Back in Town

I’m postponing my blog about the fabulous journey to Cozumel last week. The back half of my body still stings with sunburn, after two days spent snorkeling. I was born to snorkel. I swear, if I wasn’t so damn white and prone to burns, I’d consider relocating to an island and being a snorkeling tour guide.

Scott and I have begun work on the second album, Anger Grows, and let me tell you… it’s exciting. It’s a much more raw and emotional delivery, and we’re still in the demo stages. I have to take this time to say that Scott is a total rock star. It seems a lifetime ago that he was putting up a fight against cancer… when it was scarcely a year. While I was out of town he sent me the following photos, taken the first day I saw him after rounds of radiation, from last October. We had pretty much completed the album and I was about to go see Barbra Streisand at the Garden. The photos may not show it, but I had a hard time looking at his face without feeling the residue of his battle… the complete enervation it entailed. These images capture a poignant point on the timeline of my life. Being in Mexico, among people who celebrate everyday and have far less trifling stress in their lives, made me realize something. I have a wonderful life and incredible people in it. I’ve yet to tackle my dreams, but I suppose that happens when you dream big… it takes fucking forever. Yet, this past year, I have managed to do things I always saw happening and I’m going to count those blessings. And my dear partner-in-crime on this journey, well, he just rocks.

Here we are at the Shake Shack, photos taken by his amazing mom.

Wound Up At Unwined

Perhaps I could have been in the running for the most wound-up player to ever play at Unwined. The midtown explosion, the torrential rain, and an almost-absent guitarist named Ben brought me to a new level of anxiety. Not to mention the fact my kitchen and bathroom sink decided to get clogged and overflow with black water before I headed out. There I was, plunging the hell out of my kitchen sink as Ben kept me updated with his status.

However, once all the setbacks for the day were surpassed, and both my guys showed up at Unwined, I came down to a normal heartrate (as normal as it ever is). Thanks to everyone for coming out because in consideration of the obstacles in getting there, it really meant a lot. Below is a photos of Scott (who tackled mandolin, guitar, piano, and harmonica for our hour-set), Ben (lead guitarist), and some of the world’s finest groupies.

My Life As A Chameleon

Today was one of those interesting days that I pushed through the midtown pedestrian traffic and wondered what the hell I’m doing with my life. It wasn’t a bad moment, so much as a moment of self-reflection. I was coming from an interview where my job will be to spritz people with water at the US Open. No, I cannot say I’d ever imagine spritzing water on people for a living. My life is a series of surprises and unexpected turns. Sometimes I’m hired to meet a van on a corner with absolutely no idea where the van will take me or what will unfold that day. This past weekend I was at the Jersey Shore promoting Amstel Light and you may note the cute, retro bathing suits we wore on the beach. Add a pair of platform shoes and envision our true home for these events in the likes of seedy clubs, Jersey beach bars, and family restaurants. The highlight of the weekend was when a fifty-plus man with a beer belly (certainly not from light beers) decided to approach me and declare, “That’s not just a roll of quarters in my pocket. I’m being bad. I’m so bad.” Actually, the comment is quite self-deprecatory for him (or maybe just the sad truth- a roll of quarters?).

A Break Before Enjoying (Enduring) Screamin’ Broccoli at some beach bar.

I’ve come up with a list of things I’ve been paid to do just for the sake of remembering myself.

1. Walk around upstate NY dive bars dressed as a Jets cheerleader and conduct beer “tastings.”
2. Hand out dollar bills dressed as a princess for Tax Day (money is the hardest thing to give out to people. This is no myth, they will take a free roll of Charmin before pocketing the cash).
3. Spray scotch from perfume bottles into the mouths of men at a whiskeyfest.
4. Prance around Times Square in a showgirls costume and give out Las Vegas shopping guides with Elvis impersonators on scooters.
5. Prance around random bar mitzvahs dressed as a showgirl.
6. Tour the country with a team of girls and Nokia phones, getting dudes to “help us” play the games on them without them knowing we’re marketing the device.
7. Dress in a bridesmaid gown and give out garters outside a life-sized box contained a real bride and groom getting married.
8. Protest for the sake of, wearing cut-up beards on my underarm to retaliate against men who don’t shave.
9. Dance in the store window of Brookstone with a vibrating belt around my waist.
10. Dress up in a blue wig and futuristic getup while riding a Segway in Times Square for Samsung.
11. In full Geisha-attire, welcome Warner Brothers employees attending an upfront (where I flashed my bare bum to Matthew Lawrence when the back of my dress got caught on his chair).
12. Dance with children in a Walmart/Dunkin Donuts dressed as the Dunkin’ Donuts Cup.
13. Tour all the major Walmarts in New Jersey, giving Hanes makeovers to the fashion-savvy Walmart customers.
14. Stand on a three-foot high box in full white leotard and pose as a statue in high-heeled shoes (to promote Famous Footwear).
15. Walk around as a human computer, with a printer adhered to my wrist and a touch screen. On this fine day, I ran into “Carl Winslow” of Family Matters who said I have an incredible “aura” about me.
16. Model fur coats in the middle of summer at Donald Trump’s penthouse for his Trump water launch. Yum, Trump Water.
17. Dress as a Roman goddess to dance at some corporate party for Axe body spray.
18. Walk around a dental convention with a Poligrip box, as the Polident girl (did they actually THINK this would target old folks and make them think they can look younger with Poligrip?)
19. Walk around as a Flavourette at a cigar show, passing out cigars from my garters.
20. Stage a protest for Lactose Tolerance at the MTV VMA’s. Why am I always staging meaningless protests to pay my rent?
21. Walk around a show with an interchangeable billboard on my shirt, ripped off by potential clients. The panel, not the shirt.

My Thoughts On Love

Last night brought a miasma of dreams of past loves. Actually, they were much too pleasant to be a miasma, but upon waking up I remembered the entangled web that exists with my past lovers, one in particular. I’ve been waiting to write a lot more, knowing there’s a lot of conflict and heartache that hasn’t been addressed and will come out in a creative burst, just waiting to spread around. This lyrics from “Silver Springs” keeps dancing through my head:

So I began not to love you. Turn around, see me running. I said I loved you years ago… and told myself you never loved me. No.

Shakespeare seemed to think that unrequited love was one of the worst things that could happen to man (if I remember correctly… I actually never liked much of Billy S but even I can see the amusement that a Stevie Nicks quote comes to mind more readily than Shakespeare). In my own life the failed relationships, or relationships that never came to be, are easy for me to accept as unrequited love. I think there’s beauty in loving someone, even if they are unable or disinterested in opening their own hearts. The acidic sting that lingers for me is when I revisit the past with a lover and he declares how deeply he felt and how much the connection meant. It takes away the possibility for unrequited love and delivers something far more damaging: inconsiderate love. That someone could have deep feelings for someone else and yet act in haste and greedy self-interest and complete disregard for that person’s heart, then I would much prefer unrequited love. I’d prefer apathy and lack of concern over the twisted vines of love interwoven with confusion and selfishness and unkind actions and inconsideration. Unrequited love means I was the foolish one, but I was also the one who cared and who felt. When I think of the times I poured my heart out and made my feelings clear, only to have someone treat me with the same careless actions all the while saying they cared, the pain becomes even deeper. If someone expresses deep emotion and the actions don’t line up, it becomes sadistic. However, if they don’t really have feelings and act that way… it’s logical and acceptable. No, unrequited love is not so bad.

One of my first paintings- a new form of expressing

I hold onto things passionately and loyally when I commit to wanting them in my life. Lately, though, I’ve found beauty in the slow dissolve of those feelings as time passes and the history of a relationship reveals its impossible future. In meeting new people and talking about the past, my new songs for “Anger Grows” and all the build up of angst and bitter taste in my mouth, I began to realize something so fragile and true. Something so tender and tangible. My eyes sting and skin tingles when I recognize this: the depth of the hurt and pain and failed expectations and forced emptiness are just filling a void. The void that was once brimming with love and hope and optimism and light. While I’m beating myself up for being so guarded and hurt, I’m finally ready to accept this is just another season of my life. It will pass. And every moment I feel the sting, it’s a reflection of something that was once beautiful and fulfilling to me. Something that will return in time.

Cingular and AT&T Can Kiss My …

I started writing this blog and once I was nearly done, the page decided to reload. I swear that those bastards at AT&T/Cingular have something to do with it. Let me begin again. I was a loyal customer to AT&T for years. I never really wanted a cell phone and still yearn for the days when we didn’t all walk around in our own little world with an earpiece or bluetooth device attached to our ears? Those were the days when someone would walk down the street and be considered rude for shouting on the phone in a crowd of people. Now? It’s highly acceptable for somebody to get annoyed when they’re in the mix of two thousand people in midtown and scream to their fellow commuters, “Excuse me! I’m on the phone!”

I only got the phone when I was living in LA because I was offered a job and told I could start as soon as I was set up with a cell phone. The next day I rushed over to AT&T and got my first phone, a symbolic gesture that I had entered the new age and sold my rights to be inaccessible by people on a 24/7 basis. Of course, the day after I signed my two-year contract, I was no longer “needed” by the “Women of Film” organization that was going to hire me.

So flash forward five years later, with my loyalty to AT&T for years. I was up to 1000 minutes a week, nights beginning at 7:00, and unlimited incoming text messages (I’m still perturbed by the audacity of these companies to charge for texts on both ends). I was on the old TDMA system and had yet to upgrade to GSM. I didn’t see the need or the point and during the process of the switchover, Cingular acquired AT&T. My reception suddenly got really bad. I couldn’t make calls about 50 percent of the time, and the remaining time the connection was so bad it sounded like I was called from another planet. Cingular refused to honour my contract because they said they could not honour AT&T’s rewards. Why? Because they were no longer AT&T. Not only that, but they told me it would be impossible to keep my number because I had an LA area code and lived in NY. The reps on the phone said the only way to keep this number would be to fly to LA, upgrade, and activate on the left coast. I’m a freelancer… the thought of contacting the thousands of people who potentially have my number for business would be an inconceivable nightmare. Thankfully, I snuck into a Cingular store and the young, sales-hungry kid at the counter was more than happy to get me to sign on for another two years.

Not six months later all the ads start appearing. Cingular is now AT&T. Really? How funny. After us poor AT&T slobs were paying for all these unused minutes thanks to no service, they suddenly went back to the original name. I’m now paying the same for 40-percent of the minutes, with nights starting two hours later, charged for incoming texts, and forced to get a text-plan, which means I’m paying five-ten bucks more a month for less.

I’d like to say two things: I hate cell phones. I think they’re ruining the social fabric of our society, as we all isolate ourselves from the rest of the living world around us and talk on the damn things. Patience is missing in correspondance and I even find myself anxious if I fail to hear back from someone in 2.5 minutes from when I first send out a signal, text, call… whatever. Secondly, fuck these companies for all their mergers and bad service and obnoxious fees. Why do they exist? Because they have become so dominant in our lives that we are at the mercy of them and their lousy service.

But first and foremost, I say, “Fuck you, AT&T-Cingular and whatever the hell else you want to call yourselves in the next year!”

*May I also note that by including their names in this blog, I now have google ads for this morons in my banners on the page.

Tropical Waters Await Me

Yes, after much discussion and a rather impromptu decision, I booked a trip to Cozumel. I’ve been debating a new locale in the Caribbean for months and torn between Negril, Jamaica, and Cozumel. I realized it has the best of all worlds- Mexican, Caribbean, and Cajun cuisine offerings, a hopping nightlife, a chance to exercise my fading Spanish skills, a great hotel room overlooking the sea, and crystal blue waters.

This is the first vacation I’ve taken to someplace new and exciting in over two years. As opposed to my other adventures, this is not for the sole purpose of working (although plans to do a mini-tour in Florida and Hawaii are getting set up for the fall/winter).

I really need this vacation. I also need a new cat sitter.