Wednesday, September 30, 2009

weekend warrior

Last night around midnight I found myself in the backseat of a car cuddled up with a cute boy whose name I couldn't remember. I'd come out of a club where I was shooting photos of a high school acquaintance-turned-rap-star and was going to head back to my brother's place when this kid ran up to me and said, "Hey, nice boots."

Most people would say thanks and keep walking, particularly if they're tired as hell and still hurting a little bit from the cornucopia of free drinks with which I was paid Saturday night. But I haven't had sex in about six weeks now and am toeing the "fuck anything that moves / no really, I don't need sex" line in a tenuous way.

I really, really, really wanted to take this guy home, but I couldn't very well take him to Little Brother's apartment and further traumatize the one person I care about most in the entire world. And homeboy was on tour with his fellow art-school posse and had no place to take me to. But I think I was secretly hoping that if I drank more, I would be okay with anything. So there we were, killing a bottle of whiskey in an SUV parked right in front of the club.

This is when it came out that he was 25 and I am 29, and for the umpteenth time this year, I got the "really?" that sets off something weird and defensive and confusing in me. I get this a lot lately. I got it Saturday night from the 22-year-old who was shooting photos of drag queens with me, too. People always make some remark about how I should be thankful to be mistaken for being younger, but it always makes me feel incredibly immature and somehow stunted, like someone my age shouldn't be doing whatever it is I'm doing--like having random sex, being paid with booze, or smoking pot with eight young men I'd just met until 3 am on a Monday night. Then tonight I ended up at a fundraiser for a political candidate who turned and asked me if I just graduated from high school or college. This was because I was sitting between my folks, and it made me think that yep, living at home was yet another thing someone my age should not be doing.

I spent the day yesterday watching the entire first season of the show Party Down. Um, hilarious? One of the main characters debates moving home with his parents until the crew has to work a 20-year high school reunion and he's confronted with what happens when you move home. This part was a little too real for me to find hilarious. But still...

Anyhow, the point of this post is to say this: it's getting cold in Chicago and if I don't leave, my weekend boozing is going to go out of control as it pumps up to offset my creeping feelings of complete failure. I've decided to go to South America for at least three months and use Montevideo as my base. I wanted to leave on Oct. 20 but my pops wants me to stay through Thanksgiving. Also, I wanted to tell you that I suddenly understand the health care fiasco. Blue Cross Blue Shield denied me coverage because I was in substance abuse treatment last year. The funny thing is that if I hadn't been in treatment, I would probably be in much worse shape right now, but they would insure me.

Those fuckwads.

Friday, September 25, 2009

shady characters

I am car-less in the suburbs today, and the rain has thwarted my plan to ride my bike into "town" to go food shopping. So, I am attached to the Internet and this is what I have discovered:

A)my ex-boyfriend is still as cute as ever

B)the guy who I'm shooting photos for tomorrow night is allegedly shady

I responded to a craigslist ad looking for event photographers for some party tomorrow night. When I called to get the details, I ended up talking to this Dude for about half an hour. Although all I wanted to know was how much I'd be paid and where/when to show up, he just wouldn't stop talking. During the course of our conversation, he let me know that he is A) gay-friendly, B) 6'3" and in great shape, and C) rich as all hell.

He also told me that I'd be paid "a C-note and some drink tickets" and that my photos didn't really matter. They are hiring five photographers, basically for the paparazzi-buzz effect. So I'm going to look hot and fire my flash a ton for a couple hours, then get wasted and walk back to my brother's apartment.

I was curious about this gregarious, burly rich guy so of course I googled his name. The second hit that came up was from this blog called Vengeful Purpose, run by a guy who is getting sued for libel or something. A former employee of Dude, he called him one of the most cunning and mean people he'd ever met. He wrote:

"I did see him actually fight (as in fist fight) and it was something I will never forget. I watched him get punched right in the face by a huge man he was arguing with and it seemed to have no effect on him. He wiped the blood from his face and then simply beat the man senseless!

He never made a sound or raised his voice- he just simply kept beating the man until the police arrived. The cops asked HIM what happened and then his ever present lawyer showed up and took [Dude] home.

Can anyone say special treatment?

I was told later by a co worker that "as long as [Dude] is talking you have nothing to fear - when he stops is when you should be concerned"

Hilarity! I cannot wait to meet this man.

Monday, September 21, 2009

dear anonymous commenter

Thank you for your kind words on my blog this week. They really floored me--mostly because I was pretty sure of the fact that my readership was limited to a dozen people whom I know intimately on either coast, but also because it gave me the immensely satisfying and secure feeling of being appreciated by and connected to a complete stranger in this volatile world during a transitory time in my life.

Things are going as okay as they can be for someone who is a) freeloading at the suburban home of one's parents, b) dangerously sober most nights of the week, and c) steadily padding on some midwest poundage. On the bright side, I'm a) not working, b) getting a lot of sleep, and c) getting a much-needed root canal this week, hopefully. You know it's a weird situation when dental work is on your top three highlights list without the slightest bit of irony.

I haven't been doing nothing, though I don't feel like writing much lately. Without the glamorous backdrop of a boozy, sultry metropolis, engaging writing requires a lot more effort. Not that I haven't been having fun out here. Since my last post I danced myself sweaty at an amazing soul party, profiled a Wrigley Field beer vendor, took another lens in for repairs, went Girls Gone Wild in the photo booth at a dubstep show, took a walk through not one but TWO cemeteries, ate fried cheese at a Celtic festival, and trolled Hipsterfest (aka the Renegade Craft Fair) on an online date with a poet. And all this I've done in this massive Chicagoland Area without ever driving drunk a single time, thanks to the open-door policy I have at Little Brother's pad downtown. Yes, Moochfest 2009 is in full effect, now with Zero Shame Down!

Secret Plan 500c is slow-going, but I'm working on it. Thanks, to Mom and Pop, for putting me up and slowing me down (in the best possible way), and to Al Gore, for inventing the Internet.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I also want to share with you something pretty personal. It's a book called Going Dry that I made for Detox Doc (lord how I miss him). Although the book was printed with a dedication to him, it is for you all as well.

going dry

It's short and mostly photos that you're familiar with. If you click the image, it'll download the file, which is 1.6 MB. I hope you like it.


Update: Someone asked me to post a link to purchase a bound copy of 'Going Dry,' so here it is.

suburban mindfuck, or, life as a freelance journalist

So, last night I was lying in bed with the window open, listening to the crickets and such when I heard a man cough and do the phlegmmy EKKRRR...ECK! thing with his throat. I didn't think too much of it for a few seconds when I suddenly realized "I'm in the middle of the woods! WHO THE FUCK WAS THAT?" You know, still in the NYC mindset of being okay with sirens, beatings, drunken shenanigans and car crashes going on within earshot. But in the suburban woodlife, a man clearing his throat outside your window is BLOOD-CURDLING.

Oh I miss New York. I've figured this out, that in order for me to live in New York as a freelance writer and photographer, I need to sell about 4,000 words a month for a dollar a word. That should get me one bedroom in six-bedroom house in Flatbush, health insurance, a MetroCard, incidentals such as replacing equipment I break when I am drunk, and just enough food and beverage to stop my gradual transformation into a Fat Girl. I currently have fucked up teeth and it turns out that even if I buy dental insurance right now, I'd have to wait 18 months before having the work I need done. So fuck that, my parents are going to pay for it because I carry their genes and they know that no quality gentleman wants to reproduce with a toothless girl.

Anyhow. My first story was published yesterday, and I was paid about fifteen cents a word for about 800 words. So, in terms of survival skills, it looks like I have enough to jump into a well wearing wearing an oily lead suit.

Or I could just live here with my Mom and Dad, which means I smoke less, drink less, and experience some sort of mental deterioration that I can only liken to adult onset retardation, with tendencies toward violence.