Bigfish Barbershop

[Originally written on this date in 2004.]

There are quite a few things I need to cover before heading into work today, and I just hope I can gather all of my thoughts into a cohesive entry without trailing off on tangents.

First order of business is that lovely dinner I had with Jon the other nite.  My day at the Palace was spent feeling as tho I walked on air, my face stuck in a smile and happiness evident in my composure.  He sent me a few text messages to let me know when he was on his way and when he got into the city.  Knowing how much he hates driving in the Big Apple, I have to say I certainly felt special.

When that beautiful Chevy pulled up to the curb, my stomach swelled with butterflies.  It was not until I got in and we were several blocks away from the chaos of Times Square that I had a good look at him.  There was a joint gripped in his mouth as tattooed hands grasped the steering wheel and he concentrated on the task of driving.  As much as I want to say that I swooned, instead I felt a bit of sadness by his appearance, and the obvious signs of drug use is something that I am familiar with seeing.  It was best not to focus on that, mainly because it was really hard to ignore the fact I was grinning like a goofball.

Jon finally broke the silence by asking me how I was, what the job was like and assorted other bits of small talk which made the ride into Brooklyn a comfortable one.  We arrived at La Casa Bella and were immediately seated, ordering quickly because we were both hungry and already knew what we wanted.  Dinner conversation was pleasant and any feelings that had arisen in the Chevy earlier were easily replaced by pure joy.  Between laughing and smiling while eating, my face ached and I was loving every moment.

After dinner he drove us back to Jersey and surprised me by taking to the movie theater to see Big Fish.  Do I even have to say how much it rocked?  Especially since there were plenty of circus scenes, and it is a Tim Burton creation, which showed in the aesthetics and styling of the film.  You know how before the movie starts they have previews of other movies and sometimes even commercials?  Well, I had to make mention of the Altoids commercial, as it took place on a carnival midway.  You see all the banners for the live freaks, the bearded lady, and a crowd of people standing around a booth, where a salesman is showing off the Altoids.

It is something I am thinking about now, because last nite I had a series of dreams where I was at or in a carnival, surrounded by colorfully painted banner lines; I was in the acts, helping the acts, and at one point I was searching for the Gentelman Geek.  Yes, perhaps I really shouldn’t eat before I go to bed.  Oh, and as for the end of that lovely date, let’s just say that Jon held me for quite some time and was quite hesitant in allowing me to slip out of his arms.  Can’t blame him considering I had so much fun and did not want it to end.

Had a brainstorm today, so I will be working on my book tomorrow at work.

Why do all the weird people in the City feel the need to talk to me?  They are not weird in that good way either.  More like the creepy, drunk and not in the right state of mind way.

This guy walked into the Palace yesterday, drawn by the music [as many are], and complained that it sounded as tho it were a Caucasian woman singing.  Okay, and your point is what?  He then proceeded to fill me in about his life, as tho I really cared.  What do you do in a position like that?  Nod and smile, but then it gets to the point where you feel really uncomfortable, because you don’t have a clue as to what to say.

Thankfully he left, but he said that he would be back today.  As will that dude that came in last week and spent hours reading my palms and pulling all sorts of astrological bullshit out of his ass.

Suppose that I tend to look more approachable than I have in the past.  It’s funny – you look a certain way, and no one wants to talk to you.  Then you subtly change a few things, just to see what sort of reaction people have, and suddenly more and more of them think it is perfectly acceptable to not only approach you, but also to flirt with you.  There is a fine line between being friendly versus a creepy dude that thinks I am going to fall for bullshit.  Which is so hilarious even if I feel second-hand embarrassment from time to time, but men should know better than to fuck with a Carny.

It has come to my attention that compliments are on the rise since I styled my hair differently.  Pulled down my fringe last week and have been wearing it in a nice V-shape for a while.  Of  course I certainly enjoy the style, but I feel that only certain things gain a positive reaction.  Everything I do is for myself and no one else, so when one thing gets too much attention, it makes me feel fake, if that makes sense.  Jon mentioned that it looked nice but that he always enjoyed seeing the things I did with my hair.  As if I would ever doubt a compliment from him, but from other people and especially strangers, it’s as tho their words are meant for the superficial aspect and not actually me.

Must express my disappointment that more people didn’t come to the Great Show Show Show Caberet last nite.  It was my first time seeing it the show, which consisted of clowns and burlesque, and of course I thought it was fantastic.  Then again, after a long day of entertaining people, it is really nice to be able to watch a great performance while relaxing with a beer.  Sometimes I wonder if this is really a job or just a fantasy.

More odd dreams visited me this morning and I don’t remember most of them, except for the nasty spiders that literally woke me up out of a sound sleep.  Eventually I will learn that eating food late at nite before sleep creates strange dreams.

Have to finish assembling my face and get rolling.  Yesterday I got to Newark earlier than I have been and actually didn’t have to pay to park, as I found a spot on the street.  Since I saved money, I would like to try and do it again today.

Looking forward to another weekend filled with much writing and relaxation, as well as a much needed hair cut.  Jon assured me that there was a nice shop he wanted to take me to where I could trust the barber and would be satisfied with the work.  It’s always good to know I have someone to help me out with things like that and will be eager to get down to South Jersey after a long week.

Surviving the Hostile City

Six years ago on this date, I had done something which was said to be impossible and left New Jersey, the state I had been born in and spent 24 years of my life in, to settle in Philadelphia – a city that had been visited when I was a child and became drawn to again as an adult.  The main reason for such a move was the end of a relationship combined with an awkward living situation.  There were no friends or relatives I could stay with, and I had just returned from traveling with the carnival, so trying to find a job with limited skills was rather difficult.  Searching for a place to live was even worse, and having remembered my recent trip to Philadelphia [I spent my birthday there with Jon], I decided that it would not hurt to at least look.  Then I discovered the wonderful world of renting rooms, which to say the least came with some good and quite a few really unpleasant experiences.  Yet somehow now I find myself in a position where I am partial lease-owner of a house I share with one other person and I never have to deal with another annoying room-mate or hellish living situation ever again.

The other reason for living the Garden State was due to harassment, which is something I kept from pretty much everyone I knew because I did not think anyone would take me seriously if I explained the details.  Instead I took all of the money I had earned working the previous Summer, packed my belongings into a car and made an attempt to separate myself from unwanted drama.  A few months later I moved again because the first situation had been temporary, and then I found myself being kicked out in May, the day after attending my best friend’s funeral.  One of the guys I rented from insisted that someone was threatening them online who said they knew me, so I had to leave.  Spent three night’s sleeping on a couch and then settled into a room in West Philly where I pretty much became a hermit and had no contact with anyone for about a month.  Aside from a communal television, I had a radio as my entertainment, and eventually I got a phone because I realized there were people I needed to talk to every once in a while.  It was still a very hard time, as I spent many hours mourning the loss of someone who meant the world to me, which manifested in ways I have only discussed with a few people.  While I have come to terms with those things, they are not something I wish to put on display, despite the content that may appear elsewhere among these  archives.

The amount of things that have happened in those years make me feel as though I have been here for a long time.  The good came with the bad, but I also found myself in situations that created life-long memories.  My first birthday celebrated after moving to Philly was my 25th, at which time I had created Alive On the Inside, a magazine dedicated to preserving American circus and sideshow history through articles and photographs that covered a wide variety of topics.  Two years later I had my neck tattooed the day before my 27th birthday because I knew that being a sideshow performer was something I planned on doing for as long as I could, and felt paying tribute to the act in a place where the tattoo would be constantly seen was rather appropriate.  The day after my birthday, with the skin still feeling tight, I performed on New Year’s Even in a massive warehouse somewhere in Brooklyn, where there had to be at least one thousand people trying to watch.  There is a list of things I made in reflection of hitting a milestone in age, which was celebrated with the one person who has made my life amazing on a daily basis, that covers a bunch of random facts and other assorted details I felt had relevance in this article.

During the six years that I constantly moved throughout Philadelphia, I moved out of the city twice for a period of less than six months.  Which I  considered a vacation, though the first time I found myself in Knoxville and was glad I managed to come back from that.  The second time, ironically enough, I made a brief return to New Jersey and lived in Haddonfield, which is exactly where I was around this time last year.  It was a nice separation from a city which had exhausted me on several levels, and frequent trips to a small town outside of Vineland to visit future in-laws were a nice way to find the relaxation I needed.  Oh, and of course I can’t leave out the fact that I became engaged, which really is not as big as a deal as people usually make it to be.  Putting labels on relationships has never been my style, and while I can admit faults, mistakes and being guilty of doing this in the past, I learned from those things and focused on myself for once.

Meeting someone you don’t exactly remember meeting is kind of awkward – I remembered his face but not his name and apparently not the fact that he had approached me and tried initiating conversation on a few occasions.  It was Halloween weekend and we just kept running into each other, which made being among large rooms full of drunken strangers less intimidating.  A few weeks later I had an invitation to lunch, which had to be one the most polite gestures I had experienced in a long time.  There has always been something so satisfying about sitting and enjoying hours of conversation with someone who makes me feel good that is hard to explain – you just know when it’s there.  Once a week we met to eat and talk, which lasted for several hours and always left me with a smile on my face.

Anyway, as mentioned earlier, I am now in a position where I have complete control over my own life and it is fantastic.  There are always things I feel could be improved, because life is never perfect and I see challenges as ways of making myself stronger instead of impossible obstacles.  Otherwise I am quite content and could not ask for anything more than what I have.  It feels good to be appreciated, to know I can pursue what makes me happy and that there will always be support, which is something that comes at no cost.  My partner [a term I feel is most appropriate being an adult in such an amazing relationship] is someone I am extremely proud of, who holds position of sous chef at a notable local restaurant that is currently undertaking an expansion.  He recently brought home the menu that he created which was served as a special this past week.  Without sounding pretentious, it just feels good to know that I have put my trust in someone who has their shit together and has a clear goal in mind for themselves.  Not that our time together hasn’t been without spontaneous adventures, like getting caught in a blizzard because I wanted hair dye or being introduced to a part of Jersey I had not previously explored.  The point is that there is a nice balance without being caught up in aesthetics or the wrong things and there is eagerness in pursuit of a future together.

To say that I still miss Jon would be a severe understatement, and while his absence in my life does not plague me as it once did, it still remains relevant as a reminder of many things. After I moved to Philly, we had the opportunity to hang out and not have any lingering paranoia on his part interrupt having good times.  This is a man I had admired and loved for six long years, who admitted his passion and then disappeared to straighten out his life.  The last image I have is of his smiling face, eyes tinged with tears while he held my hands and simply cherished the moment.  Jon will always have a special place in my life, just as no matter where I go, I will always be from New Jersey.  For the time being I am still finding my purpose in Philly and currently consider it my home.

Of course I have outlived the Death Defying Daredevil, which is not an amazing feat but something that had never been considered when Jon was still alive.  He sure put effort into being self-destructive, both for entertainment and because he was always at war with himself.  To say he was a proud man who did not have a habit of asking for help does not begin to describe how stubborn he could be when it came to reaching out.  At this moment a piece of his wisdom comes to mind – when something doesn’t go your way, it’s easier to let it get you down than to fight, but the harder battle yields a greater reward.   Accepting defeat takes less effort and that was something Jon never did – perhaps in doing so he put himself in danger more times than was necessary.  That was just a part of who he was and something that has always stuck with me.

Proper celebration of my six years living in Philly will occur on Tuesday since that is when my partner is off from work and I enjoy sharing the little things in my life that I make a point of doing.  We will toast to good fortune with Jersey Devil Port Wine and hope for the best for our future together.  That is a whole other story, and since I have rambled here enough, it is best suited for another time.

Today I have a sense of empowerment that tends to come with self reflections, because I see all of the things that I have been through that I thought would crush me and render me useless.  Life is not an easy journey, and I would not want to change any of the experiences I have had, even the worst ones, because they are all a part of what has made me stronger throughout the years.  No matter what has come my way, I am still here and the intention of continuing my work is stronger than ever.  It is something I owe not only to myself, but to the memory of Jon and everyone from Outlaw Cirkus who lost their lives because of who they were and what they believed in.  There is nothing I have to lose, so I am fully investing myself in my career as a means of paving the way for my future, and I take comfort in knowing I have at least one person by my side who is willing to take that ride with me.

Cheers to the unknown, the unexpected and the unbelievable – may the rest of the years of my life be an adventure.

Secret Agent Man

[Originally written on this date in 2004.]

It’s Friday and that means I get an entire day to myself tomorrow.  Sunday the Lucky Devil Circus Sideshow will be performing at the Palace, and it just so happens that I was asked to work the door, which means I get to see the show for free.  Have I mentioned yet how much I love my job?

Feel much better than I did yesterday.  Having that nasty I-feel-like-I-am-going-to-vomit-but-can’t sensation was not very fun.  Nor was the soreness in my leg and wrist from falling the other nite.  Definitely making a point of not going out to drink because it just has no entertainment value right now.

Instead, I am looking forward to getting ossified and writing.  That is all I want to do after a long week of work.  Have to call the Asshole and see if he will let me come over after I get off, since I obviously don’t want to come back to the house.  Between all the time I spent with Jon and now the job, I don’t see him much or seem desperate to talk to him.  Which honestly is great, but it is making him suspicious even tho I keep explaining that I take everything I do seriously.  He shouldn’t be surprised, but I guess he gets his head so far up his ass over doing music that he forgets I have my own passion that I am pursing.  Oh well, at least I am enjoying myself every day and I feel that is quite important.

Then again it would be nice to drive straight to E-town from Newark and smoke myself stupid.  The just sit and write until my hand cramps up.

Should attempt to eat something before I leave, now that I feel confident it won’t come back up.

***

Right now I have this big stupid grin on my face.  Just got off the phone with Jon and have to admit that I am relieved to finally hear from him.  He was down in New Orleans trying to find one of the members of Outlaw Cirkus who had been rumored to be squatting in the area.  Unfortunately his search turned up nothing, and he apologized for not being in contact.  He should know by know that I am always going to worry about him, because I love him but I trust that he will remain the loyal friend that he has been.

In any even, Jon is actually going to drive into NYC and pick me up after work today.  Then we are going for dinner at La Casa Bella, an adorable restaurant we have eaten at in the past that is in Brooklyn.  It’s a good thing that I happened to put on a nice face, otherwise I might be feeling a bit more self-conscious.   Three weeks is a long time not to see someone and I certainly have no qualms about admitting that I want to look my best.

It is kind of exciting that I get to spend my day surrounded by things that constantly inspire me, then I get to spend the evening having conversation with my boy over dinner.  Certainly seems romantic, but I don’t want to be caught up in silly notions because I might become disappointed if things don’t follow the fantasy that I build in my head.  Getting too old for those sort of things, and really, I am just grateful that I can spend some quality time with Jon far away from everything I know.

Must go get dressed now so I can drive to the PATH station and commute to work.

Carny Culture

Rosa and Josepha Blazek – the Bohemian Twins

What is a Carny?

The answer will vary depending on whom you ask.  Popular stereotype dictates a Carny as a carnival worker who is an alcoholic/drug addict, and most likely on the run from the law.

In my humble opinion, being a Carny is a full time lifestyle one must be entirely dedicated to.  Everything from the clothes I wear to the language I speak is an expression of my own Carny style.  This is an honor that does not come easily, despite the fact that many assume the label without understanding the culture.  No, I am not some elitist that believes you have to fit a specific criteria in order to proclaim being a Carny.  However, it is far more than spending a few hours making use of Google or traveling with the carnival for a couple of months.  The term Carny Trash was once meant as a derogatory term spouted by townsfolk as a means to insult those who lived, worked and traveled with the circus or sideshow.  Over time, these people usurped the word and readily apply it with pride to themselves with pride, so I personally feel that it is not something to use as a label as though Circus culture is just another trend.

Nora Hildebrandt – First Tattooed Beauty

The privilege of being titled a Carny was bestowed upon me by my late friend, Jonathan Lovelace, aka Reverend Saint Jon – the Death Defying Daredevil.  Jon was literally born into the Circus world, and it is through him that I learned a greater understanding of what being a part of it really means.  He also passed on ideals, morals and an unspoken code that I have carried with me for the past twelve years, and I have zero plans on deviating from this path any time soon.  Then I decided that I might as well use the Internet to my advantage in an attempt to preserve the traditions that I proudly uphold, for no other reason than this is what I decided to dedicate my life to.  The basis of Carny Style articles stems from all of these things, and over the past few months I feel as though I have efficiently shared my knowledge of basic Circus inspired fashion.

Mademoiselle Gabrielle – the Half Woman

Society has a tendency of stereotyping, and they see Carnies as a specific group of people that deserve to be mocked.  As previously mentioned, society is lazy and would rather easily pigeonhole individuals than actually spend a moment being educated.  They forget that sideshow performers were one of the main forms of entertainment in this country, particularly the human curiosities.  While political correctness prevents them from being put on display, there was a time when they were considered royalty and earned a steady income from doing nothing more than exhibiting that which Nature bestowed on them.  The photographs and artistic renderings that I see of these people usually depict them in elegant clothing, which is often a stark contrast to the character they portrayed in the sideshow.  Many performers sought the company of one another, often dining and going on outings together because there was solidarity in numbers and people were less likely to make rude remarks.  Seeing a congress of working and oddities in their stage costumes or their every day wear is a remind that despite the fantastical claims made to lure in curious spectators, they were still quite human and deserved to enjoy ordinary things without being hassled.

Delina Rossa – Bearded Lady From Paris

The term Carny Trash Aristocracy is something that Jon and I conjured up one evening while deep in discussion – an oxymoron meant to defy the stereotypes and assumptions that people make about Carnies.  One of our favorite activities was to visit a fine dining establishment dressed in proper evening attire, contradicted by body modifications and wild hair.  It served as a social experiment to observe how we were treated and the reactions people had.  Often we were seated in a section considered to be ‘out of view’ from the usual crowds, but there were also plenty of politeness and generally excellent service that was certainly rewarded.  The point is, whether people learned not to judge others by their appearances or spent time trying to get a good look, we actively made an effort to portray ourselves in a manner that would leave a positive impression.

This guide is a reflection of my personal aesthetic, a collection of couture clothing and adventurous accessories, high-class hairstyles and modernized makeup inspired by current trends with a dash of vintage flair, executed with a heavy dose of confidence.

FUTURISTIC FLAPPER

The aesthetic from the 1920’s are among the top fashion trends for Spring, so this pastel pink beaded sleeveless dress from Biba is an excellent example of elegance and can be paired with a classic 1920’s beaded French coat, made from a cotton base to ensure that the meticulous placement of sequins will not budge when this piece is being worn.  Local merchant Hats in the Belfry have a nice variety of cloche hats, which is a fundamental accessory when assembling this type of look, and the Betmar Olivia in royal purple exhibits quality craftmanship for every stylish woman.  Glittering gold sequin Bordello Cabaret shoes were made to emphasize fancy footwork on the dance floor, and art deco fishnet tights by Lip Service create an interesting silhoutte for legs.  A monochrome faux fur stole can be a fun accessory, particularly when posing for photos or creating a bit of a spontaneous puppet show, while a vintage beaded purse not only looks stylish but also comes in handy for storing personal items.  Finally, an off-white pair of vintage lace gloves adds the right touch of feminine flair, and is always a nice way to protect a coordinating manicure.

When it comes to channeling authentic flapper style, the Kelly 1920s Pearl Necklace by Stepahnie Browne delivers with three strands of smooth ivory pearls clutched between Swarovski crystal ornaments.  For the sake of this guide, lets us pretend that the price tag of this Tiffany’s Art Deco bracelet does not exist, and instead appreciate the hand-carved onyx and thousands of diamonds that compose the eye-catching fan motif.  Antique stores are great for finding one-of-a-kind items, such as marquesite and  mother of pearl earrings, not to mention a large variety of jeweled brooches.  If the cloche hat is not your thing, the Victoria 1920s headpice features Swarovski crystals and faux pearls artfully arranged in swirls, and will bode well to accentuate carefully coiffed curls.

Speaking of hair, styles of the 1920s are most noted for heavy partings, sleek finger waves and precise pin curls in vein of Mae West and other notable starlets of the era.  Create a porcelain doll-like base with Illamasqua’s Concealer in CC 105 and Cream Foundation and CF 100, to achieve a blank canvas that hides all your secrets and blends easily for full coverage without it feeling heavy.  There are no shortage of color Powder Blushers, but the hues I prefer for this look include Unrequited, Karie, Tremble and Nymph.  For more drama, I would also suggest Morale, Hussy, Thrust, Tweak, Chased and Disobey.

Brows should be thin, curved and three shades darker than your hair color, while eyes are treated to a heavy smokey effect, which can be accomplished with Illamasqua’s Eye Liner Cake in Mislead and Precision Ink in Abyss.  The bold color is quick-drying and non-smudging, ensuring the endurance of your look while drinking champagne and dancing to big band jazz.  Enhance features with the 4-Color Liquid Metal Palette to capture an irridescent glow worthy of any retro-futuristic pin up, and finish with the feathery and fierce Midnight Vixen Lash Duo.   Lips are meant to be drawn small with rounded peaks and an accentuated cupid’s bow; be sure to use a pencil liner to keep lipstick in place.  Red remains an iconic hue, and immediately Atomic, Blaze, Tramp, Ignite, Maneater and Salcious grab my attention, partially because of the names and also due to the fact they are all fairly classic colors; Faust, Underworld, Howl and Growl are ideal for those who can handle darker shades and really want to exude dark glamour.  Add a touch of Intense Lipgloss for some shine and practice that pout!

This is just one example of how to utilize a variety of both vintage and contemporary items, along with a few quality pieces and an arsenal of no nonsense makeup that embodies a certain aesthetic, but also leaves plenty of room for creativity.

Photo credit: 1, 2, 3 –  thehumanmarvels.com

Rockabilly Boogie

[Originally written on this date in 2004.]

Before I get into the details, I have to say that I know this sounds…well, however it sounds, but I noticed that if I eat late at nite, somehow it effects my dreams.

Either that or I have lost more of my mind than I realize.

Last nite I had an incredibly vivid dream, the type where you see so much detail it doesn’t seem like a dream at all, but rather a glimpse of a reality that makes you wonder if it exists.

There I am, running thru this beautiful park filled with trees, brightly colored flowers and soft green grass.  The sky above was an endless expanse of blue.  There were people sitting on blankets with picnic lunches, and some were just gathered in groups, talking to each other while enjoying the scenery.

Here is where it gets odd.  Every single person I saw was from the 50’s – I’m talking guys with pompadors that wore rolled up jeans, t-shirts or short-sleeved button-ups and girls with elaborate victory rolls, waves, pin curls and bangs accented by delicate scarves and wearing brilliantly hued dresses.

Then I found myself sitting on one of those blankets, and I was dressed the same way the other girls were.  There is someone next to me, and in my mind I understood him to be Elvis.  In fact, I am full of excitement as he signs a record.

That is pretty much all I can remember from the sequence.  Points of note, the guy really didn’t look like Elvis, and I can’t recall what he wrote on the record.

Where do things like this come from?  Perhaps it is due to my fascination with all things 50’s related, and the fact that I listen to mainly rockabilly, surf and swing at the house, while jazzy blues fills the atmosphere at work.

Guess it is just one of those unexplainable dreams that holds some sort of meaning, but I certainly have no interpretation of it.

Rioting Zoot Suits

[Originally written on this day in 2004.]

Friday was a good day at the museum.

On my walk from the PATH station, some random anonymous dude attempted to insult me.  He sarcastically commented that I had “nice lipstick” [which was ice blue lined with a brighter blue] and “nice eyebrows”, but couldn’t resist shouting at my back “My dog’s ass looks better than your face.”

Well, maybe you shouldn’t spend so much time staring at your dog’s ass.  Also, grow some balls and try saying those words to my face so I can laugh and let you know how flattering it was that you had to take a moment out of your day to hurl your petty insult at my back.

There was a fun mysterious plastic smell in the building that no one could figure out the source of.  Stayed after my shift at the museum to watch both performances.  It’s kind of nice to be able to walk back into the small theater and sit down for a moment after spending several hours on my feet.  Had a delicious dinner from Cafe O across the street.

Finished an entire week of work and still had to wake up early on Saturday to get laundry done, then did some vacuuming because I had the urge to keep busy.

Rolled into E-town some time after two.  First order of business was to smoke self into oblivion and just relax. Spent most of my time writing and putting good food in my stomach.

A few moments passed where thoughts collected and I realized that I had not heard from Jon since we went out for my birthday.  Everything had seemed so magical, and then I made the dedication to this volunteer work, which consumes five days of my week and leaves me with enough spare time to tackle other various projects.  Definitely sent him an e-mail gushing with thanks for his wonderful companionship on my birthday and have had no response thus far.  There are so many things that I want to share with him, but for the moment I have to be content and make nice with the Asshole.

Spending hours at the museum certainly occupies me away from the house and the Asshole.  When I am around, I check e-mail and do a few other things on-line before hitting bed and getting ready for the next day.

In fact, I even had to go in yesterday.  My week would have began by working two shows last nite; one at the door and one at the bar.  However, apparently I have a timing issue and left way too late, so I missed out on the first show.  It is my own fault, so I really can’t be that mad and just need to give myself a wider window to travel.  At least I still worked the bar and made some tips.

My schedule for this week is working the musuem today, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  Today I am working two shows; one at the door and one at the bar, so I will be making some money.  Plus one of the other volunteers wants me to re-do his beard extensions.  They were installed Friday, but someone decided to be a jerk and tugged on them too hard, which pulled them out.  When Steph saw what I was doing, she remarked: “You have all sorts of secret talents, huh?

Had another odd dream last nite, that I went back to the bar tending school to get my certificate.  Yea, I definitely have to give them a call tomorrow and get that situation squared away once and for all.  For some reason I forgot I passed my test and was supposed to get it in the mail, but they never sent it to me.  Might as well at least try and make some use of it since I am getting good practice at the Palace.

Been listening to Brian Setzer and  the Stray Cats a bit too much lately, because now the songs are constantly stuck in my head.

Have to finish putting on my face and get on the road, as I need to pick up a pack of black synthetic hair for those extensions, and I have already taken up time by writing this entry.

Speedfreak

[Originally written on this day in 2004.]

It was a slow day in the museum yesterday.  Not much excitement, but I got to listen to jazzy blues all day long and talk to the other volunteers when they are present.  One couple came in to look at the photos on the wall of Times Square from back in the day, and we had a nice little chat about how much different it was then.

A while ago, Jon and I had this in-depth discussion [while stoned off our asses] on how if you sat a group of people in a circle, you could spend hours listening to them tell stories of places in a time that no longer exists.  Like how there are so many people who have been out to Coney Island, and even tho the majority of them have never met, they all have that one thing in common.

Suffice to say that I am a very nostalgic girl; I thrive for days that are long gone and a time when things were simpler.  When circus and sideshow were sufficient ways one could make a living and profiting off an unusual appearance was widespread.  It just seems so phenomenal when I think about all of the things that once existed and how wonderfully new they had seemed then.  Strange people that surpass what imagination could conceive, standing completely exposed bearing body and soul upon a stage for a curious crowd.  Some will never understand what motivates one to choose to become an exhibit, and I can honestly say it is a decision that should be weighed heavily before a commitment is made.

The high point of my day was when some random guy walked in and decided that he wanted to flirt with me.  He asked if I was married or had a boyfriend and wanted my digits.  Sorry, while I may be lonesome from time to time, I am certainly not in need of that kind of thing right now.

On my way out, I realized that it had started to snow.  How wonderful.  Stopped to get something to eat and then hopped on the subway.  For some reason, I am really starting to enjoy traveling by rail.  It is something I have done more of in the past couple of years, which I suppose coincides with the fact I am old enough to go out by myself and not have my mom ask too many questions.  Then when I think about it, I realize this is an activity I have enjoyed since I was a kid.  There is something fascinating about watching the landscape whizz by as this massive train car rumbles across the rails.  Even tho there is a lot of congestion at Newark’s station and the subways in NYC smell like piss, having access to public transportation is something I am quite thankful for.

In any event, I rode the subway downtown and as convenience would have it, I get off at Rector; walked up the stairs and there was the Pussycat Lounge.

The Lucky Stiff show is a combination of sideshow and burlesque acts that is held in the second story of a strip club, and it is fantastic.  Of course I may just be impartial in my opinion, because one of my employers and one of my favorite performers happen to have invented and star in the show.  Had come out to see it last week but missed half, tho I did get to see Katzen do a  bit of Human Pincushion along with a really cute act in which she transformed from a mouse into her vicious predator self.

On this particular evening, the cast included Miss Dirty Martini, Creamy Stevens, Katzen reading erotic poetry, naked lady in balloon and of course Tyler and Keith.

Have only seen Tyler do the straitjacket escape twice in the past, but this performance was certainly very memorable.  Had a chance to chat with Katzen for a bit, and she gave me her business card.  For some unknown reason, she also gave me a little friendly good-bye kiss on the cheek.  Those whiskers tickle.

During the subway ride back, there was a guy trying to sell those deaf cards.  He gets to me and stops for a moment to check me over.  A smile creeps onto his lips and he signed that he dug my look.  Yea, that made me feel a bit better.  Any time I receive a compliment, it gives me a good feeling.

When I got back to Newark, I had to clean the snow off my car.  It was a rather slow drive back to the house as well, because neither the highway nor the streets had been plowed yet.    Then again, it was kind of nice to see these white flakes sparkling in the lights as I cautiously navigated my way across frozen asphalt.

The snow was still coming down the last time I glanced outside, but the sun seems to be shining a bit so that’s good.  Have to finish getting ready so that I can go clean off my car again and slide my way into Newark.  Spending my day at the Palace because there is no way I am going stay here and shovel snow.  Sorry, I have a job to do.