Monday, June 30, 2008

A crazy little thing called pain

1 am on a Sunday night, the ER is dead but the wait is still massive. I walk in, tell them I am here for a follow-up. I believe my hand is infected. A nice man with a tribal tattoo and greyish gelled hair remembers me from the phone call I made about an hour ago. He smiles, I feel welcome and am fast tracked into the ER.

I sit on a chair and a PA approaches me. I tell her I think my hand is infected, she looks at me doubtfully and asks me why I think that. I explain my symptoms, swelling, oozing, all that fun gross stuff. She sighs and rolls her eyes. I get paranoid, think she's writing me off as a pill seeker. An Indian PA with greasy short curls full of product comes by, eyes me up and down and says, "Infection? Let me see." He smiles as he examines my wound and says, "Yes, I believe you may be right." Really? I just thought going to the ER would be a nice hobby.

The Indian man dances over to an overweight woman with a headwrap. He makes some mocking hip-hop moves goofily and she laughs, her husband, a small man in African dress laughs too. Her husband is about half her size and has been scratching her back for her. They both look miserable and she coughs in pain through her laughter. Next to her an elderly woman tries to get up from her bed. She has long yellowish white hair and it hangs long and limp, much like the wrinkled flesh on her pale thighs. Her caregiver alerts the doctors who rush over and subdue her. I hear them mutter, "She keeps trying to get up." I wish the situation was more interesting, but it ends as quickly as it begins. I do get to see that she is wearing a diaper. Exciting.

My temperature is 98.5. Nice. I am led to a set of chairs around the corner, away from the action. There are two immigrant workers passed out on stretchers. Stone drunk. A man with a lantern jaw and coke bottle glasses is sitting at the end of the row of chairs. He smiles at me and with a severe speech impedient (he speaks as though he were deaf, but hears just fine) asks me if I smoke. I say no and dive into my copy of the Sunday NY Times. An orderly gives him an egg salad sandwich. He complains and asks for turkey. She says no turkey, only tuna fish, egg salad, and bologna. He says he doesn't like bologna and chows down on the egg, staring at me the entire time. The orderly asks me my name and looks at me like I don't belong.

Soon a PA approaches him and asks what's the matter. He says, "My foot."
"Which foot?" the PA asks.
"Both feet."
He takes off his shoes and I see the flash of a curled black toenail on his little toe. The gnarliest toenail I've ever seen.
"Your toe wouldn't hurt if you cut your toenails."
"I need them cut. Are you going to take care of me? I am in pain."
"You do not need to come to the emergency room to get your toenails cut."
"But my feet hurt. I have an appointment with the foot doctor in a month but it hurts now."
"Is there anything else wrong?"
"No, my feet just hurt. My toes feel like the are being smashed in my shoes."
"well they wouldn't hurt if you cut your toenails. That's all I can do for you."

Doc walks away. The man grumbles to me, "Why I gotta cut my own toenails if I have Medicaid."
I shrug.
"Have a goodnight Beverly."
He remembered my name from when the orderly asked me. I shudder.
He goes out for a smoke and never comes back.

Two more people come in. An overweight black woman with a cane and a short white man with short spikey hair and a couple of generic bad tattoos. A horrible smell hits me. I realize the woman has taken a takeout container of chicken out of her bag and is eating it. The scent is revolting. She chases it with a juice box.

I wait. An hour passes. I read about Jil Sander moving into a ladder factory on Howard Street. I learn how worms can help prevent disease. I start and stop reading an article about childless Europeans. Someone talks to the homeless woman with a cane. It's her second hospital of the night. She says something about getting kicked out of the shelter system. The leave her be, letting her sleep there undisturbed. I can't focus. I am exhausted and overwhelmed. A PA approaches me. A Chinese man whose English is spotty, he has thick overgrown hair styled in a flattop. The hair runs down the back of his neck and is distracting. He has a huge face, wire rim glasses, and looks confused and greasy. He looks at my hand. I tell him what's wrong. He agrees and says he needs to show it to a doctor but he'll give me an antibiotic. Finally...salvation!

30 minutes pass. Nothing. No doctor. An Asian girl comes in. She is dressed in a 2000 St. Marks fashion wearing a black mini-skirt with a silver stamped python print, a ringer tee-shirt, sneakers, a backpack, and a wrist full of blue plastic bangle bracelets. She has silver glitter on her face and her legs and elbows are covered in scrapes and bruises. I overhear them talking about filing a police report. She was jumped. She is restless and stands back up moments after being seated and starts roaming, a tiny vintage skateboard under her arm. She leans the skateboard against the desk, she's spied a KitKat bar. She asks the doctor about it and he gives it to her. She smiles and chomps it down. From her backpack she produces a quart of Vitamin D whole milk. She drinks it from a styrofoam cup, not sure where she got the cup, either from the backpack or a doctor. Someone tells her she needs to sit down. She does but keeps getting up to go to the bathroom. She finishes the quart of milk.

Meanwhile I see the Asian PA who initially helped me sprint back and forth a few times. He apologizes for the wait but the only result is more waiting. I am exhausted and near tears, beyond frustrated. The homeless woman with a cane has been asleep for a while now and her stench is nearing unbearable. Finally at around 4 am the PA escorts me to see a real doctor. I am ready to snap and he does not humor my exasperation. Only looks annoyed. I calm down. In the middle of the emergency room floor the doc looks at my hand and says he doesn't see the problem. I show him the infected part, the cut web between my two fingers where I have 4 stitches. The place where is stabbed through the flesh is fine. He pokes it ruthlessly and spreads my stitched up fingers. I gasp with pain. He says four of the stitches have to come out. The wound will be left open. He says they can numb it but the numbing meds will probably hurt more than the stitch removal. I opt to go in un-numbed.

The Asian PA sits me back down. Fifteen more minutes of waiting. The room where I need to get seen opens up and he escorts me in. He rubs my hand down with alcohol. It burns. He tries to spread my fingers. I curse. He pulls on a stitch with the tweezers. I gasp. As he cuts the first suture I realize this hurts far more than the Lidocaine shot. Tears start rolling down my face uncontrollably. I am cursing and blubbering. This is terrible. Horrible. I am powerless to stop them. Three more to go. It only gets worse. I am left with a deep gash open in my web. It looks angry. The PA says he will prescribe me antibiotics. He asks if I need Vicodin. Tears still streaming down my face I nod yes. Jackpot.

I am escorted from the room. It is 4:30 am. I get my prescriptions with orders to come back in two days. I won't. My health insurance expires in one day. My COBRA monthly cost jumped from $238 to $452 and I had to bow out. I make too much money to qualify for Medicaid yet not enough to afford Healthy New York. If I come back I'll need a social worker to avoid a huge bill. At least I have a prescription Vicodin. Life doesn't completely suck.

I get my prescription for the antibiotic filled at the CVS down the block. It has a 24 hours pharmacy. The technician is sound asleep in a chair behind the counter. I can see his feet. I try to wake him up several times. Eventually a stock person has to wake him for me. He blinks bleary at me, annoyed at being disturbed and moves at a snail's pace. He tells me he does not have the Vicodin, only the antibiotic. Bummer. Fifteen minutes wait. I go to the Dunkin Donuts and get a bagel, I am starving. I love the 24 hour economy surrounding the hospital. By the time I get my prescription and get in a cab home it is 5 am. I have to work in the morning.

And no, you can't have any Vicodin. I went through hell for it and I need it.
I think doctors prescribe it as a reward to patients for the patience.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Loaded and Goaded

I recently was looking through old photos of mine that have languished in a plastic bin in my room for years. In it I found an old black and white picture (of course it was in black and white, it seemed so much more indie in those days) taken one evening in front of my friend Molly's house. Russ, Jenny, Molly and I had spent that summer evening lounging in the circle drive of her trailer park smoking cigarettes and talking shit. I had brought my version of the bible with me, Jim Goad's Answer Me!: The First Three . In the photo my friend Jenny is sitting next to Molly and they are reading the article, I Hate Women. The group of us, in our post-grunge glory in the trailer park lapping up hate, Molly, our hostess chain-smoking packs of $2 generic cigarettes from Kabredlo's. That volume of hate lived in my backpack that summer. I picked it up at the book distro table at a punk show at the Haymarket community arts center, a spot where we had Food Not Bombs meetings and punk shows. The community center was housed in the same building as a treatment center and there were many a time a teen punk got off on the wrong floor and came face to face with a detoxing lunatic.

I was immediately drawn to the cover art (which unfortunately I can't find a decent pic of because I have the first edition) and to the cute boy behind the distro table selling it. I had no idea what I was buying. I flipped through the pages, saw the interview with David Duke and the article on the top 100 mass murderers and serial killers and dove in. The three issue volume followed me everywhere, it lived in my backpack, the cover slowly disintegrating. I credit Jim Goad with successfully chipping away at my already deficient offense reflex. I think poring over his venom repeatedly in the back of the family minivan during roadtrips muted my ability to be upset by just about anything. I have Jim Goad to thank for introducing me to Mexican murder magazines (way before Neckface brought them back into NY's art consciousness), Anton LaVey, Crispin Glover as more than the dad from Back to the Future, NAMBLA, Adam Parfrey, and Russ Meyer, and of course El Duce.

A related anecode, many years later in college in an ethnographic studies course, we were assigned to read Donna Gaines' book Teenage Wasteland about the Bergenfeld Four suicides. Gaines wrote an article entitled Chicks and Cars is the first issue of Answer Me! and the book was mentioned in the Suicide issue. Upon reading I noticed a namedrop to the Goads (at the time, Jim Goad also credited his now deceased wife Debbie Goad as a co-writer of the zine. That has since changed.) in a scene where Gaines is hanging out with a group of Jersey deadbeat teens in an abandoned factory. A few days later, Gaines herself came to speak to our class about the book and I mentioned catching the Goad reference and she was shocked. Apparently I was the only student in the history of her career (she was a professor of sociology I believe in the CUNY system at the time) who had picked up on the Goad shout-out. She proceeded to gossip about the Goads a bit with me and we exchanged emails, she thinking of taking me under her wing as a sort of mentorship. Unfortunately later that night a series of events began that resulted in my moving away from New York for nine months and I never did get in touch with her. Dang.

Answer Me! was so much more than a zine, the content better than most legitimate magazines, with some mindblowing interviews (The Geto Boys! Al Sharpton! David Duke!) and consistently hilarious content. Some of the writing doesn't hold up to my older eyes, a lot of the I Hate... articles are boring to read now and don't seem nearly as badass as they once did (I was about 14 or 15 when I first picked it up.) Still some of the explorations about the hellhole of New Jersey and the article about 24 Hours on Sunset Blvd are infinitely readable and I will always be indebted to Goad for teaching me all the hilarious ways to kill oneself and tapping into my childhood fascination with serial killers (sidenote, my grandpa looked a hell of a lot like the pic of Henry Lee Lucas in the Murder issue.)

The Rape issue not included in the anthology is also worth a read. It is what sparked the obscenity trial that landed demon Goad in jail. I didn't get my hands on that until many years later, and what a story that is. When I moved to Missouri at age 18 the now tattered volume came with me. Once there I did the unthinkable and lent it to an acquaintance, some rockabilly-ish chick who worked at a vintage store. A few days after lending it to her her 19-year-old sister suddenly passed away from a brain aneurysm. She found her dead in the hallway of the apartment they shared after coming home from a night out at Eastside Tavern, the biker bar we all frequented. I remember her worried that her sister had flaked on her plans to meet up and my agreeing, as I had expected to see her at the bar that as well. The sister of the dead girl was understandably distraught and went to stay with her parents for about a month in the smaller Missouri town they were from, with my book! My out of print book. When she came back into town I visited her back at the vintage store she was again working at and she mentioned how much the volume had helped her through her tough time and hinted that she wanted to keep it. I told her it had major sentimental value and I needed it back regardless of the circumstances and she promised to return it. She never fucking did and I had to spend a mint getting another copy on EBay, but thankfully the shipper threw in a copy of the Rape issue so it wasn't a total waste. I still am pissed that I never got my book back. Just because your sister dies doesn't give you license to steal from me, however, it does make it a little easier to forgive so I stopped pursuing it.

So no, you can't borrow my copy. But you can buy the reissue which is apparently expanded. And check out these links for more info:
Jim Goad's site has some great links to more info about the story of Answer Me!
Goad writes for Street Carnage
Order Answer Me! here

I posted this today and then found out a few hours later that Goad was hospitalized earlier this month with a brain tumor

Another reason to hate women


Hi, I'm Sweety! And yes, I am a very traditional dog. I attend the squaw dance and try my paws around the bonfire. This SLEEVELESS style keeps me from getting too warm in the summer nights. The back length is 16" and the tummy girth is 21". There is a German Nickle Silver concho belt sewn on.If some clumsy dancer spills mutton stew on me, my human pal can just throw the dress into the machine and wash and dry on cool. You can choose long sleeve if you prefer. I also am wearing a genuine turquoise neckless that you can find in the 'MISCELLANEOUS' CATEGORY

Friday, June 27, 2008

My friends are good at things

Seriously good.

Love as Laughter

If you don't know, the new Love As Laughter album, Holy, just dropped on Glacial Pace. Angela and I were listening to it in the studio and both laughed at the realization that folks we knew did this. So polished, so solid, so professional. All brought to you by the Party Doctor himself, Sam Jayne. After being exposed to a few 5 am jam sessions (and improve Traveling Wilbury's singalongs) a lot of these songs are familiar and it is satisfying to hear them fully realized. This may be uncharacteristic for me to be writing about, anyone who thinks they know me wouldn't expect me to dig this record, but this girl is fueled by a lot more than metal. Good times and buddies are definitely my jam. Fondness for the players makes the music sweeter, so maybe I'm a little biased.

Anyway, some of my favorite dudes had a release party at Beauty Bar on Tuesday and are playing a proper show at Glasslands on Saturday. Be there!

Love as Laughter

Love as Laughter

Love as Laughter

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ultimate Scissor


Carnage updated

I'm not the only one covered in blood

Annihilation Time

Saw Children and Annihilation Time play on Monday night. Wicked, vicious, hot, crowded, sweaty, fun. Still somewhat disabled, adjectives better than full sentences.

Okay, this next picture sucks, but I've never seen the Charleston so full before. It was bananas. I was perched on top the ledge along the wall holding onto the airconditioning vent for dear life leaning over the pit trying to film. Retarded.


Annihilation Time

Annihilation Time

The crowd went bananas.

Annihilation Time

I swear, I always get the best pit faces.

Annihilation Time

Annihilation Time

Annihilation Time


Here's Mitch making a shit face. He was not happy about this picture but I insist because he's wearing a Green Jelly shirt who I had just been writing about and this is something I find hilarious.


Children played right before them. Between them and Annihilation time there was some serious flop action (hairwise.) Plus so stoked on the Midnight shirt and so bummed I missed them play with Possessed due to my impalement on Sunday.


I had some serious dueling flashes with another photographer up front. He was definitely staking out some serious turf because he was, you know, competent and professional.



Sweet shoes bro!

I still could barely move my neck from the Children/TK Webb show on Saturday at Union Pool so I didn't rock out that hard this time although the legitimately prescribed Vicodin helped numb my neck pain as well as my finger pain.

I took some video during Annihilation Time too. The sound is miserable but the pit is raging! The pictures don't really represent how crazy it was in there.

Check out Bryce surfing into view around 1:25! Hilarious!

Monday, June 23, 2008


Happy Sunday

I can't type very well one-handed, so no entires for a few days prob. My hand met a kitchen knife via an avocado. 11 stitches later I'm in major pain.

Happy Sunday

From this angle you can see that the cut goes through the entire finger and the webbing in between. I basically stabbed myself through the fleshy part of my index finger and the web.

Happy Sunday

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Your Daily Flickr

Sometimes you find things that are so personal on the internet. A cache of scanned family pictures uploaded by a biker dad. It seems ill-fitting to be on the internet at all. A trip back in time into the world of a family. I was fucking around doing a search on "wicked clowns" for some laughs (and a potential post) but I happened upon this stream and found it utterly captivating.

The pictures jump to current ones of family vacations and friends. Some of those are pretty bonkers too.

And this is the face of the stream owner...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Snap your fingers snap your neck

Shit...that's totally a Prong song. For some reason those lyrics entered my head and I had to google them. Weird...I remember all the theater tech dudes listened to Tool and Prong almost exclusively.

On a related note, can anyone tell me why this sold for $516?


Snapshot 2008-06-21 18-39-40

The world is bizarre.

So is this...

God, I thought Vanessa Warwick was the coolest looking chick when I was in junior high. And Rage Against the Machine is playing in the background.

Oh and Green Jelly...holy hell...

I don't even like Tool but I do like Maynard James Keenan when he's being a total dick.

I forgot something very important

I hate scrapbooking. I hate the industry surrounding it, fuck I hate that there even is an industry surrounding it. I hate that people can make their living opening up shitty craft stores that exclusively cater to the scrapbooking movement. In my approximation scrapbooking in the new quilting. Sure it's a more narrative way to assemble family memories in an artistic form, but a scrapbook don't keep you warm! Plus, do you really want your memories to be packaged in the same manner as every other mom/summer camper/student council member/cheerleader who bought the same set of stickers at the same aformentioned shitty craft store you did? Yeah because, that's really special.

I hate people who stand while on single-file escalators. I'm a pushy New York jerk. I've got places to go.

I hate premature nostalgia.
Okay, I get it, the rave is back because you all not-so-secretly miss your days of dwelling in K-Holes. Owning your past is fine. I can even deal with smiley faces and grunge. But I swear to god, if I see one of these worn ironically on Bedford Avenue I am going to cry:

Or even worse...

(p.s. While on my ill-conceived Google image search for "coed naked" I found this genius porn site The last photo of "Jenny Hendrix" is my favorite. Where the fuck were these guys when I was in college?)

Admittedly I do have fond memories of these being banned from my elementary school and a few of the classic camo sweatpants wearing baby dirtbags still wearing them. God, I love those kids, even though most of them ended up getting some chick named Crystal knocked up and are still in Nebraska. Some of them grew up to be my friends. You know the kids...essentially the late 80s/early 90s version of this:

Tim is my all-time favorite move kid ever and his friend Moko comes in a close second as the random half-Asian kung-fu loving sidekick. I'll spare you the quotes, as there have been many tributes to the awesomeness of this duo. But just about every future crustache sporting, Pantera tee owning, future scumfuck in my town looked just like them when I was in elementary school. Nunchucks and all.

I know every in the LES is rocking the Ione right now, but can you blame them? She was never much of an actress but she dated the coolest dudes and had the most effortless pre-grunge styling in this movie. Who needs 1994 when you've got 1986?

but I always thought that Tony was a seriously untapped style source.

So wait...wasn't I revisiting the forgotten entries on my shit list? And wasn't I bitching about hating premature nostalgia? Suddenly I find myself succumbing to it and all I want to do is download L7's Pretend that We're Dead and The Nymphs Revolt. Anybody remember that band? Their primary noteriety was from when Inger Lorre pissed on her A&R man's desk and from her rabid rivalry with Courtney Love. Ahh, the band that never was, the band that got fucked from every direction, be it rivalries, drugs, red tape, and major label low-prioritizing. I first heard them on the best mixtape ever my friend made me in 7th grade. She titled the mix "Foxxxcore" after Thurston Moore's dubbing of the alternative to Riot Grrl ragers and it featured Babes in Toyland, Seven Year Bitch, L7, and of course The Nymphs. I am sure Molly got that song off the bizarre awesome Pet Semetary 2 soundtrack.

At the time I couldn't find the album and gave up. This was before the days of the internet and it was possible for bands to seem unattainable, especially when they were major label yet not charted. It's funny how when I was younger it was easier to find a Third Sex record than one from the Nymphs.

For a pretty rad tribute article to Inger and the Nymphs check this out and if you want to hear Revolt and other Nymphs songs there are some posted on MySpace

Well, I don't know about you, but I enjoyed that trek. Todays post is obviously brought to you by my stream of consciousness. Apparently I can't focus about writing anything in particular today probably because I am at work instead of at the Mermaid Parade. Oh wait, we're back on track!

I hate a parade. I think it stems from a junior high era trauma where some dude overheard me giving my phone number to a friend at a parade and I ended up with an obscene phone caller. I was all of 13 and he was a major creep. I was a naive and didn't initially know where the phone calls were leading and being 13 I was also totally intrigued. But thank god it didn't turn into a To Catch a Predator situation. Ever since then I've been super wary about parades and large outdoor gatherings of people in general.

I've basically built a stoked list into this shit list. So to sum up that:

I am stoked on memories of foxcore.

I am stoked on sweatpants wearing pre-teen dirtbag style.

I am stoked on the River's Edge. Seriously, always have been, always will be. One summer in Nebraska I rented it from Blockbuster and for some reason it was a seven day rental and I seriously fell asleep watching it every night for an entire week. My roommates thought I was deranged.