Fantasy Castle

Mercury is direct today.

But that doesn't really make me feel much better. I dunno. I am deeply disappointed, now, three days later, by the fact that my flight was canceled. There is new room mate shifting, my lovely BF ALSO lost his flight, I kind of let work stuff get out of hand, and it's stressing me out. I just feel really down, or something. Been thinking a lot about San Francisco.

Yesterday I met up with my friend Grey for lunch, then hung out with my old homies Cotton and JiceCake. Talked a bit about how life would be if I lived in San Francisco. I don't know if I could do it, really. There're so many alternate realities. I feel really conflicted lately.

Been reading Beth Lisick's genius book Everybody Into The Pool while I've been home. It's hilarious and brilliant. I've been a fan of Lisick's for a long time, I saw her perform at the first Ladyfest in Olympia ten years ago. And more recently at Dixon Place with our good friend Erin Markey. The book is sort of about growing up and finding your place in the world. Ideas of boundary cultures. Really reassuring.

Alternately also reading Mary Daly's Beyond God The Father. I just started it and it's blowing my mind. She talks a lot about the power of language, and the imperative to free language from its historically patriarchal context.

I think I'm just really looking for things to turn me on and inspire me. I feel just sick with worry today. Travel, generally, fills me with a weird anxiety/dread. Not the actual mechanics of flying. That, I don't mind at all. What bugs me is the stress of, like "will I or won't I make the flight / get a cab / be delayed?" And, really, you can never have certainty anytime. So it's a good reason to practice finding comfort in the uncertain. But it's really hard.

I feel pretty lousy right now and I dunno what to do about it. Trying to get myself psyched up for the New Year, and New Year's Eve. But I'm bummed that I can't be with my bf for it, and I'm stressed about work stuff. I have some exciting events coming up too, but right now it feels really scary to have things to work on. I'm sick from hibernating or something.

Sitting in a cafe in Alameda, answering some work stuff and trying to catch up correspondence / keep my life in order. I wanna really keep a record of this feeling: feeling really bad. I dunno. I am positive that I will look back on this exact day and moment and laugh.

In fact, the coffeehouse just put on that Blues Traveler song, and the harmonica line at the beginning always makes me crack a smile. Also innaresting in terms of someone performing as someone else.

So much of feeling bad / on a bummer / anxious is really about creating your own reality. I know, I know. I've been in California for too long, and I don't wanna sound totally woo-woo, unless woo-woo is yr thing or whatever. But seriously, when we let our feelings rule us, it makes things seem, feel and then in face be very different. So. Trying not to make myself a bummer house cuz I do not want to live in a bummer house.

I want to live in a Fantasy Castle.

2010 has been such a crazy year. Right? I am really struggling to invest myself as wisely as possible. Like, not worrying so much about dumb shit. Working on a new short piece, I guess. You know: focus.

Going to read it on January 9th in NYC at a really exciting new event I can't wait to tell you about.


So my flight to New York, scheduled for yesterday morning was canceled.

TYPICAL MERCURY RETROGRADE. i was so sleepy and groggy at the airport that when they made the announcement that all flights to JFK were canceled, I couldn't even get upset. I was very calm and sweet, I thought, to the Ticket Lady, who rebooked me on a flight on New Year's Eve, arriving in NYC at 4pm. Just enough time for a disco nap, shower, and partytime. I was told that it was "a real blessing" that I got that booking. It didn't seem like a blessing, but EVERYTHING ELSE IS ALL BOOKED UP. So maybe it is.

I'm just hanging out at my parents house today. Planning some shows in NYC. Eating cookies. A little bit bored but also not complaining. I mean, there are definitely worse places to be stranded. Right? Right.



Yesterday I went and did Alameda proper. I went to the comic book shop, which moved from the ritzy part of downtown to the more run-down, un-gentrified part of Alameda (where my parents moved in 2002).

(In my town, there is a street called: VERSAILLES STREET. The locals pronounce this as: "Vur-SAYLES.")

There was a sale at the Salvation Army. I got a bunch of big boxy black and white work shirts, and ladies polka dot trousers and a miniskort. I was walking around with this big mass of black and white fabric and I thought of LA POODLEGOTH. Had a burrito at this fake chic restaurant on the main drag, Park St. It was kinda nasty. Yuk!

I went to the mall, formerly Southshore, now reborn as Alameda Town Centre. Really I went to cruise the weirdos and pay a visit to my favorite place:



In high school my friend Elaine worked there and got all kinds of discounts, it was, how do you say... RAD. Anyway they were having a sale on Fiercely Fiona, and I thought it would look good on my toenails.

Um, it looks okay. I guess.
It might need another coat, or something.
Anyway Merry XMAS.


Here is an amazing new picture of PLD and I (B0DYH1GH), taken by the illustrious Christian Coulson. He came to practice a few weeks ago and then just put together this image. I feel like he really "gets" us. He's a genius. And he's also a really great performer. Way cool.

Also makes me think about the following:



Mountain Region

Cotton brought up a really good point yesterday when we were hanging out. Well, two really good points. The first is that Lil' Kim is kind of the rap Courtney Love. There're so many parallels and shared qualities.

Not the least of which is that they both sort of look like this now:

Except Charo still looks great and always has and probably always will?

It's barely 8am. I am up so EARLY!
Jet lag, I love you.

Memory and the Multiverse

- Guilt
- Shame
- Regret
- Grudges
- History

- Ecstasy
- Ease
- Understanding
- Curiosity
- Memory
- Magick

How to measure a winner, right? To put it in a better way: There are two of us running on a track. Maybe there're more of us, a whole team or something, but when it comes down to it, one of us is going to win and one of us is not going to win. And we're so evenly matched! It's gonna be so close. The winner and the loser and coming to the finish like and what will tell, what determines the winner is who breaks the tape at the finish line. A split second. I'm trying to use the example of a current sticky situation as an example to make the winner the runner-up.

Like, my first response is: FUCK THIS SHIT. And to feel really indignant and ashamed and scared and freaked out. But then that doesn't actually affect change. I don't know that anything can, really. (Let's not get into it and say we did). My second response is: OK. BE COOL. EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING. And I like this feeling a lot more, so let's just go with that. Really hard to turn it around like that.

Thinking a great deal about my childhood best friend in Los Angeles. His mom was a lesbo, but married to his dad, who was I guess just really cool. We mostly just played video games together, but he lived on this weird piece of property in the hills and his backyard was sprawling and included so much weird wild land, as well as a cave. It always smelled like pee and was always empty. We'd play in it as pre-teens. Totally harmless, pretending to sword fight with palm tree fronds or something. Play imagination games. It occurs to me now how nasty that cave must have been. But then I judge that revision of my memory, like, why do I have to imagine hobos peeing and having sex? Mapping different experiences (my own real experiences, imagined experience of hypothetical other people) onto a place / time / idea.

There's that cliché expression, "There's no telling". That's bullshit. There is, in fact, plenty of telling. There's always telling.


Five One Oh Four One Five

Oh hi. I am home in Alameda. My flight was OK. I got to the airport ridiculously early, like I always do. When I got to my folk's house, there was this weird noise in the backyard, and their dog ran outside to chase something away. My dad showed me on the patio-- these gigantic, child-like, clawed footprints. There had been a raccoon! I could see it in the back corner of their backyard, this gigantic... thing. Just staring at us. I guess he was eating the dog food which my parents left outside (accidentally). I was thoroughly freaked out, until my mom said to my dad: "Oh honey, are you gonna tell Max? About the attacks?" and my dad replied, sort of annoyed "No, honey. No." What attacks, you ask? Oh nothing, just that my hometown, Alameda, has apparently been under siege from raccoons lately. They attacked a woman in the park in broad daylight, and they also entered a house through the doggy door and tried to drag the dog that lived there outside. Presumably (in my imagination), to eat the dog while the dog was still alive.

So anyways: I'm hella scared, y'all! I mean, I am no fan of the canine population (as even casual readers of this blog / my life would know) but I wouldn't wish vivisection upon ANY species. Yikes! Speaking of species I would like to protect from the wrath of nature, I've been hanging out with my cat that lives at my parents' house, Nora.

Isn't she soooo cute?

She doesn't like it when I hold her like this for the photos.

No one ever said showbiz was easy, Nora! I remember in college once my friend Marcus visited me in California the summer we got Nora, and he called her "Norad" (we knew a girl called Jora in college-- we called her Jorad). I think Norad is such a cute name for Nora. It kind of perfectly articulates her dorkiness. She's a total dork. I mean, I love her and she is a dork.

In other totally exciting news, due to a rare confluence of circumstances and magick, the Maison Martin Margiela leather jacket I've been obsessed with was reduced in price to a mere pittance, and I happened into a little bit of extra coinage, and I made some decisions and made it work such that I was able to get my grubby little mitts on it. I had it mailed to my parents' house in California, and I met it on Tuesday night.

And now I own it. And it is officially the Nicest Thing I Own. And I am Pretty Fucking Psyched about this. Bringing up so many different conversations in my head, however. About entitlement and the collective imagination of the bourgeoisie. And also about how in NYC you can totally tell who is rich and who is not rich and the way you can tell is: rich people dress poor and poor people don't want to look like we're gross or dirty or anything, so we tend to dress cleaner and nicer. Do you notice that? Anyway not gonna let it ruin the fact that I am so, deeply, truly in love with my new leather jacket. I spend definite Minutes every day just staring at it. Weird? Let's let Goddess be the judge of that.

So far it's been nice to be back. I went to Berkeley yesterday and bummed around all afternoon. I went to Japantown to get fancy magazines.

The Vogue came with a cute little Pucci compact mirror. I'm about go to get dressed at go into San Francisco to meet up with Cotton in the morning and then Grey in the evening. Cotton lives on Valencia St. and Grey lives in the Haight. And it's so crazy. As a kid in high school, I would dream about lives that included living in those places. I never thought I'd ever call New York home. And I had no idea what Brooklyn was.

It's been raining the last few days here but today it's nice.
Off we go!


Remedy Diner

Mercury is Retrograde.
I'm worried about Aretha Franklin. I think she's gonna be okay. I'm listening to Hey Now Hey and thinking good thoughts for her.

Burning Cedarwood incense and also a green candle for good luck, good money luck for a friend of mine. And a little for me too. Lots of burning going on. It's snowing outside.

Saw this cute little bit up on Diane Pernet's blog, courtesy of the always correct Mister Walt Cessna. Walt is such a constant source of inspiration. We took those photos at his house a few weeks ago, and he gave me a pair of prints he did for fashion spreads in the late 90s and so now, I have an art collection. I love them so much. Treasures!

Last Thursday was the most recent installment of Earl Dax' legendary queer arts festival (I feel like that is the word for it), PUSSY FAGGOT. Perfect Little Daniel and I performed as B0DYH1GH during the special East Village Boys happy hour. Special projection videos and original remixtape interlude sets were made by UNNUUNNU. It was such a treat!

Here's a still of the video projections we performed alongside:

and then we went upstairs to the fantastic deck lounge where Liz Liguori snapped this photo:

Cute, huh?

Such a fun night! Penny Arcade MC'ed and was so fucking real and great. As always. Woosh. Also performing was soul sister Lady Ben Rimalower in his show about Patti LuPone. It was fucking great(!). After the performances we went to Lady Rim's house and chitchatted late (but not too late) into the night.

I had the following morning off of work. I went to the gym on Friday morning, the new one near my house. And left in a daze. I passed so many familiar faces and I felt really thankful for my neighborhood. I like that sassy lady who is drunk all day, who stands in the middle of the street, screaming at oncoming traffic, her hair in an impeccable / impossible bun. A guy selling empanadas with a cassette boombox which is playing freestyle. It felt really nice.

Friday night was, of course, the BIRDSONG event, at a new space (knock on wood). It was great! They served white wine sangria which I obviously loved. I read a piece from Kathy Acker's Adult Life of Toulouse Lautrec. We went out to the Judy! party and danced for a bit. Judy is always so much fun. I wish every party, everywhere, was muppet-themed.

Last night I went to go see Jack Ferver's new show Rumble Ghost at PS122. There's a pretty cool review of it in the Times. My friend Christian was in it as well. I thought it was really fantastic. I use that word a lot but it was literally fantastic:
1. Quaint or strange in form, conception, or appearance.
2. a. Unrestrainedly fanciful; extravagant: fantastic hopes.
b. Bizarre, as in form or appearance; strange: fantastic attire; fantastic behavior.
c. Based on or existing only in fantasy; unreal: fantastic ideas about her own superiority.
3. Wonderful or superb; remarkable: a fantastic trip to Europe.

I mean it as wonderful and superb, but also having to do with FANTASY. I thought it was spooky and sweet and sad and funny. Christian is such a great performer, and gives a really good husband vibe. And Ms. Ferver, happens to be making some of the most important work in the world right now. Like, if you think about it, right? Yeah. Kids will study it, I think. (Or they won't? In the future will there be school? Let's talk about it). Anyway I was really impressed. I hadn't seen a show like that in a while. I was really inspired to do some THINKING.

Oh hey speaking of thinking, there's a tiny little essay I wrote up on Dis Magazine: WEAR 2 BED.
Obviously, I'm totally into DIS and you should be too. The photos are by Paul Sepuya. I have been a fan of Paul's work for a while now, so I'm particularly excited. (Speaking of Paul's awesome photographs, check out his new set on East Village Boys).

I have to get back to work on this new story I am finishing in time to read this Friday night, at the record release party for my friend Enid Ellen. It is a release party for her new CD, titled CANNIBAL DISEASE. She is performing with the lovely and talented Greg Potter, and it's at the Wild Project this friday from 7-10pm. So I am working on this new story to have ready to read there. Enid Ellen is a total future legendary child. Maybe she's already legendary. I hope so. She's one of the most spectacular singers and performers I've seen in NYC in a while, and I'm excited to do a show with her. But don't take my word for it:

You can tell that Enid Ellen is real.

Well, I guess I better get back to work.


Woke up sort of this morning sort of feeling sick. I think it's a combination of the arctic fucking frigid temperatures and my nuclear radiator. Sometimes if I don't crack open my bedroom window enough, it gets stifling, and I wake up (as I did this morning) with scratchy throat, dehydrated, woozy. Feeling sick? I hope not. I'm gonna do healthful things all day today. But anyways.

Feeling shitty and disoriented on the uptown C train. Listening to Sleater-Kinney's "Rollercoaster' to gather some strength, pump up some inertia. Getting lost in my little head. And then, over the squalls of noise, Carrie Brownstein shrieking "wanna go back to the way things a-wuh-hurrrr" I heard another source of squeals, louder than the guitar feedback. Perched in one of the tiny bench seats at the front of the train were a pair of kids. They could not have been more than 14. Why weren't they in school? It was a tough, thick-set girl with long unruly frizzy black hair, feebly pulled into a loose ponytail, wearing baggy jeans and basketball shoes. And a tiny, wiry little boy in tight jeans and a hoodie, purple keds, and a huge mass of red hair. Braces. They were tickling each other, telling jokes. It woke me out of my reverie. Not because, say, I like children or adolescents per se. But because I could hear, in the timbre of their hormonal voices, virginal sounds, that these kids were so fucking queer. It was really heartening, in a way, to know that young queer kids are finding each other and making it.

We (those of us who have more or less escaped the immediate horrors and dangers of a queer adolescence) talk a lot about changing the system, equal rights, it getting better. And sometimes the discussions are focused on the problems. On solving the problems. On how fucked-up our lives and the world is. And that's valid. But there's also something really simple and beautiful about seeing these two kids on the train this morning, making it. They were unspeakably awkward, weird growth spurt bodies and voices that were cracking with New Yorkese. But they were also really beautiful, too. I had this overpowering sense that someday this tough butch girl and sweet femme boy would grow into the most gorgeous queer adults, and I had this vision of them helping each other, everyone. It's so corny but between that and Sleater-Kinney and no coffee, it really lifted my spirits.


Two Ideas This Week





Excerpt from CASINO

It’s early summer and friend Lola and I are going out. Lola’s little sister Sophie is visiting from out of town. Suburban blonde soft femme lesbo softball player, and just 16. Lola and I are taking her to a queer glam rock dance party. We tease our curly hair and put on eye makeup, drink warm underage vodka mixed with sweet diet cola and put on bright tight outfits. New in town, our slutty little hearts beat hot wet and fast underneath neon spandex.

“Um, hello?”
“Luck? Is that you?”
“Yeah, hi. Billy? What’s up?”
“Luck? Let’s be ladies tonight."

Stomping through the West Village, pausing to smoke weed and check our reflections in store windows. Lola is condescending, salty, sage and sarcastic older sister to Sophie. Rolling her eyes, calling her “kid” and secretly protective. I’m so jealous.

“But Lola,” Sophie whimpers, trailing behind us, “do you think they’ll let us in? I don’t have an ID or anything.”

“Sure.” Lola says. “You just have to… go in. Just show them that you know that you belong inside.” She nicks a breadstick from an outdoor table at a bistro, and chews on it like a cigar. Waiting at a crosswalk, Lola absent-mindedly fingers her breasts through her bodysuit. She catches me staring at her.

“What?” she asks, “I want my nipples to be hard when we get there.”



Had today off of work, which was nice since tomorrow I begin working full-time in my new position. I'm scared and excited. I spent my free day like a present. I got up extra early to make a new iPod playlist for working out. I woke up this morning totally hell-bent on listening to/rediscovering the s/t Schema album, on 5 Rue Christine.

Anyway it's great. RIP Mary Hansen forever. Listened to that, and IQU (née ICU)'s first album, Chotto Matte A Moment!

I don't know why, but I'm in so into really late 1990s indie/alternative electronica music. Hmm. Like, Land of the Loops? Maybe it's the weather.

SIDENOTE: the night that Mary Hansen died, I was a freshman in college during finals week of my first year. My school threw a breakfast at midnight, since all the students were up writing insane papers. I was tripping on mushrooms for the first (and last) time. It was really overwhelming, a big party in the middle of the night with bright colors, almost all the students were fucked up on something, and they were serving my favorite breakfast treat: Pancakes. I was having a hard time processing. And this cool Junior girl I was friends with, Anna Margaret Hollyman, came up to me in semi-mock horror, and said "Max! Can you believe it?! Mary is DEAD! Have you heard?!" Incidentally, I had not heard. But I also did not know who Anna was talking about. I didn't know anybody named Mary. I was, for a few seconds, totally mortified and tripping my face off. But then she explained and I was sad. Then I told Anna I was tripping so then she started teasing me and it was cute, like "Are you seeing weeeeeeeiiiirrrrdd stuffff??" and I'd go, "No..." since then, Anna grew up to be an indie movie star.

Coolest Girl Ever?

So anyway this morning I went to the gym for a nice long time, since with the new work schedule I might not be able to. Or it'll take a little while with the new schedule to get back into my groove. Which is actually fine, I guess. Going at a later time. That means I'll be in the gym with all the other 9-5ers. And those people are often tired and cranky and a little bossy, when they wait their turn for the gym machines. But you know what? That's fine. I like those people. That is the anger and impatience of the working class. That is OK. The people who go to the Williamsburg Gym during the daytime on weekdays are just awful. Either they're very old people with bad attitudes and poor information about what actually constitutes exercise (they walk on the treadmills, slowly, talking to each other loudly-- I'm sorry, but couldn't you people do that outside?). Or, otherwise, the people at the gym in the daytimes are awful Bedford Avenue yuppies. Gross entitled white people. These are people who act as if the world revolves entirely around them, that they should never have to wait for a machine. They're awful. There is this one guy who is always furious at me when I am on one of the elliptical machines, his favorite, evidently. There are three working machines. And he will often use one of the other ones, sighing loudly and giving me real stink-eye, until I get off of His machine. Fuck the rich. Eat, I mean, the rich. Let's kill them.

I went home to clean up and eat some breakfast, then I spent the rest of my free day traipsing around the Upper East Side. I was sort of walking around listening to music and enjoying the drizzle, I was really grooving on my favorite neighborhood.

HIGHLIGHT: seeing four very tough 15 year-old looking girls, all in matching catholic schoolgirl uniforms, sitting and holding court in the front window of Mimi's Pizza, blithely chewing folded up slices, spinning around on stools, loudly sucking sodas from waxy paper cups. Clearly cutting class. My heroes!

Came home to make some dinner and have a cup of tea. Put my feet up before going back out tonight. Last night was pretty magickal too. My good friend and ex-room mate Jenny (Jennifer aka JuhNeeFah, aka Nifa, aka Katherine, aka Quinn's Mom) gave me a Reiki session, which she has been learning. To really great effect, I think. I had never had that before, it was really cool. I highly recommend it. And if you want to find a good practitioner who has reasonable rates and is very sweet and skilled, then e-mail me and I will put you in touch with her. Killing time before the session, I walked around the East Village, arming myself for the winter and trying to stay open and present in the moment. I mean, I was walking around without my sunglasses on, it gets dark so early, I can't wear sunglasses all the time. It makes me a little self-conscious, but it also makes me notice my surroundings more. I passed a record store with a bin of dollar records out front, and I saw this:

Definitely still not my favorite Laura Nyro album, but I had been wanting Christmas and the Beads of Sweat on vinyl for a couple of weeks now, and was hoping I'd run into a copy. I'm listening to it now. It's sort of poppy, like, by that point in her career, the production had been worked on to the point, and she had been getting to be a big enough star that pop music and fame were things she must have been thinking about. She had had a lot of success by then. So in some respects, I think the record reflects that relationship to publicity. And to her audience (the cover art is from a drawing that a fan handed to her from the audience at a concert). At the same time, it's still a young Laura Nyro, and the lyrics and concepts are obtuse, political, personal, funny, and fucking intense. Anyway. Whatever. Women's Music. So into it, right?

Quick reminder that the band I'm in with Perfect Little Daniel, B0DYH1GH is playing on December 9th at Earl Dax' legendary party / festival / series PUSSY FAGGOT. We will be performing as part of the EAST VILLAGE BOYS Happy Hour, and will have visuals by NewNeeds. PLD and I have been rehearsing, and working on some new songs. We shot some photos with Christian from Arsonist Photography recently, and I can't wait to see how they turn out. PS: Check out Christian's new show, with the legendary Jack Ferver, at PS122: RUMBLE GHOST. SO these are some cool things coming up. There are a bunch more. I have to get on top of all of them!

Here is a video of me performing at the last Pussy Faggot:

Video by Run Shayo. Thanks Earl for uploading it!
Ok I am going to make dinner.

Brr wake up!


Buy Nothing Day Parade

It's officially the holiday season, I guess. It's also time for my annual Laura Nyro obsession. Spending the morning burning incense and working in bed, dusted off my LPs. Thinking a lot, suddenly, about this really cute part in Michele Kort's awesome biography, Soul Picnic:

I dunno. Yesterday Sister Pico and I went to go see that new movie Burlesque starring Cher and Christina Aguilera. It was pretty insane. It made me think of my friend Grey in San Francisco, glad I'm gonna see him when i go home in December. I mean, Cher is kind of really insane and intense, to begin with. I just saw Moonstruck the other day, and was thinking about how beautiful Cher's face is in that movie:

Gorgeous, right? Well, Cher also looks really great in her new movie. She looks a little bit different now.

I watched a lot of Bad Girls Club last night. It was kind of insane. Also very inspiring, in terms of, like: what not to do. Here is what I remembred not to do: be a jerk. Those girls are jerks! Sometimes. I mean, they have fun too. It's a gamble. (Thinking a lot about gambling these days).

What else about today? It's noon and I still need to pick out my outfit.

Ten years ago, my BFF Jessicka and I went to the San Francisco Buy Nothing Day Parade / Protest. I do not remember exactly how, but we ended up carrying the banner.

That is me in the center, chubby 16 year old in a Kill Rock Stars T-Shirt. I remember being really scared, because I was wearing these Doc Marten's boots which I had just gotten (and are still at my parents' house in California). And I felt like it was really hypocritical to have leather on at that protest. It was really peaceful, nonviolent, etc. But there were totally cops everywhere. It was the first time I had ever really seen the police like that. There were all these fake police, narcs, undercover cops or whatever. Guys in "plain clothes" with dark glasses and black earpieces, who would just kind of... stand around, listening to groups of crust punks plan the parade route. It was also really strange to see these politically radical punk kids, all in dark glasses, giving out fake names. I mean. Inspiring but weird.

I'm still not shopping today. But that's because I'm broke. And also because Susan Miller advised against spending a lot of money to day. And although I have issues with Susan, I have a Super Secret Sexy Private Astrologer Who Works With A Lot Of Stars (har har har) And Is Really Cool and Right About A Lot Of Stuff. And he also advised me about today in such a way that I feel prepared and informed. Anyways: if you want a secret super great Astrologer connection, I can hook you up. Also: not shopping today. Nothing ambitious.


Yr Worst Enemy

Been sort of out of the loop these days. I guess I got really busy in October and put myself into tunnel vision mode, and then forgot to take myself out of it. SO: I'm back. I feel like I've been neglecting to update the blog during all this excitement, which kind of sucks. A lot of really great things happen because of this blog and I hope that people still read it? Find it useful? Anyway I'm back. For real, this time.

The big news is that I got a promotion at my job. Beginning December 1st, I will be working full-time. I was initially a little bit unsure of myself, cuz I felt like working part-time was a step in the direction of not having to have a day job. Here's the thing: I wasn't really making money these last three months. I mean, I effectively cut my income in half, which is OK I guess, but having my afternoons free is kind of a joke. I get a lot done, but more along the lines of: laundry, grocery shopping, exercise, etc. Not more "artistically" productive. And I've been really broke. I dunno. I am working every day as it is, and then finding stuff to do the last few hours. And the opportunity I've been given is pretty exciting, definitely something I think I can do, and something I think I can do without driving myself nuts, like at my last job. And also: I'll be making a little bit of money. More than at my last job. More than I've made since 2007. So I'm looking forward to a little bit less stress there. This is a decision I was wrestling with but am now really excited about beginning. Watch this space.

And so what else is going on is, you know, more of the usual. Insecurities and awkwardness lately. I feel like I catch myself suddenly caring a lot about what other people think about me. Like, people I don't know or who I'm not really friends with, opinions that should matter so much (/at all) to me are really tripping me up! I mean, not even their opinions, but my sense that they have negative opinions of me. Like, based on various bits of secret evidence. I dunno. It's not like people are telling me that I've done (or not done) something to upset them. We're not actually having any of these conversations. I find myself over-analyzing situations, like: "Why is this Dude mad at me? Is it because I didn't remember his name after meeting him for the first time because he randomly added me on Facebook? Is that mean of me?" And I am tearing my hair out because someone I don't know is always really frosty to me / maybe throws a little shade behind my back. Or, like, I'll be wondering if the reason other people in my life seem to resent me so much. I understand that this kind of resentment is a lot more about the resent-er than the resent-ee (me) but still, I want to understand it somehow. "Maybe the reason this other Dude is so negative about me, and says such nasty things about me to my friends, and goes out of his way to hurt my feelings / one-up me / start fights is because of something that happened to him in puberty. I bet he's in pain. OK. Let's identify the pain." And like, not to be a jerk? That's bullshit. I mean: not the thing about treating other people as a reflection of how we feel about ourselves-- that's still true. What's bullshit is that I think I can figure it out, or that figuring it out will help the other person, somehow make them stop being a dick(s) to me. But it's not my job to understand everybody's feeling, and it's impossible to try. I think it is also kind of a waste of time. SO: I am identifying this trend in myself and trying to notice it and work with it. We'll see.

I normally wouldn't even get this into it, but my AstroBarry horoscope begins with some advice which seems really spot-on in this regard:
You ought to know how often I defend you, Leo, from the unfair stereotypes you regularly reap from those who envy your warm vitality. I tell them you are more generous and heart-centered than they give you credit for… that it's their unresolved resentment about their own inhibitions which is where this projection stems from.
Like, this is it, man! Whatever. Same boring thing. I think the big lesson here is that instead of, you know, trying to rationalize and understand is a way of trying to control. Like, control the situation. And you know what? Some people are haters. And that is OK. And haters need love too. And I hope they get it. And I think that the most radical act you can do is try to love a hater. Your hater.

I read a lot of Pema Chodron, and she talks about this meditation practice called tonglen. Which is, in so many words, a way of practicing conscious empathy. And she talks in her books about focusing on people who really annoy or upset you. The last people you'd want to sit around thinking good thoughts for. They're the hardest people to imagine nice things about. But they're also the best opportunity for you to stretch your capacity for good-feeling. She quotes an old Buddhist scholar (not even gonna TRY to find the quote, sorry), who says something to the effect of how annoying people, people who bother us and drive us crazy, are such a blessing, for this reason. Which I really like. Like, what if your worst enemy was who you thought about living a long and healthy and happy life? Then that kind of changes what "worst enemy" means. I think it helps close this perceived distance between you and worst enemy. Which is rad (as in radical).

Thanks, Pema!

And then also, I got this 7" in the mailorder recently, the legendary Frumpies' ultra-scarce Chainsaw release, Alien Summer Nights.

So crucial, the Frumps. Also noteworthy is that they released a series of 7"s, on Kill Rock Stars, Lookout, Chainsaw and Wiiija. They're totally the unsung heroes of the Riot Grrrl aesthetic/mo(ve)ment. And their music is really gratifying to listen to, especially when I'm feeling bummed out or pissed off or frustrated and looking for ways to express it and see it expressed or whatever. So, thank you Tobi, Billy, Molly, Kathi and Michelle. Thanks, I mean, again.

Spent the weekend with Sister Pico, Lauren Wilkes, Chantal V.J. and PLD at our friend Dr. Perez' house in Connecticut, having an early holiday dinner.

PLD. Climbing in a tree. In a cemetery. In a photo by Teebs.

It was perfect and quiet and cold and peaceful. We ate and drank in abundance and laughed a lot. It was really fun to have indoor excitement. Definitely restful, and a god sort of cap to my mini-hibernation. Cause I'm back.

I'm going to pick back up working on the new issue of Scorcher, which is gonna be titled WHITECHOCOLATESPACEEGG. (Mine is gonna be in all caps). I've been taking my time with this one cause I have some bigger, broader ideas I want to talk about in it. I read the title story, which is a kind of "zine intro" written in the style of, say, Doris, at the event at PPOW Gallery where I read with Brontez. But the rest of the zine is still being stitched together. And I can't wait.

Things are going to get exciting.


Bettye LaVette at the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors:

from The New Yorker's profile of LaVette last week, on her performance:
Nothing in LaVette's performance had been unintended. "I didn't come here to try anything," she said. "I just thought, Whoever else is on that show, they have to die tonight. I have't had the opportunity to be adored already when I walk out onstage. Still, when I walk out, I walk out to make a point. If I have to rise to the occasion of killing you, I will."

Of The Arms I Missed

Favorites, favors, treats, presents, gifts, hors d'œuvres. Decorations. The weird giraffe-y art of the old Häagen-Dazs containers really take me back, man. I have such a strong sense-memory of this weird broken pattern. Specifically, eating coffee ice cream with my mom in Los Angeles, somewhat secretively. I don't know why it was a secret. A secret treat. Now I'm realizing that I just posted the other day about coffee yogurt, another obsession. And my maternal grandmother, Bubbe, always had coffee candy in her house. Which she never ate, but I ate compulsively whenever I visited her (even into high school and college). I don't remember what kind of coffee candies they were, which brand, but I'd know it if I saw it. Maybe there's some kind of matriarchal coffee flavor obsession in me. Could be worse, I guess.

Went to a really cool lecture at the New Museum on Sunday, as part of their "FREE" exhibition. The event was organized by the brilliant DIS Magazine and featured David Riley (of the band Mirror Mirror) giving a lecture about the history and significance of the Scrunchie.

It was so great! I learned a lot. I was pretty hungover on Sunday and David's articulate, calm, lucid voice was just perfect. Everybody in the audience got a free DIS denim scrunchie. Score! David's band Mirror Mirror is of course fantastic. They played once when I was go-go dancing at QxBxRx and it was so trippy. They also made a music video starring Rumi of the Cockettes, and they screened it at Rumi's recent NYC event at Envoy Enterprises. It was so great! I almost forgot to write on here (maybe I have before?) that I found out recently that David was a founding member of the NYC band NAVY in the late 90s/early 00s.

Like many people I'm sure, I first heard Navy on the Mr. Lady 2001 compilation Calling All Kings & Queens. I had never heard of them before, and I remember a considerable amount of internet chatter about them. WHO WERE these mysterious Navy people? At the time, I wasn't really interested or paying attention to anything about NYC. I had no plans to move there (yet). For all I knew, the only really interesting band to come out of NYC at the time was Le Tigre and they hardly counted as NYC. But something about the song really spoke to me! Their cutesy nautical theme was sort of prescient, at least for me: I spent the next many years obsessed with that aesthetic (the cover of my first cassette, as the Icebergs, featured hand-drawn anchors). And the song! And David's voice! I was definitely interested in queer punk music and such, but it was still kind of novel to hear the rainbow of gender expressions I imagined for myself and observed in my peer group (queer peer group) represented in indie music / underground culture. "Safe Harbors", the Navy song on the album, is very gay sounding. David clearly has a queer voice, and he was singing about desire. And from what I gathered, they had a really cool girl drummer. But I couldn't find anything out about them, really. I just made a note in my head that this kind of thing happened in Brooklyn. That there were sexy queer bands, existing underground, putting out amazing records. In NYC. It was one of the straws on the camel's back of me eventually coming here. And how lucky we are that fellow founding member Brina Thurston has put the entire Navy discography online. Anyway I recently put 2 + 2 together, realized who he was, and drunkenly told Mr. Riley how much Navy meant to me as a suburban teenager in California. He was very gracious about it.

Last night we went to a really cool art opening where there was new work by my good buddy Julia Norton.

Dream L.A., 2010

Her pictures are so pretty I hope I get one for x-mas / chanukah. Reminder: Julia has an illustration in the most recent issue of my zine, Scorcher. Natch.

On the way home I bought some party supplies. Total impulse buys but also, as the BF offered, "quality purchases". I think these will make the train ride up to Connecticut this weekend more enjoyable.

So sad that they killed Rush, and also Four Loko, right? Maybe not too sad. A little sad.
And now some videos. The first is a remix of Teengirl Fantasy's "Dancing In Slow Motion" (featuring Sharon Fuchness) by NEW NEEDS for DIS Magazine.

The second is a movie that resident boy-genius Perfect Little Daniel made for school, referencing Jarman's Caravaggio and starring, of course, the legendary Miss Jennifer Gross:

Ok. I am going to see the new Burroughs documentary tonight. And I am so fucking excited.


by Ian Svenonius

It's hard to say. Even now, his genealogy is being researched on the internet. What I do know is that Candy lives in a dream, far from the unfortunate aspects of the everyday. He scribbles in a journal like a boy half his age and plays backgammon prominently in public. He can eat copious amounts without the slightest effect on his physique. Ordinary men resent his shameless taste in clothes and shoes. Unusual men affect a similar style. He claims he's been in a number of duels, but he's certainly lying.

In the Candy persona there are also elements of Christopher Jones' Max Frost from 'Wild in the Streets' where a pop singer becomes President and of the Paul Jones character in 'Privilege' where the publicity campaign for a pop star turns him into a religious messiah (hence the inclusion of 'Listen to the Music' and Mike Leander's 'Bad Bad Boy' from those films and the trio of covers is completed by a reading of Komeda's lullaby from 'Rosemary's Baby')

I imagined 'Playpower' to be the record Toby Dammit would have recorded had he made it to Rome in Fellini's psychedelic masterpiece and whilst it is informed by many things the character of Candy is to some extent inspired by Terence Stamp's superbly intense performance.

Under the Work Projects Administration, Mr. Alan Lomax famously trolled around the south, taping farmers, miners and prisoners, in search of the "authentic voice of the American people". His employer was the government, His mission: propagandistic; the construction of a national identity out of the murky, tangled weirdness of the backwoods. The results, called "folk music", were documented on Folkways Records, and are unrivaled for their strangeness and oblique perspective. If Alan Lomax were trolling around the suburban parks of 21st century America, he'd surely stick a microphone under Candy's nose, and who knows? Maybe Folkways would finally have a hit record.

David Candy - Play Power


Here Again

Forgot that I wanted to link to this here. I was featured in NYC's favorite gay weekly, Next Magazine, recently. GETTING PERSONAL WITH MAX STEELE. Kind of reminds one of the title of Lindsay Lohan's second album, no? Though if you read this blog, nothing in there will be news to you, not really.

Sometimes I love eBay and the fact that people list things in weird categories and also sheer dumb luck that I can sometimes get really cool stuff for super cheap. Like this!

It's a vintage Comme des Garçons HOMME coat, from (I am guessing) sometime in the early 80s. It's very cute and light, with tiny shoulderpads and weird elastic outer pockets.

Also, it used to belong to Barbra Streisand.

The coat has that "old lady" smell. I like it.

I'm sure I've posted it here before, but check out this amazing video of Barbra singing with Judy Garland. They apparently did an homage on Glee but I don't watch that show, and the original is so much better. THE BEST PART OF THE VIDEO: that the background scenery is filled with painted arrows, which seem to point directly to Judy.

Best Part