They Do Know, Y'know

I want to tell you about my trip to Berlin. I want to describe the wild nites we had, watching the sun rise almost every morning, subsisting on pastries, vodka and fancy cigarettes, living a certifiably glamorous life. The important part is that I was reunited with my long-lost and unbelievably magickal friend La JohnJoseph.

And it's also important that I played some really fun parties there. I was really proud of my sets, and had definitely more than too much fun going out. The food was good. The people were good. The city, generally, was amazing. Many thanks to PORK and Chantal's House of Shame for having me, and to all the awesome people I met. Particular thanks to La JJ's wonderful friend Stevie who hosted me most nights at his apartment, in a giant glittery cuddle pile. He's picures below with La JJ.

La JJ performing his hit single at Pork, above. And me giving face, below.

Everything is different now. I sort of realized this when I arrived there. I had wanted to go abroad for years, specifically to Berlin. Sort of with this pipe dream of playing a show at a nightclub there. After years of hem-ing and haw-ing about it, I did it. It took forever, so much longer than I would have liked it to, but I did it. So my whole experience of the city, which is really just this wonderful metropolis, full of the runaway kids you'd find in San Francisco in the 1970s or New York in the 1980s, was so particularly dreamy for me. Literally a dream come true. One thing I really liked about it was that everything that everyone said about it was true. It felt nice to be in a true place, a real place. People there really do work odd jobs, or DJ twice a month, and pay their tiny rents for their ridiculously nice apartments. It really is possible to make a living as a painter there. It's sort of like the Land of the Lotus Eaters, it seems almost dangerous, too fun, too free, too relaxing, too nice to be as real as it is.

But it was sad, too. Maybe I'm just jet-lagged (we generally underslept all week, but because of the craziness of scheduling my flights back, I didn't sleep for like 40 hours straight), but since arriving back in NYC last night I've been pretty bummed out.

On one hand, it's sort of bittersweet for this little fantasy of mine to have come true. Normally, my goals / dreams / desires don't (come true). They are sublimated and then I forget them and then move on. But this one came to pass! So now is the tough part: waking up from the dream. Finding a new Thing I'd Like To Do, or Have Happen, or Be / Realize / See / Feel. And that's scary.

On the other hand, I'm sad for having seen another (nominally more perfect) way of life. How do you say "cognitive dissonance" in German? How can I come back to this life I have here? With overpriced rent, a job that keeps me away from my work and stressed out to the point of insanity until well after dark? How can I dutifully take on more paperwork, more responsibility, more heartache and listen to more of other poeple's problems? How can I justify going back every day to a life that I know makes me want to cease myself (sort of into the poetry of that euphemism)? How can I slowly gum another meal of rotten fruit, batting away flies as I gulp it down as quickly as I can so I won't be late to work? When I know that right now on Orianenstrasse the kids are having their 1-Euro espressos and discussing disco albums and later they're all going to meet at the party then the nightclub then the opening and then fall in love together? It is hard to know this and know that it's not where you are.

The sexy european pop star I cruised on the street. He took me home to his big empty zen apartment in "the bad part of Kreuzberg", which was of course immaculate to my Brooklyn slum eyes. After talking for a few minutes about his career, my career, introducing me to his cat and showing me the palatial house he lives in with enough room for his own studio, the flat he rents by playing (count them) two tiny concerts a month, we fucked in his apartment. Silently and efficiently. I marvelled at the certainty with which he fucked me, the same sense of wonder I have with everything I saw in Germany. Efficient, quick, well-thought out. I had my Isadora Wing moment with the toilets upon my arrival, this was different. My trick invited his cat to join us on the bed after sex and he gave me stroopwaffles and fancy german apple-juice and asked me what I was going to tell people after I'd died. (Sort of a cute problem with translation, I'm sure, but interesting and appropos nonetheless). What was I going to tell people once I've died? That I did a lot of paperwork? That I was really good at doing jobs I didn't like? That I made friends with people I couldn't stand? What was I going to have to show for myself? Songs I had not written because there wasn't time? What would I be remembered for? My patience? The ease with with deferral comes to me? My ability to withstand?

He complained about the homophobia of the city, but then walked me to the U-Bahn stop on Kottbusser Damn and in front of drunken teenagers with beer bottles empty enough to throw at us, kissed me full on the lips for at least a minute as the sun set. And I am thinking now about what I'm going to do when I die, who I'm going to answer to.

Mercury goes retrograde this month, so don't make any big changes. Don't sign any paperwork or begin any projects. Revisit the old ones, revise the dreams you've been having for a while. I'm going to get my teeth fixed. My next project is going to involve falling in love, I think. But I won't start it just yet. I have, in case you've forgotten, legendary powers of deferral. Or maybe you've forgotten. I certainly plan to forget, myself.



I feel a little bit conflicted about talking about Paul Lekakis, for two reasons:
a) the same old thing of me wanting to like something and not have everyone else like it and then it becomes less special (but I'm trying to get over this and it's working).
b) Paul Lekakis is really pretty, in a conventional gay male sense and I don't want to necessarily reinforce racist/sexist notions of beauty, though I do greatly admire Paul Lekakis (individually) as a musician / performer / cultural icon.

That all being said I think Paul Lekakis is really cool. He had worked as a model when he was younger, and apparently discovered his musical and dancing abilities one night while he was out clubbing in Europe, having been sent there for modeling work. I tend to think that professional models, especially male models, aren't really into beauty. Not really, not deep down. I think they know that it's kind of a sham. Anyone who's ever had their picture taken knows this, so I think that Paul must know it too. I'm totally projecting and here is why: because in my fantasy, Paul Lekakis is not entranced by his own beauty, he knows it's sort of superficial and he knows that he "has to" look a certain way in order to make a living. That's my take on that.

He's best known for the song "Boom Boom Boom (Let's Go Back To My Room)". It's such a weird song. It's Hi-NRG, I guess. I don't know how I would define that genre. It's definitely dance music, and it's really gay. It's about gay fucking, and while the lyrics aren't explicitly sexual, the breath-as-rhythm-section and plaintive wails of young Paul's singing is the definition of "sensual".

This reminds me: I was sleeping with a former lover a little while ago and he asked me "Are you always like this? You're such a sensual lover" and if I had been drinking milk I would have shot it out of my nose.

Anyways, "Boob Boom Boom" is a totally necessary song, a classic jam. I read an interview with Paul where he talked about getting really famous in the gay club scene and going on tour with his songs. Around this time he was also getting really into drugs, and spent a lot of money. He said that often at gay bars the other acts would be go-go boys, so he felt like he had to compete with that, stripping onstage, etc.

He released one full-length album that I know of, 1990s Tattoo It. I'm not gonna lie, it's a little weird.

It's kind of all-over the map. The title track is a reference, I believe, to Lekakis' public disclosure of being HIV positive, in 1989. I wasn't really a globally-conscious queer adult then, but I don't think it's ever easy to publicly disclose being HIV+, especially as a public performer person, and especially in 1989. SO: props for that to begin with. This is a pop album. I think what seems so weird to me is that it's really clean-sounding professional dance-pop, but it's also really obviously gay. Obviously I am a child of the moon-- I only listen to punk bands and I really only listen to queer and girl punk bands. I'm aware of the thing of "queer music". But when I heard Paul Lekakis for the first time in high school I was really inspired. He seemed to be doing something really restrictive (making pop music) and maintaining a certain amount of plain queerness, in both lyrical content and form. I love it. It makes me want to be a pop star.

Here's paul performing his hit. I often sing and dance around my room in my socks and undies to it:

Of course, when I actually perform, it's closer to Paul's actual performances:

Whatever. Party on.


Psychic But My Lyrics Are

Still recovering, I guess, from Friday night. Sister Pico and I went to an art opening in Brooklyn for this cool zine called Fake Orange. It was fun and everyone was wearing either black strappy high heeled shoes and/or a cape. I wish I had one but I had neither. My teeth were feeling weird. Then I met up with Jeffery and Cole in Hell's Kitchen at this bar Therapy. For real! To celebrate the first season of Jeffery and Cole Casserole. It was a lot of fun, obvi. I drank a lot of vodka and juices, too many. Then we all piled in cars and went back to Lady Rim's house, where we drank white wine and fresca (I don't know why) and smoke and ate potato chips while Cole sang along to Judy Garland. It was a lot of fun but I stayed up way too late and it made me sick and I think it really fucked up my li'l tooth socket.

Saturday I walked around a bit with Tommy and Paps but had to call it an early night and stay in. I just could not handle it! I forgot that I spent all week recuperating and then all of a sudden went ballistic. Stupid.

Sunday I got up early to go to Jiddy's stoop sale. Then I high-tailed it back up to wburg to the Gravy Train!!!! show. It was insanely hot out. I ran into Brontez and he whisked me to the band trailer where I drank a lot of beers and ate a lot of snacks and talked shit a lot.

Gravy Train!!!! are really important to me. I remember meeting Hunx when I was like 15? He lived just over the bridge from my town to Oakland in the Club Hott! werehouse where there would be realyl cool punk shows all the time. Like Erase Errata and Tracy and the Plastics for $3. Anyways, his legendary zine Puberty Strike was really inspiring to me and I also loved his band Panty Raid. He was always really nice to me and it was cool to see that you could be queer and a punk and cool and happy and survive and all that. He's like maybe four years older than I am, an age difference that is huge at 16 but less so now. I was internet friends with Chunx for a bit too, and getting to see Gravy Train perform (at Gilman, house parties in Oakland, anywhere) was always really cool. It's like being part of an in-joke. I think that's maybe the best thing about them. Their newer material is so insane, because the production values and beats are so slick. it was an awesome show and here is a photo of me enjoying myself in the front row:

That was fun. Came home to cool off some more. Monday morning I went back to the dentist to have them look at my extraction site from a week before. The socket is not healed, which is not good. I am also concerned that when they took out my tooth that my sinus is visible and that such communication (as it is called-- I'm learning so much about dental surgery) would never heal and I'll be stuck with a horrible sinus tooth socket forever. This isn't likely to happen-- and if it did it would take a very long time to develop. My immediate concern is that I am, you know, flying to Berlin on Saturday night and I hope I won't explode on the plane. But I don't think that's very likely to happen either. I am packing amoxycillin and codeine just in case. I still feel uncomfortable and then I feel scared because why do I still feel uncomfortable and then I feel guilty for being so scared because other people have real problems and then I feel really stupid for being so selfish and scared and then I feel like such a bad person that I probably deserve to have horrible things like dental accidents happen to me. This is one small section of what it's like to be me. The internet makes is possible to try to relay this experience.

But I also relay a lot of other experiences. There's a whole spectrum and I'm gonna get them.
I am moving forward with my life as if things are not on the verge of imminent collapse, because right now they are not. I am flying to Berlin on Saturday night arriving on Sunday afternoon (with a very brief layover in London). Sunday night, I am performing at PORK. Thursday night I am performing with La JohnJoseph at Chantal's House of Shame.

If you're in Berlin, please do come and say hi.




Here's a note from this weekend, prior to me becoming a toothless zombie capable only of feeling pain and eating ice water. Once I had taken down these notes about indie rock I realized I was really just writing about my favorite blog team FEY FRIENDS.



To begin with: I had a really great birthday party. Friday I turned 25 and it was surreal. Paps hosted it, and all of my favorite people were there (well, with one exception). Chantal and Jiddy and Tommy made me and Jess a really beautiful cake with our faces drrawn on it and decorated with my favorite candy Good and Plenty. It was so cool! I got a ton of presents, none of which I deserve but I felt really special. I really watched my alcohol intake and I didn't get as messy as I usually do, so I feel like it was a smashing success. I didn't get laid, but it was my birthday and that's stressful and then again I got laid the next night, so go figure. Here's a picture of me and Roy playing with our eyebrows at the party:

Saturday I went record shopping and got a lot of really cool stuff for really cheap.

I had the house to myself and I made fresh pesto (my favorite meal since I was a baby-- it's a summer thing). I felt really good. As I was walking home I just thought "things, right this second, are really good". These things are fleeting it was nice to get them down. I took a nap and got sexy to go-go dance at QxBxRx. it was so much fun! Lots of fun new people and old friends and everything. The go-go boys had these really cool gold glitter mustaches and they gave me one, too. Here's a photo of me comparing my glitter one to Lee Kyle's real burly sexy one:

After the party, went with Diego Tommy and PLD to Brooklyn. Had a romantic birthday rendezvous with an old flame. Sunday was easy and quiet and nice. I spent sunday morning as if at church, eating sacred secret foods (not all recipes are ones I can share), burning the new secret incense that Thain gave me for my birthday, smoking on my roof and reading about the amazing Conlon Nancarrow. Met up with the same pack of feral faggots, we watched bands in the park and walked around and generally took it easy enjoying the cloudy day. I spent most of the time eating as much as humanly possible, because this morning at 9am:

They pulled the rest of my tooth out. It's not the worst thing in the world, but it's exactly as bad as it looks. They didn't even give me any pain pills, so I've had to dip into my own private stash. I'm home watching teevee and trying to use the powwer of my mind to heal my mouth. I don't want to complain (why do I say that? it's a blog, you people don't care if I complain) but this fucking hurts. Dear Small Children: although my dental nightmare has been not at all my fault and largely unavoidable, please don't ever do anything that would necessitate an extraction in your "adult" life. Adult being 25 years old or older. When my dentist (I refuse to call her a student because it opens cans of worms) was having a difficult time numbing me she wondered aloud why that was. While I do not identify as a redhead or ginger as such, Gingerine do run in my family and now at least I have an explanation for why everything hurts so fucking much. Hopefully, I will be all set to go to Berlin at the end of the month, with what will be mostly symbolic damage.

My summer:


Today is my 25th birthday.


Happiness on the uptown side and my party in the morning time

Feeling sort of un-moored. Still working towards making the initial appointments, the first of about a dozen, to have my teeth fixed. The first step is to get what little bit is left of my poor tooth out of me. I was having some difficulty summoning up the nerve to call and ask, yes, to have an extraction. But then I got the nerve, and now no one's returning my calls. I've summoned my courage, Universe! Let me use it!

The slight lull of waiting for another pair of expensive shoes to drop. Another crisis and opportunity and outrage and another of sexy friend of a friend to meet. Another apology and another grudge to drop. Ever-expanding and constant testing, re-negotiating. It's all the same fuckin' day, man. A few really sweet and pretty positive couple of reviews of the show last week, complete with some anonymous commenter saying how lame I am for even trying to do what it is they think I do. Not worth even the acknowledgment I just gave it. Trying to not let things like that ruin anything, cause they don't, really.

In the midst of all this, the "stepping-up-to-the-plate" episode, I am turning 25 on Friday.

I have mixed feelings about this. In some ways, I feel really honored and grateful to be where I am in my life. I did just get to perform at the New Museum last week. Other than my teeth I am in good health. I've taken some risks in terms of getting my work out to the public sphere, and I've had some amazing feedback. For every anonymous internet hater, there's a handful of unknown queers who write to me saying they like my zine, or understand what I'm talking about. That means a lot to me, and I feel really blessed for that. Unbelievably, I have been on a nationally-shown sitcom for the last two months. The final episode of the first season airs tomorrow night, and I feature in it a fair amount. This is amazing. I am part of a really inspiring community of artists and writers and friends who always have my back when people come after me, and I am so excited to know the incredible people I know. Last week was really a humbling experience for me.

On the other hand, of course, I will have a gap in my teeth for the next three months and can absolutely look forward to a series of pretty painful dental surgeries. I still have an absolutely obscene amount of student loan debt (that's private loans too, natch). I still work at my (admittedly pretty cushy) day job which leaves some but not a lot of time to work on my own projects. I am still single. That's actually neither a bad thing, nor an accident. I haven't had time for boys. I might, again, soon.

On the upside, pretty good. Or at least okay, all around.
I am really excited because Friday I am celebrating my birthday with my favorite singer JESS PAPS. We have the same birthday and always mean to do a joint party, but this year we really are. If you're friends with us, get in touch and I'll give you the party info. Then on Saturday I'm go-go dancing at QxBxRx, which will also be fun. At least fun. At the very least: fun. The minimum for existence is pleasure. If you exist then you deserve it. If someone tells you otherwise (and they often will, if yr queer/female/trans/a person of color/poor/differently bodied) then they're lying. My big lesson in my 24th year of life is that there is an inexhaustible well of goodness and happiness and peace and it's for everyone, so get yourself some. What a hippie! But I really believe it, though.

On that note, here are some things I would like for my birthday:

(Scissor-themed jewelry)

(an iPhone-- unless they're outdated? Leave advice in the comments, but I am an AT&T customer for the time being...)

(a Comme des Garçons wallet, preferably in glossy black pictured below but any kind, really)

(a wizard bong, or failing that a unicorn, skull, mushroom or crystal bong)

(Dior Homme shoes-- a girl can dream)

(Oakley Frogskin sunglasses, to replace the pair I lost last weekend)

(my favorite candy Good & Plenty-- even though I can't really eat it)

(Treasurer cigarettes-- the most expensive fanciest cigarettes ever invented)

I also want for someone to help me arrange a cover of this song, "Blackpatch" by Laura Nyro. It's maybe my favorite song. I listen to it when I am feeling down. It's about life in the city and I find it encouraging though I can't tell you why. Maybe it's the final lyric, which always feels like it was written about me:


The other reason this song cheers me up, and why I want to cover it, is because the first lyric reminds me of La JohnJoseph, and I imagine singing the first line dedicated to him. Here is a pretty sweet cover of the song as performed by the Fifth Dimension.