Archives For Miscellaneous

Broken Heart

Dear Anonymous:

You reached a new low this weekend – trying to contaminate my quiet day of mourning for a dead girl.

Telling me it was too bad it wasn’t ME that died instead of a writer I worshipped and was lucky enough to spend a joyous, incredible summer with.

What exactly is UP with the hate mail?

Are you trying to intimidate me?

Look, I’m no Sarah Connor, cinematic badass and pullup queen extraordinaire.

sarah-connors-o

root of my pullup obsession

But it’s going to take more than emails to get drive me off WordPress.

 

It’s actually the height of irony that I AM in fact, still alive.

I grew up in one three white families in one of the shittiest housing projects of the five boroughs of New York City.

Which, to quote Wu Tang, “Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’Wit.”

There were three reasons to stop playing outside:

1. Your mama called

2. Outside lights came on

3. Gunshots

A bullet to the knee cap really fucked up a Skelly game.

skelly

bottle cap game played by inner city kids

 

So, guns and death threats don’t particularly scare me.

I find it amusing when people cross the street simply because a large African American man is headed their way.

You know who’s really scary? Not Leroy.

Leroy’s FUCKING WIFE.

When he gets home and she starts in with that NECK ROLL, and SUCKS HER TEETH at him, in that way that only black (and Dominican) chicks do really well, and gets up in his grill,

“Motherfucka, you jumped a turnstile for WHAT? To brang me this cold fish dinner?!”

Leroy starts quaking in his green Osiris. True that.

Yeah, I could jump a turnstile back in the day

Yeah, I could jump a turnstile back in the day

 

And those fierce black housing project princesses used to chase me down and beat me up every day. Because I was what? Skinny? Nerdy? White?

Yes. Yes. Yes.

They’d lean over their desks in those nasty portable classrooms that were NEVER warm in the winter, and mouth at me “just let me get you.”

At 3:00 I’d RUN. Or try and find one of my brothers.

Usually, they’d be getting their asses beat, too. We’d get home and brag about who got beat up the worst.

 

In college, I didn’t start off roommates with my BFF freshman year.

She was a tough-ass housing project girl from the South Bronx who knew cinder block and gun play.

We had lame Midwestern girls for roommates, girls who listened to Milli Vanilli and used sanitary napkins instead of tampons, for fuck’s sake.

We met at a dorm social. And when we locked eyes, we were like Tony and Maria in West Side Story.

Every one else fell away. We murdered those lame bitches asked for a transfer and moved in with each other.

And we played Russian Roulette with our lives on a regular basis.

Why should we finance Greyhound when we could just stick our thumbs out on the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx and hitch hike back to school?

Jump in a van filled with five guys? Yay! We got ourselves “The Real World!”

“This is the true story of seven strangers picked to drive COMPLETELY DRUNK in a van…

…Find out what happens when they do hallucinogenics and break out into a game of quiddich.”

We’d get them to drive us straight to our town – to our door.

And invite them IN. Where they’d stay, sometimes for DAYS.

 

Once, we got into a car with a cowboy from Montana.

We’re somewhere on Route 80, and Cletus McPigFucker very nonchalantly reached under his seat.

And pulled out a shotgun, placed it on the dashboard, and continued to chat with us. While he stroked his gun, like a penis.

Or a dog.

Or a penis.

We took off running at the next rest stop, hopping over the guard rails and bushwacking through the high grass.

For the rest of my life, I will remember the sight of my BFF running like an escaped convict, high jumping the guard rails.

 

At least when I got jumped on the platform of the D train, I could SEE who my opponents were.

One brother held me while the other put a knife to my throat and snatched a gold chain off my neck.

I don’t know what would have happened next if my Guardian Angels hadn’t saved me.

Not the spiritual Deep-pockets Chopra kind, the Curtis Sliwa kind.

Rocking the whole uniform; the beret, the red jacket over tight white tee with that Guardian Angels logo.

Not my Angels - but they kept NYC subways safe

Not my Angels – but they kept NYC subways safe

 

And I ended up dating one of them, too. But mostly because he was a drummer and because the uniform was HOT.

I wasn’t always so lucky.

Wattie, the lead singer from a death metal hardcore punk thrash band from Scotland- The Exploited – swaggered into the record store near my apartment and invited my fishnet stockings and mini skirt to watch them perform that night, as his guest.

Wattie in the men's room (none of your business)

Wattie in the men’s room (none of your business)

 

So, I brought Lisa, my coke dealer Harold’s 16-year-old girlfriend, who I was stuck babysitting, while he did coke

Unfortunately, we were enraging all the territorial death metal hardcore punk thrash chicks – particularly Lazar, the leader.

A scary creature with upside down crosses tattooed on her face.

How does one get a job with ink like that? Is that not an issue?

And when we left the club, Wattie invited us into the van to continue the party at their hotel. I peeked in – 10 drunken band members and roadies.

Hmmm, this didn’t look like Bay City Rollers Scottish,

this looked like Gang Bang Scottish. We declined the ride, said we’d catch a cab and turned around

To face Lazar and her pack of rabid dog women from hell, who “demanded our leathers” (a British punk thing; they rob your leather jackets),

and then PROCEEDED TO KICK THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF US.

Back then, Doc Martens didn’t come with girly roses on them,

Yeah  - NO

Yeah – NO

They were BLACK and had fucking STEEL in the toe.

We ended up in the hospital with broken ribs, a busted collarbone. a concussion and black eyes.

Harold was pissed.

 

My point is, I’ve been in some actual scary situations.

So, excuse me if my first reaction to your emails is to break out the red pen of my cerebral cortex and start correcting.

What language are you WRITING in? Yellow LEDBETTER?

You don’t seem to know a “you’re” (contraction) from a “your” (possessive pronoun) and my son already knows that. And he’s ten.

Now I totally lost my train of thought

Now I totally lost my train of thought

 

Oh, right-

I’m sorry it bothers you that I have so much to write about. I guess that’s why I’m a Hot Bitch On the Internet.

My blog is my HOME. I’ll write what I please.

If I want to write that I was ass-fucked by Kris Kringle in Macy’s window (34th St side), I will.

You no likey, you no read. Click. That’s what your opposable thumbs are for.

You’ll find they come in handy, once you step down as captain of the “USS WHAT THE FUCK” and do something useful.

Besides hurling CPS threats at me, which are getting as OLD as your snatch hair.

 

Your factually uncluttered hyperbole regarding the details of my life makes me wonder, why me?

You know nothing about ME.

Or about ANYTHING. I’ve been surrounded by YOU by whole life.

Idiots who think they can wax philosophic about Haile Selassie because they know how to tie on a Jamaican flag bandanna as a doo rag between huge bong hits.

 

But really, why ME??

I’m not well known.

I don’t have a huge following.

I’M NOBODY.

I’m a faceless cog pushing a cart in Whole Foods.

I’m a nameless mailbox in the frozen tundra of suburban wasteland with school cancelled yet ANOTHER snow day.

With a sniffily ADHD 10 year old, hopped up on so much Sudafed, he’s Breaking Bad in my family room.

If he doesn’t stop talking through Full House I’m going to have to remove his larynx with a blunt spoon.

I’M NOBODY AT ALL.

Tapping at her computer when I can. My kid just blew his nose and presented me with the contents of his tissue – that was the “Big Event” of the evening.

And the hottest thing that’s happened to me in the last month was getting a lady boner over the fact that Anthony Kiedis is still immensely fuckable at 51.

 

To accuse me of being an “attention whore” is to make no accusation at all. WELCOME TO WORDPRESS.

Aren’t we all spreading our proverbial legs open just for a fix of attention? Isn’t that the point of blogging?

Exactly what is it you want from me??

If you want me to leave, I’m not. Writing is how I breathe.

If you’re trying to get me to not believe in myself, it’s been done already. This is, at best, an amateur effort.

 

I don’t know whether to slap you upside the head, cradle you to my breast…or cook for you.

I suppose,

love you is what I have to do. I just blogged about that, right? That love is the answer.

To do anything else makes me look like a hypocrite.

Love is the the universal force that unites us all.

 

You just make it so damn hard to love you.

 

Deep breath.

 

Regroup.

I know food. I know music.

So, come in. Wipe your feet.

We’re listening to the blues today. If Little Dude wants to play air guitar to “Lonely Boy,” he has to know Muddy Waters.

I hope you like beef stew. There’s enough for all of us

IMG_1391[1]

 

And homemade biscuits. Pull up a chair.

IMG_1399[1]

 

 

Seriously, I got nothing, people.
But you can talk to me. I’m listening.

Surrender is NOT Consent

February 12, 2014 — 59 Comments

Rape-1

 

It’s not YES.

It’s abandonment of all hope.

It’s when NO becomes frozen in your vocal cords from the realization that no one can hear you.

No one will help.

No matter how hard you fight this terrible thing is happening.

And you stop fighting once you realize

the sooner they get it over with

the better.

 

And you remember being plagued with nightmares as a child, constantly

to where you taught yourself how to wake up,

how to rip yourself out of a terrifying hellscape.

 

Not this one.

 

This one you can’t push yourself out of

and it’s too sensorially acute to be a nightmare.

The smell of liquor and sour breath.

The heavy weight of someone pressing down on you to where you know

you’ll suffocate and die if it goes on on any longer.

 

You hope you do.

 

Because you lost the ability to fight

once you realized the battle was lost.

It’s happening anyway.

You didn’t say YES.

You never said YES.

So you just go away. In your mind.

And wish it over, quickly.

 

And afterwards you tell no one because who would believe you?

You know how you present.

Even though you’re nearly innocent you know what people will think.

Because of how you look. Or act. Or dress.

Because you put yourself in that situation.

That you got what you deserved.

Your brain is bombarded with these thoughts until you believe them yourself.

That somehow, you asked for this.

And you know shame.

 

So you keep quiet.

You don’t need to be judged by others

when no one can Judge you

as harshly as you Judge yourself.

 

You keep quiet until one day your favorite student, you loved her from day one,

texts you from school

“Please get me NOW,”

And you wonder what could possibly have happened.

 

She tells you she had an assembly that morning on sexual assault and it

triggered the memory of that terrible night when

She didn’t say YES

She never said YES

But she didn’t fight hard enough.

Couldn’t scream loud enough.

Just gave up.

And was ashamed

to tell anyone.

 

And you exchange secrets like fireflies that glimmer quickly and go out.

Too difficult to catch and handle.

 

And you try and tell her not to feel shame,

it wasn’t her fault,

there wasn’t anything more she could have done, and

she did nothing to bring this on herself.

She didn’t say YES

She never said YES

And you realize.

It’s yourself you’re talking to.

 

And she’s tucked away in your house now, such a relief to have her here.

To see her sprawled on the bed in the guest room, hair up in a big pony tail.

 

Like Gidget.

 

She lays on her stomach, feet intertwined, picking her light blue nail polish, texting her friends.

And she’s told you, “he’s the ONE. I really like him. And we’re taking it.

Really Slow.”

 

And you’re so happy she’s found someone like that, because that’s the only way it can ever be now.

 

It exist for you only in your mind now

and in secret journals

under the tapping of keys and flowing ink

because you would need someone as patient and slow as your first

all the while dealing with you pushing them away emotionally.

And really, whose got time for that?

In today’s world, where instant gratification isn’t even

Fast Enough.

 

She looks content now.

And safe.

You’re united in that way that only survivors understand,

Blood sisters.

Mother and daughter, really.

It’s no wonder people think she’s your daughter when you’re out together.

Even though, you really look nothing alike.

 

What you share is the memory that

you didn’t say YES

you never said YES

But at some point, you just realized.

It was going to happen.

 

So you just Gave Up.

A piece of yourselves.

 

For the rest of your lives.

 

 

 

I don’t really know what to say.  But if you want to 

talk to me,  I’m listening. 

 

 

loveisrespect, National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline
(866) 331-9474
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week
http://www.loveisrespect.org

563291f

 

The first thing I did was Google what heroin stamp it was that killed Philip Seymour Hoffman.

I wanted to know. Not that I would recognize the name. The names are relevant to 2014, not 1994. “Obamacare,” “Call of Duty,” “Hangover Part 2.”

Heroin stamps are used by drug distribution crews to mark products. Each stamp represents a different quality of heroin; a different strain, a different high.

heroin_stamps

In case any of you are interested in heroin stamps

 

It was Ace of Hearts and Ace of Spades.

Next, I went online to the heroin community threads to see what the reviews were of these stamps. There are many sites devoted to the detailed analysis of every stamp existing, with rating systems like these:

City or state stamp was copped in:
Stamp name:
Stamp Color:
Stamp Graphic (if any):
Color and Consistency/texture of Product:
Quality/neatness of stamp and packaging:
Quantity of Product (1-10 scale):
Quality of Product (1-10 scale):
ROA: IV, intranasal/sniffed, smoked, etc.
Other comments (duration of high, any weird effects, is this a new batch of the same stamp, anything unusual about the dope, etc):

For the record:

I KNOW THESE THINGS BECAUSE I’M AN INFORMATION JUNKIE,

NOT A HEROIN JUNKIE.

I read about EVERYTHING.

There’s even a chick who has an entire blog devoted to analyzing stamp quality. I was just about to link it, but somehow, I just didn’t think that was a good idea.

I’m angry because the smack that killed Philip Seymour Hoffman, for several weeks now, has been flagged for containing a lethal mixture of heroin laced with fentanyl.

If he’d even been remotely aware of that, he’d be alive today, and three children would still have a father.

 

 

TOASTERS

true_west_cov

 

I’ve been an avid theater goer for as many years as I can remember. I was especially invested in seeing theater the years I lived in New York, and was a bartender and cocktail waitress in after hour clubs. an aspiring actress. I’ve seen hundreds of plays.

And Philip Seymour Hoffman gave me, perhaps, one of the most thrilling nights of theater I’ve ever witnessed. Top three, I would say.

In 2000, he starred in “True West,” written by iconic American playwright Sam Shepard.
It’s a raw and darkly comic story of two brothers who engage in a ferocious onstage battle of sibling rivalry.

And, because it’s family, no one wins.

What made this play something that had never been done before – was that these two actors had decided that on any given night – they would SWITCH ROLES.

This might not seem like a big deal. It was, in fact, groundbreaking.

As an actor, in order to be really good, you have to live and breathe a character.

You have to get inside his skin and embody his every thought, dream and desire, so by the time you get on that stage, there is not one false note.

There’s no room for a false note. There’s no director yelling, “Cut!” so you can try it again.

It’s LIVE. You’d better have it right. Otherwise, you just sound like you’re speaking empty words.

I know this because I have given mediocre performances that sounded like I was just talking. But every so often, the magic kicked in, and I gave a spectacular performance.

I breathed life into a character – and the audience breathed with me. It’s palpable. You know you’ve got it right, because your energy and theirs hum along together on an electric current that fuels you to greatness.

Just their faces on the Playbill cover made me want to see this

Just their faces on the Playbill cover made me want to see this

 

The characters in True West are as diametrically opposed as two characters can possible be. And the idea that the two actors – Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly – could actually do either role on any given night – was nothing short of SPECTACULAR.

It BLEW ME AWAY. It both inspired me as and actress – and, I’ll admit – completely humbled me.

Philip Seymour Hoffman OWNED that stage from the second he walked onto it.

And in my heart of hearts, I knew I would never, ever, ever be that good.

The play is always associated with toasters. Many, many toasters.

Austin, the younger brother (who was played by Hoffman the night I saw it) starts out as the hardworking, straight-laced younger brother.

By the second act, he has traded personalities with his thieving older brother, and has robbed the entire neighborhood of their toasters.

Shepard’s use of Austin’s complete and total satisfaction with his stolen toasters is the literal negation of the American Dream as defined in modern life.

He experiences WINNING – because he’s successful as a toaster thief.

Philip Seymour Hoffman went on to grace the Broadway stage with performances that were second to none. He was special to us – to New Yorkers. He graduated from NYU with a degree in theater. He lived here, right in the Village. Raised his children here.

He belonged to us.

And the night he died, the lights on Broadway were a little less bright.

true west stolen toasters

Do they even make toasters like this anymore?

 

 

 

 

Many of you are probably familiar with the movie “Almost Famous.”

almost famous

GREAT sunglasses

 

It came out the same year I saw True West.  it’s a coming of age film that follows a starry-eyed teenage rock writer on the road with one of the nation’s biggest up-and-coming bands.

It’s a beautifully written story of rock and roll, love, and of our own limitations.

The film has beautifully nuanced performances, and some unforgettable moments.

zooey01

“One day, you’ll be cool. Look under your bed. It will set you free.”

 

For me- unequivocably? It was Philip Seymour Hoffman’s portrayal of the late, great rock journalist Lester Bangs.

Lester Bangs wasn’t just a rock journalist – he was THE rock journalist.

There has never been a rock writer like him before, or since.

He was demonic, passionate, hilarious, irreverent cough-syrup fueled madman, who lived the rock and roll life while writing about it – and tragically, died a rock and roll death of a drug overdose, at 33.

I grew up in a music-dominated household. My older brothers all read Creem Magazine, Rolling Stone, The Village Voice.

And, because I was a nerd, I read all the magazines that were laying around the house. By the time I was my son’s age, I was reading (although not at all understanding) Lester Bang’s music reviews.

When I was older, long after Bangs was dead, I fully appreciated who he was. He didn’t just write about rock music.

He lived it, celebrating its excesses, drawing energy from the chaos, and matching its passion in prose that erupted from those magazines.

“Music, you know, true music, not just rock and roll, it chooses you, it lives in your car, or alone listening to your headphones with vast scenic bridges or angelic choirs in your brain. It’s a place apart from the vast benign lap of America.”

This is not rock journalism.

This is poetry.

Lester_Bangs

Yes, he was a Freaking Mess.

 

If you watch Lester Bangs on YouTube, you will see that Philip Seymour Hoffman captured the very essence of this man.

Is it any wonder that the best scenes of Almost Famous are the ones in which Hoffman portrays Lester Bangs?

The best line from Almost Famous is an actual quote of Lester Bangs.

“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.”

The scene is just beautiful.

 

Philip Seymour Hoffman is gone. His three children have lost a father. The world has lost an amazing actor.

The silver lining in the dark cloud of the death of these two geniuses – is that they left indelible marks, and we get to revisit the genius of their work.

Simultaneously.

 

This is my favorite scene from “Almost Famous.”

 

 

Did you have a reaction to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death? 
Talk to me. I’m listening. 

I Can’t Tell

January 21, 2014 — 58 Comments

blood and roses

My son looks just like his father.
Except, we have the same coloring.
We’re very fair skinned. I love how he gets tanned in the summer.
From playing outside all day, like a kid ought to.

 

When I used to nurse him, hold him to me, rock slowly back and forth,
my husband would watch me and say,
“I can’t tell where you leave off and he begins.”

 

That’s the problem with falling in love with everybody all the time.
I can’t tell – where you leave off and I begin.

 

This was on a mix tape a friend made me.
My favorite song from 2013.

 

A standard 4-chord progression, E, B, C#m, A
The quiet sense of majesty;

dreamy synthesizers intertwining with the live, orchestral instruments;
atmospheric light string loops, delayed bass;
now percussion and string on reverb;
violin solo – double stops;

to create the most gorgeous soundscape.

Its simplicity is only an illusion.

 

This might be the first and only love song only written.

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