I called my mortgage company today to get some tax info, and the customer service rep says, "Can you spell your last name?"
I say, "Sure. I've been spelling it my whole life."
Marco and Danny got married yesterday at City Hall in Palm Springs. They looked very lovely in their ivory and powder-blue tuxes.
Horror of Horrors
Today the housekeeper found my bullet vibe. It was stashed, forgotten, under a pillow on my bed, and she moved it on top of my desk chair so she could wash the linen without having to look at it. Sheesh. Nothing like exhibiting your "needs" to a stranger.* The worst thing about it is, the little bullet has a hair-trigger control button, and no safety. If you even so much as breathe on the thing, it starts up with a roar and proceeds to scoot across any flat surface.
I found myself wanting to call her, like I did the time my roommate, Mike, put a giant flesh-colored dildo in the dishwasher (half to sterilize it before donating it to gf's and my film and half as a joke on our other roommate, Brian.) I called her and said, "Have you looked in the dishwasher? If not, don't."
She said, "What? There's a bad connection..." And then, "AAAaaaaaaaaaah!"
I felt like a real ass explaining that it was a practical joke on Brian.
Yeah, right, loca puta. You think I even care?
Tonight, in the immediate aftermath of the bullet vibe discovery, I imagined several "make it better" conversations--well, actually, monologues--in my mind's ear, such as casually informing Juana that I hadn't even gotten the chance to use it that night, as I was too tired and the battery was dead. ("It may have been under my pillow, but it wasn't just used!"). Or, even better, that Brian's sister had stayed the night in my room while I was out of town over the weekend and must have left it there. The harlot! But offering excuses only makes things worse. The best bet is to pretend it never happened. And give a big tip.
Thank god she wears rubber gloves.
*A stranger who's actually inside my home every week. As opposed to those who read this blog.
Wow. I knew it was gonna be good when S.P. asked Biden, "May I call you Joe?" It wasn't going to happen as a term of endearment, was it? No, she was just holding on to her little card: "Say it ain't so, Joe."
I'm still quivering from all that nervous energy. Brrrrgggghhhhh.
Is it just me, or does anyone else think she sounds like a parrot?
This week, my e-mail account was flooded with Sarah Palin SPAM, also known as SPAL-AM. Sarah Palin in a red-white-and-blue bikini, wielding an assault rifle, a grotesque configuration of hydrogen molecules post-exposure to Sarah Palin's vice presidential nomination speech, Sarah Palin the Wolf Killer, Sarah Palin the Book-Banner, etc... etc... DNC anti-Palin SPAM. SPAM from various outreach groups: Concerned Mothers Against Sarah Palin (CMASP), People Having Nightmares About Sarah Palin (PHNASP), Sarah Palin Ate My Aborted Baby (SPAMAB), and so on.
I say ENOUGH! I do not want to hear any more about this crazy bee-yatch. She's everyone's new negative obsession.
This message was recently left on my answering machine: "Call me. I've just got to vent about Sarah Palin."
A slice of burnt toast flies out of my toaster with BURN IN HELL, S.P. carved on it.
OK, OK, I carved that toast myself with the little doohickey tool in my fingernail clippers, but still. If this response isn't like sending a shipment of free cotton candy to every bile-spewing Limbaugh Republican, I don't know what is.
It's time Oprah stood up and gave a public service announcement to democrats. Hello! Remember THE SECRET??? Stop focusing on what you hate, and start focusing on what you want. (What do I want, anyway?)
Send me a link about a planet full of unicorns. A U-tube video of Obama practicing free throws or of that kitten and its cute mechanical mouse. How about a nice benevolent chain letter? A schmaltzy feel-good anecdote, even one that rhymes, would even be OK at this point. But please, no more SPAM about her.
The other day, my housekeeper, asked me to buy myself some hangers. "It will be easier, you know, to hang up your clothes."
So, as I was roaming Desperate Hot Springs, running to the bank, avoiding off-leash pit bulls with my car, etc... I happened to see a sign for a new local 99-cent store. Juana is going to be so proud of me, I thought. I didn't waste money on expensive hangers from Walgreen's.
It takes courage to enter any 99-cent store, because, you know, there's no such thing as a free lunch, freedom isn't free, and nothing is ever just 99 cents. The last time I went, there was a fight at the cashier's station--a fight that lasted a long long time. Hence, the discount was offset by the time wasted, and by that I mean the years taken off my life at the stress of being exposed to a large blotchy-faced white guy (the customer) yelling at a petite, clear-complexioned black woman (the cashier) who told him, "Get out my face you dumb m$#%&." (She was clearly worried about catching his blotchiness.) There was also the time the price of cheap goods was a wait behind this guy whose elbow had a tennis ball-sized open sore, complete with stench and small insects. Would I have paid a few cents more not to have had my face all up in that? Actually, I'd have paid a hell of a lot more--and I work in a hospital.
But all these things were forgotten as I plunged into this new 99-cent establishment. This was going to be different because I was in D-Town. Everything is so crappy in D-Town, I figured the 99-cent store would be actually upscale. So I went in and it was true. The aisles were clean, organized, the shoppers respectful and free of sores. The cashier spoke naught but Spanish, but, hey, that's OK. I'm a proud multilingual (can offend in any tongue). I was so happy to get my three sets of 5 maroon hangers for $2.97 plus the tiny bit of tax.
Then I exited the store.
And there she was.
There she was, pushing what looked to be a baby stroller from K-mart.
She was grubby and there may have been a baby in the stroller, but the stroller was draped in blankets. What kind of blankets? Grubby blankets. There may have been nothing underneath those blankets but a grubby stuffed baboon. Still, the implication was: a baby out in 100-degree weather. She asked me for some change, mumbling something about being out of gas. I gave her several dollars, enough dollars to buy 15 hangers from Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Then I got in the car. Did I think, Gee, I'm glad I was able to help another human being? No, instead, I thought this: Once again, I have not saved money at the 99-cent store. In fact, I spent more money and received lesser quality items.
Once home, I complained about this to Juana. She said, "Oh, but you didn't lose that money because God was watching, and you will be rewarded for this, you know, because He sees everything." This made me feel better, not because I think God is watching me and keeping records, but because Juana is watching..and now maybe she'll forgive me for that big dildo I left in the dishwasher last week. Or maybe she was reminding me, in her own subtle way, that God saw the dildo too.
I really really like corn dogs. Hot dogs too. And a chili dog just might be my favor-ite meal. But, hey, whatever, they're all very bad for you. And I do not want to eat any meat that's been factory farmed or that, even more to the point, makes me fat and clogs my aorta. The problem is, I miss my little phallic bundles of toe, lip, and eyeball. I miss them a lot, and here and there (like in the parking lot of Home Depot) I have a little wienie slip, and then I feel the guilt. Yes, the ol' guilt, it kicks in hard.
Just think of my joy at discovering this amazing new (or at least new to me) product: vegetarian corn dogs.
I bought five boxes from good ol' Trader Joe's, and commenced to eating two, sometimes three of these delectables every day at lunch. They're great. Just pull 'em out of the freezer and pop 'em in the microwave for a quick two and thirty. Squirt a happy swirl of mustard and catsup on your paper plate and ZAM! Guilt-free goodness with a wicked-corny taste.
So why, suddenly (at the end of 7 days) can I not zip up my pants? Why does my belly hang over my belt like, oh, I don't know, a huge bunch of grapes? Best not to ask such questions. Best to have another corn dog. It's good for you. It's good for the environment. And it doesn't kill a pig. Or a cow.
The time had come: I had to look myself in the mirror. And when I did, I really knew it. Something was wrong with the corn dog diet. Was it all the corn? Had I turned into an over-grown cornfed hen? I decided to check the box and hello. Guess how much sodium is in one lousy corn dog....
Is that a lot? It seems like it. But maybe, since I love them so much, it isn't. We've all heard how diet sodas have a lot of sodium and cause bloat which causes depression and overeating, and etc.. So I checked one of my roommate Marco's diet Pepsi cans. How much sodium in a diet Pepsi? Huh?
Oh, hale no.
For those of you who hate math. In two corn dogs there's how much sodium?
This seems wrong. I checked out the packaging of my Trader Joe's corn dogs. In large white letters, inside a green box to make it POP:
Protein (yes, folks, the word protein gets its own line)
Then, beneath the green box, teeny white letters blend blurrily into pale yellow and red:
*see side panel for
information on sodium
& other nutrients
OK, first of all. Is sodium a "nutrient"? From the way TJ phrases things, it seems like the side panel has information about the nutrient sodium, but there is no such information--in fact there is no information on sodium, other than how much there is. So why not say that?
*See side panel
for one of the highest
ferking sodium levels
anyone has ever
cram (yes, folks, in my world, the word cram gets its own line)
1. Get up early. You’ve got a lot you don’t want to accomplish.
2. Go online and check your e-mail. Read, but don’t answer any of the personal ones. For now, they are merely measures of how well-liked you are.
3. Police your spam. If you are getting a lot of it, use this to heighten your sense of “life spinning out of control.”
4. Check your other e-mail account, the one that hooks you up with MySpace and Facebook. Find out who wants to be your friend. On MySpace, take a time-consuming personality quiz. On Facebook, get sucked into some word game or whatever. Your scores will determine if you’re a genius or a moron (there is no in-between). Play against a friend. If you win, feel superior. If you lose, look for some excuse, and fight back your tears.
5. Check your weight six times: before and after exercising, before and after eating, and before and after pooping. Use these statistics to determine an overall sense of self-worth.
6. Check your book’s Amazon rank. Compare this rank to rankings of your imaginary friends and rivals. Next, check the rank of a literary masterpiece no longer widely read, and if it is lower than your own, think, Yes! I am greater than Henry James!
7. Check your blog to see how many hits it got since your last post.
8. Pet and baby talk your dogs. Tell them the things you really want to hear. Things like, “How could you be so pretty? Huh? Just how could you be so pretty?”
A business card:
GET THE POWER
get a massage or workout
Call Franco Massimo
the "human touch"
P.S. Free acting lessons free italian lessons
A printed flyer:
CASTING FILM/TV CREW "SUNSET AT DAWN"
Roma films is casting "Sunset at Dawn," a mafia thriller starring Franco Massimo about a hit man who came from Sicily to work for "la cosa nostra." This film has already been shot as a short and is being expanded into a feature. Rik Martino, exec producer. Shoot starts august 13
A handwritten flyer:
ROOM FOR RENT
- call Rik at Roma Films 323-850-8580
*In solidarity with the Italian-American community, and as a service to Franco, who offers free Italian and acting lessons, I am publishing these ads for free.
*What I really want to know is, if I take Italian and acting, will they put me in the movie? I do a great mafia wife.
WARNING: chockfull of spoilers
Some friends and I went to see an amazingly bad movie last night: WANTED with ANGELINA JOLIE. Poor Angelina. Didn't she go into the hospital right around its release? No wonder. I wanted to shoot myself when they had Morgan Freeman say "kill this mothafocka." (even though the nice black man wears a suit and talks pretty, he's just an evil gangsta underneath--ohmygod, was that an anti-Obama message?) Exploding rats? Paraffin wax spa soaks? A self-pitying navel-gazing hero transforms into a self-centered navel-gazing prick?
What really bugged me was the callousness. Innocent people die. A train full of passengers falls off a bridge. But the only thing that seems important is the dude's need to kill his target. The tone reminds me of my former roommate Freddy, a young cubicle-dweller who spent much of his spare time playing Street Fighter II. When 9/11 happened, he looked at the TV, laughed and said, "Cool." Same demographic.
It's all tongue-in-cheek fun when the hero lays down a trail of peanut butter to lure scads of sickly-looking rats into a garbage truck, then straps thousands of tiny bombs to their backs (a chore which would realistically take how long?), then looses them into the textile mill where his foes are staked out (bad special effect: no rats seem to wear bombs when they are first released). But it seems like the rats don't even do anything because the hero comes in next and starts shooting right and left. So my question is: why spend hours strapping tiny bombs onto rat backs when it doesn't do squat? Is it fun to watch rats get blown up? Didn't anyone see Ratatouille? Ahem. Anyone? Well, let me tell you, that was a movie. Rats are people too! They cook like nobody's ferking business. Oh, but maybe there was a deeper message, like about the "rat race" and how those who slog away in cubicles are all little hairy mini-suicide bomber terrorists. Hm. Or maybe somebody just hates rats.
The suspension of disbelief premise: dude is trying to kill his own dad because he thinks his dad killed his dad, but his dad actually killed the dude they told him was his dad. So then, when he kills his dad (hanging out of a falling train) his dad says, essentially, All this time, I was your dad and now you've killed me. And Wesley, the hero, is all Oops.
OK, but if you were his dad, couldn't you have sent him an e-mail? A message taped to a flaming arrow?
In the end, Wesley, all full of himself now that he's such a bad ass, says, I used to be ordinary, I used to be like you, or some such thing. What he should have said was, I used to be a halfway sympathetic character, now I just suck. And the final line: What have you done lately? Argh! Once again. Great message. If you work in a cubicle, your life is expendable, but if you pick up a gun and start killing people, you become a god.
Yes, I know it's all about the special effects and Angelina's hotness and dude's torso and stuff.
So, today I see this headline on yahoo: Gay men, straight women share brain detail: report and I can't help clicking on it. Then I read on....
Mon Jun 16, 1:50 PM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - Gay men and straight women share some characteristics in the area of the brain responsible for emotion, mood and anxiety, researchers said on Monday in a study highlighting the potential biological underpinning of sexuality.
Brain scans also showed the same symmetry among lesbians and straight men, the researchers wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
and all I can think is...why do gay men and straight women warrant a headline, while lesbians and straight men are an afterthought?
Is there a global conspiracy to link straight women and gay men? I think, mayhaps, it is so. And I think, mayhaps, that this is because a hyped up link between straight women and gay men SELLS PRODUCTS, LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF PRODUCTS, while a hyped-up link between straight men and lesbians would only sell lots and lots of HOT LEZZIE PORN. And while hot lezzie porn is an important subset of our economy, it doesn't really need to keep up with the latest fashion trends.
Simply rove my hallowed archives for all those "weird search of the week" entries to see the sole link between straight men and lesbians. That's right. We are all girl-crazy, and we are all pervs. We also don't like to throw out our underwear.
By the way, I love the concept of shared brain detail. It sounds like a companionable military chore-duty, like shared kitchen detail or latrine detail--only brain detail is smart. "Wish I could go to the MENSA event with you guys tonight, but my fag-hag and I are sharing brain detail." (says Willy, the grown-up gay wunderkind)
Barack Obama, when asked about whether he'd consider Hillary Clinton his running mate, commented: "Hillary Clinton would have to be on anybody's short list." He said more-or-less the same thing during their debate in California.
What he's probably thinking: ...but I'm not just anybody
What he's probably not thinking: ...Hillary Clinton sure is short
What he's obviously not saying: Hillary Clinton is on MY short list.
Hey! This phrase could work for some of my own personal blow-offs.
PHONE SOLICITOR: "How'd you like to subscribe to the L.A. Times?"
LESLIE LANGE: Not right now, but your paper would be on anybody's short list."
And so on.
Pontifica and I spent the weekend approaching gay & lesbian partiers at PRIDE, begging for donations to fight the anti-gay marriage initiative appearing on the ballot this November.
Now, I'm feeling a bit bummed. Even though we raised a fair amount of money, this is money we could have raised (and maybe should have raised) for Barack Obama's campaign--exactly why this initiative is so royally f-d up. If I fight for the rights of my own community, will it lead to a John McCain presidency? Holy Disaster of a Lifetime, Batman!
This weekend is L.A.'s PRIDE weekend, and Pontifica and I will be out at the Equality For All booth, gathering signatures from folks who'll pledge to fight that lame busybody of a ballot initiative--you know, the one that aims to rewrite California's sacred constitution.
Come visit us and show your support for equal rights!
One thing that really pisses me off about my neighborhood: is the frequent dumping of unwanted animals. We have a no-kill shelter nearby (Save-A-Pet), and because it is "no-kill" it gets expensive to take care of all these dogs, so they charge a fee when you turn one in. A by-product of this is the frickin' assembly-line of unforgivable slime who like to come and dump their dogs not at the shelter, but near the shelter. They think the kindly shelter staff will come out and take them in. But here's what usually happens: They starve or die of dehydration or get hit by a car. Nice.
This morning, my neighbor found these two pups on the corner, aimless and just waiting to get run over by morning rush-hour traffic. They are cute and sweet and helpless. No collars. No love. No chance--except my neighbor is a crazy softy who has already taken in god knows how many of these creatures.
If you would like to (or know anyone who would like to) adopt a lovely big-eared boy shepherd pup or a darling boy pit mix (with stripes)--drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
They show no aggression, only befuddlement.
A woman in our neighborhood lost her chihuahua. We knew this because she put signs up on every telephone pole from here to Timbuktu with the forlorn dog's picture: black-and-white, quivering, and goggle-eyed, its head turned so it viewed the world through one massive peeled-back orbit. The signs said something like: LOST DOG: MAY OR MAY NOT COME TO THE NAME COOKIE. HE IS VERY TIMID AND SCARED OF STRANGERS. SIZEABLE REWARD.
Everyone knows what happens to chihuahuas who disappear in Hollywood. Some run off to claim minor roles in "Beverly Hills Chihuahua," but most, well most....sigh.
This woman loved her dog so much she went door-to-door inquiring. She upped her reward into the thousands. Finally, she did something she probably shouldn't have done. (Because anyone who lives in this neighborhood, so close to Griffith Park, could've just told her what had happened.) But she did it anyway. She hired a professional pet detective, an actual bloodhound (who may or may not have come to the name "Ellie Mae") to sniff out her Cookie.
Ellie-the-bloodhound was given a full-on whiff of Cookie's pet bed and creamsicle-orange camo vest, Cookie's favorite stuffed carrot, and his sweet little orange rubber shoes. The hound was released. A trained professional, she resisted her urge toward the bag of only half-eaten Kentucky Fried chicken wings some drunk had left out on the sidewalk the night before. The only thing on her mind was to find Cookie. Because if she found Cookie, she would receive something so much better than maggoty fastfood leftovers. She'd receive a steak--a filet mignon medallion, actually, cooked bloody with a sprig of parsely, which is just how all professional bloodhounds like it. Ellie's brain chanted softly to her: must find Cookie, must find Cookie....must find....suddenly, her finely tuned nasal spectrometer detected something small, delicate, and gamey, something nervous, sometimes yippy, with a faint trace of pee--eau de Cookie! She picked up more of the scent, then more. MUST FIND COOKIE! MUST FIND COOKIE! her brain shrieked as she gathered speed and snaked down the sidewalk as if winding through an obstacle course of invisible orange traffic cones, and then under a hedge, across a small patch of grass, under another hedge (which scratched her back, but she didn't care), and back to the sidewalk. Must find Cookie, HERE IS COOKIE!!!
There the hound stood, wagging happily before a tiny patch of red-stained concrete.
Yesterday, Pontifica and I set out to explore Palm Springs Carl Lykken trail, one of the city's only hiking trails that allows dogs. We brought ol' Delilah, the 12-year-old dalmatian who gives a licking and keeps on ticking. The steep trail was skirted by messy, yellow-flowered weeds, unstable-looking sandstone boulders, and critter holes that swiss-cheesed the terrain. It was the kind of place that made me think of rattlesnakes.* Every 200 yards or so a pustule-like opening produced a stream of angry black ants. This trail was loads of fun! Five minutes into it, I told Pontifica I was scared and asked if we could go home, but she said no. Then I found this very cool little spider. It looked just like a daddy-long-legs (Tylenol-shaped little body, skinny long legs) except way more colorful: The legs were black-and-orange striped. Its belly was bright-orange. And there was a little red dot on its back. "Look how cute this is," I said, moved to tenderness by this sweet, small creature.
Pontifica was also charmed. "Oh, wow, how adorable!"
A bit farther up the trail, we looked down at our feet. Hundreds of these same little spiders were coursing down the trail right for us.
"Aaaaaaaagh!" we screamed in unison.
Soon Pontifica had the pleasure of having one dart right up her leg.
"Funny," she said later. "How when you find just one, it's so wonderful and cool, but when there's thousands it suddenly becomes menacing and horrible."
We pressed on. Pontifica had to keep reminding me that we agreed to go for a full half-hour before turning back. In the final minutes she counted down..."3 minutes left," "2 minutes left," and so on till the final 30 seconds. We stopped at a large boulder shaped like a stepped-on tennis ball and gazed out over the valley. "Great," I said. "That was so great. Let's run back."
And so, we ran. Pontifica in the front (I admit I preferred this out of a fear of rattlesnakes), Delilah in the middle with her happy scissoring gait, and me in back--zig-zagging to avoid the copious tiger daddy-long-legs, and high-stepping through the black ants.
Suddenly, Pontifica jolted to a stop and shouted, "Snake!"
Instantly, I crouched down--as if it weren't a snake, but a dangerous bird on the attack. "Where?"
"Right there, I don't think it's a rattlesnake though. Nope. Looks like a common garter snake. Poor thing, it's probably more scared of us than we are of it."
Given this information, I strode to the front, clapped my hands in an awkward way I'd not used since toddlerdom, and shooed the poor thing off the trail (that is, after I screeched with fear and inspected it carefully from a distance, asking Pontifica repeatedly, "Are you sure there's no rattle?")
On our return, we felt we'd had a true heroes' journey. A homeless man gave us a hearty thumbs-up as we retrieved the plastic bag of Delilah's poop from where we'd tucked it under a toppled roadside sign--a YIELD sign, by the way...Jeez, does God plant metaphors, or what?
*And when I think of rattlesnakes, I can't help but romanticize the idea of Pontifica trying to carry me on her back down the steep trail, a deep double-puncture wound just above my ankle.
"smart lesbian rumps"
Surely this search is some sort of language barrier-ish accident. Some lonely across-the-globe lesbian with an English-[insert foreign language of choice here] Dictionary, who really wanted to find other "smart ass lesbians" like herself. But the word order and the nouns aren't just quite the right ones.
Also slightly possible that this is an old-fashioned priggish British fetishist, but hm...
Her rump was so smart it belonged to MENSA.
Her rump was so smart it could sit and read the newspaper.
Oh, never mind.
"her air-mattress" sex
Air mattress sex is definitely lesbian, perhaps even more so than futon sex. To inflate our leaky love raft, my first lover and I (in the days before motorized pumps came included) would take turns blowing ourselves into a deoxygenated stupor. I'm not sure whether this detracted from or enhanced the overall experience.
Lying in bed with Pontifica this morning, I receive a call from Brian on my cell. He sounds frantic, but that isn't necessarily unusual. "There's a lizard outside our window," he says. "And I think it's dead...at least it isn't moving."
"A big lizard?" I say.
"Yeah, pretty big...looks like it's almost a foot long."
"Do you want to maybe put it in a box?"
"That's OK, Brian. I'm on my way home and I'm not squeamish at all about these things. I'll dispose of the dead lizard. Maybe I'll even give it a funeral."
So, I get home and I stride over to the window where Brian said the lizard would be. I stride because I'm all full of myself that I can deal with this lizard situation when my housemate, a grown man, an actual handyman cannot. I'm expecting a small green-grey thing, a foot long from head to end of tail, but I don't see anything. Guess it wasn't dead, I muse. And then I see this:
and this, as you can see, is just its freakin' tail.
Brian, the freakin' tail is longer than a foot, OK?
As you all know, large parties are not my favorite things. Nonetheless, in the spirit of being a good kept lesbian, this past Sunday, Pontifica and I attended The L Word's season premiere party at The Factory in West Hollywood. Pre-screening, Ilene Chaiken and her show's sexy cast took turns shouting at the top of their lungs into the stage microphone. (You know you're in trouble when you look around and see you're not the only dyke jamming her fingers into her ears.) Loudest shouters were Chaiken herself, Katherine Moennig ("WHO WANTS A SEASON SIX?! WHO WANTS A SEASON SIX?!!"), and Rose Rollins, who--nothing like the self-contained “Tasha” she plays--distinguished herself by bellowing at a few co-stars, “Get up here, BITCHES!” This behavior induced a vivid flashback to the softball parties of my drunken collegiate days.
It was during this stint that the woman sitting behind me, girlfriend ensconced ever so deeply in her lap, began drumming her fingers against my ass. Pure accident? Probably--since drumming one's fingers, even against a buttock, is not exactly seductive. Still, how could she have thought my ass was anything other than my ass? Perhaps I've reached that age where ass-texture approximates seat cushion-texture and should just count my lucky stars she didn't grab a loose thread and absent-mindedly unravel my pants.
During the actual screening of the show, the acoustics were so bad, and our ears so traumatized, it was impossible to hear--so we left early to watch on our comfy sofa at home...my wish come true at last, to snuggle against my girlfriend, watch the pretty people, and soak up the soothing alpha waves.
I’ve realized that in the interest of what I thought was humor, I was perhaps a bit unfair to my own beloved town of Desert Hot Springs. And as a sort of New Year’s apology, I would like to offer this short paean:
Ah, Desert Hot Springs!
Home of a hundred great white herons,
sailing incongruously above stretches
of scrubby bush and cactus!
Ah, Desert Hot Springs!
Home of a thousand great white windmills,
spinning against the rust-sky of sunset!
Ah, Desert Hot Springs!
Home of a wide black night,
holding meteor shower parties amid
Ah, Desert Hot Springs!
Home to lots of spayed and neutered doggies,
behaving well and hence unnoticed
as they trot by on leashes, their fat rumps bouncing
Christmas Eve: Pontifica is in Portland, Oregon, visiting her family, while--due to the fact that old people never stop getting out of the hospital around the holidays--I am stuck delivering care to them by way of a hot pink health care delivery truck. then heading home to my beautiful shar pei/pit bull mixes in D-Town. Ah, Desperate Hot Springs! Official Safe Haven City to paroled sex offenders, male dogs with testicles intact, and mulleted folk in monster trucks with decals of the little peeing boy kneeling low before The Cross. (Thank God, someone reined in that little bastard and he now loves The Lord!)
Ah, Desperate Hot Springs! On windy days, the poor folk chase their garbage cans down the street. When I say "poor," I don't mean "impoverished," but as in I feel sorry for that poor #$%... as in, "That poor #$%'s stuck living in Desperate Hot Springs" or " That poor #$%'s chasing her garbage can down the street again."
Who's that lesbian? Why it's Leslie Lange, of course! Not only did I have a mullet, but I could not afford shoes, and wore nothing but volleyball team-issued sweatpants. And, yes, that is an iron-on patch peeling off the right knee. I am also wearing a leopard-print tank top. Hot-t-t-t! Even then I had a certain brooding joie de vivre.
Early on in my coming out phase--and no, not when I was 3, but around 1986 or so when I had just turned 21--in the rainy and depressing city of Portland, Oregon, my self-described upper middle-class girlfriend, Blair, said to me, when I proposed one day getting a flat-top for fun, "As long as you don't get one of those awful lesbian haircuts...you know, the ones where the hair is short in front and long in back."
[FYI, she had a little hair tail when I met her]
That was a lesbian haircut? I created a mental checklist, searched my memory banks for the women lounging at Bar 927* where my last gf had bartended, and a little light went on--aha! She was right! Moments later, another light went on: as I was imagining my own hairstyle about two years earlier. For shame!
Blair went on: "That has got to be the UGLIEST hairstyle I have ever seen. Whenever I see one, I cringe. It makes me ashamed to be a lesbian. In fact, it's the very thing about lesbianism I DO NOT want to be associated with."
Of course, part of me was thinking Blair was being a bit mean. But another part of me was thinking Blair was giving some good information. After all, Blair was artsy and sophisticated. She'd taught me how to use my silverware. She'd taught me only low-class people lived in apartments with wall-to-wall carpeting. She'd eased me out of polyester and into 100% cotton. Her insights were invaluable, infallible, and respecting them got me laid. My decision was easy: I adopted a disdain for all things mullet.
Years later, a friend tried introducing me to "The Indigo Girls," but I took one look at their album cover and said, "Um, no thanks." He tried playing their music for me ("just listen to these lyrics"), but all I heard was, "Mull-et, mull-et, mull-et."
Now, however, I am over it.
I am not afraid of the mullet. I EMBRACE THE MULLET!
Join me, my sisters! Free yourself from class-based shame!
Send your mullet photos to email@example.com. I will post them. I WILL FLY YOUR MULLET FLAG! We'll get though this together.
* the rougher lesbian bar of two in Portland. The other was called "The Primary Domain" and its lavender walls wore tasteful Nagel prints.
The definition of a mullet per Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (10th Edition): "any of a family (Mugilidae) of valuable chiefly marine food fishes with an elongate rather stout body"
OK, I don't know if I'm crazy or what...but, how can your body be both elongate and stout?
But then again, how can your hair be both elongate and short?
Wait. Oh, my God...is that it?
One further mystery: just how valuable are these food fishes? And how can I get my hands on some nice mullet-stacked mutual funds?
[Below...what appears to be a rather stout lesbian sporting an elongate rather stout mullet]
OK, so no one thought I had even close to a mullet at Pride. Turns out gf and I were suffering from "lesbian mullet hypersensitivity syndrome," wherein short-haired (or even fairly short-haired) lesbians and their friends and girlfriends, fairly freak when they see even the slightest wisp of a hair inching its way down the back of the neck.
It's time we all joined hands to fight this disorder. Start by sharing your own mulletophobic story with your friends--analyze how shame played a part in leading you to loathe only the mullet at first, but gradually yourself, and your own wisps of hair, even your own lesbianism.
Soon I will share my own sad story.
And a picture of myself when I used to have a real mullet.
Visit Leslie Lange (me) sporting her new almost-mullet this Saturday at Palm Springs Pride, where she'll be signing copies of Dyke Drama: your guide to getting out alive. November 3rd. at 2 p.m.
Whoa! Lots of stuff's been going down in Los Angeles lately: Fires, poor air quality, a pending writers' strike (always a writers' strike, never an authors' strike), my favorite Dia de los Muertos celebration at the Hollywood cemetery, and the Murakami exhibit opening at MOCA.
But I'm going to talk about my hair.
I went to my stylist, Viva, in Palm Springs, sipping decaf while enduring the application of numerous highlights, then skimming a whole stack of fluff magazines as my scalp baked in the surround-swelter of 3 discoid radiant heat lamps. Then Viva took up her shears and razor and commenced doing what she always does, which is chop through my thatch of Bushman-like locks, giving it her best shot to produce something akin to "texture" so that I don't look like I'm wearing a brown bike helmet all day.
"I think I'm going to try something new," Viva said, gesturing across the top of my head. "I'm going to cut it short-to-long over here, and long-to-short over here."
"Cool," I said. "Go for it. Make salad."
"Oh, and what about this?" she said, pulling on the wisps at the nape of my neck.
"Um," I said. "I like those."
"Good, because everyone always wants me to cut them off, but they're my favorite."
"OK, leave 'em."
When I got home that night, Pontifica--on her way to kiss me--stopped dead in her tracks.
I found myself unwilling to register her expression. "What?"
Pontifica took me by the shoulders, and made very grave eye contact. "I'm sorry, honey, but that is darn close to a mullet."
I ran to the mirror, turned to look at my profile, and...AAAK! Indeed it was...darn close to a mullet.
But was it still an attractive sort of mullet? Or even better, a subtle, pushing-the-boundaries sort of naughty self-referencing wink, maybe, to the mullet, without actually being one? God, I hoped so.
Help me decide, please! Come visit my table at Palm Springs Pride, November 3rd at 2 p.m., where I'll be signing copies of Dyke Drama: your guide to getting out alive, a book I wrote in my pre-mullet days.
When the cat and I are alone together, and I'm reading on the couch, which I've covered with a sheet to protect myself from dander (or I've put on a hoodie sweatshirt and pulled the hood up over my head), she rolls on her back near my feet and lets me rest the entire sole of my size 10 against her striped furry belly. To me, this totally counts toward time spent "communing with nature." Why, if not because of love, does this wild creature not sink her teeth into my toe?
Maisie and I, we have our own special sort of play that involves rough-up-the-cat belly rubs, kitty armpit stretches, and games such as the "fake flea paw tickle" and "fanny pat." These brief encounters end with my nose full of snot and my hand covered in little kitty-inflicted welts that I hope (creatively visualize) are mini-innoculations against further allergy attacks. It's fun and nice, but I have to run to the sink to wash my hands immediately or risk having my eyes turn red and start burning. God forbid if I accidentally rub an eye because then a tiny membranous bubble forms around my tear duct. You'd think I would learn to keep my hands off the cat, but I CAN'T BECAUSE I LOVE HER! I am probably her stalker.