van nasty

Sunday, October 29, 2006

and no, we're not catholic

i frequently comment about having a large family, and how we dont have babies, we mass-(re)produce. people think that im joking. allow me to introduce evidence that im not. this picture was taken at a recent family reunion. this is ONE side of my family celebrating my grandma's 80th birthday. and, this isnt even everyone in the family (my sister [and her family] and i werent there, for example).

picture stolen from my cousin's blog wow claire

most times the words "drag queen" have been used. ever. for any reason and under any circumstance.

c.l., j.f. and i went to the high heel drag queen race in dupont on tuesday night. its a sort of mini-mardi gras that people line up for hours before the actual race. crazy, cold people like us who got there at 5:30 thinking it started at 8pm, when really, it didnt start until 9pm. we had 3.5 hours to wait outside on the sidewalk in weather inappropriate clothes. thankfully we had gin and tonics to keep us warm.

drag queens make frequent appearances in my blog, and frankly, im not sure what that says about me, but i will admit we have a love hate relationship, the queens and i. first of all, they make better women than women do. few women can actually walk in the shoes drag queens wear and few women would take the time or effort to spend hours on hair and makeup like drag queens do. drag queens are a caricature of what is believed to be the feminine ideal and apparently, it takes a man to do a woman's job.

shortly after moving to new orleans i went to the french quarter for the first time and crossed what i later found out to be the "lavender line" which separates the gay quarter from the straight quarter. at the time, i had no idea what i was getting into - you see that particular weekend was not any old weekend, it was southern decadence which is like a gay only mardi gras. its a big gay parade catering to hundreds of thousands of mostly gay men who come to town for a week of debauchery, and much like vegas, what happens during southern decadence stays in new orleans.

walking around the gay quarter that night, i got a lot of attention; and, in retrospect, i brought it on myself. however, i was very young, very naive, and had no idea what i was walking into. lets just say, if you dont want to be noticed by gay men and drag queens, dont walk into a party wearing a floor length, white, laura ashley, spaghetti strapped dress, with giant red roses on it. this was possibly the campiest outfit ever worn during southern decadence, and was done completely unintentionally. i had gay men literally lining up offering to buy my dress off of me. in all earnestness, it was a fabulous dress, and should i ever meet the son of an oil barron named tower brickland wellington III, and be invited to his plantation for tea with his mama, i will know exactly what to wear. i imagine he will be in a tom wolfe style white seersucker suit and straw hat and a dainty couple we will make.

however, for an 18 year old college co-ed? not so much. i refused several offers to buy my dress (mostly because it would have left me naked - not that anyone would have noticed) and tried to keep some dignity in tact. which failed as an m.o. after dozens of tourists complimented me as the most realistic drag queen they had ever seen. eventually, i was saved by a gorgeous, outlandish 7 foot queen who chased the tourists away from me and said these fateful words "honey: if they're mistaking you for a drag queen, it just means you know how to do your makeup!"

so, this rather long aside is to say: drag queens and i have a past.

fortunately no one mistook me for a man dressed as a woman tuesday night, which is really all i was hoping for. i did have to ask j.f. if mugging a drag queen for her shoes would be considered a "hate crime" to which he responded "it would be an understandable crime of passion!" and gave me his blessings to go on my merry stealingway. van nasty legal counsel, however, has said otherwise. r.c. implied on saturday night that stating my intent to rob someone for her shoes negates the whole "crime of passion" plea. to which i say: "r.c.! you didnt see these shoes!"

hello again!

for me, an unfortunate side effect of having no job is also having no internet hence the lack of updates. although things have been pretty uninteresting to tell the truth. i spent several days cleaning my apartment until i got sick of the mess that "cleaning" creates, and just shoved everything back in a closet. ive been to the archives and the hirshorn with c.l. and have spent some q.t. with dewey going to dinner and movies. friday we were going to go to the arboretum but it was cold and rainy and i was sick, so we sat around tryst for a while pretending like we were going to do something before i made him take me home so i could eat popcorn and watch netflix. that and sleeping in until noon today seem to have done the trick because im feeling much better this afternoon. last night i met up with friends at a party after work, but again called it an early night and was tucked in bed by 1:30.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

im a human mr. magoo

nothing in my life is ever simple, or easy. even the things that should be. im the kind of person who could get lost walking from my couch to the bathroom. this morning i broke a glass bottle of bubble bath in my bathroom, which i didnt have time to clean since i was running late (for a brunch that got cancelled once i got there). my bathroom is small, and the glass got everywhere, including my toilet seat which i discovered the hard way. try finding a non-creepy way of asking to your neighbor to pull a sliver of glass out of your ass. it cant be done. im sure she's making flyers with my face on them right now; one more for the collection i suppose.

in other "it could only happen to me" news, my friends bought me a very generous gift subscription to netflix so i will have something to do during my "work hiatus." i clicked on the link, pasted in the code, and just like someone else was credited with my gift-subscription! you see, when i followed the link, it automatically logged in to the account of the last person who was on the computer. thankfully, she's a friend, and we've already contacted netflix who can correct the problem tomorrow (hopefully). things like this "could" happen to anyone, but they dont, do they? they only happen to me.

i would feel better if i knew it was at least a good song

my last memory of the night was dancing in the rain in the middle of the street to "the most awesome song evah!," which of course i dont remember, with three guys who jumped in my cab on my way home from a bar, on a thursday, at 3 a.m. i was four blocks from my house when the cabbie pulled over to let them in; i remember one of them spoke to the cab driver in arabic, and i must have been nodding at the right points because he was suddenly under the impression that i too speak arabic. i think its possible that i agreed to be his wife in exchange for three goats, and a camel, but i cant be sure. anyway, the four of us jumped out of the cab, and began to dance around the street like maniacs ; there was much group hugging, and one guy kissed me on the forehead before telling me he loved me. i think he thought he was coming home with me; he was sweet, and possibly cute, but i usually like to at least know a guys first name before i invite him up for a sleep over. not to mention, i may or may not be single, but thats another issue all together.

i was blessed with what i call the "delayed hang over- hang over" which means i feel fine when i wake up, but the prognosis becomes worse and worse as the day wears on. much of yesterday was spent keeled over my desk, suffering from dehydration and what felt like a vat of acid in my stomach. i didnt think i had had too much to drink the night before, because i only had one glass of wine. well, technically two; one red, one white. it wasnt until this morning i realized that i hadnt had one of each, but had been drinking from those magical self-refilling glasses that happen when your friend is the bartender. i spent the first part of the day not wanting to eat anything, even breathing was making me feel sick, and the second part trying to consume everything within arms reach of my mouth. but no amount of food made me feel better; it didnt even digest. it just dissolved once it hit my stomach.

slowly throughout the day, bits and pieces of my night came back to me. i remember a 5 hour birthday dinner celebration where the wine(s) in question were consumed; i remember getting to the metro and deciding against my own better judgment to go to the black cat for the supersystem show even though i could barely keep my eyes open; and, i remember late night snacks at ben's chili bowl. because what you need to wash down a five hour meal is chili fries and a chocolate shake. so far, unemployment has been good to me. the night before, also known as my last day at work, was celebrated with a martini happy hour and dancing around like an idiot at cosmo's where my friend DJs. dancing around like an idiot and embarrassing myself became a theme at some point in my life, though im not sure when. probably when i took to pickling myself from the inside.

i am happy to report, i have not been mauled by dingos

i am, i assure you all, alive and well. as previously stated, big changes were a foot, which have led to a change in address for van nasty world head quarters as well as a few weeks of vacay time for me (otherwise known as unemployment). fortunately, the changes are all for the good, and im thrilled about my new job... but it doesnt start for a few weeks, so i have three weeks of me time. i had hoped to go somewhere exciting (argentina, brazil, chile, costa rica) during my holiday, but im still working my weekend job, which makes travel a bit inconvenient. so, im looking at three weeks, or 15 days, of nothing to do for the first time in i dont know how long. i am possibly the only person alive who could stress out over three weeks of vacation. ive already made list upon list of what i need to do and when; part of the reason working 82000 jobs works for me, is that i dont know how to handle "down time." i thrive on schedules and routine (sexy, huh?). in other words, i am no good at doing nothing. it always sounds like something i would enjoy, but 20 minutes into watching t.v. on a relaxing night in, im already mentally balancing my checkbook, planning my meals for the week and making an accompanying grocery list. so, you can appreciate how three weeks of living alone, in my own head with no computer or cable to distract me from the nagging voices telling me to buy my mom her birthday present, clean my house, do laundry and for god sakes pick up your socks!, could be stressful to me. i plan to take up afternoon drinking to drown out the voices.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

routines and idiosyncrasies

dating someone new is an equal mixture of excitement and dread. its the thrill of a first kiss juxtaposed with the fear of introducing the new boy to your friends. its meeting their brother at a concert and finding out that they already know who you are versus having to explain not just why you own a "best of amy grant DVD," but, why it was in your DVD player indicating that, at the very least, you've watched it at least once... but, more likely watch it every night before bed.

"who you is?"

this weekend was rakkasah, otherwise known as nine months of rehearsal for seven and a half minutes of stage time. rakkasah is an interesting place full of fascinating and awe inspiring things; a few good, a few bad, and if youre lucky, some spectacularly bad. bellydance is a generic term that encompasses everything from traditional egyptian style, cabaret, and romany to fusion, tribal, and natica's poetic dance theatre. walking around rakkasah you will see goth tribal dancers with piercings, tattoos, and long multicolored fake dreadlock extentions; women old enough to be your grandma dressed in a cabaret costume consisting of nothing more than a belt and bra with a sheer layer of chiffon being all that's protecting your retinas from detaching in a desperate act of self preservation; and new age earth goddesses who wear fairy wings and glitter and refer to their pelvises as "mystic triangles."

on the same stage moments apart from each other you can see: michelle de vine do a turkish drop (dropping from a back bend on to the floor) a la:

while balancing a sword on her head. seriously, people. a SWORD!; watch metal goddess dance to ozzy osbourne; and witness the spectacle that is: WIND MUSIC! wind music is performed by natica's poetic dance theatre, which as far as i can tell is rakkasah's version of "cats." they perform every year with the exact same routine which involves wings of isis (floor length wings that attach to your arms), a new age narrator, and a cast of about 30 geriatric dancers with wind chimes (used, indoors!). i live for WIND MUSIC! heartbreakingly, i missed it this year, (though i did receive the following text message: "get in here right now: WIND MUSIC!" so, i have no one to blame but myself). im checking youtube every hour on the hour hoping some kind soul caught the magic that is WIND MUSIC and wants to share it with the world!

our performances went well, although since i cant actually see whats happening, i have no actual idea how it looked. our first performance was friday night at 10pm consisting of a veil piece, a spanish fusion piece, and the dance i was in "zenia." we hadnt performed zenia for about four months, but, fortunately it went fairly well. its always hard to dance with 4 other girls on a stage youve never been on; we have no rehearsal or tech on the stage so the dimensions are totally unfamiliar which is havoc on spacing. saturday at noon we danced a persian piece, a basket dance, and closed with a tabla. i performed a duet "basket" dance where my partner and i balanced baskets on our head. unfortunately, it went less well than it had in rehearsal -- immediately after the persian piece, the sound tech cut our track and the announcer ushered us off stage in the middle of our set. i was about to walk on stage and instead had to sit in the wings for about 7 nerve wracking minutes while they corrected their error. which is not really the best way to calm yourself before balancing a frickin basket on your head! fortunately, i didnt drop my basket. i also didnt step on my skirt causing my clothes to fall off on stage, or, accidentally spin off the stage. so, all in all, it was a good performance by my measuring stick. unfortunately the woman who performed before us cant say the same thing - her bra top came off mid-performance give the family friendly audience a little taste of showgirls before running off stage.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

least purposeful posting ever

there are big changes a foot, that have been keeping me occupied at work. dont worry - none of them includes doing actual work. sadly, k.m., they also havent included dewey decimal.

tonight i leave for NJ for a two day belly dance festival. i had to bring all of my costuming into the office so for a two day trip, i have one duffel bag, a tote bag and a hanging bag. i could book myself a two hour tour on the ss minow and want for nothing, save that cutie the professor. before driving up to scenic somerset, NJ the dance troupe and i are seeing sergio mendes at the 9:30 club which should be fabulous. who doesnt love the bossa nova? other things i am loving at this moment: maple frappachinos (im guessing they are way better than the green tea ones, m.j.), honeycrisp apples (thank you dewey), and my adorably obnoxious gold suede shoes which i have finally broken in, and no longer make me wince in pain with each step (not that that stopped me from wearing them).

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

going on right now

3) im shopping on line at mignon faget and am extremely excited to see that she has released a new jewelry collection called "ironwork." seriously. when did i become the type of person who gets excited about jewelry collections?!? i dont even wear jewelry, save my nose ring, and somehow i dont think that counts. (would it give me any street cred to say im trying to design a new tattoo and i want it to look like iron work [inspired by the ironwork in new orleans] and am hoping to steal from this?).

2) speaking of becoming someone you dont even recognize, i got up this morning at 6 a.m. so i could start some laundry in the scary, basement dwelling laundry room of my apartment building, while i was at the gym. who am i? did i grow up and become and adult when i wasnt looking?

1) like a lot of other things, i become obsessive-compulsive about songs. i get one stuck in my head that i cant get out, and the only way to purge it, is to listen to it on repeat until i get so sick of it, i never want to hear it again. at this moment that song is "this modern love" and is being brought to you by bloc party. something about the last line "throw your arms around me" simultaneously breaks my heart and gives me hope. jesus. i cant even pick a good lyric to obsess over! (however, after reading the lyrics, i realize he is not actually saying "you told me you wanted to eat up my sandwich" which actually makes more sense that "eat up my sadness" even if it isnt as interesting).

Friday, October 06, 2006

language lessons

as previously mentioned: i know nothing about boys. they are as foreign to me as sobriety is to pete doherty. having established that, i can also say im slowly starting to learn.

for example, last night i learned that some boys are just like girls. now i know we are all "people" and therefore basically the same, but realizing that boys can also be nervous, awkward and prone to over-analyzing every moment of every conversation and interaction, was life altering.

i like a boy, who shall for the time being be known as dewey, but, i havent heard from him in almost two weeks. i went through all the stages of girliness: being hopeful, being annoyed, being convinced that he had lost both his cell phone and his arms in a tragic wood chipper accident and was therefore incapable of contacting me except by yelling my name a la rocky (adrian!), and since i live miles away i havent heard his anguished pleas. unfortunately, we know the likehood of that being the case are slim to none. i dont need a book to tell me he just isnt that into me. hell, i could have written that book myself; it goes like this: he did not lose your number. he did not forget how to use a computer. he did not play so many video games he developed some sort of finger-carpal-tunnel-syndrome and his doctor forbad him from texting you. he just isnt. that. into you. end of story.

a whole lot of things added up to an egregious "fuck you." and were my friends to present me with the same situation, i would tell them what most of them told me "he doesnt like you. move on." however, i like him. and, im nothing if not scrappy, so, when i ran into him where he works last night, i was prepared to take a chance and ask him to come out with my friends and i tonight. but, he beat me to the punch (in a half assed sort of way). i think he too was testing the waters. in the end, he met up with me and my friends after he got off work and we hung out before he dropped me home and discovered that a) just because im a girl doesnt mean my apartment is clean; b) i love the golden girls; c) i have some tragically embarrassing music on my ipod; and, d) i have an equally embarrassing book collection (books are the first thing i look at in anyones house, so my own shiteous collection is a source of deep-routed shame and embarrassment).

im happy to report that things seem to be back on track. and, that sometimes instead of thinking, you just need to do.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

cocktoberfest: instant message in haiku

you’ll be way hot then
cute butt bouncing in the air
those great legs running

um so a big bulge
love to slip them off of you
grab the one eyed snake

"cocktober: foley shit"

when did he become our pervert? huh, bill o'reilly? the mistake of labeling mark foley a democrat happened not once, not twice, but three times during two separate segments. accident, or intent? prior to becoming AIM's worst nightmare, how many people outside of florida and the congressional page program were familiar with foley?
by the way, THIS is our pervert:

meet west virginia state senator randy white, who likes doritos, red wine, body paint, and the (naked) company of members of the blue man group.

thanks to sweet jesus i hate bill oreilly, and the wonkette for the picture steals.

my forth grade book report

"but when im around strangers, i turn into a conversational mount st. helens. i'm dormant, dormant, quiet, quiet, old-guy loners build log cabins on the slopes of my silence, and then, boom, its 1980. once i erupt, they'll be wiping my verbal ashes off their windshields as far away as north dakota."

assassination vacation, sarah vowell

i wish i had written that sentence. that sentence would make gutenberg proud (johannes, not steve). i particularly love the "slopes of my silence" phrase.

i forgot my book at work last night, but thankfully i have a stockpile at home (i heart the library) so i started reading assassination vacation this morning on the metro. it is, so far, a fantastically hilarious book. which is a pleasant change from the tedious book im almost finished with: confessions of an economic hit man. how do you turn a book with such a salacious title into something so smug and trite? im the type of person who cant stop reading a book (no matter how bad, or how long) once ive started it. i have yet to test this theory with remembrance of things past but, its on my to do list.

confessions is about collusion between government agencies, international banking and development organizations, and corporations to create debt in third world countries, creating a system of interdependence between developing and developed nations. the author believes this system is a modern day american empire where developing countries are indentured servants in the american fiefdom. (yes, i know i just jumbled up my history and created the worlds ugliest sentence, but, i wanted to work both indentured servants and fiefdom into that sentence. sue me.)

the author claims that the u.s. secures huge loans for developing countries, far beyond what they are capable of repaying, and with that money obligates them to hire u.s. engineering and construction companies (read: hallibutron), handing the money back to the united states. but they are still indebted for their loan, basically repaying the money twice. coincidentally, most of the countries targeted (iran, saudi arabia, i raq, venezuela, ecuador), happen to be oil rich countries.

im not disputing the basic premise of the book; maybe im a conspiracy theorist, but, i dont think this is nearly as groundbreaking a concept as the author thinks it is. my problem is with the smug, condescending, self-aggrandizing tone of the author (and this from a girl who writes a vanity blog). the author repeatedly claims to see the destruction his work is causing (environmentally, socially, economically) but continues despite the guilt because he feels he has no choice, and after all, if he werent doing it, someone else would. eventually he does leave his job as an "economic hitman" and starts an alternative energy company. which he eventually sells for millions... to an oil company. i would have more sympathy for someone who claims they thought they were doing good by bringing modern technologies and opportunities to developing countries, then "saw the light" when poverty increased, and countries began having to dedicate 50% of their budget to repaying unpayable debts. the wealth that was promised these countries rarely came to fruition, particularly in latin america, and instead devastated local economies and environments and planted seeds of bitterness directed at the u.s. i have little pity, however, for someone who claims understand the ramifications of their choices but chooses to follow their wallet, instead of their heart.

Monday, October 02, 2006

boomerang, redux

i have, in the past, been accused of being socially awkward. granted, this accusation was made by the a.s. who is not the most reliable arbitrator of social norms - afterall this is a man who routinely asks to be set up with my "slutty" friends - but, im beginning to think he may have a point. his comment was specific to my phone skills, or lack thereof, but, i think the real problem has nothing to do with the phone and everything to do with my inability to relate to boys.


i said it.

i am 12 years old; boys have cooties; and, i dont know how to talk to them.

i grew up in an all female household where even our pets had ovaries. i find boys to be a strange and foreign subspecies who speak a completely different language than i do. and even when it sounds like we are speaking the same language it becomes obvious later that while the words sound the same, the meaning is completely different. because i cant relate to them, boys have never been a factor in my life. i have certainly had crushes (i tend to be involved in monogamous, long term crushes) but, they mostly serve as distractions. in terms of legitimate two-way relationships (for example, i dont think dave grohl has any idea that im carrying his imaginary child) there have been none of which to speak.

however, it seems that im going through some sort of delayed adult puberty where i spend hours obsessing over the boys in my life: the a.s., velveeta, and dewey. its strange though who you spend time obsessing over and how quickly the one who was "the one" can fade into just another boy. things happened this weekend that three weeks ago would have thrilled me, but now just make me sad. has who i want changed? or are we just never happy with what we can have? because the one i want to get to know better has shown no interest, and i dont think he's going to boomerang back.

today's lyric:
i'll build a house inside of you
i'll go in through the mouth
i'll draw three figures on your heart
one of them will be me as a boy
one of them will be me
one of them will be me watching you run

i gave her my heart and she gave me a pen

this past weekend was d.n.'s bachelorette party weekend. in retrospect, there were a million things i would have liked to have done, but, i think a good time was had.

friday was a drunken debaucherous (the fact that this is not actually a word, doesn’t stop it from being one of my favorites) night at ellas, which is to say, friday was pretty much just like every other friday.

saturday we had brunch followed by a mini spa day and makeovers at sephora. im doing the brides make-up for the wedding (something we are going to have to practice a few times) and should have been watching as the woman did her make-over, but, instead i was taking one for the team and having my make-up done by a very enthusiastic drag queen. when he said he would make me look "divine" i knew he didnt mean heavenly. and when he asked me what color the dress is (peacock [a.k.a. teal]) and what color my shoes are (gold) i knew where he was going, and i knew i was going to hate it. since im not a majorette, and this isnt a super-bowl half-time themed wedding, gold eye shadow with teal eyeliner (that flips up at the end creating some sort of weird egyptian tail) is not what i had in mind. and the oreo lips (brown lip liner, with pale pink lipstick) i think should be classified as a crime against nature. however, i already own more makeup than sephora sells, so, it wasnt an issue for me, and they did a lovely job on the other three girls.

we all took pictures so that we could recreate our looks. this was mine:

i think i needed more blush.

we spent saturday night having girls night in with sangria, thai food, and girly movies. oh, and the groom. all of us bridesmaids crapped out early and d.n. forced him to stay awake with her watching beautiful girls.

sunday we went to the drag queen brunch. i have mixed feelings about the drag queen performers; frankly, if im going to be tipping you i want you to do more than sashay around in a dress lip-synching. i do that all the time in my apartment and i dont expect people to give me dollar bills for it. although i did tip one performer after she paraded around in pasties and a thong (over control top pantyhose - im assuming this is some sort of health code thing, which is really disturbing if you think too hard about it). in her dress we were all a little jealous of what looked like a very impressive and natural looking rack; i was fully prepared to ask her for the name of her surgeon... that is until she unleashed those puppies and revealed the worst breast implants since tara reid. my tits and i instantly perked up.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

when animals attack

signs that your hair may be too long, and your curls may in fact be becoming dreadlocks:

5. the muslim men on the corner who sell incense start following you and trying to sell you patchouli.

4. you are compelled to buy a djembe and seek out a hippie drumming circle.

3. you stop shaving because having hair is "natural".

2. you start to engage in pseudo-sports like hacky sack, and juggling.

1. wasps get lost in your hair and panic when they cant find their way out, stinging you multiple times before dying a painful, squishing death.

to recap, in the past year i have been bitten on the wrist by a barbary ape in gibraltar; bit on the tit by a spider in seattle; and stung, multiple times, on the neck by a wasp in washington, d.c. plague and pestilence are probably right around the corner from me.

van nasty

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Location: van nasty, washington, dc

i have better taste in music than you and more makeup than a drag queen.

come and talk to me