Sunday, March 30, 2008

Percolator

There are two important, time-sensitive things I need to get done. One is due Tuesday, the other April 15th (you know what that one is!). Because I have much to do for both these 'projects' it is essential that I write a post. ESSENTIAL I tell ya!

The procrastination of projects, whether creative or mundane, is a very long-held tradition with me. On those extremely rare occasions that I do something ahead of time I get slightly cocky, Oh look at me: all done nah-nah-nah-naaaaaa. Which annoys everyone, myself included. Either that or I fret: I can't possibly be done, it's not due for days! I must have missed something. Must have screwed up somewhere. Then I'll go back and re-do the whole thing. Yeah. That's some time saving there, Joy.

I'm very good at ignoring piles of 'stuff' that I'll leave to 'do later' for months at a time. Until something really needs doing. Like Friday. Friday - March 28th, mind you - I put away my Christmas tree ornaments. Seriously. It's that bad. It's my closets and drawers problem. I have all my holiday stuff in fabulous boxes, marked, labeled - they're great. Except that unless I can put stuff away 'properly' I just don't put it away. Things don't go back into cabinets, drawers or closets UNLESS they can go back 'properly'. I am my own Joan Crawford (Mommie Dearest). And despite this orderliness which borders on the anal retentive (oh great, now I'll be getting hits from searches for 'anal'... *sigh*) I have absolutely no problem living with a kitchen table full of laundry that gets worn before it ever has a chance to visit its friends in the closet, or Christmas ornaments that sit on a chair for 3 months before I feel the need to put them away.

While procrastinating doing the mundane (taxes) can serve to get the house clean, and correspondence caught up, and pedicures done; procrastinating on creative projects tends to be more of an incubation. A percolation.

My love of coffee is fairly well-known. It began before I even tasted it. The aroma was enough to hook me. My parents refused to let me have coffee as a child. My grandmother however was a smarter cookie. She would give me a mug of milk with a teaspoon of coffee stirred into it. Heaven in a cup. It was enough to satisfy my desire for the java and yet not make me bounce off the walls. Not that I was ever one to bounce off the walls.... but you know what I mean.

Back home in the land of 'kids don't drink coffee' I watched my mother make it every morning with the devotion of an acolyte. She had a Pyrex coffee percolator. This was a wondrous item, not only because it made the magic elixir, but because it was completely clear glass - from pot to stem. Nothing was so fascinating as watching the process of the water beginning to boil (yes, a watched pot WILL boil... it just takes a while) then seeing the bubbling liquid pop up the hollow stem and fountain over the coffee grinds in their basket. And the scent... oh.my.GOD. The smell of fresh coffee... is there anything better?

As the grinds soaked in the hot water they would drip that mellow brown liquid back into the boiling water and before it turned into full blown coffee there were streaks and wisps of fragrant, magical liquid spinning through the still boiling water. Then there was the 'ahhh' factor when the liquid popping up through the stem had turned into coffee so you could actually see it move through the clear tube. Once the coffee was done the show was over. Especially for me, who could not drink it. But every day I watched, fascinated, as this science-project-like process took place and in the end there was a perfect brew. I can't have been more than 8-9 years old when I was finally (after much begging) allowed to make the coffee myself. My mother was an incredibly early riser, so I didn't always beat her to it, but I loved it when I did. I still love making coffee in the morning, though I don't have a percolator, I use a machine now. The magic of watching the process is lost, but the delight in the making and drinking it are there to take its place.

Procrastination, especially for a creative project, is like watching the bubbles percolate through coffee. I tend to play video games now in lieu of watching the pot boil, but the effect is the same. It's an odd sort of electronic meditation. I click my mouse and break things, or feed fish, or whatever the game is and while my hands and eyes are 'in the game' my mind is a million miles away. Sometimes I'm hyper-conscious of the wild array of ideas zipping through my tattered little brain and sometimes I'm not; but I still know they're in there trying to take form. Just like the swirls of brown in the percolator that eventually overtake the clear, boiling water and become coffee.

The damned taxes however are another story altogether.

Friday, March 28, 2008

When Two Obsessions Meet

My personality type is a bit...um... OCD, I guess is a good way to put it. When I find something that interests me I will study the hell out of it until I am sick of it. It is not an intervention-like reveal to say here that I'm ever so slightly 'into' The Niagaras, but now I've discovered (via Miss X's Mom) the wonders of editing movies together. I have done a bit of throwing pictures or videos together to show here, but nothing with any sort of finesse or great forethought - except to get a laugh (see my Mexico vids for that!) But the other day I watched while MX's M did some editing ('n I helped!) and it got me crazy fired up; because she's awfully good at it.

So put this little guy together (because God KNOWS I don't need to do my taxes or anything... notice the lengths to which I will go to avoid said taxes.)



In addition to the fun of movie-makin' (if I even dare call it that... what is up with compressing these things? I know my bitty little digital camera isn't the highest tech in the world, but this stuff looks so much better at home than on the 'net that I'm finding it beyond irksome. Any suggestions on how to fix that issue are welcome.) I have rediscovered the wonders that procrastination can do for the cleanliness of my apartment! You could EAT off my floors! Maybe I should regrout the tub... hmmmm.

I've got until April 15th, right?

Right.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Entirely too much time on my hands....

This, my dears, is what happens when I should be working on my taxes. The old photos come out and I play with the scanner. My innate need for a laugh will invariably beat out any sense of pride, so here goes. A tedious trip down memory lane. Tedious for you, hilarious (and just ever so slightly embarrassing) for me. But, ya know, it's my blog.
Now how's that for some fancy hair? Always a trend setter, this was not to be my last spiky hair style; but it was the last time I willingly wore overalls. What a beauty, eh? And note the tasteful nautical wallpaper. Mmmm. Pretty. My childhood home. oy.

At this point, My First Communion, I was hell-bent on becoming a nun... or living on a kibbutz (choices, people, choices - there's a lot going on when you're 7). Nonetheless I would always prefer to be playing with a dog. Who cares about keeping your veil and crown on straight when you've got a huge Yorkie visiting? Oh. I'm just now noticing the fact that my skirt seems to be hiked up. More of that to come....
Jump ahead to 1985, a scant 6 months after my college graduation. Dear GOD, what a vision! Of COURSE that is a polyester coat, don't even go there. I was a big ol' vegetarian attending PETA meetings at this point so I do NOT want to hear it. I loved that coat. And truth be told, I even loved the perm. Only girls with straight hair know the longing for the curls...
Ever demure, ever sweet. My desire to become a nun had long passed, but I still loved that whole black and white look and, quite apparently, hiking up my skirt. I also note that I should have worn a black slip under that dress instead of... um... not.

Once again that black and white theme rears its head. Always one to take the sacraments of the church (or in this case synagogue) seriously, this is what happens when the cranky bridesmaid becomes chummy with the bartender AND the wedding photographer. Kids, don't try this at home. And please don't ask me to be your bridesmaid!
Completely switching gears - the 'Effing High School Reunion I attended (under duress - never again!) and in a red lace peplum dress. Purple contacts and white hair. Nothing like switching up the look. (Really, Madonna who now?) Then again... if you go back to the top it seems I have the same hair style in a different color. Hmmmm. I guess I really do likes what I likes.

In case anyone was wondering, this was as close to the convent as I ever got

The perm ain't great, the top is as unflattering as humanly possible, but as I couldn't hike up my skirt (not wearing one), I dropped the shoulder instead. So there's something. A sad attempt at sass, but it amused me. Yeah, yeah, it still does.

Bunnies!

It's bunny day! Flowers and chocolate, colored eggs, ducklings and most of all: bunnies!
That's me... oh my god was I ever that thin? (More unsettling: were my glasses REALLY that big???) With my extreme Alpha Bunny, Henry Miller. C'mon you know Henry Miller is a PERFECT name for a bunny. You're only jealous I thought of it first.

Henry was a riot. He was not a cuddly bunny by any means and this is one of only two photos I have of me holding him. He was three pounds of hard-ass bunny rabbit. Very in-charge. He'd move rugs, furniture, no seriously! He was tiny, but very strong. And very, very dominant.

When Henry was four years old Basil arrived. And that "tough as nails, do as I say, bee-otch" bunny rabbit turned into a... well... a fluffy bunny. At least with Basil.
Henry's cage was always opened so he could run around the apartment. He used a litter box and was extremely clean - seriously, bunnies are really super good about using a litter box, sometimes better than cats. The cage was more his 'room' than a cage. When you're only three pounds it's nice to have a place you can hide out.
When Basil was really small (25 lbs) he could go into the cage with Henry... it was surreal and sadly I don't have any photos of it. This was back in '96 and I was using disposable cameras, not the most reliable things.
Basil's a little too big to fit at this point, but you get the idea. I think he was truly disconcerted that he couldn't get in the cage any more to hang out with his 'big' brother, Henry.

Sadly, Henry passed away when he was only 5 years old. Basil was a year old and he was as confused as can be. He looked everywhere for Henry for months after he died. Heart breaking really. For both of us. I loved that damned, ornery rabbit. And he loved Basil. Picture a three-pound dwarf rabbit chasing a pitbull-mix puppy around a one bedroom NYC apartment. Oh yes people, welcome to my wacky world.

When I saw this photo I thought instantly of the late, great Henry B. [Bunny] Miller. This is his personality in a nutshell.
It was only a few months after Henry died that we found Nick out on the street. Basil needed a friend. Of course most of the time he acts all high and mighty, ignoring Nick's pleas for attention (at least when I'm around and watching). But sometimes I catch them like this:


Summing up my thoughts on this Springtime holiday, my favorite sexy tranny, Eddie Izzard:


Think it through.

And one final thought. Be good to your Peeps. Treat them with love and affection. If you're not careful they could end up like this, working at the Ultimate "Peep" Show:

Thanks to Whim for sending me this and giving me the best laugh of the day.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Lonely

My inclination is towards solitude. Whether this is a natural personality trait or a learned one I'm not really certain. I was an only child isolated by overprotective, yet neglectful parents (weird, right?) so it's a tough call as to whether these leanings towards solitude are nature or nurture. But I had (okay, have) a very rich fantasy world and being alone was never an overwhelming problem to me. Sure, I wished for a sibling when I was a kid - ideally an older brother, which would have been quite the feat - and I envied the other kids who had what appeared to be built-in playmates. Someone to play board games with, someone to share the horrors of weekend drunken fight-fests, someone who ... you know... saw me.

But for the most part I was okay with being alone. When you don't know any different and all that.

So as an adult I have very rarely experienced actual loneliness. In fact my bouts with the "L" word have been more related to missing a particular person than missing company in general.

I've been feeling pangs of what, at first, seemed to be loneliness. But the truth is I'm not lonely. Really thinking it through I realize that what I'm feeling is in fact a pervasive hunger for passion.

Yeah, passion.

S-E-X. But not just sex - sex with that crazy "can't get enough" wild, passion. It can't be one-sided, it doesn't have to be love, but boy oh boy if you can be alone in a room together and keep your hands off each other: that ain't it.

I've had that. Sometimes it's over as quickly as it started, sometimes it can go on for years, but however long it lasts: there's nothing else like it. That ache that can only be fixed by the object of your lust - and knowing that YOU are the object of theirs... powerful, and fantastic. And it fills a need in me that nothing else can. A need to have tangible proof that someone SEES me. Even more so, that I exist and am wanted - more than anyone else. That for just one person: I am the most important thing in the world.

Been a weeee bit too long since I've been in that situation. And that, excuse my phrasing, sucks hard.

So am I lonely? Nope. Am I starved for someone to to share that passion with? Oh yeah, you betcha. So I suppose, by my definition of 'lonely', you could say I am... I'm lonely for a particular person... and I have no idea who he is. Or if he even exists.

*sigh*

Friday, March 21, 2008

My worst enemy

If you've read here before you know I have a lot of fears. Sometimes I like to call 'em neuroses, it just sounds so much fancier, oddly more defined. But boiled down to basics: I'm afraid.

The fabulous paradox of my life is that I despise cowardice. Yet here I am, big ol' chickenshit; about the stupidest things sometimes! Really, who the hell is afraid of ordering something over a deli counter? Geez, Louise get over yourself, right? But there I am with my own particular weirdness.

There are tons of things I'm not afraid of that are very common fears: bugs, rodents, snakes, riding the NYC subway alone at 3 a.m., being on stage in my underwear... but there are things that scare me.

Since deciding to stick around in this life for as long as possible and not check myself out early, I have a personal mission to attempt those things that scare me, when I can. Meaning when they come up or when I'm emotionally 'up' enough to take the risk.

I'm so proud of, and excited for, myself when I manage to conquer those fears (even if it is just for the moment that allows me to attempt the experience) that I wonder how I can continue to hold onto any fears at all.

Certainly some fears are commendable. They are programmed deep in our brains as self-preservation - like the fear of heights, to keep us from jumping off tall buildings just to avoid a long elevator ride. But most are little things that we (okay, that I) use as emotional self-preservation. You know, to avoid embarrassment or heartbreak.

Ahh-haa! There it is, there's the the one, eh? Heartbreak. Does anything else hurt that much? Physical pain has nothing on the pain of a broken heart. That's the big daddy of all pain right there, that sonofabitch. Give me a broken leg over a broken heart any time. Hell, break two!

But along with heartbreak is the fear of rejection. Hand in hand with that fluffy little puppy is the fear of success. Yes, dichotomy is my middle name, is it not? (Okay, it's not really, but it may as well be on my birth certificate.) Of course, one cannot achieve success without risking rejection. Tough one. I believe they call that being between a rock and a hard place.

From time to time I read Tarot cards. I've been doing that since I was 15. Yes, yes, there were still dinosaurs then, but they were starting to die out. One thing about the cards that is much misunderstood is what they do. They really don't predict the future. What they do is serve the subconscious. They tell you what you already know. What you already feel. What you already, deep down, want - or fear - and haven't, or can't, admit to yourself. Having your cards read is a lot like having someone interpret a dream for you: sometimes it's hard to see what's in your own head. Reading your own cards is a great way to find out about yourself.

When I do my own cards I get the same readings all the time. All the time. It always boils down to this: "what holds you back is fear". It's the only thing. One teeny four letter word is the only thing that stands in the way of EVERYTHING. Isn't that silly?

The other night I was talking to Miss X's Mom who reminded me ('cos I needed it) that we create our own reality. The things we tell ourselves over and over in our nutty little noggins are made manifest. We are what we believe we are, we become what we tell ourselves we are. This is a powerful thing. Unfortunately it is much easier to put limits on ourselves than it is to dream big, easier to tell ourselves we suck rather than rock. At least it has been for me the past couple of weeks. Going through some blues of late - with that voice in my head regurgitating every negative thought I've ever had about myself. Bleech.

Part of me would simply like to up my dosage of Zoloft and call it a day. But that's not what I need to do. My dosage is fine, it keeps the razor blades and crazy shopping at bay -- that's good enough. The real trick is for me to face my fears. That's the thing that will really fix the 'bad' that I've been going through lately. And I know it.

Pinning down the No. 1 fear for me is tough. There are a lot that ride shotgun with it to keep it safe, so even if I bump off a few of them, there are more to take their place. Bastards. But I suppose the head honcho, the one who really runs the whole show, is the fear of being unloved.

I wish I could put a stop watch on this post so you could see how long it took to actually type that last word. Oy. That's a year of my life I'm never getting back.

So the fear of being unloved (it was faster to type that time), is the essence of the whole thing. It is what keeps me from losing weight, despite working out like a fiend and eating properly. It is what keeps me from writing my book, my play, my screenplay, (fill in the various writerly items). It is what keeps me from attracting someone who might actually (shudder) love me. That fear is the thing that keeps me from EVERYTHING.

Talk about a vicious circle!

How do you beat a thing like that?

When I wanted to die this all still bothered me - immensely. But the escape route was clear: just kill myself. Easy-peasy, no worries, no risk equals no failure.

But I like being alive now. A lot. A whole lot. In the words of Miss Susan Hayward "I want to LIVE!" I really do! And I want to do it fully and without these crippling fears of unlovableness that hold me in a static state of 'what the fuck?', and without backtracking to living up (or down) to the expectations of my parents and family who viewed me as useless, odd, and utterly, irrevocably unworthy and unlovable.

I'm fucking AWESOME, dammit.

Now if I could just get my tarot cards to believe that.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tips From My Mom #2 - Education

To ensure that your child excels scholastically, always find ways to encourage them to strive to do better.

That sounds like a good one, eh? Well that depends on your version of 'encouragement'. With my mother it was a matter of once again, beat 'em down to encourage. Maybe she was under the impression that reverse psychology would work on me. It doesn't.

I was a god damned brainiac in school. I was reading before I got to kindergarten, and I do have to thank my mother for that. She taught me, with the clever use of comics... and books on religion. OY! But it seems despite my parents unbelievable low expectations of my intelligence (she was going to name me Cassandra but opted for Joy explaining that because my last name was sooooo long and full of many unusual vowel combinations that I would NEVER be smart enough to learn to spell both Cassandra and S*********z which is code for my legal last name and yes, there are a lot of vowels in the middle - in a repeating pattern).

My report cards were a steady stream of Es (in the early grades they used E = Excellent, G = Good, F = Fair, S = Satisfactory and so on) and As (when they moved up to the A, B, C grading system).

I would usually rank a B (or a G) on gym. I just wasn't a 'gym' kid. No clue, and no coordination. I could read at the college level by the 5th/6th grade -- I read Poe in the 2nd fer cryin' out loud, but if you threw a ball in my direction I was more likely to catch it with my face than my hands. It took me years to understand the phrase "heads up". I still have trouble with it....

But those As were there in every other subject - even with being absent more than I was present. I pretty much hated school and experienced a daily mix of terror (I was very shy) and boredom (I was very smart). So school was not good-times for Joy.

The day I got an absolute straight A report card (EVEN GYM! though god knows how that happened... we must have been doing a lot of square dancing that term) I was as proud as I can remember. I handed my mother that pea-green rectangle of oaktag with my perfect As and hoped beyond hope that this would be a time of recognition and cash. See, the other kids in my neighborhood tended not to be overly academic. Their parents rewarded their efforts with money. If you got an A you got $5. I don't remember what happened with other grades, but I do remember that $5 grand prize. I was already fantasizing about hitting a bookstore with my windfall. Why I thought this is beyond me as there was never any such monetary reward in my house. In fact, there was no monetary anything. But I was a dreamer....

My mother looked at the report card and I waited, puffed up like a peacock, so pleased with myself I could have burst.

And then my mother said:

"Why aren't they A-pluses?"


As I said, I was pretty bright back then. I got the point: I was not good enough. Nothing I would do would ever be enough. Nothing I did would ever garner any sort of praise. And so I stopped bothering. In fact by the time I reached the 8th grade I was on a mission to FAIL anything and everything I could. I did manage to fail Algebra once - it's surprisingly harder to get an F than you'd think! I actually brought my best friend to my Algebra teacher and asked him to show her his grade book because she did not believe I had failed. The teacher was somewhat taken aback by my pride in this achievement, but I was thrilled.

It may come as no shock that it was in math classes that I learned the intricacies of creative cheating. Sometimes I'd use the methods I came up with to pass - and sometimes to insure that I'd fail. Yeah. A brilliant criminal mind up to no good. That was me.

Despite my penchant for cutting classes and failing them when possible, I still managed to rank somewhere in the 50s (think it was 56, but don't quote me) of my High School graduating class (which numbered somewhere in the 600s I believe). Scary stats, huh? When I decided, at the last minute, to go to college, I went from failing everything to straight As again. However I did not do this for my parents approval, which let's face it: wasn't gonna happen any way. I did it for me. I graduated magna cum laude (would've been summa if not for that damned Stats class...) and turned down invitations to several Honor's Societies. Fuck 'em I said. I wanted my $5, not some snooty society membership.

Addendum: Tips From My Dad #1 - Education

Always encourage your child to try new things by disparaging their favorite hobbies.

My father to me at any given time I was reading (which was pretty much any given time):

"Are you READING again? You're so STUPID!"

'nuff said.

Monday, March 17, 2008

'tis a blessing indeed to be Irish

Oh sure we've got our 'melancholia', our issues with the drink and that damned penchant for potatoes, and are notoriously bad cooks, but we've also got a great way with the gab, the words, ahhh the words, the darkest of dark senses of humor on the planet and not a small amount of stubbornness (which can be a good thing... sometimes).

But on St. Patrick's Day, they say, EVERYONE is Irish. Even my friend Sandy - who is in fact NOT Irish, but did marry a lovely Irish lass, so I guess that's alright. Here he is in his vintage car in a St. Paddy's parade yesterday.
I dunno 'bout everyone being Irish today, but I do know that my dog is Irish to the bone. And many years ago when he was a wee wisp of a pup, I used to take him to the St. Patrick's Day Parade up Fifth Avenue. Something about the bagpipes really appeals to him. It's odd, but that's ma boy! And it's pretty amusing. Since he no longer enjoys leaving the block, we haven't gone to the parade in many, many years.














But I do have some charmingly embarrassing photos of him from the years when I would deck him out.
Please rest assured the shamrocks were merely green food coloring - it washed right out. He's like Teflon this dog, dirt don't stick. Which is realllllly convenient in a white dog living in NYC. Trust me.





The shirt is an old thermal of mine and that was his coat for some time while I searched for something I could afford that would fit his very large rib cage. (I ended up making him a leopard coat out of fleece - adorable and very warm.) This is just the scarf. He enjoys dressing up. Again... that's my boy.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tips From My Mom #1

Yesterday afternoon Gary and I were on the phone and somehow got onto the subject of our Mothers. Because he has a feature on his blog called "Tips From My Mom" we started coming up with tips from MY Mom. Needless to say they differ, ever so slightly, from Gary's Mom's tips. (Which you should go read, they're really heart-warming.) We also came up with Tips From My Dad which was also rather amusing, but more of that later. After pretty much peeing our pants [yeah, we're a little over fond of the Gary & Joy show. Deal.] coming up with these (all true) 'tips' Gary said, "maybe that's a little too mean - maybe you shouldn't blog it, maybe this was enough."

I'm not Gary.

I'm nice and all... but I'm a little less hesitant to let my inner bitch show through. Especially if it gets a laugh. I'm a laugh whore. I admit it. I revel in it. Laugh and I will keep working the room until you are in tears or get sick of me and walk away. Starved for attention as a kid and all that. But we'll learn more about that in MY "Tips From My Mom".

Where to start, that's the tough one. There are soooooo many.

Starting at the beginning might be the smart way to go, but that's a little too linear for me. So as this new blog feature (ooooh how very pompous!) was prompted by Gary, I'll start with a "Tip" that involves him.

Tips From My Mom #1 - Childrearing

It is imperative when dealing with your child, even as an adult, that you remind them on a regular basis that there is ALWAYS someone better around than them. Never hesitate to let them know this or they might develop some smattering of self-esteem. This can lead to conceit and feelings of self-worth.

My mother was a genius at this. It started from as far back as I can remember and continued until her death.

My mother ADORED Gary. Pretty much everyone does, it's hard not to. He's a doll. Sweet and funny, charming and adorable. But despite his claims he is not a saint. (Oh stop Gar, I'm not giving away any secrets here! - YOU ARE fabulous but NOBODY is a saint.) One day, back when my mother was living with me, Gary had been visiting and when he left she had me on the brink of hysteria with the copious praise and fawning. Finally I had had enough and felt compelled to burst her bubble.

Not to disrespect my BFF, 'cos I adore him TOO, but I just wanted her to STOP the love-fest for a freakin' minute so I said, "He's not a saint, you know. He's not as pristine and lovely all the time as you seem to think he is."

She turned to me, took a drag on that ever-present cigarette, exhaled long and slow and said, "Well. If he has done anything bad - it's YOUR influence."

*sigh*

Let me end this special new feature by saying that despite her many faults as a parent, my mother was a VERY, VERY funny woman. She really was. No denying. A riot. She was also much loved by people, possibly because she was so funny, and because in terms of people (other than myself) she really did do the right thing when it was required. She was adept as hell at helping other people, sadly, it was with me that she fell short. But I do understand that I was not the child she, or my father, dreamed of having. She was a Libra, my father was a Cancer: they had a Capricorn child. A bad mix all around. They came from the city, they moved to the suburbs to live 'the American white picket fence' dream and ended up with the strangest 'born for NYC' kid on the block. Life's funny that way.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A game, a chaw and a good book

Last Sunday I did something I've never done before. Something I certainly never thought I'd do. But as my life, especially since deciding not to kill myself over three years ago, has been a series of 'you did WHAT?' It seemed appropriate to say "yes" to my friend's, Miss X's Mom, invitation to attend a --- wait for it....... HOCKEY game!

Yes. Me. The hater of organized sports. I went to a hockey game at Madison Square Garden where the closest thing to a sporting event I have ever attended is the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. I've never understood the social phenomenon of attending a game, watching a game, or having anything whatsoever to do with organized sports. If someone you know (personally) is playing, or YOU are playing, or you have money on it, these are reasons I can understand. But being a sports fan or following it in any way shape or form is something that is [still] lost on me. To each his own and all, but it's just not something I understand. But Miss X's Mom persuaded me with a strong argument, a) there would be 4 of us chicks (all of whom are hilarious - me included, a-hem) and b) there's a LOT of testosterone at these things.

Sold.

I have to say the sight of me attending something like this had to be hilarious. I mean really. Luckily I spoke with Miss X's Mom before we met and that conversation got me to thinking that maybe I shouldn't wear a dress. Yeah. It's that bad. So jeans it was... and a kimono jacket. Because you know, I like to fit in.

If you have ever attended any concert or event at Madison Square Garden you know it is a MOB scene. It's simply huge. And crazy. People, people... manners, eh? Seriously. When the management puts up a sign like this during the event you know there's good times a-brewin'.
Aside from my fish out of water status, and its accompanying humor to 'the regulars' - like the guys in front of us who apparently got a big kick out of me asking whether the guys swarming out of the box onto the ice were 'allowed to do that?' and 'why are these Boston guys so damned aggressive? there's no need to be like that - play nice' and such, there was the people watching. When we first arrived we noticed this guy, Number 15. He had a 'let's make a day of it' set-up - part of which was the chaw. As you can see.
Not something you see at my usual haunts. I mean, really. When was the last time someone was chewing tobacco at a museum or a Broadway show? Exactly.

I was also amazed by the clothing choices. Seriously. Are all these people ON the teams? What's with the jersey's? I just don't get it. But hey, what do I know?

Then there's the phenomenon of 'my boyfriend wanted to come here'. Now I'm all for doing things with your significant other. Even if it's not something you're into yourself - at least some of the time. You know, to be supportive and all. But the tickets to these things are just as expensive as Broadway shows, these ain't $5 seats here people, and if you are going to go along to get alone - why not BE THERE? This scene went on for the entire game. Apparently the young lady was really into her book - must've been a page turner. Or maybe she was studying massage therapy? Because she was rubbing her fella's head the entire time. I don't pet Basil that much... Call me crazy, but if I was seeing someone who wanted to bring me to see something he was into (though God KNOWS it's SERIOUSLY unlikely that anyone I'd be dating would want to bring me to one of these things) I'd make the effort to actually pay attention. But maybe that's why I'm not seeing anyone... hmmm. Nah. Couldn't be.

Something else I'd never seen before (what a day of 'firsts' this turned out to be!) was beer in plastic bottles. You heard me. PLASTIC BOTTLES. I love beer. Good beer any way. (Look, I'm half Irish, half Polish - if it's not potatoes, it's beer. It's GENETIC, okay?) Because I like good beer: I have not had a Bud, or Bud Light, since sometime in the 80s. As one of the women described it - "it's seltzer water with a vague beer flavoring." But when in Rome and all. Plus, now I can say I've drunk beer from a plastic bottle at a hockey game. Which goes a long way with me as a comment like that is something fun to pull out of your ass in a conversation about, say, global warming or Henry Miller.

All this is not to say I didn't have a good time - because I certainly did. Will I go to another? It's not so likely, but you never know. Never say never and all that. As a unique experience, and something to add to my 'been there, done that' list it was a hoot and a half. Many thanks to Miss X's Mom for inviting me - and to the other 'No Sex in the City' ladies for making it a really fun time.

NOW... more to my usual tastes. The Niagaras are playing tonight at a brand new venue: The National Underground! So really, if you're in (or near) New York City this fine Friday evening you should come by and see! Listen, if I can go to a hockey game, you can certainly come see The Niagaras. And I promise - nobody will be chewing tobacco, reading a book or drinking out of plastic bottles DURING the show... at least, I don't think they will...

Monday, March 10, 2008

The GREAT Keely Smith!

I have a 'real' post comin' up, but this just in:
I had no idea that Keely Smith appeared on the Grammy's until Gary called and left me a voice mail. THANKS Gary! I am such a big Keely fan this was just a hoot for me. So naturally I had to post it!

Friday, March 07, 2008

A bit o' work, a bit o' play and a semi-cold

Well. Where the hell have I been, huh? Busy, busy, busy as one might have said in a Rankin-Bass animation.

I've been busy helping a very dear friend with a creative project of sorts - a project which has had me fairly enervated with fear (of screwing it up) but that I have much faith in. Yesterday evening that particular project was completed and I feel a sense of release that is palpable. whew. Not that I didn't enjoy it - don't get me wrong. It's more a matter of fear that I will somehow fail my friend. But I know I did the best I could, hopefully that will be enough.

After finishing this project I was in a state of "God, do I need to unwind and celebrate having done this." As soon as I left it at the post office I popped into the wine store (which is the only one in my 'hood that carries the particular Vegan wine I love) and who should I run into but my Miracle-Worker Physical Therapist who I simply ADORE! She fixed my crazy pinched nerve and I'm ever grateful to her! She was free - I was free, we split the wine we were buying and had a lovely catch-up at her apartment. I have to say, I'm seriously envious of her crisp, clean and warm decorating style. I'm feeling the need to re-do my apartment, hers was soooooo beautifully done! But let's face it, I'm more the wacky colors and such than the cool and refined type, so I guess I'll leave mine as it is. For now.

This was also a good week for theater! Wheee! I got to see my current obsession, Eddie Izzard! oh dear lord, I laughed so hard I was crying. I love when that happens. It's the best! It was a great show and I'm completely thrilled that he was playing here during my obsessing! Talk about lucky timing! He was not in his usual TV gear, but despite the lack of lippy and liner, I still adore him. He's just a funny, funny man - with a political/social sensibility that I truly appreciate. Of course, the bit he did about giraffes coughing... well, that was really the highlight for me (2 tissues of crying laughter).

In the midst of all this I've been dealing with some sort of low level cold/flu-y thing. It's been SO annoying! It never developed into a big ol' SICK, just weeks of feeling super blah, a vaguely runny/stuffy nose and a serious lack of 'oompf'. I think I'd much rather be hit with a bad cold, stay in bed with the Vicks vaporub, some soup and a pile of Buffy the Vampire dvds and be done with it. This was just endless ... A-L-M-O-S-T sick. Grrrrr.

But I'm feeling better now. Project completed, a little socializin', a little non-dressed tranny and possibly best of all: tonight The Niagaras. Oh yes. If you're in NYC come on down to the Rodeo Bar and say 'hi!'.