Swingers

I’ve had this list of movies, predominantly recommended by dudes in their thirties who originally saw these flicks when they were my age. For whatever reason, I feel the need to come up to speed on the references and this week’s Netflix option was Swingers. Judging it’s fanfare and title, I was definitely expecting something edgier, sexier, and more entertaining. That’s the problem… my expectations were so high.

What did I glean from it? That the words “baby” and “money” can be really annoying. That Vince Vaughn was once totally hot, fit, and stunning to look at. Ten years later and he doesn’t even resemble the young chap he was in Swingers. Meanwhile, Jon Favreau is equally indistinguishable these days but I think he’s far more likeable. Getting bald and heavier has made him more endearing (like the big chump he played in Something’s Gotta Give). As far as this movie, his whining nature, his pitiful state of mind, and his jawline just annoyed me. Maybe that’s what I get for watching a movie well past my bedtime with too much ego and testosterone. And taking place in LA. I mean, the apartments were so seedy. Even if you’re living below the poverty line in LA, most people’s apartments don’t look that bad. That’s what apartments in real urban environments look like.

I don’t want to waste another minute thinking of this film, so I’m ending it here. It’s overrated.

Last Night at Unwined and CD Giveaway

First and foremost, thanks to all you awesome people who are
participating in the cd giveaway. Congrats to Karen and Denial (I’m in
such a fabulous mood, I wanted to have two winners to start this off).
For those just reading this, every week we’re giving away a cd out of
the pool of folks who leave comments on my page (there are some
disqualifiers, as mentioned in the “rules” like no mail-order brides or
penis-enlargement comments). That includes xanga comments or myspace comments.


I
also want to thank the cool folks who came out last night to Unwined
despite the cool, dismal rain. It felt like October! I’ve included the
setlist below for anyone who’s interested and a photo recap. I really
appreciated the support!


We’ll
be having some full band gigs coming up soon and coming to a city near
you (okay, if you happen to reside in Florida, Hawaii, or near Philly).


Setlist:
No Great Pretender
Sexy Mama (Laura Nyro)
Defy
You Shoulda
Underestimate
Operator
One Stoplight Town
Porcelain Doll
Take Me Home
Encore- Chained by Dreams



                                 Photo taken by Lambert Belandres (thanks so much!)

Going “Out on a Limb” With Unconditional Love

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”    

 Martin Luther King, Jr.

Cozumel was just the beginning in re-examining what matters to me in this life. When I returned I made the choice to finally read Shirley Maclaine’s book, Out on a Limb. All I remember are the wisecracks from Letterman and other comments about her crazy stories of past lives (which, seeing I’ve always believed in reincarnation didn’t seem all the strange to me). I think one of the biggest things I beat myself up for is my blindness when it comes to loving someone and my own faith in people that may be unwarranted or undeserved.

Friday night I attended a friend’s party; a friend who is often disappointed in people who don’t show up in her life. For someone who has this complaint, I could not believe how many warm and considerate and close friends managed to gather in one room to celebrate her. After a near bottle of red wine and a long train-ride home, I began to have my own moment of self-pity and thought who would ever really show up for me? You know, those moments where you fantasize being on your death bed and wonder who the hell will show up, send flowers, and beg your forgiveness and lament what an amazing person you were. I’m sure if I died, people would care and probably be moved (mainly by the fact I’m young and it’d be oh-so-tragic). Between the train running local and a stomach intoxicated on wine, it was only natural my thoughts would go there.

But here’s something funny about our universe. It does listen…  Let me tell you something, between leaving Brooklyn and today, so many people have reached out to me without an initiation on my part. Emails and calls and text messages all coming in a sudden stream, as if answering whatever energy I was sending out there. It was as if the world was saying, “Stop your whining. People care.”

I know my main obsession for years has been to strive and accomplish and become a legend and open for Stevie Nicks and tour the world and prove myself. At the end of the day when I examine my real motive, I may say I want to be a rich recluse living on the beach with my goat and grand piano, but the truth is I’ve done this all to plug in… to connect with people. Why do I write all these songs and create so much crap? Because I don’t feel like I’m being heard. I need some form of expression. This is what I loved about Shirley Maclaine’s book. Here’s a woman who made her money and lived her life in the spotlight, putting herself out there on a daily basis, when what she most wanted was to be alone with her journals and her thoughts.

I’m going to write more about the book and this blog may not follow linear logic or make much sense, but I wanted to write something  pertaining to my recent  jumbled thoughts.  I have an awesome life.  More importantly than money or awards or record sales (which I absolutely want), I have things that mean so much more… the ability to love unconditionally… more freedom than most people ever dream about… passion for life… and a fearlessness when it comes to unveiling my own authenticity. Half the time I’m scared shitless by the choices I’ve made in this life, but I’ve never let fear stop me. This is a totally self-indulgent post, but it reflects back to “Out on a Limb”… which concludes that the universe is inside of you. It doesn’t merely exist around you.

My Layered Life

I just completed my blog, only to have it completely vanish into cyberspace. Torn between giving up on this little anecdote or rewriting it, I’ve decided to type away. Why? Because there just may be a lesson in all of this.

So, last night I met up with a good female friend for a night on the town. I can always count on her for an adventure full of interesting and odd characters. Whereas my diverse group friends are often eccentric and fully conscious of their own quirks, her friends tend to be eccentric and oblivious to their own oddities. At her local watering hole, we were met by a self-proclaimed geeky Korean (okay, so he had some self-awareness), our wealthy French host for the evening and his girlfriend. The French host has been in hot pursuit of my friend for some time, and the attendance of his girlfriend did little to deter this. This is another reason I love going out with my friend… she is often the one dealing with the amorous men and I’m left to comfortably be the wallflower. It’s a welcomed change. She knows as well as I do, that most men in this town are after one thing- capturing the snatch.

We left the bar in a cab, with our French host taking a water glass with him and refilling it with small bottles of Smirnoff stowed in his wrinkled jacket. We headed to a weekly party hosted by a group of French people; people I have worked for many times but never actually attended their events (and from my experience last night, I’ll say working is far more enjoyable than attending). The event was held at the China Club, where you may last remember my experience as a showgirl from a corporate event. The time before that I feigned a Dutch accent, dressed as a flight attendant from the ’60’s, and walked around with empty luggage for the launch of Heineken Light. The China Club is a drab, aging club that saw it’s heyday about ten years ago and has one redeeming feature of a small terrace overlooking midtown.

The French host chucked his empty stolen glass in a nearby garbage and led us to the front door. On the door was a man I’ve not only spent thirty hours of my life working with, but someone who’s contacted me in the past with interest in playing bass for my shows. There was not a flinch of recognition in his eyes as he shook my hand. Flash forward to an hour later, after conversations with a guru, a commercial lawyer in a white linen suit, and half a dozen drunken Frenchman, our French host introduces us to the founder of this French social network. The founder is a neurotic, high-strung, disorganized, money-hungry guy that I have worked with many times. Since our host was well-connected, the founder was all the more willing to butter us up. He grabbed my hand and kissed it, expressing how soft and beautiful my dainty hands are. Then we posed for a photo.

This was my exit cue. I hate nothing more than fake individuals, with their sycophantic ways and pompous, ostentatious acts. It’s hard to tolerate saccharin musings from someone who’s treated me with disdain and arrogance in the past and has no recollection of it. In spite of my complaints of remembering too much, I’m glad that I do. I was more than happy to enjoy the buzz of champagne, waiting in solitude for the 1-train, and burying my head into Shirley Maclaine’s “Out on a Limb.”

Memories do come in layers…

A Little Vent

Today’s been wonderful to me, but I have a gripe.

People who are absent in my life, end relationships for no reason or weird reasons (sometimes relating to their addiction to processed foods), and people who are just online voyeurs but absent in the everyday… it’s weird. I miss the old days, when curiousity in a major city could only be quenched by picking up a phone and saying hello. Now everyone cyber-investigates. If you don’t want to be in someone’s life, why the hell would you keep reading what they have to say?

Fucking weird.

Cozumel

I’ve been traveling, working, and on the go so much I haven’t had the chance to blog about Cozumel. I had such an incredible time. In fact, for a week I would wake up every morning and think I was still there. The weather, the food, the people, the beach, the ceverza… I found myself missing it all. The travel to and from was a complete disaster, with constant delays and problems but the rest of the vacation was seamless.

I travelled with my younger brother and it was his first trip out of the country. For those idiotas (a commonly used insult among Mexican children), who thought it was strange to travel with family and not have some lavish affair with some dude that would eventually leave me heartbroken, I think they should get a friggin’ life. Upon arrival, every shopowner and salesperson at the various stores along the waterfront thought we were newlyweds. Of course, this amused me because it means I apparently look young enough to be with a 19-year-old. Go me. Everytime one of us would reply that we’re hermanos, the sales guys would try and lure me in with their charms. One even slapped a bracelet on my arm as a gift, even though I protested that I never wear jewelry.
 

The photo above was taken the first day we arrived and the beach was across the street from our hotel. Unlike the fucking regulations-weighted beaches of the United States, the entire coast is open for the public to swim at. That’s right, just along the docks for the major cruiselines, entire Mexican families could be seen swimming and jumping off the docks. It really irritated me that our country, founded by people who were sick of strict regulations and answering to a government, has a rule for everything. Just try and go to half of the beaches in NYC and you’ll find how many ban swimming because no lifeguard is on duty. 

This also holds true for the legal drinking age, which makes far more sense in Mexico. It was a perk for my brother, who could enjoy being “legal” for a change. Since water costs as much, if not more, than beer, we found ourselves
drinking Sol and Corona on a regular basis. The second day, we decided to walk to a local beach. Yes, we were the only gringos. I befriended a six-year-old girl named Aura, who’s mother was scarcely 21 and who’s entire family of cousins and other siblings were swimming among the reefs. She asked to see my eyes and said she only knew one other person who had blue eyes before. I always prefer speaking Spanish with children because they’re so much more understanding of miscommunication. While we chatted, her cousins and friends were daring one another to speak to the gringos. It was so cute.

 

Every morning we awoke at the hotel to fresh juices, a chef ready to cook our breakfast, pastries, yogurt, and a buffet of pure splendor. It was also free, included in our especially low hotel rate. While at breakfast, the maid would clean our hotel room and rearrange the towels to emulate different shapes and animals. I only wish I had taken more photos of her creations (the elephant was my personal favourite).
   


We took a quick ferry ride to Playa del Carmen, to visit some sandy beaches and the mainland. A major storm passed through while we were on the beach and there was no where to run for cover. So, I clung to a palm tree as the rain pellets pounded against the sand while my brother swam in the ocean. I know palm trees tend to have a great allure and are seemingly romantic and fun, but palm trees are homes to bugs. Lots of bugs that were more than happy to climb all over me as I clung to their tropical home. Thankfully, the weather cleared up quickly and we found this amazing healthfood restaurant called 100% Natural. Dinner and drinks came to $10 each… my brother also became the proud owner of a palm grasshopper that pledged to put food on the table for a local family.

 

 

 

The rest of the week we spent snorkeling. This, as I’ve mentioned, is my new favourite activity. The first time we took a glass-bottom boat out to sea with a bunch of tourists and locals. The boat offered free equipment use (which caused my entire face to breakout… although it was worth it) and unlimited beverages. Between the beer, soda, water, and bumpy waves, I swear my bladder nearly exploded. I was near tears when the following photo was taken and my brother found it amusing to constantly make jokes about my condition. I’ll tell you, the boat wasn’t even completely docked and I pushed my brother forward and jumped ship, running down the pier to the bathroom. Then again, no vacation is ever complete without one instance in which I have to desperately find a bathroom.

Each day ended with a swim or lounge at the hotel pool, because six hours a day of swimming JUST wasn’t enough.

The last day we went snorkling at Sunset Beach, this time choosing to walk two miles back into town. In order to keep the taxis busy, you cannot find a map in Cozumel that indicates how far the beaches really are from the city. We were the only tourists to walk and the funniest part of the entire trip occurred as we walked in the blistering sun along the local beaches. Seated in the natural jacuzzi of this small beach swam twelve children and a little boy, no more than four-years-old, saw my brother and me and started screaming, “Mira! Gringos!” Next thing we knew, all the children stood up and turning around, jumping and waving at us. It was a riot. Like we were some kind of sideshow. I really cannot wait to return, if only for another chance to be a sideshow act.

At the airport, where a little boy thought my brother was a real cowboy. He was the perfect companion on this adventure and I cannot wait until the next one. We’re thinking Thailand.