Carny Trash Goes Bindlestiff

[Originally written on this date in 2005]

The day did not begin well for me.  After being denied yet another chance at even obtaining employment, I got back in my car and it did not start.  Cue panic mode, seeing as how I was in Perth-fucking-Amboy.  After the fifth or so try, the car did in fact start, and I headed back to the house in great disappointment.

It seems that no matter how hard I try, there are no employers interested in hiring someone with a positive attitude and eagerness to learn new skills when their resume is fairly empty and they are already in their 20’s.  Also, though I am aware that the jobs I have held thus far have always paid me in cash, that does not invalidate the experiences.  If a location no longer exists, how am I expected to provide a contact for reference?

When I walked out of the interview, irritated that I was wasting my time and gas, all I could think about is how much easier things were hustling with Jon and performing with Outlaw Cirkus.  Sorry I can’t put that on the application because they’re dead right now, but I am sure that you will be able to reach them later in the evening.

As I am driving down Route 1, my car decides that it doesn’t want to go any faster than 25 m.p.h. which is just fan-fucking-tastic.  Quickly I discover that as long as I did not come to a complete stop things seemed alright, though it does this on two other occasions before I could actually give it gas and get up to correct highway speed.  Lurched up the hill towards the house at 5 m.p.h. before the beast literally died.  The electronics still worked at that point, but I was too tired to ask anyone to take a look at it.

The following day I got in for shits ‘n’ giggles and found that nothing worked.  For sale: 1991 Ford Taurus paperweight.

Hoping the rest of my day would go better, I sent Jon a text explaining my situation and nervously awaited his reply I as did a costume change.  Dressing up for interviews is understandably necessary, but I am far more comfortable as myself, even if at times that is slightly exaggerated for fun.   The plan was to travel into the City and hit up Unimax before heading over to First where we’d be seeing the Bindlestiffs.  Due to time constraints that included walking down to the end of the street where Jon came to my rescue like a knight in Chevy armor, and cruising up to Newark in order to hop the PATH into the City, I would have to skip Unimax and get what I wanted elsewhere.

As we are on the PATH it dawns on me that I am sitting there with my best friend who looks incredibly amazing, and I realize that he is the only one who supported me when I decided to volunteer for the Bindlestiffs last year.  He was there with me now to see their show and I could not have asked for a better date.  Our hands intertwine as we depart the train, walk up the stairs and are sharing a blunt minutes later as we duck down side streets that wind through towering buildings.  While distracted by the scenery, I am caught in his arms and drowning in a kiss that takes my breath away before we resume walking up Astor, then cut through St. Marks and eventually came to First, easily finding the theater.

We waited a bit in the lobby before the doors were open, where Jon was entertained by the amount of people filing in and whispered suggestions of thievery into my ear while surveying the growing crowd.  Though I would usually encourage such behavior, I gently reminded him that I used to work for the people we were there to see and requested that he respect the space.  Flashing a toothy smile, he kissed my forehead and ensured that he would resist temptation for my sake, then linked his arm with mine and escorted me into the theater.  Even though pretty much every seat was filled, I felt quite comfortable due to the fact I had Jon right next to me, still holding my hand.  The show itself was great even though I am always ready for one more act.  Jon expressed his enjoyment of Kinko, and who wouldn’t love a masturbating, drunken clown wearing a noose for a necktie?

We were waiting to speak with Stephanie when she suddenly blurts out “Oh my goodness, is that Lenore?” It seems they thought I disappeared due to not having a number to reach me, and so I promptly gave her a business card.  Jon was delighted to introduce himself and engaged her in a conversation where he managed to mention all of the performances I was doing in South Jersey, which she seemed delighted to hear.  Eventually we moved on to chat with various other people, with Jon in rare form as he passed out cards and encouraged everyone to check out the website.  The evening had been wonderful, though it made me miss working for them, as they had treated me with respect and were never bothered by my tattoos or piercings.  It did feel good to reconnect with that part of my life though, especially having Jon there for every riveting second.

The walk back to the PATH felt much shorter, but that was mostly due to smoking the remainder of the blunt without caring if we were in the middle of the street or not.  Seated close to each other, Jon is smiling and telling me that he was having a great time, but hoped I was not in a rush to get to bed any time soon.  There was never a hesitation of going along with whatever he had planned, and as much as my curiosity demanded answers as we rode along the highway in his Chevy, I fall asleep for a while and when I wake up he is helping me to my feet.

When we reach the sand it is obvious we are the only people there, and I decide that was a good moment to tell Jon exactly how I had felt, because every ounce of my soul knew I had the one thing I wanted more than any else.  The Costello to my Abbott.  The Laurel to my Hardy.  For the longest time my greatest desire was to have a male counterpart; someone that gave me that feeling of completeness I had often found myself yearning for, and I just could not shake the notion that there was more for me.  There was someone out there who shared my passions and interests who could look at me with love in his eyes no matter how I chose to alter my appearance, or what I shoved up my nose/down my throat.  Though unsure of exactly when this feeling started, it has lasted with me through the time I wasted with the Asshole and others who were not right for me.

For five years we had developed a relationship that defied social standards and the definitions of love often dictated by greeting card companies.

“I have what completes me”, I said, the words falling out of my mouth without even thinking about saying them.  “You are my other half, someone who loves me, even in the morning when I am still half-asleep, leftover makeup on my face and my hair a mess, yet you think I am beautiful anyway.  You are everything I wanted and possibly more.”

My heart was beating so fast I felt like it was going to explode, his lips and hands easily finding mine as the first hints of daytime began to creep into the sky, and just as I was being taken in by the moment, I was being woken up by an alarm at five o’clock in the morning.

No idea what is going on with my car, but it is supposed to get looked at tomorrow. If it can be fixed, great; if not I am going to have to find something else and that is an entire production I would rather avoid at the moment.  Since my insurance company decided to dump me, I now have to find a new one, and I am worried about having to pay more since my funds are not what they used to be.  This all happened because I was trying to do the ‘right thing’ and get a job where I could use the experience for future references or whatever.

This whole situation has become a huge annoyance and I spend my time dreaming about the days of riding the PATH into the City for my amazing job with the Bindlestiffs, cruising around with Jon during the day and performing with Outlaw Cirkus at night, or wandering the streets to hustle, spange and otherwise prey on the marks or rubes.  Pursuing variety arts always seemed like the natural option, and it still does, so I wonder why I am wasting my efforts when I know what I should be doing.

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Intensity Impetus

Through bleak skies, chilling winds and storms that rolled across the country this Winter, the warmer than average temperatures have invited a variety of aviary adventurers that dart among the barren trees searching for a quick meal.  The damp ground gives birth to the first flowers of Spring and serves as a reminder of what is yet to come.  When the scenery around us comes into bloom, their intoxicating scents begging you to lose yourself in the heady perfumes of petals painted in pastels that have inspiring images dancing through our heads as we shed our layers of clothing in favor of new fashions.  Of course this can be achieved by trying something different with makeup, whether it is a bold eye, gleaming cheeks or saturated lips, often easily revamping favorite outfits with a few flicks of an eyeshadow brush.  Presented as “arresting, powerful and provocative”, the Spring 2013 Color Collection by NARS has eight products which certainly renders a picture of springtime cosmetics where there is no shortage of vivid hues.

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Spice up your life with Persia, a paprika Matte Eyeshadow that is bright yet refined, giving a true color application whether used to shade, line or highlight the eyes.  Apply a light layer for a touch of translucence, or dampen brush to create a resilient and dramatic look.

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Offering a shade pairing that is definitive of vogue and yet still distinctive enough to stand apart from other products, Mad Mad World is a Duo Eyeshadow that is one part vivid cyan and one part parakeet green.  The combination can be worn individually or together depending on whether you desire an understated or unrestricted effect, defying creases with micro-fine powders that are long-wearing.

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Though seemingly more modest in comparison to the other Duo, Bouthan entices with a soft pink tulle reminiscent of cherry blossoms, then strikes with bright pink doused in a gold shimmer.  Effortlessly blending them together, then adding a soft penciled cat eye and a coat or two of mascara along with a stroke of nude or neutral gloss can become your new Spring go-to face.

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Formulated to have a velvety soft texture that delivers easy application, Corcovado is a Soft Touch Shadow Pencil sized to be compact so it can travel with you wherever you go.  The 24 carat gold tone can be a base for layering powder on top of, but can also function to shade the lid on its own or used to highlight certain areas of the eye.

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The Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil, seen here in Cytére – a soft metallic rose, gives wearers color that is elegant with a spectacular shine in a lightweight formula which leaves lips feeling buttery.  Convenience comes in simple application and a formula that actually enriches lips as you wear it.

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Ideally one could pair this with the similarly shaded Duo Eyeshadow seen above, and once you get a look at Dressed to Kill, you will understand why this fuchsia rose and gold glitter Satin Lipstick should be on your list of cosmetics to buy this season.  This long-wearing lipstick has also been created with a patented blend of conditioners and antioxidants to hydrate, nourish and protect lips.

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Featuring micronized powders that ensures a soft and blendable application, Seduction is a rich sangria Blush that has a silky texture and leaves you saturated with shimmering color.  As with the other products in this collection, a little bit goes a long way and even more delivers an enlivened complexion with a natural-looking flush.

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Though the only item with an obviously metallic finish, Disco Inferno is an iridescent silver green and a Satin Nail Polish which provides your nails with fabulous luster and high shine that is chip resistant, allowing you to partake of all your favorite Spring activities without worrying about ruining your manicure.

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The new collection from alternative beauty pioneers Illamasqua is titled I’mPerfection, inviting one and all to “stand up and show the world what makes you perfectly imperfect.  We want you to highlight the features other brands encourage you to cover up.  Because life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about celebrating who you really are”.  One way to do so is by using the Speckled Eyeliner Bundle, which comes with Precision Ink in Abyss and Scribe, needed to fabricate the one of the ground-breaking looks from the collection’s promotional gallery.  A video tutorial on how to execute the technique can be seen here.

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Said to be one of the company’s most versatile products, Debonair is a bright sky blue Medium Pencil that has a creamy texture which easily glides over the face and body for a lasting, true-color look.  No matter whether you are using to design sensuous lips or a sultry eye design, write a different story with every stroke.

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For those who find themselves to be quite loquacious, there is a vivid pink matte lipstick called Immodest which will certainly assist in letting everyone know that you have an ostentatious personality before you ever utter a single word.  There is nothing wrong with that, of course, so long as one does not get lost in arrogance.

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If one were to write an ode to Spring using only cosmetics, I would strongly suggest including Sonnet, another matte lipstick that is nude with a cool peach tone that can be powerful enough on its own but also plays well with others.

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Something new that is also a part of the above mention collection is the Blush Up Brush, which has an innovative ellipse-shaped head designed to tuck directly under the cheekbone, challenging conventional blush application to create a soft diffusion of color.  Use it along with your favorite Powder Blusher Duo for a look that defines, elongates and slims the face in a single movement whether you are a beginner or professional.

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Highlight your cheekbones to shape your face using Rude, a warm peach pink Creamy Blusher with a dewy finish that can be built up and blended by your fingers or a brush for desired intensity.  Under foundation it will give you a captivating glow, while wearing it over can deliver a striking effect.

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While a component of I’mPerfection, Fragile is a speckled blue Nail Varnish which also immediately reminds me of chocolate confections in the shapes of eggs with candy coated shells that appear on store shelves this time of year.  Though it can stand on its own as a statement polish, mate it with Mottle, Speckle, Freckle and Scarce for a fun and festive manicure that would be appropriate for those who celebrate Easter.

Everyone should have a signature color for the season and do their best to incorporate it into daily wear – you just might start a new trend!  My choice is Venous, a bold blue green Nail Varnish that would contrast yet compliment my hair, makeup, accessories and other items that are bright red, while adding a cool note to clothes that are blue or purple.

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A selection of top-quality eye shadows inspired by the  tropical resorts we all dream of traveling to when the whether gets warmer, Too Faced has released the Summer Eye 2013 Collection to provide plenty of temptation to take a much needed vacation.  Instructions on how to create three different looks have been laid out in simple how-to instructions printed in a Glamour Guide, and each pigment has been manufactured with high concentration of color which results in rich shades that have a brilliant finish.  Nine new shadows include: Seashell, Peach Fuzz, Sunbeam, Plumeria, Coral Crush, Mermaid, Cocoa Beach, Chocolate Sun and Toasted Coconut.

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This trio of Sweet Sunshines Lip Gloss is moisturizing and lightweight, giving lips gorgeous shine and bright pops of color, perfect for those who prefer a soft eye and drawing attention to their pout.  Watermelon Ice, Papaya Slushie and Mocha Freeze are non-sticky and actually hydrate while providing plenty of shimmer.

Photo credit: 1 – NARS Cosmetics

Saint Patrick’s Day at the Rail

Our St Patrick’s Day show featuring FREE corn beef,  cabbage & green beer, PLUS Irish Karaoke, PLUS real circus sideshow entertainment with NO COVER and ya can’t beat FREE!!!

THIS WEEKS GUEST ARTISTS: hometown heroes Electric  Sideshow and our friends from Philly the Unholy Sideshow!

The Karaoke Sideshow St. Patrick’s Day Show featuring FREE corn beef  and cabbage with plenty of green beer to go around!
PLUS prizes, giveaways and lots of other happy Irish horseshit !!
PLUS karaoke and circus sideshow entertainment with NO COVER CHARGE!!!  In other words IT’S FREE PEOPLE and ya can’t beat free admission!

THE KARAOKE SIDESHOW appearing at the Rail every Thursday night!  Located on Main Street in historic Boundbrook, NJ – this karaoke show is like no other.  Sing your heart out on a real vintage microphone and select your tune from a library over 8000 songs.  Witness LIVE circus sideshow entertainment featuring a veteran sideshow entertainer performing a two man fire eating act called BLAZE!
But that’s not all!  Using an 18 pound sledge hammer, stare in disbelief as he smashes a heavy cinder block to pieces upon the chest of Mar Omega, who is lying atop a bed of 500 nine inch nails.  Now that’s entertainment!
But that’s still not all folks!  Surprise performances, guest performers and new acts arrive every week, and there are always plenty of prize give away’s!  Pool table, foozball, great food, cheap drink prices, 25 TV’s, as well as some of the best singing talent in the Garden Sate.

PLUS MORE FUN AND INSANITY THAN YOU CAN HANDLE IN ONE NIGHT

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Though slightly ridiculous, this is the press release that is being circulated around Myspace advertising the next Electric Sideshow performance at the Rail.  Determined to premiere myself as a Geek, I decided to head out for another attempt at purchasing some worms.  As luck would have it, Pet Smart actually had them this time, so I picked up a small container of them and  got a bag full of crickets as well.  Of course no sooner was I celebrating my success then did I find out the Rail will not allow me to eat worms or insects.  Apparently it would be a health code violation since they sell food.  The guy who runs Karaoke Sideshow said the owner is a wuss and would love to see me eat some bugs, but we have to play by the rules, even if you don’t feel they are fair.

Earlier in the day I headed over to see James in order to take care of that pesky oil change once and for all.  Now I am not particularly good with my car;  I put gas in it and on the occasion make sure the damn thing doesn’t blow up.  However, seeing as how it is my only mode of transportation and I would be pretty fucked without it, I am trying to take better care of it.  Of course time spent with James always puts me in a humored mood.  He is one of a few people who can always make me laugh, and there are certainly plenty of times I am in dire need of it.

With business taken care of, I came back to the house and was relieved that everyone would be out for the evening, as that meant I could have some alone time.

The day before my show at the Rail, I had a few last preparations to make.  Mainly, breaking a few more bottles for the debut of my Glass Walking and Bed of Glass routines.  While doing so, I got to thinking.  So far the performances have been going well, and I make it no secret that sideshow is my passion – I do it because I love it and if I happen to profit from it, well that would be really nice.  Who wouldn’t want to make money doing what they love?  When I reflect back to last year and see where I was then compared to where I am now, I still find it hard to believe.  After losing all the progress I made with Outlaw Cirkus and with Jon unable [and not wanting to] perform, I have had to start at the bottom again.  It will be through hard work and determination that Electric Sideshow will slowly climb the proverbial ladder.

Then I started missing Jon and had to focus on the noise of the glass as I sifted through it and spilled the broken, glittering pieces into the storage container I would be using for the act.

On the day where everyone and their brother’s cousin’s uncle’s sister’s mother-in-law’s husband’s father’s daughter’s aunt’s grandparent’s and the dog wears green as an excuse to get as drunk as possible, Electric Sideshow made a fourth appearance at the Rail.  Before I get to the details of that evening’s festivities, first allow me to speak of the aesthetic preparations.  Took my sweet ass time freshly shaving my head before going into the shower.  Since I was in the mood to do something new with my hair, I dyed some weft black in hopes of creating length that swept away from my face instead of the usual parted-down-the-middle.  Makeup was done in green blending into gold with black brows.  Extensions were was glued in, teased, greased and sprayed into a tiny pompadour, which I then accented with flowers covered in green glitter.

Dressed in my favored combo of DIY threads: Vanity Kills baby-T, Human Blockhead vest and black skirt.  All items needed for the performance were gathered.  Lifting the cinder block with my ears was scrapped due to the fact that it was too heavy and I was unable to find a replace item in time.  In my bag I had: two nails, a hammer, an ice pick, a screw driver, chains, a five pound weight, clear length of tubing and a container full of red liquid.

There were a lot of people already hanging out when I arrived at the Rail and was ready to hand out some of the freshly printed business cards.  Point of note, I was greeted by name the second I walked through the door and pleased that I was finally being recognized by the staff.  Once I got to the bar area I took a seat with James and some of his friends at a table near the front.  Reverend from the Unholy Sideshow complimented my vest, and that really helped boost my confidence.  My attention was diverted between speaking with James, and what he was talking to Barry about.  Somehow I end up giving advice on sword swallowing.

It seems to be a standard that a drink is consumed before performing, and while I do not want anyone to think I need alcohol in order to do any of my acts, it does aid in sucking up any nervousness I may have, giving me the ability to adlib the pitch as I go along.  At the bar I get a shot of whiskey to start things off, which is followed by a shot called Cocaine that had a rather nice orange flavor.  James comes up and says that he wants to buy me a shot.  Considering the fact that we know each other from the Cove, and that our friendship has formed rather quickly, who was I to say no?  We toasted to fond memories among other things, then downed the shot of Liquid Heroin [who comes up with these names?], which was damn strong with a fresh minty after taste.

Electric Sideshow was called to the stage, and as usual, the acts went off without a hitch.  There were quite a few faces I recognized, and in general the audience was very receptive of the whole thing.  It comes naturally for me to  interact with them, such as getting close to someone when hammering the second nail into my nose, or requesting verification that the weight I lift is indeed five pounds, or that the glass I was about to walk on is indeed real.  The Glass Walking routine seemed to actually be a big hit, which I expected to some extent, but even Barry was quite impressed, and congratulated me on a job well done.

After our set it was time for a game called  Shovey Bunny.  James wound up being one of the contestants, which may have been due to me volunteering him as one.  Rules of the game were quite simple: a marshmallow bunny would be placed in each cheek, and the contestants would have to say “shovey bunny” until the mouth was too full of marshmallow to do so.  It only took a few rounds for James to win, and everyone was dying of laughter at the amount of ‘mallow bunny body parts that littered the floor.  Post-game I escorted James to the bathroom because I have somehow become his official hair mistress, and as such I had to remove sticky bunny pieces from his locks.  Upon exiting we did a few shots of whiskey, and the whole time I had people coming up to me left and right, shaking my hand and commending me on a job well done.  That is exactly what makes what I do so enjoyable; business cards found hands and pockets.

As the evening wound down, I said my good-byes and made my exit, feeling a bit tipsy from the amount of alcohol consumed.  Stopped off at the Somerset Diner where the friendly waiter served me a Western omlette, buttered toast and a cup of coffee.  Breakfast in the early a.m. hours after ingesting booze is always the best.

Sleep was very welcomed when I went to bed, though I had strange dreams that prevented me from having a full night of it.

Kung-Fu Shoes: In the Nude

Having covered just about every color in the rainbow and then some, let us turn now to the latest fashion trend circling red carpets and walkways alike: nude shoes.  At first I was skeptical of flesh toned footwear and thought it might make the feet look took naked and throw off a whole outfit.  However, when I began scoping sites for styles to fill up this guide, I realized that they are far more practical than I gave them credit for.  When heading into the office, sometimes the last thing on your mind is slipping on a pair of amazing pumps – after all, Iron Fist graphics may not be suitable for all corporate audiences.  Though color is always encouraged when coordinating a stellar ensemble, the addition of a nude shoe could very well prevent distraction from a flawless makeup job or perfectly coiffed curls.  Finally, depending on the shape, finish and even application, nude will become the new black, or pink, or whatever it is the kids are wearing these days.

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Imitations may exist, but none can duplicate the quality of Pleaser and their Tattoo Print Pumps, which have a creamy background that has been covered in anchors, keys, swallows and stars.  The interior is a lovely shade of red, though personally I would remove the satin bows and likely relocate them to my hair.

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Black lace surrounds a nude satin base to form Bordello’s Beauty, a Victorian style kitten heel ankle boot that may very well carry frills and flowers to project an image of femininity, but only the imagination limits the number of ways the boots can be combined with other articles of clothing.

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Death’s Head moths surrounded by hearts, flowers and broken mesh are just the beginning of why I am infatuated with Iron Fist’s Lovelace Heels.  A pouf of tulle sits atop the peep toe while a black satin ribbon ties around your ankle to strap you into five and half inches of platformed glory, where you are ready for whatever adventure the evening may offer.

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Though the tone of Jeffrey Campbell’s Lisa Marie is slightly more tan than taupe, there is something about the silhouette that piqued my interest straight away.  Upon closer inspection, the golden studs, toe cap and vertical plates on the back strap are all details which make this high heeled boot anything but ordinary.

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Two of Jeffrey Campbell’s signature styles have been combined to form the sleek and sexy Foxy Nite; the Foxy t-bar upper is set on the Night Walk base and both have been covered in soft nude suede.  Ideally these would be worn with those essential soft chiffon Summer dresses, denim shorts and a tank top, or even with your favorite swimsuit.

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Create a lasting impression with Betsey Johnson’s Makenna, a slingback style peep toe platform in a blushing nude patent that has an adjustable heel strap accented by a gold buckle, and subtle leopard print interior.

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The blush hued nude patent straps, over-sized buckle and spiked wedge are all elements that make Betsey Johnson’s Morggann your sole mate for the Summer, combining simple structure with edgy details to give you a versatile shoe that will stand out yet not take over your outfit.

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On the paler end of the spectrum one can find Regan, a platform sandal with plenty of attitude by Penny Sue that features a sculpted heel, gold spikes studded along straps and a back zippy that makes them easy to put on or take off.

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Advertised as a “must have neutral”, Cannes by Just Fabulous has a chic open toe nude patent upper and a geometric woven pattern on the platformed heel which will give your feet a ‘light’ and ‘airy’, especially while lounging in a garden sipping ice cold home made lemonade; vodka optional.

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Rumored to be inspired by Ivanka Trump, Eris from Kelsi Dagger is said to be able to make one feel like a million bucks, with caged straps as the upper made from polished beige patent, an elastic heel strap which allows for the right fit, and a platform that elevates you above the rest of the peasants.

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Though it may seem a bit demure compared to some of the other styles presented here, Gwost by Guess has cutout details along beige leather that wraps your foot in natural comfort.  The wooden heel and platform continue that organic feel, and the open toe design ensures you can wear it no matter how warm the weather gets.

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For fans of casual street wear, Ego and Greed offers Detroit, a sneaker with an old school shape, thick black rubber sole that allegedly “gets more awesome with age”, and patches held on by small circular gold studs.  Whether you are dressing down or getting ready to rock out, one should definitely have at least one pair of sneakers that are going to withstand endless hours of stomping to your favorite band or long nights wandering sidewalks of your favorite city.

Eating Cheesequake

[Originally written on this date in 2005]

Currently everyone else that lives in this house is visiting another state, so I am sitting down to write about things that have been happening, without the worry someone will come and bitch at me because they want to play a video game.  Since it was another of those slightly warmer days, I figured it would be nice to go out for a walk.  Destination of choice was Cheesequake Lake, as it has been a dog’s age since I have been there.  When I arrived I discovered that the park was closed, and I am sorry but I feel like I need to take this moment to voice a complaint about this.  How can these parks close so damn early?  What is wrong with keeping them open to at least six or seven?  Do they not realize how much fun places like that are in the dark?  According to the parks department website, they close at “sunset” for the protection of visitors and wildlife, which I guess I can understand.

Since I was already out driving, I traveled down Route 34 South to just enjoy the scenery.  At some point I spotted the tiny Roadside Diner and figured that was a good place to stop for a while.  It felt like I had stepped through a time warp when I went inside, filling my belly with a slice of cheesecake and cup of coffee.  On the road again, I passed the Wall raceway swear that I saw a derelict drive in.  Had it not been so windy out, I would have stopped to check things out, but I wanted to reach the Shore before it was dark.

Arrived in Seaside just as the sun was setting.  Sunset by the sea is always a brilliant show, and this was no exception.  The sun was a giant pink ball, casting the color on the underneath of purple clouds, fading into orange and eventually blue that got darker towards the east, the entire scene dancing on the water.  Was surprised at the amount of people that littered the boardwalk, but they were there due to early Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations, staggering around drunk as fuck or tightly packed into one of the many bars that were opened.  A few food stands and arcades were up and running as well, but for the most part, the boards were dark.  As the sun sank below the horizon, the wind seemed to pick up and I could not deny being cold, so I headed back to my car.

Not thinking the meters were being checked, I was shocked to discover a ticket on my window.  At least I was not the only car that had one.  Hunger struck me on the way home, but I did not want to stop at any of the fast food joints, so I stopped at the supermarket to swipe myself some dinner.  Went to the liquor store as well, because free food does not taste nearly as good as it does with free booze.

By the time I was done consuming both, I started thinking back to this time last year and how unsatisfied I was with the way things were, and constantly lamented about needing my other half.  Every time I am within his grasp, we wind up going out separate ways and I wonder why he hesitates to take what he wants.

To distract myself I decided to take another visit to Englishtown, curious to see how many people would be out selling.  Also happened to need a stool for some sideshow acts, and while I do not mind borrowing one, it would be good to have my own for those instances when one might not be readily available.  Showered, dressed and headed out, pleased that the weather had finally decided to behave, though the wind wasn’t helping with enjoyment.  Disappointed that so many vendors were packing up when I arrived and I had only myself to blame for taking so long to get ready.  However, I do not believe in wasting the day, especially when the sun is out in a clear sky.

People tend to leave things behind when the item isn’t sold, as they don’t feel like dragging it back home with them, and that is why it’s fun to poke though the bins, as you never know what you might find.  Also, whatever does get left is up for grabs and you can occasionally come across something with incredible value.  In my case I came across a lovely little storage cabinet, but I wanted to walk around for a bit more before deciding if I wanted to try and get it in my car.  Finding no other treasures, I pulled my car into the selling area and easily hoisted the cabinet in.  With a little paint and shiny handles it will be good as new.  I love free stuff!

On the way home I attempted to stop at the Oldbridge Diner, but for some reason it was closed, so I went over to the Seville instead.  Dined on a BLTC sandwich with a side of freshly made potato chips and fries, complimented by a chunk of pickle and cup of coleslaw.  Not really fancy but it hit the spot and was a nice way to wind down my day, even if I got lost in though a few time before coming back to the house.

Saint James Rescue Me

[Originally written on this date in 2005]

The day after my lovely date with Jon, my neighborhood was once again visited by snow and it seemed as though Nature could not make up her mind.  Still I had to run a few errand and on the way back I got the brilliant idea to stop in the park for a quick bowl.  Now I am not going to be one of those people who say they need pot to function, but in the same sense, I have noticed that certain things change depending on whether or not I smoke.  There is no other viable explaination for why that is, and as an example, I have not had a good night’s sleep unless I have been so atrociously drunk that I passed out.  Even then I wake up several times before actually getting out of bed in the morning.  Not sure if I can actually  call this insomnia, but there are times I am wide awake when everyone else is sleeping and can easily stay up for days without realizing it.

Before “quitting” [I use that term in the loosest manner possible, due to the fact that I did not choose to quit], I would lie in bed and watch some t.v., smoke a bowl and pass the fuck out.  If I happened to wake up it was to use the bathroom but I could get in bed and fall asleep with no problems.

Another example?  Writing a 200+ page story, and not one word fell out of my head while I was sober.  Believe me, I tried my hardest but would just wind up staring at the blank paper, waiting for something to be written.  Any recent attempts made have also failed.  That is, until I had a small bowl in the park, the greens having been payment for hooking up James with that dye job a while ago.  As soon as I was done, I could not wait to get back to the house to do some writing, and that is exactly what I did.

On this day, I figured since there was not going to be much else to do, I would go out and have a quick bowl, then get back to the house to enjoy the short-lived bliss it would bring  me.  It should be obvious that smoking in or even around the house is not an option, nor am I going to risk walking though the neighborhood and being seen by someone I live with, since pot is not encouraged in the household.  There was a ranger sitting in the parking lot, so I played the Oops I Am Lost game, turned around, and made my way out.  Should have known better than to drive in the snow, because I start sliding and keep going until I make low-speed contact with a wooden barrier.  Hoping the ranger was not going to be following me, I drove out of there as fast as I could.

Laughing about it now though.  Upon returning there was some hostility in the house due to an argument I had nothing to do with.  My instinct led me to call James, as I figured I could remove myself from said situation for a while so they could sort it out between themselves.  Fast forward to arrival at James’ place.  Out of kindness and knowing that I could use something to relax, we smoked a blunt in my car and it did not take long for me to be detached from whatever had been bothering me.

Then we went inside and listened to some Link Wray and a few other tunes before absorbing Pen & Teller’s Bullshit, which is perhaps some of the funniest and brutally honest comedy I have seen in quite some time.  A few hours later I departed, thanking my most gracious host.  Suddenly I could not help myself from thinking of a way to scrape together some funds for future repeat performances, knowing it would kick start that neglected artistic part of my brain so that I could finally complete the story I began so many years ago.

Following the minor accident I had the day before, I realized that I had managed to do some damage to the front end of my vehicle.  Nothing massive, thank goodness – just knocked the headlight out of place and broke the turn signal.  Even still, I took a visit to James to get his mechanical opinion on it.  We laughed when I relayed the story of how it happened.  Fortunately, the turn signal light still worked, so I could get away with it for a while.  A new one would have to be ordered so that the broken one could be replaced. The headlight just had to be adjusted and it would be good as new, and James said he could take care of that when I returned to get my oil changed.

We hung out for a while, shooting the shit since there weren’t really any customers.  Again I was tempted to fill him in about the amorous adventure I had with Jon, and while I appreciate James’ friendship in many ways, I still find it difficult to talk about someone that no one else knows.  Bringing up just one thing would mean having to explain and fill in a bunch of back story that I am uncomfortable just handing out as useful information.  So I thanked James for his time and came back to the house to muse about my writing.

Surf Tunes in Asbury

[Originally written on this date in 2005]

Three weeks after watching my best friend disappear on a hitching adventure, I am checking my e-mail and find an invitation from Jon to meet him in Asbury Park.  No details of where he had been or what he had been doing, yet somehow in those brief sentences I felt there was an urgency in the request.  Having been so wrapped up in other things, I had almost forgotten about the emotional evening outside a diner where I saw the very human side of Reverend Saint Jon.  Unsure of what to expect when I arrived in that familiar seaside town, I walked up to the liquor store for liquid courage; since I was not paying attention, I wound up swiping some pineapple flavored rum.  Which meant going to the grocery store in the same shopping complex to steal an accompanying bottle of pineapple soda.

Returned to the house to shower and assemble myself, bonding in the hand-dyed extensions I had made earlier in the week.  The colors came out fairly saturated and are quite vibrant, though still easily blend into my own hair.  Secured some hand made hair flowers to compliment my hair and makeup, then put on a circle skirt, halterneck top, cashmere cardigan and patent Mary Jane’s over fishnet tights.  Driving down I was really nervous and excited, the anticipation of seeing Jon again after so many days without even so much as hearing his voice or seeing some text float through my inbox.

Even though it was dark I could see his Chevy, my heart racing as I pulled into a parking spot and approached the driver’s side door.  When Jon stepped out I stopped in my tracks, distracted by the slight limp I suddenly notice and the way his overall posture was that of someone hiding a lot of pain.  Still his smile melted my heart, our bodies connecting in a Hollywood Moment; his arms swallowed me and I was lost in those familiar scents of licorice and leather, the unmistakable odor of long-term traveling sans showering evident in the fiber of clothes I could have sworn he was wearing the last time I saw him.  My mind was distracted by the lips kissing mine followed by the invitation to drag whispered in my ear.

Moments later the King and Queen entered the Lanes as they had done so many times in the past.  The girl that greeted us at the door complimented my hair flowers, inquiring as to where I got them.  Smiling, I happily explained that I crafted them myself, to which she replied: “You should consider selling those, they’re so beautiful.”

Renting two pairs of shoes, as soon as we picked out a lane and sat down to change our shoes, Ghouls Night Out was rocking the stage.  It did not take long for me to start enjoying them, and unlike most all-female bands, they actually had talent to go along with their wicked aesthetics.  The coke was hitting us at that point, but we still had to bowl and took a few shots from a flask provided by Jon before starting the first game.  Making it through all of the frames where we both had semi-decent scores, it was time to take a snack break and enjoy the tunes of Crimson Ghost Society.  How can you not dig surf versions of Misfits songs?  Now usually bowling alley food is not all that great, packed full of cholesterol and dripping with grease.  Though we did share an order of onion rings, that chicken sandwich I had was pretty darn good – hits the spot when you are hungry and drunk.

We returned to the lane and bowled one more game as Hunchback took the stage.  That was the only band I was not really into, though I cannot say why because I was too busy concentrating on hitting the pins, as the booze and blow were making it hard enough to do so.  At that point I excused myself to the bathroom and thought it would be a good time to call James, though I do not remember any sort of conversation.  On the way out this random girl commented that I looked really nice that evening.  Since I was feeling rather jovial, I complimented her collar; she was so grateful that she thanked me with a kiss on the cheek.  It’s good to be the Queen.

After six frames, each of us winning three games a piece, Jon had enough and suggested we go outside for some fresh air.  Returned the shoes and on the way out this fashion punk was walking in at the same time.  For a moment he paused and nodded in our direction, which was followed by a casual “hey” before he went inside.  We both laughed and joked about our royal status, something we have not done in so long that I almost forgot what is what like to see King Shit in action.

Wandering away from the Lanes towards the beach and coming across a trail, we discovered it was still saturated from the several bouts of snow that have come through coupled with the increasingly warmer days, fun ensuing while we tried to avoid the soggy and muddy parts.  There are very few places in Jersey where you can just walk at your own pace, enjoying nature in its uninterrupted beauty.  In all, I believe we walked for almost an hour before Jon stopped, turned to me and initiated a passionate kissing session.  The surreal feelings overwhelmed any protest I may have had, because while I enjoyed every second his lips, hands and thigh touched mine, we had not seen each other in weeks and could not just fall into such behavior.

Pulling away was the only way I could stop, but he held me tenderly and said it was probably a good idea to head back.  My hand never left his as we made our way through the darkened trail once again, and our shoes were splashed with the orange mud by the time we got back to the Chevy.  There Jon kissed me again and there was no reason I could think of to fight against him, though the sight of us making out in the street caused a few people to shout obscenities that killed the mood.  Leaning against the trunk, I was pulled into him and felt secure once again as I listened to the rhythm of his heartbeat.

“Did you enjoy yourself, Angel?”  He asks me this in Carny Speak and makes sure to drawl out the name.  The first nickname he gave me due to all the times I was ‘such an angel’ while we were pulling cons; the name he has always used during intimate moments to let me know how much he loves me.  He knows what it does to me but I let him because I like giving him that power.  “Listen, don’t be sore at me for taking off the way I did.  It’s just that I have been in a very bad place since that accident, and instead of opening up to you about it, I let myself drown in self-pity.”

“It’s alright Aaron,” I slowly reply, my enunciation not as good as his because I don’t practice enough.  He said I am the only one allowed to call him by this name; the only one I know for a fact is a part of his real name because it was passed down to him from his father, the mysterious man I have seen in photos, heard about in stories and visited the grave site of with the son who honors him like an ancient god.

We kiss one more time before he escorts me to my car, helping me get in and standing there while it warms up to ensure I pull out into the evening in safety.  The taste of his lips linger on mine, and I smile as I head onto the highway and head back to the house.