Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ten years, Teen years.

In exactly one month from now, I will have graduated from High School exactly ten years ago. A milestone like that can certainly make someone feel old. As I ride the bus to work in the mornings and see local teenagers getting off to go to school, it makes me feel even older. All the weird clothes and cell phones and strange music, vibrant hair colors - things that were blatantly taboo while I was growing up have all become common place. Kids used to defy their parents by getting a random piercing on their face; Today, parents are willingly taking or allowing their kids to get these metallic deformations. (like those 'snake-bite' double lip piercings. Really? You're letting your 14 year old walk around looking like they just got snagged by a fishing hook?) I remember my mom freaking out because I put red streaks in my hair. A teenage girl I ride the bus with has bright purple layering underneath her jet black dyed locks. As her and her friends hop off the bus, they're quickly lighting up cigarettes and texting their friends before walking to homeroom. Oh, sure, there was smoking and other debauchery that went on amongst my peers back then, usually under wraps and out of the unseen eyes of adults - but today, it seems to have become so commonplace.The times, they are a changin'!

When I was 14, I started my freshman year of high school. I had short, pixie/boy cut hair. I wore vintage t-shirts and pants with legs so wide you could practically fit another human being in them. I had a backpack covered in ska & punk band patches. I wore a ball chain necklace and rubber bracelets and a chain attached to my wallet. Sometimes, I was even known to wear a studded choker or a white leather cat collar with a bow, encrusted with blue rhinestones. I would wear a vinyl skirt with a button down shirt, tie and wingtips - occasionally I added a tiara to the mix. I spiked my hair with pomade and carried an old metal lunchbox as a purse. I wore a dark blue hoodie every day with holes cut out in the arm bands for my thumbs. I put red streaks in my hair. I wore oversized "metal" band (Korn, System of a Down, Kittie, Stain'd, etc of the day) t-shirts. I wore out several pair of red & gray contrasting Vans skateboard sneakers - even though I'd never skateboarded a day in my life. I was a band geek - I played the flute in the marching and symphonic bands. My best friend & I started and were the only 2 members on the marching flag squad - for all of one parade. I was part of the TV station. I played JV lacrosse for their start-up season. I went to prom my junior and senior year and wore candy colored dresses to both of them.

By senior year I had toned down my look, grown out my hair, started wearing more sensible clothes and was preparing to head off to college in Boston. I wore a pink flowered dress with white sandals to my graduation under my white graduation gown. I got my diploma and tossed my hat in the air - no more teachers, no more books! I worked at a camp with my friends all summer and partied on the weekends at clubs and raves and had a relationship with a boy while cheating on my shut-in RPG playing boyfriend. Little did I know that in three months, my life would be changing forever. And not just because I was going to college, but because that year, ten years ago, September 11th happened - exactly 5 days before I was due to move into my college dorm for Freshman orientation. (My college was on the trimester system, so we had a late start.)  

Now, 10 years later - here I am. Living on my own in Philadelphia with my Master's degree. My hair is all one color, my jeans are normal and I wear plain t-shirts. The road has been rocky, but I'm still standing. And as I speak, construction crews are working on rebuilding the Twin Towers so that they too can stand strong again one day.

10 years may seem like a long time, but we're just getting started.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Living Like a Pop Star

Have you ever wanted to make highly ridiculous demands of other people just because you can? Well, if you're a famous pop star like Katy Perry, you can do just that! (The Smoking Gun just posted excerpts from a FOURTY FIVE PAGE tour ride for her summer tour.) Honestly, I don't think she's really a big enough or legitimate enough diva to be asking for all this nonsense since people will be turning their heads and going "Katy who?" three years from now. But in the meantime, it got me thinking: If I were a famous pop star touring the country all summer, what kind of crazy shit would I ask people to jump through hoops and bend over backwards (no lube) to get me to satisfy my diva-rage?

Below you will find my totally fictitious, over the top, life rider in which I ask for shit to be available "above and beyond my expectations" simply because I make more money than you and in this world, that means you have to kiss the ground I walk on and do as I say.

Dressing Room:  
For Artist and Artist alone, unless otherwise invited inside. SERIOUSLY, don't even try to come inside the dressing room without knocking first and being given formal notice that you're allowed to set foot inside.
  • Room must have a private bathroom with full bath, preferably a tub with those little clawed feet, and separate shower room with marbled walls and dual shower heads. 
  • Room should also have a separate toilet room as the Artist does not want to take a shit and then smell it while bathing! (Bathroom is for Artist's use ONLY. If you are invited inside and need to use the lavatory, please excuse yourself to find one inside the venue or use bathroom at the gas station down the street.) Toilet should be a Toto (Japanese brand) with warming seat, bidet features (front and back), as well as musical "hide my fart noise" function.
  • Room must have a vanity area with those round bulb lights (with dimmer dial setting) all the way around the mirror, dual hand sinks with faucet heads (brushed chrome) that rise up from the counter top with single-handled hot/cold function on both. A 10X magnifier mirror must also be available (wall-mounted). 
  • Six (6) plush hand towels and Eight (8) plush bath towels that do not leave fibers on your hands after you dry them, that are all pre-washed in lavender scented detergent and warm when Artist has arrived. 
  • Three (3) bottles of scented anti-bacterial hand soap with lotion from Bath & Body Works. (Sweet Pea, Japanese Cherry Blossom and Coconut-Lime Verbena preferred. If unavailable, please choose a fresh or floral scent. No Sun Ripened Raspberry or Mango.)
  • Room must have wireless internet, 42" LCD (not plasma; SONY preferred) screen TV (mounted mid-way up the wall) with 1080pi capabilities. There should be a complete sound system and DVR in room, pre-recorded with latest episodes of all network and high-end cable TV episodes, as well as a Nintendo Wii system (already hooked up to the internet) with selection of 8-10 multi-player games and four (4) Wii-motes with joystick attachments and four (4) regular style controllers. A Wii-fit device should also be available in room.
  • Room must have plush gray (not shag or berber) carpeting, with walls draped in shades of pink. (This means magenta, fuschia, salmon, pink, carnation, shell pink, baby pink, and other toned variations.)
  • Two (2) comfortable soft leather (no pleather!) chairs in light grey matching the carpets. These chairs must have a recliner option with the push button, not the handle. 
  • One (1) matching soft leather couch, with attached chaise lounger.
  • One (1) coffee table placed exactly 30" from the end of the couch. The Artist carries her own yard stick and will make sure this is an exact measurement. Coffee table must have a glass top and wooden legs, not metal. A stack of six (6) coasters should also be available for use on the coffee table.
  • Room should have one dozen (12) fluffy throw pillows (synthetic stuffing, no feathers) in shades of pink and grey.
  • Room should have one dozen (12) fluffy kittens. (Tabbies and Ragdolls preferred. declawed)
  •  Two (2) tall floor lamps in the shape of flamingos. (where in that the head of the flamingo is what is holding the light bulb.) If these lamps cannot be found, please contact a local electrician and welder who can possibly construct these pieces for you. These lamps should not have pull chains, but three way dimmer switches (installed in a panel under each wing) and should be on at mid-dim when Artist arrives in room.
  • One (1) wall length mirror, a la dance studio style. Aka - one wall of the dressing room should be entirely mirrored. 
  • One (1) six (6) foot (ft or ') banquet table, which should obviously not be set against the same wall that is the mirrored wall. 
  • One (1) large trash bin with foot pedal operated lid for main dressing room and one (1) small wastebasket for vanity room.
  • One (1) refrigerator (brushed chrome) with dual doors that open outward and have freezer pull out shelf on the bottom. Freezer should contain a series of fun shaped ice trays (tiny bottles, teeth, animals, letters, etc), pre-filled with bottled water only and available for Artist's use on arrival.
  •  One (1) Edible Arrangement featuring Pineapple and chocolate dipped (milk-chocolate only) Strawberries. Absolutely no melon or honeydew!
  • Twelve (12) average sized, ripened organic bananas without bruising; still bunched.
  • One (1) pound of McIntosh apples only, pre-washed with peeler and corer available. Four of these apples must be pre sliced on a plate with one (1) jar of Skippy brand reduced fat peanut butter available for dipping.
  • One (1) loaf of soft whole wheat, whole grain bread
  • Plate of fresh vegetables: both cherry and grape tomatoes, baby carrots, baby broccoli, cucumber slices with minimal peel on edges and a bowl of ranch dip.
  • One (1) tray of assorted fresh sushi: Tuna, Salmon, Yellowtail, as well as assorted sushi rolls containing Avocado. This should arrive chilled and have been prepared by a trained Japanese Sushi Chef. Small container of soy sauce for dipping, as well as fresh wasabi and ginger should also be provided.
  • One (1) water dispenser cooler with 5 gallon water tank filled with spring water. (Poland Spring preferred.) Absolutely NO PURIFIED WATER! (Everyone knows they just run that shit through a Brita, bottle it, and sell it with 150% markup.)
  • Two (2) bags of Trader Joe's brand Baked Blue Corn Tortilla chips and two (2) containers of Trader Joe's brand roasted corn and black bean salsa, pre-opened and poured into matching clear bowls. (If a Trader Joe's is not located in your region, try your best to substitute - and by substitute I mean, call a Trader Joe's in a neighboring state and have it Fed-Ex'd overnight.)
  • Two (2) bottles of Woodbridge Pinot Grigio, chilled and uncorked immediately before Artist arrives. (Artist has trouble operating corkscrews.) There should also be four (4) stemless white wine glasses available, cooled. 
  • One (1) six-pack of Coke Zero, cans, chilled and one (1) bottle of Coke Zero, warm. Artist likes to pour the warm, bottled soda over a heaping glass of ice for extra refreshment. 
  • Cooler with cubed, not crushed, ice and clean scoop. 
  • One (1) DeLonghi Espresso machine (industrial quality) and three (3) bags of Starbucks Espresso roast (ground). 
  • One (1) gallon of organic, free range non-fat milk. (should be in fridge upon arrival)
  • One (1) Starbucks Barista (female and attractive, preferably an adorable and funny lesbian) should be on hand at all times to freshly prepare any hand crafted coffee beverages the Artist may desire at all times. 
    • Other:  
      • Chinaware (black; both entree and snack size) and silverware (brushed chrome), Two (2) dozen wooden chopsticks, One (1) pair of plastic chopsticks, ceramic mugs (also black) and drinking glasses (clear, preferably with a pink/grey design on the outside), plastic drinking straws, Chinet napkins.
      • Box of Kleenex tissues with Aloe (2 ply)
      • Sandwich cutters in the shapes of dinosaurs and hearts so Artist may cut off her crusts and eat sandwiches in a delightfully adorable fashion.
Got all that??

Great! Now I'm ready to lip-synch my way around the world in completely unnecessary comfort!