Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Another Blog I Love

I typed this post out and then lost it all AND BOY THAT WAS FUN.

ANYWAY, continuing with some of my favorite all time blogs, this one is hilarious. It makes me wish I'd thought of it myself and had the talent to pull it off but I didn't and I don't.

Once I wrote a post and called myself the funniest blogger on the web and someone commented, "No, Allie of Hyperbole and a Half is." And they were right and I was only kidding.

Allie is currently going through a major depression but still managed to make a post about it that was funny and got 4264 comments. And yes I know depression is not a laughing matter I'm just saying most posts about depression are depressing because you know, depression.

I think all of you reading this are just glad I stopped typing the word Depression. (sorry)

57,568 Google Friend Connect fans can't be wrong.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

One Of My Favorite Blogs

After 6 years of blogging, I decided to write up some of my all time favorite blogs. Blogs so unique and different, so outstanding that they humble me with their creativity.

I love fashion. I have since the moment my mother bought me my first fur hat when I was 16. And lied to my father about it.

Tavi Gevinson started blogging when she was 11 (WHAT?) and was invited to New York Fashion Week when she was only 13. (YOU'RE KILLING ME LARRY) She was partly the inspiration for a Rodarte clothing line for Target and if you know Rodarte, those sisters know fashion. In September 2010 Gevinson was named a "Vogueista" by Vogue Italia. I'm guessing that's a pretty good deal when you're 14 years old. At 14 I appeared in my 9th grade talent show, where I wrote, starred in and directed a skit based entirely around toilet paper.

Vogue Italia did not attend.

Tavi was clearly born in the wrong decade as she regularly channels Brigitte Bardot from the 50's and hippies from the 60's, like in this picture above.

She's got a website for teenagers, named Rookie, after her blog, Style Rookie. Some days she deconstructs movies like The Virgin Suicides or Bye Bye Birdie on her blog via photos and her massive collection of odd items and clothing, carefully curated from thrift stores. There are often special appearances from her incredibly artistic friends like Petra, who took this picture.

One day this year I sent Tavi some pictures of pillowcases from the designer Oleg Cassini, who famously dressed Jacqueline Kennedy while she was in the White House. The linens belong to my mother but I hijacked them after my parents divorced. The cotton is so soft it makes me weep for when quality was king, not profit. They're from the 1960's and have colors in them you don't see on sheets these days. I was surprised to hear back from Tavi, a lovely, polite email thanking me for thinking of her and sending along the photos.

Those blues and oranges pull at the strings of my artistic heart. And brown!! When it was called brown!! And not chocolate.

I miss brown.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Me And Al Pacino

This is the first movie I worked on, Author, Author starring Al Pacino and Dyan Cannon.

I was an extra walking my dog at night. I took this screenshot off Netflix and I can't be seen because Al Pacino, BIG SHOT, covered my body as he passed me.

However, you can see the back end of my dog.

Show business is my life.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

L.A. Sign Of The Times #101

These 2 Bentleys are parked near my sister Lindy's car in the underground garage in her building. Every time she and I exit the door that leads to the garage and someone comes out after us, she turns to them and says, "Love your Bentleys." And the people always respond, "Those aren't my cars."

Then she laughs and they laugh while secretly taking out their iPhones and dialing 911. Lindy's been doing it for months and sometimes I'm there to witness the dementia first hand.


Lindy turned to me and said, "I was bound to find the owner eventually."

Thank God she doesn't play poker.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Breaking (Up) Bad 8 - Part 2

This is the second and final part from the chapter How I Got Over Freddy, from my memoir His Dead Wife. Part one here. This is heavily redacted from the actual chapter.

By the time Freddy came home that night, I was hysterical.
"When were you going to tell me you didn't work at your father's chicken plant?"
"My father doesn't have a chicken plant."
"You fucking asshole! So where have you been and what did you do with all the money you took from me?”
“Well I had to eat and keep myself busy for the eight hours I walked around San Francisco every day.”

His tone implied a big "Duh."

"Did you at least call your parole officer?"
"Yeah, yeah, get off my back."

It's said that without denial, the human spirit would perish. That denial allows our brain and our heart a respite before they catch up with reality and are able to deal. Denial was, and would be, my emotional home for many, many years.

I didn't ask Freddy to pay back the money he stole from me and we didn’t discuss him getting another job. He was now home all day, or all night, but never both. He took money out of my wallet when I was in the shower or sleeping. I never asked him what he did with it or where he went when he disappeared. I was safely at home, 1737 Repudiation Road, Denial, California. USA.

One day Glamaruss called and in a moment of guilt, admitted that Freddy had been using again and was seeing another woman. I was furious at Glam for not telling me sooner, but it’s kind of useless being mad at a drag queen. You can tell them you’re angry and they’ll respond with, “Look honey, I’m over 35, HIV positive and the only person who ever loved me was my foster mom who was killed in a drive-by in Inglewood when I was twelve.”

I hung up and lit a cigarette, pacing the nine by twelve foot cell of my studio apartment like a caged cheetah. I had cut back on bennies and downers and replaced them with a new palliative, Marlboro reds in the flip top box. I called my ex-roommate Celeste. She didn’t like Freddy but she was the only person I trusted to tell me the truth.

“I should leave him, right?”
“You went to the prison?”
“I missed him.”
“What did you miss? The hitting or the peeing on you in our bathtub?”
“Oh God, you knew about that?”
“He used to brag about it when you weren’t home. ”
“Okay, can we just stick to the current facts, please?”
“Sure,” she said, “let’s see; he was in prison, you let him come live with you, he stole money out of your wallet, lied about having a job and was cheating on you with the woman he cheated on you with before. Is that current enough for you?”

All right, maybe Celeste wasn’t the only person I trusted to tell me the truth. Maybe I had other friends who would tell me the kind of truth I wanted to hear. But I didn’t and I knew it.

One day I got a call from Henley. He and I had spent hours on Stinson Beach dropping acid and listening to the Rolling Stones. He was rich and didn't have to work for a living and would die of AIDS in the late 1980's.

“Girl, your boy just broke into my apartment and stole my stereo and all my jewelry.” I rushed over to his house and Henley showed me the broken window in the dining room.
“How do you know it was Freddy?”
“I was home when he did it.”
“Well why the fuck didn’t you stop him, or call the cops?”
“Cause he’s a drug addict and I figured if he got it all, then he wouldn’t come back.”

That actually made sense to me. I went home and waited for Freddy. One day, two days. On the third morning he came home. I was chain smoking and drinking Nyquil since it was the only thing in the apartment that had alcohol in it. Unless you counted the almost empty bottle of Jack Daniels I had drained through a straw.

“Seriously, you’ve got to give Henley his shit back.”
“That queer’s rich; fuck him.”
“Freddy, I’m not kidding, he's one of my best friends. You have to give him his stuff back.”
“Fuck you.” And Freddy was out the door.

Then he started stealing from me when I was out. My passport, a 35 millimeter camera, an ivory cigarette holder and the lowest of all, the diamond ring that I had suspected belonged to his mother. And even though he was disappearing more and more, he must have been stalking me to know when I wasn’t home. When I did see him I asked if he was using again and he lied and said he wasn’t. Even though we weren’t having sex I still hadn’t made the leap from No Sex with Me equals Sex with Someone Else. After all, when he stopped hitting me, did I automatically assume he was hitting someone else?

I got fired from Nickel’s because they told me Freddy had broken in and stolen from them. They didn’t need the extra burden of a salesgirl’s ex-con junkie plus their own heroin addiction to interfere with projected retail sales for the fall quarter.

I was sitting alone in my apartment one afternoon with the shades drawn and a cigarette dangling out of the corner of my mouth. Suddenly I heard a horn honk. And continue honking and honking and honking. It was the Handwriting on the Wall Wagon and it was parked in my head.

As if in a trance, I went upstairs to Glamaruss’s. The front door was unlocked and I walked in. It was drag queen early, about 11:00 a.m., and it was quiet.

“Glamaruss?” I tiptoed through the living room, “Glam, are you here?”

I went to her bedroom and slowly pushed open the door. And there they were, Glamaruss and Freddy, spooning, sound asleep. I inched forward to get a better look and a floor board creaked. Glam stretched out an arm. I froze but she saw me. I don’t know which one of us looked more horrified.

The thing that pissed me off the most about the end of me and Freddy was not that he had lied, stolen my money or cheated on me but in the entire three years, he had never once spooned with me. And that? Hurt.

A week later I packed a suitcase and moved to Paris. Maybe they wouldn't have denial there.

And that’s how I got over Freddy.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Breaking (Up) Bad 8

This is one of my breakup stories. There were so many I wrote an entire BOOK about them. I can hear you laughing from here. So this is part 1 of this story, from my book His Dead Wife. It's a chapter called How I Got Over Freddy. Second part on Wednesday.

Freddy was doing time at Tehachapi for burglary and possession of heroin, and when he was discharged he asked if he could live with me. He gave me his parole officer’s number and I called. He said Freddy had been in and out of prison his entire life and it was doubtful he would ever make it on the outside without some serious support. I also learned that Freddy had had a wife once, and that she had divorced him after the first time he went to prison. He also had two sons, but Freddy didn’t know where they all lived now. Freddy’s parents knew but had agreed with his ex-wife to keep him out of his children’s lives because they knew nothing good could come of it. They were fed up with him because he had robbed them so many times that they had decided not to let him back in their house. His parents wouldn’t let him visit, he couldn’t see his kids ever again, and his wife had left him. Somebody had to help this guy. And of course I was just co-dependent enough to sign up for this tour of duty.

I told Freddy he could live with me but only if he never hit me again. And he didn’t. I wondered if I had said that when he was hitting me if he would have stopped then, too.

Freddy didn’t talk, rarely ate and was gone a lot. I was angry when I realized that he had paid more attention to me when he was hitting me. The physical abuse was easier to handle than the mental abuse. At least I could see the damage.

Freddy needed a job but what he really needed was to clean up. He had used heroin the entire time he was in prison but now that he was on the outside, he didn’t want to continue because it was an expensive habit. Freddy said it was cheaper and easier to get dope in the joint than it was on the streets and he had the track marks to prove it.

“You have to help me kick,” he said calmly.
“Ok.” I replied, also calmly, only I was pretending.
“You have to hide the knives, lock the doors and no matter what I say, don’t let me leave the apartment or call my dealer.”

That would really not be a problem since his dealer had showed up at our door only two days before. He had handed me a bag with a dead rat in it and said, “Tell your fucking boyfriend this is the only dime bag I’ve got for him until he fucking pays me. Got it, bitch?” So, hide knives, lock doors, dead rat in bag. Done. So done.

Freddy took all the knives and the phone and put them in a trash bag and gave them to our upstairs neighbor, a drag queen named Russell Richardson who went by the name Glamaruss. Then he made Glamaruss rope tie him to the bed. Freddy said it would take at least three days to detox, which was perfect because that’s how long it would take me to figure out how to untie the knots. A Maxwell House coffee can was Freddy’s new toilet.

He begged, he sweet-talked, he threatened my life but I didn’t untie him. At one point I got bored and asked him how exactly did he think he was going to kill me since he was tied to the bed? He called me a 'fucking whore' but based on my previous sexual encounters that had zero effect, obviously.

I didn’t leave the apartment for two days, afraid that he would die without me there. On the third day he stopped nodding off and sweating through his clothes and asked for orange Hostess cupcakes. At that point I knew he’d turned the corner because who the fuck would eat the orange ones except a cleaned up junkie?

Freddy started a job at his father’s chicken plant and checked in with his parole officer once a week. He would write me notes each morning and leave them on the kitchen table. “Dear Baby, I am going to pluk chikens. I took twenty dolars out of your walette to by chiken pluking gloves.”

Yes, I know; Love Is Blind and Has No Spell Check.

About three weeks after our homemade detox, I went to a pay phone to call Freddy at the chicken plant. Our phone had been temporarily disconnected since I didn’t have enough money to pay the last month’s bill. Freddy was taking more and more of my boutique paycheck to buy things for his new job.

“Freddy? Freddy who?” the woman asked.
“Freddy, the guy who plucks chickens for his father.”
“Sorry honey, no Freddy here. This is a car dealership.”

(to be continued)

Thursday, June 07, 2012

How I Made The Top 20 In The Humor Category Of BlogHer's Voices Of The Year

This was written on the occasion of the wedding of Becky and Matt. Ann Imig of Ann's Rants gave a virtual bridal shower for Becky and this was my contribution. Then Ann nominated it for BlogHer's Voices Of The Year in the humor category and I made the top 20. Ann was rewarded for her generosity by also placing in the Top 20 in the category of Identity.

People always ask me why I never got married. When they do, I look up long enough from counting my stacks of money to laugh. Then I put on my diamonds and furs and ring for the butler and he rings for the chauffeur and soon I'm in my Maybach heading for another fun day at the plastic surgeons.

And I don't have to check with anybody and can spend my money however I want which does not include having to buy a new hot water heater and other things I can't wear.

The truth is, I don't play well with others. Apparently marriage requires sharing and compromise. What kind of living hell is that? And if you're married you can't go to bed mad? THAT'S JUST CRAZY TALK. I wasn't aware there was another way to go to bed.

The real story is that I've had trouble with men from the moment I started dating. My first boyfriend got hit by a truck. My second boyfriend had a heart attack. My third boyfriend called me up one day and said, “You know what, I think you’re a jinx." And I said, “How do you figure?” But then the phone went dead because you’re only allowed ten minute calls from prison.

I don't do domestic. Unless that includes hiring them and then I'm the valedictorian of domestic. As a matter of fact the first thing I look for is a man who cooks, because I don’t. I’ll eat out, I’ll take out, I’ll put out. But I ain't cooking. When I get my dream house, I’m not even going to build a kitchen. I’m going to put a KFC in on the ground floor.

Because I'm not a quitter, I've been engaged three times. The first time I bought a long white dress. The second time I bought a long off-white dress. The third time I just bought something I could return.

My first fiancé was in the Army. The Salvation Army. He was so immature that on April Fool's Day he put Polygrip in my diaphragm. I walked around all day sounding like a plunger.

One day he shaved his head.

"Why did you do that?"
"I'm trying to make my head look bigger."
"I wish you'd shave another part of your anatomy."

My second fiancé gave me a big diamond ring and I got him nothing. It's the only time in a relationship between a man and a woman where if you don't give, no one's going to call you frigid AND IT WAS ONLY THAT ONE TIME. My third fiancé was twenty years older than me. When he took me to meet his parents I was very impressed and said, "Wow, this is a really nice cemetery."

Marriage scares me because I'm not sure people can be faithful to each other. If only we took a page from the animal kingdom. The bald eagle mates and remains faithful for life. Of course if he had some hair he'd probably be out screwing around.

So dear Becky, just because I'm not that brave, don't let that dissuade you RUN FOR YOUR LIFE from marrying the man of your dreams IT'S NOT TOO LATE I'M SURE THE CATERER WILL REFUND SOME OF THE MONEY and living the rest of your life in harmony and bliss I'M LYING and I wish you and Matt the very happiest parts of forever.

Poor bastards.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

I Sent My Only Child To Live In Vegas Because My Apartment Was Too Crowded

I've showcased a lot of my Teeshirters on this blog and have loved them all because you guys are really creative. I keep saying I'm going to post them all and let people vote on their favorites but I'd have to make one of those Brady Bunch slash Hollywood Squares graphics and put pictures in them and oh my God I'm exhausted just typing it.

Here's another Teeshirter currently riding my sidebar:

When I was moving a year ago, I realized I had too much stuff and had no idea where it all came from because I certainly had nothing to do with it. As I slowly began packing in the months leading up to the move I knew there would have to be casualties. And one of them was this.

I posted a picture of him and my old friend Chandler said it reminded him of the one he had when he was a child. I wrote back and asked if I could send it to him and he said yes.

I had one condition, that he had to take a photo of him wearing my tee shirt and send it to me. THAT WAS A YEAR AGO.

I just received the picture last week.

I've known Chandler since 1999. We were both members of a Usenet message board for standup comics. Blogs are not nearly as entertaining as Usenet was. Bloggers play it safe. Never rocking the boat hard enough to lose an oar. But on Usenet? HOLD ON TO YOUR VAGINAS, PEOPLE.

When Usenet discontinued message boards because blogs were getting so popular, (oy) most of us reluctantly moved on. I went on to screenwriting and so did Chandler. Eventually he moved to Las Vegas and got a Master's Degree in Thanking Sweet Jesus He Left L.A.

Why is the bear wearing a shirt with Teddy Soro on it? Because when I was a kid I'd named him Teddy when I got him for Christmas one year. Apparently my imagination got lost when I checked out of my mother's uterus. You know how you always forget something when you're in a hurry.

Chandler made the shirt for Teddy. And artfully arranged my shirt behind the bear. See? Creative, every last one of you.

Is it just me or does it look like Teddy put on some weight?

Friday, June 01, 2012

It's Everybody Can Bite Me Friday!

This was my entry in this year's Robert Benchley Writing Competition. If you follow that link you'll see some of Benchley's more famous quotes. He was a member of the Algonquin Round Table in New York and is widely recognized as one of the premier humorists in the history of humor. This will not be said about me when I'm dead and buried at my decidedly non star-studded funeral. I'll save you the trouble, I DIDN'T EVEN MAKE TOP 10 AND ARTE I'M A THOUSAND YEARS OLD JOHNSON WAS THE JUDGE. It probably would've helped to familiarize myself more with Benchley's humor but then I wouldn't have had anything to bitch about.

I own a refrigerator. This is dull news unless you’ve never owned one. And I haven’t. Nor have I wanted to. I’m a renter. We look down on owning.

“It was left by the last guy; you wanna buy it?”
“How much?”
“Fifty bucks.”
“Fifty dollars a month on top of the rent?”
“Nah, just a one time thing.”

You can’t buy a toaster for fifty dollars, much less an entire refrigerator with shelves and cubicles and a separate little apartment for the butter. I was suspicious. Had this refrigerator been in prison and couldn’t get a decent job anywhere but in a rental unit? Who was this “last guy” who left it behind? What kind of shady activity was he involved in that required him to take off without a refrigerator?

“How old is it?” I asked the manager, opening the fridge door and expecting to see a family of mold sitting around the crisper knitting.

“Only two, looks pretty good for its age, right?”

Two in rental talk obviously means three. And “looks good for its age” is what people say about women who are aging dubiously.

“It has an ice-maker. It’ll make ice day and night, miss.”

That doesn’t seem like a plus to me. An ice maker that makes money day and night, definitely a plus. But how much ice does one person need?

“It’s a Westinghouse.”
“Is that good?”
“Yes ma’am, made right here in the U S of A.”

The manager switched from calling me miss to ma’am in the course of three seconds. This refrigerator was aging me. And not dubiously.

I bought the four year old refrigerator and moved in a few days later. It hummed quietly in the far corner of my clean white kitchen, next to the window overlooking the pink bougainvillea growing over the roof of my nearest neighbor. I checked the freezer. There was ice.

I invited a friend over. He brought wine and various shades of oohs and ahhs.

“Can you help me turn the microwave right side up?”
“How did it get upside down?”
“The movers were in a hurry.”
“You told them you weren’t going to tip them, didn’t you?”
“The tip is included in the price, like in France.”
“So you only invited me to help move this thing?”
“Don’t be ridiculous. You’re the only person I know who works out with weights so you take that corner and I’ll take this corner and easy does it, and flipping, and turning… and down… we… go.”

And I set the microwave down on my left thumb.

“I’m okay. Really, I’m fine, see? These aren’t even real tears.”
“Let me look at…wow, you have a white refrigerator! You really don’t see these anymore since everyone wants stainless. Is yours vintage?”
“No, it’s only five years old.”
“Now let me look at your thumb; you know you’re going to have to keep ice on that day and night.”

So this week's Bite Me Award goes to Arte Johnson and Robert Benchley, even though Benchley died in 1945 and will not likely be reading my blog today: