1950s. Shot throughout the city in stunning high-contrast black and white. One of Kubrick's first films after leaving his first profession as a press photographer. Of note because it was shot on location, something Kubrick refused to do late in his career. (All of his later films where hot in Pinewood Studios outside of London, no matter the setting of the film's story.) The film takes place in a single night; seeing Times Square portrayed here is unabashedly, lyrically grimy. I first saw this film as a photography student in my first year of college. I had already been to New York, but hadn't ever seen or experienced it like this.

Midnight Cowboy
(1969, Dir: John Schlesinger)
New York as late 1960s sex nightmare. Sexy Texan Joe Buck hits the road from Nowhere, USA to make it big in The Big City as a male prostitute. Little does he know that everyone else is on the grift, playing harder and faster than he's ever able to. Sylvia Miles is perfect as one of his first clients, who ends up scamming him out of five bucks. Also of note is the Warhol-Factory era style party in which real Warhol superstars revel blankly. Most shocking aspect of this film: it won the Best Picture Oscar in 1969, the only X-Rated film ever to do so. It is a hard, perfect glimpse at a New York that no longer exists. I first saw this film in high school. I'll refrain from writing about all of the sex scenes with Jon Voight, which may have been the impetus for me seeing it in the first place. I had a sixth sense for sniffing out films with extended male nudity.

(1979, Dir: Woody Allen)
The best of Woody Allen's neurotic, 1970s comedies, Manhattan is as funny as it is visually breathtaking. The intertwining character arcs soar, the romance is laced with both hope and bitterness and the laughs don't get any better. Diane Keaton has one of the film's best lines, when confronted walking after dinner with some inappropriate sex talk, she explains: "Oh, no. I'm not talking about that. I'm from Philadelphia. We don't do that." Meryl Streep, in one of her first film roles, is downright glorious. I saw the poster for this in an old school movie theater when I was a kid. I was hooked immediately. I finally saw it during a 9th grade Woody Allen binge/obsession. When my parents got a VCR was fully liberated.

Desperately Seeking Susan
(1985, Dir: Susan Seidelman)
If I were any more pretensious and precious about movies than I already am, I would list Susan Seidelman's earlier film Smithereens instead, which was way gritter and way, way, way less seen than this movie. Of course, Desperately Seeking Susan is the Madonna movie, but it is also the only movie that Madonna actually acts in. OK, I won't fag out too much here, but I remember going to see this with my step-sister when I was in 7th grade. My step-sister was in full-on Madonna Wannabe drag and she completely ignored me once we entered the theater. I, of course, was in full-on rapture mode. The New York seen in this movie is a cleaned-up and commericalized version of the East Village of the late 1970s/early 1980s. It still is though a gritty and exciting place to see on screen. Crime was everywhere, SoHo was a dump and Hell, of course, was still New Jersey. Still a good time, all these years later.

The Daytrippers
(1996, Dir: Greg Mottola)
Yo, Parker Posey has to pop up here somehow. The ultimate Day After Thanksgiving Movie, a genre as yet surface as a major film comment category.

Good times. Good times.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Ba De Ya, Dancing In September

As dispatched from the West side of Manhattan, this week.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Marriage Of Maria Querelle

This is ancient. And in German. This blog is starting to feel like masturbating in public while eating a footlong chili dog.

Die Ehe der Maria Querelle
Ein Filmstuck von Rainer Werner Fassbinder

dramatis personae:
Rainer Werner Fassbinder--Herr Regisseur
Maria Braun
Querelle de Brest
Bette Davis
Rock Hudson

ein raum--wie ein traum--ohne farbe--ohne zeit

FASSBINDER: Wer sind meine Leute?? Ich bin Herr Regisseur. Meine Worten sind Gott! Wer sind meine Leute?? Herr Querelle--warum siehst du sehr krank aus??
QUERELLE: Ich weiss nicht. Ich mochte ein Frau die ein Mann ist.
MARIA BRAUN: Ach, du mochest mich auch. Ich bin die Mata Hari von der....
QUERELLE: Ich weiss. Halz mal, bitte. Ich mochte Fassbinder mitsprechen, weil ich will sein nachste Liebling sein.
MARIA BRAUN: Hahahahaha. Du bist ein bisschen dumm--Herr Queerlein.
QUERELLE:Mein Name ist Querelle de Brest danke schon. Ich bin Franzosich--ein besser Mensch als dich. Die Deutsche Sexbombe von Scheissland.
BETTE DAVIS: Ach, du bist sehr dumm. Wirklich, leibling. Du bist ein bisschen fleischvoll vor ein Franzosiche Mann. Ich glaube du bist der Mann Ich mochte.
QUERELLE: Wenn du ein Schwanz hat, dann bin ich heiss. Du, leibling, bist nur eine Frau.
BETTE DAVIS: Aber ich habe ein Schwanz grosser als dich, meinE Herrlein.
FASSBINDER(in die Ecke mit Drogen und Alkohol): Kommt doch, Querelle, ich habe Zucker fur dich.
ROCK HUDSON (an die Tur): Hier bin ich. Und ich bin sein.
QUERELLE UND FASSBINDER: Wirklich!?? Kommen Sie herein.
BETTE DAVIS: Kommen Sie herein, Herr Rocklein.
ROCK HUDSON: Hier bin ich und ich bin sein.
MARIA BRAUN: Ich bin heiss, ich mochte DU. Jetzt, bitte.
ROCK HUDSON: Hier bin ich und ich bin sein.
QUERELLE: Ich bin sein. Und du bist mein.
FASSBINDER: Ich bin mein. Und du bist mein.
BETTE DAVIS: Geh weg, Fettecke! Ich bin das Madchen des Rockleins. Geh weg Queerlein. Er ist mein.
FASSBINDER: Aber, du hat es vergessen, Herr Bette. Ich bin Herr Regisseur. Und du sind nicht jetzt.
(Bette Davis ist kaput.)
ROCK HUDSON: Ich bin sein. Du bist mein.
ROCK HUDSON: Ich bin sein.
(Maria Braun ist kaputt.)
FASSBINDER: Du muss uns aufwachsen.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Hairstyles of the Young and Famous (Or, Nice Moves, Teague. Nice Moves.)

My friend Kevin and his hair are famous; this was in the Style section of last Thursday's Times. (He's the cute one dead center).

This cut was brought to you by Mrs. Britney Jean Spears Federline at Oscar Bond Salon, SoHo.

For No Good Reason (Or, Suddenly, Last Summer)

Well, thankfully this summer is now to be known as last summer.

It was long.

It was hot.

It was as over-acted as a junior high school play.

It is over.

So, here are the lyrics to the appropriately maudlin song "Suddenly, Last Summer" by The Motels:

It happened one summer, it happened one time
It happened forever, for a short time
A place for a moment, an end to dream
Forever I loved you, forever it seemed

One summer never ends, one summer never began
It keeps me standing still, it takes all my will
And then suddenly last summer
Sometimes I never leave, but sometimes I would
Sometimes I stay too long, sometimes I would
Sometimes it frightens me, sometimes it would
Sometimes I'm all alone and wish that I could

And then suddenly last summer
Until suddenly last summer...

And now, for no good reason, a quote The Opposite of Sex:

My mother was the kind of mother who always said she was her daughter's best friend. Whenever she did, I thought, "Great, not only do I have a shitty mother, but my best friend's a loser bitch."

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

In September, The Light Changes (Or, Scenes from the Class Struggle in Hudson, New York)

This past Labor Day weekend, I had an amazing, relaxing time upstate. I stayed in Hudson, which is becoming quite the destination these days (well, for being in the middle of the luxuriously rural East bank of the Hudson River, anyway - and, also comparing it to where it was 10 years ago, it's downright unbelievable). I read a lot, took pictures and wrote like a fiend. It was a great way to end the summer and get back down to it.

September is always a pivotal month. So many things change. Things snap back into place. The air and the light shift. I always feel oddly ready and engaged when September comes.

Monday, September 05, 2005

And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor

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This message was brought to you in part by The Friends of 227. Additional support was provided by the Sandra Clark Foundation for Underdeveloped Whoary Humor and the JackeƩ Harris Memorial Society.