some the wiser

IMG_1719The morning after I turned 24 my extensions had turned against me.

Autumns are always a little rough for me. My birthday is in September, which never fails to put me in an existential haze. And no matter how many years I’ve been out of school (three) that feeling of starting a new grade never fully goes away. I start to feel the weight of a change beyond my control. Who was I, who am I, does it really matter… Everything Old starts to die to make room for something New. But that can be beautiful, or so they say.

The week of my 24th birthday was the usual mix of celebration and apprehension, with a short congratulatory period pancaking to an idle anxiety. Sure, I’d accomplished some things in the past year. But what would I do next? I was back on the job hunt, newly single, another year older and this was all sounding far too familiar…

The seasons were refusing to change. I was refusing to stop using my air conditioning. Other people’s lives were advancing all around me and the most exciting things that had happened in my life recently were that my mother had sent me a care package of Kraft mac n cheese and I got a membership at Planet Fitness (a contradiction not lost on me but in fact one that I find representative of my life philosophy. Everything in moderation, sure, but still everything I want). With more time to myself, that is, less time working, I started working out. I realized I was in better shape than I’d thought, and that running is a good way to take out aggression. Plus it burns off the booze! I guess I always knew these things, but if you remember me before I moved to NYC you know I couldn’t run a mile without my heart nearly exploding from my thoracic cavity (I found that word on wikipedia. Did I use it right? I’m not a scientist.) Now I can run like two miles while sexting and still have the energy to masturbate in the shower after. I’m a regular Florence Griffith Joyner.

 me rn

OK, so maybe not. But I still consider it an accomplishment. Let me have this, okay?

Somewhere around the end of last month, Alex and I fell into a lull on our Big Project, the ever-dreaded Writer’s Paralysis leading us both to send each other terribly transparent, self-deprecating gchats from our respective caves of neuroses. I had become pretty irritable by this point, but I think that had something to do with PMS, and as much as I love her, probably something to do with my mom coming to stay the weekend at the end of September. My lack of patience is still something I really need to work on, especially when it comes to someone who does so much for me. I mean, she birthed me, and even though I didn’t deserve it, she bought me these cool knock-off crocs.
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Susan Miller gave us fair warning that October would be rife with hurdles, disappointments, or possibly blessings disguised as the worst fucking thing that ever happened. The jury is still out on the blessings part, but I felt the tension in the air from the very beginning. Granted, I always feel tension at the first of the month because the words “rent day” and “freelancing” go together about as well as Virgo and Aries (that one’s for you, Susan). This time, I had a lot to look forward to, thus a lot of planning and stressing. With grand plans come great expectations and I have to be prepared for every possible outcome.

Every fall (as in twice so far), Sarah Sassafrass, Jeffrey Scott, and Justin aka Boy Reverend come visit me for a handful of days. They’re my fam away from fam, my Team outside of Big Things. When they visited last year, I had the cheapest mattress from Ikea lying directly on my floor, we made a huge mess, and because I started a new job that weekend we didn’t get to spend as much time together as I’d hoped. This time I had the Ikea mattress on an Ikea bed, fun things scheduled for every night of their visit, and I told them to bring they own damn towels. The Monday before they arrived I was feeling equipped for a houseful of guests, but I still didn’t have a job. So I looked on craigslist, found a post I liked for a development associate position at a production company, and applied. I interviewed Wednesday and I felt good about it, but hey, I’d been wrong before. I didn’t hear back the next day, so I decided to say “fucket yolo” and go to Hannah’s salon to get my hair texturized.

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It’s always a sight for sore eyes when I see those colorful heads of hair standing at the Starbucks across from the Megabus stop. I was feeling ready to party, we went home and changed for some party, prepared to deal with the continued hiatus of the L train. After drinking at Winston’s until about 1 am and getting a belated birthday present from Sass (a collar that says BITCH), we thought we’d finally hit the street. A walk, a wait, two trains, and another walk later, we arrived at the location of the party, only to see that…it wasn’t there. We had the address right. We were standing in front of it. But the doors were shut and there was no one inside, as far as we could tell. Bummed, drunk, and weirded out, we headed to The Woods to drown our defeat in pickleback shots, but not before seeing who I was pret-ty sure was Alia Shawkat of Arrested Development fame scurrying down the street ahead of us. Despite my confusion at how I always end up at this bar and that I was convinced something must be wrong with me, we actually had a pretty decent two hours. We closed the place down and it was the first time I publicly made out with a stranger since being single. It was not as fun as it sounds. But there was a dog in the bar, so it all came out in the wash, I guess.

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Hannah didn’t realize until much later that that was not her boyfriend.

That Friday was a huge milestone for the closet comedy nerd inside me. I had my first improv class at Upright Citizens Brigade, and at 400 bucks a course, this is no small feat. UCB has been a launch pad for many of your favs, and even though it may not be at the top of my Life Goals List to be on Saturday Night Live, I’d probably rank it somewhere in the top 100. But really, as a writer with a “performance background” it’s pretty much always been a dream of mine. So when I went to the training center at 3:30 for my three hour class, I was a little bit nervous. About as nervous as I was this time last year about my topless gogo dancing casting call, that is to say, I felt awkward for about five minutes before breaking the ice and flirting with all the girls. Of course, about halfway through the course I got a call back about that position I interviewed for. I had gotten the job. Yay! But there was just one catch. No! I’d have to be available every day until 6:30 and continuing the class at UCB at this time was a no-go. Fuuuuuck. Of course, I took the job with only slight hesitation, switched out of my UCB class and bore the fees I incurred with gritted teeth.

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That night, after buying some new accessories ^ at Patricia Field, I had Jeff dress me in my look for a night at Bossa Nova (the photos of which you will see next year sometime because it takes Sarah that long to edit them, ahem)

Every part of the weekend that I wasn’t in FULL LOOK from head to toe per Jeff’s insistence, I was lounging in bed, moaning off hangovers. We pretty much only got up to eat Popeye’s and go shopping on Knickerbocker, where I showed the gang what Bushwick life is really like, and where Sarah almost shat her pants. My favorite find of the day, and the only thing I could afford, was a teeny tiny “nurses outfit” in the Halloween costume sale section of Shopper’s World, that was really more like a nurse’s bra and slutty nurse’s mini skirt…they wear those in the ER, right? After getting drunk on Evan Williams and sending some of the best sexy photos I’ve ever taken of myself, we went to Passion Lounge for the marriage of Ultra Velvet and Shock Value.  Obviously the whole thing was great until the next morning, when our fish bowled brains had shriveled to raisins and I found a twitter mention from a hater calling me a whore. Sometimes it’s hard being a star.

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Because I had scurried over to my ex’s house that night (in a bikini top and socks with my shoes in hand…let’s not talk about it) I spent the next day blazed, walking around in an oversized boy’s t-shirt, a leather peplum, and arch-splitting heels that I couldn’t take off for the sake of The Look. The only saving grace of the entire day, besides waiting in line for 30 minutes to use a piss-stained Starbucks bathroom of course, was the kielbasa sandwich I devoured at Veselka, a Ukrainian restaurant in the East Village. It made me glad to be an EX-vegetarian (a refreshing break from kinda feeling guilty all of the time), and made me miss the kolbász my Hungarian gramma used to put in our kapusta. I tried to make a vegan version of this once and it came out SO abominably terrible I felt I’d disgraced my ancestors and vowed never to try it again.

IMG_1260_2Stoner wear/boner wear

After not being able to sleep at all before my first day at work, I spent 8 hours staring into my computer screen like a fool and then scurried home for my last night with my visitors. I’d looked like a bucket of horse manure all fucking day but I had also promised myself that I’d have Sarah take my Christmas card pictures with Kos n Gon before she left (I plan on being an adult this year and letting other adults know, namely my family, that I am not an ungrateful, useless person that forgot about them when I moved to the Big City). After achieving some spectacular results that I wish I could show you but won’t, the four of us sat in bed with Gonny, ate two pizzas and watched Clueless. In typical fucking fashion.

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All that week it was work, work, work, dates, dates, dates. Including my first ever Tinder date, a concept that both excited and terrified me. I love sexxxting and meeting new people and talking about myself and eating fried chicken with strangers so you’d THINK dating would be my thing but truthfully, I’d only gone on one blind date in all my years of having Facebook, Twitter, OKcupid, and access to other people’s Grindr accounts. The first guy hit me up on Twitter, turned out to be a complete psycho and put me off the whole idea for a while. Until Tinder came along and I made it my personal mission to slide the entire city of New York to the left. The way I see it with these things, someone is only safe to approach if their profile appears self deprecating, effortlessly ironic, or no-fucks-given to a strong degree. I think it was Groucho Marx that said “I wouldn’t fuck anyone from a social network that would have someone like me for a member,” to paraphrase. Anyway, I had an amazing time. I got free Pies N Thighs, and shocked myself with my ability to have a great time while completely sober with a guy who doesn’t drink. Weird, right? (Yes)

By the weekend, I realized I’d spent all my free time in the last 7 days either naked or in belly shirts, so the stress must have been good for my figure. I’d been sustaining on dick pics and Miller High Life (cause that’s all I could afford) and I thought I looked just great, which is why I was AGHAST that PaperMag put up a picture of me from last Friday’s Ultra Velvet looking like a toothless hillbilly. IRL I looked spooky and swagadocious and the paparazzi just caught me at a bad time. The perils of fame, y’all.

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Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 9.53.38 PMWho needs a jack o lantern?

That Saturday, after emptying my pockets on a prix fixe brunch, reeling off of one bong rip and watching straight boys play GTA,  I decided to get my look together for Kelela at 285. We pregamed at Moe’s and I ate free pizza while annoying, if cute, Australian boys argued with my concept of society. After trying to run away from them on the street, failing and feeling kinda bad afterward, we ended up at 285. The thing about 285 Kent: the inevitable sighting of the boy you do not want see, followed by the boy you kinda really wanna see. Both are disconcerting, and by 3:45 when Kelela left the stage I was overstimulated and ready to die.  But the night wasn’t a total loss. The music was amazing as expected, I spent the night in Reid’s bed after he paid for all my drinks, and at some point I took a selfie with a golden retriever.

IMG_1529_2The next morning, even though I found myself gnawing on slim jim and watching the Kardashians as usual, I felt like something had changed. Maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t really had that much to drink the night before. Maybe it was watching the leaves blow across the parking lot of the food bazaar. The air tasted different. Did I feel capable? Hopeful? Maybe I could act like a teenager and still get things done. Maybe I could be free but not lonely. Nope, as I walked down Irving avenue towards my apartment, I realized it was just autumn. I was still poor, I was still confused. I’d taken two steps forward and a five picklebacks. But hey, I was still alive. And idk, maybe I was ready to write again.

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Fab With A Conscience


When I was in college at UNC Chapel Hill I was lucky enough to make friends with some of the most intelligent and fabulous people that walk this earth. We called ourselves Team Big Things, among other monikers that were bestowed upon us (Fruity Rebels, Benetton Club, etc). These names derived from a few simple facts; that we are all highly ambitious, flamboyant individuals of varying races and backgrounds. Many of us identify as queer,  and all of us make up an educated, socially-minded group looking to better the world through art and/or service, and to look & feel good while doing it.

Even though we’ve experienced a diaspora since graduating–we’ve got members in NYC, LA, NC, DC, and one member is even in China right now–I still keep in close contact with these guys through a private facebook group called TBT. We share funny gifs, stories about almost pooping in our pants at Trader Joe’s, and links to articles. Sometimes it’s “Best Golden Girls Quotes” on Buzzfeed. Other times they surround more socially charged topics which we then debate and discuss with each other. This week we talked about Britney, Miley, and the relationship between fashion, music, gender, queerness and race. I felt the conversations that followed were beyond relevant.

It began with this image, Mykki Blanco’s Twitter response to the new Britney single, “Work Bitch,” which aside from being another god awful piece of EDM garbage, borrows from the lexicon of ballroom culture (and thus from queer people of color) in a way that has upset some people.

Moe: Thank you

Kat: I’m curious though, haven’t female pop singers always had a large gay fan base? Cher, Whitney, Madonna, Katy Perry, Gaga, Britney. I can separate an artist’s sincere relationship with their queer fan base from the more contrived relationships just by the way it feels. “Work Bitch” is clearly a tactic. But what is the dividing line? What actually separates something like Gaga’s songs, often hailed as gay anthems, from being under this same scrutiny? Is it the artist’s actual involvement with the LGBTQ community? Personally I was irritated with Katy Perry when she came out with “I Kissed a Girl” because I thought it fetishized bisexuality but I’ve since changed my perspective on it and thought of it as like, pro bi-curious. Basically I’m just on the train and rambling and would love to hear more of what y’all think of straight females as queer icons in the media.

Hannah: I agree with you. But I do also think that since the LGBTQ community has become more openly accepted into mainstream culture, pop stars take it as an opportunity to “reach out to/support” them and therefore get a wider spread fan base. Clearly there are some icons (such as Cher) who I think more properly helps represent the gay community because she supported them before it was fetishized like it is today.

Kat: Not to mention the whole “playing bi” tactic that young straight pop stars (Christina, Britney, Miley, Katy) use to break out of their pristine Disney/Christian image. And don’t even get me started on Macklemore.

Hannah: IDK if Macklemore can fall under the female pop star category… but he might as well considering what a little bitch he is.

Kat: I think about this a lot as a white woman who wants to have a strong voice in the media as a writer. Although I identify as queer and a feminist I still heavily scrutinize the validity of my voice in relationship to many of my characters who are queer people of color (aka: y’all). This is sort of off the subject of pop music but not really at all. The reason Orange is the New Black was given so much praise for it’s portrayal of QPOC is because it gave agency to those characters outside of the white narrative. It is unethical to use the experiences and cultures of another to further your career. It does nothing but reinforce the status quo to try sum up the lived experience of an other in your own voice, to tell someone else’s story in order to spice up your own. Ultimately we need more queer voices telling their own stories, taking center stage for their own lived experience and being their own icons. Not treated by the industry as a market for culture consumption. And as a white, straight artist, if you can’t get down with that, then you are not an “ally”. Thus Mykki’s outrage.

Austin: Everything Kat said p much.

Jamila: Kat, yes. All of it. That being said, I’m also thankful for these white women who advocate for “the others” because when others do it, nobody gives a goddamn

Austin: Yeah ^ there is a way to use one’s privilege in a good way and that is it.

The next topic was one that has been beaten to death over the past few weeks, Miley’s appropriation of black “ratchet” fashion to enhance her fun new image. If you’ve been on the Internet (and not been completely clueless) any time in the last two months you’ve heard more Miley arguments than you can mentally process; those condemning her and those in her defense. This time we wanted to talk about the stylist behind Miley’s fashion choices at the VMAs and in her controversial video for “We Can’t Stop.”

Ratchet is Dead: Inside the Mind of a Miley Cyrus Stylist

The article introduces Lisa Katnic, Miley’s stylist and a host of the Vfiles webshow LisaTV, which is basically a docu-series about different fashion communities. In the article Katnic is quoted as follows:

“Somebody said that it was racist for a white girl to have three black girls as props onstage to benefit herself. It’s misinformed because [those dancers, the] L.A. Bakers are in the [“We Can’t Stop”] video. At this point, Miley and the L.A. Bakers are friends, and Amazon Ashley? They’re friends in real life. They go out to lunch. That’s so demeaning to [the dancers] for somebody to say that. Here they are doing something that’s awesome and fun, and [people] shit on it.”

Since we’re all major Vfiles fans, and many of us have adorned ourselves with the gold chains, mesh and Air Forces of the “ratchet” look for long before Miley jumped on the bandwagon, I thought this woman’s work was worth discussing.

Kat: Some people are saying that this person is responsible for the whole Miley Debacle and I can see why they are offended by her quotes dismissing the issue….is it wrong that i think she’s fucking fab, style wise? Her Vfiles show is funnnnn.

Brad: IDK IDK IDK IDK how to feel. I do like her style tho lol

Bill: I think it’s great she has a voice in all of this. To each her own.

Brad: I meannnnn IDK if “to each her own” is the right approach to this. I still think this chick is blinded by her privilege.

Kat: I don’t think she’s as blinded as Miley is tho, and I think her relationship to the trends and lifestyles she uses to express herself is more authentic and more informed. I’m kinda here for her.

Bill: It’s interesting because she comes form the world of style which has ALWAYS appropriated looks from culture and society.

Kat: Yeah, not that that’s necessarily okay, but if we call that into question I think we have to maybe put ourselves on the cross a lil bit too lol

Bill: Exactly.

Brad: I agree that she’s def not as blind as Miley but in the end she’s still perpetuating this appropriation for a paycheck.

Kat: I feel like if Miley came up to me on a night when I was wearing my weave and my jersey and a ton of gold chains and said “I want you to style my video” I’d be like “sweet.” The term “weave” used loosely, as always. God I can’t help it I’m just culturally appropriatin’ all the time. But I still think Miley’s weak, prolly cause it’s obvious to everyone that she’s full o shit.

Brad: lmao. No I mean I feel u cuz same prolly. Ugh this is why /we/ should be famous cuz we’d do this shit da right way.

Bill: It seems hard for me to believe that anything in our culture isn’t appropriated. We live in the country that has appropriated pretty much everything but American Apparel from other places and peoples around the world.

Brad: IS THERE EVEN A RIGHT WAY THO IDK *SIGH.*

Austin: Not here for her and I think a lot of her explanations whitesplain away the problematic nature of wearing blackness as a costume. Also I think conversations about appropriation (and race in general) center white people’s feelings and ideas too much. I honestly don’t care if Miley shares a few laughs with these poor black women on set. WOOHOO RACISM SOLVED. How do black women feel about it? What happens to actual “ratchet” people when the term/trend are done? It’s all so absurd and we can localize this to Miley if we want, but there’s a looooong history of white folks putting on black “cool”/folk culture to advance their own careers, while white culture at large systemically shits on black folks/culture. IDK y’all. I think Bill is missing the distinction between cultural exchange and cultural appropriation. It’s a thin line but there is one.

Bill: Austin, does that apply to fashion and style- is that exchange or appropriation? Is there a way to share these things at all? The nose ring was originally a Sikh tradition… it has now been removed from that cultural identity to be a part of style. Help me flesh this out.

Austin: Bill, I think conversations about cultural appropriation are hard because they center a PoC narrative instead of a white one. Sometimes it’s not /about/ individual white persons relating to something but how WHITENESS relates to something, ie: how are Desi women treated/seen for wearing bindi? How are black folks seen/treated for speaking vernacular English? How are artists of color viewed in the canon of art history? How many people of color get to use their cultural output in the mainstream? It’s a hard conversation because it doesn’t necessarily center whiteness or white feelings, and I think a lot of people don’t realize how often we do center whiteness in our convos about race. How many people of color get to control the use of their culture in the mainstream? Like, we can’t blame Justin Timberlake for being inspired by black music, for instance. But we can talk about how society/media values his work over the myriad black artists who have done the same thing.

Bill: The White Systemic Oppression of All That Isn’t White. It makes sense- but you and I aren’t Desi women so does that mean we cannot talk about it at all? Yes these issues are ‘hard’ to discuss but CAN we discuss them outside of that paradigm of whiteness?

Austin: We can’t speak directly from a position that isn’t ours, but we can speak about oppression/privilege sure. We’re all oppressed and privileged to varying degrees. INTERSECTIONALITY. Try to think how your oppressed parts feel in relation to the mainstream and be EMPATHETIC to the experiences of others. Bill, as a white man, you certainly have something to add to race conversations, but you have to decentralize whiteness before you can get to the empathy/understanding part.

Kat: It would also be a different thing if Miley was using her status as a wealthy white girl to give more of a voice to the the women of color she’s borrowing from. I don’t see that. I always draw up a comparison between Brooke Candy and Miley in my head when I think about this. If you’re a white woman entrenched in and promoting the culture you are inspired by I don’t think it’s criminal to borrow from it….but maybe I’m just defending myself here.

Austin: I think that’s interesting Kat. Like I think about Terry [our good friend from home, a white man], and he’s IN poor communities of color. Like, I don’t think he’s appropriating simply because it’s not a costume for him. He’s not approaching it ironically or thinking that he has a “proper” culture to return to.

Kat: What about using it as a way to reject the so-called “proper” culture you are from? I would argue that’s what Miley’s doing, and while it’s fucked that she’s able to do that in a way that people of color will never be able to (and then returning at the end of the day to the california king sized bed in her mansion), it makes sense that she’d use it to reject a lot of the bullshit ways the patriarchy says she SHOULD exist as a young white woman (pure/responsible/desexualized). I actually kind of identify with that. The problem arises when we define the antithesis of “pure” with black female bodies…….ruh roh.

Bill: I mean we’ve had this conversation fueled by a seemingly never-ending cocaine high several times over. I just like coming from an anthropological standpoint- I am just thinking that we need to get out of the whole oppressor-oppressed dualism in order to do anything about it… like stop giving it power somehow. I have been learning how to decentralize whiteness without dismissing my own inheritance of the concept. Where do I reconcile the attitudes of white men who shaped the conversations that we are having right now?

Kat: I don’t know that anyone can take an objective standpoint on any issue. No one can shed their privilege or the perspective that it gives them. The important thing is to call attention to it and accept responsibility for it. The opposite of whitesplaining is not objectivity but awareness.

Austin: Yes, Kit! I hope no one feels attacked. One can’t convey tone via Facebook. But I also hate the fact that I feel the need to say that (centering white feelings).

Kat: I don’t think anyone feels attacked. I think we’re all here to learn and understand how the work we produce as artists affects the world, and what responsibility we have as people of our respective privileges.

Austin: Back to the original question, you shouldn’t feel bad for liking her style. She’s fly. Anyone who consumes media consume problematic media. The key is recognizing that, and hopefully making something better.

Kat: Exactly! If any of these artists had a response other than “no, no way I disagree” to any of the accusations and maybe listened and contributed to a productive dialogue… think of how things would be different. At that point I think it becomes messy because of how much money is involved.

Austin: I should find that article about like 90+% of media being produced by white folks. I think we all “know” what systemic means, but don’t really /know/ what systemic means.
Bill: That’s why I love folklore- the stories coming from the people the stories are actually about. I really want to say “FUBU” right now.

Austin: Lmaooooooo ^^^ I mean sometimes that’s necessary. That brand was actually a response to designers who made a shit ton of money off of black folks saying that their clothes weren’t really “for” black people so…..

Kat: Wow

Danielle: I’ve had a similar conversation with my close friend Aila when we talk about what it’s like to be a PoC in the theatre community. Which of us is at an advantage when it comes to getting consistent work and which of us is at an advantage in life. As a multiracial actress (white dad, Indian/Desi mom) she’s able to shift between different “shades” of brown people with ease- at this point she’s played Iranian, Puerto Rican and now a French Joan of Arc. Yet she’s begun to envy my privilege as a black/Jamaican/”thick” woman since there seems to more work for actors who fit that description. She explained that regardless of how many roles she’s offered she is still not seen as Indian because of her hazel eyes, light skin and European features. I wanted to be upset with her since her dad’s an oil man and her mother’s parents are a bureaucrat and a choreographer… she’s had a trust fund since the day she was born… she’s lived all over the world… and society calls her exotic and beautiful and dudes buy her mad drinks when she goes out to bars. So why would she want to look like me? The answer was crazy: her lack of community. She always feels alone because she’s seen as too exotic to be considered white, and too white to be considered truly Indian. She’s just labeled as pretty. Another part to her argument was the people who are closest to her also happen to be black so why couldn’t she be a part of the group? As much as I want to punch her lights out for wearing oversized hoop earrings and answering my phone calls with “where you at, grr,” I can’t come up with a reason why she shouldn’t be able to. After all, she’ll shut down folks who try to randomly touch my hair. Do I want to be the one that denies the basic human need for belongingness? Doesn’t that make me into another kind of oppressor?

Kat: This also brings up the concept of appearance versus race and how each affects lived experience. I’m a white girl with white parents of European descent (people are often surprised when they find out my mom is blonde for some reason?) but I have dark hair and tan skin which sometimes leads people to label me “ethnically ambiguous.” I think I kind of get to experience the benefits of exoticism without any of the negative treatment of being racially othered. On the one hand, the unfairness of that makes me uncomfortable. On the other hand, I like to be as tan and curvaceous as possible and play up that ambiguity to benefit from some of the hypersexualized stigmas people have of brown women.

Bill: I’ve recently been brought to the light by dear Austin that I was possibly commenting in a way that was defending my own privilege, earlier. I haven’t caught up on the comments since I went to class earlier but I apologize if I offended anyone. I see this space as a comfortable place to discuss these kinds of things. Earlier I was playing more of a devil’s advocate role because I wanted to mirror the perspective that this white society that we live in has… And I know it is implicit in me because I am white- but if you were personally offended know that I don’t believe all the things I wrote. My intention was to provoke conversation and further the dialogue. Apologies… I am not trying to feign my responsibility and I was not annoyed by anyone in this group calling out white privilege. I love y’all. I was never trying to defend whiteness. I agree with the black feminists’ opinions about this subject. It probably wasn’t my place to do this at all, but I think that having a conversation where everyone agrees and is reinforcing their own opinions is just a rant (definitely has power to it though) and I was trying to provoke the conversation for my own desire to hear a great academic study/conversation about race.

Kat: I think sometimes it’s important to ask questions that you feel like you already know the answer to so that you can know /why/ you feel that way. I take a lot of stances on issues I feel strongly about, but I don’t always know exactly why that is. Sometimes asking a “devil’s advocate” question can help you better understand a topic.

Austin: I get that. I also, first of all Bill, I appreciate you being receptive to hearing that you might have approached a race conversation wrong. As a white person (or really any person in a privileged position) it’s SUPER important to listen to folks who don’t share your privilege. Kudos on that. Anyway, I get the idea of offering a different perspective. It’s like a mini checks and balances system I guess. But I also think that everyone who contributed /did/ offer a different perspective. We can build consciousness and raise awareness towards a similar end, while filling in blanks for each other and fleshing out ideas. I love that this group of friends can joke and party and ~look rly cute~ but also talk about and do Things That Matter.

Bill: I see how it is confusing for a white person to play devil’s advocate about whiteness in a race conversation.

Kat: Totally. But yes, I think a checks and balances system is really important, especially in liberal communities where sometimes we take for granted certain truths. It’s important to rediscuss and redefine what we know to be true sometimes. For some people, simply saying America Appropriates Everything is a great way to blow off this entire argument. Being given the opportunity to say “yes, BUT” is really helpful in convincing others who are perhaps further to the right than we are.

Bill: I was merely looking for a way OUT of whiteness and the systemic oppression of a white world.

Kat: I often feel like I want to find a way out of the white world also. I’m deeply ashamed of white culture because I don’t feel it represents ME and what I believe. But I /am/ white, so I am allotted certain privileges that even I believe are unfair simply due to that fact. And as much as we’d love to completely restructure society, it won’t happen in our lifetime. So we just have to make sure to remain aware of its problematic nature and use dialogues like these to take realistic baby steps to improving the world. You guys rule.

Austin: Whiteness and white people are two different concepts. Don’t confuse the two. No need for white guilt or shame, but you can try to side step whiteness. READ THE WHITE PRIVILEGE KNAPSACK. It’s one internet page long and an easy google away. It’s a great refresher/starting point, and written by a white woman.

Kim: I’ve been thinking a lot about race issues here too [as an Asian-American in Shanghai]. It’s such a difficult thing sometimes I don’t know how to feel. The foreigners here in Shanghai disgust me sometimes at how imperialistic their attitude is. There is this feeling of camaraderie over their ‘superiority’ that they feel entitled to as (mainly) white people among Asians. Instead of feeling a sense of inferiority as a minority the way many Asians in America do, it somehow has turned out the opposite. And what’s most confusing is how I identify with them often! I feel so ashamed when I have this attitude, but I can’t help it. Like many of you have pointed out, I can’t escape my background and how it’s shaped me. Lately I’ve been trying to take race out of the picture and just look at them as human. Because it gets so fucking annoying when all you are is where you’re from.

Austin: Yeah that makes so much sense. I was talking to Bill last night about ways to stay racially aware/conscious without letting all the negative aspects of racism bog you down emotionally and spiritually. It can be really hard to navigate.

I know I usually regale my readers with stories of hilarious missteps on the road to Glam Life, but I’m thinking about including more posts like these. I hope you gained something from it and if you’d like to join the conversation I encourage you to comment or email me using the contact form in my About section. I’ll be back with a Disaster Story next week.

’13 til infinity

deal wit it

“I wanna blog outside today!” I thought, after waking up at the crack of 12:30 to the smell of hot piss pouring through my window. One entire tube of SPF 100+ sunscreen in my eye, one makeshift lawnchair desk and one Carrera Bakery iced coffee later, here I am frying away tearfully in an outdoor sauna of cat urine and Colt 45. In other words, I reaaally needed a thigh tan.
Now that summer is in full swing and the first hydrants have been opened on the streets of Bushwick, all bets are officially off. Of course, it’s had a bit of a rough start.  Despite the fact that it’s been raining almost every day for a fucking month and the fact that I have no real job security (I’m referring to it as “freelancing”), these past few weeks I’ve been out of control and chilling like a trust fund baby.
Towards the end of last month, when I wasn’t sitting alone in my apartment watching old Parks and Rec episodes and sucking cat hair out of the air with my dustbuster, I spent most of my time doing #dabs with my new BF, finding creative new ways to entertain ourselves sexually (being spanked with a rubber chicken and singing Unchained Melody with a penis in my mouth both come to mind). As the season was coming to a close at my job, I was also trying to balance my heavy work load with a LOT of heavy drinking. I began one particularly eventful evening by transforming my cable-friendly maxi skirt into a club-friendly mini dress after work, using a few accessories from the prop closet…including a large coffee cup of alcohol.
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As the cab approached our destination I guzzled my cup’s contents, forgetting it was mostly if not completely full of gin. I was reaching for my ID when it became clear I was about to lose my lunch, dinner and dessert, so I motioned for Talia to follow me around the corner. The next thing I knew she was watching me puke on the sidewalk as I held my own hair back and gave the thumbs up to passing cars. Afterwards I winked and strutted into the bar where I would spend the rest of my night buying beers and shots for myself, giving them away to strangers, and attempting to twerk* in Talia’s face to Lil Kim’s “Magic Stick.” I was in true form.
*note: I can’t twerk. But let’s be real. Neither can Miley.

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Finally the time had come: My Big Things were stepping off their respective megabuses to finally join me in the city. Some for the summer, some forever. Their company is invaluable to me, even though the photos from our first night together seem to indicate that I was alone, having a somewhat awful time at a Hot 97 party and what appears to be a quite excellent time at the Mcdonald’s on Delancey street.
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I had 10 days off between seasons at work and I was spending them the only way I knew how. Alcoholic smoothies in the middle of the day, shopping for accessories on Knickerbocker avenue, tanning in Central Park, sweating my ass off at Bossa Nova Club and eating 1500 calories of shitty food for every meal.

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I keep telling myself I’m going to work out this summer and lose that bit of cellulite right below my asscheeks I affectionately refer to as my Second Butt, but I can’t seem to make time for it what with all the drinking and sleeping and laying in the sun. I did, however, attempt to mix exercise with productivity by weeding my entire backyard to make it Barbecue Ready. This included a hefty amount of manual labor. I even scooped the animal carcasses off my patio once and for all, and even managed to bleach away the dark spots their bodies left on the concrete…sort of. This allowed for Patrick and I to attempt to relax in the grass on multiple occasions, only to drown ourselves in sweat. Tanning is miserable most of the time, unless of course you have Bacardi lemonade and a pizza from Tony’s.
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Before the string of nightlife bummers that was to come shortly, we managed to have one amazing night that began with, like, an artisan margarita and taco party in a gorgeous Williamsburg loft (complete in typical fashion with discussions about the state of Azealia Banks’ career and the end of last season’s GIRLS), followed by a trek to an unknown salsa bar with espresso tequila shots. This led to a bizarre stairwell discovery and ended with a refreshing banana bowl at the Marcy stop while wearing a pair of jeans as a jacket.
fab exorcistIMG_9152The risk you take when you follow the scene is that the hype and expectations for the event will outweigh any amount of fun you could possibly have. The crowd will probably be full of try-hards and there will be too many people and too long of a line and the drinks will be too expensive, and the headlining act won’t come on until four hours after you arrive. You will end up leaving early, having gotten dressed to the nines for absolutely nothing except a great selfie you took on your way to the club. The highlight of your night will be eating a Filet o’ Fish cross-legged in a gutter in the no man’s land between the West Village and Tribeca. You could end up like me the night I tried to see Lil Kim at Westgay. But, the selfie was great.
IMG_9193Our sad state of affairs continued in the form of relentless torrential downpours for the rest of the week. The only saving grace was in the form of my beloved friend Bill who had come to the city to crash for his birthday week. Patrick and I reluctantly followed him to meet some friends at a bar in the aptly named HELL’S KITCHEN. The best part of the evening was the drag show at Industry (which isn’t saying much). The second best was the sushi, I guess?
IMG_9249So as not to disrupt the theme of the week (shoddy dining and gay bars and never ending rain) the next day we went to Bay Leaf in Williamsburg. The service was terrible. The food took forever. They charged us $22 for what turned out to be a bottle of Barefoot. Then just as we were about to storm out I accidentally set a plastic bag on fire and it melted all over the table.

IMG_9262The next part of the evening was our private party in the back room of Fada complete with $5 cocktails and Winston’s beach disco set. Afterwards we braved the weather and spent the remainder of the evening drinking cheap beers at the Metropolitan, but not before I got splashed in the face by a speeding 4Runner.
IMG_9269If they were hiding it at all before, this much rain really brings out the absurdity in New Yorkers. The other day I saw homeless man washing his feet in a street puddle, which is my second most favorite homeless man moment to the time I saw a guy drop a slice of pizza on the ground and then drunkenly lie down on the sidewalk to continue eating it. Whether or not to be amused by these things is a constant moral dilemma of mine. Meanwhile, any time I see a stray cat, raining or not, I spend 45 minutes crying in an alleyway. But OH IT’S GOOD TO LAUGH AGAIN.
IMG_9282But perhaps no shitty night compares to what I dealt with last week, when I took my pink boobs and YOLO belt out to Bossa Nova for Physical Therapy and Slava. Standing under the AC unit on the crowded dance floor, my friends and I took a tiny amount of what we thought was molly.
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Turns out it was speed! I didn’t sleep for three days! It was by far one of the most nerve racking, frustrating, miserable experiences I have ever had to date, next to that time I drank two bottles of robitussin freshman year of college and I held on to the edges of my bed for 36 hours waiting for the spins to stop before Greg came and dumped me in a bathtub of ice water.
I did, however, have a beautiful morning before slipping into my amphetamine freak out.
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The following week I went back to work, 10-7 office days to prepare for next season. I dumped about 5 iced coffees per day onto my shriveling insides just to get through it, but when the week came to an end and nearly all of Team Big Things (minus a few essential members I DID NOT FORGET YOU) got together for SHADE #2 and took this beautiful family photo that will likely be my Christmas card come fall.
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This is how we chill.

Renaissance or Something

rawk
I fired my therapist. She deserved it. I had originally hired her to help me through some of the stresses of moving to a new city, spending most of my time by myself, deciding the next move in my career, coming to terms with the way my upbringing has affected my relationships, you know, the usual shit. Once a week I would show up and crack my knuckles, excited to plow through these issues and move on with my life. She’d greet me in the waiting room with a meek, insincere half-smile. “How are you?” I’d ask her casually, to which she’d always respond “I’m okay.” Then she’d sit in silence and bored disapproval while I frowned out the window at the Empire State Building and psychoanalyzed myself. Sometimes I’d pause and look her way, inviting participation. She’d lift her chin abruptly as if startled from sleep, raise her eyebrows and make some empty comment like “you should do something about that.” I always left feeling very annoyed and slightly sorry for her. Was I the only person who could manage to pick a therapist more depressed than I was?

You all know that since the beginning of August I have singlehandedly held down New York for Team Big Things, getting by on my own with the help of the internet and the 4 friends I’ve made since I moved here. Much of TBT will be moving to Brooklyn in as soon as two weeks, and I am overcome with relief. I don’t even think I will realize how much it sucked to be here without them until I finally have them back. It’s texts like these that prove I will one day be back to norm again.
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For a while I played with the idea of meeting some people on the internet, which was a bust for the most part. A few months back I made a fun OkCupid profile as a joke. I often make joke profiles on social networks I think might be dumb out of curiosity. This would explain how I got stuck with “ButtButt” as a foursquare name, “Catdookie” on instagram, and “Slutz[underscore]Taco” on OkCupid. Turns out people don’t think you are joking when you call yourself a Slutz_Taco on a dating website. They truly think you will sleep with them even if they look like a sea monster made of turds and use pick up lines like these:
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God bless these fools. Nevertheless, I could not shake my desire for new mans. And attention in general, really.

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In a dramatic turn of events, it was the dumbness of the internet that eventually brought me together with a boothang. Snapchat, specifically. Have you ever snapchatted your phone number to someone in the middle of the night? If you haven’t, it is a great way to start a romantic rendezvous with your celebrity crush. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

If you live in New York (and maybe even if you don’t, but I can’t say for sure), you’ve probably realized that A LOT of people have been getting sick with colds and haven’t been able to shake them for up to two fucking months. I’m not saying it’s a government conspiracy (CHEMTRAILS) but it has definitely affected me quite a bit and that has definitely sucked.
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^Here is a picture of me with a 102 degree fever after I sleepwalked to the corner store and bought a shit ton of cereal.
I’ve been to the doctor 3 times in the last month and in the meantime I have been slacking on all my other appointments. My cats are due for a teeth cleaning (do other people do this?) and it’s been so long since I’ve gotten brazilian that I’m positive my Bikini Artist is going to laugh in my face the next time I hit the spa.

When I’m NOT texting my new boo and nursing an illness sometimes I go out to public locations and alter my mind. I’m not sure what actually happens at these functions besides taking selfies but what else am I trying to do really?
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It should also be mentioned that I quit my job at the salon to start working on a TV show. Before I started this new “gig” I had the privilege of dipping down to North Carolina for a bit of fun, the photos of which I will unload later. It’s too much glamour and beauty and suburbia for this particular post.

WHILE I WAS GONE it brightened up substantially around the city and I have been loving it. Honestly if you would just follow me on instagram @catdookie I wouldn’t have to repost these here and it would be far more convenient for me overall.
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Cute, right? Now that winter is officially over and life officially no longer sucks, I’ve rediscovered the fun of walking around the city aimlessly. Also I think Jadakiss lives in my neighborhood.
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My new job is fabulous and great and everything you’d expect. I even made a new BEST FRIEND to add to the collection. It really helps to have a person around for moral support while you’re ruining your manicure and eating far too much craft services. I’m not sure how long this particular job will last because the end of the season is near, so I gotta get in as much free food as possible before then. IMG_8121 IMG_7897
I actually think I may be physically addicted to terrible food at this point. My hours at work are so crazy that I don’t really have the time (or fucks) for grocery shopping, so GrubHub is essentially my livelihood. The other day I ate no less than four kinds of fried seafood out of a cardboard box, and last week I ordered Chinese THREE times, one of which was just after I had finished eating Chinese. I never regret it until I step out of bed the next morning into a pile of empty takeout boxes. Then I feel just a bit gross.

Late hours do work well, though, with the fact that I like to stay up until 5 am playing with my hair (or having sex). Hannah got a job at a new salon where she gave me a brand new cut and color, and helped me style my fun new clip-in extensions.
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If you live in the city you should definitely check out Foster Glorioso at 5 East 19th Street. It’s super gorgeous and beyond chill. Plus they have wine!
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^Here we are on our way to the FIRST bachelorette party I’d ever been to. Our friend Lisa celebrated the end of her freedom and I spent all of my fucking money on male strippers! It was fun, but they should have been tipping MY ass…like, do you even see this weave? (Truly I’m kidding, these extensions were cheap as hell and take forever to put in, so mostly I’ve been rocking my new REAL hair a la Uma in Pulp Fiction on a good day. Still though.)

Yyyyeah, I’m still broke, I’m still crazy, and I still have a dead rat in my backyard (in case you were wondering). But I have a new job and new look so like, move over. ‘Cause this is a competition, and I am here 2 win.

Frankenshit


Now usually I don’t do this but uh…(smoke inside, that is. but everyone else does it here and it’s THE WEEKEND and I’m by myself on my computer so…party. Also I spent the whole day doing yoga and looking at recipes on Pinterest I AM A DUAL PERSONALITY)

It’s been so long since I’ve been up front about my antics with you guys. As in, so long that I am about to tell you stories from October while currently planning my XXXmas party. Maybe I was sleeping on them because, well, October wasn’t the cutest of months and I am only now recovering. But I think…I think I’m ready.

It was the week of October Something, and Moe and Bradford, being the ONLY MEMBERS OF TEAM BIG THINGS THAT CARE ENOUGH, came up to visit me on their fall break. We kicked off the celebration by going to Wreck Room, a divey, Carrboro-esque bar with car seats as booths and graffiti scribbles everywhere and regular live noise-pop.
Reuniting feelz so good, y’all. Pretty sure this was a “pinkies out for Bernie Mac” moment. 
Of course I started the night a little overconfident and splashed a 4 dollar beer in my eye right of the bat. 
No night is complete without some casual adult breast feeding and a little street-anal.
The next day is when things started to get a little strange. By this point in the month I had somewhat successfully balanced my new job at the salon with drinking 40s at Winston’s and hosting visitors from home. I’d had the job for about two weeks, and although the ins and outs were still a little confusing I was getting the hang of it. I had almost forgotten that a few weeks before, in a frenzy to find fast cash, I answered a craigslist ad to be a bodypainted server/model at giant a masquerade Halloween warehouse party. I had sent them my picture because I thought it would be somewhat funny, and they were offering $1000 for one night of “work” which, let’s be honest, I’ve kind of done for free on multiple occasions. I’d be kidding myself to think I was above it, right?

By now they’d gotten back to me, “they” being this dude’s assistant (the guy owns a hotel or something and has had some small hollywood roles). They asked me to come by for an interview, which I had scheduled right after my interview at the hair salon (it ended up working out great because I wore a slutty black dress for “versatility” and it may have been the only reason I got the job at the salon. My boss is a straight man). The interview consisted of me waiting around for 20 minutes and then going up to the empty penthouse of this dude’s hotel and talking to him for five minutes about the size of my breasts and my level of comfort with toplessness. I thought it so was bizarre at the time, sitting on the patio of the 11th floor with the Empire State Building looming behind me and interviewing to be a go-go dancer. But I thought, “there’s a first time for everything” and “yolo” and “$$$$” and “who cares?” The man offered me drinks and food about 50 times to my decline. He told me about the different positions, one as a cocktail waitress that gets paid $500, and one as a “party masseuse,” which is a girl that walks around the party body-painted (with panties on!) and massaging people on ecstasy. Those are the girls that get paid $1000. That’s the one I said I wanted.

“We’re going to need a few photos of you,” he said. He meant topless photos. I gave him a nervous look at first and then shrugged. “I understand if you’re not comfortable,” he said. “But don’t worry, these pictures aren’t going anywhere. I have thousands of naked pictures on my laptop.” “So do I,” I said. What’s another person with a topless photo of me at this point? He departed and went downstairs, leaving me in the room with his assistant. She told me to strip down to my underwear, which was just a thong. I took my dress off while she checked her blackberry. Then, on the back of my application she wrote the number 27 in permanent marker. 27, my same number from the Miss National Pre-teen of North Carolina pageant I did when I was 11, where I won first place in sportswear modeling but fifth overall due to my “age inappropriate” glamour shot photos (I sat in fake sand with my legs open. I was wearing makeup and knee length shorts. I was 10. It shocked the southern masses). Having been made to feel like a slut for the last 12 years of my life, damned if I’m ever going to be ashamed of my body at this point. I held my number and did a series of poses for the assistant, slipped my dress back on and skipped out.

Now it was the “callback,” and I went back to the hotel to find the other girls, none of whom looked older than 19, waiting nervously by the elevator. I immediately became Stripper Mommy and tried to engage everyone in conversation to pump them up. “I heard there’s going to be an open bar!” It sort of worked. I made friends with a girl from the Philippines who didn’t speak much English which seems to be a running trend lately. Slowly more and more girls arrived, and before I knew it at least 100 of us were standing in a line, signing waivers and being forced to give up our cell phones. Here we go.

Once we got up to the penthouse we were all supposed to take off everything but our thongs to be bodypainted. All the girls were fun and hilarious, and most of them were comfortable with the idea. We undressed on the patio and went back to the main room where there was a DJ and the open bar I had hoped for. There were only four bodypainters and about a million of us, so for the first hour everyone was just standing around semi-awkwardly, chugging champagne and looking at each other’s tits. I was making jokes left and right and befriending this baby hippie who was telling me about her latest dubstep festival. I couldn’t stop laughing and staring at everything. It was the weirdest thing I had ever seen, by far. Sponsors from somewhere were walking around scouting who they wanted to represent their brands at the party. The owner of the hotel was walking around with his two tiny dogs and all white ensemble as if he does this every week, which he might. Photographers were snapping photos and one woman was making a video of the charade. A funky girl that looked like a thuggish Tila Tequila was getting a ravey blue Tarzan tanktop painted onto her perfect body by this sexy new-age black man with gauges. I never once saw the bottom of my glass.

As the girls and myself started getting drunker and drunker I started having more fun. I was surrounded by 100 friendly, super confident babes that loved their bodies. This never happens, and it was not what I had expected at all. The DJ was playing all the songs drunk girls love, from “Ur Luv is My Drug” to “Call Me Maybe.” Before I knew it all the ratchet girls had formed a giant krump circle, their asses never more than 6 inches off the ground at any given time. When “Single Ladies” came on, Baby Dubstep Hippie shocked everyone by jumping in the circle and doing the entire choreo start to finish. I have never seen a room full of women this excited in my life.

Finally I got painted, a bikini top in the shape of apples even though I never liked red on me much. We took group photos and I smoked cigarettes while looking around cautiously as the owner started taking girls aside to chat with them privately. “I’m not here to be anybody’s girlfriend,” I thought, and said, multiple times that night. I put my name on the list for the highest paying position and left. It was midnight on a Thursday and my friends were in town…hello…I’m going out.

Before I left I took a picture of my apple tits and instagrammed it. I won’t post the picture here. I like that it’s ungooglable for now and it’s a great reason for you to follow me @catdookie.

When I left the hotel I went to meet Bradford, Moe, Emma and Lamonday who were out for CMJ. I am lazy and bad at finding stuff like this to do because I don’t care enough, but when Moe’s in town I am always on the list for something. Tonight it was the Spin party, with AraabMuzik, Chromeo and MNDR, which, whatever. There was another open bar, which always earns points, and the douchey crowd made it easy for me to skip the line for the bathroom by showing them my apples. I won’t say this was a low point for me, because I’ve been really low before. It certainly wasn’t the best party either, but I was having a good time. Just your average night, I suppose.
Just to give you an idea of how thrilled I was by the atmosphere of this event. They were handing out promotional trucker hats made of paper.

Obviously I ended up having some fun that night.
The next day Hotel Dude’s assistant called me and told me I had to come for my second callback that night if I wanted the job. She told me the other girls and I would meet Dude at the hotel bar at 10 and then go to “the loft space,” which I thought meant the eventual location of the party. I said yes even though I had work the next morning at 9:30, because it sounded like this was “my only chance” and she said it would only take until 1 am. When I showed up at the hotel there was only one other girl waiting, an adorable Brooklyn native that barely grazed 5 ft. Dude was overseeing a nightclub act and had his bartender serve us unlimited beverages. I told myself I’d only have a few drinks, but we were waiting for a while and the drinks kept coming one after the other. The girl and I talked about our brothers and she showed me pictures on her blackberry of the food she’d eaten recently. I asked her how she found out about this job and what she thought the “second audition” was going to be like. She wasn’t sure, and we both started feeling a little off about the whole thing. Where were the other girls? Why were they taking us to a second location? Where even was this second location? We established our limits (no bottomless, no touching) and decided to ask Dude to his face what he had planned for us. He very candidly explained that the “audition” would consist of us going to go to his apartment, getting naked, and “massaging” him. Girl and I looked at each other. I’m no hooker, and if I was do you REALLY think I’d work for free? Heeeeeell nah. We walked.

I felt a little sordid for what was really the first time in this whole process. Partly because I was out 1000 bucks and the whole world had already pretty much seen me naked. But mostly because I was bummed that what I had approached as a fun, sexually freeing experience rejecting the stigma of nudity had ultimately turned into the run-of-the-mill exploitation anyone else would have assumed. I got free drinks out of it and had a lot of fun, so I don’t feel like I lost much. Hey, I’ll try almost anything once, but I drawing the line at prostitution. And, like, crystal meth.

“Come with me,” the girl said as she grabbed my hand and dragged me out of the hotel lounge. “I know some people.” Before I knew it, it was the hour I’d planned to go home and I was walking clear across town with a girl I’d just met to a club I’d just heard of for the first time. Maybe you know of Club Amnesia. It’s like the Pacha of hip hop, I guess, although I’ve obviously never been to Pacha. We get to the door at the front of a line that wraps around the block. My tiny friend gives the doorman a kiss on the cheek and we cross the velvet rope. Girl is actually Latina, but I could feel the piercing group side-eye at what must have looked like two little white girls cutting in line. “Miguel is supposed to be here tonight,” she says to me while the security guards search through our bags. I’m already wasted at this point, wide eyed and freaked out as a man twice my size metal detects between my legs.

My new best friend told me we were only drinking Hennessey and cranberry that night, and I was happy to oblige as I was not yet used to getting paid every week and temporarily thought I was rich. Because I’m a complete idiot I offered to buy the drinks. She gave me some money for tip, but I ended up spending $80 on four drinks. I was having fun for a few minutes, maybe even hours, and then everything went sour. I realized I had work in 6 hours at my brand new job and I was wasted and getting dry-raped in this intense-ass club. I think I tried to make out with Girl which was a no-go. Miguel very well could have been performing and I would not have realized. I was gone. I waved goodbye to my friend and darted out the front door, towards the street and into the back of a cab.

The thing is, when you catch a cab in Manhattan and tell them you live in Bushwick you ALWAYS need to be giving specific directions to the driver. CASE IN POINT my ass was so drunk that night I told homie to take the Williamsburg bridge, rattled off some cross streets and pretty much lost consciousness until I was in a part of Brooklyn I had never ever seen before and the driver was yelling at me to get out. Next thing I knew I was crying on a street corner at 4 am, drunk and exhausted, hooded strangers walking right by me without a glance. When I first moved to New York I thought it was only a “certain class of people” that you’d find rambling to themselves in a ball on the sidewalk. I quickly realized everyone that lives here takes turns playing the part of the destitute and clinically insane. That night it was me, and not for the first or last time.

The night ended with a kind stranger driving by and offering me a ride, the sort of thing any intelligent or non-desperate person would have turned down. But at this point I would have accepted anything, and having gained a little more control over my senses I was able to direct him to my apartment using the map on my phone. I was no less than a 15 minute drive away. He dropped me off and I thanked him sincerely without ever getting his name.

That night I slept for 3 hours before getting up for work, where I was to spill an entire large coffee all over myself and get called out by a coworker for smelling like alcohol. Luckily at the salon we just spritz each other with perfume and go about our day like nothing is wrong even when it really, really is.

The next week was Halloween Friday, the first in what was to be several consecutive celebrations of the same holiday. After work, Hannah and I went to Ricky’s to snag some children’s costumes and fake blood for our half-baked zombie hospital theme: “We’ll be the surgeons and Winston can be our escaped patient! We obviously need cleavers.” If you have “the body” for it, I highly HIGHLY suggest buying children’s costumes for your next Halloween extravaganza. They are usually pretty expandable, if the arms and legs are a little short, and you save like 50 bucks. I dressed my brother in our Great Grandmother’s old nightgown which I may or may not have ruined with fake blood that may or may not be machine washable. All in all I think we came out great.
That night we met up with two aliens, a dead fox and Tony and went to one of the infamous Bushwick mansion parties. I don’t remember much besides Tony spending 20 minutes pouring Joose into my face and getting chased for trying to steal the lightup statue.

And then Sandy happened. I don’t pay attention to the weather ever, but my parents started frantically texting me something the media dramatically named a “FRANKENSTORM.” I rolled my eyes at the phone all like, “Remember the Derecho last July? When everyone freaked out and the only thing that happened was a few cool instagrams of clouds? We’re gonna be fine.” Just in case, I bought some rad candles and an ample supply of Cap’n Crunch.

Natural disasters are about sharing! Sharing cereal with your cat, or a bottle of Jim Beam with that guy you always wanted to sleep with, or you know, electricity and hot water with your friends from Lower Manhattan.

So I was kind of wrong, but not quite. Much of New York, as you know, was super fucked by Sandy. But my neighborhood, being as far inland in Brooklyn as physically poss, was largely unaffected. The worst that happened to Bushwick was that the trains were shut down for like a week, and all the white kids with internships and retail jobs in Manhattan had to celebrate Halloween together five fucking days in a row.

That Tuesday I went to Tandem, probably my favorite bar in Bushwick as it is mostly queer and generally pretty dancey and fun. I wore a pair of fairy wings and did that thing I always do where I get drunk and come out as a full-on lesbian. The jury will always be out on my sexuality, though, as it fucking should be. Unsurprisingly, I saw a Sarah Cousler imposter. If you look hard enough you can find them in every cool city in the country, maybe even the world. They try their best, but they will never be quite as good.
By the time actual Halloween rolled around, I was almost completely over it.
Almost. I sent this picture to all my best friends as a kind of holiday ecard. 

Instead of going out again, I smoked two joints with Hannah and Winston and made them watch This Is It with me while I cried.

Tell me you can watch this with dry eyes.


That weekend we went back to the mansion and I spent most of the night doing mutual manual with some dude in the closet while trying not to vomit on him.


Someone at the party gave me this mixtape, pretty much making all the weirdness worthwhile. 

When October FINALLY ended, election day was upon us. A few days earlier I had mailed my absentee ballot into North Carolina like a GOOD CITIZEN. The state went red but I still felt actualized enough by the outcome of the election, and the fact that I got to take this instagram

On the night of the election I watched the returns at Winston’s with two forties of Ballantine and a box of off brand mac and cheese. As soon as Ohio went blue I was sucked into a vortex of mania that led me to watching the Crazytown “Butterfly” video 3 times, convincing everyone to huff dishwasher detergent and I think eating a little bit of old spice.
I helped pick your president!!!

Since then I’ve been living the broke life as usual and trying to get used to New York’s schizophrenic weather patterns. HURRICANE! SNOW! 65 AND SUNNY! I’ve been buying lots of clothes and household items I can’t afford. I’ve been staying out a lot and working a lot, all while planning my upcoming celebrations of DANKSGIVING and XXXMAS. Every week is another fucking holiday. With my personality and New York’s relentlessness, I’ll be lucky if I ever get the chance to have a normal life.

…why do I even have a Pinterest?

Beauty and Dis Bish

Okay so before I start rambling on about the exciting/exhausting events surrounding my social life, I thought I’d explore a different facet of my routine that is becoming more and more relevant, HaIr MaInTenAnCe

This is meant to be a sincere apology to my poor, once-fucked locks, in the form of a photo montage.

I am currently in the midst of trying to grow my hair out to what will hopefully be a free and unmanageable length. That will officially mark the first time I have had long hair in about four years.

^The last time I had long hair it was 2008, the summer of the American Apparel Bodysuit. Yes I am 18 in this picture so feel free to look at my vagina.

I should also mention that before I went short in ’09 (and for quite a while after) I was cutting my own hair with kitchen scissors and sometimes thinning it with a disposable razor.


^I cut my bangs using crayola construction paper scissors and ate nothing but amphetamines for a month because I wanted to look like Alice Glass

I was hacking at my head so regularly that I was left with almost nothing.


^Here I am at a cut copy show rocking the asian lesbian look

^This cut was based off of the brunette Agyness Deyn look. I literally used a venus razor to make the top thin enough to stick straight up and it still barely ever did. I would show you the one picture of my attempt to pull that off, but I look like a dead straight guy.

Then my brother started dating a hair stylist and I was able to take advantage of her kindness enough that she shaped what became my signature look, the curly ass top mop with the buzzed back and sides. We used to have buzz parties at 506 Church when all the boys and Jesi and I had slightly different versions of the same haircut. I would still refer to it as “The Official Haircut of TBT.”

^I cannot even begin to describe the amount of cool I correctly believed I was at the time of this photo. As cool as anyone can be in the study lounge of UNC’s Koury residence hall (not very).

I held true to that asymmetry, knowing how awkward it would be to grow out (I tried once and wore a beanie for about 6 months before buzzing it again).

^In the fall of 2010. You can see how Reid and I have the same basic shape to our hurr. You can also see that I’m wearing a children’s faux fur from Limited Too and that Reid is carrying a Coors Light box as a purse. Anthropological gold mine, this photo. 

So, fine. I was stuck with the same hair well into 2011. But I got to have that cool topknot all the boys think is soooOOo hot and original these days.


^shout out to patrick, kraft, candy necklaces and of course, me.

In the Spring of 2011,  I had Hannah dye chunks of the brown purple and blue.


^Uncontrollable excitement in Chapel Hill’s Rec Room due entirely to something called ~Loaded Tater Tots~. Also what’s up, Austin.

When I decided to go blonde that Summer the color she’d used for those chunks was impossible to be bleached out and we had to darken that section to a light brown.


^me n Sass posing for our live webcam banner ad

When Winter came along, I wanted to go even lighter and for reasons I cannot recall chose to darken that chunk in contrast. It was sort of a goth-tramp look.

In April I went blonder than I had ever been before. The blondest of the blonde. I felt like my brown hair had emphasized my accountability, indulged my realism…you know, helped me give fucks. I was so obsessed with my new hair I could hardly remember my reason for living before the transformation. Being blonde gave me LIFE.


^despite the fact that I look pissed and that I couldn’t manage to successfully straighten my hair, this is the best picture I have of the initial blondeness.

My decision to go crazy with Manic Panic in all-over magenta only a month later came suddenly. I was moving to New York. I had just gotten dumped. Sarah Sassafrass was right there with an array of semi-permanent colors. I went for it.

^Me v pink, giving face at myself in the mirror. The usual.

It washed out by July and left me with honey blonde locks that, while my ideal color, felt entirely like straw. I had always used cheap shampoo and conditioner until this year. Probably for the same reason I used to cut my hair with kitchen scissors. Probably for the same reason I boycotted blankets in the Winter of ’05. I am very good at rationalizing laziness.
^V bored and emo. You can kind of see that I straightened the ends here, which I fell into the habit of doing for the rest of the summer. It also destroyed about half of my hair as it had been zapped of its nutrients from all the coloring in the first place.

So I had a haircut that, okay, it didn’t suck I guess. But I was struggling to figure out how to grow the short brown sides while still blending them with the long blonde ends.

Last month I started working part-time as a receptionist a hair salon (as you know, I don’t like to use proper nouns until I can’t get fired from those proper nouns). It allows me to afford my apartment, which at 725/month is about 2.5x what I used to pay in North Carolina and considered a steal for most of habitable Brooklyn. Despite the fact that I have been taking better care of my hair recently–Redken extreme antisnap treatment, seriously it’s the shit–a large part of my job involved stylists looking at my hair and saying “what are we going to do with this…?” or “wow, you’ve got a situation” or my personal favorite, silently running their fingers through my hair with their lips pursed while I work. Luckily I have a good sense of humor and irrationally high self-esteem. But the other night I decided to bite the bullet and have Hannah cut me a reasonable adult haircut that doesn’t look like Daffy Duck after his head got smashed in a piano. She blended the regrowth with a reddish brown tone, and I was left with a what I believe to be very chic version of Juila Stiles cut in The Prince and Me (a movie I have not actually seen).


Vry ‘chic’ for work, still slightly asymmetrical, and I think it will look even better crimped with some butterfly clips.

THIS IS A MAJOR STEP FOR ME. I feel like I can be taken a bit more seriously now with semi-norm hair, which may have been a necessary adjustment? It’s also important to start making investments at this stage in life. I have no excuse not to buy the proper treatments for my hair just because they cost 20 dollars, when I would spend that much on a Monday night buying a personal deep dish pizza that will ruin my entire week. Spending money on things you actually need feels really good. In the end I’ll probably waste the rest on food and alcohol, but if i’m going to be broke with a fat ass I WILL AT LEAST HAVE THICK, HEALTHY, LUXURIOUS HAIR.

ugh.

I’ll tell 2001 you said hey.

New York City, or, How Am I Not Dead Yet


Greetings fellow disasters! It looks like Mother Nature reads my blog and decided to bump up our medium-shitty weather to nearly 70 degrees and sunny as hell. My life is taking a similar turn; I got a job offer this morning, I lost five pounds, and things may or may not be improving in my relationship department (details to be divulged at a later date). Since I’ve spent the last four weeks feeling sorry for myself that none of these things had happened yet, I let one of the most fabulously disastrous times of my life go undocumented.

Team Big Things Does NYC (Dec 28-Jan 2).

It began as a simple road trip with a few broke friends; Bradford, Austin, Bill, Patrick and myself all crammed in a Jeep, with five cans of beans, three handles of liquor and about 50 packets of Ramen. I spent most of the ride up stoned and praying we didn’t flip over speeding through toll booths at 90 mph. When we finally arrived in Williamsburg to stay with our ever-so-generous hosts and cohorts Beth and Linnea, I was apparently overcome with exhaustion and/or narcolepsy; after a brief stint taking pictures of ourselves at Metropolitan (a location where I spent 20 minutes looking for my lost jacket that I never even wore), I was dragged by my cunt-ourage to…somewhere. It may have been a fabulous party at a fabulous gay bar with fabulous DJs. However, I was able to have just about this much fun:

So there’s that.

Now, normally I would give an account of what happened in the daytime at any point during this trip. And I promise, I was awake for some of those hours. But somehow my memory refuses to serve, probably given the central line of cheap liquor and THC I received during the trip, and all the time that has passed since. Suffice it to say that I was probably hungover and yelling at people on the street, singing Azaelia Banks a cappella or stealing hats from Topshop. Whatever. Moving on.

As far as I can recall, the next night was spent in the basement of Santos Party House, trying to pretend we weren’t the most amazing people in the room and that the drinks weren’t thirteen dollars. This proved to be very difficult, but after a certain number of cocktails I was able to twirl regardless. Later that night, Patrick met up with someone from Grindr at some random corner on Lafayette, only to approach with our entire crew and reject him on the spot. This was one of the weirder, more anti-climactic nights of the trip. I fell asleep with these 80/20 shoes on.

On night #3, Moe (my publicist and an all-around great guy) surprised everyone with a cameo appearance, bringing only his weekender and a sequined bow tie. We somehow managed to work our 9-person, almost entirely male crew into Le Bain, and even though I was wearing my velvet bustier and was too drunk to spell my name, my flirtatious advances somehow got rejected by the bartender. Feeling sad for about 0.0o1 minutes (I really wanted a free drink), I proceeded to assist Patrick in making out with a straight guy and spent 20 minutes searching for my lost phone. I ended up finding it in my boobs later on, but in all the bustle Moe and I made our way to security and they gave us some garlic knots. Worth it? I think so. The rest of the night was spent eating pizza in alleyways and consorting with the beautiful people at Brooklyn’s Sugarland.

 

And then came the big night.

New Year’s Eve in the city is always, of course, a huge deal and despite my millions of visits I had somehow never experienced it. No one I knew was super interested in Dick Clark’s Smeagol impersonation (god bless him), so our plan was to hit up the annual throwdown at the  Schinasi Mansion on the Upper West Side. This classy joint is one of the few and well respected free-standing mansions in NYC, flips for about 15 mil, and looks a little something like this on a good day.

 

After spending the entirety of December 31st drinking the cheapest handle one can locate in the 212 (Bacardi Coconut, it’s fucking good), and assembling head-to-toe metallic ensembles for the evening, our crowd (which now included my younger sister Kedrin, her two beautiful friends, and the adorably tux-clad Connor and Matt) rocked a subway car back and forth at 11:30 pm screaming “NINETEEN NINETY TWELVE!” into the faces of unassuming, innocent strangers who were headed for third shift.

5…4…3…2…1

I blacked out shortly thereafter.

Apparently, this is what the Schinasi Mansion looked like on New Year’s Eve.

  

According to what is now urban legend regarding that night, someone fell and broke their neck down those stairs just before we arrived in the wake of the ambulance. I took *something* that did not sit well with my stomach and spent the next few hours throwing up for the first time since 2010. In the middle of a crowd of girls who could only have hailed from Hamilton House itself, Moe fell asleep on someone, Austin danced in the streets for passing cab drivers, and Bradford took a bite out of a martini glass.

Beth, bless her heart, took care of us all.

Sure, I was kicked out of the party between five and ten times. Yes, I couldn’t walk down steps for a week because of the bruises on my legs. Okay, fine, I went a too far yet again and publicly humiliated myself like I always do. But I’d say the evening went almost exactly as planned (with the exception of falling asleep in the back of a cab and never making it to the party at Verboten I had deeply desired to attend).

For a split second, we were lost in the chaos of the capital of the world, turning everything we touched into a pile of feathers, glitter and blood.

And a split second later, as if nothing had happened, we were gone.