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.


[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.

New Year in Times Square

[Written on this day in 2004.]

Parking in Newark: $11
Roundtrip Path fare: $3
Spending NYE in a place where I felt I finally belonged: PRICELESS

Since I had failed the first time around, when I was asked if I could come and volunteer at the Palace of Variety, I did not hesitate in saying yes.

Got out of bed at eight in the morning to cleanse and rid my face and neck of hair dye stains.  The next hours were spent tediously constructing my face.  Rocked that new green eye shadow that I recently purchased, blending it into a soft pink with black eye liner on the top lid, metallic pink on the bottom lid and bright blue on the inside corner.  Symmetrical eyebrows [also in black, which I haven’t worn since the last time I had black hair] were then executed; pink glitter accenting gently blushed cheeks and pink parts of the eye shadow.  Lips were lined with the same metallic pink mentioned above and then I filled in the rest with coconut scented lipgloss in a sheer pearlescent type color.

Human hair extensions [wefts] were applied to front of my hair – they are about 10 inches in lime green, neon pink, blonde and black, layered from bottom to top.  The hand dyed colors really came out brilliantly and together they pop really nicely.  While I thought it might be a bit much with the blonde, I really dig the blended effect all four colors have.  The rest of my hair was styled in the usual fashion – pulling the sides away from my face by hair spraying and blow drying into oblivion, curling side locks and slicking them into place with a thick coat of gel, then applying hair spray to everything else while zapping it with the blow dryer and ensuring it stands on end.

My outfit consisted of that new Illig skirt I also recently purchased, black Lip Service shirt with zippers, black [somewhat faded] jean jacket, complete with safety pin decorated collar and cuffs, neon pink and black striped socks, neon green and black striped hand warmers with neon green/black/neon pink stars, and my super comfy silver and black New Rocks.

My mom complimented me before I left, which does not happen very often.  To her, most of what I do is “silly”, so it was nice to hear her being sincere for a change.

While I was not in a complete rush to get to the venue, I did want to show up in a timely fashion, due to the celebration that would be happening only a block away.  The ride on the PATH was rather long, but I enjoyed my nine block walk to the Palace.  It is a fantastic place, and shame on me for not having gone there sooner.  [Then again, I only recently found out that it even existed and then immediately felt I had been missing out on something spectacular.]  The walls are plastered with great photos, sideshow banner art and other awesome random things.

As soon as I arrived, I was put right to work – there was much to do before the show that evening.  Noted here that the woman I have been corresponding with via e-mail is someone I know from the sideshow over at Coney Island.  It took her a moment to realize who I was, but she remembered me from the sideshow school and all that other times I went to see the shows there.

Everyone was so incredibly wonderful that I cannot possibly put into words just how great they really are.  It was so refreshing to have been among such friendly people in what honestly felt like a family atmosphere.  To see all the hard work that these people put into their performances gave me a better understanding of what it takes to make something like this happen, and I feel I am going to learn a lot from just being here.

Spent some time chatting with the other people present, getting to know them while we completed various tasks.  At one point we were notified that if we needed to go out and get anything, take the opportunity to do so.  Apparently the blocks surrounding Times Square were going to be barricaded to keep everyone in a specific zone.  To say there were large crowds swelling outside would be a severe understatement.  The Palace was completely packed for that evening’s performance.  Tyler Fyre was in attendance as was the lovely miss Katzen.  Had a few moments to chat with Tyler, but didn’t get a chance to say hello to Katzen.

The show itself was just incredible.  Have not seen it before, but I was very impressed,  enjoyed the variety of the acts and can’t really pick a favorite.  My position was behind the bar, which was just perfect for me since I don’t like dealing with large quantities of people. Ellie and I kept the beverages flowing, which were free for staff and crew.  There was also free munchies which I nibbled on from time to time.

After the show, everyone who had performed or volunteered that nite gathered together on stage and we counted down to the New Year, toasting with champagne.  Assisted with the clean up as much as possible, but wanted to get back to Jersey just to make sure my car was safe.  However, I mentioned that I would be back on Friday and there was much verbal expression in appreciative of my help.  It was my pleasure and an honor, not to mention fun as hell.

Before I left, I occupied Stephanie for a moment to thank her for allowing me to come in [as funny as that sounds] and have the chance to work at such a wonderful place.  Wound up gushing, as I often do [it might have been the champagne], but I meant everything I said.  Which mainly consisted of telling her how much I enjoyed the show and being alongside wonderful people.  She told me that when I come back on Friday, she will give me some free tickets for an upcoming Bindlestiff Family Cirkus show.

Did not get paid, but I made decent money in tips.  To be honest, I went because I have nothing but time on my hands and figured that it would be best spent doing something I enjoy.

Mad props should be given to NYC’s finest, who were out on the streets when I arrived and were still there twelve hours later as I was walking back to the PATH station.  They really worked hard to allow everyone to have a fun and safe New Year, and they should be given credit where it is due.

My car was where I left it, safe and sound.  By the time I came back here, I just fell into bed and went to sleep.

Have to say that this is certainly an experience I will not forget.  It also confirms that this is type of thing I want to do with my life.

Big Apple Circus

[Originaly written 12.30.2003]

Woke up early to shower and assemble myself, curiosity bugging me the entire time as to what Jon’s surprise was.  Walked down to the diner where we met up and had a small breakfast.  He had a huge smile plastered across his face but wouldn’t even drop a subtle hint.  Noted here that he was dressed in his Carny best: light blue sear-sucker suit, freshly pressed red shirt, yellow silk tie and matching pocket square, and a pair of red snake skin boots; hair styled in shallow waves.  Meanwhile, I was rocking a layered red chiffon skirt and blue cotton button-down blouse with black leather pumps, my hair dancing around in chaotic curls.

After breakfast, we climbed into his Chevy and hopped on the Turnpike to get to the City; Jon lit a blunt en route.  Took the super secret way to the Holland Tunnel, bypassing all the other people that sat in traffic.  Tried to find decent [and legal] parking on the street, but no dice, so he decided to just park in a lot.

At this point I would like to mention that it has been a long time since I went to see a circus.  Well, I do remember that he took me to the Greatest Show on Earth at Madison Square Garden a couple years ago.  However, the Big Apple Circus was out in Lincoln Center, in a fucking tent.  Yes, in a small section of NYC there was this big blue tent that drew in the curious of all ages.  The smell of popcorn and hot dogs and other such foods swirled in the air as we entered that magical space.  The bathroom was a trailer, the seats were plastic and quite uncomfortable, and some snot nosed little brat kept kicking the back of mine, but I had a blast.  The performance was over two hours long, complete with clowns, animals and aerialists.  The bright costumes, live music and the entire atmosphere in general made me forget where I was, taking me back to a time when the circus frequently rolled into town.  My face ached because I was smiling so much the entire time, my hand settled nicely in his.  Afterwards I gushed with thanks, which made Jon blush a bit as he said it was no big deal.  He just wanted to do something nice for me on my birthday and knew that I would appreciate the gesture for what it was.

We wandered around for a bit and found a neat little cafe where I had cake and coffee while my mind was wandering.  There is nothing else I want to do more than perform; to wake up the world from its ignorant slumber and entertain the masses.  In all honesty, I feel that is what I was put here to do and am anxious to start doing shows with Jon again.

Tomorrow I will be helping out with the big New Year’s Eve bash at the Palace of Variety with the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus.

Going out to lunch with my Dad soon.  Afterwards, I have to do a quick costume change and meet up with Jon so we can head into the City [again] and go look at some cool art.  Will most likely do dinner and drinks afterwards.  Time is wasting so I have to scoot.

[Later that evening]

It’s really late and I am full of so many stimulants that it’s ridiculous, but I won’t have time to write tomorrow and I want to get this down before I forget.

Lunch was really nice; my Dad gave me balloons, flowers and a lovely card.  While I wanted to tell him about the wonderful present Jon gave me, I kind of downplayed everything and simply stated I was enjoying my birthday.  Dropped everything off at the house and then met up with my boy in Newark.

Rode the PATH in, as neither one of us wanted to risk the amount of traffic that would be in the City.  Smoked a blunt while on the way to Fuse Gallery and casually chatted.  Ever since I got my hands on a John John Jesse print, I have been studying his work and learned many interesting things about his life.  When I discovered that several of his works would be on display in a local gallery, I had to seize the opportunity to see his art in person.  Of course sharing the whole experience with my best friend [on my birthday no less] carried a great amount of significance and was fitting as an excellent gift.  There were a lot of people crammed inside when we arrived, but somehow we managed to make enough room to gaze at the magnificent paintings.  Wine and assorted snacks were also up for grabs so we made sure to help ourselves to plenty of them.

Afterwards we wandered around to finish off the blunt before sitting down to dinner at Otto’s Shrunken Head.  This was one of those times where we dressed appropriately for the setting but still managed to stick out among everyone else present.  While I had expected the waiter to shove us in the back, we were shown to a table set with a cluster of votive candles and had a slight bit of distance from those around it so we could have a tiny bit of privacy.  We began with incredibly strong tiki drinks and ordered a bunch of appetizers with the plan of snacking when we wanted instead of attempting to have a full dinner.  This was a good idea, particularly since Jon had slipped me something on the way to the bar that already started to have me feeling good.

The music swelled around us and it was cool to see a decent amount of people at the other tables, even if they blurred together into some sort of cartoonic tiki nitemare.  Jon laughed when the waiter brought me chocolate lava cake with a sparkling pink candle in the top and a bunch of servers came over to sing me Happy Birthday.  He had the guiltiest look on his face but was caught up in his fit of hysteria, so I laughed too and waited for everyone to leave before snuffing the ‘candle’ out on my tongue.  We destroyed that cake and it was absolutely divine, melding well with all the rum in my stomach.

Eventually we had to leave because the bar was closing and it was quite an adventure back to the PATH, the ride seeming to take forever.  The air didn’t feel chilly at all as we walked to the lot where his car was parked, his hand holding mine, the soft leather of his glove swallowing my fingers.  When we reached the Chevy, Jon leaned me against the door and gently kissed my lips.  There was a part of me that wanted more, but I was starting to feel tired and unsure of what motivated the gesture.  So I slipped out of his arms and walked around the car, then waited for him to unlock the door.  Jon laughed and shook his head as we both climbed inside, silence filling the atmosphere.

Best birthday ever?  Possibly.  There are too many things running through my mind at the moment, and I need to get some sleep because I have to wake up and go into NYC tomorrow for New Year’s Eve madness.

Birthday and NYE Plans

[Originally written 12.27.03]

As of this moment, I know that I am definitely going out to lunch with my Dad.  It is a tradition that I didn’t get to do last year, and I also have not seen or talked to him in some time, so it will be good to sit down and have lunch with him.

After that I will be meeting up with Jon, and we shall be taking in John John Jesse’s art at the Fuse Gallery.  He finally emerged from his private nam and apologized for the lack of contact.  Following our drinking game fun, I went thru the process of spending the ‘holiday’ with the Asshole and his family.  Which was better than being alone, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about Jon the entire time.  Of coure I understand what the ‘holiday’ does to him, considering his mom and dad have been dead for a number of years, he has no living blood relatives and our Family was murdered earlier this year.  Putting it that way, I honestly cannot imagine the kind of torment one must endure watching everyone else visit with loved ones.  Just thinking about it makes my heart ache.

What he does to himslef is another story, but I won’t talk about that here.

When I mentioned my plans to the Asshole [obviously omitting the part where I would have company] he actually said: “You don’t want to do that on your birhday.

First of all, I don’t remember asking for his opinion.  Secondly, my birthday is on a Tuesday, so it’s not like there are a lot of things to do.  Is he planning something?  If that is the case, he better say something now and not wait for the last mintue like he always does.  Besides, I do believe that it is my birthday and I can do whatever I want with whomever I want.  This will be the second time I get to spend it with someone who means the world to me, and I would not trade that for anything.

The Asshole also made no mention of New Year’s Eve, which is not at all surprizing.  Again, I suspect that he is waiting until the last minute to say something. The few times I decided to spend NYE with him, we did not go out or do much of anything.  To be honest I do not feel like being in the apartment, and I would rather hang out by myself than repeat that.

Besides, I am currently sorting out details to attempt spending NYE in NYC.  It is something I have never done, and while I would not be among the huge crowds in Times Square, I would be close enough and could say that I have actually celebrated NYE in the City at least once.  Things like that mean something to me, even if they seem insignificant to others.

At least Jon is giving me something to look forward to as far as my birthday is concerned.  No one else could be bothered to make any sort of plans, and that has always been one of the main reasons I hate my birthday so much.  It is five days after Gift-mas and the day before NYE, so people are occupied with visiting relatives, going to parties or whatever, and I understand that.  Really I do.  However, other people should not expect me to care when their birthday comes around, because they are certainly going to get what they give.

Have to plan my outfits, makeup and hair, as well as somehow contain my excitement for the next three days as I fill with curiosity of what Jon has planned.