On the ferry from Boston.
Joseph and Erin, who are also in the play. Sort of a big reason I did the show is because my friends are in it. We had so much fun! There were these tiny little bottles of wine on the ferry.
We got to our hotel in P-Town pretty late, but not so late that we couldn't go to dinner. We got these kind of nutso cocktails. I don't remember what mine was, I was exhausted, but I know it was blue. There are so few truly blue drinks (or foods). Like name three. Name three that don't include blue M&Ms or blue Skittles. It's hard, right?
Womencrafts. Erin bought me a button there that says "Blessed Be". I bought her one that said "Today Is My Anniversary".
I mean, couldn't you just? It was gorgeous. It was literally this gorgeous.
Cute beach looks.
Sexy-hair Joseph at the pizza slash ice cream parlor.
The hotel had a little patio where I'd eat breakfast, and an outdoor fire-pit where you could sit at night. Kind of a South Beach-inspired look? I don't know.
Tons of adorable P-Town bric-a-brac.
Getting into the local scene.
We did a little hanging out in town. Mostly we just worked on the show. We'd rehearse in the mornings and evenings, and then go look for food or something. The first night, we went out to karaoke. Can you believe that I've never sung at karaoke? Like, really. In my life. Well I let it all go in Provincetown. I sang (in this order): "Pussy Control" by Prince, "Intuition" by Jewel, and "LaLa" by Ashlee Simpson. As I was standing up to go sing the Ashlee song at the end of the night, I bumped my forehead into this wooden beam, really hard. I mean, I still got up there and sang the song and fucking nailed it, but I did injure myself. The crowd, a motley crew of copper and silver foxes, mostly straight, mostly too old to scamper out of the way, really liked our set. A nice man slipped us a $20 to buy us the next round of drinks. Joseph and Erin are like, you know, actual singers, so I imagine that his tip was mostly for them. But still, these old grannies were really digging "Pussy Control". As well they should. It's a fantastic song, and I know all the words.
I still have a little bump on my forehead. Wouldn't it be cool if I had a mild concussion and just didn't realize it? And like it somehow altered my personality (for the better)? Every time we walked through town after that first night (and there's really only one street to walk on in Provincetown), the bouncer at the bar/restaurant where we did karaoke would recognize us and say something nice. It's great, in other words, to be a celebrity.
But on the topic of finding fun things to do in Provincetown, on our last night, look what we found:
Hot tub! We wanted one all week. One of the other adorable actors in the festival invited us over to use it. We had a great time soaking in bubbles and cutting up, before the people at the B&B told us to go to bed, because they were sick of listening in on our conversation. Here is a rough translation of what they were listening to:
Joseph: "When I was in school, in Sex Ed, they had this thing where you could ask a teacher questions anonymously, with a slip of paper. And every week I'd write a question that they never answered."
Max: "What was the question?"
Joseph: "It was about how cats, if a cat gets pregnant by one cat, then gets pregnant by another cat, then the litter of kittens could have two different fathers."
Erin: "Oh, you mean Slutcats."
Evidently not as charming as I'd hoped. This is debatable.
The ferry back to Boston on the last day. Sort of sad to say goodbye to the beach. I often think of the image of the land of the lotus eaters, but this place is for real. I definitely see why it's become such a destination, and we were there in the very much off season.
I'd been pretty bummed out before going. Thinking that, like, my life sucked. That I had peaked already. That I didn't really have any friends, and wasn't smart of cool or making good work. I had connected these feelings to ones I felt as a kid; constantly left out, without any friends at my school. Always having to make up my own fun, and never able to trust that it was real, that I deserved to be happy, etc. So I'd been in a funk.
But then we got to Provincetown, had a cocktail and pricey dinner at 10 at night, slept in amazing hotel beds, right on the beach, to the sound of the ocean. In the morning I woke up to go downstairs for our continental breakfast, and I ran into Penny Arcade in the lobby of the hotel. She was in town for a show herself, which she had done the night before (so bummed I missed it!) Sister Cole and Miss Bridget Everett was also part of this festival. Anyway Erin came down and we hung out with Penny. Also saw Greg Potter and Nath Ann Carrera, who were all staying at the hotel. It seemed perfectly natural that we'd see each other at the hotel, at the time. Erin and Joseph and I hung out all week and made tons of little jokes, and on the ferry ride back to Boston, I felt really happy.
Like, I definitely never ever thought I would wind up in Provincetown, as an actor. I definitely never thought I would have cool friends who were performance artists who liked me and were nice to me and didn't demand things from me or put me down for being queer or freaky. I never in a million years thought I would ever KNOW Penny Arcade, let alone get to be friends with her or hang out. It's totally nuts. My life is a lot better than I had been realizing, lately. I think something about being on the sea for so long (the bay, really, I'll admit it-- but I'm from a bay! I love the bay! The ocean is evil but the bay is benign), really cheered me up. It's such a trip to stare out onto the horizon. It always feels like you're waiting for something to appear. Which is a trick, because usually it's already there, where you are, on the beach.
Came back to work yesterday, and found these which had come in the mail!
Okay and now, I promise, I am done with all diagonally-striped Maison Martin Margiela clothes. I think I have the total look. Y'know how in German there's that word gesamtkunstwerk which means, like, total work of art? They should have a word for total look. Like when there is a total top to toe LUKE happening. Maybe it's the same word or I should study German or something. All stripes. All MMM. All the time.
So I learned some things about myself, also, in Provincetown. Namely that there's no use in waiting and worrying, if you can help it. You can't always. I sometimes definitely need to bug out for a bit. But I think I might be past it. I am ready to get back in the game and do some new things. I'm going to perform with Rumi from the Cockettes on 10/17 at this crazy amazing event with such dear hearts and illustrious performers as Joseph Keckler, Nicholas Gorham, and of course Penny Arcade (I always wanna call her Pennifer). I'm excited to do a show! I'm going to do something new, of course. The last time I performed at one of Rumi's shows, I read a bit from an upcoming piece I'm working on, and this time I think I might read from another one. Maybe.
But first, this Saturday night, I'm go-go dancing at my favorite punk party.
This really, really buff guy had been on the blanket behind us, sleeping or sunbathing I couldn't tell, he had dark glasses on. He was just laying around all day, I sort of ignored him. At one point, though, I turned and looked over to where he was, and he was sitting up, sipping form a thermos, and dancing, seated cross-legged, to the Amy Winehouse song "In My Bed". I guess I had never really listened to that song, all the way. It's so smart, and sad, and pretty. And this guy was just... at the beach. Grooving. Dancing really well (as well as you can dance while sitting down). It sort of symbolized everything about the summer for me. Amy died. We listen to records of fake bravery and intimacy. Get drunk off the Sun. Everyone's a little island but put all together.
So anyway. I'm going back to the beach on Sunday. I'm in a Tennessee Williams play which is going to be at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival next week. Dear hearts Erin Markey and Joseph Keckler are in it, which makes it so much fun. Working on the play this last week had been so enjoyable. When I am sad or down or whatever, it's sometimes fun to really throw yourself into a project. Work! (That's why drag queens yell "Work!" at each other, it's to encourage people to not feel sad by throwing themselves into work; to use their muscles lest they lose them). Later, at the end of October, we bring the play to NYC for a few weeks, which will also be fun. But Provincetown! I've never been there! How exciting! We shall see.
Also in the play my character is blond, so I decided to join the proud lineage of blond performers before me by bleaching my hair last night:
By the way, the title of the play I am doing is NOW THE CATS WITH THE JEWELLED CLAWS.
After years of searching the internet for some confirmation of myself, and polluting it with my own dumb thoughts feelings and ideas, the Internet has finally taken it upon itself to paint a portrait of me, based I guess on Google searches or Goddess knows what. I've been sitting on this text for a little while. It was generated (I assume) by computers under the Google Sites thing, and it looks remarkably like one of my own stories.
I've been feeling so down recently, like everything I do or have gets taken away from me. So it's a kind of bittersweet complement to know that, thanks to the Internet, I don't even need to be here at all. What a gorgeous simulacra (they always are). The beat goes on. My clone sleeps alone. Gosh. They even got the same kinds of typos that I tend to make.
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So last Thursday (yes) was Fashion’s Night Out. What a silly holiday, truly. Of course you know I was excited, however, for to visit only one store.
(I made this picture, please don't sue/kill me)
Well, technically two. PLD and I went to the main CdG boutique and saw the Stephen Jones display, as well as all the Comme des Garçons aficionados. These rad older ladies with impeccable fashion sense, who fearlessly strap these crazy things to themselves. It’s great!
(Suzanne Golden remains a hero)
We had some champagne and ogled the merchandise. I kind of want one of those vintage scarf sleeves.
The legend/marketing arcana of the F/W 2011/12 (“Hybrid Fashion”) collection is that the vintage scarf pieces are all made from scarves from Rei Kawakubo’s collection, which is perhaps a little bit suspect (I mean, how many scarves could she possibly have? Has anyone ever seen her wear one of these nutso scarves? Or for that matter anything besides black menswear-inspired pieces of her own design?) Regardless, all of the scarf pieces are impossibly delicate and one-of-a-kind. And I kind of want one of the sleeves. But I don’t know if even a ladies L would fit me, really. Someone should get one for me and then I can find out. Ms. K was of course not at the party, but hubby Adrian Joffe was. I was definitely too scared to talk to him but it’s cool that he comes to stuff. They had kind of renovated the store, too, which was neat. We had some champagne, then high-tailed it downtown to the other CdG store, the Edited BLACK boutique. They had some snacks there, as well as a new collection (with shirts printed with images of KITTIES which I want SO BAD). We had a drink there, and also some snacks. They took my photo, too, so I (finally) ended up on the BLACK CdG blog, kind of a personal tiny coup for me. I think it’s because I was wearing the F/W Homme Plus pants I bought for my birthday.
From there, we high-tailed it in a cab over to Dixon Place, where Saint Mx. Justin Vivian Bond was celebrating the release of v’s memoir, Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels.
It was so cool! It featured readings by Mx. Bond vself, Kate Bornstein, Nao Bustamante and Amos Mac. Nath-Ann Carrera came up at the end to a number with Mx. Thing. Such a nice night! I can’t wait to read the book, and I think you should read it too. You can buy it from the Feminist Press. I have of course always admired Mx. Bond's performances, and have a tremendous amount of love adoration an respect for vs work. But I *also* know that some of vs favorite authors are also some of mine (thinking of: Erica Jong, Joan Didion, Lillian Hellman), so I'm excited to get into vs literary prowess. The sections of the book which they read aloud were fantastic, and thank Goddess I have some lovely long bus rides to look forward to next week, so i can get some reading done!
Speaking of long car trips, I bought a copy of Vogue's September issue to keep me company on a long bus trip to Boston next week, but now I'm thinking, like, this magazine is 69 fucking pounds heavy, and I know that it's all ads, man. Ads for dumb shit. I mean, I'm still gonna read it. it's shiny. But I just want to go on record as saying that I feel conflicted about reading Vogue (conflicted about reading *American* Vogue) and so am doing so deliberately late.
I guess I feel a bit chatty. I wanted to write about some Deep Feelings I have been having, but one layer of the Deep Feeling is that Nothing I Feel, Notice or Do Is Worthwhile. Do you know what I mean? There's been a much bigger lag in between living something and blogging about it, as compared to the past. And this is for a bunch of reasons including:
a) Who reads blogs anymore?
b) I don't know if I want to remember my life or document it or even really be in it, lately?
Maybe this is a Saturn Return thing. I've been pussyfooting around this, but I think I can actually talk about the fact that I am pretty bummed out. Not like actually upset over some real or imagined... anything. Just that, when I get quiet enough, I notice that my base-level feeling is pretty low. I want to blame Saturn Return. i wanted to blame Mecury Retrograde. I wanted to blame the two room mates we just got rid of, who were (not to exaggerate) Actually Abusive and Horrible and Awful. I can't find a good reason. I think maybe I need to go back to therapy or something. Since when did spending an hour and a ton of extra money every week solve anything, though? I just don't know what is up. I mean, there're two levels. On one level, I am working and being productive and present. On some other deeper level, I am profoundly confused. About what I'm supposed to be doing and who I am. I feel like nobody wants to be my friend, or like people only want something from me. There's also something else. I feel like I came to New York with really low-to-nonexistent expectations for myself. And as soon as I started doing, really, anything in New York, I had to eat so much shit from other people about it that it really scared me from doing stuff. And I'm disappointed that I let it scare me. And I'm sad. I sort of tried to make artwork, and the overwhelming response was that I had no right to, and that everyone else could do it better than I could. And I'm not disputing that. It just bums me out. Probably this is just that I am in a bad mood about myself and trying to reconstruct some narrative of how much I suck to arrive at the conclusion. That could be.
Thinking so much and so often about this quote by Kathleen Hanna:
“It can be really painful to have to face how fucked up shit is and how scared people are…of being alive. Scared of things that are amazing. Scared of things that aren’t like television or aren’t dead. A lot of people can’t deal with three-dimensional human beings, they only know how to deal with other products — they see themselves as other products. When the world only treats you like a dot on a marketing scheme, you can learn to treat yourself and other people like that.”I feel like this really resonates with me. I get so bummed out sometimes because I feel like people in my life, even peripherally, are not communicating in the sense of expressing themselves to another person, but are marketing. Like, we want to be bought. We want to be taken home and unwrapped and used and then bought again. We want to be sold. We want our value affirmed or something. Who taught us this? It's like turning the lights on, to notice this. I mean: oh. Right. I might not be a thing that someone has to like and purchase. I might have another use in the world beyond my ability to consume or be appealed to. There are other, I guess, parts of people. Though they kind of escape me now.
I am uncomfortable and I feel uninspired and pretty unhappy.
I think, I guess, then, it's time for lunch.
I wrote a bit about the piece, it’s score and some thoughts about it, earlier on the blog. You can see this HERE.
Watching the video, I do sort of wish that I had been able to wrangle the weaves a bit better, but I think it worked out okay. I wish the video was from my perspective, so you could see the audience's reaction. It was very nice.
It's pretty. My first day I went to SF to bum around a bit. Yesterday I visited Telegraph in Berkeley. It was really gorgeous.
That's my kitty, Nora! She's taken to sitting in this big fruit bowl on the dining room table. Such a subtle diva. She kind of blends in with the whirlwind of stuff my family uses the dining room for. A big gray furry lump in the middle of the piles of bills, magazines, newspapers. And then she'll meow and remind you that she is here, too. Hi! I love her.
Saw this in the window of a local photo portrait studio and I liked it. I think it's kind of 'meta'. You know that word, 'meta'? It's not even really a word. (You know Frank Sinatra? He's dead).
Alameda lawn art. I really like that instead of grass, this lawn artist simply laid out a brown carpet as the base for his/her stone lawn art arrangement. Like, carpet? Really? Way to think outside the box.
The other night I went out to dinner with Emma and Mister J., old college chums. It was so nice to see them! They live in a cute little apartment in Berkeley and we caught up and then went out to dinner at a Japanese restaurant.
Which I, like, never do. It was great! I love Japanese food. I feel like Japanese food is, in NYC, such a cliche. Like who goes out for sushi? Assholes is who. But in California, people have this weird trip of, like, enjoying their life while they're alive (as opposed to in NYC deferring Earthly existence out of devotion to a religion called "success") so people in California live well and this includes eating well and this included many different cuisines including Japanese.
Yesterday went to San Francisco to hang out with original home girls Cotton and Sam.
Went thrift-store shopping in the Soma. Got delicious and weird Vietnamese snacks.
Basil seed water! It totally looks like fish eggs, tho, right? But it's delicious! And weird.
I love to eat slimy things.
This time of year always reminds me how much I love Martha Stewart. The fact that she's so gung-ho about Hallowe'en is really inspiring to me. It makes me wonder what else she might be really gung-ho about, you know? Like what if Martha Stewart is also really into dancing? Or board games? Or light bondage? YOU DON'T KNOW. I love the idea of people having a hidden talent, or a secret fascination with something. Like you'll be talking to a stranger at a party and mention something about, say, cattle ranching, and then the person will get a weird look in their eye and intimate that they're really into cattle ranching, and it will be awkward because you've touched a nerve for this person, and they have this whole other side that you would never have known about if you didn't stumble onto it. Cattle ranching is a dumb example. I just like the photo of Martha as Siouxsie Sioux.
Anyway I'm going to the YMCA with my dad and then I'm gonna go meet up with my friend Grey!