Thursday, December 27, 2007

This is hard

How do you people do this? How do you have enough time/energy to constantly blog? I work six days a week not in front of a computer. I totally suck at this. I'd rather be topless and covered in tinsel on Christmas Eve or curled up in the fetal position comatose from mashed potatoes or driving four dudes to New Jersey in a big black creeper van while they pass a joint on the way to mom's house or singing Bohemian Rhapsody during karaoke with the red-faced, shit-faced general manager of Barneys at Grand Central Station.

The holidays have been good to this Jew. Full stories to come. Oh god, and pictures too.

Here's a preview:

Christmas Eve

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

quote of the day

"She only thinks I'm hot because she met me on Spring Street"
-Tyson "Too Drunk to Shop" Kube

God bless having the gayest straight man ever for a best friend.

Back Down South

I never finished with Georgia.

Hippie Camp, the Hostel in the Forest, was amazing and brought me a weird sense of peace. It was a perfect homebase for a vacation without any tangible destination. All I had was a plan, to go to Cumberland Island one of the days I was there. Otherwise, it was blank. I knew nothing of Brusnwick, the nearest town nor did I have any notion of driving up to Savannah. So the first morning I got up and drove.

I found out that all thrift stores in Brunswick are closed on Saturdays and that barrel fires still happen outside of Detroit. I also developed an unhealthy affinity for the Buckeyes sold at Cracker Barrel (and an unhealthy affinity for Cracker Barrel in general.) After driving around Brunswick for about an hour I picked a direction on the highway and after a few turnoffs ended up at a "regional park" in the middle of nowhere.

Nowhere, Georgia

There were a bunch of trucks parked in the lot and the oldest gas pumps I have ever seen, presumably for boats. There was a sign that said "No Alcohol or Profanity" and a covered podium with a confederate flag as the backdrop where several men were hanging out. This unnerved me more than the black men carrying around their fishing gear. Northerners are easily shocked I guess. I felt immediately out of place. All around Georgia I was sticking out like a sore thumb. You wouldn't think a dark-haired, fair-skinned white woman would be an oddity but apparently I was. I covered up my tattoos when I was out wandering too, they got me far too much attention as the only other tattooed folk milling around that part of the country were bikers, and Christian ones at that.

Nowhere Georgia

Nowhere, Georgia

I bailed early because I wanted to get back to the hostel before dark and before dinner. It got so dark so early that after 6 pm I could barely see my way around the forest without a flashlight and by 7 I was completely dependent on it in order to get to my bunk.

It was Saturday night and the hostel was way more full that the previous night. Several children were running around and a skinny man with glasses I didn't recognize had staked out my former reading spot in the main room and the mountain man I'd seen wandering around shirtless and barefoot that morning when I'd gotten up to get on the road was still shirtless and barefoot on the couch. The couple from Tampa was still around and started chatting with me about our respective days. I obliged, they were nice, but I didn't feel like talking much with anyone. I just wanted to eat, read, then sleep. The second dinner bell rang and we all gathered in the screen porch. The first night they fed us a green salad, tamale pie, white bean succotash, potato soup and rice pudding. The second night we were served chili over homemade buckwheat noodles, sauteed squash and onions and garlic bread. All the wheat was grown and ground on premesis and while the noodles were a little ill advised, the bread was incredible.

After dinner I retired to read on the couch while a drum circle ensued around the fire out back. I will go great lengths to avoid a drum circle and I cringed every time one of my fellow travellers came into the front room to test out more drums to bring out back. A hobo looking fellow with a Creole accent so thick he was unintellible took hold of the didgeridoo. He was about 5'6" and was wearing all black with a crumpled top hat and slacks so wide-legged they looked like a skirt. This solidified my post reading on the couch even though Jim, the mountain man, had taken up the other end and kept moving his bare feet towards mine. He was staying in the lower level of the peacock hut with the skinny man in glasses, below where I had slept the night before. The skinny man told me they had gotten in late last night, which made sense since I'd heard movement down there and heard the screen door slam and someone pissing underneath my screened wall at 3:30 am when the first rooster started to crow.

The mountain man drank something out of a flask and edged his foot closer to mine. He was wearing army surplus canvas pants and there was a rip in the ass where one could see the bluish ink of an old faded tattoo. He had short black hair and a long black beard and a tattoo that extended across one side of his barechest. He asked me about my book, which was about Stalin and he pronounced the title "Court of the Red Star" instead of Tsar. At that point I decided, fuck it, and went to bed. I got back to my bunk, looked at my cel phone and realized it was only 9:30 pm. I was out within minutes.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Black Metal Watercolors


Wow...I just did a google image search for "black metal watercolor" and I found a link to this:

"Amazon Moon creates empowering original watercolor paintings which reclaim our rich Amazon Herstory"

Pure gold.

"The hottest trend in celebrity spending right now is fossils"

Really? Thank you VH1, without you I never would have known that. And actually, it's pretty brilliant. Now my goal is to become insanely wealthy just so I can have a t-rex hanging out with a mastadon in my entryway.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Dudes and Bongs

Again, another trend of dudes has surfaced in my photos. So in addition to Dudes and Ponies and Dudes and Machetes, I give you Dudes and Bongs:

Dudes and bong

Dudes and bong

Halloween Party in Warwick 10/27

Halloween Party in Warwick 10/27

Helping Pete Move 10/26

Helping Pete Move 10/26

Okay, so maybe its just Dudes and bong since it's the same bong in every pic. For a sober person I seem to spend an unhealthy amount of time with that neon green bong.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Just a thought

I feel like many of us are operating on the maxim that good taste prevents you from being a loser.

Yes? No? Thoughts?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Fully obsessed

Nicholas Cage's son has the greatest MySpace page ever...

I so have to be friends with this kid.


Brendan posts some wishes for Hacker Culture to return on his blog (aka the best blog ever aka I have it in my links) and it got me in the mood to rehash a little story from this summer.

I was on tour with Team Robespierre. They had a show booked on a mobile party bus in Oakland. It was to be parked in a parking lot and they were going to play with Death Sentence Panda and some other bands. The promoter fucked up and the bus was double booked and since they were touring they were offered a spot on the other show which was to happen at a pier at the end point of Critical Mass. We decided fuck it, let's go out there, because, hell we were gonna be on a party bus! It had been described as a former mobile police station. Any bus that's party sized seems like a good idea in my book.

We didn't realize what we were in for until we got there. It was fully a rave. A weird crust punk rave, but a rave nontheless.

First there was an all girl bicycle dance squad that did fire dancing (god, I remember in 2000 when I couldn't go to a rooftop show where there wasn't some weird crust hippie who insisted on doing fire dancing...)



Then the DJ went on and this dude appeared. The lonely raver with his rainbow spinners. It was kind of sad because he kept messing up and every time he did he'd give a quick look around to see if anyone noticed and no one had. At least he didn't have anyone to be embarassed by, but then again, it's probably sadder than to have no audience at all rather that one that sees you mess up.



The pictures don't do him justice. He was wearing giant rave pants and a fuzzy leopard print hat. He spun those spinners for hours.

When they finally got the DJ to turn down his rave set and started playing on the bus, a fellow named Penny and his cohorts took over the roof of the bus and were dancing. It was rave central. Penny was a tall black guy with facial piercings, multicolored extensions and tons of eye makeup. He was wearing bondage pants with black combat boots and a red and black furry jacket.


They started coming in through the roof but they unplugged the PA so they stayed up dancing throughout the entire set. Aside from Penny there was a dude with a giant black bone in his septum, sides of his head shaved with a ponytail of dreads on top of his head wearing all black including a giant ankle length black fur coat and a girl in a corset with her cheeks pierced, eyebrows drawn on, and platform boots.

Dan found out that Penny hosted a public access show called "Penny and Page's Perpetual Party" I did some investigating on internet and found this brilliance:

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cherish the thought...Perish the thought...

I arrived at the Hostel in the Forest in time for dinner. The twenty bucks I'd paid for the night included a vegetarian meal. There were to be two bells the manager told me, the first one a warning telling us dinner was on the way and the second one announcing it was ready. Dinner was served on the screen porch. I didn't know what to do in the meantime. Alone, I was scared to mingle with the other guests, what was I going to talk about with my fellow travelling hippies, so I paced the grounds, went to the laundry and grabbed blankets for the night, and hid in my bunk. I heard the first bell. My nerves tightened. I wandered back outside, crossing in front of the inactive firepit, eyeing the other guests. There was a chubby kid from the UK talking to a husky guy who looked like he had played college football. Next to him was a skinny guy with a hawkish face and wire framed glasses. I looked down as I passed, looking up briefly to give a quick smile to convey at least some semblance of friendliness. I went back to my bunk and contemplated calling someone but then realized that's not why I was down here and put my phone away. I sat there, doing nothing. Terrified I was going to make a mistake, but not knowing what kinds of mistakes could be made in this unfamiliar atmosphere. Finally the second bell rang.

Before we ate there was a circle. Everyone present sized me up, as I had been the only one not to participate in the socializing earlier. Everyone joined hands and said their name, where they were from, and what they were thankful for that day. I cracked wise about being thankful for not being surrounded by concrete and the easily navigated roads of Georgia and got a few warm laughs. Most were thankful for their loved one present (there were a lot of couples), nature, the lake, and the vibes. After the circle parted and dinner was brought out a couple approached me. The guy I recognized from passing earlier, the one who looked like he was a jock in a former life, had been thankful for doing yoga in the glasshouse and his wife were from Tampa. They had a friend with them named Mike, he smiled and made small talk about me being from New York and what a long way I was from home. He was in his mid-thirties and had close-shaven hair to help him bald more gracefully and by the way he looked at me I could see the ideas about some woodland lovin' form underneath his hairless dome. He had the non-threatening face of a romantic and I could tell he was both unlucky and awkward in love, so I did my best to avoid him.

I met the other staff members. There was a dishelved boy named Joey with a septum ring and glasses, a bearded boy with dark close-cropped hair who always wore overalls and had a heavy southern accent named Mike Joe, and a little blonde hippie dude named Trey who talked in adultish baby talk, a little flirtatious pixie of a guy. Joey came from Pennsylvia, he had been brought there by the absent Mikey, a New Yorker and his boyfriend. Mike Joe hailed from West Virginia. His story was that he had seen some hippies in Brunswick and asked them where they were going. They took him to the hostel and he stayed on to tend the gardens during the winter months. Trey's origin was more mysterious, he seemed as though he had emerged from the mushroom (the nickname for the four room domed hut all the staff shared) attributes fully intact.

Aside from the Tampa folk there was a couple from Berlin (the bald guy and a woman), two roommates from Gainsville, a yoga-inspired young couple from Staten Island, and the chubby British kid who was making a six month long solo trek across the US. Everyone was nice but no one was going to rob me of my loner status. I'd traveled alone and my mission wasn't to make friends it was to explore places instead of people for once.

Sweet Emotion

After a year and a half at Barneys I am about to trade down. I've become lax and hateful towards my job and the company. Commission retail is daunting, especially at the onset of another minor depression in the economy. All the desperation, the fighting for sales, it's exhausting. That and because of a stupid mistake with an international send that potentially could have cost the company $79 (but actually didn't end up costing them a thing) my livelihood is in jeopardy and right now I find myself caring less and less. However the prospect of going back to $13/hr is terrifying to me. I am worth more than that, but no one I would like to work for can afford to pay me much more. I can't go back to Beacon's Closet with my tail between my legs after living the high life at Barneys. Then again, I can't fathom being a shop girl somewhere else either. I need to do my own thing, but how does one start a business when she is A.) broke (somehow despite my giant paychecks) and B.) lacking in tangible ideas and C.) terrified.

Ever since I was able to read, all I've wanted to do was write but I find myself doing anything but writing in my day to day life. The world of magazines no longer excites me. I am not terribly good at selling myself either. Maybe if I were a little more like Julia Allison or even the evil Emily Gould I could shove my way into the world of the blog, however I don't wish to make my living making fun of things. It's a problem in my generation I believe, that the brightest minds waste their time on triviality. Sure, it's fun, but more can be done. Look at Vice Magazine, it's on the verge of actually giving a fuck and all the more fun because of it. There is no guilt involved in reading it anymore and while a lot of it's fanbase thinks it's fallen off in recent times, I believe it to be stronger than ever. A sort of tabloid with taste, roaming the globe finding the craziest and most fucked up stories they can find, and sneaking in a cause here and there. The cause, is an assumed one, which is why it's successful. They don't ask you to agree with them, they just assume you will and suddenly you do. Maybe it's because they object to the obviously objectionable, blasting off mountain tops, native rights, sex trafficking. Still even the overarching tone of that magazine bothers me. It's a sort of know-it-all-ness. A writer needs confidence, sure, but the "hey we're in on the same joke" vibe gets old to me.

So then what about fiction? Do I dare? Talk abotu a fear of rejection. I can handle my take on reality being shunned, but being told that my imagination is lacking? Hell no. My voiced dreams and alternate reality, something entirely of my own every day I write and think about writing and every day is another that goes by without me even thinking of attempting to get published. My harddrive is full of stories not quite finished, because once they are finished then I'll have to move on to the next step and you can't get rejected if you don't have anything ready to be published, no?

What I need to do is save my money (like that'll happen) and take some time off and not work and go somewhere and write. One of those writer's retreats upstate. Except I'd probably waste my time once there and just read and sleep and walk around like I did this past weekend in Georgia, but maybe not. All I know is that working two jobs will not afford me the time I need to write. Neither will spending every non-working moment hanging out with my friends. As winter approaches I feel the pull inward to becoming a hermit. Then again, I'm sure I'll have a multitude of excuses as to why I am not writing.

That's where this blog comes in. It's a personal exercise in putting my words out there, in writing things that will hopefully be read, whether they be self-pitying rants or short stories or recaps of adventures. It's trying to figure out my voice in relation to this big bad world.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Jon Bon Jovi was in the store today. I wonder if I can get a gig tipping off paparazzi. For instance, Vanessa Minello looks like a tranny in real life, matches her shoes to her hat to her bag, and didn't buy a goddamn thing. Alan Cumming got lost trying to get to the men's elevator and ended up in the display offices. Richie Sambora makes his lady friends pay for their own shopping. Oh wait, not a bit of that is even remotely juicy. What else have I learned about celebs while working at Barneys?

Carrie Underwood is scarily tiny
Elizabeth Hurley is freakishly nice looking in person
Reese Witherspoon is the smallest person I've ever seen
Victoria Beckham shops in head to toe Dior with an entourage of fags and actually seems like she's got a decent sense of humor
Drew Barrymore has a full bush and tries on jeans without underwear
Famke Janssen always has her Boston Terrier off the leash just to get attention
Angie Harmon thinks I'm "so cute" and "so chic" which was weird
Tyra Banks wears a size 31 in jeans and always wears last season's sale merch (onscreen and off)
Marielle Hemmingway says "you bet" constantly
Patti Smith has a serious mustache
Billy Crystal's face looks like its made of latex
Kevin Costner is ridiculously nice and far taller than I expected

Apparently the other day (my day off of course) Bruce Springsting was in the store while his wife Patti was shopping. My coworker was helping her and she had no idea who Bruce even was. In fact only one person on the sales floor even noticed him. Same thing happened with Alice Cooper. When he went to pay my coworker Arlettie thought he was using his wife's credit card because of the name Alice. Jesus. And I always miss the good ones. Aside from Billy Connolley who fell asleep in a chair while his daughters were shopping. He looked like the ultimate badass. Seriously.

Also no one knows who Zooey Deschanel, Frances McDormand, and Lily Taylor are, aside from me.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hippie Camp!

It's been a few days since I've updated this but with good reason. I spent the weekend at the Hostel in the Forest which was, the forest, about 10 miles west of Brunswick, Georgia, not far from the Florida border. This was my first solo vacation. When I told my mother of my plans she sighed and said whistfully, "Wow, you really are growing up," which was odd to me because irresponsibly taking a vacation two weeks after spending too much money on another pointless (yet fun) weekend trip, felt anything but "adult" to me. Still, it did feel like a big step going somewhere I'd never been where I knew no one by myself.

Initially I'd planned to get a cheap room in St Mary's, Georgia right across the water from Cumberland Island which was my ultimate destination. I picked it somewhat at random while looking at a map of National Parks. Big Bend was too isolated and daunting, the Everglades too expensive, and everywhere else too damn cold (I have a history of taking seasonally inappropriate trips such as Denver in February, Nebraska in November, etc.) After I told a friend of my plans she told me about the Hostel in the Forest which had been the favorite place of a close friend who passed away. I also was made aware that the date I had booked my flight to Georgia coincided with the two year anniversary of his passing. It was settled, I had to stay in the hostel.

After arriving in Jacksonville Friday morning, I rented a car and drove up to the hostel using my vague confusing MapQuest directions. There was no address to the hostel, just coordinates, "the entrance is located at 31 09' 45" N, 81 35' 45" W" listed on their website and instructions to make a u-turn after a specific mile marker and then to open a gate and travel down a bumpy dirt road. On the way I stopped to pick up a flashlight, the website said I would need it, and nervously drove the rest of the way.

Peacock Hut

I was greeted by the manager, Tasha, who gave me a tour of the grounds. She directed me to the Peacock Hut which was where I was to stay. I had only booked one night but she told me if I wanted to stay the other two nights I was welcome to as there was one opening left in a different hut. After sussing out the vibes I decided it was worth it (and at $20 I'd be an idiot not to, especially since I'd wussed out and paid extra for insurance on my rental car instead of testing fate like I usually do) and signed on for the entire weekend.

More about the hostel and my adventures in southern Georgia tomorrow.

Here are a couple of pictures from inside the Peacock Hut where I spent my first night:

Dream Catcher

Inside the Peacock Hut

And this is the lower level, hence the name:

Peacock Hut