Life on Red Bull

Last night, in spite of the blizzard that hit Manhattan, I was out working for Red Bull. The tattoo artist was an incredible inspiration to me after a week of self-doubt and anxiety. In all the doubt, thinking that I should resign my quest as this “artist of sorts” and go bust some balls on Wall St. (where the organized criminals really deserve to feel the bust), I wrote a new song. And I realized without much effort (other than enduring life, it’s ups and downs, and constant battles), these songs come to me. I have an outlet to express… and that is invaluable.

So, the artist, Andre, started talking about life and how he worked his way to where he is. Soft-spoken and calm, he told me about manifesting things you want in your life. If you need something, you state that you need it to God and it comes to you. His ideas in life were very much in line with the ever-so-trendy book/dvd “The Secret.” He also said not to worry, but enjoy life and let things unfold… and to just sing and let everything else work itself out. I’m on the road to taking his advice, and hopefully my trip to sunshine in LA will ease the tension. However, have you ever noticed that when you tell yourself not to be anxious because it will somehow obstruct your path in life to manifest the good that you just feel more anxiety about being SO anxious, and the bubbles of stress just rise up further in your chest? Yeah, so maybe I’ll just think of sunshine and Carl’s Jr. and let the rest unfold.

As for Andre, check out his work and achievements at www.acharlesny.com.

 

The Death of Feminism

I was raised  as a WASP (white-anglo-saxon-protestant) and have generally found myself in relationships WASPs and Irish Catholics for whatever reason. In any of these relationships, I can only think of one man who actually treated me with respect, understanding, and as an equal. To the rest? I was  supposed to answer to their whims and desires and then be entirely disposable.

My dating experiences have varied from all ethnicities and religious backgrounds, and in the past year I’ve realized one thing: Jewish men have treated me better across the board. It’s not to say that the non-Jewish dudes haven’t been friendly, or respectful, or become good friends, because I can think of a handful that have. The ratio just isn’t in their favour.

Today I randomly came across Rabbi Shmuley’s blog, and each article is brimming with feminism, respect for women, and a general concern for his daughters’ ability to thrive in a world where women are objectified and judged on their body parts. He focuses a lot of attention on the music industry and entertainment, and being a part of that world I have a lot of concern when talent and intelligence are snowballed by tits and ass. I’ve heard at least a dozen times in the past year that sex is more powerful than brain power, but it’s I do declare that power’s fleeting (Anna Nicole= Dead, Britney Spears= Tragic Mess). The women of my generation whom I admired in the music scene, such as Nelly Furtado, who had one musical setback and instantly realized she can shake it with Timbaland and make some money off her assets (but notice she was lacking the Grammy nods this year). I’ve had many conversations with women my age who have complete resignation and apathy towards the decline of feminism, and were just as happy to get a spread in Maxim to discuss important topics like their favourite lubricant brands and where they buy their underwear. I have hope, if only to see the poltics in this country taking a slow, much needed change with a female speaker of the House, and hopefully a female president in the near future. Everything comes in cycles, and I’m looking forward to feminism having an upswing… it’s just a matter of time.

Meanwhile, check out Rabbi Shmuley at http://www.shmuley.com/articles.php?id=53 .

I think his blogging gives a lot of understanding about why the Jewish blokes may have an upper hand in how to treat women right.

Bucolic Entrapment: No Homemaker Am I

Courtesy of her childbearing days, my mom had to undergo some extensive surgery this week. In spite of being arch estrogen-influenced rivals when I was a teenager, time has healed all wounds and my mom asked if I would take a few days and come upstate to take care of her the first few days out of the hospital. 1. I am not a homemaker in any capacity, and 2. I do not deal well with medical conditions, bodily fluids, or illness. Still, I bought my one-way ticket to Kingston and stopped by a grocery store to buy her these beautiful purple flowers. The temperature change from 60 degrees to 10 degrees back to 70 degrees sucked the life out of the potted plant. It would serve as a nice metaphor.

I arrived at our house, instantly feeling the suffocation, as my former bedroom has become my sister’s storage space and the now spare bedroom is a makeshift office. Nothing like feeling at home. My mom, slightly groggy and physically imbalanced greeted me with her catheter “purse” attached to her wrist. Did I mention my squeamishness around bodily fluids? I joined her in the living room, where she was engaged “Extreme Makeover” and I was exposed to more bodily fluids, surgeries, and physical pain. I now can see the audience this show once garnered, across the country Americans sitting on their couch, snacking on their over-sized bag of chips, and dreaming about their own extreme makeover. The show disgusts me, but I was the guest/attendant and sat through it.

Mom went to bed early, and I enjoyed surfing through the hundreds of Direct-TV channels. The next morning I awoke and the housework began, from changing cat litter boxes to soiled laundry, to more laundry and cooking dinner. I refused to scrub the basement floor, which was one of my mom’s requests, but it was just plain nasty. As I prepared dinner, I noticed a flood was taking place beneath the refrigerator door and ruining the wood flooring. I asked my mom about it, and she hobbled to investigate. Apparently the icemaker was leaking and my mom, always the first to offer help, got on the floor (injuries and all!) to investigate and start cleaning it up! I, on the other hand, was hesitant to reach in and touch the black gunk growing on the water tray. The fridge had to be moved, and it was me who had to do the moving. Now, my parents, in every regard have the super-sized appliances from television to washer and dryer, and the double-doored stainless steel fridge became a tough opponent for me. At least double my weight, I used every bit of strength I had and my entire body weight to move the fridge one side at a time on the slippery wood floor. My mom erupted in guffaws that were quickly answered by cries of pain, as her body was not healed quite enough for that level of laughter. The mess was cleaned up and I went on with making dinner.

The day was a far cry from the fashion show I was supposed to model at in the morning and forfeited for family loyalty, but I was looking forward to a quiet family dinner with my parents. My mom requested the soft office chair that occupies the dining room/ Dad’s office (yeah he has two. A spare bedroom and the dining room… can you just taste the organization in that house), and he sparks an attitude about why she couldn’t sit in the hard, wooden chairs. I was instantly incited, and said “When someone’s rectum is realigned and hurts, maybe you should offer the soft seat without making her guilty. And you know, if you didn’t sperminate her, she wouldn’t have needed this surgery!” He said if he hadn’t, then I wouldn’t be there… honestly, not such a bad idea either. Mom got the soft seat but the tension was set and they started bickering about nonsensical things. Next thing, she’s in tears and he’s growling, and I’m taking out my anger for all insensitive men on him. Just remembering that night is enough for me to want to make a drink right now.

Now, onto Day 2. I was feeling especially isolated and trapped in that small, cluttered house, and was granted the chance to escape and run errands. It was 10 degrees outside, but for some reason I looked forward to the escape. One of the errands was a trip to the DMV, which I had been informed changed offices (NOT BUILDINGS) and so I parked at the wrong part of Main St. and had to walk an extra six blocks. Nothing like walking by the Hudson River on a chilly day, but I think I needed the exercise and found Main St. to be more picturesque than I remembered it. I returned home and my brother arrived soon after, visiting from college. He brought a different energy to the house and the drama was lowered (he’s always been a good buffer). It was an easier day that I intended to end with a nice hot shower. In my parents’ house, the shower has little-to no water pressure, and because of the broken faucet, it takes about ten minutes to get the temperature right and you almost need a wrench to control it. I cut the palm of my hand on the corner of the damn thing and waited five minutes for hot water, but the little pellets were ice cold. I called for my dad, who instantly blamed me for the lack of warm water (it’s one of his favourite tactics) and then checked downstairs to see we were out of fuel! I sat on the couch, wrapped in a towel, and thinking of my home… where the water pressure is magical, the water is hot, and the rent is being paid so my sister could enjoy its comforts while cat-sitting, and I was just wishing to clean myself of the damn day!

Water was a theme in my days upstate, as I slept on my sister’s waterbed and awoke at 7AM my final morning in that house with my pajama pants soaked. I was cranky, nauseous, and still battling a sinus infection that I kept to myself because the woes paled in comparison to my mom’s own ailments. The night before, in addition to be denied a hot shower when I needed it most, my brother and dad had stayed up until 2AM playing the WII and stomping on the floor above me in their interactive bowling match. Needless to say, I was not happy, and when my mother asked me to wash me a sink full of crusty, smelly dishes that my dad has used for his pasta and cream cheese dip, bowls dirtied by his midnight snacks and saturated in grease and grime, I nearly lost it. I realized that for YEARS my mom has been at the mercy of other people’s messes. In my apartment, I wash each dish as I’m done with it so I never have to wake up to a mess. I already cleaned the man’s underwear and dirty clothes, I cooked his dinner, and was now washing his goddamned dishes, on little sleep, and I almost started crying. And while I cleaned these nasty dishes, one smelling so gross I nearly gagged from my already upset stomach, and couldn’t get through the dishes without complaining about how my dad has NEVER had to any of the disgusting work around the house. My dad had to retort that “It’ll be impossible for you to find a husband. Good luck.” As if I want one! If it translates to a life sentence to cleaning up some man’s shit, then I’m a cat lady for life. And even if I were, the guys I date as my mom declared, “Didn’t go from living with his mother to living with his wife.”

With a half-hour left before I caught my bus, I gave the family pooch a much-needed bath in the newly replenished hot water. I happily packed my bags and got on the bus back home, sleeping throughout the ride. When we approached the Lincoln Tunnel I felt an instant rush of endorphins and peace and happiness and glee. Normally the underground path between Port Authority and the 1-train is a long, obnoxious journey, but I could not be happier to walk highspeed, cutting in and out of tourists and fellow New Yorkers, and live musicians thrived in the tunnel. When I reached my neighborhood, I was ready to kiss the frozen pavement beneath my feet. This is my home.

This morning I awoke and my nausea and illness had all disappeared. My mom called this afternoon and informed the water matress I was sleeping on was covered in black mold, and could have contributed to all that nausea. I’m sure the mold mixing with the drama and the caved in feeling took it’s toll. And with utter certainly, from the core of my being, with my indignant and irreverant streak in a nuclear family, I do declare that I did NOT come to this world to be a homemaker or wife or cleaning lady and I give every ounce of respect and admiration and praise for women (and men) who can fulfill any of these roles.


 

I Handled Mr. Peanuts

I potentially could be the worst handler in the world, or so I thought the first time I “handled” Mr. Peanuts in Times Square. Dressed in a death suit of a white-collared shirt and khaki pants (I’d rather be in full drag, or a mechanically operated suit. I’d rather be a showgirl, a Samsung Blu-Ray… I’d even prefer to sport a garbage bag, but khaki’s and collared shirts are sterile, business-casual prison suits). Yet I digress. It was a hot, humid summer day when I first handled the nut, who was not granted one break from the suit and was near passing out. As I escorted him through the Marriott Marquis to an air-conditioning reprieve, poor Mr. Peanut hit every low clearance sign and then nearly was stuck in the revolving doors as a recorded voice urged us to “Please. Step. Foward.”

After that experience, I was not sure I’d ever have a chance to handle the nut again. Until… out of the blue last week I received a call requesting me to work an event at Trump’s World Bar for Mr. Peanuts. The event was much more low-key for us, and more high profile for the client. There was the original Mr. Peanuts, the back-up Mr. Peanuts, and the back-up handler, all of which were men and actors. Mr. Peanuts Backup told Mr. P that he took care of his nut (costume) in the back room, to which Mr. P laughed. The back-up handler, the straight dude in the bunch, couldn’t miss his chance to make a laugh (being an actor and all) and piped in, “Actually we argued over who would get to take care of your nut.” Mr P. responded, well if you win then you need to finish it off. The back-up handled turned green and I guffawed… it was one of those moments that being the only girl didn’t put me on guard against the innuendos of amorous straight blokes. It was a nice change.

After handling the nut, I hopped on the train and met Scott at Bar Four in Brooklyn where we were de-virginized at their weekly open mic and tried out the new material (new to them, seemingly ancient to me) and performed “Porcelain Doll” and “Defy.” The songs, strumming, volume, and intensity aren’t the typical mellow, Norah Jones-flavoured tones of this Brooklyn dive but we pulled it off. I have incredible stagefright, and in addition to that, I have this undying determination to perform sober and force myself to overcome it. Liquid courage would be easier, but I’ve dealt with enough cowards who rely on it to get by. I don’t want to be one of those fools… I’m opting for an ulcer instead! By the time I got home it was a beautiful walk in a winter wonderland on the Upper West Side. It snowed, flakes the size of dimes, and I walked home  proud of my diverse and unusual day. To quote Cindy Adams, “Only in New York, kids.”