Jersey Assholes in the City

[Originally written 11.17.03]

Considering there were moments this Summer where I greatly missed my friend, Jon and I have been spending a considerable amount of time together and I absolutely love it.  Whether we are just sitting around getting stoned and watching television while random converstions pop up or we are out and about being true to our Carny nature [okay, and sometimes being obnoxious assholes], I appreciate the time we have together.  It fills me with the utmost joy and serves as a constant reminder of all the reasons I am so thankful to have this friendship.

We wound up in the City on Saturday, for no other reason than the weather was fairly pleasant and we felt like a change of pace from the Shore.  Not that I don’t feel utterly relaxed there, but it’s always a nice treat to climb in Jon’s Chevy and take a trip somewhere.  The hours were spent hustling and spanging, which will always come naturally to Jon.  It’s like most of the time he doesn’t even think about what he’s doing; his fingers do all the work, and in the span of half an hour he can lift about a hundred dollars from people’s pockets or wallets.  We don’t really get into the routines that we used to play, but that’s mostly because he would rather me focus on my sideshow skills than always depending on being able to cry at the drop of a hat.  However, we did sit on a corner and hassle people for their spare change while drinking a 40.  Most people will ignore us and that’s totally fine since we aren’t straight up hobos who need the money for food or whatever.  It’s pretty much something that we do for fun because Jon enjoys observing the way human beings act towards others.

Had an excellent lunch in Chinatown, and after doing  little bit of shopping we decided to head back to Jersey.  That’s when we got trapped.

No matter which way we tried to get back to Jersey, there was traffic from hell.  Jon was not at all pleased; he hates traffic and I don’t blame him.  At least it gave us plenty of time to chat about whatever was on our minds, which I always enjoy.  It would have been better if we didn’t leave the weed at his house.  However, he shared stories about the days when he lived in the City, and how he went out every nite because there was always something going on.  He even pointed out a couple of buildings where he used to live, a longing for days passed evident in his eyes.  Sadly the City ain’t what it used to be, and what a shame that is.  In a way I slightly envy that man for all the fun things that he did and I want to, but am unable to because things are different now.

At some point, we both got pretty pissed that we couldn’t get ourselves out of the City.  So it was good-bye manners and hello assholes from Jersey.  Don’t think I have ever held onto a door so tightly before.  That boy gets crazy when he has to sit in traffic.  The highlight of our experience being packed in with slow moving cars, was when we came to a four-way stop, and some fucker thought he had the right of way.  The right of way is something none of us really have, but can always give.  This douche pulled up right next to us and started mouthing off.  We both had some choice words for him, mostly vulgarities and much cursing accompanied by extended middle fingers.  Jon looked like he wanted to get out of the car, but since the light had changed, I convinced him that we should go while we had the chance.  However, there was something shiny and steel in his hand that was intended for that loud-mouthed dick.  Needless to say, the fucker drove off in a hurry when his eyes set upon it.

Over an hour later, we got back to Jersey.  It might be a long time before we ever drive into the City again.  From now on we stick to the PATH, which we should have taken in the first place.  The only time I go by car is when Jon drives, but we never ran into that much traffic before.  At least we brought back some confectionary goodness and had plenty of bowls to laugh about the whole thing.

Sunday was our lazy day, not that we really needed one.  Had breakfast in bed and watched cartoons.  Jon had to go out for more libations, because we somehow smoked what we got on Friday.  Took a nice nap and then decided I didn’t want to live in the bed all day.  Listened to the t.v. while I wrote and waited for him to come back.  He made dinner and we tore into the new stash.

Two more episodes of Carnivale left before the end of the season.

Can’t believe Jonesy and Rita Sue are still going at it, and now Libby knows.  It’s odd, because he went to go talk to Sophie, and they ended up kissing.  Am guessing they had something going once before, and perhaps he fucked it up, but doesn’t want that to happen again.  He should just let the blond pig be and go with Sophie.  Samson and Ben tried to get some information from the local Knights of Templar, but came back empty handed.  Noticed the tapestry on the wall, with the cornfield in which a man with some tree tattoos stood; the same man Sophie saw raping her mother; the same man Ben saw on the road and in his dreams.  Thought it was funny that Stumpy brought in a new dancer.  The expression on Rita Sue’s face was priceless.  Now she will get a taste of her own medicine, or just become a bigger whore.  Brother Justin returned home and walked into his old church like he was Jesus.  His sermon was great, as he has those people in the palm of his hand, and they will follow him like the sheep they are.  It was awesome when the other priest baptized him, and the blood appeared on his forehead.  Jon and I both came to the conclusion that Management might be the tattooed man.  There’s some connection between him and Scudder.  Management is looking for him, and is likely using Ben to get to him.  Lodz seems to be in Management’s favor, as Samson got booted out of the trailer.

The preview of next week’s episode makes me wish it was already Sunday again.  There are still so many loose ends and questions witout answers.  Hard to believe that there are only two episodes left.  This show is addictive, and I always feel as tho I’m  watching a docutmentary of people’s lives.

My verticle labret is healing nicely.  There’s not much pain, except when I turn or clean the jewelry.  Just wish the top bead would stop sticking to my lip, tho I suppose that will happen once the hole is healed.  Might have to get a new piece anyway, because I don’t like the size of the beads compared to the ones I have in my other lip holes.

Guess I’ll be hitting up the apartment later on.  Don’t want to be around here because my mom decided not to go to work today and I find myself utterly annoyed by her presence.  At least the Asshole has been less of one and we can hang out and smoke without him saying stupid things.  Definitely better than being here, but still not a permenant solution.

Autumn’s Essence

While none of this information is exactly going to be breaking news for those who already have their fingers on the pulse of the 2011 Fall trends in hair and make-up, it will break down the hottest looks this season for those who may not be as skilled as YouTube gurus when it comes to application or executing a specific style.  Also, I thought it would be fun to translate the prevailing styles into ones that burlesque and sideshow performers can wear whether on stage or going out for dinner.  The highlight of the season plays off what it is most well known for – color.  It was seen in designs all over the runway and certainly extends to the latest blueprints for elegant make up, and can also be easily incorporated into every woman’s custom wardrobe.

ALL I SEE IS RED

Make your lips feel like they are the stars of the show with a bold red in sheer or matte finish topped off with gloss for a truly glamours pout befitting any Hollywood bombshell.  It all comes down to selecting the right hue, and with such delicious names such as wine, peach, cherry and merlot, among many others, there is one color that will suit every complextion.  Burgundy and coral are also popular, and no matter which lipstick you use, don’t forget a coat of gloss for extra shine.  If you’re feeling even more daring, a dose of glitter will sparkle under stage lights, but be warned that it will have to be touched up a few times during the course of an evening. The lipstick pictured on the right is Lancôme’s Coral Goddess, which touts itself as having “full, fade-free color in tempting textures” and is infused with softening ingredients to leave lips with an all day feeling of comfort.  For a more avant-garde look such as seen in the photo below from Illamasqua’s Theatre of the Nameless collection, line the lip with a black pencil, taking care not to be too clownish.  Always remember to pair fire-tinged lips with neutral colored eyes and cheeks to keep the focus in one place.

It’s time to cross the threshold and embrace a world of unadulterated decadence.

SMOKEY + METALLIC CAT EYE

Without a doubt the cat eye is one of the most iconic make up styles for classy ladies that I personally feel never gets old, but certainly can use an update every once in a while.  This season, there are two changes to the cat eye that we all know and love which will take the retro black winged liner to a sultry smudged shadow or transform you into a futuristic femme fatale.

Smokey cat eye mixes two of make up’s timeless looks without one being mistaken for a character on Jerseylicious.  Black is out and purple, green or blue jewel tones are in.  Trade those hard liners for soft powders, sweeping them across the top and bottom of the eye.  Then use a brush to blend, diffuse and obscure harsh edges, and don’t forget to define the signature ‘wing’ of the traditional cat eye.   Add a bit of gold on the inner corner or use it as a liner for a more robotic heroine accent, following the upper lash line to make the eyes look bigger.

Metallic cat  eye reminds me of the atomic age in the 50s where saturation was on high and chrome trimmed vehicles that were physical representations of the era’s space obsession cruised the asphalt ocean.  These elements are combined to create a powerful look that will certainly draw attention to the eyes.  Begin with a charcoal shadow [bonus if it has sparkles] across the lid, then dust on red, gold or copper and edge it out into a soft point.  A lighter color on the inner corner, especially white, gives the illusion of larger eyes and really makes the look pop.

FLUSHED GLOWING CHEEKS

Wear the cliched womanly glow during chilly Autumn evenings to keep the blood warm while romping through forests waiting to be scared by some masked teenager.  Avoid that harsh blush look by using creme instead of powder in a neutral or peach tone, and then sweep on a gold highlighter for that ‘candle lit’ appearance.  This plays well when coordinating nude metallic eyes and lips for an ethereal goddess image, or with heavy kohl lids and lightly berry tinted lips to portray a 1940s starlet.  Personally, I kind of ‘cheat’ and use an artist’s pigment because it carries a lot of metallic sheen, not to mention that a little bit goes a long way.  Definitely remember that you are aiming for luminous and natural, not I’m-so-sweaty-because-I’m-drunk-and-just-got-out-of-the-club.

THICK, DRAMATIC LASHES + BOLD, DEFINED BROWS

The last make up trend to discuss are those that apply to what I consider to be the face’s accessories, as eyes, lips and cheeks are the main parts that one is aiming to accentuate.  Apparently spider lashes, those thick clumpy nightmares that we usually do our best to avoid, are now something that ladies will want to sport.  This is one trend that I do not understand, nor do I feel it would look good aside from being on the runway or in a photo shoot.  However, I am in favor of adding false lashes to make your own appear thicker, and feel the drama can come from the right product.  For this I suggest trying Cover Girl’s LashBlast Fusion Water Resistant Mascara, which utilizes a super volumizing fiberstretch formula for fuller, longer-looking lashes.

Bold brows do not have to equal shapeless squares, and high arches do not have to be on the forehead.  These are two looks I feel people get wrong on a continuous basis, and yet they persist in being a trend.  For thick brows that are face framing, stick with a pencil that is only a shade darker than your natural color.  Gently fill in your brows and soften with a brush, and make sure that there is a defined arch, even if it’s small.  Think Marilyn Monroe, not rejected muppet parts.  On the other side of the spectrum are shaped, curving brows that again follow along with being inspired by looks of the 40s.  It takes a lot of skill to draw on brows that aren’t just lines on your face, and this is coming from someone who has been doing it since my sophmore year of high school.  The best tips I can give is to take your time and a dampened cotton swab works wonders when it comes to fixing mistakes.

With this knowledge, the proper tools and the right amount of patience, pretty much everyone will be able to execute at least one of these looks. They have great versatility, particularly if you are a sideshow or burlesque performer in need of something new for that next big show or photo shoot.  In general, it seems the aesthetic of the Autumn season is the classic bold and beautiful, with lots of vintage inspiration, saturated colors and specific details that would make any woman feel as though she is a glamours Hollywood starlet.

Next Edition – deconstructing this year’s Halloween costumes that are supposedly circus, sideshow or burlesque related and how one can pull it off without being offence.  Another bonus feature continues Fall beauty trends with an article on the brightest colors, drastic cuts and ways to accessorize in a simple yet elegant way.

Photo credits: 1 – http://www.lancome.com, 2 – http://www.illamasqua.com, 3 – http://www.dailymakeover.com                                    4 – http://www.hey-dollface.com, 5 – http://www.covergirl.com, 7 – movies.msn.com

Style Spotlight: Lucky Devil Thrillshow

From the first moment I ever set eyes on Tyler Fyre at the Coney Island Sideshows By the Seashore, it was obvious this man knew what class and style was without any shadow of a doubt.  His stage presence was the first I can remember being exposed to, and it was just as impressive as the clothes he wore.  As the legend goes, his career began as an outside talker and then eventually moved inside the building that was once home to the Dreamland Circus Sideshow where he performed the Human Blockhead, sword swallowing and a stunning fire eating routine to Man Or Astroman?  He teamed up with Keith Bindlestiff for a brief show called Lucky Stiff at the Pussycat Lounge in 2004, and I attended a few of these shows that featured sideshow, burlesque and a whole lot of debauchery.  His Lucky Devil Circus Sideshow morphed into the Lucky Devil Thrillshow which he shares with his lovely wife Thrill Kill Jill.  While I am not here to write a biography of Tyler’s career, I just wanted to make note of the fact I had the chance to interact with him on several occasions and always found him to be quite the polite gentleman.  It’s not just the clothes or the acts he presents on stage; he is a true showman and hence the reason I find he is suitable to serve as an example of Carny Style.

Tyler’s signature look is a bright red suit paired with a black shirt and red tie, a combination which immediately grabs the eyes and commands attention.  While he has sported other styles over the years, this one I feel best fits the character and personality that he portrays.  Even though he is noted as a brilliant sword swallower and master of fire, he has never lost the ability of being silver-tongued and provides a flawless pitch every time he opens his mouth that is quite reminiscent of the old school talkers.  They were always sharply dressed, often with a straw hat or  bamboo cane which they used to draw in curious crowds.  Transitioning from the bally stage to the main one require refinement and results in ensuring that spectators will have something appealing to look at.  The suit is as timeless as sideshow itself, and for me, Tyler wears it effortlessly whether he’s sliding solid steel into his stomach or flirting with fire.

Thrill Kill Jill certainly makes for sultry eye candy, especially wearing a corset and swallowing a sword.  She also creates bright fire balls and dances with deadly serpents, and at all time remains demure even though she’s showing off skin.  Unfortunately sex sells over talent, but I do believe there is a way to exude sensuality and make use of certain assets without coming off like a cheap stage prop.  While not everyone will agree with my opinion, I understand the point of having a lovely lady to seduce the audience with glittering costumes that don’t leave much to the imagination.  However, it can also be done in a way that’s not focusing entirely on the T’n’A, and I feel that Jill pulls that off wonderfully in a red and black corset paired with coordinating bustle. bra and heeled shoes.  She has a gypsy look as well for the snake charming, and while I have seen quite a few performers sporting similar belly dancing costumes, her raven locks and pale skin are reminiscent of the old school tattoo flash of a gypsy woman in profile.

Together, Tyler and Jill make an aesthetically pleasing couple whether they are on stage or posing for a publicity photo.  Their firey red outfits are a testament to both their skills and personalities, and while I have yet to actually see them perform together live, they are without a doubt one of the pairings in sideshow.  In fact, they have the honor of ranking high among the Carny Trash Aristocracy for their incredible showmanship, fabulous style and what seems like one hell of an entertaining show.  From my few interactions and what I have heard, they are amazingly wonderful people, which is rare to find in a business that is rampant with shit talking and other juvenile behavior.  It is for all these reasons and possibly even more that I am unable to think of at this moment that I selected them as the subjects for the premiere of this article, setting the standard of class and elegance for sideshow performers.

Lucky Devil Thrillshow

Photo credit: 1 – mundieart.com, 2 – itsachick.com, 3 – Prof. James Mundie , 4 – madamebijoux.wordpress.com

Carny Style: Introduction Part II

This was meant to be posted some time ago as a follow-up to Part I, but both of the computers in my house crashed at once and I have been unable to get on-line until now.  Of course my priority is to update the blog, however, I don’t know how many photos survived the crash so will deviate from the original plan slightly.  With that being said, allow me to present my personal opinion on what qualifies as true Carny Style and how to incorporate elements of this aesthetic into a more casual wardrobe.

Costumes are meant for the stage, and so if you are purchasing an item at a store that either caters to adult entertainers or just happened to spring up because it’s October, chances are that it is cheap and will not make you into whatever the label on the package claimed it would.  There is a time and a place to be in the spotlight, where sequins and over-the-top outfits are perfectly acceptable, but they are not really practical for everyday events .  That certainly does not mean one has to leave everything behind when making the transition from stage to socializing, just that a balance is necessary so that the attention you’re getting is for the right reasons.

There are specific elements I feel make a successful circus-inspired look, where at least one of them have to be present.  This includes: stripes, polka dots, plaid, bold primary colors and over all coherency.  One does not want to be sloppy, trashy or carry the appearance of having fallen into a dark closet, so it is important to experiment at home before taking the final result out into the public eye.  Unfortunately, some people will still mistakenly inquire if you are dressed for a party, but there are plenty of others who will  ask if  you are some sort of artist which gives you the opportunity to promote yourself.  Then there are those rare moments where you come across someone who can recognize that you are a Carny, but that might just be me.

Not everything with stripes automatically qualifies as being ‘circus-inspired’.
This is something I feel is really important for people to understand, because I cannot tell you how often I see something labeled ‘circus’ simply because there are stripes featured.  Here’s a newsflash – there are plenty of striped items that have nothing to do with the circus, so obviously there needs  to be some judgement calls made on what is related to the topic at hand versus what the rest of society wears.  The most common striped articles are stockings, corsets and suits, though certainly  the pattern can be displayed on jackets, skirts, dresses, shoes and even accessories.    Pinstripes can be combined with thick stripes and accented with solid coordinating colors, however, one does not want to go overboard and risk looking like a Tim Burton character.  These lovely ladies of the Yard Dog’s Road Show certainly make use of stripes in a manner that is appealing to the eyes.  Remember, the aim is couture not cartoon.

The same rules can be applied to polka dots and plaid, and the colors should follow the code of being one of the primary colors paired with black or white.  These three patterns can also be mixed with each other, but should be done so with caution.  As it happens, plaid and polka dots are on the list of wearable trends for the 20011 Fall fashion season, and while that means having to see it everywhere, I would like to think of it as a challenge to use the elements in a creative way.

Amelia Arsenic – Destroyx.com

This is a brilliant example of successfully combining polka dots with stripes, as one pattern is dominant over the other.  The lovely Amelia Arsenic wrote an excellent article about her take on Circus Girl Chic, and I agree with her notion of reinvention over reproduction.  Inspiration is a wonderful thing, but being a copycat is not a personality trait one should aspire to.  While you might think it’s flattering to want to have a specific image like so-and-so, that person might be offended a style they worked hard to cultivate is being duplicated.  It is always important to maintain being yourself, because this will come out no matter what you are wearing, so a little confidence goes a long way.

Plaid is the most difficult of the patterns, because it can tend to be a little too vintage and can make one look aged.   It is more commonly stereotyped to be worn by punks and hipsters reliving the grunge era, but I assure you that  it can also be the most fantastic outfit anyone has ever seen.  The plaid suit is a  must have for classy Carnies, though picking the right combination of colors along with the appropriate size of the pattern are the main things to look for when selecting such an eye-popping combination.  The addition of a simple T-shirt gives the impression of comfort, while a pressed shirt and silk tie carries a more sophisticated flavor.  The outfit on the right contains all three primary colors without them causing the eyes to bleed.  The pattern from the jacket repeats on the neckerchief without matching it exactly, and I enjoy the simple accessories.  The only thing missing is a nice vintage pipe, and I feel that the sunglasses are misplaced.  Not that they are impossible to be worn with this type of outfit, but they should certainly be in  harmony with everything else, which is one of the most important things to keep in mind when selecting a wardrobe.  Quality should also reign over quantity, though being a servant to labels because you think it makes you cool or whatever is pretty foolish.  Buy things that you like, are well made and crafted from fabrics that are going to last a while.  There’s nothing wrong with splurging on a few key pieces that can easily be built into a variety of  looks, but save those extra pennies for stage wear as well.  That is a whole other topic which I will be covering in the future, but for now I hope that the things outlined here give people a better understanding of what Carny Style is and how one can emulate it.

Please remember that style is always a personal expression and there is a huge difference between inspiration and duplication.  While I do not really follow trends, every now and then I happen to own something which becomes the ‘in thing’, but I will wear it whether others are or not.  That is what I feel separates me from others, and I enjoy incorporating a number of different things into what I wear because I don’t feel that specific buzz words can categorize me.  It is much more fun to keep people guessing than to willingly pigeonhole oneself into a stereotype or scene, but that’s just because I don’t understand the point of them.  After all, I have Carny class and Carny style, and I am perfectly happy with that.

Next Week’s Edition – Style Spotlight and a bonus feature of this Autumn’s hottest hair and make-up trends!

If you make or sell any product that is relevant to this article and would like to have it reviewed, please feel free to contact me: lenorelovelace@gmail.com

Bleeding Heart

[Originally written 11.24.03]

When I was in the City on Friday and heading back to the PATH station, a woman sitting at a table on the sidewalk asked me if I’d like to try a free reading.  Why the hell not, it’s free and I had never done anything like that before.  So I sat down and gave her my left palm to read.

Apparantly I have a long life line, and will live another 60+ years before dying of old age.  Money comes and goes, but is not a concern right now.  She tells me I was in love, but this left a scar on my heart which makes it difficult to look for the right one.  Apparently I am surrounded by friends who are jealous.  Men find me attractive, but because of the aforementioned jealousy, I tend to have low self-esteem and think the opposite.

In all honesty, I have to say that the experience was interesting.  She was pretty much on point with everything she said, though I can’t quite figure out who could be jealous of me, as I find myself a bit envious of others at times.  That whole thing about men being attracted to me threw me for a loop, on account of I usually think they are ether confused or repulsed by me.  The part about being in love stirred up way too many feelings and questions of how she could have known that.  All of my instincts and what I have learned from Jon told me that she was not just bullshitting me either.  She knew absolutely nothing about me, and I certainly didn’t offer up any details, information or even the slightest tell to let her know if she was right or wrong.  Need to remember to bring this up with Jon the next time I see him.

Other than that, I thought that going out would lift me out of the funk I seem to have fallen in, and it did for a little while.

However, there were times this weekend when those damn human emotions came boiling together.  The shit that makes you stop to think and feel.  That combination was never good for me.

As the year comes closer and closer to an end, I can’t help but feel certain bad things creeping back in.  The same old lament for the man I do not have; the torch I have been carrying for over two years now.  The want and need for someone just doesn’t go away.  Even the palm-reader knew about the love I have for Jon that I cannot bring myself to fully voice for various reasons.

Saturday was a trip out to Coney Island to try and shake myself from way too many thoughts.  Once again I found myself relieved when standing on that sandy shore, staring at the sea as it stretched off into nothing.  This time of year there amusement area is quiet and there are only a few people on the boardwalk, many of whom are long-time residents of the area who use it for exercise.  An old European couple was sitting on a bench, huddled together and just enjoying each other’s company.  It was bitterly sweet, because as much as I enjoy seeing how long two human beings can love one another, it is a reminder that I have no one.  Such a selfish thought was cast aside as I walked around and a part of me truly did not want to leave.  For once all the negative shit that’s been haunting me was gone, and I was at peace.

Now I miss those feelings.

The scar on my heart is starting to show, and may even be turning into a bleeding wound.

Carnivale Rambling

[Originally written 11.10.03]

I did exactly what I wanted all weekend by smoking myself stupid and spent my time re-writing The Diving Machine.  Once that’s done I can start adding to it.

Only three more episodes of Carnivale.  Seriously think that I have run out of praise for this show, as it’s just that damn good.  Samson’s approach to get Ben to open up more is better than Lodz’s, and the good professor seems to always be in management’s ear.  Kind of already knew that Scudder was Ben’s father, but how does all that Knights of the Templar stuff fit in?  Had no idea the tattooed man was Sophie’s father…that came out of nowhere.  Fire ball shows – ain’t nothin’ more fake, but damn, they knew how to pitch it to get the people to pay. Man eating chicken is a classic.  This is the second time Samson marked a wealthy man that passed by. [That’s where the term comes from, kids.]  Had a feeling he was going give Lodz the watch fob during his mentalist act, and now he sees the visions that Ben has been experiencing.  Jonesy shouldn’t have fucked that pig [aka Rita Sue].  She was just playing nice with him, then goes off and tells Stumpy that “you know what to do” should Jonesy come back.  Damn him for hitting that shit again.  Pleased to see Brother Justin using his power – I loved how he whispered to that guy, and he just went over to the wall and started bashing his head against it.  Oh how I would love to be that influential on people.  Now that he has been released, I am thinkig that he is going to return to Mintern and punish the people who fucked with his church.

The upcoming episode will most likely fill in the blanks and answer the questions this one left, as that’s what usually happens.

Halloween

[Originally written 11.3.03]

After leaving the apartment on Thursday, I headed to Newark to catch the PATH.  Bad timing, as there was not a single parking space to be found, not even in any of the lots.  No big deal, I thought to myself.  Made my way to Hoboken, but that situation wasn’t any better.  In a last-ditch effort, I wound up parking at the Newport Mall.  It was better than paying $8-$10 for one hour in a regular lot, or getting a ticket for being parked somewhere I shouldn’t have been.

Hauled ass to the PATH station.  Luckily I only had to wait one stop and then proceeded to walk as fast as my stumpy legs would let me to Unimax.  Thought they closed at five, but was relieved to find they closed at six.  Bought everything I wanted.  Took my time going back to the station, as it was such a nice day.  However, I did have to remind myself that I was on a bit of a schedule and could not just wander around, as much as I would have really enjoyed it.  Hit traffic on the way back to the apartment, so I didn’t have time to do anything else because I had to drive down to the Shore to meet up with Jon.

It was pretty mild and kind of foggy, which of course set up the perfect atmosphere for haunting the Pine Barrens.  However, first we knocked back several shots of Moonshine and smoked a fat blunt while applying our make-up.  This would be our final performance for the Halloween season, which  unfortunately also reminds us that sideshow in general dies down.  Perhaps that’s due to people getting caught up in all of that ‘holiday’ nonsense, which I admit I am guilty of myself.  However, it’s a period I don’t particularly look forward to, because Jon falls into that predictable drug and alcohol induced funk where he’s detached from everything, including me.  He always manages to pull himself together for my birthday, but between now and then, I know what’s coming and I don’t like it one bit.  Sadly, there doesn’t seem much I can do other than deal with things as they come and support my boy because I love him dearly.

In any event, a couple of hours after my arrival at the Shore, Jon and I were in his Chevy headed towards the woods.  The ‘shine was hitting me kind of hard so I was puffing away on the blunt while grooving to some psychobilly mix CD he had made.  It was dark by the time we reached the Pines, but Jon has an impeccable sense of direction and was able to lead us deep into the towering trees with aid of an oil lamp.  Everything was set up just the way we had left it after last weekends show, and people would be arriving in about half an hour. With the lamp between us, we sat down on a couple of stumps and he made a small orange plastic pumpkin appear out of thin air.  No idea how he does that sort of magic, but I do enjoy the fact that he loves sharing it with me.  Peering inside, I discovered a decadent treat which we split to kill time while waiting for a crowd to build up.

That’s when I noticed Jon had set up the Wall of Death, and I have to admit that I was kind of surprised to see it considering he hadn’t mentioned that he would be performing the stunt that evening.  It concerned me that he was filling up with coke and ‘shine, but at the same time I knew a lecture would have no effect.  He’s the Death Defying Daredevil and knows what he’s doing; all I could do was be there for moral support and ensure that he didn’t get seriously injured.  Doesn’t mean my heart wasn’t racing with anticipated nervousness, or maybe that was just endorphins.

The groups were fairly decent all nite long, stumbling and weaving their way thru our DIY maze of horrors and screaming when they were startled by one of the many scares along the way.  Our sideshow performances seemed fast-paced, but that might be attributed to the substances floating thru my body.  By the time midnite arrived, a large audience had gathered to witness the Wall of Death, and that funny feeling swelled in my stomach once again.  We took a break underneath the structure to wash off our make-up, change out of our costumes and split a blunt.  As he was climbing into his riding gear, Jon asked if I wanted to drag race, and tho common sense dictated that I should have said no, a smile tugged at my lips and I teased that I would totally win.   Should have exercised better judgment, especially knowing my best friend was about to risk life and limb to entertain a bunch of strangers, but my brain certainly wasn’t thinking clearly.  Oh, and I totally got my ass beat.

Took my usual position and announced that there was just three minutes to go until midnite, suggesting that everyone take their seats and prepare for a feat they would not soon forget.  The engine of Jon’s motorcycle roared, echoing deep into the pitch black forest.  A unanimous cheer rose from the audience as he appeared.  For the next fifteen minutes, my heart beat savagely in my chest as I watched him circle around the Wall of Death, showing off his entire repertoire of ticks to heated applause, cameras flashing in waves.  Everyone was on their feet and clapping as hard as they could when Jon settled on the ground once again, helmet held triumphantly in the air.

Sleep came hard when we returned to his house, which made me thankful I had washed my face earlier.

Friday was Halloween!

Drove up to NYC in Jon’s Chevy, faces painted like death and blasting a special Halloween-themed mix CD, blunts burning as fast as the rubber tires.  Parked in some unknown neighborhood and then walked to the village to catch the parade.  Debauchery was had in high levels as we enjoyed the lavish costumed characters that marched down the street.  At one point we found ourselves walking alongside a lobster, lumberjack and several sequined drag queens.  The energy was definitely good and I very much enjoyed myself.

Hit up CBGB afterwards for several shots of whiskey and drag racing in the bathroom.  Pretty much everything after that is a blur of hallucinations and not a moment of being sober until waking up early Saturday evening.

Carnivale  was damn good last nite.  When is it not?  Brother Justin is now in the nut house…oh what fun.  Had a feeling Sophie was going to try dancing the cootch.  Can’t believe that Jonsey agreed to Stumpy’s suggestion, as I was hoping he wouldn’t, especially since I tend not to like Rita Sue.  Ben’s dreams get stranger, particularly with the appearance of  Brother Justin.  Disappointed there was no Scorpion Boy, but a Lobster Gal instead.  How does the vision Ben have when he shook Phineas’ hand fit in?  And why did the symbol on his ring match that on the watch fob Samson had?  What was Lodz saying to management?  Him and the bearded lady are odd, but it’s sweet to see the sideshow freaks be romantically involved with each other.  Next week’s episode is sure to draw out more questions.